First Impression: Verizon FiOS

After dealing with 6 months of terrible and inadequate service from Clear, I have decided to actually use a real ISP. Since I have been living in the current apartment for a couple of months, I would be able to actually choose a land line based service. I had three options. The first would have been Cable Internet from Comcast. The second would have been DSL from a wide range of providers, and the third was Fiber Optic Services from Verizon. Many of the DSL providers were requesting contracts with only a couple not requiring them. Needless to say, I left Consolidated Communications to go with Clear. I wasn’t going to leave one terrible company to go to another one.

I am not a fan of Comcast. They have terrible billing, and customer service – at least from my experience. They also have poor services at least from what I have witnessed with people who have them, and they are definitely over-priced. My brother for example pays more than $100 for his television service that gives out, and requires support at least most of the time I come (I don’t even touch the remote), and for their 1MBPS connection. For this, I find it as appalling.

So, my best option is Verizon’s FiOS. I was thankful for the fact that they were able to get me an appointment within a week. I actually had the service for almost 24 hours already. In that time, the worse I have experience was a 2 second delay in the middle of a couple of Hulu shows. Even on my smart phone, I have experienced superb speeds. The highest my latency was 46ms (lower = better). 100ms is the msot that you should have for VOIP/SIP services. I have regularly been getting 20MBPS down stream or greater. And while I did get a 5MBPS upstream one time, this is not much of an issue, and it only seem to happen once. In other words, my worst upstream beat my Consolidated, and Clear’s best downstream any day. My package is a 25/25MBPS package, and I get very close that regularly.

Installation was very little on my part. The technician handled almost everything, although I did bring the battery unit by the basement door on his behalf. He had to remove the telephone junction box and installed a new fiber optic line box. This is where the fiber optic connects with the RG6 coaxial cable. There does seem to be RJ45 WAN for those homes that have uses Cat-6/7 cable (such as structured wiring). It took a couple of hours, and the technician installed some software on the computer that would “enhanced the experience). Personally, I probably could do without as I don’t see me using their email services, nor web site services. There are other things installed, but again – this probably more of a waste of space.

There were some hiccups. I had to DMZ my SIP Phone access point, give it a dedicated IP address, and open ports for SIP/VOIP. This is not something that most ordinary people will go off to do, and will assume that the service, or the device is defective. This is because the router, and modem is one and the same device (not something I like). It is however a Wifi-N router which is somewhat worth the fact that if one thing goes – it all goes, but I still have half of my home network that uses Wifi-G. In addition, it would seem as if Verizon blocks port 25 which is used in SMTP. People like me who uses a real email service on a real email client would normally send email through port 25. You would want to change to 587, but shame on you Verizon for not supporting a common port.

There is a USB port which I would like to know if it can be used by me. If so, I would definitely want to invest in an external hard drive. Keep in mind, I have a notebook PC, and would not want to start plugging in things I will want to use regularly when it is not easily portable. I am still waiting on Verizon to let me know if the USB port is for my use, and what hardware it would support. The big issue is the price. It would be about $65 per month and while that maybe a bargain (especially when leaving Clear), it feels a little pricey. I am sure once I add TV service, the price per service will go down and be more attractive. For my benefit, it would be about $100 + tax for the three service bundle. The Internet only service is $65 + tax.

So, what is my first impression? It is a little high, and a bit daunting for the need to have to create custom porting for specialized services while having some ports blocked completely, one can not deny the speed of the service, and so far – much better reliability. And while I am not a fan of the price, I am sure if I would ever get a television, I would go with the full package (adding telephone I won’t need) to get the best value. The phone itself will not likely be used though, but at least I have an option, right?