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

Despite a relatively small footprint, this broadband provider earns high marks. Is it simply the best? Here's what you need to know.

7.6

Verizon Fios home internet

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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

Verizon Fios, the company's fiber-optic internet service, fell from the top spot on Ookla's most recent report of the fastest providers in the country. Still, it 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 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 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.

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

Verizon logo on the screen of a tablet

Verizon Fios is available in the Northeast, but you'll find other Verizon internet plans in other parts of the country, including DSL, LTE and 5G.

Sarah Tew/CNET

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). 

Verizon Fios coverage map

Though its LTE internet services are available in multiple regions throughout the country, and 5G Home internet continues to expand aggressively, 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 $50 None None None
Fios 500 500Mbps download, 500Mbps upload $70 None 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 multigigabit plan -- Fios 2 Gigabit Connection -- to the New York City area and plans to roll it out to other regions later in 2022.) Many providers offer a promo rate that expires after 12 months, causing your bill to go up, but Verizon doesn't do that. That's a good, straightforward approach -- even though Verizon reserves the right to adjust its rates at any point.

On that point, 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 300Mbps 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 $50 (one-time charge, skippable) None None

Not all addresses within Verizon's availability map can get fiber service. In fact, according to the most recent data on record, a June 2021 report from the Federal Communications Commission, just over 49% of Verizon's potential customer base is eligible for Verizon Fios. That same report shows that 66% 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 1Mbps to 15Mbps, based on how close your home is to its closest office, for $75 a month. That includes the phone connection required for DSL. Additionally, customers must purchase a router from Verizon (a $50 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.

With LTE Home Internet, customers should expect to see download speeds of 25Mbps 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 5G wireless plans. 

A white Verizon 5G Home Internet box

The Verizon 5G Home Internet gateway.

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 85-300Mbps download, 10Mbps upload $50 None None None 2 years
Verizon 5G Home Plus 300Mbps-1000Mbps 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 5G mobile plan.

When will Verizon 5G be available in my area?

Beyond the Verizon Fios services available in its Northeast market, Verizon is also carving out other options for customers across the country. In 2021, Verizon promised its 5G home internet service would be available to 15 million homes. In January of 2022, it surpassed that number when Verizon flipped the switch on 5G Ultra Wideband. The company 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

As we mentioned above, DSL customers must get a home phone plan, which means there's a one-time $50 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 on a phone spilling out of a popcorn bag along with some popcorn

New Verizon Fios gigabit customers can earn a free Disney Plus subscription for six months.

Angela Lang/CNET

Verizon Fios 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 many offers also help sweeten the deal for potential customers.

First, Verizon has introduced a new discount of $25 per month on all its home internet offerings -- including Fios, LTE Home and 5G Home -- for new customers who also enroll in the company's premium 5G mobile plans. 

New Verizon Fios subscribers of 500Mbps and higher will receive a Verizon gift card -- $50 for 500Mbps plans and $100 for the gigabit tier. Customers with the gigabit plan will also get a complimentary subscription to Disney Plus for six months and a free Stream TV Soundbar.

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 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 Fios regained sole possession of the top spot in the 2022 ISP rankings from the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

ACSI

Verizon Fios flies high in customer satisfaction ratings

Verizon Fios has consistently been at the top of customer service metrics for most of the last decade. When you look at the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index numbers, it retook sole possession of the No. 1 spot after finishing in a tie with competitor AT&T last year. Verizon Fios scored 72 points out of 100 and managed to finish just a tick above its 2021 numbers. That marks seven 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 J.D. Power for the last decade.

J.D. Power

In addition, 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 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 second quarter of 2022, Verizon dropped from the top spot as the fastest fixed broadband provider. It fell to fourth place behind Cox, Xfinity and Spectrum

Verizon took first place (tied with Frontier) for the lowest latency among top providers during that same period. 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 90.7%, just ahead of Spectrum's 90.6% and Verizon's 88.1%. 

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 for 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, if you're in the Northeast.

Verizon Fios 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 to 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 the carrier's 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?

Now it does. Previously, the router rental was included in the monthly fee for only gigabit customers. All other Verizon Fios customers were charged an additional $15 monthly for a router. But Verizon removed that additional monthly router charge in the first half of 2022. 

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