So now that I’ve had FIOS for several months, I thought I would post an update. Here are my observations so far…
1. I love the ActionTec wireless router that comes with the service. It is a very flexible and fully featured with a firewall, MAC address filtering, port forwarding, and more. I took a little while to adjust to the settings on the router, as you have to click save in more than once place for your settings to be saved and applied, which is a little different, but once you figure out the little neuances of the router, you are good to go! It will do anything and everything I need and more.
2. My only gripe so far, is something that happened when my IP address changed. I had the service for probably over 2 months before my IP changed for the first time. When it did change, my home network lost internet connectivity and my dynamic DNS client was unable to connect to the internet to update my IP. This caused several hours of outage for my home e-mail and internet connectivity. I have not yet had another IP change, so I’m hoping the first time was just a fluke. (NOTE: This won’t be an issue for most people, unless you run DNS for accessing services on your home network like I do).
3. The speeds are consistent and fast, every time I run the Verizon speed test, it comes out over 20MBps down, and nearly 5MBps up, with only slight variations. The bandwidth is exceptional, very fast, and reliable. I have had not real service outages at all and am very pleased with the quality of service I am receiving.
4. In order to optomize the speed your computer will see on the FIOS network, it may be necessary to run the FIOS connection optomizer. This basically changes some TCP/IP settings in the registry to optomize throughput on the FIOS system. These are the same type of settings people have been adjusting since the internet was created, I’ve done it with dialup before, and this is just the most modern way to optomize the connection. Its no big deal, but you will see lower than advertized speeds unless you run the optimizer.
5. The price of the service is comperable to service with other providers in the area, but the speeds are much faster without increasing the cost of the service.
I am overall very pleased with Verizon FIOS service. I highly recommend it to anyone currently using a cable provider. I’ve been a cable user for years, and took a long time to make the decision to switch. I am happy that I did, and will never go back to cable. I would also point out that Verizon offers a 30 day money back guarantee, so you can always give it a try and test it out to see what you think. You can cancel at the service if you don’t want to keep it. Plus then your home will be wired for the service should you decide to use it again in the future.
This morning around 1am my IP address changed on my FIOS router at home. I have a dynamic dns client running to update a few DNS entries I use. Unfortunately, after the router got its new IP, it quit working. None of my home machines could access the internet. So the dynamic dns client running on a server, could not update my dynamic DNS. I rebooted the router this morning and was pleased to find that the client was able to update after the reboot. I am hoping this was a fluke and the next time the IP changes, I won’t have this issue.
For the first time in about 2 years, my dynamic IP address at home changed! I got up yesterday morning and thought to myself, “hmm, my IP is going to change”. Before leaving for work I realized that it had, sometime after 3am. So I had to make some DNS changes and ended up switching DNS on my main domain to another company so I can use a dynamic DNS system that supports multiple domains and subdomains. I went with DNSExit, as they had the best dynamic update client, and perfect services for what I’m doing at home. Now I won’t have to worry about an IP change anymore. I didn’t lose any e-mail or anything, since my MX records are backup mail servers, they queued all my mail until my DNS updates took effect. Gotta love redundancy and backup systems!
I recently came to the sad realization that I am not going to be able to use FIOS for my home ineternet connection afterall. This is very sad, as I was looking forward to using this new service from Verizon. I was very impressed with their wireless router and the upload speeds, but sadly I will be forced to cancel my account. The issue is that they expire your IP address every 104 minutes, making it a true DHCP (Dynamic IP) network. Where with Road Runner they have a DHCP network, but your IP pretty much never changes. I’ve had RR for almost 2 years, and its only changed once because I got a new cable modem, so it got a new IP address. I checked into using Dynamic DNS services, which the Verizon router supports, but I have more than one domain, so updating my IP with more than one domain would be a problem. Most dynamic DNS services assume you only have one domain to work with at home. I have 3 main domains that I use, and some supporting domains. So I am going to have to stick with Road Runner for now. I am sure there are workarounds I could do, like run the dynamic DNS service clients on my various computers at home and set each one for a different domain, but that is a huge liability in that if one of them doesn’t work right, then mail services for that domain will stop working until I realize what happened and fix it manually. Right now I don’t host any websites on my home network just e-mail, but e-mail is important and I don’t wait any problems with mail flow, I have enough trouble with that at work, I don’t need it at home too.