How to Use your Own Router with FiOS

There are few things as frustrating as trying to load something on your laptop or phone, and it just takes forever. Whether it’s streaming a television show, a work Zoom call with the head of your company, or a YouTube video teaching you how to hard-boil an egg, slow data is a huge issue for most people. If you are an individual, family, or place of business who is attempting to upload large amounts of data quickly, FiOS can definitely help you in doing so.

Fios is a fiber-optic network that can load a lot of data very fast. It is offered through Verizon and is usually set up with a Verizon router. However, you do not actually have to use their router if you do not want to; it is possible to use any router you could want. There’s not a lot of information out there about how to use it with a different router (versus the Verizon router you have probably been using if you are reading this article), but we’re going to share that with you now.

How to Use Your Own Router With Fios

How to Use Your Own Router With Fios

Step One: Upgrading/Replacing Your Verizon FiOS Router

The first thing you’re going to want to do is to upgrade your router. If you have a relatively new one, it’ll probably work okay; but you’re going to want one that can load 100mbps. If you are thinking of using an older one from several years ago, I would strongly advise against it. Some routers I would recommend include Netgear R8000, Netgear RAX120, and Motorola MR2600.

All three of the routers far surpass the MBPS needed to enable Fios to fast track your data for you. They also all have at least a 99% satisfaction rating. Unfortunately, regardless of how good Fios is, it can only do so much with an old and slow router. You are also going to need an Ethernet cable if you do not have one you can use already.

Make sure the cable is long enough to reach from where your Optical Network Terminal is to wherever you want to put this router. MEASURE THE SPACE before you head to the store or order online. After you buy these things, or maybe just collect them from your storage closet, you are ready to move on to step two. Step two is moving from step one which is what you need for the rest of the steps.

Recommended: Take a Look at FiOS Compatible Router.

Step Two: Connecting The Ethernet Cable

Ethernet Cable

Once you have everything you need, the first thing you are going to do is connect the Ethernet cable from the Verizon Optical Network Terminal to your VERIZON ROUTER, not your new one. The Ethernet jacks should be evident on the back of both is these devices, and on some newer devices, they may even be labeled.

This way it is set up and ready for our Verizon Technical Support friend in the next step. Because let’s be honest, the less time we have to spend on the phone with tech support the better. Once you have these connections, you are ready to move on to step three then.

Step Three: Contacting Verizon Technical Support

Contacting Verizon Technical Support

Your next step is going to be to contact Verizon technical support. You can find this number at the top of their website, and you will choose one phone number depending on your geographical location (you may also be able to pull the number straight from your cell phone contacts if your carrier is Verizon). You are going to have to go through all of the different prompts (including verifying your identity or account so be ready for that), but eventually, you will be able to get ahold of an internet representative.

When you do, you will tell them that you are moving your Optical Network Terminal from a Coax cable to your Ethernet cable so you can use a different router. Ideally, the person you are talking to will know what to do; but since this is a newer concept it may take them a moment. Once they know what they are doing it will probably take a little bit of time for them to set up, but they should stay on the line with you until you verify it is working fine.

Once they ask you to check it you will just make sure your Internet is working (which you can do by checking your phone or computer). If something seems to NOT be working, they should be able to problem-solve with you until it is all good. Once it is ready, you can move on to step four.

Step Four: Release the Internet Protocol Address

Release the Internet Protocol Address

Next, you are going to want to release the Internet protocol address from the Verizon router. This will make sure that the Optical Network Terminal is able to move your current Internet protocol address to the router you are now planning to use. If you don’t know how to release the IP address already you can follow these next steps. You will need to log into your router settings on your computer or phone. Your router should have a sticker on it that will give you the website to access this information.

On this website, there should be somewhere for you to access your networks, and you will select the one you are currently using. You will go into your current network’s settings. Then there should be a  button for you to click that says “release.” Once you click this, it should release your internet protocol address. Once you do this, everything should be good to go to connect your new router (but that won’t be until step six so hold on one minute; this next step is important).

Step five: Factory Reset Your Verizon Router

Factory Reset Your Verizon Router

Now, this next step you are really going to want to do. Your router is going to have a lot of your personal information on it. It can have info like your Internet protocol addresses, the name of your network, and a lot of other valuable information that people could possibly use to hack you in the future. It is scary how easy it is for someone to get your internet protocol address, but also how much someone can do once they have it.

A lot of people don’t realize this or don’t think about it, but you are going to want to factory reset your Verizon router so nobody will be able to access this information. You can do this in a few different ways depending on your router. For some, you can do it by going into the settings on your router and clicking the factory reset.

On some other routers, you can reset them by taking a small pointed object and sticking it into the reset button on the back of the router for about fifteen seconds. If you go this route, make sure it is ON when you click the button and give it time to finish it’s reset before you do anything with it.

This way, no one who knows how will be able to access any of your personal information from the router. Then, once your new router is all set up, you are welcome to (or probably required to if we’re being honest) return the Verizon router you have been using back to your local Verizon store. We would hate for you to be charged for it on your next bill.

Step Six: Setting Up Your New Router

Setting Up Your New Router

This last step is to simply set up your new router. Now it is time to take that Ethernet cable out of the router you have been using and plug it into the jack on the router you want to use now. Then you are going to simply turn your router on. You may need to look at the routers’ directions if it is a new router or you don’t know how to turn it on. The router should automatically detect the incoming signal from your Optical Network Terminal box and continue with the setup process automatically.

By following these six simple steps, you should have been able to move from using the Verizon router you have been stuck with to using any router of your choosing (as long as it is relatively newer and has at least 100mbps). If you are thinking about what router you want to get, feel free to check out the three router recommendations at the top of this article. Even if you do not pick one of them, they can serve as good foundations for your research.

This information has been pretty hard to find until now because Verizon does not openly share with its users that you do not absolutely have to use their router, but being able to use a better, higher-powered router of your choice will make it possible get even faster data. So go out and stream your favorite television show, meet with the head of your company in the weekly Zoom meeting, and figure out how to hard-boil an egg on YouTube. The world is now your oyster (as they say) with your FiOS running through your own router.