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Verizon FIOS

I can't say I've had major problems with Comcast Internet, but we did have a lot of problems with their VOIP service, so since we were switching back to Verizon for voice, I decided the switch the Internet access also. At the low end, it's $10.00 a month cheaper than Comcast, though we lose the bundled discount for having all three (voice, tv and Internet) with Comcast, so it will probably end up about the same. On the horizon, Verizon will be offering TV over FIOS soon, so if this all works out we may not have Comcast at all.

There was plenty of confusion about whether we could get FIOS. I've seen Verizon trucks in the neighborhood laying fiber, but my neighbor said that a Verizon rep stood in their front yard and told them flat out that FIOS wouldn't be here for a year or more. Maybe he thought they were asking about TV, because when we called, they immediately scheduled an appointment.

The tech actually showed up the evening prior. He said he'd finished up early at his other jobs and wanted to just get the line run to the house and that he'd be back at 9:30 AM unless some emergency came up.

The line they run is pre-fabricated and of course they only have certain lengths with them. The back of the box that they mount on your house is actually mostly empty: it's for winding up the extra wire not needed to reach the house. He did that much and then left.

The next morning he arrived at 9:20. I kidded him for being "late". He finished up the rest of the installation, including a battery backup unit in the garage. This is time consuming stuff: it was a good three hours all together.

As it happens, my office is right where all the phone and utility wires enter the house, so he drilled a hole through and installed an ethernet jack at the baseboard. That wasn't quite where I wanted the router, but I have plenty of long patch cords, so I put it where I wanted it. The tech said he could have made a cable for me if I wanted him to. However, he didn't have CAT-5 testing equipment (and I didn't want to dig out mine) , so I said I'd stick with my cable.

The router is a D-Link AirPlus Extreme G (DI-624). At defaults, it has an address of 192.168.0.1 and hands out DHCP addresses starting at 100. For some strange reason, my MacBook couldn't get an IP address from it, so I manually programmed 192.168.0.2 and accessed it with Firefox. The tech then told me I needed to go to "http://activatemyfios.verizon.net". I did, but it immediately barfed, telling me I needed Safari. I switched to that, and it downloaded some program which led me through creating an account.

I don't know if this was really necessary. It looks to me like most of that is just assigning an email account - I don't know if it actually does anything else (though it might register your router with them also). I'm not using their email, so I probably could have skipped that part.

The first thing I did was change the default passwords - it has two accounts, "admin" and "user" with "password" as the default. Next I changed it to match my existing internal LAN addresses. The MacBook still didn't want to claim an address until I rebooted, but it was fine after that. I told the tech I was happy, and he left.

I then locked down the wireless access. I found it interesting that the "Wizard" leaves the wireless wide open - it does offer to do encryption, but of course asks for hex digits: will Joe Consumer understand that? Probably not, so he'll get a wide open, unencrypted network. Shame on Verizon, but no doubt everyone else is just as bad.

The MacBook wasn't happy with wireless unless I rebooted with the LAN unplugged. That's unusual behavior, but it got worse. I had to reboot the Mac because of some new Apple patches, and the MacBook complained that its IP was already in use. That IP was in fact being used at my wife's machine, but I couldn't persuade the Mac to give up the idea that it wanted it. To fix this, I had the router assign specific addresses to each Mac address and it's been no problem since then.

I went with the low speed offering: 5 Mbps/2 Mbps. They also have 15/2 and 30/5 (always remembering that it is "up to", of course). I tested at dslreports.com and got 4919/1780 at 2:30 in the afternoon, which is pretty close.

But wireless remains difficult. Wireless always worked with my Linksys WAP, but it's very troublesome with this D-Link. I can make it work (by rebooting), but it's apt to go away or not come up at all. I don't use wireless all that often, but it is nice to work on the porch sometimes, so I may just disable this puppy's wireless and hook up the Linksys again. Come to think of it, I can probably put back my original router.. I just called and checked, yep, no problem. Which also means that they don't register or record anything about the router. I mentioned the wireless problem to the tech when I called; I could almost see him shrug his shoulders like he'd heard it a hundred times before.

Oh well. Life is never perfect, is it?



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19 comments



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© Anthony Lawrence







Fri Jun 30 04:58:39 2006: 2194   bruceg2004


"the low speed offering: 5 Mbps/2 Mbps"

Not too bad, for slow. The upstream rocks! What does the EULA say about running services like SMTP or a web server? Sounds like that will be a nice service. I doubt I will ever have that option, since I am too far from the CO for DSL.

- Bruce






Fri Jun 30 11:09:56 2006: 2195   TonyLawrence

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Well, FIOS isn't DSL, so distance isn't the problem - whether they run the lines is.


Inward services: "The consumer offers do not permit customers to host any type of server, personal or commercial."







Thu Jul 13 20:16:18 2006: 2252   anonymous


Has anyone checked to see what they ports block and filter?



Thu Jul 13 21:17:14 2006: 2253   TonyLawrence

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Well, as your TOS prohibits you from running a server, what's the point in knowing?

:-)



Fri Jul 14 11:10:59 2006: 2256   anonymous


OK, thanks for the input, I'll give them a miss and stick to unlimited unrestricted cable at 15Mbps for $45/month.



Fri Jul 14 11:17:04 2006: 2257   TonyLawrence

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Are you sure? Most Cable companires have the same restrictions. For example, Comcast says you cannot:

"run programs, equipment, or servers from the Premises that provide network content or any other services to anyone outside of your Premises LAN (Local Area Network), also commonly referred to as public services or servers. Examples of prohibited services and servers include, but are not limited to, e-mail, Web hosting, file sharing, and proxy services and servers;"



Fri Jul 14 16:21:17 2006: 2259   anonymous


Wireless first : I had to turn off the wireless on the DLINK router that came with my fios because it just hates Macs. So I run an Airport Extreme behind it. Also the DLINK router isn't a necessary part of the mix in any way. I'm running my verizon supplied dlink router as a really expensive hub and using a ClarkConnect box for routing/firewall instead.

As for blocked ports, they block 80 and 25 for sure. 21/20 FTP and 22 are open. I was really disappointed about the port blocking, but the speed makes up for it. You can subscribe to their business service at $99/month to get rid of the port blocking. Still a good deal for the speed. I have the 15/2 service in Florida and it is rock solid. Never had an outage and the speed is always there.



Fri Apr 6 15:01:53 2007: 2951   anonymous


FIOS service in Falls Church, VA



Thu Jul 19 15:25:40 2007: 3061   anonymous


8080 isn't blcoked for me in Springfield, VA



Mon Dec 3 22:39:47 2007: 3292   anonymous


I signed up for the Verizon triple-play (phone, internet, FIOS) in Maryland. The first problem was the installer cut my Comcast high speed internet cable while installing the FIOS cables (October 8). Initially Verizon tech support told me that there was nothing they could do as it was Comcast equipment (they can break it but they can't fix it). I asked that they advance the installation of FIOS (originally scheduled for Oct 27) so that my wife who works from home could get e-mail. Initially they told me that the installer would show up that Wednesday (Oct 10), and I waited all day for the installer, but he did not show up. I called back the following day and complained to a supervisor, who told me that they could not advance the installation date. After repeated complaints they finally agreed to schedule an installation for Oct 15, and to provide me with one month of free service as compensation for my trouble. The installer arrived Monday (Oct 15) as scheduled, and did a very thorough job with the installation. He was professional and very considerate. I had been enjoying the FIOS TV since then, until I received my first bill today. I was expecting a zero bill, since I had been promised one month free and my normal bill should be about $120, $99 for the FIOS plus $12.12 for the DVR plus fees and taxes. Instead the bill is for $212.73. It seems as if they charged me for separate services instead of the bundled service. I called the customer support line to correct this, and spent 45 minutes on the phone. I was transferred from one CSR to another, speaking to a total of four CSRs with no resolution, and in each case being put into a queue to speak to the next. When I asked to speak to a billing supervisor I was put in yet another queue then informed by an automated system that due to high call volume my call was being terminated. This seems to be indicative of the problems that people have with Verizon customer service in Maryland, and I may yet another person forwarding my complaints to the Maryland PSC.



Fri Jan 18 21:07:54 2008: 3493   anonymous


We just signed up for Verizon Fios in NJ and all three servicesswere set up yesterday. Took nearly 6 hours. Soon after the technician left, the TV crapped out. Picture froze and then went to black with a message "Currently Unavailable". Turned only a few channels could be watched, but with poor quality. We reset everything according to the Troubleshooting manual, reset everything with the technician on the phone and went to bed yesterday with no TV and a promise they would send someone out today. Well, they did, and all day has past and they still haven't resolved the problem. It's the weekend now and we will probably have no TV until next week. We can't even switch back to Cablevision - that we are still paying for - because they changed all the lines to our house. They say it's a problem on the engineering side and they are trying to find someone who can fix it. I am sorry I even signed up for FIOS. Even more so if I have to pay Cablevision to come out and give us cable again. The internet is FAST, though!



Fri Jan 25 01:44:03 2008: 3527   anonymous


WOW, Tony, you MUST work for Verizon!!! We, in VA have FIOS now, my neighbors and I tried the FIOS for 2 months. First of all their "$99" deal ended up being almost $200, after the salesman quoted me $114!!! This happen to my neighbors as well. Also, the speed of the Data, is no faster than any cable company I have ever had for service, the picture is WORSE, they say they bring it right to your door, yeah, they bring BS to your door, because the old cable wire that has been in the house, still remains, we are still getting "FIOS" threw the old wires? Verizon, as MOST customers know, is nothing but marketing and scamming and will say ANYTHING to get you to take there crappy service!!!! And customer service, unbelievably ridicules, they care NOTHING about their customers, giving fake numbers, never returning calls, no one can explain the bill…. And the list goes on and on and on… Verizon is NOTHING but a bunch of SCAM artist and I hope the word gets out.. So, Tony, what do you have to say about that…. Oh and P.S. My father has worked for Verizon for 20 years, and he REFUSES to get their service, so what does that tell you?



Sat Feb 2 20:37:10 2008: 3580   TonyLawrence

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No, I don't work for Verizon.

By the way, I switched back to their router and everything is fine.. zero problems, no complaints..



Mon Jun 2 12:36:09 2008: 4282   Rico


Last December (2007) I ordered Verizon Fios's Triple bundle at a cost of $99.00 in the Maryland area. Along with the bundle I was to get a free TV as well. My original install date was in December, however that date came and went with not a phone call or a visit from anyone. I called their customer service center and spoke with a representative as well as a supervisor who informed me that there had been a problem with my internet order and that it never appeared in their system. After discussing the issue for several more minutes they re-setup my installation for January 11, 2008. Along with this and the free TV I was to get a months service free. January 11th came and no installer arrived. I was later told after being on hold for over an hour that the Tech assigned to me called out that day. I explained that this was the second time and that this was not acceptable. The rescheduled me for MLK day, said they were sorry. MLK day arrives and at 1:00p.m. I am notified again that the Tech has called out and I would have to be rescheduled, this time in 4 more weeks. The supervisor I spoke this time told me there was nothing he could do. I told him that perhaps the Tech who keeps calling out should be fired. He hung up on me. I called again and spoke to a wonderful rep, I told her that I was canceling my order and all of the issues I have had. She convinced me not to cancel ( how I am still not sure ). She also sent me a $200.00 Verizon gift card. Finally, on the 4th try the installer arrives and sets everything up. I admit that the service itself is wonderful. A few weeks later I had still not received the information about the free T.V. so I called again. After being transferred to 6 different people, I spoke with the nastiest supervisor who told me I did not qualify for the Free T.V. because I had accepted the $200.00 gift card. I explained why I got the gift card and she then explained to me that it did not matter and I liked I could cancel my service. I was furious. I tried calling several more times but no one could help me as it appeared that the right hand of Verizon did not know what the Left was doing. I finally wrote a letter to the corporate offices, local Business office and sent it to 2 T.V Stations. 4 weeks later I received a letter in the mail stating that after careful review of my account I was not eligible for the free TV, however because I was such a valued customer they would give it to me anyway. An addition 6 weeks later I did get the TV. The service from Verizon is wonderful, but I could not recommend it to anyone because of the horrible customer care I received. If you choose this service just keep great records.



Fri Nov 13 00:54:42 2009: 7538   Chris

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I had a similar problem, however mine wasn't resolved until 6 phone calls into the company. turns out it was my fault :)



Tue Jun 29 16:27:36 2010: 8758   anonymous

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After fulfilling my contract with Verizon Fios, I decided to drop TV and Internet and return phone to copper wire. That began the worst nightmare I have ever experienced. Customer service at Verizon seems to be designed to make you leave them, but continue paying for non-existant service. Never again, Verizon.
My daughter is now experiencing the same problem, along with a friend. All being charged for non-existant service.



Tue Jul 6 15:11:44 2010: 8794   anonymous

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While I read all the glowing comments about FIOS (many probably writtten by Verizon staff) let it be known that I am a Cablevision customer who has tried Verizon twice and both times I cancelled my subscription because of very poor customer service as well as poor selection and pricing versus Cablevision.
In one instance, I cancelled my account withing the fifteen day window and was still charged for earlt termination which I disputed and after finally agreeing to pay the cancellation fee, I have now found that Verizon placed a chargeoff on my account and ultimately almost ruined my credit standing. My advice to anyone contemplating Verizon FIOS is to investigate their promises and beware of them when it comes to satisfying customer concerns or complaints.



Tue Jul 6 15:39:58 2010: 8795   TonyLawrence

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Well, I don't work for Verizon or Comcast and I have an opposite opinion.

YMMV. Simple as that.



Thu Jul 12 20:46:34 2012: 11200   TonyLawrence

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They just announced a 300/65 Mbps service recently - pricey, but wow!

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