Optimum internet equipment
Okay—let’s talk toys. What kind of fancy internet boxes or other doodads come with Optimum internet and TV service? Well, Optimum has several devices for rent.
- Optimum Gateway 6 (free): Lease Optimum’s modem/router with Smart WiFi 6 technology and get in-home Wi-Fi and 24/7 tech support. Or you can use your own Optimum-compatible unit, but forget about in-home Wi-Fi and full-featured tech support from Optimum if you do.
- Optimum Extender (free for qualifying customers): A Wi-Fi extender can help your signal reach farther corners of your home. To help you decide if your home is big enough to warrant an extender, Optimum recommends one extender for every two bedrooms you have in your home.
- Optimum Amplify ($10/mo. or $399 to buy): This smart speaker with voice control, Alexa integration, and Devialet audio. You can use it to control your TV and play music, but it’s too rich for our blood.
You can learn more about the Optimum Gateway 6 in our Optimum Smart WiFi review. Or if you’d prefer to skip monthly rental fees and bring your own modem, Optimum doesn’t make it easy. Luckily, you’ve got us! See our favorite alternative equipment in our best Optimum-compatible modems article.
When you’re away from home, you can stay connected to the internet with Optimum’s Wi-Fi hotspots. These hotspots are available only to Optimum internet customers, and you can recognize them by the network names “AlticeWiFi,” “cableWiFi,” or “optimumwifi.”
Use your Optimum ID, password, and Wi-Fi-ready device (phone, tablet, or laptop) to use any of Optimum’s over 2 million free Wi-Fi hotspots, including hotspots at New Jersey Transit stations.
If a nearby Optimum Wi-Fi hotspot is not working, make sure you have the right network selected in your device’s Wi-Fi settings. If you only get a few bars of service, you may need to move closer to the hotspot to improve your connection.
We’re fans of any time internet service providers make Wi-Fi more accessible for their customers, and Optimum’s Wi-Fi hotspots do just that. To learn more about this service, check out our full Optimum Wi-Fi hotspot review.
Optimum vs. the competition
Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*With Auto Pay + taxes & equip. Charges
**for 12 mos.
Optimum’s main competitors are Verizon Fios, Xfinity, Spectrum, and Frontier. To see which internet providers offer service in your area, enter your zip code below. We don’t store or share your information—we just run it through our database to find your options.
We tend to prefer Verizon Fios over Optimum since Verizon Fios uses a more advanced internet network, offers tons of sign-up perks, and has a long-standing reputation for customer service.
But if you’re hunting for a deal, keep an eye out for Optimum’s flash sales. You can get a new internet plan at a steeply discounted rate.
For our full review of how Optimum and Verizon stack up, check out Verizon Fios vs. Optimum Internet.
View Verizon Fios plans
Xfinity’s plans don’t offer the same bang-for-your-buck that Optimum’s plans do. Xfinity will charge you more for slower internet speeds and slap you with data overage fines. Plus, you’ll pay $14 per month for Xfinity’s modem/router combo, getting one for free with Optimum.
You don’t need all that price gouging. Optimum is the better deal.
View Xfinity plans
While Spectrum offers great value on TV deals, Optimum generally has better internet prices. This isn’t true 100% of the time, though—Spectrum includes its modem on many plans and charges $5 more per month for Wi-Fi, compared to Optimum’s free Wi-Fi gateway.
So while Optimum has a stronger reputation for internet reliability, don’t write Spectrum off, especially if you want an internet and TV bundle. For the best deal, be sure to compare Optimum and Spectrum’s bundle prices.
View Spectrum plans
Optimum vs. Frontier Fiber
Unlike Optimum’s other competitors, Frontier Fiber isn’t offering TV plans for new customers right now. Still, you might consider Frontier Fiber if you’re in the market for only internet since its plans come with fast upload speeds.
But be careful. While Frontier historically has a better customer service track record than Optimum, we’ve felt burned by Frontier since its 2020 bankruptcy. Ask your neighbors with Frontier how their service is before you commit yourself.
View Frontier plans
Final take: Is Optimum internet worth it?
Despite Optimum’s poor customer satisfaction scores, we like that it has no contracts (or data caps or early termination fees) and has a $500 contract buyout. And don’t forget the generous speeds and low, low price of the Optimum 300 plan.
So if Optimum is available in your area and you’re looking to get away from your current provider—and get a better monthly payment—go for it.
Our experts spent hours crunching the numbers on Optimum’s internet plans, rating them for bang for your buck, reliability, features, and customer satisfaction. Then we faced off Optimum’s internet plans against the competition to give a clearer picture of which internet provider might be the best for you. For more information on our methodology, check out our How We Rank page.
‡Visa® Reward Card: Offer is not available to individuals who have previously participated in an Optimum Visa Reward Card promotion within the past 12 months. Visa Reward Card will be mailed to customers who maintain promotion and remain in good standing with no past due or returned payments throughout first 90 days after account activation. Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. Limit 1 per customer. Visa Reward Card cannot be used to pay Optimum monthly bill. Card value expires in 12 mos. Visa Reward Card may be used when making purchases from merchants in the U.S. and District of Columbia everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. No ATM access. Terms and Conditions apply to Reward Cards. See Cardholder Agreement for details. Visa Reward Card is issued by MetaBank®, N.A., Member FDIC pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. This optional offer is not a MetaBank product or service nor does MetaBank endorse this offer. Card is distributed and serviced by InComm Financial Services, Inc., which is licensed as a Money Transmitter by the New York State Department of Financial Services.