Optimum home internet plans
By Joe Supan Last updated: June 29, 2022
Optimum internet plans come with fast speeds, but watch out for price increases. We provide all the information you need to make a fully informed decision.
Best Optimum plans for your home
Best for most households – 300 Mbps
Fast enough to support streaming and gaming on multiple devices at once
Best for work from home families – 500 Mbps
The Fiber Internet 500 plan gets you 500 Mbps of both upload and download speed, so you won’t have to worry about your Zoom connection stumbling in the middle of a meeting
Best for smart homes and serious gamers – 1,000 Mbps
For houses with a lot of connected devices and heavy data usage
Optimum internet review
Optimum’s internet plans are pricier than average, but they’re a decent option for households that require a lot of bandwidth. Just be prepared for your bill to triple in price after 12 months.
We graded Optimum internet on a scale of 1 to 5 across four major categories. To learn more, read about our review methodology.
Optimum internet rating
3.55 / out of 5 stars
This score is based off of the 3 plans Optimum has available
2.89 / 5
4.25 / 5
3.96 / 5
3.53 / 5
If you’re shopping for internet service in the greater NYC area, it’s likely that Optimum internet will be an option. In New York, you’ll find Optimum internet service in The Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Poughkeepsie and Yonkers, among other NY cities. Optimum is available to over 12 million people. Coverage also extends to western Connecticut, eastern New Jersey and parts of rural Pennsylvania.
Optimum has both cable and fiber internet plans available, and it’s been rapidly building its fiber network in recent years in order to reach more homes. But no matter what’s available to you, Optimum’s internet plans are known for high speeds and high prices.
The slowest speeds you can get are 300 Mbps — a high starting point compared to other internet providers. But you will pay more for those speeds. While Optimum’s rates are pretty affordable when you first sign up, they increase by $75 to $95/mo. after one year. Most internet providers raise prices, but that’s significantly more than anyone else.
That doesn’t necessarily mean Optimum is a bad deal. It has one of our highest scores of any provider for value, which measures how much speed you’re getting for the price. But it’s important to be aware that you’ll be paying a lot more than what you signed up for at some point.
How we scored internet providers
We evaluate broadband providers in four categories: affordability, performance, value and customer satisfaction. Each category contains multiple sub-factors, all of which are weighted differently to impact the provider’s overall score.
For each sub-factor, we score all providers on a continuous scale of one to five, relative to the industry as a whole. Because the average download speed in America is currently 180 Mbps, for example, we assigned all plans with download speeds between 100 and 299 Mbps a score between three and four. Xfinity’s 200 Mbps plan received a 3.50 score for download speed, while Spectrum’s 400 Mbps plan got a 4.16.
We only considered standardized data points in our scoring system. More abstract data like consistency of service and brand reputation is still part of our analysis, but we opted to let our writers address them in the context of each review.Learn more about our methodology
Best plan: Fiber Internet 1 Gig
Optimum internet plans, pricing and speeds
Which Optimum internet prices and plans are available to you depends on your location. We’ve listed some popular Optimum plans below, but the best way to get accurate plan information for your address is to call and speak with our internet experts.
|Optimum plan||Download speed||Upload speed||Starting price*||Allconnect score|
|Optimum 300||300 Mbps||20 Mbps||$39.99/mo.*||3.40/5|
|Optimum 500||500 Mbps||20 Mbps||$59.99/mo.*||3.41/5|
|Optimum 1 Gig||940 Mbps||35 Mbps||$79.99/mo.*||3.61/5|
*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. As of 06/23/22
Optimum’s fiber plans are only available to around one million homes in the U.S. However, Altice, Optimum’s parent company, is steadily growing their fiber capability with service rollouts. Generally, it’s always a good idea to go with fiber over cable, as it’s less prone to traffic congestion.
That said, Optimum’s 500 and 940 Mbps plans are well above what most households need — 500 Mbps would be enough to stream Netflix in 4K on 20 TVs at the same time. If you need to work from home or video conference, pay special attention to the slower upload speeds on the non-fiber plans. If work is a priority for your home internet needs, consider the fiber plans.
The other thing to be aware of with Optimum is the price increases, which are the highest of any provider we’ve seen by far. No matter which plan you choose, your bill will go up by $75 to $95/mo. after 12 months. The only provider that received a lower score for affordability in our analysis was Suddenlink.
For most households, the Optimum 300 plan should be fast enough to support multiple devices for streaming and gaming. Serious gamers might require more upload speed than the 20 Mbps you get on this plan, but it should be plenty for most situations.
If you live in a house with multiple people working and learning from home, it might be worth upgrading to one of Optimum’s fiber plans. Fiber Internet 500 gets you 500 Mbps of both upload and download speed, so you won’t have to worry about your Zoom connection stumbling in the middle of a meeting. That said, it has the biggest price increase of any Optimum plan — from $35/mo. all the way to $130/mo. in year two.
For houses with a lot of connected devices and heavy data usage, the Optimum’s Fiber Internet 1 Gig plan is as heavy duty an internet plan as you’ll find. It provides 940 Mbps of upload and download speed, which is enough to power even the most connected homes.
Optimum speed averages
In general, what you pay for is what you get with Optimum. According to the FCC’s most recent Fixed Broadband Report, Optimum customers on average received around 114% of the speeds that they were advertised. In other words, Optimum actually over-delivers on speed.
That doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get faster-than-advertised speeds all the time — things like router placement, time of day and the number of connected devices can all impact internet speed — but it’s still a mark in Optimum’s favor.
Discounted internet for low-income students, seniors and veterans
In addition to the plans listed above, there is also a discounted option called Optimum Advantage Internet for select groups. This plan costs just $14.99/mo. and gets you up to 50 Mbps speeds, free installation, free equipment and no data caps or contracts. Here’s who qualifies for Optimum Advantage Internet:
- Households with students: Your household must qualify for or participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Optimum Advantage Internet is also open to New York City residents attending a New York City public school.
- Seniors: You must be 65 years or older and eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
- Veterans: You must be a veteran and receive state or federal public assistance.
In addition to the discounted internet, Optimum Advantage customers can also purchase a refurbished Chromebook laptop for just $149.
Optimum equipment, installation, data caps and contracts
Like all internet providers, the price that’s advertised to you is usually quite a bit lower than what you’ll actually pay each month. We combed through the fine print to find all of the fees you can expect to see with your Optimum Wi-Fi plan.
Optimum charges $13.50/mo. for equipment: $10 for the modem/router and $3.50 for a “network maintenance fee.” This includes their Altice Gateway device, plus Optimum Wi-Fi service.
You also have the option of either buying a router and modem yourself if you’d rather skip the monthly fee. There are other benefits to going this route, too. Some of the most common complaints from customers are about their Optimum Wi-Fi equipment not performing as promised. In many cases, investing in better equipment can drastically improve the speeds you get.
Free Wi-Fi extender
In some areas, Optimum is throwing in a free Wi-Fi extender with some plans. This device can be placed in another area of your home so that your Wi-Fi connection reaches every corner of the house. You’ll get one included for free, but you can also add extras for $3/mo. each for extra coverage.
Optimum charges a $59 one-time fee for standard installation on most plans, but it is increased to $99 on some internet and TV bundles. Self-installation is always free, though.
No data caps
There are no data caps on any Optimum internet plans, so you won’t have to worry about cutting back your streaming or gaming habits.
Optimum doesn’t require contracts on any of its plans. If you want to switch service or move, you can do it at any time without incurring any early termination fees.
What’s the final price for Optimum internet?
Expect to pay at least around $19/mo. more than what’s advertised or Optimum internet plans. Equipment fees cost $13.50/mo. on every plan, and taxes typically add another $5/mo., too (but you’ll have to pay that with any internet plan). Additionally, after Optimum’s 12-month promotional rates, your bill will increase between $75 and $95/mo. If you have Optimum’s Internet 500 plan, you can expect to pay around $64/mo. in the first year and then around $149/mo. after that.
3.55 / 5
Optimum home internet compared to other providers
Optimum might not be the only internet option in your area. In the four states that Optimum has service — New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut — there are several other providers available. Here’s how it compares to some of its biggest competition:
|Provider||Allconnect score||Starting prices||Download speeds||Upload speeds|
|Optimum||3.61/5||$39.99-79.99/mo.||300-940 Mbps||20-940 Mbps|
|Verizon Fios||4.01/5||$39.99-89.99/mo.||200-940 Mbps||200-880 Mbps|
|Frontier Fiber||3.78/5||$54.99-154.99/mo.||500-2000 Mbps||50-880 Mbps|
*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. As of 06/23/22.
If you can get fiber optic service from Verizon Fios in your area, it’s a better service for most people. Optimum vs. Frontier is a toss-up: Optimum’s plans are more affordable, but Frontier has higher 2022 customer satisfaction ratings. Frontier’s customer service ratings have surpassed Optimum, at 61/100 to Optimum’s 59/100. For comparison, Verizon had the highest customer satisfaction scores of any provider we reviewed.
Speeds from all three providers max out at 940 Mbps, but you won’t have to deal with the same price hikes from Frontier and Verizon. Frontier only raises prices by $10/mo. in the second year, while Verizon’s price doesn’t increase at all. By the time you get to year two, you’ll pay $140/mo. for Optimum’s gig plan, compared to $80/mo. with Verizon and $90/mo. with Frontier.
Optimum is known for being slightly more reliable, especially when it comes to providing fast internet service. If you are a current Optimum customer, you can check your internet speeds through Allconnect to determine if you are getting the speeds you paid for.
Bundle Optimum internet with cable TV
There are four Optimum TV packages that you can add to your internet service, but you won’t save very much compared to purchasing standalone TV service somewhere else. While these bundles are usually pretty affordable in the first year, you can expect to pay quite a bit more in year two, although it’s unclear exactly how much. Optimum simply says, “As of 13th mo. service will be billed at regular rate and is subject to change.”Learn more about Optimum’s bundles
Optimum Stream device
Optimum is now offering a streaming device called Optimum Stream for free with its Gig plan, or $5/mo. with all other plans. It works like a Roku or Amazon Fire TV — just plug it into your TV and you’ll immediately have access to thousands of streaming apps like Netflix and HBO Max (although you’ll still have to subscribe to them separately). The remote is also built-in with Google Assistant, so you can use your voice to search for shows and movies.
Optimum internet customer satisfaction
Although Optimum normally ranks right in the middle in customer satisfaction compared to other providers, in 2022 its ranking dropped. The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) gave Optimum a 59/100, which is 1 point lower than its score in 2021.
Consumer Reports readers also had a negative view on Optimum. It received just a 54/100 overall score, which was ahead of only Frontier and Suddenlink, which is run by the same parent company as Optimum, Altice. Complaints with the company generally center around missed appointments with technicians, unexpected charges and frustrating customer service experiences.
Optimum internet and Wi-Fi FAQs
Yes. Optimum offers multiple internet-only plans with speeds up to 940 Mbps in select areas.
Yes. Optimum internet provides unlimited high-speed Wi-Fi internet with no data caps. Plus, Optimum ranks very well in customer satisfaction.
Yes. If you choose to buy your own modem in order to save on costs, make sure that it is compatible with Optimum’s service and download speeds. You don’t want your modem to be the reason why your internet is slow. Also, be aware that you will not receive the same customer service you would receive if you rented your modem from Optimum.
Altice’s internet for low-income customers is called Altice Advantage Internet. Qualifying customers can get internet with speeds up to 30 Mbps, a free smart router, a free modem, discounted installation and more. Check eligibility.
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Written by:Joe Supan
Senior Writer, Broadband Content
Joe Supan is the senior writer for Allconnect and MyMove. He has helped build the proprietary metrics used on Allconnect’s review pages, utilizing thousands of data points to help readers navigate these comple… Read more
Edited by:Robin Layton
Editor, Broadband Content
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