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

Important I am not affiliated with Verizon and this is my personal experience. I am not paid by Verizon and bought the G3100 outright myself. 

If you find this helpful and want to say thanks, please buy me a coffee. It keeps this page ad-free. Thank you!

This review was last updated: October 2020

VERIZON G3100 REVIEW

This review of the Verizon G3100 may update as my experience changes (or they update the firmware).

This Verizon G3100 user review is organized by:

New Updates

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. This is a link to the FCC copy of the manual as Verizon keeps moving their one.

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. 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 Internals

Verizon G3100 Network Ports / G3100 Hardware Overview

  • 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 (Basic)

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. If you want more details, jump to the G3100 detailed speedtest.

Verizon Quantum G1100 vs G3100 Mesh WiFi Speedtest (Detailed)

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 where I have a gigabit connection into the home. Results are the average of 3 tests and represent internet download speeds (not the speed of connection to the router). 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 also saw improvements for non WiFI 6 devices.

The WiFi connection from my laptop to the G3100 is on average 650Mbs – 850Mbs. This is the connectivity speed not the download speed which is still pretty good.

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?”

Verizon G3100 Mesh WiFi Self Install Setup

You can get the G3100 outright, so you can self-install. FYI I found the G3100 about $50 cheaper on Amazon than it retails from Verizon. 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. FYI, these steps would be the same for the older Actiontec MI424WR.

  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 the screen)
  5. Scroll down, select Settings
  6. You will see a red button labeled 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 it checks for and installs any G3100 firmware update on the first use, so be patient. But there’s nothing else to do after the white front light turns sold and you should have working WiFi that you can connect to using the details printed on the back of the router.

If you’re after instructions for the Version E3200 you can find a mini-review of the E3200 and self install instructions here.

Others Notes

G3100 LAN Port Lights – Bug  (No LAN Activity Lights)

This has to be some sort of firmware bug and has been reported and verified by someone else. The activity lights on the LAN ports on the G3100 router do not light up. No connection, activity, or anything. This makes troubleshooting ethernet connections difficult. The LAN lights do light up and show activity when the router reboots. It’s an odd bug.

Verizon G3100 Static IP Limits – Bug (Max 10)

For some reason, Verizon has limited the G3100 to only 10 static IP addresses. If you try and add an 11th static IP address it doesn’t save although there is no error message and it will look like it is saving. Not sure why Verizon has limited the G3100 to 10 static IP addresses and I hope they fix it in a firmware update. If you’re after instructions on how to set a static IP address on the G3100 you’ll find those instructions here. Just to avoid confusion, this is a Verizon limitation. You could probably work around it by setting a static IP on the device side.

Smart Home Equipment tested with the Verizon G3100 and Verizon E3200

The full list of smart home devices compatible with the Verizon G3100 and Verizon E3200 can be found here. I have moved it to a separate page because the list is now extensive thanks to everyone who sent me confirmation of what does and doesn’t work.

If you’re a manufacturer or have something you want me to test it with the Verizon G3100 or E3200, you are welcome to send it to me to test and review. If you own something and know it works, let me know and I’ll update the page.

Spaces in Device Names Unrecognized

The G3100 will not allocate IP addresses if any devices had spaces in their name. While the input form to change the name of the devices prevents any spaces from being inserted, devices with spaces in their name will cause havoc on the system and how IP addresses are allocated. For example, if you have a Roku called “Roku Streaming Stick” until I remove the spaces the device name before connecting it to your network. How to do this varies by device, so I can’t give instructions other than to say check the manual for the device.

Understanding 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
  • White = Blinking, Syncing to Verizon
  • Blue = Blinking Pairing / Solid Paired (used during the Verizon E3200 Mesh setup)
  • 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.

Verizon G3100 Guest WiFi

I have Guest WIFi disabled but did have someone ask questions about the Verizon G3100 Guest WiFi. In answer to those questions:

  • Yes, the Verizon G3100 supports Guest WiFi.
  • The Verizon G3100 has a different SSID for the guest WiFi network (and password).
  • Devices on the Guest WiFi network cannot see any other devices on the network (guest network or otherwise).

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).

The only limitation is you can’t have more than 10 static IP addresses. This shouldn’t be an issue for most people and Verizon should be able to fix this in the next firmware update.

If you’re not sure if the Verizon G3100 is right for you, I’d rent it first. If you want to save money on buying the Verizon G3100 outright, I have seen the Verizon G3100 about $50 off on Amazon. 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.

If you find this helpful and want to say thanks, please buy me a coffee. It keeps this page ad-free. Thank you!

A reminder, I am not affiliated with Verizon and this is my personal experience. I am not paid by Verizon and bought the G3100 outright myself.

As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a fee from qualifying purchases.