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Summary:

I hope you’ll pardon the personal excitement and non-mobile aspect of this post, but to be fair, this has been a long time coming. Last July, I watched as contractors dug up the front lawn to prep us for Verizon’s FiOS service. And then I waited. […]

fios-install

I hope you’ll pardon the personal excitement and non-mobile aspect of this post, but to be fair, this has been a long time coming. Last July, I watched as contractors dug up the front lawn to prep us for Verizon’s FiOS service. And then I waited. Summer became fall, fall turned to winter, and then winter to spring. The flowers all bloomed as expected, but FiOS never arrived. Until now.

Finally, we can do some things we’ve been planning on for a while now here at the home office:

  • Upgrade our Internet service from 3 Mbps down and 768 kbps up to a speedy 20 Mbps both up and down. Our cost roughly doubles to $64.99 per month, but our service increases by nearly seven and 25 times down and up, respectively. This will save me tons of time when uploading podcasts and high-def videos. I thought about the 20 Mbps down/5 Mbps up service, which would save me around $15 monthly, but those HD videos are pretty big, especially if I upload the source file like I did last time.
  • Dump our oft-unused landline. We’ll save around $50 a month by dropping the phone service and just living with our cell phones.
  • Switch from satellite television to Verizon FiOS TV. I’ve been a huge fan and customer of Dish Network for 10 years, but Verizon is offering all of the same channels and then some for nearly $30 a month less. I’ll pay $57.99 for the Extreme HD Package plus an additional $19.95 per month for the HD DVR. I’m not keen on paying for a box rental, but I’m still coming out ahead.

Now, you’d think that this enhanced upload speed would be beneficial for my little Windows Home Server experiment. Unfortunately, as I continue to research the problem with my Remote Access, I’m fairly certain that many of you are correct. The issue appears to be that Verizon blocks port 80 to prevent you from running a web server on their service. That’s all well and good, but they need to face reality and peer into the future. The sharing of data out of your home is going to be a growing trend, and not just for us geeks. I don’t want to get all grumpy about it right now because all-in-all, I’m ecstatic that the FiOS is arriving next week. I plan to configure IIS on the WHS to use a different port to see if I can work around this issue.

In any case, you can expect faster posts starting next week from me. That is how FiOS works, right? All of my writing will get a speed boost? Hmm…maybe that’s an add-on service…

Sidenote: Just before I hit publish on this post, my doorbell rang. It was a contractor for Verizon and they’re marking the trench for FiOS right now. I just ordered the service online at dinnertime last night! I’ve got a good feeling about this!

  1. I hate you, Kevin.

    j/k :)

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  2. Have you tried switching the port to 8080 yet? That’s what I use for my web-accessible NAS (although I don’t know if Comcast blocks the 80 port anyway).

    Also, are you using your own modem or one supplied by Verizon? I had real trouble with one of their modems some months back, after having no problems prior. I suspect the current firmware in their equipment puts up a lot of roadblocks. For my own system, I returned my Comcast-supplied modem/router and switched to my own modem and router. No access problems since. In my experience, ISP-supplied equipment is no good for advanced Internet access.

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  3. A few notes for your install.

    Figure out where the installer can mount the Backup batter in advanced, it needs to be inside. They drilled a hole to run the wire outside to the ONT.

    If you don’t want to use the supplied router — I use it, and like it — you need to be prepared to demand that the CAT5 jack be enabled on the ONT, as by default these days only the coax is enabled for Internet. My installer refused even though I already had the CAT5 cable ran, but I wasn’t willing to push the issue. If you are getting TV service with a STB you’re going to need the router regardless as it is the coax to MoCA bridge that the STBs use to connect via IP for VOD and EPG data.

    Keep in mind that when you use VOD, it comes out of your 20Mbps internet connection.

    As for port 80 being blocked. Luckily the new WHS you just setup comes with a free SSL certificate, and FiOS doesn’t block 443. So just use ssl, which honestly you should be using anyways.

    Good luck, and you know how to find me if you have any more questions. I’m sure you’ll be happy with it, I know I am.
    Ben

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  4. yay for fios! glad to see you’re finally able to get it (and so quickly too!) i have the 20/5 service and it has been more than adequate for me but i’m not uploading hd vids. the fios tv service is great too, especially with the cable cards on my media center. you’re going to love fios…just as long as you don’t call customer service =)

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  5. Faster blog writing addon is another $15 a month.

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  6. My parents have FiOS and their router is absolutely horrible, so yeah, if it’s possible for Verizon to set up Cat5, definitely have them do that.

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  7. 20Mb up! Wow. I’m on 50Mb down but only 1.5Mb up. I’d certainly trade the higher download speed for 20/20.

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  8. MasterBlaster Thursday, May 28, 2009

    Ben, thanks for the additional port info… very useful. Also, I didn’t realize VOD comes from my inet bandwidth.

    When I ordered Uverse, the installer also refused to use Cat5 instead of the coax, even though both were available in my house. I raised a big stink, and refused to let the tech finish his job, and he called in his supervisor, who then sided with me and said “if he wants Cat5, give it to him, it doesn’t matter to Uverse”.

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  9. Congrats! FiOS should be available to me in August of this year. Here in fGTE land Verizon does not block port 80, on DSL anyway. Have you looked at the 0.verizon newsgroups? Some of the participants there are/can be very helpful. They are not followed by Verizon employees any more.

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  10. I complained about blocking port 80 so much that a Verizon VP called to ask why. I asked him why they allow unlimited P2P and block port 80. I also asked which did he think would have more traffic, P2P or web servers? He didn’t have have good answers. Then I pressed him about not blocking pseudo illegal P2P activity while blocking perfectly legal HTTP. Again the answers weren’t very good. Bottom line – they want you to upgrade to business service in order to remove the block. Of course that costs $400-1000/mth. Seems a bit extreme to host my kid’s web server. He finally recommended that I get an account at a remote host provider. Of course I knew about that before starting the discussion.

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