Friday, October 19, 2007

Verizon FIOS and running a Linux operating system

Despite the well known fact that Verizon Can't Do Math, I have to say that I am surprised to find that their FIOS service is pretty good. I've had it for over a month, and haven't noticed it go down or have any speed problems.

More interestingly, I've actually found that they are pretty Linux-friendly. Actually, Linux-friendly might be too strong - lets just say that they have not locked me into using Windows for their service. I did have to use, which has a Windows/OS X only Firefox extension. But other than that, I haven't felt the vendor lock-in blues.
Here are some good points:

  • As far as I can tell, Verizon only blocks port 80. I run both SSH and HTTPS from my home box.

  • Once I spoofed the correct MAC address, I was able to use my own non-Verizon router

  • There is no PPPoE authentication or the like

  • My IP address has not changed since I started the service

  • Latency is very low (about 12ms to Google)

  • Service has not gone down

I don't use their phone or TV services, so I can't comment on those. My guess would be that services like Vonage or Skype would work pretty well on my FIOS connection.

Bad points:

  • The backup battery is supposedly pretty weak. It only provides voice service during a power outage, not Internet. For that, you'd have to use a UPS. Fortunately, I haven't had the power go out.

  • It took forever to get the service installed. Even though the previous house owner already had FIOS installed, they couldn't come out for 2.5 weeks.

Verizon does pretty well here. So if you're thinking about switching - I would recommend it.


  1. the best operating system is always Linux, after Linux it is Windows XP. Vista sucks*"*

  2. First-class post it is really. I’ve been searching for this update.