08:58:57 am on
Monday 15 Jul 2024

Wifi Woes
Matt Seinberg

At the beginning of June, I called Verizon to find out about upgrading the speed of my internet connection. I currently have 25/25 upload/download service. I wanted to double that to the 50/50 service because we, as a family, have more devices, than ever, connected to the internet.

Speed up-grade was a dollar a month.

The customer service representative told me that, if I agreed to a new 2-year deal, the new speed upgrade would only be $1 more a month. Okay, sign me up! I would also get a new Fios Gateway router to self-install as well.

The router showed up several days later and the installation was easy, well fairly. I had nothing but problems with the WiFi. The speed was slow; the connection was iffy at best. My daughters were complaining, a great deal, about it. I did a few simple tweaks and twigs to see if I could fix it.

The first thing I did was connect an Ethernet cable from the router up to Melissa's room; then, I connected it to my Zyxel WiFi extender. That didn't help, so I bought another extender that had both the 2.4- and 5.0-gigahertz WiFi bands on to see if that would work.

There was no improvement, what so ever. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

I called Verizon, and asked them to replace the router, which they agreed. I had that one in a couple of days. The results were the same.

I called Verizon back. I made an appointment for a service technician to come out to see if she or he could find the problem. I got an appointment for that Friday between 3 pm and 7 pm.

At 5 pm, my doorbell rings. It's Bob from Verizon. I show him everything downstairs, he goes outside to look at the equipment. When Bob comes back in the house, he tells me he is going to replace all that outside equipment. It's the original from when we first got Fios, which is at least fifteen years ago. The new router isn't playing nice with the old equipment.

Bob says everything should take about two hours. “All the equipment should work after everything is in,” he says. He also replaces the power supply, which no longer has a battery backup. He said if I wanted a backup power supply, Verizon sells one that holds 12D cells and connects to the power supply. I only have one wired phone in the house, so that's the only that would work if the power went out.

Once, power came through copper wires.

Do you remember the "old days," when the power came through the copper wire? No more, the new phone system is voice over internet protocol (VOIP), which does not have its own power source. I told him, “Sure, add that on for $20.” Now I just have to wait for it to show up.

Two hours after Bob leaves, problems start popping up. The guide, video on demand and whole house DVR doesn't work. That tells me that I have to reset the router and then change the service set identifiers (SSIDs) and passwords for the online control panel.

Once I get that done, which is a couple of days later, everything is working, again. I ask my daughters if they notice if the WiFi is better. All I get is a grunt that means it "sucks balls." Yes, the WiFi was better with the old router, which seemed to have better range, enhanced by the extender.

I bought another extender, which was easy to set up. All the lights are solid green, which indicates a good connection and speed from the router. The router is in the far end of the basement and the new extender is in the hallway, in the middle of the house. The extender picks up both bands. Now, I connect, most of the time, at the 5.0 gig speed. The original extender is back in the dining room and that's mostly for getting WiFi outside.

Here's the list of what is now connected; four cell phones, 3 smart televisions, the Nest thermostat, two extenders and up to four laptops. My desktop computer connects with an Ethernet cable. I know longer have any problems getting online; my daughters seem to be happy that their phones and computers are now working.

Great service keeps me with the same provider.

Sometimes upgrading can be a pain, but worth it in the long run. Luckily, I received nothing but great service from Verizon. This is one reason I have stayed with them for all this time.


Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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