Optimum Internet Review: Customers Say It “Gets the Job Done”

You get fast speeds with Optimum, but reliability varies.

Optimum Internet at a glance
Optimum
Overall Quality ⁃ 2.5/5
bullet 3.0/5 - Speed and reliability
bullet 3.0/5 - Dollar value
bullet 1.5/5 - Customer experience
man popping out of a laptop with a speech bubbles with Wi-Fi, thumbs up, piggy bank
Kelly Huh
Jul 18, 2024
Icon Time To Read9 min read

Optimum internet offers unlimited data, fast speeds, and reasonable promotional prices in the Northeast.

The provider makes it on to our fastest internet providers list, advertising up to 8,000Mbps download speed, but several customers that Reviews.org talked to said they experience speeds that are slower-than-advertised. There are also extra fees to be aware of, such as the mandatory monthly Network Enhancement Fee and service-call fees any time a technician comes to your home. If you want to save yourself the cost of a technician visit, you can add a Total Care package to your monthly bill—but it doesn’t cover every type of repair.

“They get the job done. It’s not bad,” says Geoffrey Turbeville, a graduate student in Brooklyn, New York. Despite experiencing slow speeds, Turbeville’s internet works most of the time—and that’s good enough for him.

Read our review to find out what you’re getting into when you sign up for Optimum and whether it’s worth it.

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Get to know Optimum—plans and pricing

Plan
Price
Price after 12 months
Internet + Mobile Bundle Price (first 12 months)
Download speed
Details
300 Mbps Internet$40/mo.*$70.00/mo.$55.00–$85.00/mo.** Up to 300 Mbps
500 Mbps Internet$60/mo.$90.00/mo.$100.00/mo** Up to 500Mbps
1 Gig Internet$80/mo.$110.00/mo.$110.00/mo** Up to 940 Mbps
300 Mbps Fiber Internet$40/mo.*$70.00/mo.$55.00/mo. with 1GB mobile**Up to 300 Mbps
500 Mbps Fiber Internet$60/mo.$90.00/mo.$85.00/mo.** Up to 500 Mbps
1 Gig Fiber Internet$80/mo.$110.00/mo.$100.00/mo.** Up to 940 Mbps
2 Gig Fiber Internet$120/mo.^$130.00/mo.$110.00/mo.** Up to 2000 Mbps
5 Gig Fiber Internet$180/mo.^$200.00/mo.$135.00/mo.** Up to 5000 Mbps
8 Gig Fiber Internet$280/mo.^$300.00/mo.$185.00/mo.**Up to 8000 Mbps
* w/ Auto Pay & Paperless Bill. Wired connection. WiFi speeds may vary. Not available in all areas. Terms apply.
For 1 yr. w/ Auto Pay & Paperless Bill. Wired connection. WiFi speeds may vary. Not available in all areas. Max auto renews after 6 months at then prevailing rate (currently $15.99/mo). Price sbjct to change. Terms apply.
For 1 yr. w/ Auto Pay & Paperless Bill. Wired connection up to 940 Mbps. WiFi speeds may vary. Not available in all areas. Max auto renews after 12 months at then prevailing rate (currently $15.99/mo). Price sbjct to change. Terms apply.
^ For 1 yr. w/ Auto Pay & Paperless Bill. Wired connection. WiFi speeds may vary. Not available in all areas. Max auto renews after 12 months at then prevailing rate (currently $15.99/mo). Price sbjct to change. Terms apply.
Internet promotional pricing for first 12 months of service with autopay $5 discount and paperless billing. Following promo period, monthly price will increase in periodic increments, with advance notice, up to the rate card price.
**Bundled with mobile.

Optimum offers cable and fiber internet services with unlimited data and speeds that range from 300Mbps all the way up to a whopping 8Gbps, depending on your location. As of Optimum’s 2024 first-quarter results, only about eight percent of Optimum’s four million residential or business broadband customers are on a fiber plan, but the service is continuing to expand to more locations.

Most of the plans start off at promotional rates for the first 12 months of service. According to Optimum’s website, the monthly fee will increase in periodic increments after the first year. Although nobody likes a price hike, new customers do get bougie perks like a free Optimum Gateway 6 with mesh technology (worth $130.00) and one free Wi-Fi extender so you can have better service throughout your home.

Freebies aside, there are other fees to watch out for—such as the monthly Network Enhancement Fee and service call fees for each time a technician is called out to your home. Signing up for a service plan like Total Care or Service Protection can mitigate those fees, but they aren’t full-coverage—we go into more detail on those farther down in this review. There are also live TV and 4K streaming packages you can add on to catch live sports, news, and the latest shows.

Optimum fees for modem and installation

Data cap

None

Contract

Month to month

Optimum Gateway 6

Free

Network Enhancement Fee

$6.00/mo.

Service call

$80.00 per visit

Extender (optional)

$2.95–$3.00/mo. (first Whole Home Extender free)

Autopay one-time credit

$25.00 credit applied to your first month's bill

Installation

Free for self-install kit, $100.00 for professional installation

Total Care (optional)

$15.00/mo.

Premier Protection and Support (optional)

$19.99/mo.

Premier Technical Support (optional)

$17.99/mo.

Service Protection (optional)

$7.99/mo.

Data as of 6/25/24.

What makes this review legit?

Our fact-based research process centers on interviews with internet customers across the country, helping us understand how internet services hold up against diverse needs and challenges.

To put together this review, we spoke with customers via LinkedIn and a dozen others on Facebook. We also talked to an Optimum spokesperson on Optimum’s speed rankings. To make sure we got our facts right, we looked over all the details of Optimum’s pricing and speed offerings, checked data from our speed test, examined public surveys and customer-satisfaction reports, and contacted customer service to get more clarity on price hikes.

how we review products and services

The rundown—Optimum by our criteria

For all our internet reviews, we give a rating based on three main criteria—speed and reliability, dollar value, and customer experience—which we then average to make an overall score.

Want to know how Optimum stacks up? See our full take below.

Overall score: 2.5/5

Speed and reliability

internet speed
3.0/5.0

Optimum slides into the top five of Reviews.org’s Fastest Internet Providers, with its fast and reliable fiber packages up to 8,000Mbps. However, most people can just stick with the gigabit plan or lower for regular streaming, gaming, and video calls. Fiber is the most reliable type of internet you can get. Optimum’s fiber plans get you symmetrical download and upload speeds, which give you lots of bandwidth to support remote video calls, fast video uploads, livestreaming, and other heavy-duty tasks.

However, a full 92% of Optimum customers have cable connections, according to a May 2024 report to shareholders. The company offers a good range of cable internet speeds, but these plans aren’t as fast as fiber and some customers report having issues with slow speeds and regular outages: Even though Geoffrey Turbeville pays for a 500Mbps cable plan, he usually only gets 80Mbps speeds. That works for him—“I don’t actually ever need any more out of it,” he says—but it’s not ideal.

Dollar value

dollar value
3.0/5.0

Optimum’s promotional prices are reasonable, but after 12 months, your monthly bill gets raised to a standard rate. According to Optimum’s pricing website, customers should expect an increase of $10-$30 per month. If you’re on the fiber plan, you may still find the increased cost to be worth it because of the superior reliability. But that’s a pretty steep price hike for a cable customer, considering that the service might not always be the most reliable.

That said, you can also take advantage of bundle deals with the provider’s cellular brand, Optimum Mobile. And many customers on a budget may qualify for Optimum Advantage, which delivers sluggish 50Mbps download speeds but costs just $14.99 a month.

Speaking with Reviews.org, a customer service representative recommended calling customer service before you hit your one-year mark to negotiate a better deal. Josh Michael, a non-profit director and long-term Optimum customer in Brooklyn, does just that at the end of each year to maintain his promo prices. “I had to talk to a few people along the way and spent a little time waiting,” he says about his most recent attempt at lowering his bill. “But once I got to somebody in the right role, they were perfectly happy to honor the promotional price.”

Customer experience

customer experience
1.5/5.0

Optimum gets low ratings for customer service in HighSpeedInternet.com’s customer satisfaction survey. It comes in last in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) for non-fiber internet service providers.

Several customers told Reviews.org that they experience outages at a frustrating rate and that they get much slower speeds than what they pay for. The good news is that if your internet is out for more than four hours and it’s directly Optimum’s fault, you get a full credit on your bill for the time lost, just as long as you contact them within 30 days.

Some customers describe positive experiences with customer service, but others don’t feel motivated to make a service request because it costs an $80 fee to get a technician to come by and work on an issue. Depending on the customer’s wiring situation, even the additional technical support plans won’t cover the repairs.

Professional installation costs $100, but self-installation is free. Customers can reach out to customer support through the phone, the provider’s web-based chat service, Optimum’s Facebook page, or on Twitter/X. You do need a customer account number in order to be transferred to a real person through the web-based chat. There is a loophole–if you go to the mobile and internet bundle webpage, the mobile support chat connects almost immediately to a live agent after you answer a few screening questions. 

How long it took to get a real human on the phone: less than a minute.

How the chat service is: Online chat support for Optimum internet requires you to submit your account number to get to a live agent, otherwise you get limited chatbot responses. If you try the chat function on Optimum’s mobile support web pages, you can connect to a helpful live agent.

Overall quality

overall quality
2.5/5.0

Optimum offers fast speeds, and you can’t go wrong with the provider’s reliable fiber service. A cable plan from Optimum can get the job done too, but it might not be as reliable as a better-rated competitor like Spectrum or Verizon 5G Home Internet. Whatever plan you’re on, it’s worth a shot calling before your promotional period ends to see if you can dodge the unpredictable promo prices and keep your low rates.

Optimum—what deals and promotions can you get?

If you sign up for Optimum internet online, you get free installation, saving you $100 right off the bat. Optimum also gives you a free cash-loaded Mastercard and a $60 bill credit when you sign up online for any plan that’s 500Mbps or higher.

deals badge
Get a $50-$200 prepaid card and free installation when you sign up online for plans 500Mbps or higher

Optimum add-ons and perks


Get Wi-Fi 6E included FREE with 1 Gig Fiber Internet.

Sign up for 1Gig internet plan


Get $400 off an iPhone 15 with qualifying trade-in

Sign up for 300Mbps plan and mobile bundle


Get a free iPhone 15 with qualifying trade-in

Sign up for 500Mbps plan and mobile plan or higher speed


Switch mobile providers and get up to $400

Transfer up to 4 numbers on any Unlimited line and earn up to $100 per line via an Optimum Prepaid Mastercard®.


What do customers think of Optimum?

Optimum customers who spoke with Reviews.org have mixed experiences. A couple customers felt that the provider is able to hit them with price hikes because they don’t have other realistic internet options they can switch to instead. “I don’t have any bargaining power,” says Geoffrey Turbeville, an Optimum cable customer who lives with his wife in Brooklyn, New York. He’s been an Optimum cable internet customer for six years–but only because it's the only high-speed internet provider available. “We really only have one option.”

Luther Shoultz, a business executive in Freehold, New Jersey, feels similarly. “If there were multiple providers available, companies could really start on really making sure customers are happy instead of making promises they can’t keep.” 

Josh Michael, an Optimum customer for eight years, has been able to negotiate prices because another provider became available in his neighborhood. “Once Verizon Fios came to my street, it changed things,” says Michael, who lives with his wife and two kids in Brooklyn. Michael told a customer rep at Optimum that he would switch providers unless Optimum maintained his promotional prices. This tactic has worked for the last three years. “Now I’m getting a good deal. Before I thought it was expensive,” he says.

Outages are common experiences

Courtney Joan, a college administrator and customer in Beacon, New York feels like she is getting a good deal, but the internet isn’t always reliable. “It’s a good value, but you get what you pay for,” says Joan, who works from home and uses her internet to take video calls. “I don’t like the speed and the irregularity of it. There are certain times Wi-Fi just drops out.” Even though she is on the 1Gig internet plan, Joan’s most recent internet speed test showed a mere 187Mbps download speed.

Even though you can apply for a credit if you experience an outage that’s longer than four hours, it’s no fun having spotty internet. Shoultz struggles with his internet speeds and reliability. He and his wife work from home, but find that Zoom calls are unpredictable. “She’s on calls and they’re getting dropped while she’s talking,” he says. Streaming isn’t working well either. “The TV service is spotty, especially now that it's over the internet. If you lose the internet, you also lose TV.”

Turbeville also notices slow or inconsistent internet when he’s watching the Yankees live on TV. “We need to unplug the router and plug it back in fairly regularly, but it does solve the problem,” he says.

Turbeville has previously run into a unique issue where he was billed for his upstair’s neighbor’s bill. “It almost shouldn’t be possible,” says Turbeville, who was taking a timed online exam at his home when his internet cut out. He found a way to look up his account and saw money owed, so he decided to pay the bill because he thought his internet was disconnected due to an unpaid balance. It turned out that he was just experiencing an outage and the charge was a complete mistake.

Turbeville wasn’t able to resolve the problem online, so he had to go to an Optimum shop to talk with someone face-to-face. It took 45 minutes to get his money credited back to him. “It was bizarre,” he recalls. “I don’t know how that happened.”

“They are communicative if there is an outage.” says Courtney Joan, an Optimum customer in New York.

Need to contact Optimum customer service?

Are Optimum’s optional support plans worth it?

Optimum offers support services you can access for a monthly fee, but they might not be worth it. The main support plan advertised is Total Care, which includes covered service-visit fees (saving you $80 per visit) along with priority positioning for technical support, technical support for equipment, and other benefits.

Even if you have Total Care, though, not all of your repairs will be covered. For example, you’d still have to pay for certain internet repairs that involve concealed wiring, non-Optimum-owned equipment, and complex or custom wiring. If you don’t sign up for Total Care, you can still access regular customer service for internet connectivity issues. So you probably shouldn’t bother signing up for Total Care or one of these other services unless you expect to need service visits on a regular basis.

Optimum Optional Support Plans

Plan
Price
Perk
Access to Asurion Support App
Customer Service
Details
Total Care$15.00/mo.Combines Premier Technical Support and Service Protection plans (cost of service visits covered and technical device support) YesPriority positioning in queue for a live representative for certain customer support calls
Service Protection$7.99/mo.The cost of the service visit is covered for repair for some inside wiring repairs, an issue relating to the use of Optimum products or services, connectors, and other customer equipment necessary for the operation of Optimum products and services.NoPriority positioning in queue for a live representative for certain customer support calls
Premier Technical Support (PTS)$17.99/mo.Technical support services are available for all the devices that can connect to your wireless network.Yes
Premier Protection & Support$19.99/mo.Technical support services for devices within your immediate household that can connect to your wireless network and access to a protection plan for certain qualifying products against failure due to breakdown.Yes
Internet protection powered by McAfee®$2.99/mo.Protect up to 20 devices including computers, tablets, smartphones with antivirus protection and parental controls. NoN/A

Where is Optimum available?

Optimum internet is available in 21 states, mostly as cable. Fiber internet is available in limited locations, such as the New York tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut). “We continue to expand our fiber services and multi-gig speeds across our footprint,” says Raffaella Mazzella, an Optimum spokesperson.

Optimum also has a Wi-Fi hotspot map which is free for anyone on an Optimum internet plan if you want to connect your laptop, phone, or tablet while you’re out and about.

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Optimum vs. the competition

A big contender for Optimum is Verizon Fios, which offers fiber plans that are just as fast as Optimum but cheaper in the long run. Verizon also gets much better ratings for customer satisfaction in HighSpeedInternet’s 2023 Customer Satisfaction Survey, with 95% of customers saying they’re satisfied with their service.

Another major contender is Spectrum. The widely-available cable provider offers TV and mobile bundles with its internet, fast speeds, and unlimited data. However, Spectrum also has additional fees like Wi-Fi service and self-installation that seem like they should be free.

Compare internet providers and prices

Service
Plan
Price
Download speed
Details
Verizon Fios Home InternetFios 300 Mbps$49.99/mo.°300 Mbps
Spectrum InternetInternet 300 Mbps$49.99/mo.**Up to 300Mbps
MetroNet500 Mbps$49.95/mo. for 12 months ††500 Mbps
XfinityConnect More$25.00-$30.00/mo.‡‡300Mbps
FrontierFiber 500$44.99/mo. w/ Auto Pay and Paperless Bill^^500 Mbps
° Price per month with Auto Pay & without select 5G mobile plans. Fios plan prices include taxes & fees
** For 12 months when bundled. Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter.
†† For 12 months. Offers available to new residential customers only and may not be combined with other offers. MetroNet reserves the right to revoke or modify offers at any time. Taxes, fees, and other terms apply. Pricing and speeds not available in all areas
‡‡ For 24 months. No term contract. Taxes not included. Includes $10/mo automatic payments and paperless billing discount. Prices may vary by location.
^^ w/ Auto Pay & Paperless Bill. Max wired speed 500/500 Mbps. Wi-Fi, actual & average speeds vary. One-time charges apply.

Want Optimum? Find it in your area.

Optimum fiber is still a worthwhile internet plan. If you’re looking to switch your provider, type in your zip code below to find the best plans near you. 

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Kelly Huh
Written by
Kelly Huh is a journalist who covers internet service providers for Reviews.org. Originally from New Zealand, Kelly bought a one-way ticket to America to study at Brigham Young University, where she graduated with a BA in Communications. Since college, Kelly has gone on to write and edit featured content for technology companies in the Economist, Forbes, Vox, Bloomberg Green, and industry trade publications.

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