If you’ve heard of Verizon’s internet service, those two words probably conjure to mind images of lightning-fast – ridiculous, even—internet speeds. But if you haven’t heard of Verizon Fios, then you’re probably wondering what’s with the cool name.
Verizon Fios is Verizon’s fiber-optic internet service. Reaching download speeds as high 980mbps—10 or more times faster than the typical DSL speed—you won’t have trouble playing online multiplayer games or streaming live TV via internet.
But Verizon Fios is super limited in availability, and are in some cases more expensive than competing providers. So: are they worth the money, and are they even in your area? Read on to find out.
Verizon Fios plans + pricing
*With autopay, plus taxes, equipment charges, and other fees.
Verizon Fios offers just 3 internet plans: the 100, 300, and Gigabit Connection. They’re easy to understand-- the name is the same as the speed you get-- which is more than can be said for a lot of internet plans. Even though Fios keeps things simple, you still get a good range of speeds for decent prices.
The 100 is the most economical choice of the three internet packages. You’ll get fast download and upload speeds. While their website says 100Mbps is best for the more casual or general internet user, most traditional cable-based internet tops out in this range, anyhow. For reference, Netflix recommends about 5Mbps.
The 300 gets a bit more intense. If you have multiple, heavy users in your household, especially if you like to stream, game, and download large files– this one’s for you. The price is still about on par at this point.
Finally, Fios’s 940 plan– the Gigabit Connection– is for you super-users out there, or huge households. It’s the most expensive at $89.99 a month, but you also get ridiculously fast speeds — and it’s still not as expensive as Xfinity’s or AT&T’s similar Fiber offerings.
Contracts + fees
One of the great things about Verizon Fios is that they have no contracts when you subscribe to a home internet-only plan. It’s month-to-month all the way. So that means you cancel at any time without paying an early termination fee.
But that said, there are a few other fees — why wouldn’t there be?
- Installation — One-time charge of $99, but it can be waived by ordering online.
- Router rental — Lease for $10 a month, or buy it outright for $149.
|Fios Triple Play plans||Fios Gigabit connection + TV Test Drive + Phone||Fios Gigabit Connection + Preferred HD TV + Phone||Fios Gigabit Connection + Extreme HD TV + Phone||View Plans|
|Price (2 years)||$79.99/mo.*||$94.99/mo.*||$109.99/mo.*||View plans|
*With autopay and 2-year agreement, not including taxes and other fees.
You can check out the channels Fios’s TV service includes over here.
It’s a pretty good deal because you can get Gigabit Connection by itself for the same price as the first of the 3 Triple Play bundles– and for each of the next two the price goes up just $15 a time. Plus, if you’re a TV lover, fiber delivers seriously reliable service for TV.
The downside is that you have to sign a 2-year agreement to take advantage of these– and if you cancel before the end, then you’ll have to pay termination fees. That ETF can cost you as much as $350, depending on how much time is left on your contract (although that’s not as bad as some ETFs).
Data + speed
Fios’s reliable speeds are a huge selling point for Verizon– and they’re a big, real benefit, too. In fact, Verizon’s lowest-tier plan is the top-end speed for many other ISPs. Their highest comes in with download speeds of up to 940Mbps and upload speeds of 880Mbps– major speed. Plus, no data caps.
While not quite what some other providers offer (1,000Mbps), it’s still pretty close. The only other ISP to make a large difference when it comes to speed is Xfinity. Their highest speeds are 2,000Mbps… but you pay hundreds per month for that crazy speed.
The real advantage here is in the fact that Verizon Fios actually delivers higher speeds than what they advertise. Other strictly-fiber providers come close, but fall short of the speeds Fios provides.
That said, it’s always important to note that speeds vary depending on your exact location, as does time of day, the number of devices accessing the internet, and more.
Symmetrical data speeds
It’s worth making mention of something you’ve probably noticed– the second number present in all of Fios’s data speeds. That’s the upload speeds, and fiber has a very distinct advantage over traditional cable, DSL, and satellite ISPs here: whereas those usually have upload speeds 20-40% of their download speeds, fiber can deliver symmetrical upload data speeds.
Or in other words, you might get 100Mbps download speeds with a non-fiber provider, and 20Mbps upload speeds. But with the same download speed (100Mbps) on a fiber network, you’ll also get 100Mbps upload speeds, too.
So uploading videos or images won’t take as long.
Verizon is the #1 internet service provider in the country for customer satisfaction, scoring the highest in the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index. They beat AT&T by 1 point, as well as all other ISPs, like Xfinity, Cox, and Spectrum.
Verizon Fios vs The Competition
|Providers||Verizon Fios||Spectrum||AT&T Fiber||Comcast Xfinity|
|Availability||9 states||45 states||21 states||41 states|
|Contract||None or 2 years||1 year||1 year||None, 1 year, or 2 years|
|Installation||$100, waived if online order||$35||$100, waived for Internet 300 and up||Up to $500|
|Router||Rent for $10/mo. Or buy for $149||Included||Included||$11/mo.|
|Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review|
When it comes to the competition, how does Verizon Fios stack up? Actually, pretty well on a variety of fronts. Comcast Xfinity’s lowest-tier offerings aside, Verizon Fios has one of the lowest starting prices for the speed offered. The downside is, Fios also has the smallest service area of its top internet competitors.
Spectrum offers similar top-end speeds to Fios, also with no data cap. But, you need to sign a 1-year agreement, and after that all bets are off when it comes to the price– it’s going to go up. That said, they’ll pay your ETF if you switch to them, and they have a wider availability than Fios.
In direct competition, AT&T Fiber offers speeds of up to 1,000Mbps — pretty similar to Fios. But, AT&T Fiber is also available in twice as many states as Fios, plus thousands of wireless hotspots nationwide.
Plus, at just 1 point behind Verizon for customer satisfaction, AT&T is close behind Fios. But, they do have a 1TB data cap on their lower-level plans.
Comcast Xfinity is the biggest cable provider in the U.S. and they offer speeds to match — 2Gbps, the most of any provider offering. But, that might not matter that much to you — Gigabit Pro (as the 2Gbps plan is known) is available only in a very select few states and costs about $300 a month.
But Xfinity does offer some lower-speed plans starting out, so if you don’t need much, they can be a much more affordable option than Verizon Fios.
Verizon Fios is ranked #1 in customer satisfaction for a reason. 100% fiber network, fast, reliable speeds, and no-contracts-required give it a leg up from its competition. Plus, when compared to competitors offering similar speeds and performance, Fios is surprisingly affordable.
The biggest downside for Verizon Fios is simply availability. If it’s available where you live– get it. It’s worth the money.
Is Verizon Fios available where I am?
Verizon Fios is currently available in just 9 states:
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- Washington, D.C.
In those states, only select areas are covered. You can check your availability here.
What is fiber-optic internet? How is it different from cable?
Cable internet provides service through copper coaxial cables by an electrical signal. That means the further from the initial source, the weaker the signal becomes. Fiber-optic, however, sends service via a pulse of light through thin, long pieces of plastic and glass.
There’s less resistance this way, so performance and speeds are higher and more reliable, even during peak times. But, it requires entirely new cables to be installed, rather than relying on existing cables, so it’s not yet widely available.
What does “FTTH” stand for?
FTTH stands for “Fiber to the home.” All it means is that your internet travels to your home on an entirely (100%) fiber network, rather than traveling simply to your neighborhood, then by copper to your home (fiber to the node service, or FTTN).