Review: Verizon G3100 Review WiFi 6 Mesh Router (2020)

Disclaimer. I am not affiliated with Verizon and this is my personal experience. I also don’t have any affiliate links or ads, so I’m not making money by sharing this with you. I am not paid by Verizon and bought the G3100 outright myself. So if you found this helpful and want to say thanks you can buy me a coffee

This review of the Verizon G3100 may update as my experience changes (or they update the firmware). This review was last updated: March, 2020

This Verizon G3100 user review is organized by:

  • Background Overview
  • Unboxing
  • Hardware Overview
  • Verizon G3100 Speedtest (basic)
  • Verizon G3100 Self Install Instructions
  • Verizon G3100 Speedetst (detailed)
  • Other notes
  • Verdict / Recommendation

Background

I have been a Verizon FiOS Customer even since the switch from Spectrum (back when it was Time Warner Cable). I have experience on FiOS with the following:

  • Actiontec MI424WR
  • Verizon Quantum G1100

and now

  • Verizon G3100 WiFi 6 Mesh

Each router upgrade has been a step-change in speed across raw FiOS and WiFi. I have tried experimenting with using my own router but have always run into issues so I have stuck with Verizon gear. Also because Verizon provides zero support on any issue if you use your own kit which forces you into playing tech support at home if there’s ever any issue.

Verizon G3100 Unboxing

Sorry, no G3100 Unboxing YouTube video. In the box you get:

  • The Verizon G3100
  • Power Cable (Wall Wart style plug)
  • Ethernet Cable (White)
  • Disclaimer Stuff

The Verizon G3100 user guide / manual is online, the current link is here.

The Verizon G3100 looks nicer than the older Verizon routers and looks a Google Home and an Orbi had a baby. I’ll share some thoughts on the LED white light / button on the front later.

Verizon G3100

If you’re interested, based on the information in the box I think the Verizon G3100 is made by Arcadyn Technologies based on the FCC ID RAXG3100. So like everything Verizon sells the G3100 is not compatible with any other home WiFi Mesh system (but you could run any ordinary repeater if you want). You will need to buy a Verizon E3200 Extender if you want to use the G3100 Mesh features. I don’t own a E3200. So honestly the G3100 is a Mesh WiFi in name only as a standalone unit.

Despite the more modern Google-home look of the G3100 Mesh WiFi unit, the internals are all vertical-mounted in a standard circuit board. So all the space is either wasted or for cooling.

See the photo below, please don’t open your G3100 or you will void the warranty.

Verizon G3100 InternalsVerizon G3100 InternalsVerizon G3100 Network Ports

  • 1 x WAN
  • 4 x LAN (I really wish Verizon would offer 8 ports, we’re in a smart homeworld)
  • Coax (supports MoCa 2.5)
  • 1 x USB 3.0
  • DC In Power Port

A few notes.

Compared to the G1100 the G3100 loses 1 USB port but once again Verizon has NOT made the USB port usable other than for 5v charging. So you cannot plug in a network printer or hard drive to the USB port. Verizon may change this in the future but I would NOT hold my breath as Verizon has never done it before.

See the photo below for a rear view of the network ports on the Verizon G3100, I’ve blacked out the serial number, etc. for security reasons.

 

Verizon G3100 Network Ports

Verizon G3100 Mesh WiFi Real-World Speedtest / Experience

I made the switch because the Verizon Quantum G1100 wasn’t struggling to provide all the reach I needed. In fact, I had to set up a repeater and run a second router and SSID. If you’re interested, I was previously using the Verizon G1100 and a Linksys RE9000 that I got from Best Buy. Yes, I know there are cheaper repeater options but I wanted the LAN ports.

I don’t want to share the floor plan for my home, but my issue with the Quantum G1100 is WiFi was almost non-existent in the bedrooms and rooms separated by the kitchen or bathrooms (until I put in the Linksys as a repeater). My goal with the Verizon G3100 is to not have to run a repeater and get WiFi to every corner of the house. I also still run an 8 Port Netgear network switch off the G3100 as across my Smart TV, Apple TV, and Game Consoles, Smart Home Hub devices I need more than 4 LAN ports.

So does the G3100 work, is it worth the $299 Verizon charge for it outright?

In my case, YES but your mileage may vary (YMMV).

The first bit of good news is now EVERY smart home device in my home is on the same SSID and with the Verizon G3100, I get full home coverage. That’s a huge step forward and has simplified management and configuration.

Verizon G3100 Mesh WiFi Self Install Setup

Self-install takes all of 5-10 minutes. If you need guidance, I recommend the following. Make sure you read all the steps first before doing anything as you need to unplug your G1100 at the end and plugin the G3100.

  1. Login to your G1100 (username/password and instructions can be found on the router)
  2. Select My Network (top navigation)
  3. Select Network Connection (left navigation)
  4. Select Broadband Connection, make sure your click the hyperlink not edit (middle of screen)
  5. Scroll down, select Settings
  6. You will see a red button labelled Release next to DHCP Lease, click Release.
  7. Click Apply

IMMEDIATELY after clicking Apply disconnect your G1100 from power, then connect and power up your G3100. You should be ready to rock and roll. It might take a minute to resync and have working WiFi.

Verizon Quantum G1100 vs G3100 Mesh WiFi Speedtest

I ran multiple speed tests, 3 times each from 3 different points in my home. The results are below but this is based on my home. Results are the average of 3 tests. All run on an iPhone 11Pro using the Speedtest.net.

How to read the results.

First number Quantum G1100 / Second in bold number G3100 Mesh. Higher numbers are better.

Room 1: Direct Line of Sight to the Router

  • Download 390 / 481 (reminder results are old Quantum / new Mesh)
  • Upload 321 / 497

Room 2: Furthest Usable WiFi Reach for G1100 (No Repeater)

  • Download 234 / 391
  • Upload 119 / 239

Room 3: Deadzone for G1100 WiFi / WiFi Unusable without Repeater

  • Download 4.02 / 324*
  • Upload 0.14  / 117*

Room 3 results are not a typo, it’s really that bad. This is why I put in a repeater, I connected to the G1100 for this test even though I expected it would be bad in comparison to the G3100. Honestly surprised I was able to maintain a connection to the G1100 at all.

Honestly, it’s a WOW situation and the G3100 results are almost unbelievably good. On average a 100Mbps improvement (ignoring Room 3). Want the exact numbers? The average download on the old Quantum setup was 312 vs 436 on the Mesh.

I cannot guarantee you will get the same results, but for me, it’s definitely worth upgrading to the Verizon G3100 Mesh WiFi system. I get to retire my repeater and no more questions of “is our WiFi down?”

Notes on the Verizon G3100 LED Light / Button

Verizon (or the manufacturer) really went for something super non-intuitive about the front light… so here’s what you need to know about the Verizon G3100 LED colors.

  • White = Normal
  • Blue = Blinking Pairing / Solid Paired
  • Green = WiFi Turned Off (this makes no sense, why would Green mean bad, I mean c’mon)
  • Yellow = Blinking No Internet / Solid Backhaul Issues
  • Red = System Failure

Seriously Verizon, why did you make Green = WiFi off, that makes no sense. Grrr… fix this in the next firmware update. Don’t use Green for bad.

Final Verdict: Is Verizon’s G3100 Mesh WiFi Worth It?

For me, YES, it’s definitely worth it – especially for the speed improvements over WiFi on the Verizon G3100 vs G1100. If you look at the WiFi speed scores in the G1100 dead zones it’s unbelievably better. I’ve been able to ditch a repeater and also don’t have to worry about telling people to switch SSID’s in different parts of the house.

The pain of reconfiguring my network with a new SSID was more than worth it (yes, I know I could have used the same/old SSID name but it’s easier for everyone else in the household if it’s on factory defaults if they need support from Verizon and I’m not home).

If you’re not sure if the Verizon G3100 is right for you, I’d rent it first. I do wish Verizon would support a standard off-the-shelf mesh system like Orbi, Velop, etc. so you could extend your setup more cost-effectively. And Verizon, if you ever read this, make the USB port useful.

Finally, a reminder, I am not affiliated with Verizon and this is my personal experience. I also don’t have any affiliate links or ads, so I’m not making money by sharing this with you. I am not paid by Verizon and bought the G3100 outright myself. So if you found this helpful and want to say thanks buy me a coffee!  Thanks!