Verizon Fios vs. Optimum Internet Review 2020
Choosing a new internet service provider (ISP) is like coming to a fork in the road and not having a map or GPS to tell you where to go.
Sure, you can go with your gut feeling, but it’s probably better to have a guide to tell you whether to turn down Verizon Fios Boulevard or Optimum Avenue.
All jokes aside, we’ll be your trusty guide. Read on to find out why we think Optimum is the budget buy (unless you want fast download speeds), and why we’re excited about the revamped TV and internet combos Verizon Fios offers. (P.S. We brought snacks for the trip.)
Verizon Fios Home Internet vs. Optimum: Prices
Both ISPs offer low prices, high value, and no annual contracts. That’s a win-win-win.
It’s almost like Verizon Fios Home Internet and Optimum are playing a game of tug-o-war with each other when it comes to value.
Both Verizon Fios and Optimum start out as great budget deals with their 200 Mbps and 300 Mbps plans, respectively, but we think Optimum is a slightly better deal just because you’ll get slightly faster speeds. But things end in Verizon’s favor when you see what it charges for its 400 Mbps and up to 940 Mbps plans.
Honestly, none of these prices are outrageous. We think you’ll find it hard to get a cheaper internet plan.
But when it comes to pure speed at a low price, the Fios Gigabit Connection plan is one of the best-priced, near-gig plans out there. (And honestly, we think Verizon is just being modest with that “up to 940 Mbps” download speed.)
|Internet 200/200||$39.99/mo.*||200 Mbps||View Plans|
|Internet 400/400||$59.99/mo.*||400 Mbps||View Plans|
|Fios Gigabit Connection||$79.99/mo.†||Up to 940 Mbps||View Plan|
Verizon Fios Home Internet packages don’t come with an annual contract. That’s a win in our book because you won’t face steep early termination fees if you have to move out of the Verizon Fios service area.
If your download-speed needs sit in between 200 and 400 Mbps, Optimum may be a better fit for you. Its prices for those speeds are right in line with or cheaper than other ISPs.
That said, we think the Optimum 300 plan is the perfect happy medium. The price for 300 Mbps is lower than most, and that download speed is more than enough to keep parents and a couple of kiddos streaming and gaming without interruption.
|Optimum 300||$39.99/mo.‡||300 Mbps||View Plan|
|Optimum 400||$64.99/mo.^||400 Mbps||View Plan|
Optimum also offers a Price for Life guarantee on its 400 Mbps internet plan as long as you remain in good standing (see: pay your bill on time). No one likes to see their bill go up over time, and Price for Life makes sure everything stays the same, right down to the last dollar sign. That’s a pretty sweet deal if you ask us.
Our only hesitation with Optimum is its small service area. If you’re not in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, or Pennsylvania, you’re out of luck if you want Optimum. Verizon Fios Home Internet, on the other hand, services a slightly bigger area of the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic US.1, 2
Verizon Fios Home Internet vs. Optimum: Internet speed
Optimum offers steady speeds, but Verizon’s fiber network pushes its speed close to a gigabit.
Anyone who runs a home office, games, or even binge-watches The Witcher on Netflix knows fast internet speed is a need. The last thing anyone wants is lag when they’re on a video call with their boss, setting their team up for a boss kill, or watching Geralt clash blades with a bad guy.
Both Verizon Fios Home Internet and Optimum are fast, but Verizon gets our vote for the fastest internet speed. That’s because it has a 100% fiber network that pushes its max download speeds to up to 940 Mbps. (Compared to Optimum’s cable network, which maxes out at 400 Mbps.)
That’s also why Verizon Fios Home Internet snags a win in our list of the fastest internet providers.
|Verizon Fios Home Internet||200–Up to 940 Mbps|
Still, Optimum’s speed is nothing to scoff at. Even though Verizon Fios Home Internet landed itself on our fastest ISPs list, Optimum performed just as well on the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s) latest Fixed Broadband Report.
This report measures providers’ actual download speeds and compares them to advertised speeds. We averaged out both Verizon’s and Optimum’s scores, and both ISPs delivered download speeds that were faster than what they advertised.3 But Optimum won this race by a nose.
|Provider||Average actual/advertised speed|
|Verizon Fios Home Internet||107.9%|
Data effective 1/13/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Verizon Fios vs. Optimum: Internet and TV combos
Your chances of finding the perfect TV and internet combo are best with Verizon’s Your Fios TV and Fios Home Internet.
Both Optimum and Verizon Fios are here to make sure you don’t miss your game or the latest episode of The Bachelor. You can mix and match your TV and internet plans almost any way you like with Verizon and Optimum, and each one offers a good variety of internet speeds and channel counts.
But we have to say, we’re in love with Verizon’s new approach to TV service with its Your Fios TV plan. We’re not fans of staring at long lists of channels in hopes our favorites will magically appear, so when Verizon introduced a plan where we pick our five favorite channels and it builds a TV plan based on those, we got excited.
Your Fios TV has a good mix of sports and entertainment channels, and you’ll always get broadcast network channels like ABC, CBS, and NBC. If you’re looking for more sports coverage, The Most Fios TV has just about every sports channel you could want—plus a few premium channels too.
We dive deeper into features and prices in our Verizon Fios TV service and Verizon TV and internet plans reviews, so give ‘em a read. But for now, here’s a quick peek at some of the ways you can mix and match your Verizon Fios TV and Home Internet service.
|Plan||Price||Internet download speed||TV channel count||Details|
|200 Mbps Internet + Your Fios TV||$89.99/mo.°||200 Mbps||125+||View Plans|
|400 Mbps Internet + Your Fios TV||$109.99/mo.°||400 Mbps||125+||View Plans|
|Fios Gigabit Internet + More Fios TV||$149.99/mo.**||up to 940 Mbps||300+||View Plans|
|Fios Gigabit Internet + The Most Fios TV||$169.99/mo.**||up to 940 Mbps||425+||View Plans|
While they don’t offer that pick-five feature we’ve fallen head over heels for, Optimum’s bundles are still good. You’ve got a lot to choose from, so it should be easy to find a TV and internet service combo that meets your needs.
One thing to note is that Optimum’s channel count starts higher than Verizon’s. We like that—and its starter Core TV plan even offers favorite channels like ESPN, Nickelodeon, and HGTV. You’ll also find a few premium channels hiding in its Premier TV packages. Noice.
Want to learn more about Optimum TV prices and channels? Check out our full Optimum TV review.
|Plan||Price||Internet download speed||TV channel count||Details|
|Optimum Core TV & Optimum 300||$74.99††||300 Mbps||220+||View Plans|
|Optimum Select TV & Optimum 200||$79.99††||200 Mbps||340+||View Plans|
|Optimum Core TV & Optimum 400||$84.99^||400 Mbps||220+||View Plans|
|Optimum Select TV & Optimum 300||$89.99††||300 Mbps||340+||View Plans|
|Optimum Select TV & Optimum 400||$99.99^||400 Mbps||340+||View Plans|
|Optimum Premier TV & Optimum 200||$99.99††||200 Mbps||420+||View Plans|
|Optimum Premier TV & Optimum 300||$109.99††||300 Mbps||420+||View Plans|
|Optimum Premier TV & Optimum 400||$119.99^||400 Mbps||420+||View Plans|
Verizon Fios vs. Optimum: Customer service
Verizon’s at the top of the class, but Optimum needs to improve its customer service.
We all have nightmarish memories of 80s one-hit-wonders playing on repeat while we wait on hold to find out if that internet outage is getting fixed soon.
Sadly, ISPs are notoriously unreliable when it comes to customer service. However, Verizon Fios leads the charge toward getting internet providers back on the right track.
Verizon Fios got the top score in the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s (ACSI’s) latest report, scoring 70 out of 100.4 That’s miles ahead of Optimum’s score of 63 out of 100 and the internet industry average score of 62 out of 100.4 Props to you, Verizon.
|ACSI 2018–2019||70 out of 100||63 out of 100|
Our friend in Virginia uses Verizon Fios Home Internet and says he’s never had a complaint about customer service. Any time he calls in, he’s taken care of by professional and respectful representatives. (And he rarely has to call in.)
Hopefully, Optimum will take a play or two from Verizon’s book. Actually, we’re hoping all the ISPs out there take a peek at what Verizon’s doing to keep its customer satisfaction score so high.
Verizon Fios vs. Optimum: Which is better?
We think there’s value to be found in both Verizon Fios and Optimum internet plans, but Verizon edges into the lead with faster overall speeds, some great TV and internet combo plans, and the best customer service out of all internet providers.
Still, Optimum’s internet plans and Price for Life guarantee aren’t easily dismissed. Here’s a quick recap of how these two ISPs matched up in our Verizon Fios vs. Optimum review:
- Pricing: Optimum. Optimum isn’t always cheaper than Verizon Fios Home Internet, but the two are never far apart on price. Still, Optimum offers a Price for Life guarantee on its 400 Mbps internet plan to its customers who pay their bill on time, and that’s pretty hard to beat.
- Speed: Verizon Fios Home Internet. While Optimum’s speed is respectable for most casual users, Verizon Fios Home Internet can boost your download speeds up to 940 Mbps. To top it off, the FCC found that both ISPs delivered faster speeds than they advertised.
- TV and internet bundles: Verizon Fios TV and Home Internet. This was almost a tie until Verizon Fios revealed its Your Fios TV plan. Pair it with your internet service, and you’ll get to choose your five favorite networks, then get a list of recommended channels. We can’t even.
- Customer service: Verizon Fios. Verizon Fios once again comes out on top when it comes to customer service. Optimum gets a passing score, but nothing to write home about.