Replacing a Verizon FIOS wireless router
March 3, 2014 1:20 PM   Subscribe

A friend told me that I should ditch the FIOS router Verizon gave me a few years ago and buy an off-the-shelf router for better results. Has anyone had any luck doing this? I've searched the internet and I'm not able to find any specific details on what routers one would buy to do this.
posted by photoslob to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Here's a lot of detail on how to do it from DSL Reports:

They have options ranging from supplementing the existing router to completely replacing it.
posted by dforemsky at 1:53 PM on March 3, 2014

Should have linkified that:

DSL Reports
posted by dforemsky at 1:53 PM on March 3, 2014

It's not likely to be easy, and I know your pain, having just finally replaced the awful Actiontec router that I got with my FiOS install 5+ years ago (with the slightly less awful but at least it's faster other Actiontec Verizon router). The issue is that the router connects to Verizon and the rest of the outside world through your ONT - the big box that terminates the fiber connection from Verizon - via coaxial cable, not ethernet as most off-the-shelf routers do. There is an ethernet connection available on the ONT, and you can call Verizon and have them enable it, but doing so disables the coax connection, which your settop boxes (if you have any) depend on for their data (on screen programming guide and such).
posted by Venadium at 2:06 PM on March 3, 2014

Here's my answer:

Do I have to use the supplied router with Verizon FiOS?
The Actiontec and Westell routers used by Verizon support either coax or cat5 connection to the ONT. Verizon's standard installation is to use coax between the ONT and the router.

If your WAN connection between the ONT and the primary router is coax, you will not find any retail versions of routers available that support the MoCA standard. To use a different primary router, you will need to get the WAN connection switched over to Ethernet, or bridge your router through the Actiontec.

Internet only
If you are getting only FIOS internet, you can request a cat5 install from the ONT to the router. Running cat5 instead of coax from the ONT to the router is up to the installer. The tech will install the Actiontec in order to verify that everything is working correctly. Once the installer has verified that you are receiving your provisioned speeds, you can replace the Actiontec. When swapping out your primary router be sure to release your WAN DHCP lease or you may have trouble acquiring a new WAN DHCP lease.
┬╗Verizon Online FiOS FAQ ┬╗How do I release my DHCP lease

FIOS-TV and Internet
Since FiOS set-top-boxes rely on the MoCA LAN for guide data, widgets and VOD, most alternative configurations include the Actiontec in a secondary role as a MOCA bridge for TV service.
posted by photoslob at 5:41 PM on March 3, 2014

I do the bridge thing -- the coax plugs into the Actiontec (WiFi and DHCP disabled), an Ethernet cable from there connects to my own router from which I manage all the wired and wireless connections in the house.

The guide data (such as it is -- it's unreliable) still reaches the TV, but I can't do slick stuff like program my DVR via the Internet.
posted by notyou at 6:50 PM on March 3, 2014

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