The last time we spoke about third-party routers was for AT&T, which involved a lot of jumping through hoops to get to the very easy goal of simply replacing the router. With Verizon, we don’t need to worry about the make or compatibility, but you personally will have to make some changes depending on what router you decide to go with.
Verizon uses an ‘ONT’ or Optical Network Terminal, a box that brings in the optical connection to the house and converts it into a signal the router can read. I only mention this as some installations of Verizon FIOS don’t come with a router that has an ethernet port on the back – though most recent ones do – so if there’s no ethernet on the back of your router, you’ll need to seek out the ONT to run an ethernet cable from it to your new router.
The complications arise if you have FIOS TV, which requires MoCA, Multimedia Over Coax, and seeing as you’re about to turn that off in favor of an ethernet only connection to use your own router, you’ll find the On-Demand and TV Guide don’t work (seriously, America?).
To get around this, you’ll need to plug in the old router’s WAN port into the new router’s ethernet ports on the back and reboot your old router and set-top boxes.
You will also need to call a Verizon representative over their helpline to change the ONT from Coax to ethernet. If you’re already connected via ethernet, you don’t.
So, with this considered, what are the best routers for Verizon FIOS? We’ve considered from a slightly more broad-spectrum than our AT&T one, but as always, one will be dedicated to future-proofing yourself.
If you’re looking for extenders for your Verizon FIOS network to go along with this router upgrade or to go with the included router, we have a whole guide on what to buy, including mesh and regular extenders. With ASUS, you could even take advantage of your old routers and utilize them as a mesh system with their AIMesh software.
Best Routers for Verizon FIOS in 2021
More lavish, featured on the market
Mobile app can be a bit off
I’ll make no bones about it: when I recommend tech, I never want to recommend you something stupid. The ASUS RT-AX86U might be something else, but for the rest of us who want to upgrade to match our current provider’s progress – Verizon are still a ways off from providing faster than Gigabit in most parts of America – you need something that’s going to be reliable and easy to set up, regardless of what happens.
The Netgear R6700AX is not the flashiest, nor is it basic in comparison to the TP-Link, but with Wi-Fi 6 and Gigabit ports on the back, this is the perfect starting point for any network. It’s smaller than most of the others on this list but is actually really powerful for those with gigabit networks. The price isn’t too heavy either, making it one of the best deals available for getting into Wi-Fi 6 for those that just need a router and not something with a dedicated ‘gaming port’.
There are certainly better variations of this line on the market, but the moment you click through and see the price just jump over double the base model for specs that you might never even get the benefit of, you’ll understand why I recommend this one.
Ridiculous Future Proofing for the price
2Gbps wired and wireless speeds
On FIOS you won't see this as a benefit
Overly elaborate for 99% of situations
It’s expensive, overly stuffed with features, and absolutely overkill for modern connections, but the ASUS AX5700 is the router you should aim for. These are ridiculously fast, supporting Wi-Fi 6 that won’t ever be possibly touched by the long, boney claw of oversaturation for at least a few years.
While there are even more daft options on the market, especially from ASUS, these other models are geared towards power users that you really don’t want to start getting into discussions with about routers.
This is the top end of what you should be aiming for on FIOS, as Verizon works towards bringing faster speeds through their services, there’s no point going overboard when this nifty bit of kit will do absolutely everything you need to and more.
Wi-Fi 6 is obscene and then some. Ludicrous speeds and more options, the ASUS RT-AX86U is just the right sweet spot if you plan on going overboard.
Works with Alexa
Different software options (VPN etc.)
No Wi-Fi 6
Software offerings aren't going to change how you use this
Will need to be upgraded sooner than later
I really don't know what the Alexa connectivity could bring to this
Not everything has to look like a spaceship or be the best of the best. Sometimes you just need a router that just does what you want it to do: connect you to the internet. That’s why the TP-Link AC1900 is our choice for the best budget router. It’s nothing special, it doesn’t do anything particularly interesting nor does it look like it might be part of the American forces.
The upside to this is the four 1-gig Ethernet ports on the back, giving you full power through for wired devices.
There’s Alexa connectivity, so you can – according to the website – turn on the LEDs, guest network, and ‘Night Mode’.
Other versions give Tri-Band
Ridiculous for FIOS
Netgear’s routers are always one to bet on, even with the ridiculous names they seem committed to and that doesn’t discount the Netgear Nighthawk. This five-stream Wi-Fi 6 capable router is a great alternative to the Editor’s Choice, the R6700AX, with its more impressive specs, but it does cost a lot more.
This variation upgrades to a ‘tri-band’, with the AX6600 providing not only one of the weirdest designs you can bring into your home but also a ‘tri-band’ signal, which hosts two 5GHz signals, along with the 2.4GHz one.
It follows similar other routers at this price range, including the gigabit wired connections, an app to manage it from afar, and a USB 3.0 port for adding a storage or printer option to the whole house.
The large antennae are perfect for beaming the signal around the house, but of course, it’s overkill for a lot of houses, with specifications that might not be met for a while – especially on Verizon FIOS.
Things To Consider
A router like the Netgear R6700AX is just an all-rounder. It does what it needs to do, easily and well. There’s no hassle or fancy frills to get hung up on or to prevent it from working, but you’ll find that it’s the perfect router for all situations.
The 1-gigabit connection isn’t too shabby either, bringing excessively fast speeds to most of your devices and the setup on all Netgear devices is so incredibly easy that it’s worth recommending for that alone.