For the Home Technology Enthusiast

All about Verizon FiOS

 
     
 
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FiOS - described from Teksupport's experience. For the Verizon description, click here.

FiOS is a service offered by Verizon that includes voice, video and Internet services. FiOS contrasts itself with traditional 'copper' or landline telephony service and coaxial cable-based 'CATV' services by being offered on fiber-optic technology whose optic fiber cables reach all the way to the side of the premises or home. In industry parlance this technology is often referred to as FTTP or FTTH (short for Fiber-To-The-Premises, and Fiber-To-The-Home respectively). FiOS is inherently capable of providing much more 'bandwidth' than any other service offering including Cable and Satellite. However, this doesn't automatically translate into better service or higher quality TV pictures, etc. That is a 'devil-in-the-details' matter. This is akin to contrasting a multi-lane freeway to a small country road. Sure, the freeway can support 'high speed' but what if the cars are not capable of doing more than 20mph!

 

As a FiOS customer, you have the choice of getting just the Internet service, Internet + TV service, or Internet + TV + Phone service ('bundle'). And depending on the mix of services and the number of television settop boxes or 'receivers' and digital adapters you get, the price can range from about $50.00 to about $200.00 per month (You will need one settop box or digital adapter for each television you want connected to FiOS. Depending on the type of settop box or digital adapter, the charges range from about $5.00 to about $16.00 per month for each one. Prices indicated are 2009 numbers, approximate, and do NOT reflect any promotional rates Verizon may offer from time to time. See an actual bill at the bottom of the page).

 

Teksupport's experience has shown FiOS to be a superb service - especially for Internet and phone. While the clarity of television pictures and the channel line up are also very impressive, it is the need to 'reset' the settop box - even if only occassionally - that prevents its characterization also as 'superb'. Overall, Teksupport's experience of FiOS has been extremely good - when reliability of service is taken as the primary consideration. Can't say the same when it comes to customer service or tech support. It is here that the reliability is helpful since Teksupport has hardly found the need to battle with Verizon's trying customer and tech support service - with its IVR system and all.

 

FiOS Equipment

The equipment you get when you order FiOS service depends on the mix of service. Regardless, FiOS requires a unit that goes on the side of the home called ONT (Optical Network Terminal)(note: this unit will need to be powered from within your home. Verizon takes care of all installation but still, you need to provide a power outlet for them to use). , FiOS in-home equipment includes a wireless router and one or more digital settop boxes or digital adapters depending on the number of televisions or other video display units you want connected to FiOS. FiOS telephone service does NOT require any additional equipment - and will be connected to your existing in-home telephone wiring just as a normal landline service.

 

FiOS offers four kinds of digital settop boxes and one kind of digital adapter. The difference is mainly whether they support DVR or 'TiVO' functionality and whether they support high-definition TV. The digital adapter is a stripped-down version of the settop box - is smaller in size and basically allows for viewing FiOS TV on any television or video display device.  The digital adapter does NOT support high-definition TV or features such as online interactive TV Guide.  As of 2009, all settop boxes and the digital adapter are made by Motorola.

 

FiOS Connection Diagram

FiOS re-uses your in-home coaxial cabling and telephone wiring for its services. On occasions, may need a new run of a Cat 5 ethernet cable from the ONT to the wireless router for the Internet service. See figure below for FiOS connection diagram.

 

 

Migrating to FiOS Internet Service

Let's say you are currently using DSL or Cable Modem for your Internet service, have wireless network in your home, and you are switching to FiOS. Before you fire up your existing computers and laptops to access the super high speed FiOS Internet service, you have to configure the FiOS router to reflect the configuration of the DSL or Cable Modem router (and any wireless router) you currently have. The most common configuration parameters to 'copy over' from your existing router to the FiOS router are:

  1. Wireless SSID or ESSID setting

  2. Wireless security (WEP, WAP) setting

  3. Firewall and port forwarding settings - as applicable

Ensure that this information is available when the FiOS technician is still in your home after installing all equipment since you will need to gain access to the router configuration web pages that may be password-protected. Else, you will need to go through the painful tech support process later. Alternatively, ask for the rotuer configuration access username and password from the technician. The following default username and password *may* work:

  • username: admin

  • password: password or password1

Once the router is installed, connect a computer to one of the ethernet LAN ports in the back of the router. Boot up the computer and open Internet Explorer. Type http://192.168.1.1 in the IE address bar (192.168.1.1 is the default IP address of the FiOS router). You should see a login page asking for username and password like the one below:

 

 

Enter admin for user name and try one of the two passwords mentioned above. If successful, you should see the home page of the router as below.

The exact IP addresses and other details will be different.

 

To change the wireless settings, click on the 'Wireless Settings' icon on top of the home page. You will be taken to the wireless settings page shown below.

 

 

 

 On the wireless settings page, click on 'Basic Security Settings' on the left navigation menu. which will take you to the page shown below, which is where the basic wireless settings have to be configured *to match your current wirless router settings* of SSID, and WEP.

 

 

 

While setting SSID is straightforward and is usually a name such as MYNET or OURHOME, setting WEP key is tricky in the sense that first you have to ensure that all wireless devices and computers have the same kinds of WEP selected (WEP-64 or WEP-128), the same WEP format (HEX or ASCII), and the excat same alphanumeric sequence or WEP 'key'. Most WEP settings default to WEP-64, HEX.

 

Make sure to click the 'Apply' button at the bottom of the page after you have entered the SSID and WEP key information. It is a good practice to verify all the information one more time - including confirming that Wireless is set to ON on top of the page before clicking Apply.

 

 

This completes the minimum configuration needed to setup your FiOS router to let your existing wireless networking devices and computers use FiOS.

 

For new FiOS connections, the procedure to setup the wireless part is identical. Only, be sure that all your wireless devices and computers are configured to have the SAME SSID and WEP key information.

 


 

Copy of actual FiOS bill -

  • Services subscribed: Internet + TV
  • Internet Service Speed: 20MB/5MB
  • TV Service: Extreme HD package
  • TV Settop boxes: 1 DVR settop; 1 HD settop; 1 SD settop; 4 Digital Adapters (1 free with package)

 

 

Bill reflects a bundle discount.

 

 

 
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