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Verizon Fios vs. Optimum Internet

Our experts compare Verizon Fios and Optimum internet prices, speeds, and availability so you can choose the best service.

Best overall

Price: $39.99–$79.99/mo.
Download speeds: 200–up to 940 Mbps
Upload speeds: 200–up to 880 Mbps

Best for cheap gigabit

Price: $40.00–$75.00/mo.
Download speeds: 300–940 Mbps
Upload speeds: 35–940 Mbps

If you live in the parts of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut (plus Lemoyne, Pennsylvania) where Verizon Fios and Optimum intersect, you’re one lucky internet-lover.

We think Verizon Fios offers superior internet service, and it’s our top pick for the best internet provider in the US. But Optimum knows Verizon Fios is its direct competitor—so Optimum offers monthly savings if you choose its gigabit plan over Verizon’s.

Verizon Fios vs. Optimum: pros and cons

Runs on 100% fiber-optic network
Matches upload and download speeds on most plans
Has slightly higher prices than Optimum

Offers gigabit speeds at $5 less than Verizon Fios Gigabit Connection
Has fiber service in some areas
Doesn’t match Verizon Fios’s fast upload speeds

Deals and promotions

Verizon Fios is a deal machine. It regularly delivers top-tier incentives to sign up.

Until May 12, 2021, Verizon offers three months of ad-free Discovery+ on its 200 Mbps and 400 Mbps plans. If you go for Verizon Fios’s Gigabit Connection plan, you’ll get a year of Discovery+, plus a $100 Verizon gift card, a free streaming device (Verizon Stream TV), and your router rental included at no extra cost.

Plus, Verizon offers up to $500 to offset any cancellation fees from your old provider when you switch to Verizon. We love to see that flexibility.

But Optimum won’t be left behind in the deals department. Currently, Optimum offers a $200 Visa gift card when you sign up for one of its plans. Who would say no to some extra cash?

And if you switch to Optimum before your contract with another internet provider has run out, Optimum will give you up to $100 to buy out your old contract. That’s not $500, but it’s pretty helpful!

How are Verizon Fios and Optimum different?

Compare Verizon Fios and Optimum

Type of service Price Download speeds Data cap Contract Setup charge Editorial ranking Details
Fiber $39.99–$79.99/mo.* 200–up to 940 Mbps No data caps No annual contract Order online: free
Standard: $99.00
4.30/5 View plan
Cable and fiber $40.00–$75.00/mo. 300–940 Mbps No data caps No annual contract Standard: free
Premium: $59.00
3.72/5 View plan

*With Auto Pay + taxes & equip. charges
Data effective 2/11/21. Not all offers available in all areas.

Based on numbers alone, Verizon Fios and Optimum are neck and neck.

Verizon Fios’s fiber network offers the ideal of fast and reliable internet service.

But in locations where Optimum hasn’t entirely switched to fiber, it shored up its cable network’s weaknesses with a strong fiber backbone. Assisted by fiber, its cable internet matches the download speeds (but not upload speeds) you’d typically find only from fiber internet.

To decide if Optimum’s low prices beat out Verizon’s top technology, we recommend you get familiar with the plans each offers in your area.

Find your internet options

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Verizon Fios vs. Optimum prices and plans

Verizon Fios internet pricing and plans

Internet 200/200
Internet 300/300**
Internet 400/400
Internet 500/500**
Fios Gigabit Connection
Price* Max. download speed Max. upload speed Details
$39.99/mo. 200 Mbps 200 Mbps View plan
$39.99/mo. 300 Mbps 300 Mbps View plan
$59.99/mo. 400 Mbps 400 Mbps View plan
$59.99/mo. 500 Mbps 500 Mbps View plan
$79.99/mo. 940 Mbps 880 Mbps View plan

*w/ Auto Pay + taxes & equip charges
**Available only in New York designated market area.
Data effective 2/11/21. Not all offers available in all areas.

Any of Verizon Fios’s plans are fast enough for most families—so you have to decide if you want fast internet or superfast internet.

Verizon Fios offers faster plans in designated areas around New York than it does in its other locations, which makes us think Optimum is giving Verizon Fios a run for its money.

This competition is good news for you, a person who lives in a place where Verizon Fios and Optimum overlap. Instead of the normal 200 Mbps and 400 Mbps speeds, Verizon Fios upped the ante with Internet 300/300 and 500/500 plans, which look suspiciously similar to Optimum’s prices and speeds.

In general, we recommend Verizon’s plans over Optimum’s—not only because we believe its fiber network beats out Optimum’s cable network, but also because it’s a fan favorite in our customer survey.

However, Verizon Fios doesn’t entirely leave Optimum in the dust, especially if you’re in an area with Optimum Fiber.

Optimum internet pricing and plans

Optimum 300
Optimum 500
Optimum 1 Gig
Fiber Internet 300
Fiber Internet 500
Fiber Internet 1 Gig
Price* Max. download speed Max. upload speed
$40.00/mo. 300 Mbps 35 Mbps View plan
$65.00/mo. 500 Mbps 40 Mbps View plan
$75.00/mo. 940 Mbps 50 Mbps View plan
$40.00/mo. 300 Mbps 300 Mbps View plan
$65.00/mo. 500 Mbps 500 Mbps View plan
$75.00/mo. 940 Mbps 940 Mbps View plan

*for 1 yr. Plus taxes, equip. charges and fees.
Data effective 2/11/21. Not all offers available in all areas.

Optimum’s plans are similar to Verizon’s, since Verizon upped it’s speed to compete with Optimum where the two providers overlap.

Optimum’s cable network doesn’t have the upload speeds to match, though, so Verizon Fios will be better for video calls and big file uploads. But Optimum’s fiber network comes with matched upload speeds, making it difficult to call a clear winner.

What is clear: Optimum’s 1 Gig plan is $4.99 cheaper than Verizon Fios’s Gigabit Connection. If you’ve gotta have near gig speeds, Optimum is the more affordable way to go.

And a fun note—while writing this article, this writer noticed Optimum dropped its prices by $10 to $15 per month. The deal was gone before this article made it through the first draft, but keep your eyes peeled for similar flash deals from Optimum. You could save a fistful of cash by swooping in at the right time.

Verizon Fios vs. Optimum low-income internet

Verizon Lifeline
Altice Advantage Internet
Price Max. download speed
$19.99–$59.99/mo.* 200 Mbps–up to 940 Mbps Learn more
$14.99/mo.** 30 Mbps Learn more

*w/ Auto Pay + taxes & equip charges
**Free for the first 2 mos. Save additional $5/mo. for 3 mos. with auto-pay.
Data effective 2/11/21. Not all offers available in all areas.

If you’re in a tight spot, consider applying for a low-income internet program.

To get Verizon Lifeline, you’ll first need to qualify for the government Lifeline program. But instead of the $9.25 per month the government offers to Lifeline participants, Verizon gives you $20 per month off any of its plans.

While that won’t make your internet super cheap, Verizon Fios is the only internet provider that offers a low-income option for near gigabit internet speeds. If you need fast speeds to work from home, this is a tremendous deal.

Optimum’s Altice Advantage Internet is also unique among internet providers’ low-income options. While most providers’ low-income programs require you to participate in a government assistance program, Optimum instead supports students and teachers who don’t have internet access for remote learning.

While Altice Advantage Internet is much slower than most Optimum plans, it’s a great option to get you connected if you don’t qualify for Verizon Lifeline.

Verizon Fios vs. Optimum fees and extra charges

Verizon Fios fees and extra charges

Router rental
Standard setup charge
$15.00/mo. (included with Fios Gigabit Connection) or $299.99 to buy
$99.00 (waived with online order)

In addition to your monthly internet bill, expect a router and setup charge from Verizon Fios.

If you’re not going for the Fios Gigabit Connection plan and its sweet router-included deal, consider buying your Fios Router instead of renting—it will pay for itself in a year and a half.

And luckily, you won’t have to worry about hidden fees with Verizon Fios and Optimum. Data caps and overage fees are common among other internet providers, but Verizon Fios and Optimum are data-cap-free.

Optimum fees and extra charges

Gateway rental
Installation fee
Standard: free
Premium: $59

Optimum’s gateway rental is $5 less per month than Verizon Fios’s. And if you’re in one of Optimum’s cable internet areas, you’ll even have the choice to forgo gateway rental by buying your own modem/router.

Verizon Fios vs. Optimum installation

Verizon Fios
Setup charge Type of installation
Order online: free
Standard: $99
Schedule an installation
Standard: free
Premium: $59
Schedule an installation

Data effective 2/11/21. Not all offers available in all areas.

You can save on Verizon Fios standard setup charge by ordering online. That’s one more reason not to wait on a phone line.

And while both Optimum’s installation methods won’t require that you get off your duff, you’ve got a choice between standard and premium installation.

For the standard installation, your Optimum technician will connect your Optimum gateway to the wall, but you’ll be in charge of connecting your Wi-Fi devices. With premium installation, the tech will hardwire one device (within six feet of your gateway) and connect up to six Wi-Fi devices.

While Optimum’s premium installation isn’t anything you couldn’t do with a little research, it might save you some time and headache if you don’t consider yourself tech savvy.

Customer satisfaction

Customer rating: 4.18/5

Customer rating: 3.87/5

In our most recent customer satisfaction survey, Verizon Fios topped all the major internet providers for overall customer satisfaction. Folks were fans of its internet speeds, reliability, customer support, and service value.

Our Optimum customers weren’t quite so enamored with their service. Optimum got mediocre marks, and the most standout factoid was that Optimum customers were the most likely to bundle their internet service with TV.

Bundling with TV

If you want to bundle your internet with TV, Optimum will save you a bunch of money. Its TV and internet deals are about $50 per month cheaper than the services would be separately.

Is that because Optimum overprices its TV plans to begin with? Eh . . . probably a little bit.

But Optimum includes premium channels in its Select and Premium plans, which most other providers will charge you $10 to $15 more per month for. For premium channel fans, bundling with Optimum is a top-notch deal.

Verizon Fios’s TV service is more affordable than Optimum’s, but Optimum offers a discount when you bundle. Overall, Optimum’s bundles will be the way to go if you want to save some cash on TV and internet.

Don’t forget: you may have other options

We can help you find all the major internet and TV providers in your area. Enter your zip code in the box below to check for providers near you.

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Our final take: Verizon Fios or Optimum?

We trust Verizon Fios’s strong network and well-priced plans above most other internet options. But Optimum still has a lot to offer. If you find a stellar Optimum deal, we say snag it.

After all, neither Optimum nor Verizon Fios forces you into an annual contract, so it’s easy to switch between them if you ever wonder about the grass being greener on the other side.

Verizon Fios vs. Optimum FAQ

Is Verizon Fios more reliable than Optimum?

In our customer survey, customers rated Verizon Fios as more reliable than Optimum. Parts of Optimum’s network use cable internet technology, which isn’t as fast or reliable as Verizon Fios’s fiber technology.

However, Optimum has started offering fiber internet in some areas, making it more able to compete with Verizon Fios’s fast, reliable speeds.

Is Fios really faster than cable?

Fios, shorthand for fiber-optic internet service, is capable of speeds cable doesn’t offer.

But fiber internet providers miser over small portions of this lightning-fast speed to make more cash, and cable internet providers use fiber backbones to speed up their old cable internet. That leaves us with fiber and cable internet providers offering similar speeds to their customers.

Should I switch from Verizon Fios to Optimum?

Optimum is a reliable service, and it tries everything it can to beat out Verizon Fios. But at the end of the day, we believe Verizon Fios’s superior technology is the victor. There’s not much Optimum has that Verizon Fios can’t also offer at the same level or better.