In a Nutshell
- Free installation when you order online
- $25 discount if Verizon Fios is also available at your address
- No annual contracts
- Only available in parts of greater New York City (NY, NJ, CT)
- Home page doesn’t properly explain the pricing structure
- 1 Gig internet not always available
Optimum at a Glance
Best for: Families, students
Starting Price: $83.50/month for 1 Gig, $38.50/month for 100 Mbps
Connection Type: Fiber, cable
Download Speeds: Up to 940Mbps
Money-Back Guarantee?: 30 days
What Services and Features Does Optimum Offer?
Optimum isn’t particularly cheap, although it offers plenty of incentives to choose it over competitors. These include:
- Free standard installation when you order a new internet service online
- $25/month discount if you live at an address also served by competitor Verizon Fios
- Contract buyout for up to $500 if you want to switch over to Optimum from another ISP
- $10/month discount on plans from sister company Altice Mobile
- $200 prepaid Visa card after three monthly billing cycles
- Access to more than 2 million Wi-Fi hotspots spread throughout the greater NYC area
- Complimentary subscriptions to Cheddar News (live news and original shows) and CuriosityStream (thousands of documentaries and non-fiction series)
Prices, Plans, and Value for Money
The low prices shown on Optimum’s home page are a little misleading in that they are offered only to people living at addresses served by Optimum competitor Verizon Fios. If your address is served by Optimum but not by Fios, then you’ll have to pay the full price for Optimum – which comes to an additional $5 to $25 per month. Also, there’s an obligatory $3.50/month network enhancement fee which only appears at the checkout.
Here’s a full breakdown of the four Optimum plans (100 Mbps, 300 Mbps, 500 Mbps, and 940 Mbps), showing standard pricing as well as the discount pricing described above. Prices shown are prior to taxes and additional fees. The optional Altice Gateway costs an additional $10/month, but you can avoid this fee by bringing your own modem and router.
As we mentioned earlier, Optimum lets you add on cable TV from parent company Altice, courtesy of the Optimum Stream device (free with 1 Gig plan, extra $5 per month with all other plans). Here are the add-on options:
- Basic TV with 50 channels including local programming - $15/per month + equipment and fees
- Core TV with 220 channels including HGTV and USA Network - $25/per month + equipment and fees
- Select TV with 340 channels including MLB and NFL Network - $40/per month + equipment and fees
- Premier TV with 420 channels including Showtime, HBO Max, and Starz - $60/per month + equipment and fees
- HBO Max - $14.99/month
Phone options include:
- $10/month discount on any Altice Mobile plan
- Home phone with unlimited local and long-distance calling for $10/month
Ease of Use, Hardware, and Setup
If you’ve never used Optimum’s fiber internet service before, then you’ll need a professional to come and perform an installation. Standard installation is free of charge. Premium installation costs $59 and includes professional installation, Wi-Fi configuration of up to six devices, and hardwiring of one device (usually a TV).
All Optimum subscribers get access to free built-in security features that protect you from viruses and malware. Unfortunately, the Optimum website doesn’t offer specific details about these security features.
Optimum operates in most but not all of the greater NYC area. Its coverage in New York City isn’t great – it offers only partial coverage in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and The Bronx and has virtually no presence in Queens or Staten Island. However, it covers millions of households in the rest of the greater NYC area (Westchester County and Long Island in New York and large parts of New Jersey and Connecticut).
Most households served by Optimum can access maximum speeds of 940 Mbps although in some cases the max is 500 Mbps.
Optimum Customer Service
Technical support is available 24 hours a day, while all other support is available during extended business hours Mon-Sat. Each region (Bronx/Brooklyn/Westchester, Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut) has its own customer service line. The Optimum website also has a Support page and chatbot providing answers to frequently asked questions.
Q: What type of internet connection does Optimum offer?
A: Optimum has four internet plans: three cable (100 – 500 Mbps) and one fiber (1 gig).
Q: Where is Optimum currently available?
A: Optimum is currently available in parts of the greater New York City area (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut).
Q: Who owns Optimum?
A: Optimum is owned by Altice USA, Inc., a cable television provider and telecommunications company with headquarters in New York City.
Optimum offers high-speed fiber and cable internet for parts of the greater New York City area. While Optimum’s prices aren’t particularly low when compared to the national average, it goes to great lengths to beat its competitors.