Nerds, help! Router question

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Nerds, help! Router question

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:00 pm

If I get fiber optic internet (Verizon FIOS), do I just need to get a router for it to work? I don't need a modem? I recently found out they are two different things. Or combined into a gateway, which is what Verizon rents with its internet. I'm confused as to why Verizon rents a gateway with their fiber optic internet if a modem isn't needed?

At this link one guy says that you don't even need a router (doesn't seem correct), and another says that you do need a modem + router (or a gateway) due to the way Verizon hooks it up. (FTTP/fiber to the premises).

So from what I can tell, some fiber optic installs do not require a modem, but if they install it with the FTTP procedure, you need either a gateway, or a modem and a router.


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Re: Nerds, help! Router question

Post by fell-like-rain » Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:56 pm

I don't know what a 'gateway' is, I assume that's just what Verizon calls a router modem in order to minimize the tech lingo their customers have to experience.

All the FTTP/FTTC stuff means is where the fiber terminates and copper begins. Because it's impractical to run fiber all the way into your machine, there has to be a transition at some point. You only have to worry about that if you're an enterprise customer, in which case Verizon might give you the raw fiber and let you handle the switchover. For residential, to my best knowledge you're just going to get standard coax as your endpoint. From there, you plug the coax cable into the modem, and then an ethernet cable into your router, and another ethernet cable to your machine. (Or use wifi.) You can also get a router modem, which combines those two devices. There are some reasons to keep them separate (such as your modem being in an spot with bad reception to the rest of the house), but a router modem is often a 'good enough' solution for most consumers.

The TLDR here is that there should be no difference between a FIOS hookup and a normal one. I've never used the service, though, so take that with a grain of salt.

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Re: Nerds, help! Router question

Post by Optimal_Solution » Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:57 am

I have fiber running into the home. AT&T provides a small device that converts from fiber to cat6. It then runs into an AT&T-provided combination modem/router/access point. I think their modem is required. That is to say: I don't think I can plug my own router directly into the first converter box. I don't pay additional rent for either device.

I then attach my own router to theirs and run my entire home network off my own router because I don't want to have to trust the security of AT&T's device. I do use AT&T's access point as my guest network.

The low latency (1 ms) and high speed (I pay for 100 Mbps, 1 Gbps is available) of fiber is amazing. It is way more than I need.

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Re: Nerds, help! Router question

Post by Campitor » Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:31 am

A modem accepts the connection from the ISP ( a jacketed copper wire known as coax) and transitions it to a cat-5 cable. Cat 5 ( there is also cat 6 & 7) uses connectors that are compatible with your computers ethernet ports.

A router handles the connections from different computers; it’s the switchboard operator. It’s job is to route the packets (internet traffic) to and from the correct computers. It ensures Computer A only gets traffic for Computer A and not the traffic intended for Computer B, etc.

The modem and router can be stand alone devices or combined into 1 device. The packaging will state if its a combined device. Some combo devices: ... 8720241698.

Ask your ISP if you can use your own modem/router. Some ISP require that you use their devices.

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Re: Nerds, help! Router question

Post by Riggerjack » Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:26 pm

VZ FiOS will be a bit different than described above.

If your house/dwelling hasn't been hooked up before, VZ will send 2 teams to you. The first will place a drop cable. This will go from the terminal on the pole, or in a handhole, close to your house, across your yard, to the place where the NID (network interface device, industry jargon, it applies to copper and fiber,and it's the box usually outside the house, where the ISPs network stops, and your network begins.) You don't need to be present for this part, and VZ is unlikely to let you know when they are coming.

For this NID, you need to a provide standard 110v power outlet. Note, interior placement of the NID, will forever require someone to meet the tech for trouble calls.

Once the fios tech is on site, he will mount the NID, and connect the cables you already have in your house to the NID. These are coax for video (commonly disconnected from cable splitters at this point (so dumping FiOS for cable, which does happen sometimes, will require a cable tech to come out to disconnect the NID, to reconnect their network.), phone lines, and any existing data cables run through the house. The NID also acts as a wireless hub at this point.

So the weak point of this whole process is your wiring within your house/apt. All ISPs can offer you a signal to your house, and all will use your wiring at that point. So how your home is cabled has lots to do with how happy you are with the service.

In my install, there is a power unit inside, that sends power outside at the back of my house, around the side to the NID. A separate cable goes from the NID to a router i have, to give signal throughout my house. But that's because I was a tech, and cabled throughout my house. In the years when wireless was much weaker.

For a typical install, everything will get hooked up by the tech while he is on site. I recommend you be there, with a list of devices you want signal to.

If the wiring within your dwelling is not up to task, there are wireless extending systems. A receiver will pick up the wireless signal and propagate it through a dead zone. In my old Everett house, the upstairs had very weak signal. Rather than run a cable, I just set it up with a wireless extending pair of access points. I think I spent $40 or so for that.

All this to let you know that the equipment you need, will be provided by VZ. The only concern is what is in your house, and how they adapt to it. At any point, you should be able to plug a cat5 patch cord to connect a device to the NID. And the password to your wireless network is your own.

I hope that helps.

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