What is Verizon?
Verizon pioneered Fibre to the Home (FTTH) connections in the United States 15 years ago. It continues to lead the market, with the most widespread fiber availability and lightning speeds, as fast upstream as they are down.
Verizon’s fiber service, Fios, is limited to metropolitan areas on the East Coast. But if you live in this coverage area, the service is a contender, delivering full-throttle internet for surprisingly low prices. Outside of cities in the region, customers can subscribe to Verizon’s DSL plan, but speeds are very limited.
Connection Types: What kind of connection can I get with Verizon?
Verizon sells both fiber and DSL connections.
- Fiber: Verizon Fios is available to around 35 million customers in 10 states on the East Coast, concentrated in major cities. It offers largely symmetrical download and upload speeds of 200, 400, and 940Mbps--all without data caps. To get fiber as a new customer, you’ll need to have an Optical Network Terminal (ONT) box installed at your home. This device translates the fiber signal into an analog signal that can traverse the existing coaxial cable wiring of your home. Verizon will do this installation for you, for a $99 fee they waive if you sign up online.
- DSL: Verizon also has a legacy DSL network, branded Verizon High Speed internet, which serves more areas in its 10-state footprint, reaching nearly 50 million people. However speeds are limited to just 15Mbps and in North Caroline, a dial-up worthy 3Mbps. Like fiber, all Verizon DSL plans come without data caps, although at speeds that slow you’re not at risk of exceeding any limits.
Fees: How much does Verizon internet cost?
Verizon’s Fios plans start at around $40/month, for a plan with 200Mbps download and upload speeds. That's about what some providers charge for speeds less than a fourth that much, making Fios a serious steal.
You’ll pay $60/month to double those speeds, but the best value for money comes with the Gigabit plan, which charges $80/month for download speeds of “up to 940Mbps” and upload speeds of “up to 880Mbps.” Comparable plans usually cost between $90 and $100 per month. The price quoted for the Gigabit plan also includes the $15/month router rental fee, which you’ll have to pay on top with other plans. So actually, the Gigabit connection ends up being just $5 more expensive per month than the 400Mbps plan—a small outlay for an incredible speed boost.
In comparison, Verizon’s DSL plans are less economical: $50/month for speeds of just 15Mbps. You’ll also pay a one-time $30 charge for a modem and router.
Verizon charges a $99 installation fee for Fios, to pay for the installation of the ONT box, but you can get this waived if you order online.
All Verizon plans, fiber and DSL, come without contracts, so you’ll be able to leave at any time without facing early termination fees.
What speeds can I get with Verizon?
Verizon Fios Fiber plans come with three speed tiers:
- 200Mbps download/200Mbps upload
- 400Mbps download/400Mbps upload
- “up to 940Mbps” download/“up to 880Mbps” upload
Verizon Fios usually delivers on those speeds, with actual speeds clocking in at 107.9% of advertised speeds, on average, according to the FCC’s testing.
In comparison, Verizon’s DSL speeds are nearly prehistoric: topping out at 15Mbps and just 3Mbps for customers in North Carolina.
Availability: Can I get Verizon internet in my state?
Verizon Fios is available to around 25 million people in Washington DC and nine states: Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and limited coverage in Connecticut. However, Fios coverage is primarily concentrated in metropolitan areas. This includes Albany, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Harrisburg, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Washington DC and Virginia Beach.
Verizon DSL is available to 50 million people in the same states, with additional limited coverage in North Carolina. Verizon DSL connections tend to serve smaller cities and more rural areas, although there is overlap between the DSL and fiber networks in major cities. But if you can get fiber from Verizon, you should choose it over DSL.
To see if Verizon operates in your neighborhood and whether it’s selling fiber or DSL, plug your ZIP code into our comparison engine.
Extras and TV packages
Verizon DSL packages are sold just as standalone internet, but you can bundle your Fios fiber connection with TV, for savings on your bill. Verizon’s “Mix and Match” allows you to pair any TV plan with any of its Fios plans, for a bundle tailored to your household and its viewing options. TV plans start at $50/month, for 125 channels and run up to $90/month for 425. Not ready to commit to a TV package? You can “test drive" all channels for $50/month for the first two months.
Who should get Verizon internet?
Verizon Fios is a must-have for residents of the major cities where it’s sold. Fiber offers not just stunning speeds but also higher performance on every internet metric. Remote workers will appreciate the supercharged upload speeds as they enter their seventh Zoom call for the day or upload a file to a remote server. Gamers will love the low latency and jitter on the lines. And everyone will appreciate fiber’s reliability.
But while Fios is a luxury internet plan, it isn’t priced like one. In fact, you’ll pay similar or even more for slower connections from competitors.
But if you can’t connect to fiber, forget about Verizon. Its DSL plans are slower than competitors’ and steeper than its cheapest fiber plan.