PROS / Verizon can provide fast, dependable fiber optic internet connections, especially as the company continues to expand its fiber network.
CONS / Verizon offers internet security as an add-on, rather than including it with a subscription.
VERDICT / While Verizon's fiber network is still growing, it still provides reliable DSL service. However, the network is limited, and you may find yourself paying for features normally included with other services.
Verizon provides fiber optic (FiOS) and DSL home internet service that consistently deliver fast speeds. The fiber plans can reach download speeds as high as 500 Mbps, which is the fastest speed currently on the market. Verizon Communications is a multi-billion dollar company with nearly two hundred thousand employees that serve roughly six million FiOS internet customers. The company reports that over 14 million homes are currently ready for FiOS service. The already impressive infrastructure, the highest speeds on the market and the multitude of ways you can contact Verizon make this company worthy of our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.
Performance & Plans
Third-party tests consistently show Verizon provides reliable high-speed internet access in its service areas. The DSL speeds rate faster than other DSL-only services we reviewed and are fast enough to support streaming movies, game playing, image sharing and other demanding tasks easily. The FiOS plans provide fast enough speeds for multiple computers to connect to the internet, download, stream and game online simultaneously.
Verizon's DSL plans start at download speeds of 0.5 to 1 Mbps and include nine email accounts and a wireless router. Verizon's enhanced plan offers download speeds from 1 to 15 Mbps and include everything the regular plan does plus Wi-Fi hotspot access. These plans are good for DSL, but companies that specialize in DSL can provide faster connections.
Where Verizon truly stands out is the company's FiOS capabilities. Verizon currently offers six plans, and the first three plans offering extremely high internet speeds, all over 25 Mbps for downloads. The lowest speed plan starts where the DSL plans end. The plans scale up from there with the moderate plan having download speeds of up to 75 Mbps and upload speeds up to 35 Mbps. The faster plans, known as Quantum plans, have download speeds of up to 150 Mbps, 300 Mbps and an astonishing 500 Mbps. However, you have to live in the areas these fiber networks service. You have to go to the Verizon website to test your address for availability.
Verizon provides fiber optic services in parts of 14 states in scattered regions across the country. As time progresses, this infrastructure will expand. Verizon provides services in half of the test addresses we used, including both DSL and fiber optic to the area where our New York offices are located.
Currently, Verizon offers internet security at an additional cost rather than included with the internet service plans. The internet security suite Verizon offers is powered by McAfee and includes antivirus, antispyware and firewall protection. This suite also includes Verizon Family Protection, which allows you to customize the level of protection per child and includes YouTube filtering. This family protection tool can also email or send SMS alerts to parents when children attempt to post personal information on social networking sites. The internet security plan can cover from three to nine computers for one low monthly price, and there is a version for Macs as well. Other add-ons include online backup and protection packs.
You can contact customer service via email, phone, chat, Facebook or Twitter. There are numerous FAQs and help topics online, or you can join Verizon's community forum and discuss your services there. However, if you want 24/7 technical support, you have to subscribe to it for a monthly fee. You can also consult the Ask Verizon automated customer support agent; however, this is essentially a search assist tool. Our attempts to contact Verizon via chat and email were both pleasant, and the agent was helpful in answering our questions.
Verizon FiOS has technology capable of downloading and uploading up to 500 Mbps at its most powerful. We recommend a middle-tier plan, as the average user will prefer the 75/35 Mbps range. Whichever you choose, know that both speeds can more than adequately handle your internet needs. As Verizon expands its fiber network, it will hold its place in the ISP market.