Nerds! Help!

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Kriegsspiel
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Nerds! Help!

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:08 pm

If I get fiber optic internet (Verizon FIOS), do I just need to get a router for it to work? I don't need a modem? I recently found out they are two different things. Or combined into a gateway, which is what Verizon rents with its internet. I'm confused as to why Verizon rents a gateway with their fiber optic internet if a modem isn't needed?

If I just buy a cheap $30 router am I good to go?
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Re: Nerds! Help!

Post by jacksonM » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:40 pm

Verizon will give you everything you need. You don't need your own router any more.

I had Verizon for a long time but I currently use WOW (sucks in comparison, BTW). The box they installed functions not only as a cable connection, but also an internet router and media gateway for streaming to your TV from your computers.
Last edited by jacksonM on Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Nerds! Help!

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:43 pm

Of course they will, Out of the kindness of their hearts and $12/month. I'd rather have my own hardware.
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Re: Nerds! Help!

Post by jacksonM » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:49 pm

Kriegsspiel wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:43 pm
Of course they will, Out of the kindness of their hearts and $12/month. I'd rather have my own hardware.
I had my own router when I switched to FIOS. I had to plug it into the back of the modem via an ethernet cable to get it to work. One day my router broke so I just switched over to using the FIOS router.

If they charge extra for this now, it's news to me.
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Re: Nerds! Help!

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:30 pm

Hmm, and FIOS has always been fiber optic? So you DO need a modem + router?

I'm finding conflicting info:

No modem one, two, three, four.

You need a modem one.

At this link one guy says that you don't even need a router (doesn't seem correct), and another says that you do need a modem + router due to the way Verizon hooks it up. (FTTP/fiber to the premises).
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Re: Nerds! Help!

Post by jacksonM » Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:40 pm

Okay, this is kind of jogging my memory now. Even though it was only about 10 months ago that I switched from FIOS to WOW (and FIOS was Frontier by then) it seems like ancient history.

With WOW there is now only a single device that functions as both a cable modem and WIFI router. I was thinking that all providers had gone the same route but maybe not with FIOS. So with WOW you get both things automatically.

Now I remember that in the past, with all providers, there were two devices - the cable modem and the router which was hardwired in some way to the cable modem. I also remember that for a long time I was allowed to use my own router and didn't have to rent one from the cable provider, but NOT when I had FIOS installed the last time. They wouldn't let me use my own router for security reasons which seemed reasonable at the time. If it's your router and you have complete control over it you can basically turn off all security features and give the whole neighborhood unlimited access to the internet.

So FIOS wouldn't let me use my own router to directly access the internet through the modem for that reason. The only way I could use my own router was to simply daisy chain it to the FIOS router with an ethernet cable which worked perfectly well without even having to tweak any settings on the router. When my router broke I just threw it away because I didn't really need it.

So I think the bottom line for you, if FIOS still requires a separate router, is whether or not they will let you use it to connect to the cable modem. If not, then buying your own router is really superfluous.

Hope that finally makes some sense.
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Re: Nerds! Help!

Post by dualstow » Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:24 pm

My experience has been this:

Renovated the house for coax cable because Comcast had a monopoly in our neighborhood.
Bought a google onhub router, put the Comcast modem/router in bridge mode so that it only functioned as a modem. Heaven. (but still customer svc hell).

After a month of that, Fios came to the neighborhood. Lots of drilling, yes Fios is fiber, always.

What’s that, Fios? We have to use your modem/router? Ok, then.
$200 Google router has been collecting dust for four years now. Gave it to my dad.
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Re: Nerds! Help!

Post by Xan » Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:27 pm

I'm on Google Fiber, which may or may not work the same way as FIOS. I would guess it's generally similar.

There are two components:
* The little wall-wart looking device that sits on the wall where the fiber enters the house. It physically connects to the fiber, and has an Ethernet port the other side. This would pretty much be analogous to a modem.
* The "Network Box", which is a WiFi hotspot and a router. Additionally, it does power over Ethernet for the connection to the wall-wart thingy in order to power the wall-wart thingy.

Google says that the Network Box is required, and at first glance that seems to be true: you can't just plug in a router to the wall-wart and have it work. But I was able to buy a Ubiquity EdgeRouter PoE and find some guides online for configuring it the way the Network Box is set up, and was able to make it work. It has to be a relatively fancy router in order to be able to set the VLAN flags that Google expects.

The Network Box is entirely remotely administered, there is no local administration. That's not a typo: that's really the way it is. In order to manage the router at your own house, you're supposed to log in to your Google account and manage the Network Box via a web interface they have. That was pretty much a non-starter for me. Also, I have my own WiFi hotspot ceiling-mounted in the middle of the house, so I had no use for the built-in WiFi.

I asked whether I could return the Network Box for some kind of discount, and that was not an option. They don't acknowledge that it's possible to not use the Network Box, so there isn't a procedure for a discount.

If FIOS is charging you $12/month for hardware, then there must be some official way to not use that hardware, I would think. I would definitely want to go that direction if I were you.
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Re: Nerds! Help!

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:14 am

Ok, so it sounds like I will need to plug a gateway into the ONT/wall wart. I found the gateway that Verizon rents with its FIOS on craigslist for $60. Is it possible to hack the router itself or am I good to buy a used one? New they're like $150.
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Re: Nerds! Help!

Post by pugchief » Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:25 am

Right. Think of it this way: Whether you use cable, DSL, Fios, or dial-up the modem converts the incoming signal to device usable format. The router then disseminates that formatted signal to your devices. Sometimes, the put them in one box, sometimes separate. They want you to rent from them because it's a racket (huge profit center). There is probably a way to avoid using some or all of their equipment, but if they don't offer a credit for doing so, just accept it as a cost of their package when comparing to other options.
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Re: Nerds! Help!

Post by sophie » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:29 am

When I got Verizon FIOS, the "wall-wart thingy" was included with installation. It's their box and presumably if something goes wrong with it it's on them to replace. The wireless router is another piece that you need, and it's your responsibility. I had the option to rent or buy it.

After doing a bit of math I opted to buy. This is more cost effective if the device lasts longer than 3 years. And, replacement is a lot less hassle. I would be hesitant about using a non-Verizon router, even if it's (supposedly) the exact same router purchased on Amazon. FIOS can be amazingly finicky and I don't want to deal with an extensive troubleshooting session.
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Re: Nerds! Help!

Post by dualstow » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:31 pm

sophie wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:29 am
When I got Verizon FIOS, the "wall-wart thingy" was included with installation. It's their box and presumably if something goes wrong with it it's on them to replace. The wireless router is another piece that you need, and it's your responsibility. I had the option to rent or buy it.

After doing a bit of math I opted to buy.
...
What?! They gave me no option! Not only did they insist that I use their router -- which they had to put in the basement. Long story -- but I also had to use their repeater. I even called them and asked if I could put my own router into the mix and they said that a month earlier I could, but now they were using this brand new technology and blah blah blah. No outside routers. I am flabbergasted now.
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