The old Actiontec WiFi router that distributes Verizon FiOS internet service in my house for years has been causing trouble of one sort or another for quite a while. But my laziness about dealing with it was overcome by the network’s inability to work properly with one of my most beloved features — getting SiriusXM music to my Sonos players. (( Technical service at Sonos was extremely helpful in tracking the problem to the FiOS router. ))
You can’t just get rid of the Actiontec router. It has to accept the cable signal from FiOS and supply cable-based connection to the Motorola set boxes (miserable devices for another look some time). It is possible to turn off WiFi services, move ethernet contact for the home network, and install a standard WiFi router behind the Actiontec. But it is a complicated and messy arrangement for your home network. So I decided to take advantage of new FiOS WiFi routers.
You might think Verizon, the operator of the large part of the U.S. internet and the provider of extensive service to both consumers and companies, would let you deal with the product on the web. You can spend an hour on Verizon/FiOS web pages but never either learn very much about FiOS WiFi equipment replacements or even how to order something. There are other ways to steer your path through the awful site yet never get anywhere. Even after entering your password twice and a second authentication code (oddly, your Zip code asked for on your mobile phone) you can’t make much progress on WiFi.
For example, a web page saying:
would take you to a page where you expect to, perhaps, “Order Now”. No, instead it takes you to a page that has a great deal of information about your current account, FiOS TV service, and other services.
One little box takes you to the FiOS Quantum service. Click that and get another little screen telling you can click “See More”. Do so and you get this window:
which tells you a bit about faster FiOS Quantum service, but nothing about the router. I clicked on Live Chat and got set up between the support and account management services without ever learning anything. The only place I found data on the router itself was, of all places, on Amazon, which included the interesting information that the router includes Z-wave service and supports 802.11ac. (Eventually I found this data on a deep-buried Verizon page.)
I could give you information on the other trackless paths I wandered through the Verizon web site in search of information about the Quantum router, but I’ll save you the frustration. Finally I did the only thing that might work and, as I eventually realized, what they wanted me to do all along: call Verizon on the phone.[pullquote]I could give you information on the other trackless paths I wandered through the Verizon web site in search of information about the Quantum router, but I’ll save you the frustration.[/pullquote]
In truth, calling in was only a partial improvement. It was a horrible connection on what was ostensibly between two Verizon landline phones. But I did eventually find out that, by ordering the Quantum router and an increase in fiber internet service to 50/50 MB ((Yes, I know they could provide me with 100 MB or a gigabit without affecting the fiber cost to them. )), I would get a $20 monthly extravagant charge for Verizon landline-wireless-FiOS TV cable-internet. The router is on its way.
Somehow, a company whose business these days consists of wireless, cable, and fiber communications should do a lot better on the web. Just picking two of the top companies doing business over the internet, Apple and Amazon, can show how to handle the web. Verizon is one of the net operators who claim they ought to be in charge but their site shows very little ability to do so.