Verizon vs. Optimum

Best for budget internet or high-end bundles
  • Fios Gigabit Connection at higher price
  • No data cap
  • Higher router rental cost

Plans start at $39.99/mo.*

View Plans for Verizon

Best provider for mid-range priced packages
  • Lower router rental cost
  • Spotty NYC coverage

Plans start at $45.00/mo.

View Plans for Optimum

Bottom line

Optimum, which serves the New York City metro area, is a good budget provider with more flexible plans than Verizon at slightly better pricing per megabit.

Verizon Fios Home Internet might be better for anyone not living in the New York City area or those who need stronger speeds for gaming, streaming, or downloading.

Verizon vs. Optimum internet

Verizon Optimum

Type of service

Fiber/DSL

Type of service

Cable

Price

$39.99-$79.99/mo.*

Price

$45.00–$80.00/mo.†

Contract

No Annual Contract

Contract

Annual Contract

Download speeds

200 Mbps–Up to 940 Mbps

Download speeds

300 Mbps–1 Gig

Equipment fees

$15/mo.

Equipment fees

$10/mo.

Installation fee

$99.00 (waived when ordered online)

Installation fee

$99.99

Customer satisfaction

(3.96/5)

Customer satisfaction

(3.92/5)

View Verizon plansView Optimum plans
Verizon

Type of service

Fiber/DSL

Optimum

Type of service

Cable

Verizon

Price

$39.99-$79.99/mo.*

Optimum

Price

$45.00–$80.00/mo.†

Verizon

Contract

No Annual Contract

Optimum

Contract

Annual Contract

Verizon

Download speeds

200 Mbps–Up to 940 Mbps

Optimum

Download speeds

300 Mbps–1 Gig

Verizon

Equipment fees

$15/mo.

Optimum

Equipment fees

$10/mo.

Verizon

Installation fee

$99.00 (waived when ordered online)

Optimum

Installation fee

$99.99

Verizon

Customer satisfaction

(3.96/5)

Optimum

Customer satisfaction

(3.92/5)

Verizon View Verizon plans
Optimum View Optimum plans

Verizon vs. Optimum packages and pricing

Verizon provides more consistent packages and a wider coverage area but at a slightly higher price point. Optimum’s packages—such as its low 10 Mbps package—can get you connected on a budget.

Verizon packages

PackagePriceSpeeds up toInternet type
Fios Home Internet 200/200 Mbps$39.99/mo.200 Mbps/200 MbpsFiber
Fios Home Internet 400/400 Mbps$59.99/mo.400 Mbps/400 MbpsFiber
Fios Gigabit Connection$79.99/mo.§Up to 940 Mbps/880 MbpsFiber
PackageFios Home Internet 200/200 Mbps
Price$39.99/mo.
Speeds up to200 Mbps/200 Mbps
Internet typeFiber
PackageFios Home Internet 400/400 Mbps
Price$59.99/mo.
Speeds up to400 Mbps/400 Mbps
Internet typeFiber
PackageFios Gigabit Connection
Price$79.99/mo.§
Speeds up toUp to 940 Mbps/880 Mbps
Internet typeFiber

Verizon Fios Home Internet packages are slightly pricier, but you’ll be paying for a higher quality fiber-optic connection. Its availability is split into two regions in the Northeast.

The gig region provides conventional fiber-optic connections as well as gigabit fiber-optic connections, while the non-gig region is limited to conventional fiber-optic connections and DSL lines.

Verizon’s plans are generally appropriate for each application, although the gigabit plan may be overkill for anything except 4K streaming.

Optimum packages

PackagePriceSpeeds up toInternet type
Optimum 300$45.00/mo.†300 MbpsCable
Optimum 500$70.00/mo.¶500 MbpsCable
PackageOptimum 300
Price$45.00/mo.†
Speeds up to300 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackageOptimum 500
Price$70.00/mo.¶
Speeds up to500 Mbps
Internet typeCable

While Optimum’s packages might not hit the high gigabit rates of its competitors, what it does offer is a price that’s typically less per megabit—its 300 Mbps package isn’t much more compared to the Verizon Fios 200 Mbps package. That said, there are several things to be mindful of with Optimum.

For one, Optimum is keen on marketing only its 300 Mpbs, 500 Mbps, and 1 Gig plans, so you’ll need to spend more time with a sales associate to get its budget options. Finding coverage in your area is a little hit or miss as well—some parts of New York City aren’t covered, but you will find access in parts of New Jersey only a couple ZIP codes away.

Verizon vs. Optimum: Which has the fastest internet speed?

Internet speeds

Both Verizon and Optimum have competitive speeds at similar prices, but Verizon offers a slightly better cost per megabit, so it has the greater value for most customers.

Your best bets for speed are Optimum 500 or Verizon Fios Gigabit Connection. The Verizon Fios plan is more expensive but provides a large speed bonus for multiple people using the same network, while the Optimum plan is great for a family with moderate internet use.

Test your speed:

See how your current upload and download speeds compare to Optimum and Verizon with our speed test tool.

Internet types

Because Optimum evolved out of a television and phone provider, its services are provided over standard cable connections. By contrast, Verizon’s network operates on its branded Fios fiber-optic connection. While from a bird’s-eye view they might look similar, fiber-optic connections are superior to cable in almost every way.

First, fiber is simply faster than cable. It’s a newer technology. Secondly, cable is shared between users. Instead of running a dedicated line to your home, cable networks are offshoots from larger hardlines—meaning you’re sharing the network with everyone else on the same line, which leads to more latency during high-use periods.

Verizon vs. Optimum fees and contracts

Both Verizon and Optimum offer some fee reductions and fee waivers for new customers over the first year, but they generally have the same fee structures. We’ll break down what you can expect below, but it’s also worth noting that Optimum earned higher marks than Verizon in customer satisfaction about the monthly bill. Optimum excelled in this category in our most recent survey, getting the second-highest rating of 3.69 out of 5 stars. Verizon still placed in the top half of providers for monthly bill satisfaction, with 3.55 stars.

Verizon Fios Home Internet fees

FeesAmount
Equipment$15/mo. (waived with Fios Gigabit Connection)
Installation$99.00 (waived when ordered online)
CancellationNone
Late payment$9.00

Verizon’s fee structure is fairly straightforward, with the cancellation fee being the most important one to understand: there isn’t one.

Verizon updated its plans to feature internet without contracts and cancellation without fees. That’s a huge win in our book—especially if you’re planning on moving or just don’t want to be tied down to one internet provider.

Optimum fees

FeesAmount
Equipment$10.00
Installation$99.99
CancellationNone
Late payment$10.99
Network Enhancement Fee$3.50

Optimum’s fees are similar to Verizon’s with a few exceptions. First, it provides two different installation options—a basic for $100 and a premium for $150.

If you’re the kind of person who’s worried about network coverage around your home and wants to have a tailored setup, you can spend the extra 50 bucks, but you probably won’t need it.

One important note you should remember is Optimum’s cancellation policy. While you won’t be dinged for cancelling your service early, you will have to pay for the remainder of the current month.

For example, if you cancel service on the first of the month, you’ll still have to pay for the rest of the month—and you’ll still have Optimum service for that time.

Editor’s pick:

Optimum’s got some nice points in its favor, but Verizon’s consistency, better tech, and wider coverage area give it the final edge.

Verizon vs. Optimum equipment

Renting

Equipment rentals are a good way to get online quickly, but they can often cost more over time. That said, the cost can be worth it if you don’t want to worry about buying a compatible modem or keeping your equipment up to date over time.

Optimum charges $10 per month for its modem and includes a router at no additional fee if requested (you can get the router only if you lease a modem).

Verizon provides a Fios Home Router for $15 per month and waives the router fee on its Fios Gigabit Connection plan.

Regardless of which plan you choose, Optimum and Verizon will provide a modem and router capable of managing the speed you sign up for. If you feel like you’re not getting enough bang for your buck or you want your own dedicated gear, consider purchasing your own equipment outright.

Buying

It’s usually more cost-effective (and sometimes faster and more secure) to buy your own modem.

Because different modems work with different providers, you’ll need to first research which equipment is compatible with Optimum or Verizon. You’ll have two options: buy a Wi-Fi and router independently or buy a two-in-one combo.

In addition to having your own equipment that will save money, you’ll have more control over your hardware and software. Better hardware will get you get the highest speeds possible from your connection and flexible software will allow you to customize security and network management.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to dig around on your network, buying your own router is a solid strategy.

Pro tip:

Renting a router and modem for a year or two can cost you as much as $250. A combo router like this NETGEAR option is $60 less.

Verizon vs. Optimum customer service

Both brands offer good customer service. Verizon and Optimum each earned great customer service ratings in our most recent customer satisfaction survey. Verizon was second in the category with 3.94 stars out of 5 for customer service, while Optimum placed third with 3.91 stars.

Verizon will do its best to funnel you through one of its non-human support options (which are actually surprisingly good and easy to use), but you can talk to a person if you dial 1-800-922-0204.

Installation and setup

Verizon

Installation fee: $99.00 (waived when ordered online)

Installation type: Pro and self-install

Installation customer satisfaction rating: (4.08/5)

 

Schedule an installation

Optimum

Installation fee: $99.99

Installation type: Pro and self-install

Installation customer satisfaction rating:

(4.01/5)

Schedule an installation

Both Optimum and Verizon Fios provide self installation and professional install options. If you’ve already got a dedicated line in your home, you should be able to just plug and play.

Optimum does provide a premium installation option for high data users. In addition to installing a network port at your home, premium installation will create a dedicated hardwire to a single device, set up your wireless system, and create three additional outlets.

Customer satisfaction

Verizon

Verizon overall customer satisfaction rating:

(3.96/5)

 

Optimum

Optimum overall customer satisfaction rating:

(3.91/5)

 

Optimum and Verizon both had great ratings in our most recent customer satisfaction survey. Optimum placed third, with an overall rating of 3.91 out of 5 stars, and Verizon came in second with an overall score of 3.94. While both providers had good ratings across all eight categories in the survey, Verizon got particularly high marks for speed, installation, reliability, tech support, customer service, and for its app. Optimum crushed it as well, earning high marks in reliability, billing, tech support, and customer service.

Verizon vs. Optimum availability

Top states for Verizon:

  1. New York
  2. New Jersey
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. Virginia
  5. Maryland

Top states for Optimum:

  1. New York
  2. Connecticut
  3. New Jersey
  4. Pennsylvania

Optimum’s service is severely limited to New York City and some surrounding areas, while Verizon serves most of the United States but has especially good coverage on the East Coast.

This might seem unimportant, but a smaller coverage area means that Optimum has less resources because of its less robust network. On the other hand, there are perks like better customer service and cheaper prices that usually come with smaller providers like Optimum.

But if you like more options in more areas with one of the nation’s leading networks, go with Verizon. Sometimes it’s nice to know your internet connection comes from a big-name provider.

Check the availability of these providers in your area:

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Higher overall speed than Optimum
  • Wider coverage area

Cons

  • Higher prices
 

Pros

  • Better mid-tier prices
  • Higher customer satisfaction for billing
 

Cons

  • Extremely limited coverage area
  • Cable connection
 

Our verdict

While Optimum has slightly cheaper plans and great satisfaction ratings from its customers, it ultimately falls short of delivering the same quality and coverage that Verizon Fios plans can.

Optimum’s outdated technology, combined with several hidden fees that spike its price (like a maintenance fee that almost wipes out its price advantage), sinks it in comparison to Verizon.

Verizon’s overall better offerings and service plans push it over the finish line ahead of Optimum, as well as the simple fact that anyone not near NYC will have a hard time using Optimum’s services.

If you’re trying to shave a few bucks a month off your bills, you can pick up Optimum and at worst cancel easily if you don’t like what you get, but we think Verizon Fios is the provider you’ll want to be with for the long haul.

Verizon vs. Optimum FAQ

What’s the difference between Optimum and Verizon Fios?

Verizon Fios is Verizon’s fiber-optic internet service with speeds that go up to 940 Mbps. Optimum is a smaller, cable internet service with speeds topping out at 500 Mbps.

Do Verizon and Optimum offer bundles with TV service?

Both Verizon and Optimum provide TV bundles with internet service. Packages start at around $70 per month for Optimum bundles and $90 per month for Verizon Fios.

What’s the fastest speed I can get from Optimum and Verizon Fios?

Optimum’s fastest speeds cap out at 1 Gig, while Fios provides up to 940 Mbps. Remember that your speed can be hindered by your modem connection, so if you have a modem that supports only 700 Mbps, you’ll get only that speed even with a high-end plan. All equipment provided by an ISP can manage the speeds for your selected plan.

Author -

Dave has written professionally for tech companies and consumer technology sites for nearly five years, with a special focus on TV and internet. He uses his industry expertise to help readers at HighSpeedInternet.com get the most out of their services. No matter the project, he prefers his coffee black (the stronger, the better).

Editor - Cara Haynes

Cara Haynes has edited for HighSpeedInternet.com for three years, working with smart writers to revise everything from internet reviews to reports on your state’s favorite Netflix show. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span (buffering kills). With a degree in English and editing and five years working with online content, it’s safe to say she likes words on the internet. She is most likely to be seen wearing Birkenstocks and hanging out with a bouncy goldendoodle named Dobby, who is a literal fur angel sent to Earth.

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