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How to use your own router with Verizon Fios
Verizon offers a variety of mobile and internet plans, but Verizon’s Fios fiber Internet plans are the way to go if you want an ultra-high-speed internet connection, as long as you live in a supported area. The only downside is the router fee is pretty expensive at $18 a month. The good news is you can use your existing router with a few steps. Here’s how to use your own router with Verizon Fios.
You can use your own router with Verizon Fios. But there are a few extra steps you might have to go through depending on the router you have, the type of internet connection already available from the optical network terminal (ONT), and the Fios plan you have subscribed to (Internet-only or Internet+TV).
How to use your own router with Verizon Fios
Make sure you have the correct third-party Wi-Fi router
If you plan to use a third-party Wi-Fi router, ensure you have the correct one. The requirement is simple. All you need is a router that has an ethernet port and doesn’t have a built-in modem. The Fios network uses an optical network terminal (ONT), which is the box responsible for converting the signal coming through the fiber connection into separate signals for data, TV, and phone. It doesn’t require a modem.
The good news is that almost every recently released Wi-Fi router has an ethernet port. The rest of the router’s requirements depend on your needs — speed and performance, the number of connections, Wi-Fi standards, and more. We highly recommend the Google Nest WiFi Pro ($199 at Amazon), but there are plenty of other great Wi-Fi routers as well.
Check the connection type on the Verizon router
Verizon will install an ONT for new customers. Existing customers or someone with a ” Verizon-ready ” house will find the terminal inside or outside your home, in the garage, basement, closet, and others. If you already have a Verizon Fios connection and a rented router, check how the router is connected to the ONT. It’s usually a white or silver box with a Verizon logo.
See if the router is connected to the router using a coaxial cable or an ethernet cable. Newer ONT installations already come with an ethernet cable, so all you have to do is plug it into your new router’s ethernet port (continue to step 3). You’ll have to go through a few extra steps if it’s an older setup that uses a coaxial cable to connect the ONT and the router.
What to do if the ONT and older router use a coaxial cable?
Don’t remove the coaxial cable from the ONT and router until you finish this step. Find the ONT, open the access door/panel, plug an ethernet cable (at the bottom next to the coaxial cable) into the terminal’s ethernet port, and connect it to the Verizon router. The ONT and the router will have ethernet ports even if they have a coaxial cable connection.
Call Verizon Fios support (1-800-837-4966) and ask them to activate the ethernet connection. They should do so at no extra charge.
How to disconnect the Verizon router
You can disconnect the coaxial cable once Verizon activates the ethernet connection. Or continue this step if the ONT and router already use ethernet. Open the browser on your phone or PC and go to https://192.168.1.1/ to open the router’s network settings. You’ll find the default username and password on a sticker somewhere on the router.
Go to My network (tab) > Network connections (in the left-hand menu), and click Broadband connection (Ethernet/Coax). Click Settings at the bottom, scroll down to the DHCP Lease section and click Release. Click Apply at the bottom of the page, disconnect the Verizon router from the ONT, and pull the power cable. Remember to disconnect the router as soon as you click Apply to stop the router from establishing a new lease connection.
There’s an easier way if you aren’t in a rush. Simply disconnect and unplug the router and wait a day since DHCP lease connections usually expire after 24 hours.
How to connect your new Wi-Fi router to Verizon Fios
After disconnecting the Verizon router, plug the same ethernet cable into your new router. Turn on the device, and it should automatically receive a Fios IP address from the ONT and provide internet access after a few minutes.
What to do if you have a Verizon TV connection
The Verizon Fios TV connection uses MoCA (Multimedia over Coaxial Alliance). While the steps above will bring back your internet connection, you need a MoCA adapter to get TV services. There are quite a few suitable MoCA adapters available on Amazon.
Don’t unplug the coaxial cable from the ONT if you have TV services. Plug the coaxial cable into the coaxial port of the MoCA adapter. Then plug an ethernet cable (not the one already connected between the ONT and the new router) into the adapter and one of the free LAN ports on the Wi-Fi router. You will need a Wi-Fi router with more than one ethernet port for this to work. Unplug the set-top box and plug it back in after a few minutes.
How to return the Verizon router
You will have to send the router back to Verizon if it’s a rental unit, so don’t forget to reset it. Find the reset button on the device (it should be on the back). Turn on the router and use a pin or something similar to press and hold the reset button for at least 15 seconds. Wait for the router to reset and power on again. This will erase everything and reset the router to factory settings.
Check out Verizon’s guide on how to return equipment. Ensure that you return the router within 30 days of ending the service to avoid rental charges.
Your phone service will not be affected if you use your own router. However, you will lose some DVR features on your TV.
No, Verizon will not offer any technical support for third-party routers.