Using your own router with Verizon FiOS
12-23-2017 09:58 PM - last edited on 12-29-2018 08:29 AM by LawrenceC
Can you use your own router with FiOS?
Yes, you can. Below is a detailed guide to using your own router with Verizon FiOS.
The tl;dr: If you have standalone Verizon FiOS Internet that was recently installed, simply release the DHCP lease on the Verizon router (follow instructions below, section "Switching to your own router"), and plug your own router in. Or, if you haven't had FiOS installed yet, simply tell the technician to plug the service into your router after they have installed the service. If you have Verizon TV service, or your FiOS service was installed using older methods, it is still possible to use your own router, however there are some caveats. Read below for more information.
This setup is in no way supported by Verizon. For assistance with issues regarding using your own router, please post to the Verizon community forum. Official Verizon support will not assist you when using your own router.
So you want to use your own router with Verizon. There are many reasons users wish to use their own routers, such as better performance than the included G1100 router, more control over their home network, or to avoid the rental fees of using the Verizon router.
While it is always possible to use you’re own router with Verizon, there are certain setups depending on how your FiOS service was installed that could make the process more complicated. This guide will cover most scenarios you will run into.
This guide will serve as a basic guide. The site DSLReports has a fantastic section dedicated just to FiOS Internet for users looking to dive into the more technical information. Their info can be found here: http://www.dslreports.com/faq/verizonfios
Also do note, this setup is in no way supported by Verizon, so if you do experience issues with using your own router official Verizon support can not assist you. However, if you do run into any issues it is suggested that you post on the Verizon community forums for assistance.
The first step to setting up your own router with FiOS is determining what kind of network setup you will require. There are 2 types of installations, FiOS Internet and TV combo, and standalone FiOS Internet. FiOS phone service is not affected if you choose to use your own router.
If you have Verizon standalone Internet, the process is extremely simple to use your own router.
If you have Verizon Internet and TV, it is still possible to use your own router, however you’ll have to follow some additional steps, and you will be required to keep the Verizon router.
Now that you have determined what kind of connection you have, we can proceed to the next step.
To use your own router, you need to have an Ethernet connection to plug it into. Almost all recent Verizon FiOS installations are done using Ethernet. However, some older installations (mainly pre-2016) were installed using a technology called MoCA. To determine which type of installation is in your home or business, take a look at the existing router.
On the back of the router, you can identify which installation type is used in your home. Locate either a Coax cable, or an Ethernet cable (or both) in the back of your router as shown. Now with that information, read below.
If you see just a coax cable (with no Ethernet), then your installation is using MoCA to bring Internet to your house.
- If this is the case, you will need to take additional steps. First, you will have to locate your ONT. The ONT, or Optical Network Terminal, is a box installed by Verizon somewhere in your home. To help you identify the device, most boxes will have a Verizon logo on them. This device converts the Fiber connection to a copper connection (either Ethernet or Coax). These boxes are sometimes located on the outside of homes on some older installations, or inside the house (usually in the basement). If you are having trouble locating your ONT, look at where the aerial cables enter your house. If your cables come in underground, there is a good chance it is located near where your power meter comes in.
- Once you have located the ONT, you need to run an Ethernet cable from it's Ethernet port to where you want your router. If you are unable to run the cable yourself, most electricians are capable of pulling Ethernet cable. Verizon also can perform this, for a cost.
- To find the Ethernet port on your ONT, unscrew or unhinge the access door and locate the RJ45 jack. On most indoor units, the jack is on the bottom of the rectangle box with green LEDs. For the outdoor units, the jack is near where the telephone cables of your house connect.
- Once you have run a new Ethernet cable connecting to the ONT and connected it to your router, you will have to contact Verizon support and have them switch your data connection over from MoCA (Coax) to Ethernet. To do this, call (or chat) with Verizon FiOS support, and inform the support agent of the following:
- I need my FiOS Internet connection switched from MoCA to Ethernet at the ONT. This is a service that can be provided free of charge on my account and can be provisioned remotely without the need for a technician.
- If the above support agent says that the above is not possible, or tries to force you to upgrade services, hang up and try calling again. Switching the connection from Coax to Ethernet is something every support agent can do for no cost.
- For more information, please consult: http://www.dslreports.com/faq/16638
If you see an Ethernet cable going into the rear of your router, then no additional steps will need to be taken to connect the cable to your own router.
So now you are ready to plug in your own router to the Internet! However, there is one final step you need to take on the existing Verizon router for a seamless transition.
Routers plugged into the FiOS network receive a DHCP lease. In simple terms, this is a temporary lease that allows the router to connect to the Internet. You have two options when swapping routers.
- Power off the Verizon router, unplug its Ethernet, and wait overnight before plugging in your own router.
- Log into the Verizon router, release the DHCP lease, plug the Ethernet into your own router, and then power it on. Your router will obtain a fresh lease and be connected immediately.
Here are the steps to release the lease from the Verizon router if you don't want to wait for the lease to expire.
First, login to the router at http://192.168.1.1/. The admin username and password are on the label attached to the router. Once logged in, follow the instructions:
- Click on the My Network icon at the top.
- Click Network Connections from the menu on the left.
- Click Broadband Connection
- Click Settings
- Scroll down and click Release under DHCP Lease
- Click Apply
- Disconnect the router immediately to prevent it from re-requesting a DHCP lease.
Once you have run these steps, immediately plug the Ethernet cable into the WAN port of your own router. Your router should now get Internet.
If you have FiOS TV, and you've followed the steps up to this point, your Internet is now happily working on your own router! However, you'll soon notice that your TV service will have some issues, such as the guide not working, and on demand not functioning either.
These issues are because the set top boxes rely on MoCA technology to get their Internet access. Since the Verizon router has been disconnected, the set top boxes can no longer access the Internet. To fix this, simply connect an ethernet cable from the LAN port of your own router to the WAN port of your old Verizon router, as shown below.
After you have connected the cable, give the Verizon router a reboot. Then, reboot all the set top boxes, and ensure that functions like guide and on demand work.
If you don't want to pay the rental fee for the Verizon router, you can purchase a standalone MoCA adapter such as this Aciontec one: http://a.co/0AUXdWo (Or optionally, you can find some cheap used Verizon Aciontec routers on ebay).
- Simply connect the Coax cable from your old Verizon router to the MoCA adapter, and then connect an ethernet cable between a LAN port on your router to the MoCA adapter's ethernet port. Reboot the set top boxes after the MoCA adapter has been connected and ensure they function as intended.
Do note that a select few features such as remote DVR programming do not work when using your own router. Unfortunately, there is no way around this issue.
Q: What services are affected when using my own router?
A: The only known service that has issues is the remotely programmed DVR option for FiOS TV. No other services are affected (such as phone).
EDIT: Since posting, there has been a new article posted to DSLReorts with a solution for keeping remote DVR and Caller ID on screen: http://www.dslreports.com/faq/16710
Q: I've followed all the steps but still having issues! What do I do?
A: Please make a forum post in the FiOS Internet section of the Verizon community forums, and give details of what kind of issue your having. Photos of the setup helps troubleshooting as well!
Q: What if I break my FiOS service?
A: It's pretty hard to break the service entirely. Unless you're physically ripping the Verizon boxes off the wall, you'll be fine. If for some reason you get stuck and your setup doesn't work, simply plug in the Verizon router the way it was, give everything a reboot, and you should be good to go again.
Q: What specific routers work with FiOS?
A: Any router will work. Do note however, FiOS does NOT use Modems. Modems cannot be used. (For more information, see this link: https://www.tomsguide.com/us/modem-vs-router,review-4246.html)
Q: Can I just plug my router into the existing Verizon router instead of plugging it in directly to the ONT?
A: You can, but this setup is not the correct way. What you have done is created a double NAT. While it may work fine, at first, you'll notice some issues using certain applications behind a double NAT, speeds will not be optimal, and depending on what the default settings of your own router are, the setup may not work at all.
Q: I don't know anything about computers. Can I do this?
A: You don't need to be a technical genius to set this up, however you do need some basic proficiency when it comes to computers.