Best router for Verizon Fios in 2022


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Budget Pick

Best Budget Router For Verizon Fios

TP-Link Archer AX50 Wireless Gigabit Router


Things to consider when purchasing a router for Verizon Fios

Verizon Fios uses fiber optic cables instead of coaxial cables. This fiber-optic service (aka Fios) is faster, more reliable, and generally better all-around. Before you go looking for the best routers for Verizon Fios though, there are a few things worth keeping in mind.

Will any router work with Verizon Fios?

The short answer is yes, just about any router that is above the speed of your Fios connection will work fine. So, the cheapest Fios plan offers 300Mbps, while the top-of-the-line plan will get you a Gigabit connection (Up to 940Mbps downloads). As such, going with a Gigabit router is your best bet.

When you go through with your purchase, Verizon will send a technician to set up the ONT box in your home. This terminal is what provides your router with an internet connection. The ONT box usually has an ethernet connection so you can connect a router but ask the technician before the setup is finished.

From there, things are simple. Just run a compatible ethernet cable (one that supports Fios speeds) from the ONT box to the router. You can ask the technician to do all of this for you.

Verizon Fios router vs third-party routers

Now that we know that you can just about any router with Verizon Fios, the question then becomes if you should do so. 

For the most part, going with your own router will save you a lot of money in the long-run, and also helps you to get familiar with router settings and a bit of DIY, if that’s your jam.

We need to acknowledge that a lot of people will also get the TV plan that is usually free from Verizon (depending on the locality). Fios TV uses a coaxial connection to the router, so that poses a bit of a problem. However, you can get a MoCA adapter to fix this issue.

This adapter has an ethernet port on one end, and coaxial output on the other. This way, you can just use a regular ethernet cable to connect to your TV.

There’s one thing left to consider. If you buy a separate router from a third-party company, you’ll need to deal with their warranty service if things go south. If you go with the Verizon router, they’ll send you a replacement if something irreparable happens to the router.

Cable and router speeds

Now that you’ve decided to go on your hunt for the best routers for Verizon Fios, there is one last thing that you need to consider: speed. The lowest tier Fios plan costs $39.99 and will get you a 300Mbps connection. The highest tier costs $89.99 for the Gigabit connection.

Needless to say, you’ll need fast equipment to take full advantage of those incredible speeds. Even if you’re going with the 300Mbps connection or lower from Verizon, going with a Gigabit router is a safe bet. Especially if you’ll be transferring a lot of files from a local network.

Even if you don’t get a Gigabit router, at least get one that’s at least 50-100Mbps faster than your actual connection. You’ll avoid the dreaded speed bottleneck this way. The same goes for ethernet cables.

Ethernet cables mostly look the same, but speed is a major differentiator. For example, Cat5 ethernet cables max out at 100Mbps, while Cat6 cables support Gigabit speeds. There are more examples such as Cat6A (10Gbps), but a Cat6 cable is all you need for your Gigabit connection.

What Type of router should you look for?

There are thousands of router options on the market. When shopping for the best routers for Verizon Fios, these are the two types of routers you need to keep in mind.

Single routers vs mesh routers

A single router is what we’re all familiar with. This plugs into the modem, or the ONT box in our case, with an ethernet cable. This does restrict the placement of the router, but you can get around that with a longer cable. 

Keep in mind the Wi-Fi will be stronger near the router, as usual. Of course, some routers have better range thanks to external antennas.

On the flip side, Mesh routers or Mesh Wi-Fi is a newer development. This system uses a router as a central hub and comes with different nodes that act as access points scattered throughout your home. This is great if you need Wi-Fi that covers a larger area.

Your devices will connect to the nearest node by default. Amazon’s Eero and Google Wi-Fi are great examples of a Mesh Wi-Fi system. The cost is usually higher though, and setting up is more involved in some cases. 

Best router For Verizon Fios: understanding the specs

Generally, you are now aware of the basics of what you need to look out for when it comes to buying the best router for Verizon Fios. However, there are still some specs that we need to go over that might be confusing to new buyers. 

What are Wi-Fi standards?

When you go out to buy a new router, you’ll quickly start to read about Wi-Fi standards. Things like 802.11ac Wi-Fi sounds like jargon to most. Here’s what it means:

The number “802” represents computer networks, while the “.11” part is for Wi-Fi or WLAN. This entire number is usually followed by suffixes such as “802.11ac” or “802.11ax”. These indicate the speed and Wi-Fi protocol of the router. 

Wi-Fi 5 uses 802.11ac, while Wi-Fi 6 uses 802.11ax. As you can probably imagine, Wi-Fi 6 is faster and more reliable. Most new devices such as phones, PCs, and laptops these days will have support for Wi-Fi 6.

If your devices don’t, a Wi-Fi 6 router is still compatible, but it won’t deliver the maximum speed that it can output.

Some unfamiliar specs

The reason that Wi-Fi 6 is faster is because of improvements in two major technologies: MU-MIMO and OFDMA. MU-MIMO (Multi-user, multi-input/output) allows Wi-Fi 6 routers to communicate with up to 8 devices at the same time. That is double what previous-generation routers were capable of doing.

OFDMA is a technology that can allow data to travel to multiple devices from a single transmission. The combination of both of these things allows new routers to get the most out of every single transmission.

What about dual-band Wi-Fi?

This is something more people might be familiar with. You might have heard of 2.4GHz and 5GHz connections. Essentially, these are different protocols used by your Wi-Fi connection to carry data to and from your devices.

In practice, a 2.4GHz connection provides wider coverage and better signal integrity. On the other hand, 5GHz Wi-Fi is faster thanks to more bandwidth. A router with dual-band Wi-Fi can use both.

If your device has a 2.4GHz connection, the router will switch to that. A device that supports 5GHz Wi-Fi will use that instead if your router supports it.

Ethernet and USB Ports

Last but not least, you need to look out for ports on your router. Apart from portable devices, you are better off using a hardwired connection on almost everything else. This includes NAS servers, PCs, Consoles, TVs, etc. Doing so will provide better speed and stability.

Make sure your router has enough ethernet ports so you can hook up all of your devices. If you run out, you can always go and buy an ethernet switch separately. Routers these days also come with a USB port. This is so that you can connect an external hard drive and treat it as sort of an online file server. 

Best router for Verizon Fios

TP Link AX6600 WiFi 6 Gaming Router

TP-Link AX6600 WiFi 6 Gaming Router

Wi-Fi Protocol

802.11ax Wi-Fi 6

Ports

1x 2.5GbE LAN/WAN, 3x GbE LAN, 1xGbE LAN/WAN, 1x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0

Pros