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Verizon FIOS Quantum, and the 300 Mbps You’ll Never See

Verizon FIOS Quantum Speeds and 300 mbps

It was over two years ago that Comcast introduced 105 Mbps Internet speeds, and I told you you’d never see that speed. Today, Verizon is introducing Verizon FIOS Quantum with speeds of 300 mbps, because the Internet has come so far that you can now download illegal movies even faster.

Umm, no, you (still) can’t.

Here’s the good news: Verizon FIOS Quantum 300 mbps service theoretically offers three times what Comcast offered for downloads and six times the speeds for uploads, at the same price. So the “price of fast Internet” is coming down.

The bad news? Similar to what I told you in the 105 mbps article, you’ll never get FIOS Quantum’s 300 mbps speed in the way Verizon is saying you will.

At the top of this article you’ll see a screen grab from the Verizon FIOS Quantum website. I’m a subscriber to the entry-level tier of Verizon FIOS, and that impressive 12 mbps speed I got when I ran Verizon’s test this morning is about right—and I’m wireless, which is one bottleneck preventing me from getting the 15 mbps I’m supposed to get.

This is a story about bottlenecks that will stop virtually 100% of users from ever getting the amazing speed Verizon is claiming for FIOS Quantum.

See that comparison chart at the bottom of the Verizon FIOS Quantum screen capture? According to Verizon, my existing connection will let me “download a 5 GB movie” in about 57 minutes, while upgrading to the top speed tier of FIOS Quantum will reduce my download time to just over two minutes.

No, it won’t.

That 11.7 mbps that I’m getting in the test is a controlled laboratory scenario. It measures my connection through my fast wireless adapter to my fast FIOS router over the fast FIOS fiber optic network to the Verizon FIOS central office access point directly to a server specifically designed to show connection speeds over what I’m sure is an optimized connection from Verizon FIOS to that server.

In the real world, over this same Verizon FIOS connection, I’ve never, ever seen a download from another server that went higher than 1.6 mbps.

And that’s just the beginning of the problem with Verizon’s claim of amazing speed for FIOS Quantum.

Aside from the many places that speed bottlenecks pop up in Internet connections, the very point that Verizon is making about FIOS Quantum is flawed. Know why? Because

  • 2-hour HD Movies are way larger than 5 GB
  • Unless you download them from illegal sources, which Verizon can’t be advocating as the primary use of FIOS Quantum—right?
  • Unless you stream movies from legitimate sources like Verizon FIOS itself, whereby the information you download is way smaller than 5 GB

That’s right; nothing about the FIOS Quantum speed comparison is real. Nothing.

Is Verizon responsible for being honest in their marketing material? Well, no, of course not; statistics lie, and perception is reality, right? But by making up information, they’ve crossed the line, and this speed comparison for Verizon FIOS Quantum, when mixed with the specific movie download data, is very much made up.

Bandwidth is a complicated issue, and more, while better, isn’t always what you think it is—and can cost you, big-time. Or as I said here, if you watch movies on-line, get ready to pay up.

Verizon FIOS Quantum does have some real applications; if you have a lot of computers, iPads, and SmartPhones sharing your connection and all using it at the same time, each of them will get a boost from FIOS Quantum.

But you’ll never get what Verizon is selling you, and the price just doesn’t make sense.

Need help understanding your bandwidth needs? Contact Me Here.


UPDATE 2 July 2012, in response to this comment :

I’ve gone back and done a little test. Richard, and you were absolutely correct; I got my mbps and MBPS confused. The 1.6 mBps is in fact 12.8 mbps and puts my connection in line with the 15 mbps connection Verizon is supposed to be giving me on regular FIOS. Here’s the measurement I just did on a 708 MB file:

Measuring FIOS Quantum Speed Claims

At that speed, Verizon’s speed comparison saying I’d take 57 minutes to download a 5GB file is close enough to be at least mathematically accurate; I’d get 4368 MB in 57 minutes.

I’m not sure this invalidates the spirit of the point I was making, though; there are a lot of things that need to be working just right in order for big speeds to work, and as you can see from the comments others are leaving, it isn’t happening for early adopters of FIOS Quantum. And honestly, probably never will.


  1. Here’s where you’re right. In the sorts of usage scenarios of most internet users the services they use will vastly underuse a 300mbps connection. In fact, I’d say that for most internet users in the US a 25mbps connection is overkill.

    But, and here’s a little known secret, everybody I know who subscribes to Verizon’s highest FIOS internet tiers are also usenet users. And, with a decent usenet provider you can saturate a 300mbps connection with ease.

    I know somebody (let’s call him “a friend”) who has for several years had the highest FIOS internet service and has never not been able to fully saturate his connection. The person using, say, 150mbps and up is very likely a usenet user who is rolling his or her own TV/Movie solution using things like sickbeard, couchpotato, XBMC, and Plex. For this sort of user, even a 300mbps connection isn’t enough. 😉

    • I’ll absolutely give you that there are exceptions; certain people under certain circumstances will be able to fill their bandwidth pipe, no matter how big that pipe gets. My issue with Verizon in the way they’re marketing FIOS Quantum is that they’re talking not to people such as you describe, but to regular people. And they’re pushing FIOS Quantum on the regular people using rhetoric that just doesn’t play “real”.

      I wish you had used a real email address so we could continue this; with any luck you’ll check back . . .

    • Verizon Quantum is fake. I upgraded to 75/35 and found the performance to much worse the the 50/25 I had before. I am therefore switching back after over a week of discussing with FiOS Support.

      The Verizon Speed test shows 75/35 but it’s not true because every other test site shows about 15/30 for a connection that is suppose to be 75/35. I can also feel the slow down in the download.

      Stay away from FiOS Quantum.

      • Your experience sounds awful, and almost too negative to believe, but I’m posting it anyway to see if anyone has anything to say !

        • People don’t realize that the internet speed you’re paying for is real. Unfortunately, it’s only real over Verizon’s network. If the server you are downloading from isn’t connected, you won’t get that speed. Even if it is, it might be throttling bandwidth anyway. However, i have gotten plenty downloads at around 7 MBps .. which is very close to my 150/150 Mbps connection.

          • Bill, the devil IS in the details, as the piece said. The good news is that since we published this the overall reliability of bandwidth has improved quite a bit, even over WiFi. But yeah; the basic idea remains: people don’t understand what they’re buying.

      • Thank You, I just resently
        upgraded to 75/35 and DO NOT see any difference

        • Wow. Lovely. “Hello, Verizon? About this FIOS Quantum you just sold me . . . ?”

      • YC, please tell my you are using wired and NOT wireless. Being an IT person I know bottlenecks… I have the same 75/35 connection.. and when im wired into my Mac I can do speed tests all day and get between 75 and 84 MBps down. If I only use my wireless.. which is wireless- N and my router is set to N only then I can get at most about 45 MBps. Also check your channel frequency on the router and make sure you aren’t interfering too much with people near you assuming your on wireless.

        But with your posting it sounds like you in fact are using wireless if there is no speed difference between the two packages.

        A vast majority that have internet at home are likely to be using it with a tablet, phone or laptop.. all of which are limited in their speed.. So a verizon rep can claim how much faster it is but its your wireless card that is killing you.

        • Not sure whether YC is paying attention, but … all great points: the speeds you get with Verizon FIOS Quantum (or any ISP) depend on a lot of factors!

    • I have 75/35 and can always max the connection out with real world downloads. Stop spreading false information. The higher tier packages are not for Facebook warriors.

      • A few things:

        First: you’re commenting against a two-year-old post, and after I wrote it there were LOTS of people who, both here and elsewhere, said the same thing; the advertised FIOS Quantum speeds weren’t consistently attainable, real-world.

        Second: the spirit of what I was saying is STILL correct; people sitting at their Wi-Fi connected computers 50 feet from the router can’t get the advertised FIOS Quantum speeds. That isn’t Verizon’s fault, but they sure don’t explain it in the marketing material.

        Third: your mocking tone regarding “Facebook Warriors” suggests that you’re not a typical FIOS Quantum user. Just sayin’.

        Thanks for chiming in!

  2. I rarely use “real” email addresses for stuff like this. I’m probably overly paranoid, but I’ve worked with computers long enough to know that you really can never be too careful. In any event, I do intend to check back here, as I think you’ve raised an interesting question.

    I happen to be a FIOS subscriber. For years I’ve been on the 50/20 plan, and, as I type this I’m being upgraded to the 150/65 plan. I’ll tell you what, I’ll run some tests once my network is back up. I’ll monitor the down speeds on get on more mainstream services and let you know what I find (e.g. Netflix, Hulu, etc.).

    • Cool, and thanks. Now, paranoia aside (or maybe brought to the forefront 😉 ), I see your IP address is in Paris. You a transcontinental type, or is Verizon selling FIOS in France now?

      • Haha, now you see the extent of my paranoia. Though, I’m sure if you did a bit of detective work on my logs you might be able to make some pretty good guesses at my real IP and location. I’m not working *that* hard to obfuscate right now.

        In truth, it’s only been in the past 2 years or so that I’ve gotten really careful. I’ve been involved in the bitcoin project for a while now, and as their value has increased from mere pennies to several dollars they’ve become a high value target for hackers. Since I’ve amassed a significant number of them over the years I now store most of my bitcoins offline, but I still have some wallets that are exposed to the internet and to make tracking my IP down a little more difficult I’ve gotten into the habit of getting behind proxies.

        Anyway, I’m still waiting for my new service level to kick in. Oh, and BTW, I love your bot deterrent. That thing is no joke.

        • Thanks re: the bot thing. It is kinda secure, right? … and easier to deal with than the typical squiggles in regular CAPTCHA

          I do understand your paranoia … and not that you have any reason to believe me, but I have no interest in making your life difficult in any way . . .


  3. Just wanted to stop by to say that I haven’t forgotten about this little experiment. I’ve just been extremely busy with work, and I’m just now getting some time to goof around, so hopefully I can run some tests today.

    • Cool . . . thanks !

  4. I was excited to double my speed for no cost. I was talked into paying to triple my original speed to 75/35. I have a brand new computer (no garbage on it yet) core i5 with 8 gb of ram. Before the upgrade I averaged 25.6 on my download speed and now I get 22.5(even having my computer two inches from the router). Verizon says they say “up to” and don’t guarantee speeds. I have a laptop and they want me to connect through ethernet. what’s the point? I was hoping for some increase in speed, not a decrease. Even If I got between 50 and 75 I would be happy. I tried checking for updates on drivers, ran all kinds of software looking for problems on my computer and no increase in speed no matter what I do. Even tried making changes on the router. Verizon is no help? They also said I could buy a new router from them that might help!!! Why should I have to pay for anything. I hope someone could help me get better speed.

    • Hi, Stuart, and thanks for moving your complaint about FIOS Quantum here into comments.

      Let’s start with your point about “speed not guaranteed”. What Verizon is telling you is true-ish. Verizon is capable of guaranteeing speeds, but they don’t do that on shared connections—which regardless of FIOS Quantum being delivered over a very fast fiber optic connection is what you are buying. It’s the reason they are still able to sell more-expensive and far slower T-1 lines; even though you get just 1 mbps on one of those, it’s YOURS; you get that 1 mbps, always.

      Of course, you won’t get more, so honestly it’s an incredibly bad deal compared to FIOS or even many DSL connections.

      But with that said, it really does underscore the point I made about the disingenuousness of Verizon’s marketing of FIOS Quantum. As I mentioned in my writeup, I have the original entry-level version of FIOS, at 15mbps downstream and 5mbps upstream, often get pretty close to the 15, and sometimes exceed the 5. For Verizon to come along claiming that in FIOS Quantum they are selling tremendous speed boosts when you’re unlikely to get it even with perfect conditions and they like to fall back on telling you there’s no speed guarantee is just ridiculous.

      As for the laptop/wireless thing; they aren’t wrong to tell you what they did, but they sure aren’t “right” either. It’s true that each bottleneck you put into the network can reduce throughput, and the variables that creating the handoff to wireless and things that Verizon can’t control whether you use FIOS Quantum or any other type of level of service (distance, walls, interference, etc) qualify as bottlenecks. But if they’re telling you that your supposed 75 mbps download speed is being reduced to 22, that’s just nonsense unless your computer has a cheap wireless card that can’t do any better.

      These speeds were deception when Comcast started selling 105 mbps a couple of years back, and with FIOS Quantum there’s three times the deception.

      If Verizon was marketing it more honestly and if the salespeople were well enough educated to explain it—and of course if you spoke to one instead of just pressing a button to upgrade—I’d have no problem with the “only theoretical” speed claims for FIOS Quantum. But . . . I don’t see that happening, and that’s a shame.

    • I too upgraded to the 75 plan and am now seeing SLOWER speeds (approx 22) than I had before on the 25 plan (close to 24). These tests are over wifi, but there’s no reason it should be slower after “tripling” my Internet speed!

      I called them today and they had me do a test plugged into Ethernet and of course I pull an 81…by FAR the highest I’ve ever seen. I’m still pulling numbers in the 70 when plugged in but all my devices are wireless and I can’t justify paying an extra $25 a month for slower wifi speed. I feel cheated.

  5. To start, here are some results. I’m on the 150/65 plan. This link shows the results of my 2011 MacBook pro connected via gigabit ethernet over a Cat6 line and with WiFi turned off:

    This one shows the results from the same computer with the ethernet cable unplugged, WiFi turned on, and connected to a N broadcast:

    I’ve yet to run a test through an ethernet connection on any of my computers (I have 4 in my house) and not achieve at least 150/50. I always hit my max advertised download speed, and I typically come within about 5Mbps of my advertised upload speed.

    How does this translate to practical use? When I download from usenet I always very quickly completely saturate my download speeds, but that shouldn’t be surprising with a decent usenet provider that allows enough concurrent downloads (I’m allowed 50 concurrent downloads but can saturate my line with only 20).


    YouTube is interesting because not all videos get the same bandwidth treatment. More popular videos are allocated more bandwidth. When I watch Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know video at 1080p, which has over 250,000,000 views, I’m seeing the content delivered at over 50Mbps. Of course, that’s only 1/3rd of the speed I’m provisioned for, and I didn’t see anything higher than that on any other videos. So, to get the best experience YouTube offers you certainly don’t need anything higher than 50Mbps down.


    I haven’t used Hulu in a long time and I signed up for a free week Hulu Plus membership just to test this out, but as far as I can tell, Hulu didn’t come anywhere close to using my bandwidth. In fact, I couldn’t see anything faster than 6Mbps.


    On Netflix I saw up to about 45Mbps. As with YouTube, that’s about 1/3rd my provisioned speed.


    I didn’t even bother testing any online games, I’m not much of an online gamer and I didn’t want to go through the trouble of setting it all up. I can offer a few thoughts though. Gaming is largely latency dependent and not bandwidth dependent. In other words, online gaming does not use very much upload or download bandwidth at all, but it is very sensitive to data loss (i.e. a high ping). I have noticed my reported ping through is lower with the 150/65 plan than it was with the 50/20 plan. Sometimes by quite a lot, so my guess is that gamers would see noticeable responsiveness in online games, but, again, this isn’t something I tested.

    So far the theme here is clear. There are services which will completely saturate this kind of bandwidth (e.g. usenet), but for mainstream services this kind of bandwidth is unlikely to get fully used, and, in fact, the most popular services only served content at around 50Mbps at most…

    That, however, is only half of the story, and this next half gets to where I think Verizon is going with speeds like this, and, in fact, it’s the main point behind their advertising of the 150/65 and 300/65 plans – multiple devices each consuming relatively high bandwidth (20+Mbps).

    I haven’t finished this side of testing but I just did a quick test using my wife’s MacBook connected over WiFi with my MacBook Pro connected via ethernet. I queued up the Gotye video I mentioned earlier on both computers in 1080p at the same time and noticed something interesting. My MacBook Pro was pulling down the same speeds I mentioned earlier (about 50Mbps), but my wife’s Macbook, over Wifi, in another room, was doing just about the same (about 45Mbps). So, with two computers we were using almost 100Mbps, or 2/3rds of our provisioned download bandwidth using YouTube!

    When I get some more time I’ll run all these tests using more computers. My suspicion is that in this way I’ll be able to use my full provisioned speed on mainstream services, and that, I think, is what Verizon is going for. I think Verizon is imagining a future without cable lines, even if it’s a far off future. It’s the way my wife and I have been living since 2008. We get OTA channels via an antenna in our attack, which is plugged into an HDTV usb receiver in the back of our living room’s media PC, and so we do get major network TV live and in HD, but otherwise we get all of our content from the web, or usenet, and we love it.

    • WOW!!!

      No, really, wow.

      From where I sit, the takeaway is that your testing led you to the same conclusion that I had drawn about FIOS Quantum, even if the numbers we’re using are different: multiple devices need lots of bandwidth.

      And of course, that’s true. But that’s not what Verizon is SELLING when they talk about using FIOS Quantum to download a 5 GB file in under two minutes, is it?

      Looking forward to the rest of your results . . . !

  6. Well, I think from the get-go we’ve been mostly in agreement. I’m simply argueing against the following categorical claim of yours:

    “Today, Verizon is introducing Verizon FIOS Quantum with speeds of 300 mbps, because the Internet has come so far that you can now download illegal movies even faster.

    Umm, no, you (still) can’t.”

    Umm, yes, you can. I’m consistently and regularly downloading content at exactly the speed I’m provisioned for, sometimes even faster.

    On top of that, I’m also trying to demonstrate that even if you don’t use something like usenet, you can still saturate that bandwidth if you have enough devices accessing bandwidth intensive content, or at the very least you’re less likely to run into problems with services getting interrupted or slowed down. The later point is one on which we’ve always been in agreement, I think, I’m just going out of my way to demonstrate it.

    In any event, I think you’re making too much of a single piece of Verizon’s advertising. They’ve got to give some metric for how fast 150Mbps, or 300Mbps can be. Most people don’t understand Mbps, but do have a sense for how large an HD movie is, even if only a vague sense. On top of that, there is another component to their advertising – that that bandwidth is also useful if you have a lot of devices on the same network, and that is really useful for non-usenet-using people/families.

    But, again, the big secret here, and I’d be shocked if guys at Verizon in charge of making executive decisions on what speeds they offer didn’t know this, is that FIOS is extremely popular among usenet users. Everyone I know with a plan of 50Mbps and up pays for those plans primarily for usenet and homebrew HTPC media centers. Verizon doesn’t have usage caps and you’ll always saturate your line.

    How do you think they should advertise? “FIOS Internet – we’ll sell you 150Mbps or 300Mbps, but you’re probably not nerdy enough to know how to use all that bandwidth. If you are, then you’ll know how to download a 5GB movie in X minutes. If your’re not, well, then if you’ve got a lot of devices you’ll benefit from the bandwidth. Otherwise, here’s our 15Mbps plan.”

    My hunch is that Verizon does know that their service is used by people downloading content from torrent swarms and usenet providers, and they’re trying to walk a line between speaking to those customers and not saying something that would hold them liable. It isn’t as if they can stop their service from being used in that way as, in the case of usenet, nearly all usenet providers use 256bit encryption which sufficiently prevents ISPs from seeing what content is moving around.

    • I LOL’d a little. Your point is completely valid; how should they advertise?

      My rabble-rousing hyperbole nothwithstanding, my issue with Verizon is that people don’t ‘get it’. I had a comment last evening from a guy who fell exactly into the trap that I’m worried about; he had no idea that in his real-world scenario 75 mbps via FIOS Quantum would equal 22 mbps; and to him Verizon’s “we don’t actually guarantee speeds” response is nonsense when they are . . . selling speeds.

      The line between customer service and sales is blurry on a good day, perhaps nowhere more than at Verizon—and yes, I realize that VZW and VZ arebn’t the same company. But that’s part of the problem too, isn’t it?

      I’m just trying to do my part to clear it up a tiny bit.

      • Fair enough. I think you raising the issue is good, as consumers do need to get more educated on these things. Having an internet connection is almost as vital as standard utilities now, and it’s important to know what you’re getting. I’m sure ISPs could do a better job, but I honestly think Verizon is doing a pretty decent job with FIOS. They have links to explain what Mbps is, and they advertise legitimate use cases that don’t merely have to do with how fast you might possibly be able to download a video if you have the right services in place.

        I do think there are some real issues here. I mean, a lot of people don’t have cat5e or cat6 running through their homes, and a lot of people don’t have wireless N devices. So, it’s true that for those people, even in the best use cases they’re not going to be able to use the bandwidth.

        My love for FIOS is definitely influenced by the fact that I do have wireless N devices, I do have cat5e and cat6 cable running through my house, and I do know how to use and do in fact use all the bandwidth I’m provisioned for.

        When I saw the news for FIOS’ new speeds, I knew exactly how to interpret them and I knew I could achieve those speeds regularly. But I’m not the average consumer in this regard.

        I’m laughing now, because after all this typing and all this testing, I think we agree about as much as two people possibly could agree. I’m still legitimately puzzled at how ISPs could advertise differently that would address all these concerns. You don’t want a mess of fine print, but you don’t want downplay your possible advantages either. There’s a real marketing problem to solve here, I think.

        • Well, fair enough right back atcha!

          I think we DO agree; the only real difference between us is that you’re a specific and well-educated/geeky kind of user and I’m a guy trying to make a point against what I believe to be real world scenarios (i.e, not really about you or me 😉 ) that real-world people don’t understand. You’re right; short of going to great pains to say things that will tend to discourage purchasers, there’s not really a “better” way for Verizon to talk about FIOS Quantum.

          That said . . . I’m lso a fan of FIOS, in general. I get a bundle from them that beats the pants of the competitors in my area (and I’m lucky; there are two!) both in terms of price and quality, and I unhesitatingly recommend FIOS to anyone who can get it. But FIOS Quantum . . . it’s a product withe several niches and Verizon is pushing it on anyone who pays attention. I think it’s them realizing that they don’t want to try metered bandwidth to the home, so they’re going after extra revenue this way, instead.

          I just wish math was easier to make sense out of, I guess . . . so much for 2+2 equaling four!

  7. I know I’m not a geek, but I know a little and I try to study up if there is something I don’t understand or have problems with. My family calls me about computer problems, because most of the time I can figure things through study and logic. Anyway this speed upgrade and consequentially, my decrease in speed (again with a new faster and problem free computer) is annoying. Supposedly, Verizon is trying to get me one of their wireless N devices.
    Also, I’ve spoken to three person at Verizon, two in person, and they don’t understand what the problem with my speed is. They agree it should go up, not down.
    I don’t expect full 75 using wireless, but feel I should get about 70% of the speed I’m paying for.

  8. still waiting for Verizon to get a new router for me. Don’t know why that is so hard!
    I been reading several things on line that state that WEP security (which is not the best, but I have) only goes up to a certain speed and no more. To get better speed and security, I should be using WPA2. Does that make any sense?

    • Not to be cynical, but the answer to the “why is it so hard to get Verizon to get me that new router for my FIOS Quantum Service?” question is because Verizon Customer Service isn’t set up for things that fall outside “the norm”. And you are falling there.

      As for your question about WEP being slower: I’ve never heard that. And because WPK2 is more complicated, logic dictates that the opposite would be true, if anything. I honestly don’t know, but it doesn’t make much sense!

  9. Since no one else seems to have mentioned it, you seem to be mistaken with this line: “In the real world, over this same Verizon FIOS connection, I’ve never, ever seen a download from another server that went higher than 1.6 mbps.” When you’re downloading something off your browser, it’s measures in MegaBytes(MB) but the advertised download/upload speeds by providers are measured in Megabits(Mb or Mbps). That difference being that there’s 8 Mb in a MB. So if you multiply that 1.6 MBps by 8, you get 12.8 Mbps. So you get actually get pretty close to your max.

    • Correct, and on my current verison 25/25 plan I routinely download at 3.2 MB/s = 25.6 mbps. Yes I get slightly faster then advertised on the download.
      On upload fastest I benchmarked was 21mbps though (bit not byte).

      Part of it is overhead AND compression. protocol compression allows download that appear to go above your limit, and a small percentage of your bandwidth is used for error correction and protocol info rather then transferring data.

      the 25/25 speeds are at least real. So far with fiber optic to the home I have been getting real advertised speeds. Unlike cable which forces you to share a fiber with the neighborhood which impedes your connection significantly.

  10. Oh no. I wasn’t trying to invalidate it, and I actually agree. I was just being a semantics bastard. 😛 That gap between advertised speeds and actual speeds only gets wider as you get higher plans(in terms of difference, not so much percentage-wise). For example, I believe they bumped me up to a 50 Mbps line and running speed tests, I only get around 43 Mbps. And WiFi will easily cut those speeds in half. That same connection but on WiFi, I only see 18 Mbps running speed tests. The majority of devices/people will be using WiFi and therefore will not see anywhere near what they’re paying for.

    • Whew! ALL true, and Verizon disclaims themselves six ways to Friday on all of that stuff. But it’s . . . just not right. I’m not so stupid as to believe the world is a rosy place, and the “what IS a megabit?” conversation (1000? 1024? 1048? YIKES!) is just one that has to be accepted. But when people are buying 75 mbps worth of FIOS Quantum, getting 22 mbps, and being told by Verizon FIOS Quantum reps that the explanation is just “we don’t guarantee speeds”, well . . . something’s just not right.

      Thanks for keeping me honest!

  11. I’ll go you one further on the subject of outrageous claims. I have FIOS 25/25 service. The Quantum speed test puts me at under 10Mbps while the My Verizon FIOS test puts me at 30/26.
    If that isn’t talking out of both sides of the mouth, I don’t know what is. This is beyond exaggeration in marketing. It is outright fraudulent. The absolute gall of this company to pull this kind of deception and expecting that its own customers won’t catch on is insulting.
    It isn’t enough that they have the advantage, but they have to pull this speed test scam too. I have state of the art Quad and Dual Core i7 Macs on gigabit cable setup to run independent single device on at a time tests. They are scamming their own customers into paying up for literally no advantage in speed to even their own servers.
    Like I said, serious gall.
    How do we get the regulators spank this company for this kind of crap?

    • Jeff, I know you’re not at all surprised to hear that I’m with you on this; regular FIOS, FIOS Quantum, or anything else, there needs to be a “standard” for measurement.

      I expect you realize that your state-of-the-art equipment is just one factor here, so while it ought to play in your favor, it probably means much less than having really old equipment would matter the other way.

      But yeah, the numbers, besides my “they are only theoretical” point, are just not that meaningful. And when Verizon sells FIOS Quantum at multiple “levels”, there should be something that customers can rely on to measure what they get!

  12. After calling and going to the Verizon store numerous times the last few weeks, I guess I finally wore them down. Yesterday, at the store, they finally found a new n router for me in their back room. First they said there weren’t any in back. The cust serv rep was texting with his manager and I guess she finally said to give me a new router.
    I set the router up today and I’m now averaging 81/32. My wife has a three year old computer that only has b/g and she only get 23/16. But she doesn’t need the speed like I do.

  13. OK first. you can’t do speed tests on wifi… you did mention that and I appreciate it. Second, I pay for 15/5 like you do, And use speed test to do my bench marking. – My Test – My Account

    If you have the proper setup, as well as control of your bandwidth, these speeds are very reliable and able to be delivered. You can not compare comcast to fios on delivery of bandwidth because fios is not shared. You can also not use wifi as your bechmark.

    • Actually, FIOS is shared. In fact, let’s call a spade a spade; Comcast is using fiber for most of their connection, and FIOS really only uses fiber for most of the connection, too; once it’s at the FIOS box in your home it continures to your router, TVs, etc using CAT5 or CAT6 cable. But it’s shared; I see the way the wiring is set up, and while there’s a BOATLOAD of bandwidth from my building to the central office, at some point I comingle with my neighbors; Verizon is NOT providing dedicated bandwidth all the way to their central office.

      As I pointed out, I get pretty much the full connection speed FIOS promises even over WiFi. All I was saying is that there are multiple points where your results will drop off versus your theoretical max ratings.

      What I find far more telling than whether smart people can regulate this stuff is that lots of people are simply not getting what they’re being promised, and that Verizon’s fallback is “speed up to, sir . . .”

      Thanks for the pix, and for weighing in!

  14. I just updated from 35/35 the other day. After not noticing much of a change in speed, I tried over wifi and got a continuous 20/20 via my laptops and cellphones. After trying laptop test with ethernet plugged in, my max numbers were 47/26 instead of the 75/35 promised. I asked the rep about possibly needing a new updated router, she told me it wasnt needed unless I was going up to the 300 package. So what am I paying for again, if everything is based of wireless devices and wireless doesnt reach those speeds? Not sure how to do the tests via ps3, but I do alot of online gaming.

    • Paul, the bottom line on this is becoming more and more clear. SOME people are benefiting from Verizon FIOS Quantum, but a bunch are having the kind of problems you are.

      What comes after that, sadly, is up to you (or whomever): get in Verizon’s face and demand a resolution so that you can get what you’re paying for with FIOS Quantum. And of course, keep posting here; the more traffic and activity we get the higher we rank when people search for “FIOS”, “FIOS Quantum”, “Verizon FIOS Quantum”, etc. And the higher we get and the more people who research the topic end up here where there’s dissent to Verizon’s happy talk about FIOS Quantum, the better chance there is that Verizons DOES something!

  15. I have a WIFI and wired set up at home. The WIFI router is rated at 60mbps (about six megs per second) WAN to LAN. About 99% of the times I test my FIOS speeds it is about 35/40 mbps with a ping of 10ms using wired connections. Using WIFI it is a different story. If you are not using N you are using old a/b WIFI which is VERY slow. Is you have your own WIFI router. Make sure it can handle the 300mbps from WAN to LAN. Very few can handle this bandwidth.

    I upload photos and and download ISO images. The speed depends on the other end not on FIOS. When I test to some of my clients using full T3 connections. I get 35/40 99% of the time.

    So unless you show us what gear (with FW versions) you are using. I think your tests are misleading.

    • That was actually my point; because all of this is dependent on SO many factors, a conversation about what speed you “get” isn’t meaningful, whether it’s on FIOS Quantum, regular FIOS, or anything else.

      My argument with Verizon vis a vis the way they’re marketing FIOS Quantum is that they don’t explain any of that; that talk as though FIOS Quantum is magically going to boost user speeds to the stratosphere—even though they know that isn’t the case. Which, to be fair may not be their responsibility.

      Wanna talk “fair”? Fair would be if Verizon gave you an appropriate router when you upgrade to FIOS Quantum. The other comments here suggest that not only are they failing to do that, but are giving customers who ask a hard time.

      • That is one of the reasons I do not use their router, except for the TV Guide which is built in their router. I plan to upgrade to FIOS Quantum whenever is offered in my area, but first I do plan to install a router capable of 300mpbs+. This routers are not cheap (as of yet). This is I think the missing link. Most router are labeled at mbps, but most of them are tested using Linux not windows. Linux has a more robust networking drivers.

        • An interesting point; I use the FIOS router because I don’t need any more than what it provides, but it’s likely that the stock router isn’t fast enough to deliver the speeds that are being sold as FIOS Quantum.

          I’ll say again: maybe if Verizon was just more forthcoming, or their reps were better trained, the speed problems that so many FIOS Quantum users are having wouldn’t be there.

  16. I agree with Jeff. I have a Cisco E4200 WiFi router and have it bridged to the Fios router. All Wifi devices are connected to the Cisco router and receive a much better throughput than before when they were connected to the Fios router.

  17. I upgraded to FIOS Quantum earlier this year, and have been very pleased with the upgrade. I had regular FIOS before. The Verizon tech that came out to perform the upgrade was very diligent; he cleaned fiber connections at the house and down the street; upgraded the FIOS router to a gigabit FIOS router; and ran a new Cat-6 cable from the ONT outside to the router inside. (With my earlier FIOS, the networking signal was piggybacking on Coax going coming from outside the house to the FIOS router inside.) I now regularly get 152 Mbps download speeds (19 megabytes / second) and 69 MBps upload speeds after the upgrade.

    I have gigabit throughout the house, and obviously get the best speeds on devices that are connected via Ethernet to my gigabit backbone. For me, I notice the speed improvement every day. Downloading a multi-hundred-megabyte OS upgrade happens in a blink of an eye; streaming an HD movie in iTunes on an Apple TV similarly is noticeably quicker than before. Operations like that are going to fast servers (or Akamai-mirrored servers); if you’re connecting to slower servers, the slow server will be the limiting factor. Another way I benefit is that do a lot of web development, where I’m remotely connecting to my servers, uploading files, etc. For most users, FIOS Quantum is probably overkill. If you’re only using 100-Base-T routers and connections in your house, you’re not going to benefit much from the higher bandwidth.

    But, I don’t feel that Verizon has been inaccurate in their marketing, and for the most part I’m getting the speeds they promised. And I was impressed that they spent a lot of time tweaking my existing FIOS infrastructure (3-4 hours of work) to ensure I could benefit from the fastest possible speeds.

    • Scott, I’m sure you know that your story is by far the best one that anyone’s yet told here about Verizon FIOS Quantum.

      I’m really happy for you, and I’ll give you that the marketing for FIOS Quantum isn’t so much inaccurate as misleading; most people under most conditions will get less than is implied—often not Verizon’s fault, but still, people don’t know what they’re buying. And you’ve as much as said that your situation is atypical because of how you’re wired.

      My issue when I wrote this was that Verizon was twisting the truth about FIOS Quantum, and I think I’ll stand by that. And of course what’s come out is that many upgraders haven’t had the quality of service you received.

      Fingers crossed; it can all only improve, right?


  18. Hi guys,
    the more I read the more I get confused!

    I had Verizon 25Mbps and I switched to 75MBPS since this morning, I have the 1yo router they provide free that claims to be “n” and macs, ipads, iphones, kindles, etc.
    Ethernet connected with my macair gives a good 82Mbps/dwnld 30Mbps/upld …when I go wireless I barely reach 15Mbps/dwnld and 14Mbps/upld how can I improve that?
    Verizon say buing the “FiOS GigE Wireless “N” Router” but reviews weren’t so exited…
    Basically I improved the connected internet as promised but wireless is exactly as it was with the 25Mbps! (And we are almost of the time on wireless)
    HELP! :)

    • Sadly, there’s no good answer to that. Adding a wireless connection to the soup will make things taste different.

      That said: It’s *possible* that your wireless hardware isn’t capable of (or it set up so that) the speed getting any higher. In other words, it’s also possible that a better router still won’t help.

      And remember Verizon’s only job is to deliver the speed you bought TO your router; what happens behind it isn’t their responsibility (although if you can get a Verizon Tech Support person on the phone they might try to assist).

      What do you know about your wireless card/built-in hardware?

    • 1. Wireless is crap. You just discovered it yourself by getting 82/30 Mbps on wired and 15/14 wireless
      2. is it 15 mega BITS or bytes? because 15MB/s = 120mb/s = wireless N single stream top speed. (theoretical max is 150 mbps per stream, but there is overhead and interference so on). Theoretical speed for wireless g is 54 mb/s = 6.75 MB/s
      Only way to go faster on wifi is to get a multi stream device, those are relatively expensive though.
      3. the fact you upgraded from verizon 25mbps to 75mbps suggests that you referring to bits not bytes. In that case you are getting a meh performance for a wifi G device… You said your router is wireless N but what about your laptop? the laptop has to also be wireless N otherwise it will use G, which I think is what your issue is

      • Expands on the second question you asked; Wireless G just isn’t fast enough (“your computer’s equipment”)

      • By default the wireless router is set to compatibility mode… even though its N… which means its going to run at wireless G speed.. unless you change the router to N only

      • @jtcdesigns: Changing it to n only will most likely not make it run faster but result in it failing to connect entirely.

        His laptop is most likely only capable of wifi g. So his router uses it as a fallback and communicates with his laptop via g. If you disable that backwards compatibilty then the router will accept n connections only which the laptop cannot provide and it will fail to connect at all.

        The only possible exception for this is if there is some obscure fault in his drivers or if his laptop is some pre-n wifi which is not cross compatible (it took a long time for companies to agree on the n standard and as a result there are some pre-n devices which are faster then g but are not cross compatible, and must use g to communicate with other devices as a result)

        • Tremendous technical explanation; seriously, I couldn’t have done a better job myself.

          But of course it (sadly) underscores the point of the piece, doesn’t it? There are a lot of variables that determine your effective bandwidth for Internet throughput, and it’s mostly a matter of luck when figuring out your chances of getting those kick-butt Verizon FIOS Quantum advertised (sold) speeds :-(

      • @mrtt

        Yeah I forgot to mention or ask if he was using wireless G in the laptop. But it still stands that if he has a wireless N laptop and the router is set to default settings it will run in compatibility mode which supports all the connections but wont give the optimal speed. Some people will go out and buy a wireless N router assuming they will instantly get much better speed…Its like buying a new SSD sata 3 drive and putting it in a Pentium 4 PC with sata 1 connection… your only going to get what the port puts out.

      • @jtcdesigns: I get that is what you said, I am disagreeing with you.
        Please show me an n capable router whose default settings would use g over n when n is available. I have never seen such a ridiculous thing. Your typical n router/device has a/b/g/n capability or at least b/g/n and will use the fastest it can get.

        Worst case scenario is that SOME lower quality routers will slow down to the speed of the slowest device connecting to them:

        So if you have a wireless n router and 2 laptops of which one is only g capable one is n, then the n might be forced to use g as well due to the router being unable to handle both simultaneously.

      • I’ve seen atleast 5 different wireless N routers this year and last that were on compatibility mode by default. I’ve tested speeds of both compatibility mode and N only and noticed an improvement. I’ve tested using a couple different laptops, iMacs and mac mini. All of which were using a wireless N card.. and all had better speeds when the router was switched to N only. Of course the downfall is no other device can connect if its not a wireless N device.

        I know the router will switch based on whats connecting to it but my thought is why setting it to N only produces better results than compatibility mode?

        Also setting your security mode to WEP will reduce your speeds down to wireless G. Where as WPA2 will give you optimal speed.

        Absurd as it may sound my real world testing backs up these claims. I even made sure I had no one else on the wireless network trying to connect which eliminated the G devices slowing it down. Also did tests with different channels as well. Now im not saying it was really a significant slow down but it was there.

  19. I’ll make my point simple. SPEED DOESN’T MATTER.

    Buy a Bugatti Veyron. Drive it in New York City. Will you “get there” faster than the guy in the Honda Accord?


    Internet provider speeds at the Fios/Netfintity, etc. level become equalized by what you are downloading. USENET aside (because it just isn’t a large part of the residential market) the biggest road hog people will access is likely Netflix. Netflix downloads at 1.5mbs to about 3.5 mbs.

    Say you have 5 devices simultaneously downloading Netflix at 3.5mbs. That’s 17.5 mbs.

    If you have a 20mbs connection you still have lots of room.

    The issues isn’t about how fast, it is about how much at one time. Latency/bandwidth is the real definer of experience not speed.

    Great article by the way! It gets at what a crock all of this marketing is.

    • Thanks, “Joe”. I know we agree on this in most regards (as you said, there ARE times when it COULD matter, but almost never).

      Verizon now makes it way too easy to upgrade to FIOS Quantum, by the way. We actually did it completely by accident a couple of months ago. On the positive side, UNupgrading was make easy, too. Not as easy to unbuy FIOS Quantum as it was to buy it, but I have to give Verizon props for not being all jerky about it

  20. by using wifi you’re getting the speed clipping you deserve

    it’s brilliant of the isps to “kindly” provide clients wifi so they’ll never utilize their provisioned speed

    insist on a dry loop ethernet install, then use WIRED internet, don’t connect sh|tty workstations or devices

    speed FTW

    I have symmetric very broadband fios at home. I have ZERO interest in “upgrading” to quantum

    bonus tip: stop burning money on OLD TIMEY sms texting — which enslaves you to ONE device

    xmpp texting
    sip texting

    RFC 7081 FTW

    • I wish you had identified yourself a bit better than just “Real Person”, because your advice is pretty solid. And yes, you can insist on a dry loop instead of buying phone service bundled with Internet … if you’re still buying Internet from a phone company over copper wire, that is!

  21. I consistently see 82Mbps Down and 91Mbps Up with my Verizon 75/75 service. Thats wired though. Wireless I’m lucky to break 10Mbps either way with their router, or 35Mbps with mine. They’re trying to sell me their new “Quantum” dual band router, but I don’t know if its worth the $150.

    • Thanks, Mike. Broadly, things in FIOS-ville do seem to have improved, but yeah, the variables are still kind of the same as they always were … and the fact that you have to PAY Verizon to get equipment that will actually deliver better performance is a disgrace.

  22. I’m happy with my Fios 300mbps line. Upload was over a Lightower line from workplace to my home system with Fios. Connection was AFP. I could push it harder but throttling a bit on my end.

    Numbers speak for themselves.

    Short Results: 1769 copied (382.0GB), 20 moved, 13 folders moved, 16 deleted
    Operation completed at 06:12:38 AM on 4/25/15
    Total duration: 04:52:49

    Copied To Right Side: 1769 (382.0GB)
    Moved On Right Side: 20 (31.6GB)
    Folders Renamed or Moved On Right Side: 13
    Deleted On Right Side: 16 (2.2GB)
    Folders Created On Right Side: 206
    Folders Removed On Right Side: 9
    Files updated on Right side : 31

    Average copying time per file : 9.9 s
    Copying time for fastest file : 0.0 s
    Copying time for slowest file : 1046.2 s

    Average transfer rate : 21285.3 kB/sec
    Transfer rate for slowest file : 14.4 kB/sec
    Transfer rate for fastest file : 26169.6 kB/sec
    For the fastest/slowest rates, only files at least 1 kilobyte in size were counted.


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