Equipment questions (router/modem)

I'm setting up a new laptop and home network.  Currently I have a Verizon supplied Westell Versalink.  My laptop is several concrete apartment walls away from the router and I've always had a problem with weak signal. 

My new laptop has wireless "N".  Verizon tells me they do not have a modem/router for that version.

They also warn that they will not help if I have problems connecting to an "outside" router.  I have many questions -

1) Do I still need a combination modem/router?  I have not seen many routers for sale  that indicate they serve both functions.   (My new setup will be hardwired to a new desktop with a modem card (it is not built in).

2) Researching the issue of getting wireless signals through thick apartment walls, I read that one way to improve my wireless signal is to obtain a top of the line router with synchronized dual bands.  There are a lot of competing (altho secured) wireless signals in my building.  The type of router I mentioned is supposed to help in some way.  

3) FYI in my current setup I have a range extender set up mid-way.  This helps my signal somewhat.  I understand I can also buy a new antenna for the router that would provide a stronger signal.  I  plan to continue use of the range extender which I'm told will handle "N" in addition to the current "G" in use. .   

4) Bottom line:  It looks like Verizon's equipment will not enable improvements resulting from the Wireless N mode.  I have asked Verizon technical support and have always been told "NO", in fact one techie asked what I meant by "wireless N".

So my questions relate to 

Whether Verizon provides any combined modem/router equipment that can "do" wireless "N"?

If not, do I then need to get a modem if I buy a super-duper  router with dual bands and capable of handling "N"? Would the modem card in the new desktop to which the equipment is hard-wired suffice as a modem for this setup?  (The current desktop has a built-in modem but I guess I still need a modem since Verizon made a point of providing a combined router-modem to me in the first place under the old configuration.   I haven't seen a modem available as a standalone piece of equipment.  

I know this is a long post but will greatly appreciate replies/answers.  It sure would help if Verizon folks could have answered these questions.  I've asked a couple of times in past months as I've contemplated getting a new laptop.  Answer is always the same: Verizon has no ":N" equipment and will not help with non-Verizon equipment.

Thanks in advance....

Tags (2)
Re: Equipment questions (router/modem)
Enthusiast - Level 3

Hey LydiaJ,

Sorry to hear that you are having such problems with your wireless signal. Hopefully, this response will provide some answers and a possible to a solution for your issue.

Verizon supplies a combination, Router, Wireless Access Point, Switch and Modem that we simply refer to as a Router. The Verizon "Router" is a necessary part of the FiOS system and Verizon Tech Support will provide complete support for the Verizon supplied router only.

Now, Verizon's policy is to allow the customer to use third party equipment (switches, hubs, range extenders, A, B, G, or N access points and routers, etc.) as long as any changes to the installed setup do not adversely affect the FiOS service. Furthermore, the customer is responsible for the setup, maintenance, and repair of any third party equipment.

At this time, Verizon FiOS residential services do not come with a Wireless N type router for packages of less than 150Mb. With that being said, you can feel free to connect a Wireless N Access point or router (with DHCP Server option turned off) to the Verizon router and not utilize the Verizon router's wireless capability. (A process commonly referred to as "Daisy-chaining). As long as you are able manage that connection, this will allow you to take full advantage of wireless N speeds up to 100Mb on your local network.

Please note that the advantage you would be seeking from a N-type connection is penetration through the walls, not overall bandwidth to the internet. So, the Verizon Router is compatible with a N router or access point in that it is capable of enabling the device to connect to the internet at the bandwidth of service that you have on your account.

I hope this helps in your quest for wireless connectivity.

Re: Equipment questions (router/modem)
Community Leader
Community Leader

If you are not on FIOS and if you want to use your own router: See and follow

If you have any questions please ask.

Also, it would help to know if your Westell is using the White and Blue OR the Red and Black Firmare.