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Verizon and Optimum (formerly known as Altice) are two of the most popular internet service providers (ISPs) on the East Coast.
Each one has something unique to offer. Verizon Fios Home Internet offers super-fast and reliable speeds, while Optimum’s prices are unbeatable.
Overall, we think Verizon is probably the better option for most people. But it depends on what kind of data speeds you want and what price you’re willing to pay. Read the rest of this Verizon vs. Optimum internet review to get all the details.
Verizon Fios Home Internet pros and cons
Optimum internet pros and cons
Verizon Fios Home Internet vs. Optimum Internet: Prices
Optimum is the clear winner in the price category—their internet plans are just cheaper.
A 1 gigabit-speed internet plan for $65.00 is just a wildly good deal, no matter how you look at it. You can see all of the company’s prices in the chart below.
|300 Mbps Internet||$40.00/mo.*||Up to 300 Mbps||Cable||View Plan|
|500 Mbps Internet||$60.00/mo.*||Up to 500 Mbps||Cable||View Plan|
|1 Gig Internet||$80.00/mo.*||Up to 940 Mbps||Cable||View Plan|
|300 Mbps Fiber Internet||$40.00/mo.†||Up to 300 Mbps||Fiber||View Plan|
|500 Mbps Fiber Internet||$60.00/mo.†||Up to 500 Mbps||Fiber||View Plan|
|1 Gig Fiber Internet||$80.00/mo.†||Up to 940 Mbps||Fiber||View Plan|
|2 Gig Fiber Internet||$100.00/mo.†||Up to 2000 Mbps||Fiber||View Plan|
|5 Gig Fiber Internet||$180.00/mo.†||Up to 5000 Mbps||Fiber||View Plan|
These prices are cheaper than Verizon and many other top internet providers. But whenever something is cheaper, you have to ask why. In this case, one seemingly obvious reason for Optimum’s cheaper pricing is the company’s infrastructure.
While Verizon Fios Home Internet is totally converted to fiber connections, many of Optimum’s customers will be stuck on cable internet connections. While cable can still give you faster download speeds, it can’t match fiber when it comes to upload speeds or overall reliability.
Some of Optimum’s customers will get lucky and snag a fiber internet connection. But the availability of its fiber connections is still limited, so it’s more likely you’ll be stuck with cable.
Verizon and Optimum want to lure you to their service with some pretty great perks. Both companies are offering $200 prepaid cards right now when you sign up for top-tier plans. On top of that, Optimum will give you a free HBO MAX subscription, while Verizon is hooking new customers up with a free Disney+ subscription.
For those who don’t live in Optimum’s limited fiber coverage range, paying an extra $10 for Verizon Fios’s faster, more reliable speeds might be worth it.
You can see all of Verizon’s prices here.
|Internet 300/300||$49.99/mo.‡||300 Mbps||Fiber||View Plan|
|Internet 500/500||$69.99/mo.‡||500 Mbps||Fiber||View Plan|
|Internet 1 Gig||$89.99/mo.‡||Up to 940 Mbps||Fiber||View Plan|
To only pay $40 for a 300 Mbps fiber internet connection is pretty great, even if it is pricier than Optimum. But, at the higher tiers, Verizon’s prices do jump far above Optimum. (Optimum’s gigabit-speed plan is a full $40 cheaper!)
While we like that neither of these providers forces customers into a contract, that does mean that they can raise prices whenever they want (as long as they give you some notice). Gone are the days of Optimum’s “Price for Life” guarantee.
Verizon Fios Home Internet vs. Optimum Internet: Speed and data caps
Getting a good price on your internet plan is important. But it isn’t worth much if you don’t have enough speed for the streaming, gaming, Zooming, and everything else that you want to do.
So, how do these two ISPs compare when it comes to data speeds?
In short, Verizon Fios Home Internet is faster than Optimum. Verizon’s network is more advanced than Optimum’s, meaning more customers are connected using fiber cables.
The two companies look really similar when it comes to download speeds. But It’s the upload speeds and the reliability of speeds that tell the story here.
In general, Verizon’s Fios Home Internet will give you symmetrical download and upload speeds (meaning they’ll be the same). As you can see, Verizon’s minimum upload speed is 300 Mbps. This makes Verizon one of the best internet providers for gaming, working from home, and all kinds of other high-demand activities.
You may have seen information about Verizon’s “High-Speed Internet” plan that costs $70 a month and comes with varying download speeds. This plan is a DSL plan, which means it's much slower and less reliable than fiber. Because it’s only available in limited areas, and isn’t technically Verizon “Fios,” we’ve left it out of this review.
Optimum, on the other hand, has a bit of an issue with upload speeds on its non-fiber plans. In fact, the company recently announced a big cut to its upload speeds.1
Now, even customers on the non-fiber Gig speed plan will have just 35 Mbps upload speeds. That’s significantly (if not absurdly) lower than the 800+ Mbps you’ll see from a fiber connection at that speed.
These sluggish upload speeds could end up being a deal breaker for people who need a reliable connection for gaming and video conferencing.
Verizon Fios Home Internet vs. Optimum Internet: Data caps
A data cap on your home internet plan can be a real bummer. Imagine being in the middle of the season finale of Succession, only to find out that you’ve hit your data limit and have to either stop or suffer the consequences (a hefty fee, usually).
Thankfully, Optimum internet doesn’t have a data cap on any of its internet Wi-Fi plans. And Verizon doesn’t seem to have a data cap. The company doesn’t openly talk about it, but user reviews suggest that Verizon lets its customers use as much data as they want.
Verizon Fios Home Internet vs. Optimum Internet: Customer service
Internet companies aren’t really known for their customer service expertise. But that doesn’t mean you should resign yourself to a purgatory of hold music and unhelpful web forums. In fact, Verizon seems to be making a real effort to help its customers.
Verizon takes second place in the most recent Telecommunications Study from the American Customer Satisfaction Survey.2 That means that, overall, the 37,907 surveyed customers thought the company was doing a good job. Optimum, not so much.
Optimum came in tenth place in the survey, with a score of 60 out of 100. That means if you have a problem you might have a harder time getting your questions answered, your problems solved, and your internet back online.
|ACSI 2021||71 out of 100||60 out of 100|
If you find yourself having issues with either company’s customer service, check out these nifty tips for getting customer service help from a real-life human being.
Verizon Fios Home Internet vs. Optimum: Which is better?
While both ISPs have something to offer, Verizon’s superior speeds and customer service give it the upper hand overall. But Optimum’s prices are definitely more budget-friendly.
- Best prices: Optimum’s prices are lower than Verizon’s by a good margin, especially when it comes to Gig speed plans.
- Best performance: Verizon’s higher prices make more sense when you consider how much faster and reliable its service is for most customers.
- Best bundles: It’s a tie. Both Verizon and Optimum offer awesome savings when you bundle internet and TV service.
- Best data caps: Another tie. Neither company seems to put any limits on how much data you can use.
- Best customer service: Verizon’s customer service stands out in an industry that’s usually not known for actually helping its customers.
Best prices: Optimum Internet
- CNET, “Altice plans to cut upload speeds for its Optimum and Suddenlink cable internet plans”
- American Customer Satisfaction Index, “Telecommunications Study 2020-2021”