[SOLVED] Which router to pair with Fios and Orbi?

rasdane

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Hi – I’ve gotten great advice one these forums before and hope someone can help me out again.
I’m a semi-literate computer person, but networking is a topic that I for some reason have a hard time getting my head around.

In my current set-up, I have a 200mbs-plan from a big cable company. About a year ago, I was having trouble getting reception in my basement (where I often work), so I shelled out about $375 for a Netgear Orbi router and extender (RBK50). It vastly improved matters.

Fast forward a year, and I’m about to move into a new house. The new place is about 1500 sq ft, but with an unfinished basement of about the same size – I may end up moving my home-office down there, so I need to get a good signal there, too.

I’m planning on switching to Verizon Fios… mainly because that’s what’s already at the house. I plan to upgrade to their 400mbs plan – as my kids are streaming more, while I’m working from home due to covid, etc. Down the line, I might want to update to a Gigabite connection, but not for a while.

But I just realized that Fios won’t work directly with my Orbi router! As far as I understand, I can use the router Verizon will provide and then hook up the Orbi in Access Point mode.
Which is fine… Except I’m against renting a medium-crappy router from Verizon on principle! I much prefer to buy my own.

I read good things about the Linksys EA7500 or the Netgear R8000 – both of which are approved for Fios use.

So my question is: Assuming I get one of the above routers, is there a point in me using the Orbi anymore at all – even in AP mode? The Orbi set is less than a year old (and was not super-cheap), and I’ve been happy with the set up. I hate for it to be wasted.

Am I wasting money by getting a fancy router – when I could just get a cheaper one and rely on the Orbi-as-AP to get a good signal throughout the house? If so, which cheaper router would you recommend?

Or the opposite situation, if I do get one of those fancier models, am I then “degrading” the signal by using the Orbi-as-AP – because it doesn’t have as strong a signal as say the R8000 does.

My ultimate goal is to just have a perfect connection wherever I am in the house. And not to have to buy all-new equipment in case I ever do upgrade to the gigabit connection.
Any advice is most appreciated. Thank you!
 

USAFRet

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You can buy the router directly from Verizon (or elsewhere). No monthly rental.
I did. The G1100 is actually not "medium-crappy". It is pretty good.

And if you have TV through FiOS, one of their routers is required to be in the mix. It is what provides comms to the set top boxes.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
139,919
7,585
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You can buy the router directly from Verizon (or elsewhere). No monthly rental.
I did. The G1100 is actually not "medium-crappy". It is pretty good.

And if you have TV through FiOS, one of their routers is required to be in the mix. It is what provides comms to the set top boxes.
 
If you actually use the orbi as a AP...ie connected with a ethernet cable...the wireless signal and how much it degrades is not really related to the quality of the main router. All wifi signals will interfere even with careful planning. This is why wifi6e is so exciting it has lots more radio channels to choose from.

The key is to not use the orbi as a wireless repeater. This is the function that greatly degrades the signal and sometimes there are compatibility issues.

Now if you do not have ethernet most times that router you think is "crappy" from the vendor has a MOCA adapter in it. It allows you to use the coax tv cables as ethernet cables just by adding a remote moca adapter.
 

rasdane

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Jan 20, 2017
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Hi again -- thank you for the quick replies. I really do appreciate it.

... I shouldn't have called the Fios routers "crappy". I'm sure they do a good job. It's more the idea of renting a device that I'll end up paying for several times over without actually owning, that I don't like. But the idea of buying one up-front from them would get around that problem.

If it helps clarify, I will get internet-only from them... no TV.

I think I'll go with buying the Fios device and then set up the Orbi as an ethernet-wired AP as needed.
... And if I end up getting a good signal throughout the house... well, I guess, I can sell the Orbi on eBay or something.

Thank you for the help. :)
 

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