Home Internet

Verizon Fios Home Internet Review: Better Than All the Rest?

This provider earns high scores, despite the relatively small footprint of its broadband service. Here's what you need to know about plans and pricing.

CNET editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission. How we test ISPs
Verizon Fios fiber internet service is available in the Northeast, but you'll find other Verizon internet plans, including DSL, LTE and 5G, in other parts of the country, too.
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Verizon unveiled its 5G Ultra Wideband network early in 2022, a move to unlock more of the full potential of 5G and help it expand its home broadband footprint. Verizon Fios, the company's fiber-optic internet service, has captured the top spot in the J.D. Power US Residential Internet Service Provider Customer Satisfaction Study for multiple years since it launched in 2004 -- but it's only available in eight states and the District of Columbia.

Verizon offers home internet via DSL for much of its coverage area, primarily for those in the Northeast who are outside its Fios network. Verizon LTE Home Internet service is an option in 200 markets, not to mention the now 900 cities where Verizon 5G Home service is currently available.

All of that makes for a complicated coverage map -- and it means there's a lot to consider before signing up for Verizon based solely on the glowing reviews.

7.6

Verizon home internet

Like

  • All Verizon Fios plans are 100% fiber, with symmetrical download and upload speeds
  • No data caps or allowances on any plans
  • No term agreements necessary on any plans

Don't Like

  • Low fiber availability for a national company
  • While Fios and 5G are affordable, LTE and DSL options are pricey

If you live within Verizon's East Coast coverage area and Verizon Fios is available at your address, its internet service is tough to beat. If you're outside that area, you may have some form of Verizon home internet service available to you, but you'll need to make some tough side-by-side comparisons to find what's truly best for your address (keep reading, because we can help with that). 

Read moreBest Internet Providers for 2022: Cable vs. DSL vs. Satellite and More

verizon-coverage-map

Though its DSL and LTE internet services are available in multiple regions throughout the country, and 5G Home internet is continuing to aggressively expand, Verizon Fios fiber internet is only available in the Northeast.

FCC/Mapbox

Here's where you can get Verizon Fios internet service

Availability for Verizon Fios is solely in eight eastern states -- Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia -- and Washington, DC. You can use the Verizon availability checker to see if Fios is available at your address.

Additionally, Verizon aims to expand the availability of its 5G Home Internet service across the country. Verizon 5G Home is available in approximately 900 cities and over 30 million households.  

Available internet connections with Verizon

  • Verizon Fios, which is 100% fiber-optic, offers three different plans
  • Verizon High Speed Internet, a DSL service, provides options for those outside the Fios network in the Northeast
  • Verizon LTE Home Internet is available in select markets in 48 states
  • Verizon 5G Home Internet is currently available in 900 cities across the US

Verizon Fios Internet plans and pricing

Plan Max speeds Monthly price Equipment fee Data cap Contract
Fios 300 300Mbps download, 300Mbps upload $40 $15 (skippable) None None
Fios 500 500Mbps download, 500Mbps upload $65 $15 (skippable) None None
Fios Gigabit Connection 940Mbps download, 880Mbps upload $90 None None None

Verizon's Fios service is the easiest to understand. There are three different tiers -- 300, 500 and Gigabit. (Note: Verizon Fios has introduced a multi-gigabit plan -- Fios 2 Gigabit Connection -- in the New York City market and plans to roll it out to other markets later in 2022.) Unlike many other providers, Verizon doesn't offer a promo rate that expires after 12 months, causing your bill to go up. That's a good, straightforward approach -- even though that also means Verizon reserves the right to adjust its rates at any point.

I wouldn't be concerned about the lack of a contract and how it might impact your Fios rates. For example, Verizon's Gigabit Connection for $90 a month is quite competitive, and it would take an extremely dramatic price hike to lose its value. That plan could undergo a 40% rate increase and still be cheaper than Spectrum's regular monthly gigabit price.

Also, a Verizon spokesperson told CNET regarding potential rate changes that "there's no timetable for changing rates and if/when we should do so, all changes are clearly communicated to customers in advance," with 30 days' notice as a minimum lead time. 

Finally, as Fios is a fiber-optic network, it delivers near symmetrical download and upload speeds, meaning you will get close to the same upload speeds as your downloads. If you're more accustomed to asymmetrical cable internet (where the upload speeds on a 300-megabit-per-second plan might only go as high as 10Mbps), you know how dramatic a difference that can make, particularly for videoconferencing and transferring large files.

Verizon High Speed Internet (DSL) plans and pricing

Plan Max speeds Monthly price Equipment fee Data cap Contract
High Speed Internet (DSL) 1-15Mbps download, 1Mbps upload $75 $30 (one-time charge, skippable) None None

Not all addresses within Verizon's availability map can get fiber service. In fact, according to a December 2020 report from the Federal Communications Commission -- the most recent data on record -- just over 64% of Verizon's potential customer base is eligible. That same report shows that 87% within Verizon's footprint qualify for its High Speed Internet, a digital subscriber line service. DSL uses traditional copper telephone lines to deliver the internet to your home. Still, unlike the older dial-up technology, it uses dedicated, higher frequency bands than phone lines, so you can still make calls while you're online. 

However, DSL doesn't deliver anywhere near the Fios plans' speeds, and Verizon's DSL service also uses asymmetric technology, emphasizing download over upload speeds. Expect the download speeds with Verizon DSL internet plans to range from 1-15Mbps, based on how close your home is to its closest office, for $75 a month. That includes a phone connection/voice service required for DSL. Additionally, customers must purchase a router from Verizon (a $30 one-time charge) or use their own Verizon-compatible device.

Finally, while Verizon calls this High Speed Internet, it's important to note those speeds do not meet the FCC's qualifications for broadband speed of at least 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload (which we think is more like the bare minimum for most circumstances).

Verizon LTE Home Internet plans and prices

Plan Max speeds Monthly price Equipment fee Data cap Contract
LTE Home Internet 50Mbps download, 4Mbps upload $50 None None None

Verizon's LTE Home Internet uses the Verizon 4G LTE cellular network to connect to the internet in areas where no other Verizon broadband options -- Fios, DSL or 5G Home Internet -- are available. Currently, per Verizon, that's 189 markets in 48 different states.

As for what users should get with LTE Home Internet, customers should expect to see download speeds of 25 to 50Mbps, with approximately 4Mbps upload, per the Verizon LTE FAQs.

Verizon LTE Home Internet is $50 a month (if you use AutoPay) and you can get up to 50% off with qualifying Verizon wireless plans. 

screen-shot-2021-03-10-at-6-29-52-pm.png

Verizon is actively expanding 5G Home Internet access to new markets across the country.

Verizon/Screenshot by Eli Blumenthal/CNET

Verizon 5G Home Internet plans and pricing

Plan Max speeds Monthly price Equipment fee Data cap Contract Price guarantee
Verizon 5G Home 300-980Mbps download, 50Mbps upload $50 None None None 2 years
Verizon 5G Home Plus 300-980Mbps download, 50Mbps upload $70 None None None 3 years

Verizon's 5G internet service, which uses ultrawideband 5G technology, is available in 900 cities across the country. It advertises max download speeds of up to 1 gigabit and an average 300Mbps. Upload speeds, however, are not symmetrical, typically topping out around 50Mbps, depending on one's location.

Verizon 5G Home Internet pricing is $50 a month for a two-year price guarantee or $70 a month to lock in the rate for three years and secure additional perks and benefits. Either way, it's an all-in price that includes equipment. Also, like all other Verizon plans, there are no contracts or data caps. Finally, you can slash 50% off your monthly bill if you have a qualifying Verizon Unlimited mobile plan.

When will Verizon 5G be available in my area?

Beyond the services available in its Northeast market, Verizon is also carving out other options for customers across the country. Last year, Verizon promised that its 5G home internet service would be available to 15 million homes. In January, it surpassed that number when it flipped the switch on 5G Ultra Wideband. The company also aims to expand its fixed wireless internet services to 50 million by 2025.

Other aspects of Verizon Fios Internet you need to know

No contracts are required for any Verizon plans. There are no data caps, either. But just as your mom taught you to always look under the hood, it's still never a bad idea to dig in a bit to get a better idea of what you're buying before you commit to any possible internet service.

Additional monthly fees

Depending on your plan, you'll be charged a monthly equipment fee. There's a $15-a-month router charge for Fios plans, but that gets waived when you sign up for the Fios Gigabit service. If you don't have that top-tier Fios plan, you could avoid that monthly charge by buying the Fios Router outright for $300 or using your own router. Just make sure it's compatible with your plan and speed.

As we mentioned above, DSL customers must get a home phone plan, which means there's a one-time $30 charge for buying a router. You can avoid that fee if you have a compatible router. On the other hand, Verizon LTE and Verizon 5G customers don't have to pay for their equipment, as everything comes included in the monthly price.

One-time installation fee

Again, your setup charge will depend on the Verizon plan you select. If you choose Fios, your setup charge will be $99, which is waived if you order online; the activation fee for DSL is $30 and is also waived if you order online.

No Verizon data caps

Unlike Cox, HughesNet, Xfinity and some other ISPs, Verizon does not place a data cap on customers. Therefore, you won't need to worry about overage fees or slowing your data once you hit a certain threshold. 

Disney Plus logo

New Verizon Fios subscribers can score a free subscription to Disney Plus for a year.

Angela Lang/CNET

Verizon promotions and special deals

Verizon can lean into the fact that you're not required to sign a term agreement, which means no early termination fees or getting stuck with a service you've either outgrown or need to downsize. But there are also many offers to help sweeten the deal for potential customers.

New Verizon Fios subscribers will receive a complimentary subscription to the Disney bundle -- Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and Hulu. That's a total value of $14 a month for 12 months for Gigabit customers and six months for Fios 300 and 500 subscribers.

For moving season, April 14 to Sept. 21, eligible Fios subscribers will receive a free SimpliSafe home security device. The offer includes an HD Wi-Fi Security Camera for Fios 300 customers, a four-piece bundle for Fios 500 subscribers and an eight-piece collection for those signing up for a Gigabit speed plan.

Also, with all Fios plans, you can save up to $20 a month if you combine your internet signup with enrollment in Verizon Unlimited Wireless.

Lastly, Verizon also offers Fios Forward, making the same three Fios plans available to households who qualify for financial assistance (for example, those enrolled in the federal Lifeline program). Through this program, customers might be able to save $20 a month on Fios plans. Also, customers participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program may be eligible to receive free internet -- a 200-300Mbps plan, including all fees and router costs -- through Fios Forward. You must be a Fios Mix & Match customer and approved for the ACP to qualify.

Verizon tied AT&T for the top spot in the 2021 ISP rankings from the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

American Customer Satisfaction Index

Verizon Fios flies high in customer satisfaction ratings

Verizon has consistently been at the top of customer service metrics for most of the last decade. When you look at the 2021 American Customer Satisfaction Index numbers, it was again in the No. 1 spot -- although it finished in a tie this year with competitor AT&T, each scoring 71 points out of 100. 2021 was also the first time in over four years that Verizon's numbers were down from the previous year, albeit by just two points. Still, that marks six years running that Verizon has been at the top spot in ACSI's ISP benchmarks.

Verizon has held the top customer satisfaction score in the East region among all internet providers scored by JD Power for nearly the last decade.

JD Power

In addition to that, Verizon currently holds the top overall average score in J.D. Power's latest ISP customer satisfaction ranks. However, it's worth pointing out that Verizon was only scored in one out of four regions. In that region, the East, Verizon finished commandingly in first place, scoring 758 on a 1,000-point scale. That put the company well above the region's average of 714 and earned it the highest score across the entire country. Indeed, Verizon has captured the top spot in the East region of J.D. Power's study for nine years running.

The speed-testing website Ookla tracks ISPs based on a scoring system that looks at both download and upload speeds. Based on the most recent Ookla tests from the first quarter of 2022, Verizon captured the top spot for fastest fixed broadband provider over XfinityCoxSpectrum and AT&T by a fair amount. 

Similarly, Verizon took first place during that same period with the lowest latency among top providers. However, it came in third place for Ookla's Consistency Score category, which measures how often an ISP delivers broadband speeds to its customers. Xfinity was first with a score of 90.6%, just ahead of Spectrum's 90.3% and Verizon's 89.4%. 

verizon-logo-american-flag-9763
Angela Lang/CNET

Our conclusion on Verizon Fios Internet: It's pretty good

Verizon can boast that its Fios service is 100% fiber -- and as internet connection types go, it's tough to beat fiber. Additionally, Verizon can point to its high customer satisfaction ratings and shout about its consistency at the top of those charts. All true. But the availability of Verizon's fiber plans is mainly limited to those in the Northeast. The company's DSL plans are nothing exceptional, and there's still a large portion of people across the country to whom Verizon isn't available. 

Verizon's 5G and LTE home internet expansion aims to bridge that gap and is worth keeping an eye on, especially as things are moving relatively fast now that 5G Ultra Wideband has been unveiled. Until then, Verizon Fios is a top-notch option for getting online, but if it's not available in your area, the question is moot.

Verizon Internet FAQs

What is Fios?

Fios refers to Verizon's fiber-optic internet service, which features three different speed tiers -- 300, 500 and Gigabit Connection. One of the appeals of this service is similar upload speed as your download speed. Verizon also offers other options for home internet service -- DSL, LTE, 5G -- but none of these are considered Fios.

Can I get Verizon Fios in my area?

The Verizon Fios service is only available in the Northeast. If you want to determine if Fios is available at your address, you can check the Verizon availability checker

If you want to explore its other internet options, you can call 800-225-5499, though Verizon advises that the quickest option is to use its Chat now feature on the Verizon contact page

Does Verizon Fios service include a router?

If you choose Verizon's gigabit plan, the router rental is included in your monthly fee. All other Verizon Fios customers will be charged an additional $15 a month for a router. There are two ways to avoid this charge. One way is to use your own Verizon-compatible router. The other way is to buy the router upfront by paying a $300 one-time fee at the beginning of your service. That may seem steep, but if you plan on keeping the service for two years or more, you'll save money in the long run.

Unavailable