Aug 02, 2023

Best routers for Verizon Fios in 2023

If your Wi-Fi speeds aren't keeping up with your Verizon Fios plan, you likely need a better router.

Fios is a fiber optic internet service from Verizon with strong speeds and low pings that are excellent for gaming and streaming. Verizon’s Fios service now comes with free router rental, but these routers may lack some of the advanced controls customers are looking for. Verizon makes it easy to use your own router by simply plugging it into ONT box that’s already installed or will be installed by the tech. Since it’s a fiber connection with up to 2 gigabit speeds (if it’s available), Verizon Fios is likely the best internet option available.

For Fios speeds up to 1Gbps

The Asus RT-AX57 is an excellent all-rounder with a quick, but restrained, AX3000 Wi-Fi 6 connection. With support for gigabit internet connections, this router has plenty of speed for a small family on most Verizon Fios plans.

For most Fios customers, the 1 Gig plan will be the fastest available, and with Wi-Fi 6, it’s cheaper than ever to get those speeds to your devices. The Asus RT-AX57’s Wi-Fi 6 AX3000 connection doesn’t look all that impressive at first, but with 574Mbps available at 2.4GHz and 2,402Mbps at 5GHz, this router has plenty of capacity for a gigabit connection. The slower 2.4GHz band is perfect for smart home tech that doesn’t need much speed but can struggle with coverage. A fast device, like a gaming laptop, should be able to get full gigabit download and upload speeds, even in congestion, with a 160MHz connection.

This router supports Wi-Fi 6 features like 1024-QAM and OFDMA, which help keep performance high even when you have a lot of local congestion, such as in an apartment building. You can also use AiMesh to create a mesh network with other Asus routers, though if you’re looking to keep up gigabit speeds in a mesh, you’ll want a higher-end tri-band router at the core.

Asus makes setup easy with an app on Android and iOS and allows customers to tweak just about any setting they want in a PC web browser. If you just want something simple, you can stick with the app and use mostly default settings, but if you want to pour over every detail, you can do that as well. For a small family, the RT-AX57 has plenty of capacity and should have no trouble with large downloads, 4K streaming, or gaming.

Most people don't actually need gigabit internet

The Asus RT-AX1800S is a cheap dual-band router with plenty of speed for Verizon’s 300Mbps and 500Mbps plans thanks to Wi-Fi 6. Its coverage can be expanded in a mesh with AiMesh support and basic parental controls allow for time scheduling a site blocking.

The RT-AX1800S is Asus’ slowest Wi-Fi 6 router, but if you’re happy with the 300Mbps or 500Mbps plan, it’s all you really need. This router’s AX1800 connection breaks down to 574Mbps at 2.4GHz and 1201Mbps at 5GHz. While you may think that 1201Mbps should be enough for a gigabit connection, congestion, and signal degradation can see that fall off rather quickly. Even so, for these slower plans, it should be more than capable of keeping up.

While there are a lot of AX1800 routers to choose from, Asus’ software helps elevate the RT-AX1800S above the rest. It supports AiMesh out of the box so if coverage starts to fall off in some parts of the house, you can add another Asus router as a mesh node. Of course, it’s easy to set up with the ASUS Router app or a web browser. Keep in mind that the 5GHz band will need to be shared while deployed as a mesh, so speeds could take a small hit with a mesh.

You’ll also find AiProtection Classic settings, which can be used to add a bit more security to your home network. Parental controls are very basic on this model with URL filtering, scheduling, and a Kid-safe preset, but they lack the content filtering of AiProtection Pro routers.

It's a VIP pass for your gaming traffic

The Archer GC90 from TP-Link sure looks like a gaming router with red accents on its antennas, but under the hood, it's a very sensible router. The AX6600 tri-band connection is a good fit for many families with prioritization to keep the gamers happy when the rest of the family wants to stream a movie.

The Archer GX90 is marketed as a gaming router, and indeed, it has a gaming QoS front and center in its app, but mostly, it’s a strong AX6600 try-band router with support for multi-gig Ethernet. The GX90 has three Wi-Fi bands with a 2.4GHz band at 574Mbps, 5GHz-1 at 1,201Mbps, and 5GHz-2 at 4,804Mbps. This allows users to keep their high-priority devices, like a gaming PC, on their own fast band while less demanding devices, like streaming sticks, can be placed on the slower band.

You get four gigabit Ethernet ports on the back plus one 2.5Gbps Ethernet for WAN or LAN. That means that this router is ready for a 2Gbps internet connection or a fast NAS for local networking. Coverage is strong, with eight large antennas decorating just about every surface of this router. You can set up a basic mesh with some TP-Link OneMesh extenders, but this router is also planned to get an update to support EasyMesh, a much more flexible option, in the future.

You can set this router up with the Tether app in just a few minutes, including installing updates. There’s a feature called Game Accelerator, which can instantly prioritize a low latency connection over speed, which is good for online gaming. You can also set up HomeCare, a free security package with parental controls powered by Trend Micro.

Whole home coverage with Eero

Eero 6 is an entry-level AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 mesh system with a big focus on ease of use. Each node has two Ethernet ports and the system is managed with the Eero app. With excellent software, Eero’s simplified experience is perfect for those inexperienced with Wi-Fi setup and uninterested in learning.

Eero 6 is an appealing mesh router with its small size, solid speeds, and easy setup. While its bog-standard AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 connection and two Ethernet ports are nothing special, the whole package comes together very well with Eero’s compact nodes. The nodes are under 100mm across and just 61.5mm tall, making it easy to place these nodes optimally around your home.

Despite their size, these nodes are packed with features, including Zigbee smart home hub, Alexa support, and support for a wide range of Eero Plus features. Eero Plus is a subscription service coming in at $100 per year and adds in historical data, internet backup, ad blocking, content filters, app blocking, and VIP support. It also comes with a VPN subscription with Guardian, Malwarebytes, and 1Password.

Eero makes it as easy as possible to expand your mesh with support for every Eero, even going back to the first model. Just keep in mind that you’ll need an Eero 6 node or newer to make the most of this mesh. Eero has also been added to some Amazon Echo devices, but speeds will be limited to around 100Mbps while connected to these, so they’re not a perfect drop-in replacement. Still, building an Eero mesh is easy enough that even a novice should be able to get it done with just the app in hand.

Fast 5.9GHz backhaul avoids congestion

The ROG Rapture GT6 is a quick AX10000 tri-band Wi-Fi 6 mesh kit with a fast 5.9GHz backhaul. You also get Asus’ AiProtection Pro and gaming software within the ASUS Router app. You can even expand your mesh with AiMesh-compatible routers.

The ROG Rapture GT6 is a fast AX10000 mesh system from Asus that makes the most of the latest UNII-4 rules for the mesh backhaul. It achieves this speed with 574Mbps at 2.4GHz, 4804Mbps at 5GHz-1, and 4804Mbps at 5GHz-2. This second 5GHz band is the secret sauce because it is able to use 5.9GHz spectrum which has only recently become available and is largely unoccupied. That means the link between mesh nodes is not only fast, but it sidesteps congestion on other 5GHz bands and avoids the coverage and power level limitations of 6GHz.

The nodes themselves are a bit garish with an LED ROG logo and a design that’s dripping with the gamer aesthetic. If you like ROG’s design language, you’ll be right at home. If, however, you’re planning on putting a node in the living room, you may want to tuck it behind a picture frame. You can also have it in white or black. On the back, you get one 2.5Gbps Ethernet port and three gigabit ports for your wired devices. This 2.5Gbps port can be used for your gaming PC on the remote node and is ready for Verizon’s fast Fios speeds on the primary node.

On the software side, you can set this mesh up using the ASUS Router app and settings are also available in the web browser. You get AiProtection Pro which includes robust parental controls with content filters for free. You can also set up your prioritized gaming devices and open ports for your favorite games. VPN Fusion is also included, so you can add up to two connected VPN servers and pick and choose which devices are routed to them.

Keep up with gigabit internet, even in a mesh

The Deco XE75 from TP-Link is one of the best Wi-Fi 6E values anywhere with an AXE5400 tri-band connection. With a 6GHz band for the mesh backhaul, there’s no congestion to worry about bringing gigabit speeds closer to your devices.

The TP-Link Deco XE75 is a tri-band Wi-Fi 6E mesh system with an AXE5400 connection. This connection breaks down to 574Mbps at 2.4GHz, 2402Mbps at 5GHz, and another 2402Mbps at 6GHz. Since the majority of users’ devices still use 5GHz, TP-Link has used 6GHz spectrum to link the nodes and keep speeds high across the whole house. Still, if you’ve got a Wi-Fi 6E or Wi-Fi 7 device, it can take advantage of 6GHz as well. This mesh allows people to start taking advantage of Wi-Fi 6E speeds before ever buying a Wi-Fi 6E device.

On the back of each node, you get three gigabit Ethernet ports, so you can connect up to two wired devices to the primary node and three devices on the remote nodes. This mesh should have no trouble keeping up with Verizon’s 1Gig plan. There are no multi-gig ports so the XE75 is not a good fit for a 2 Gigabit Fios connection. TP-Link does have a direct upgrade to this model, the Deco XE75 Pro if you like the features but want the option to go to multi-gig internet in the future.

TP-Link HomeShield software is included with some basic parental controls and security enhancements. You can also upgrade to homeShield Pro for more premium features. Like Eero, TP-Link has maintained compatibility between all Deco nodes so if you have an older system already, you can still use it to expand your coverage. If you find out you need more coverage down the road, you can use the same Decos or even upgrade to a faster model for your primary node if you want. This is all easily set up in the Deco app as well.

Take advantage of Verizon's best Fios speeds

The Asus RT-AX88U Pro is an AX6000 dual-band router with two 2.5Gbps Ethernet ports and a fast SoC under the hood. This router comes packed with software features like AiProtections Pro and VPN Fusion to help you stay secure. Mesh expansion is also supported with AiMesh.

While it’s still not available to all Fios customers, a 2 Gigabit Fios plan is making its way to some homes with Verizon expecting speeds up to 2.3Gbps. If you’re going to pay for those speeds, you need a router that can support it. The Asus RT-AX88U Pro doesn’t look too special right at first, but under the hood, you get a fast 2.0GHz quad-core SoC with 1GB of RAM, a quick AX6000 connection, and two 2.5Gbps Ethernet ports.

All of this extra power helps the router keep up with a fast internet connection but also enables you to use features like VPN Fusion without a performance hit. VPN Fusion allows you to be connected to up to two VPN servers at once and pick which devices are routed to which connection. This allows you to use a VPN for most of your devices, but easily pass through devices, like gaming PCs, that should be connected directly to the internet.

Like most mid-range to high-end ASUS routers, AiProtection Pro is included for free with strong parental controls featuring content blocking and time scheduling. AiMesh is also supported for easy coverage expansion without giving up any features. With this router, customers can access their 2Gbps Fios speeds on wired or wireless devices.

While Verizon has made router rentals free with your Fios plan, their routers might not provide the level of customization or features you’re looking for. If you are using your own router though, you need to make sure you get one that’s fast enough to keep up with your Fios package. Most of the best Wi-Fi router overall will support 1Gbps Verizon speeds, including the best mesh Wi-Fi systems. For most homes, Verizon's 1Gbps plan has more than enough speed for even a large family.

Keep in mind that, unlike cable providers like Xfinity, you don’t need to sign up for the fastest package to get decent upload speeds. In fact, Fios has symmetrical download and upload speeds so Verizon’s slowest Fios plan has upload speeds (300Mbps), nearly 10 times faster than Xfinity’s best (35Mbps). Upload speed is important for backing up files to the cloud or streaming to Twitch, or using a cloud gaming device like Playstation Portal away from home.

The ASUS RT-AX57 hits the sweet spot for most Fios customers with plenty of capacity for up to a 1Gbps internet connection. Its 5GHz band has enough headroom to deliver gigabit wireless speeds to 160MHz devices, even when there’s local congestion. While its simple parental controls leave a lot to be desired, it’s an excellent basic router with plenty of speed for most families.

The Asus RT-AX57 is an excellent all-rounder with a quick, but restrained, AX3000 Wi-Fi 6 connection. With support for gigabit internet connections, this router has plenty of speed for a small family on most Verizon Fios plans.

Samuel has spent years writing about mobile carriers and their networks following a stint working as a technician in a carrier phone store. Whether it's helping people avoid 36-month payment plans, or just getting the right 5G coverage, Samuel wants you to be on the best network for your needs without spending a fortune.