Optimum Internet gives its customers some fast speeds for pretty great prices. But Optimum - owned by the giant corporation Altice - has one severe limitation, which we’re not going to give away just yet.
Suffice to say that if Optimum internet is available in your area, then you probably won’t have to worry about speeds or data caps – especially at their rates.
Plus, Optimum is contract-free – so no worries there!
But what exactly are Optimum’s plans? How about their bundles? Read on to find out.
Optimum Internet Plans + Prices
Optimum advertises 3 plans: 200Mbps, 300Mbps, and 400Mbps. Each one also costs just $10 bucks more a month that the next – not bad. It’s easy and straightforward speed and pricing options.
200Mbps is a pretty generous starting speed, especially considering that most others start at 10-25Mbps on their first tier, and usually for not much cheaper than Optimum’s 200Mbps rate.
But not only are these prices in line with other cable internet providers, Optimum’s are actually noticeably better - to the tune of $10-$25 cheaper than Cox or Xfinity Internet’s equivalent options.
And Spectrum – one of the other big cable ISPs – offers half the speeds (100Mbps) for the same price as Optimum’s 200Mbps plan!
Of course, you have to remember that the advertised speed and actual speeds can vary considerably, so the price-per-megabyte equation may vary and come out poorly, depending on your location.
That said, you probably don’t have to worry about it too much – more on that in a bit.
And yet, for those who need a lot of speed – like large households, multiple 4K-streaming, gaming, or otherwise bandwidth-super-using people – Optimum’s top-end cap of 400Mbps might seem cramped.
Competitors like Xfinity have 1- and even 2Gbps speed options in some areas; likewise, Cox internet goes up to 1Gbps, too.
And the opposite end of the spectrum is also true – for those that really don’t need much for speed, there are no slower, cheaper options available.
Xfinity’s 25- and 60Mbps plans are around $30 and $35 per month respectively; and Cox’s 10- and 30Mbps plans are $30 and $40, respectively.
So if you don’t need all that speed, you’re forced to pay for it anyway with Optimum, while competitors give you more options for less money.
Optimum is working on expanding a highly-limited-availability 1Gig plan – details to come.
Contracts. Love em’ or hate ‘em, they’re a fact of life – we tend to have mixed feelings ourselves.
Because often, you can get a much better rate with a contract than without – but then you’re stuck and have to face Early Termination Fees (ETFs) if you want out.
Optimum requires a 1-year agreement to get the prices advertised – so boo. But it is only 1 year. If you’re interested in no-contract options, check out Spectrum, Xfinity, or Frontier.
That said, typical contract rules apply: cancel before the end of your 1-year promo period, and you’ll face ETFs. Although Optimum is stingy on advertising specific numbers, we can tell you it’s a prorated fee based on the amount of time left in your contract.
Installation + other fees
Optimum keeps extra fees light, though – you’ll pay just $10 a month to rent a modem from them, or you can buy your own if you plan on sticking around.
The installation comes to about $149.99, but they have an online-only special – we’ll talk more about that in the next section.
You’ll also have to pay about $10 bucks a month to rent a modem/router combo - that’s standard. You can save some money by buying one yourself, though - just make sure it’s compatible with Optimum’s guidelines.
Optimum Bundles + Deals
|Altice One + Internet||Core Optimum TV + 200Mbps Internet||$64.99/mo.*||View plan|
|Optimum Core TV + Optimum 200 + Phone||Core Optimum TV + 200Mbps internet + Home phone||$69.99/mo.*||View plan|
|Optimum Core TV + Optimum 300 + Phone||Core Optimum TV + 300Mbps internet + Home phone||$79.99/mo.*||View plan|
|Optimum Core TV + Optimum 400 + Phone||Core Optimum TV + 400Mbps internet + Home phone||$89.99/mo.*||View plan|
*For 1st year, with 2-year agreement.
One of the areas Optimum really lacks in is bundling options. They really just have the one they advertise: Altice One, to be specific.
Altice One bundles together TV and internet, plus Wi-Fi service and streaming applications into one package. At time of writing, you save about $10 a month for the first year.
But, while that’s the only one they advertise, Optimum has a number of other bundles as well.
But, Optimum is giving you the option to grab free installation if you order online, and if you go with Altice One you’ll also get a $200 Amazon gift card – not bad.
Or, pick the 400Mbps plan and get a $100 Amazon gift card.
Optimum Internet Availability
We said we’d talk about it, and here we are at last. Took our time getting here, right?
Optimum’s biggest downfall is that its coverage area is very limited. Here’s a full list of the states you can find service in:
- New York
- New Jersey
Long list, right? Sadly not.
If Optimum were more widely available, they’d be one of the best options for a lot of people.
Optimum Internet Speed + Data
We already mentioned that Optimum is cable internet, so in most cases, you’ll wind up getting faster speeds than DSL options. But how does Optimum actually perform compared to the speeds they advertise?
Well, according to the FCC, Optimum is providing above-advertised speeds to most of its users. That’s both during peak-usage hours and less busy times.
In fact, unlike many other cable providers shown in the image above, Optimum has nearly equal performance whether their system has few or many users on it at once.
In addition, the latest Netflix ISP Leaderboard put Optimum in 5th-place. That ranking is based on performance during prime time Netflix viewing hours.
Optimum doesn’t do data caps – so you super-users I was talking to before? You’re good.
Except if you go crazy with data use. Optimum has exactly 1 thing to say on that topic:
But Optimum doesn’t elaborate on what that policy is, or what you’ll pay for it. Throttling? Overage fees? We couldn’t find out.
So – yikes if you do those things. For the rest of you, you should be fine.
Optimum Internet Customer Service
Customer reviews are – as always – a mixed bag, skewing toward the negative end of things. But, by the numbers, Optimum isn’t doing too bad.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index (pictured above) scored them the highest of all the cable ISPs, above Xfinity, Cox, Spectrum, and Mediacom.
That said, they could be better – they’ve got a ways to go before they separate from the rest of the pack and come close to touching AT&T internet and Verizon Fios.
If you want to get in touch with them, or you just need some help, Optimum’s support center gives you a few ways to do so:
Optimum’s plans are priced cheaply for the speeds you get. But, with such a limited coverage area and few bundling options, they won’t be the best provider for the majority of people – they’re just not widespread enough.
That said, if you live in NY, NJ, CT, or PA – check them out. It’s likely you’ll be able to get faster speeds for less than with other providers.
Can I take my Optimum service with me when I move?
Yes, you can. In fact, by doing so you get a 2-year “loyalty discount” – you can check out the details on their “Moving” page here.
To actually take your service with you, you’ll need to input some of your sensitive information on the page linked to above:
- Full name
- Last 4 of SSN
- Phone number
- Installation data + time
- Current address
- New address
As long as your new address is still within Optimum’s service area, you should be fine.
Does Optimum throttle content?
With Net Neutrality killed off, questions like these arise concerning most providers. So far, there is no evidence that Optimum has done anything like this. We’ll keep an eye on it.
Where is Optimum available?
Optimum is available in 4 states at present: New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.
What is ‘Cablevision Optimum’?
Cablevision was the old parent company of Optimum. It has been succeeded by Altice and does not exist anymore.