I bought my own router about 6 years ago when I moved into my current home. I use Fios and the router was a Quantum Gateway. The best that they had at the time. Unfortunately, over the past year or so things have really slowed down. I pay for 100/100 and I was barely getting 10 right next to the router. Sometimes much less. I also was starting to have problems with the connection dropping. I tried all sorts of trouble shooting, but couldn’t really find a solution that worked as far as staying with what I already had. I also wasn’t willing to pay for more speed when I wasn’t getting close to what I was paying for already.
My House Doesn’t Like Wifi
I have an old house made of lath plaster, so even though it isn’t very large, from day one, I had trouble getting a signal from the back of the house to the front of the house. I eventually put an extender in the middle of my house, because even there I had buffering problems when I watched tv on an Apple Tv. This helped, but I never got great speeds.
Issues with Specific Apps
Over the years, I had continuous problems with the Amazon app on my Apple Tv. It, more than any other app, would freeze and time out. I recently got HBO Max and that is even more of a problem than Amazon. It constantly times out and tells me I have to restart the app. It is only these two apps that are an issue. Netflix is fine, for example, and I almost never had buffering otherwise even with my slowed down speeds.
Choosing the G3100
I have looked for solutions before. I actually even bought a mesh router a while back, but it didn’t work. I looked at other routers, but in the end, I wanted to do what was easiest, call me lazy. I like tech, but I don’t feel the need to drive myself crazy over it. Sometimes the path of least resistance works. Finally, I decided enough is enough and went with the newest Verizon option, which is a G3100. The price was just under $300 (over with tax) or $15 per month if you rent. I don’t like to rent, if I had rented my last router I would have spent over 1k on it instead of about $200-300. So I just decided to spend the money and buy the G3100 outright. I could have saved a couple of bucks here and there if I purchased somewhere else, but then I probably would have run into set up issues. Not worth the savings to me.
Unboxing the G3100
I am not going to give you an unboxing video. There wasn’t much to see. It came via UPS in a sealed box. Everything was packed neatly. I opened the box and found the following:
- Ethernet cable
- Coaxial cable
- Adapter cord
The sheet noted there should have been a splitter but there wasn’t. It also mentioned a Verizon sleeve. I didn’t see anything like that unless you count the sleeve that covered the box. There also were no instructions.
I am not sure why the manufacturers went with white for the device. Everything else on my desk is black, but what are you gonna do? The G3100 doesn’t have any of the Apple device’s sleekness. It is actually kind of clunky looking. It is about the same height as my old router, but much wider. It takes up more space on my desk, not anything terrible though, and I can push it back a bit further than the old router because it isn’t as long.
I unplugged my old router, used the new adapter to plug in the G3100, and used the cables I already had for everything else. The circle on the front started flashing. Within a very brief period of time I could see the new connection on my desktop. I was able to connect with no problems. It briefly lost connection, but then it came back and it stayed connected. The light was still flashing when I first connected, so my guess is that it just wasn’t quite ready for me to connect when I did.
The Speed Delivers
I could tell immediately that the speed had increased. I decided to run a speed test. Verizon only guarantees its speeds 10 feet (I think) from the router. This means, since the router is right next to my desktop, I really should be getting 100 up and down. Yup. For the first time, I am. Look at that crazy up speed.
Connecting other Devices
I next connected my phone, a Samsung Galaxy 8s. No problems at all. It connected right away. After that, I connected my iPad, which I normally use in the middle of my house connected to an extender. The iPad connected directly to the G3100 with no problems. As you can see, the results are quite good. Especially when you remember I was barely getting 10 right next to the router.
I next connected a few other devices. In all, I connected 7 devices. One device is hardwired to the router and the rest are connected via wifi. One device is in the front of the house, and it had no trouble finding the connection and shows full bars.
Next I tested the speed on my desktop again. It barely dropped.
Right now, a couple of hours into my purchase, I am very pleased. I have never had a device connect to so quickly. I didn’t have to struggle to connect anything. The speeds are very good. I no longer have to use an extender in the middle of my house. We will see what happens when I try to connect my tv in the front of the house since I had to connect to the extender before. Also, I will watch for problems and buffering on the Apple Tv with Amazon and HBO Max. I have more devices to connect, mainly smart home type stuff. I will report back in a while to let you know how things go.
Warning about Extenders with the G3100
One note, Verizon’s website states that you cannot get full functionality with any extender other than the one made for the G3100. It seems you can use another extender, but you lose some functions. The additional extender is expensive at just under $200, so I hope I don’t have to use one. I haven’t researched what Verizon means by a lack of full functionality. It may be nothing critical or even something I wouldn’t use anyway. Who knows.
Update on App Issues
The evening I wrote this post and the next morning I was able to watch a full movie on HBO Max without any timing out. I finished a show I started with the older router on Amazon and that worked fine as well. I had a timeout before I switched to the new router on the same show. I am cautiously optimistic that my app freezing issues have been resolved by the new router.
Update on the G3100
If you would like to know if I am still happy with my router, I wrote an update in April 2021. https://jlellis.net/blog/g3-router-impressions-update/