Review: Verizon E3200 Mesh WiFi Extender (2020).

Disclaimer I am providing this information and instructions “as is”. There is no warranty or support from me, I’m sharing this because I thought it may be helpful to others. If you break your E3200 or anything else in the process you’re on your own. If you’re concerned about this, I would recommend getting Verizon to help you with the setup. 

I am not affiliated with Verizon and this is my personal experience. I am not paid by Verizon and bought the E3200 outright myself. 

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This review was last updated: May 2020

Verizon E3200 Review

This is a mini-review of the Verizon E3200 Mesh WiFi Extender, the companion product to the Verizon G3100 Router. Form factor wise, it looks almost identical to the G3100. I call it a mini-review because there’s a lot less to really write about.

This review has the following sections:

Verizon E3200 Unboxing

There’s not much to say about unboxing the Verizon E3200 and it would make a boring unboxing video, you get:

  • the Verizon E3200 Mesh WiFi Extender
  • Power Cable (Wall Wart Style)
  • Some disclaimer paperwork.

If you want the Verizon E3200 manual, you can currently find it here.

It’s important to note that the Verizon E3200 is only compatible with G3100 and operates its own mesh standard, so you can’t mix and match it with other mesh equipment.

Verizon E3200 Network Ports / E3200 Hardware Overview

The Verizon E3200 differs from the G3100 mostly on the back, it has:

  • 2 x LAN Ports
  • 1 x Coax
  • 1 x DC Input

There are no USB ports. Like other Verizon products, there is no on/off switch. The LAN ports are rated up to 1000Mb/s.

 

Verizon E3200

I’ve blacked out the serial number and related details on the back of the E3200. There’s also a pinhole reset button (the red dot in the photo). As you can see, it’s very basic.

A quick note though on the WiFi SSID and WiFi Password on the back of the Verizon E3200. This will not work once your E3200 is paired to the G3100. The E3200 will use the same SSID and WiFi password because as your core network.

Verizon E3200 Coax 

Personally, I was a bit thrown by the Coax port on the back of the E3200. In case you are wondering, you do not have to do Coax directly into the E3200. The E3200 can work as a true WiFi extender and doesn’t require a hardwired port but you can use one if you want.

I’m guessing Verizon has a coax on the back of the E3200 in case you are using it with another set top box somewhere in your home.  I don’t have another coax access point in my home, so my experiences only relate to using this in pure WiFi mode.

Verizon E3200 Ethernet Ports 

Worth repeating, the Verizon E3200 does have 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports. According to the manual, you can do Gigabit ethernet backhaul on the E3200. If you do this and it’s successful, let me know and I will update this with the details.

Yes, You can run a network switch off the back of the Verizon E3200 Extender.

Verizon E3200 Extender Speedtest

The G3100 and the E3200 operate as a single a Self Organizing Network (SON) and with a common Access Point name. You can log in to the web UI to see which device (G3100 vs E3200) you’re connected to, but policing that that’s what is happening during a speed test is hard.

I did a test with ethernet from my laptop directly plugged into the E3200 and using it the E3200 for wireless backhaul and I was getting an average 300Mb download speed (~900Mb to the LAN port). That makes the E3200 WiFi a little slower than a WiFi connection to the G3100, but not bad all things considered.

FYI I set up the E3200 without having a genuine dead zone to benchmark against.  I think the E3200 is best suited to a multistory home where you need to get signals across floors. The G3100 really is overkill for me.

Verizon E3200 Setup / E3200 Self Install Instructions

I want to stress (again) that the Verizon E3200 is only compatible with the Verizon G3100. You will not be able to set it up with any other Verizon or otherwise router. To be 100% clear the E3200 is not backward compatible with older Verizon WiFi equipment.

Important:  You must have the Verizon E3200 and Verizon G3100 next to each other to do the setup. This is absolutely something you must do because setup involves simultaneously pressing buttons on the Verizon G3100 and the E3200.  So make sure you have them positioned in a way that you can easily press both of the front buttons. Once you are all set up you can move the E3200 to another point in your home. Don’t worry, it will remember all the settings.

There are also Verizon E3200 Troubleshooting tips at the end of the setup instructions based on feedback from other users who have contacted me.

  1. Plugin and turn on your Verizon E3200.
  2. The front light will blink White (booting) then turn a solid Yellow (no connection). Please be patient, it takes 10-15 seconds the first time you power up.
  3. Press and hold at the same time the front buttons on both your Verizon G3100 and your E3200 for about 5-6 seconds.
  4. If you did this correctly, the front lights on both the Verizon G3100 and E3200 will start blinking and then turn a solid blue (paired). This means you now have a mesh connection.
  5. Once this occurs, the E3200 will start updating the firmware. The front light on the E3200 will start blinking white. Do not unplug the E3200 or you may brick it. It took ~10minutes for my E3200 to upgrade the firmware but it could take longer.
  6. Once the update is complete, the Verizon E3200 light will start blinking yellow very fast. This means the E3200 Mesh WiFi extender is too close to your G3100 and can now be unplugged and moved to its new permanent home.
  7. Unplug the E3200, move it to its new home, turn it on, the white light should blink (5-10 seconds) then turn solid once it has reconnected to your G3100.
  8. You’re done!

Verizon E3200 Extender Troubleshooting

  • Verizon devices don’t like it if you changed the default SSID or password. If you have customized your G3100, you might have a lot more luck during setup resetting it to defaults. I know that this may be frustrating, but it’s the way Verizon works.
  • The blue pairing light is only used during the initial setup. It is not a permanent blue light once paired, once you are successfully using the Verizon E3200 as mesh extender it will be a white light, not a blue light.
  • For Step #5, on some FIOS connections, the update can take a long time, read hours, and seem like it doesn’t work. One person I know left the Verizon E3200 updating overnight to give everything time to download, install, restart, and re-connect to the Verizon G3100.
  • The Verizon E3200 lights don’t always seem to operate the same way for all people. If you have a solid yellow light on your E3200 after the pairing and updates (which should mean no internet) during setup you may need to wait it out before it connects to your Verizon G3100, establishes an internet connection, and correctly flashes yellow meaning it’s too close to the Verizon G3100.
  • Another bit of advice on the Verizon E3200 Yellow Light is that when you move the E3200 to the new point in your home (unplug and move) the light will be yellow until the Verizon E3200 re-connects. Again, give it a few minutes to reconnect to you Verizon G3100.

Tip: If you get stuck, confused, did it wrong, etc. then you can reset the Verizon E3200 by pressing and holding the red reset button on the back for about 15 seconds. This is a full system reset and is better than a soft reset.

Understanding the Verizon E3200 LED Light / Front Button

Verizon (or the manufacturer) really went for something super non-intuitive about the front LED light. Here’s what you need to know about the Verizon E3200 front light colors.

  • White = Normal
  • White Blinking = Booting
  • Blue Blinking = Pairing Mode (during the setup process)
  • Blue Solid = Paired (note, it doesn’t stay blue permanently, just during the initial setup)
  • Green = WiFi Turned Off (this makes no sense, why would Green mean bad, I mean c’mon)
  • Yellow = Solid No Internet (it will be yellow until it connects to your G3100)
  • Yellow Blinking = Fast and you’re too close to your G3100, Slow and you’re too far away.
  • 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.

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