Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Monday, November 05, 2007

Verizon FiOS Speed Test Paradox

This weekend I switched my home office to the new Verizon FiOS fiber optic service. I’m pretty excited to be one of the first in our area to have it. I pay a few dollars more but the advertised speeds are twice what I’ve been getting on Road Runner.

The package I signed up for is 20 Mbps download and 5 Mbps Upload for $49.95 a month. Time Warner is charging me $38.53 for an advertised 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload.

On Road Runner my advertised 10/1 would usually test as 5–6 Mbps down and 0.7 on upload. When I tested my FiOS connection today on I was pleased with my new upload speed but a little concerned with my download.

Verizon FiOS Test
(Advertised 20/5)

When they installed FiOS they ran an optimizer program which I assume changes the registry values like MTU that many other optimizers do. I plugged back into my Road Runner to see if maybe the optimizer helped their service too. It did make my upload a little better then my previous tests but I’m obviously pleased with the improved speed of FiOS.

Road Runner Test
(Advertised 10/1)

I’m not ready to give my full blessing to FiOS yet. I’m especially suspicious because when I go to Verizons own speedtest page, I get values much higher than I get using When I go to Verizon Central they consistently tell me the following.

Test results from Verizon Central

So much for truth in advertising. For instance, my 1000 GB hard drive only has 926 GB’s available which is common. This kind of “rounding up marketing” is getting out of hand.

Update: Its working better. Now if only they would come back and fix my phone. See

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would it not make sense for you to get faster speeds to your internet provider's site (ie. a short distance, on networks that they control) than you would to another site (ie. a potentially "far" distance, over a number of "hops", all owned and run by different entities, and any one of which could be experiencing heavy load, or perhaps throttling speeds)?

Just a thought. You could run a tracert to each of their servers, just to see how many hops each one is.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Well, yes it makes perfect since that if I'm physically on the Verizon network the route to their speedtest would be short. It's actually only 6 hops including the one from my desktop to the router.

It's marketing that's getting out of hand and it's just not true.

It's like GM selling me a car on the basis it can reach speeds of 200 mph. Then I find out, that's only true if use the wrong size tires that fool the speedometer so I think I'm going 200 mph but I'm not. In fact, realistically, the car will never actually go 200 mph.

Realistically, I will never experience a download of 20 Mbps even connected to Verizon.

I know that everyone is doing it, but that doesn't make it right.

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You could also try Internet Frog to test your speed. That way you have multiple sources. As for the speed, Verizon does state that your speed is "up to" 20 Mbps. There is nothing that states you will have an always available connection of 20 Mbps.

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look at your tranfer rate Bill. not just your speed. 2M transfer rate is about 20 meg down 1M trans rate is about 10 meg down...etc. Verizon's speed tester is pretty accurate. I tested my Comcast that is avertised as 6meg down/384kbs up and " 12 meg boost " ...ha! at and got 18 meg down and 3 meg up results when the actual speed is only 6 meg from the cable company. Tested at verizon and got 5M/378kbps

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trivial re hard drives -- the difference between claimed and actual space is actually due to overhead -- space used up by formatting info -- and the difference between decimal one thousand and binary thousand (1K), which is 1024 and what the computer uses to report storage. The difference between 1000 and 1024 starts to make a big difference now that drives are huge, but you have the same number of actual bytes either way. Usually the packaging says something about this, and yes the advertising should probably change to reflect what people think.

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While its true they are selling you a 20/5 internet package. Now maybe im totally wrong. But, even though you can DL at 20mb speeds, youre locked into whatever the other site/person is Uploading too you?

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have fios 20/5 and I continually max out my download my test is always 19-21 Mbps on my download I Usually get 2600 KB/s or 2.41M using flashget my upload goes between 4-5Mbps and I test this over hamachi on a virtual private lan where other can download my files and I see it max out. I use to test my speed then I test it in real downloads and uploads...

2:56 AM  
Anonymous Armil@verizon internet said...

So great that you have pay a few dollars more but the advertised speeds are twice what I’ve been getting on Road Runner.

3:32 AM  

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