Optimum Internet Review 2022

Live in the northeastern US? Optimum internet is worth considering thanks to low prices and a customer-friendly approach.

Optimum Internet
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
  • Check
    Extremely low prices
  • Check
    Unlimited data
  • X
    Limited availability
Plan
Price
Download speed
Connection type
Details
Optimum 100$29.99/mo.*Up to 100 MbpsCable
Fiber Internet 1 Gig$79.99/mo.*Up to 940 MbpsCable
Fiber Internet 100$29.99/mo.*Up to 100 MbpsFiber
Fiber Internet 1 Gig$79.99/mo.*Up to 940 MbpsFiber
Data effective 05/04/22. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* w/Auto Pay & Paperless Bill plus taxes & equip. charges. Terms apply. Not available in all areas
Catherine McNally
Editorial Lead, Internet & Gaming
Read More
April 08, 2022
8 min read

Good news, northeasterners: Optimum internet is an excellent choice for cable or fiber internet in your area.

Along with some of the cheapest prices in the area, Optimum also comes with unlimited data and no contracts. It recently introduced fiber internet plans as well, which offer faster upload speeds and a more reliably fast connection.

But Optimum also has its downsides, like a very small service area and facepalm-worthy customer service. So let’s dig in and find out if Optimum is right for you.

Optimum internet deals

Plan
Price
Download speed
Data cap
Details
Optimum 300$39.99/mo.*Up to 300 MbpsUnlimited
Optimum 500$59.99/mo.*Up to 500 MbpsUnlimited
Optimum 1 Gig$79.99/mo.*Up to 940 MbpsUnlimited
Fiber Internet 300$39.99/mo.*Up to 300 MbpsUnlimited
Fiber Internet 500$59.99/mo.*Up to 500 MbpsUnlimited
Fiber Internet 1 Gig$79.99/mo.*Up to 940 MbpsUnlimited
Data effective 05/04/22. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* w/Auto Pay & Paperless Bill plus taxes & equip. charges. Terms apply. Not available in all areas
See Optimum internet prices and plans in your area.
Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Extremely low prices
Pro Bullet Unlimited data
Pro Bullet No contracts or hidden fees
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Limited availability
Con Bullet So-so customer service
Get a Visa gift card + HBO Max™ with Optimum internet
Deals

Ready to switch to Optimum? It’s offering new customers a Visa prepaid card for $50–$200 depending on which plan you choose. On top of that, you’ll get HBO Max included with your internet service for 3 to 12 months, depending on which plan you choose.

Check Out Optimum Internet Deals

This deal ends on April 3, 2022.

*Plan prices w/Auto Pay & Paperless Bill plus taxes & equip. Charges. Terms apply. Not available in all areas.

Optimum prices and plans

At first glance, Optimum has a lot going for it: a wide variety of internet speeds—all at prices that won’t make your piggy bank squeal.

We like to see a lot of choices when it comes to internet speeds because it’s more likely you’ll find a plan that fits your needs. And you won’t overpay for unneeded speed or consider swapping to those AOL internet CDs because your connection is too slow.

As for prices, it’s rare to see prices this low for the speeds Optimum offers. Here’s a quick peek at how much the ISP charges for each of its plans:

Optimum internet promotional prices
Plan
Price
Download speed
Data cap
Details
Optimum 300$39.99/mo.*Up to 300 MbpsUnlimited
Optimum 500$59.99/mo.*Up to 500 MbpsUnlimited
Fiber Internet 100$29.99/mo.*Up to 100 MbpsUnlimited
Fiber Internet 300$39.99/mo.*Up to 300 MbpsUnlimited
Fiber Internet 500$59.99/mo.*Up to 500 MbpsUnlimited
Fiber Internet 1 Gig$79.99/mo.*Up to 940 MbpsUnlimited
Data effective 05/04/22. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* w/Auto Pay & Paperless Bill plus taxes & equip. charges. Terms apply. Not available in all areas
“Optimum doesn’t even bump up your monthly bill after a set amount of time. This is part of its promise to charge ‘low prices year after year, with no hidden fees and no surprises.’”

If you’re asking, “What’s the catch?” right now, you’re not alone. But we couldn’t find any gotchas after scouring the fine print. Now that’s more refreshing than a cool drink after a mile run.

Screenshot by author

Optimum doesn’t even bump up your monthly bill after a set amount of time. This is part of its promise to charge “low prices year after year, with no hidden fees and no surprises.”

Still, we recommend keeping an eye on your bill in case Optimum does need to raise prices due to economic changes or network maintenance. Because Optimum doesn’t require contracts, you can drop down to a cheaper internet plan with no penalty if your bill becomes too much.

Need help paying for Optimum internet?
Money

If your budget is blown and you still need internet, there are a couple of options that can help you pay for Optimum:

  1. Altice Advantage Internet: A low-cost internet plan billed at $14.99 a month for speeds up to 50 Mbps.
  2. Affordable Connectivity Program: A $30-a-month subsidy for qualified households, or a $75 monthly subsidy if you live on Tribal lands.

Where is Optimum internet available?

Optimum’s extremely small service area is its biggest drawback. If you’re not a resident of New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania, you won’t see Optimum around at all.

A map showing Optimum internet availability in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania

The map above shows states where Optimum internet service is available. Darker blue means it’s more likely you can get Optimum in that state, while lighter blue means Optimum is available only in small areas of that state.

Most of Optimum’s internet service is available in New Jersey, while New Yorkers and Connecticut residents are also likely to have it as an internet option. Residents of Matamoras, Pennsylvania , can also get Optimum internet service.

How does Optimum internet compare to Astound Broadband, Verizon Fios Home Internet, and others?

Compared to other internet providers in the Northeast, Optimum’s prices and speeds are right in line. Depending on what internet speed you need, Optimum might be the cheaper route.

Here’s a quick look at how Optimum’s minimum and maximum prices and speeds compare to AT&T Fiber, Astound Broadband, powered by RCN, and Verizon Fios Home Internet.

Optimum internet versus Astound (formerly RCN), Verizon Fios Home Internet, and AT&T Fiber comparison
Provider
Price range
Download speed range
Data cap
Details
Optimum Internet$29.99$79.99100940 MbpsUnlimited
AT&T Fiber$55$1803005000 MbpsUnlimited
Astound Broadband Powered by RCN$29.99$49.99^250940 MbpsUnlimited
Verizon Fios Home Internet$49.99$119.99°3002048 MbpsUnlimited
Data effective 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Plus taxes, fees, and other charges.
Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes $ fees. Limited availability. May not be available in your area.
^ For the first 12 months.
° w/ Auto Pay + taxes & equip. charges.

One thing to note is that Optimum’s lowest price is for 100 or 300 Mbps download speeds.

You’ll notice in the table below that Optimum’s price for its 300 Mbps internet is cheaper than AT&T Fiber, Astound Broadband, and Verizon Fios Home Internet. So if the Optimum 300 plan is available in your area, we say listen to the Steve Miller Band’s advice and go on, take the savings and run.

Optimum internet versus Astound Broadband, Verizon Fios Home Internet, and AT&T Fiber comparison
Provider
Plan
Monthly price
Download speed
Details
OptimumOptimum 300$39.99/mo.*Up to 300 Mbps
AT&T FiberAT&T Fiber Internet 300$55.00/mo.**300 Mbps
Astound Broadband, powered by RCN500 Mbps Internet$34.99/mo.††Up to 500 Mbps
Verizon Fios Home InternetInternet 200/200$49.99/mo.°200 Mbps
Data effective 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* w/Auto Pay & Paperless Bill plus taxes & equip. charges. Terms apply. Not available in all areas
** Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes & fees. Internet speed claims represent maximum network service capability speeds and based on wired connection to gateway. Actual customer speeds may vary based on a number of factors and are not guaranteed. For more information, go to www.att.com/speed101.
†† 12 month internet Pricing. Internet download speeds may vary and are not guaranteed.
° w/ Auto Pay + taxes & equip. charges.

And if you need gig speeds, Optimum’s 1 Gig plans are the cheapest around, matched only by Astound Broadband (formerly RCN).

To recap, here’s how Optimum internet compares to AT&T Fiber, Astound, and Verizon Fios Home Internet:

  • AT&T Fiber: AT&T Fiber’s slower plans, like Internet 300, are almost a match with Optimum in terms of value. But at faster speeds of 940 Mbps, Optimum provides more value with a lower monthly price.
  • Astound Broadband, powered by RCN: In New York, Astound Broadband is another great value pick. Though some of Astound’s plans, like the 500 Mbps plan, cost slightly more per month than Optimum’s plans with the same download speeds.
  • Verizon Fios Home Internet: Verizon’s monthly cost is a tad higher than Optimum’s, but you’ll get a slightly faster jolt of download speed. But if you’re looking at grabbing internet speeds of 400 Mbps or faster, Optimum quickly becomes a better choice.

Want to read more about Optimum and other ISPs in the Northeast? Check out these reviews:

Optimum internet speed and data

Optimum offers a wide range of internet speeds, making it easy to find a plan that fits your needs without charging you a boatload more.

We recommend 100 Mbps download speeds as a good starting point for most small families, and Optimum offers 100 Mbps plans with its cable and fiber service.

If you need faster speeds for a larger household or an at-home business, Optimum’s internet goes up to 940 Mbps. That’s plenty of speed to keep you working, gaming, and streaming efficiently.

Optimum internet download speeds and upload speeds
Plan
Download speeds
Upload speeds
Data cap
Details
Optimum 100Up to 100 Mbps5 MbpsUnlimited
Optimum 300Up to 300 Mbps20 MbpsUnlimited
Optimum 500Up to 500 Mbps20 MbpsUnlimited
Optimum 1 GigUp to 940 Mbps35 MbpsUnlimited
Fiber Internet 100Up to 100 Mbps100 MbpsUnlimited
Fiber Internet 300Up to 300 Mbps300 MbpsUnlimited
Fiber Internet 500Up to 500 Mbps500 MbpsUnlimited
Fiber Internet 1 GigUp to 940 MbpsUp to 940 MbpsUnlimited

Upload speeds, on the other hand, might cause you trouble. Optimum’s 100 Mbps plan comes with 5 Mbps upload speeds, which is the bare minimum recommendation for uploading large files and using Zoom.

If you use video chat to keep in touch with family or coworkers or run your home business, you may want to bump up to the Optimum 300 cable internet plan. Or better yet, grab an Optimum fiber internet plan if it’s available in your area.

Data caps

Optimum makes data easy: you get an unlimited amount of data no matter which plan you pick. That’s a huge benefit when pretty much every electronic device uses data—including your home security system and cell phone.

  • Optimum data cap: Unlimited

Optimum contracts, equipment, and fees

Need to change your internet plan to a cheaper one? Need more speed to keep up with new roommates? No worries. Optimum doesn’t require a contract, so you’re free to change your internet service as needed with no penalty.

As for equipment and installation, Optimum’s fees are pretty standard. Here’s a closer look at its rental equipment and fees.

Equipment

Optimum’s modem-and-router gateway rental costs $10 a month whether you have its cable or fiber internet service. That’s a decent monthly cost—most other internet providers charge $10 to $15 a month for their equipment.

Other equipment options include Smart Wi-Fi Extenders and Optimum Stream. The Wi-Fi extenders are a cheap addition that can help your Wi-Fi reach even the furthest corners. Optimum Stream is a great way to stream all of your apps in 4K, along with 50+ free channels.

  • Optimum router rental fee: $10 per month
  • Wi-Fi extenders: $3 a month per extender
  • Optimum Stream: $5 a month

Screenshot by author

If you prefer to use your own modem and router, you can save about $120 a year on that rental fee. (Just be sure your new equipment works with your Optimum service.) We’ve got router recommendations that range from budget picks to gaming beasts.

Service fees

Optimum’s fees are comparable to other large internet providers in the US. We recommend signing up for service online so you can grab a free or discounted installation.

  • Standard installation: Free when you buy online, otherwise the standard rate is $99.00
  • Premium installation: $59.00 one-time fee if you order online or a $149.99 one-time fee if you order over the phone. Premium installation includes Wi-Fi configuration of up to six devices and hardwiring of one device.
  • Service restoration fee (1–2 products): $10.00
  • Service restoration fee (3+ products): $15.00
  • Home wiring: $80.00 one-time fee if your home requires cables or wiring so the technician can install your internet
optimum-internet-review-installation

Screenshot by author

Optimum customer service

Optimum’s customer satisfaction rating on the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) report plummeted from 65 out of 100 to 60 out of 100.1 That puts it at the bottom of the list in terms of how satisfied customers are. Its HighSpeedInternet.com score also dropped from 3.92 out of 5 to 3.6 out of 5.2

Optimum internet customer service rating
Rating
Score
ACSI 2020–202160 out of 100
HighSpeedInternet.com3.6 out of 5

We have a feeling that your experience with Optimum’s customer service might be mixed. Poor customer service is an issue that most internet providers need to work on.

While the ISPs are getting their act together, here are some tips on dealing with internet customer service reps that should keep you from throwing your cell phone across the room in anger.

On a somewhat related note, one excellent feature we saw on Optimum’s website was a full set of accessibility adjustments. These range from settings that affect visibility of text and images, a keyboard navigator, and an ADHD-friendly mode.

This is a feature we hope to see on more sites.

Screenshot by author

Recap: Is Optimum internet good?

Optimum internet is an excellent choice for most residents of the Northeast. It provides good value in terms of pricing, speeds, and data, including some of the cheapest prices in the region.

  • Prices and plans: All of Optimum’s internet plans are budget-friendly, and none of the plans come with an automatic price hike after a certain amount of time. When compared to AT&T Fiber, Astound Broadband (formerly RCN), and Verizon Fios Home Internet, Optimum’s internet prices are right on the money, if not cheaper.
  • Speed: Optimum offers a wide range of download speeds, meaning you won’t need to pay more for speed you don’t need or suffer through speeds that are too slow. But watch out for slow upload speeds on its cable internet plans.
  • Data caps: All Optimum internet plans come with unlimited data, so no need to worry about overage fees.
  • Contracts, equipment, and fees: Optimum doesn’t require contracts, plus its equipment and service fees are reasonable.
  • Customer service: Optimum, like most internet providers, could improve in the customer service department. But we do like the customer-friendly accessibility options on its site.

Optimum internet recap

3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Download speeds
100940 Mbps
Upload speeds
5940 Mbps
Data cap
Unlimited
Starting from
$29.99
/mo
Data effective 05/04/2022. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Methodology

To provide a thorough review of Optimum internet, we considered the following features:

  1. Price
  2. Download and upload speed
  3. Data cap
  4. Any additional fees or contract requirements

We then compared these features to other internet providers serving the same area to get an idea of whether or not Optimum offers good value with its internet service.

FAQ

Do you have more questions about Optimum? Ask away!

No. Optimum’s Open Internet Disclosure clearly states that it doesn’t block or slow anyone’s access to lawful internet content or services.3 But it does reserve the right to prevent harmful or illegal activity online, which mitigates threats such as viruses and other malware.

P.S. If you suspect your slow connection isn’t your fault, here’s how to tell if your ISP is throttling your speed.

Yes, Optimum even offers loyalty discounts if you stay with them, so we recommend following the moving instructions on Optimum’s site.

But remember that Optimum’s service “footprint” is mostly confined to the Tri-State area of Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York.

Yes, Altice bought Cablevision in 2016, and as part of that deal acquired Optimum as well. Altice also owns several other media and communications companies in the US, including Optimum, Suddenlink, Cheddar, and Altice Mobile (now Optimum Mobile).

Sources

Catherine McNally
Written by
Catherine McNally
Catherine has a degree in journalism and an MBA, and has spent the last 10+ years writing everything from Okinawa travel guides to stories on Medium. She’s been online since AOL CDs were a thing and is an unapologetic PC gamer. She believes the internet is a necessity, not a luxury, and writes reviews and guides to help everyone stay connected. You can also find her on Twitter: @CMReviewsIt.

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