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AT&T vs. Optimum: Which Internet Provider Is Best for You?

Both have insanely fast fiber, but AT&T wins with great ratings and straight pricing.

  • Best customer ratings
    • Customer rating: 3.9/5.0
    • Price: $55.00–$225.00/mo.*
    • Speed: 225–5,000 Mbps
    • Internet type: Fiber, DSL, fixed wireless
    • Data cap: Varies
    • Contract: No contract
  • Best introductory rates
    • Customer rating: 3.3/5.0
    • Price: $30.00–$265.00/mo.
    • Speed: 300–8,000 Mbps
    • Internet type: Cable, fiber
    • Data cap: No cap
    • Contract: No contract

Compare AT&T and Optimum head to head

AT&T and Optimum look fairly similar on paper—both offer multigig fiber packages and no-contract plans. But AT&T takes the lead thanks to its excellent customer satisfaction ratings and straightforward pricing, while Optimum suffers because of its low rankings in our customer satisfaction survey.

Pros and cons: AT&T vs. Optimum


  • Simple pricing with no hidden price hikes
  • Wider fiber availability


  • Slow speeds on DSL
  • Data caps on fixed wireless plan


  • Lower introductory prices than AT&T
  • Multigigabit speeds


  • Below-average customer satisfaction ratings
  • Limited availability

Want to know if AT&T or Optimum are in your area? Take a look by typing in your zip code below.

Plans and pricing: AT&T vs. Optimum

AT&T is best known for its fiber plans—which are extremely fast and affordable—but it also has DSL and fixed wireless plans that are better for rural customers. Optimum’s cable and fiber plans deliver speeds similar to AT&T’s fiber plans. Introductory prices are lower than AT&T’s, but they jump much higher after a year of service.

AT&T plans and pricing

PackagePriceSpeedConnection typeOrder online
AT&T Fiber Internet 300$55.00/mo.**300MbpsFiberView Plan
AT&T Fiber Internet 500$65.00/mo.**500MbpsFiberView Plan
AT&T 1G Internet$80.00/mo.*1,000MbpsFiberView Plan
AT&T 2G Internet$125.00/mo.*2,000MbpsFiberView Plan
AT&T 5G Internet$225.00/mo.#5,000MbpsFiberView Plan
AT&T Internet Air$55.00/mo.*75–225MbpsFixed Wireless/5GView Plan

AT&T and Optimum are pretty much neck and neck when it comes to top speeds—both providers boast fiber plans reaching all the way up to 5,000 Mbps. Optimum initially looks like the better pick because its prices are lower. But you actually get a better deal from AT&T in the long run because you don’t have to worry about huge price hikes that kick in after a year, as you would with Optimum.

You can also get a 5G internet plan from AT&T. Dubbed Internet Air, this service is similar to T-Mobile and Verizon’s 5G home internet packages, giving you solid speeds for a decent price, with no extra cost for installation or equipment. AT&T launched the service as a replacement for its DSL plan, which the provider is slowly phasing out. Compared to DSL, you’re a lot better off with the robust performance of this 5G-based fixed wireless service.

Pro tip:

It’s really impressive to see 5,000 Mbps speeds, but do you actually need internet that fast? Not likely. Use our “How Much Internet Speed Do I Need?” tool for an accurate assessment of what works best for your household.

Optimum plans and pricing

PackagePromo price (first 12 mos.)*SpeedConnection typeOrder online
300 Mbps Internet$30.00/mo.Up to 300MbpsCable, fiberView Plan
500 Mbps Internet$30.00–$45.00/mo.Up to 500MbpsCable, fiberView Plan
1 Gig Internet$45.00–$55.00/mo.**Up to 940MbpsCable, fiberView Plan
2 Gig Fiber Internet$55.00/mo.**Up to 2,000MbpsFiberView Plan
5 Gig Fiber Internet$80.00/mo.**Up to 5,000MbpsFiberView Plan
8 Gig Fiber Internet$265.00/mo.**Up to 8,000MbpsFiberView Plan

Optimum has been ramping up its speeds and lowering prices to compete with AT&T and Verizon Fios. So its plans have similar speeds to AT&T’s fiber packages, and its introductory prices blow AT&T out of the water.

Pro tip:

Download our speed test app to see what kind of bandwidth you have on your current internet connection. It could be time for an upgrade!

Pro tip:

Take our speed test to see what kind of bandwidth you have on your current internet connection. It could be time for an upgrade!

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Deals and promotions: AT&T vs. Optimum

Get up to $150 in AT&T Visa® Reward Cards when you sign up for AT&T Fiber.

Get the Deal
New customers get free installation and are eligible for either a gift card worth $50–$300 or a gift of choice from Snappy.

Get the Deal

Extra fees: AT&T vs. Optimum

Equipment FeeInstallation FeeOther Fees
  • $10.00/mo. for modem/router
  • Up to $99.00 for pro install (covered on many plans), Free self-install
  • $10 per 50 GB when you exceed data cap (DSL, fixed wireless only)
  • $15.00/mo. early termination (contract plans only)
  • Up to $9.00 late payment fee
  • $10.00/mo. for cable modem or wireless gateway
  • Free Smart Router
  • $3.00/mo. per added Xtend unit
  • Free installation*
    • Up to $10.00 late payment fee
    • $10.00 phone payment processing fee

    Customers get unlimited data with AT&T fiber, but the fixed wireless and DSL plans with speeds below 100 Mbps have data caps. AT&T charges you $10 for every 50 GB of data you use when you exceed your data cap.  Other than that, the extra fees on AT&T and Optimum’s plans are all fairly standard.

    Buy your modem and router to save on extra fees

    While you can rent a modem and router from your internet provider, we recommend in most cases that you buy your own equipment instead. Owning your equipment means you don’t have to pay rental fees every month. You also get more flexibility and options when it comes to picking a router that meets your specific internet needs.

    The Google Nest Wi-Fi System is the best router you can get, in our opinion. It’s easy to set up, supports fast speeds, and provides mesh networking for large homes and wider spaces (like a backyard).

    Here’s some other resources to find the best router for you:

    Customer ratings: AT&T vs. Optimum

    OverallSpeedPriceReliabilityCustomer service
    AT&T 3.9/53.9/53.7/53.8/53.8/5
    Optimum 3.3/53.6/52.9/53.4/53.3/5

    Clearly, folks are happy with what they get from AT&T—the provider has some of the highest ratings overall in our annual customer satisfaction survey. Its highest rating is in speed, which isn’t surprising given that you can find AT&T fiber plans with speeds of up to 5Gbps. AT&T rates fourth in overall satisfaction and stays in the top five for all other categories.

    Optimum is a different story. It sits at rock bottom among the 15 national internet providers in our survey for customer service and price, and ties with Earthlink in last place for overall satisfaction. However, Optimum’s few fiber customers tend to give better scores than its cable ones.

    Want to know if AT&T or Optimum are in your area? Take a look by typing in your zip code below.

    Best mobile and internet bundles

    PackageInternet speedPriceMonthly phone dataOrder online
    Optimum 300Mbps Internet + MobileUp to 300Mbps$75.00/mo.*20GBView Plan
    AT&T Unlimited Extra + AT&T Fiber Internet 300Up to 300 Mbps$111.25/mo.50GB (after which speeds can be slowed)View Plan

    A lot of internet providers have offered generous discounts to customers who combine a Wi-Fi plan with a cellular plan from the same provider, and Optimum and AT&T both offer solid deals. Optimum gives you a $10 discount when you combine one of its internet packages with an Optimum Mobile plan. AT&T meanwhile offers a 25% monthly discount for pairing internet with a qualifying mobile plan.

    Optimum gets you the cheaper bargain—as you can see in the table above, its bundle ends up costing you about $36 less per month than if you got something similar from AT&T. However, AT&T’s bundle gets you better phone service, since you’re a primary customer on AT&T’s cellular network rather than hopping on through Optimum’s off-brand, Verizon-rented “MVNO” setup. You also get a lot more premium data per month from AT&T, which is another plus. 

    Internet types: AT&T vs. Optimum

    Internet typeOrder online
    AT&T Fiber, DSL, fixed wirelessView Plans
    Optimum Fiber, cableView Plans

    Fiber is the fastest type of internet you can get—it’s the only internet connection that gets you symmetrical upload and download speeds, so your uploads are fast enough to handle regular Zooming, livestreams, large uploads, and whatever else you throw at it. Cable internet isn’t quite as powerful, but it’s still fast and reliable and works great for most people.

    DSL and fixed wireless are slower internet types that are more common in rural areas and small towns. They both hit speeds of around 25–100 Mbps, but they’re affordable and make solid alternatives to a costly satellite internet plan.

    Data caps: AT&T vs. Optimum

    Data CapOrder online
    • No cap for fiber
    • 1 TB for speeds up to 75 Mbps
    • 350 GB for fixed wireless
    View Plans
    Optimum No capView Plans

    Optimum doesn’t have data caps on any of its plans, so you can use all the internet you want all month without worrying about overage charges.

    AT&T doesn’t have data caps on its fiber plans. DSL plans with speeds 75 Mbps and under have a monthly cap of 1 TB, which is fairly generous and standard for most providers. The fixed wireless plan has a cap of 350 GB per month, which is a lot less than average. If you exceed your monthly data allotment, then you pay $10 for every additional 50 GB you use.

    Pro tip: 

    Want unlimited data? Take a look at our data caps guide to see which providers give you unlimited data and which have monthly caps.

    Contracts: AT&T vs. Optimum

    Contract lengthOrder online
    AT&T No contractView Plans
    Optimum No contractView Plans

    Neither AT&T nor Optimum have annual contracts on their plans. You can cancel your internet any time without paying early termination fees. That means you have more flexibility to do things like subscribe for just a few months (say, if you’re living in a sublet for a few months).

    Installation: AT&T vs. Optimum

    Installation optionsOrder online
  • Up to $99.00 for pro install
  • Free for self-install
  • View Plans
  • Free installation*
  • View Plans

    AT&T and Optimum both charge $99 for professional installation, but the cost is waived when you order online. With AT&T, you can also opt for a self-install kit that doesn’t cost anything.

    In some cases, you may need to pay more for Optimum’s “premium installation.” This is required if you live in a home that needs wiring or other amenities that you can’t set up yourself, like an optical network terminal or wiring from your home to a node on the street.

    Availability: AT&T vs. Optimum

    AT&T is available in 22 states nationwide, including California, Texas, and parts of the Midwest and South. Optimum is available in 25 states, including large parts of the South, West, and East Coast. Use our zip code tool below to see what plans and prices you can get from either of these providers in your area.

    Ready to make the switch?

    Enter your zip code below to see if AT&T or Optimum are in your area!

    Final call: AT&T vs. Optimum

    AT&T and Optimum are evenly matched on speed, since both offer fiber plans that can hit up to 5,000 Mbps. Both providers also offer no-contract plans and unlimited data (at least for speeds of 100 Mbps and up in AT&T’s case).

    Optimum has an edge on AT&T when it comes to introductory rates, but massive price hikes kick in after a year. You don’t have to worry about that with AT&T, making it a better bet long-term. AT&T also has solid options for rural users that you can’t get from Optimum.


    Our editorial team bases our analyses on customer input from our annual customer satisfaction survey, results from our speed test tool, and proprietary internet provider data on speeds and pricing. To strengthen our research, we look closely at provider contracts to get hard-to-find information on price hikes, data caps, and extra fees, and we keep tabs on the latest news reports and online reviews. When applicable, we also rely on our personal experiences testing these services.

    Author -

    Peter Holslin has more than a decade of experience working as a writer and freelance journalist. He graduated with a BA in liberal arts and journalism from New York City’s The New School University in 2008 and went on to contribute to publications like Rolling Stone, VICE, BuzzFeed, and countless others. At, he focuses on covering 5G, nerding out about frequency bands and virtual RAN, and producing reviews on emerging services like 5G home internet. He also writes about internet providers and packages, hotspots, VPNs, and Wi-Fi troubleshooting.

    Editor - Aaron Gates

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