Optimum Internet Reviews 2020
Optimum by Altice is a high-speed cable internet provider whose services are available in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. Optimum offers cable internet only, meaning high speeds are delivered to users via a coaxial cable. Optimum currently have three high-speed internet plans that cover mid-range speeds.
Those plans are more than enough for multi-device access at high speeds with no interference to performance. Gamers will enjoy low latency and no disruptions to their gameplay thanks to the reliability of the Optimum network.
- High-speed packages
- No data caps to worry about
- Bundles save a lot of money
- Limited service area
- Hidden fees
- Price lock for the first 12 months of service only
Packages and Pricing
As a cable-focused internet service provider, Optimum has three cable plans that range from 200 Mbps to 400 Mbps in their maximum download speeds. Their newest internet plan adds fiber technology into their offer: the brand-new Fiber 1 Gbps plan, but it’s available only in very few select areas.
To use the high-speed plans offered by Optimum, users are required to have an Optimum Online subscription, which costs $34.99 in any of the plans below. The prices for the cable packages already include the price of the Optimum Online subscription:
- Optimum 200 – The lowest speed Optimum cable plan costs $44.99 per month and is a great choice for those who love watching TV shows and movies in high definition or playing fast-paced multiplayer games. This speed can support multiple devices at once, even with data-heavy use.
- Optimum 300 – For a monthly price of $54.99, you can get the Optimum 300 plan with 300 Mbps download speeds. Those speeds are sufficient to cover 4K streaming without buffering while having other devices active, connected, and using bandwidth as well.
- Optimum 400 The highest speed cable internet plan of 400 Mbps is available for $64.99 per month and is a good pick for households with multiple users who all enjoy data-heavy activities like 4K streaming on TV and playing competitive online games.
- Optimum Fiber with speed up to 1 Gbps – This option is available for those residential customers who don’t have Optimum TV or phone services yet, but availability is quite limited at the moment and the promotional pricing is $74.99 per month for those who maintain it for 12 months. The actual speeds are between 800 Mbps and 940 Mbps which pretty much cover all the demands of a regular user, with little to no issues with using many devices at once.
Important note: All of the prices listed above are introductory prices that are locked for the first 12 months of service. After that, the prices increase to their regular rates (+$10 for each plan).
In addition to these plans, there are two budget plans available: Optimum 10 for $24.95 per month and Optimum 20 for $29.99 per month. But there is little information on what each of these plans actually include.
The good thing about their current plans is that they are affordable compared to others. But, the downside is their availability: it will take a while before they become available in most states other states, and for now, they are available only in the tri-state area.
Network Management and Performance
Optimum by Altice actively manages its network. This means that all their customers are subject to limitations in times of congestion. Optimum states that they employ “reasonable network management practices employed to minimize congestion and other service degradation.” This means that even though their plans don’t have any data caps, users might still experience slowdowns in times of high network usage.
When compared to other internet providers, Optimum seems to have more hidden fees. Users should be aware of additional fees they will have to cover, either as a one-time payment or on a monthly basis, when choosing Optimum as their provider. Here’s a list of fees you have to pay in addition to your monthly plan price:
- Standard Installation Package ($99.00) – This price covers the coaxial cable needed to connect to their network but doesn’t include any hard wiring work. Only two coaxial outlets can be set up within this package, and only one device can be set up wirelessly.
- Premium Installation Package ($149.99) – This includes the coaxial cable, and technicians can set up local hardwiring for a smart TV, computer, alarm system, or gaming system (only one of these four), as well as wireless setup for all devices that the customer wants to be connected on Wi-Fi. This plan includes a 3-coaxial outlet setup, and additional outlets can be added for $25 per outlet.
- Network Enhancement Fee ($2.50/month) – As of 2019, Optimum charges a network enhancement fee to their customers that is intended for further improvements to their networks and infrastructure.
- For customers who had their service interrupted because they missed a payment, they will have to pay a restore service fee that will cost them $10 for one to two products, and $15 for 3 products (internet, phone, TV).
There also seem to be early termination fee costs, which means you can opt out of their services easily should you want to switch providers, but again it will cost you.
Your Modem and Router
Optimum offers lease only options to their Optimum Online users. An Optimum modem can be leased for $10 per month. Customers who lease a modem directly from Optimum can then get a smart router for free which is Wi-Fi capable and offers better Wi-Fi coverage in the whole home, ensuring there are no drops in signal.
Optimum does state that in order to ensure speeds are reliable everywhere at home, the router should have proper placement so make sure you don’t block the signal by playing it in any enclosed areas. Any devices that require the highest speeds should be closest to the router but preferably connected via cable to the modem.
The Wi-Fi capabilities of any device connected to the router also play a major role in connection speeds. If your phone, for example, doesn’t support speeds over 120 Mbps, you won’t get more even if you have the 1 Gbps plan.
Features and Benefits
Optimum offers several additional benefits internet plan users:
Optimum Support App
Optimum offers an application for your phone that lets you view your balance and bills, and troubleshoot your internet connection or devices from anywhere. The app also lets you track technician arrival and find the nearest store location. This is available for both iOS and Android phones.
Internet Protection with McAfee
Every Optimum Online customer can get free internet protection by McAfee that will help keep their network and all their devices safe. The security suite includes protection against data and identity theft, as well as privacy settings on up to 20 devices. In addition to free security software, Optimum by Altice also provides their customers with access to Security Advisories – news and alerts on the latest security threats and recommendations on how to stay safe, which is not something you tend to see with other providers.
Premier Protection & Support
With this service, Optimum users get access to premium tech support and electrical and mechanical failure coverage. The service costs $19.99 per month and covers all devices, not just computers but also TVs (LCD, LED, Plasma), tablets, and even sound bars. The premium tech support is strictly US-based.
This additional service protection costs $6.99 per month and covers any unexpected service fees users might encounter. This monthly subscription basically makes any fees that are not covered within guidelines free of charge, like a technician home visit for an issue not directly related to their equipment. Users who pay for Service Protection also get priority when calling Optimum support, so they can forget about waiting in the queue.
HelloTech is technical support for various technology-related issues or needs Optimum users might have at home, which are not directly related to Optimum services and equipment. This is a project-based service, not subscription-based, and covers support for things like device setup, troubleshooting the home theater, or mounting the TV. Per project cost ranges from $35 to $129, depending on the complexity of the project.
Optimum offers assistance when moving to a new location, and customers will stay connected throughout the whole moving process. With this service, you can keep the ID and password, all rates, and make use of Wi-Fi hotspots.
Smart Home Device Discount Offers
When you choose Optimum, you can get the newest smart home devices at a discounted price: Grab Nest Hello, Nest Cams, Learning Thermostat, Google Home Mini, and other smart devices. Customers also have the option to use HelloTech to assist you with the installation process.
Optimum customer service goes above and beyond to ensure their customers are satisfied with all their services. They are rated above average by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, scoring over 51% positive ratings, which is above the average rating of 48.1%. You can get in touch with Optimum customer service via chat, or even via their official Twitter channel @OptimumHelp. But it’s important to note that each region has its own local service number:
- Customer Service: 203-870-2583
- Sales: 203-870-2491
- Customer Service: 973-230-6046
- Sales: 973-230-2036
- Customer Service: 631-393-0636
- Sales: 631-393-0706
New York: Bronx / Brooklyn / Westchester
- Customer Service: 718-860-3513
- Sales: 718-975-1179
Their sales phone lines work from Monday to Friday from 7 AM to 11 PM, and on Saturday and Sunday from 7 AM to 10 PM. Their tech support is available around the clock every day of the week, while all other support works from 8 AM to 8 PM on business days.
The Customer Service section on their website also helps users resolve common and simple issues on their own instead of calling customer support right away. The most commonly accessed guides and help articles are available on the main support site, and include setup and install guides on email, improving internet performance, and troubleshooting internet connectivity.
Users can also browse through the whole support section by choosing More Internet Help which leads to the complete Internet FAQ section. From there, they can either search by keyword or pick Optimum Online (Internet) when searching by product. Currently, the Internet FAQ section has 79 help articles.
Ways to Save on Optimum
Bundle Your Services
In addition to their internet packages, Optimum provides cable TV and phone services too. You can save considerably each month by bundling all three packages together. Offers are different for each area, so it’s best to check ahead which services are available and how much you can save if you choose to use all of their available services.
Optimum offers discounts and benefits to those who decide to get their services through their website. First-time customers who do not have any Optimum services can save up by ordering online as they have special promotions that include free installations, meaning you will save up to $150 immediately. First-time customers also get lower prices for internet services for the first 12 months.
Buy Your Own Router
If you plan to stay with Optimum long-term, buying your own router can save you some money. Make sure to check which routers are approved by Optimum before doing so otherwise you may not be protected if something goes wrong.
Optimum offers buyouts to those who are currently stuck on a contract with another provider and can still switch over before their contract is over. They will cover your early termination fees up to an amount of $500. Just make sure to contact them to see if you are eligible.
Overall, Optimum offers good mid-range speed packages that are a sweet deal to anyone living in the tri-state area. The prices are affordable, the connections are stable, and this is a provider who truly works on keeping their users not just satisfied with their offers, but also safe by providing the latest security threat alerts and actively teaching customers how to spot them.
While their availability is limited and they have more fees than other providers, new customers are excluded from the majority of those fees. You can completely skip paying installation fees by ordering their services online, so if you’re thinking of switching, their website should be your first stop.