Optimum vs. Verizon: Which Internet Provider Is Best for You?

Optimum and Verizon have fast fiber but Verizon may be your better deal.

  • Best for speed
    • Customer rating: 3.4
    • Price: $30.00–$165./mo.§#
    • Speed: 300–5,000 Mbps
    • Internet type: Cable, fiber
    • Annual contract: No contract
    • Data cap: No cap
  • Best for affordability
    • Customer rating: 3.8
    • Price: $49.99–$119.99/mo.*‡†
    • Speed: 200–up to 2,048 Mbps
    • Internet type: Fiber
    • Annual contract: No contrac
    • Data cap: No cap

Compare Optimum and Verizon head to head

Optimum and Verizon primarily offer two different types of internet: Optimum supplies mostly cable and some fiber, while Verizon provides mainly fiber and some DSL. If you have access to both fiber networks, we suggest Verizon because it’s your cheaper option for the long term. If you can’t get fiber, Optimum’s cable internet is your only alternative of the two.

Pros and cons: Optimum vs. Verizon

Pros:

  • No contracts
  • No data caps
  • Wider availability

Cons:

  • Limited fiber availability
  • Price hikes after 12 mos.

Pros:

  • No contracts
  • No data caps
  • Great customer service

Cons:

  • Smaller coverage area
  • Limited fiber availability

Want to know which Optimum or Verizon plans are in your area? Take a look by typing in your zip code below.

Plans and pricing: Optimum vs. Verizon

At first glance, Verizon is slightly more expensive when you compare the 500 Mbps and gigabit plans. But all that changes when Optimum’s prices increase up to $70 per month after the first 12 months, while Verizon’s prices stay the same.

Optimum plans and pricing

PackagePriceSpeedTypeDetails
300 Mbps Internet$30.00/mo.*Up to 300 MbpsCable, fiberView Plan
500 Mbps Internet$50.00/mo.*Up to 500 MbpsCable, fiberView Plan
1 Gig Internet$65.00/mo.*Up to 940 MbpsCable, fiberView Plan
2 Gig Internet$105.00/mo.*Up to 2,000 MbpsFiberView Plan
5 Gig Internet$165.00/mo.*Up to 5,000 MbpsFiberView Plan

Optimum is mostly a cable internet provider with some fiber. Parent company Altice USA rebranded its other Suddenlink network as Optimum, so the brand now covers most of the US. Suddenlink was best known for cable internet in rural areas, while Optimum focused on cable and fiber in the New York tri-state area.

With both networks combined. Altice USA condensed its cable and fiber plan lineup. The starting prices are lower than Verizon’s, but Optimum’s prices increase substantially after the first year. For example, the 300 Mbps Internet plan costs $109.99 per month after the first year, making Verizon a better deal for the long term.

Verizon plans and pricing

PackagePriceSpeedTypeDetails
Internet 200/200$49.99/mo.*200 MbpsFiber
Internet 300/300$49.99/mo.*300 MbpsFiber
Internet 400/400$69.99/mo.*400 MbpsFiber
Internet 500/500$69.99/mo.*500 MbpsFiber
Internet 1 Gig$89.99/mo.Up to 940 MbpsFiber
Internet 2 Gig$119.99/mo.Up to 2,048 MbpsFiber

Verizon now has a smaller footprint when you compare it with Optimum. However, its fiber-to-the-home service is now considerably larger than its DSL service (which new customers can’t get), with 6.6 million fiber connections as of June 2022.5 In contrast, Optimum has around 1.2 million fiber connections in the same area.

Verizon lists the 300 Mbps and 500 Mbps plans on its website, but you may find you’re limited to your area’s 200 Mbps and 400 Mbps versions until Verizon upgrades the speed. The Internet 2 Gig is hard to get too, just like Optimum’s 5 Gig Internet plan, offered only in small parts of New York City.

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Deals and promotions: Optimum vs. Verizon

Optimum
Order the 1 Gig internet plan to get gigabit speeds for just $65.00 per month.




Get the Deal
Qualifying Verizon Fios plans offer customers a SimpliSafe bundle (a four- or eight-piece system depending on the plan), a discount on the Stream TV Soundbar, and a Verizon Gift Card worth $50 or $100. Gigabit plans also come with a Disney+ trial.

Extra fees: Optimum vs. Verizon

Equipment FeeInstallation FeeOther Fees
Optimum
  • $10.00/mo. for cable modem or wireless gateway
  • Free Smart Router
  • $3.00/mo. per added Xtend unit
  • $99.99 for standard install
  • $149.99 for premium install
  • $10.00 late payment fee
  • $10.00 phone payment processing fee
  • $20.00 returned check fee
  • $10.00 restore service fee (1 or 2 products)
  • $15.00 restore service fee (3 products)
  • Verizon
  • $15.00/mo. router charge (waived with Fios Gigabit Connection)
  • $99.00 (waived if you order online)
  • No installation fee for 5G Home Internet
  • $7.00 phone payment processing fee
  • $9.00 late payment fee
  • Verizon is the clear winner here with a cheaper late payment fee and waived setup charge if you order online.

    But we give Optimum kudos for making its fees transparent on its website. According to the list, Optimum’s TV broadcast fee is cheaper than what we see with other providers, costing just $9.99 per month.

    We believe fiber internet is the best connection. Enter your zip code below to find out if this high-speed access is available in your area.

    Customer ratings: Optimum vs Verizon

    Overall RatingReliability RatingCustomer Service RatingSpeed RatingPrice Rating
    Optimum3.83.63.63.73.3
    Verizon3.83.83.83.93.5

    Overall, Verizon outranked Optimum in our annual customer satisfaction survey with an overall satisfaction score of 3.8 versus Optimum’s lower 3.5 score. Verizon also outranked Optimum when we asked customers about their internet speed, price, reliability, and customer service. However, Verizon’s scores were lower across the board than the previous year.

    In all cases, Optimum remained in the bottom half. Only 17% of those surveyed said they were “100% satisfied” with customer service. However, Optimum’s fiber customers were more satisfied with their internet speed than its cable subscribers, giving a high 4.0 rating despite the lower overall speed rating of 3.7.

    Best TV and internet bundles

    PackageInternet speedInternet typeTV channelsPriceDetails
    Optimum 300 Mbps Internet + Premier TVUp to 300 MbpsCable, fiber420+$145.00/mo.*View Plans
    Optimum 1 Gig Internet + Core TVUp to 940 MbpsCable, fiber220+$154.99/mo.*View Plans
    Verizon 500 Mbps Internet + Your Fios TV500 MbpsFiber125+$139.99/mo.
    Verizon Fios Gigabit Connection + More Fios TVUp to 940 MbpsFiber300+$179.99/mo.§

    Optimum’s four TV and internet bundles are based on its Core TV service with 220 channels, and its Premier TV service with 420 channels. Optimum pairs these TV services with its 300 Mbps Internet and 1 Gig Internet plans. Three of the four bundles include cable or fiber internet, while the 300 Mbps Internet + Core TV bundle is fiber only.

    Optimum also provides six additional bundles if you need phone service too, starting at $34.99 per month.

    Verizon has only four Mix & Match options starting at $114.99 per month. The cheapest bundle includes 125+ channels and 200–300 Mbps fiber internet speeds. For $25 more, you can double the bandwidth to 400–500 Mbps, depending on where you live.

    Internet types: Optimum vs. Verizon

    Internet typeDetails
    OptimumCable, fiberView Plans
    VerizonFiber, DSL

    DSL internet sends electrical signals over copper telephone wires. It’s the slowest of the three connection types, supporting up to 140 Mbps.

    Optimum uses copper coaxial cable lines to deliver internet over unused TV channels. Cable provides more bandwidth than telephone lines, supporting up to 10,000 Mbps download speeds thanks to the DOCSIS 3.1 and 4 standards.

    Fiber internet uses LED and laser pulses to deliver data across glass filaments at speeds up to 10,000 Mbps. It’s the most reliable of the three types and supports symmetrical speeds—unlike cable and DSL—making it your go-to choice if it’s available in your area.

    Data caps: Optimum vs. Verizon

    Data CapDetails
    OptimumNoneView Plans
    VerizonNone

    There’s nothing to report here. Verizon and Optimum don’t enforce data caps, so there are no overage fees or a hidden “unlimited data” charge on your monthly bill. By comparison, Xfinity caps data at 1.2 TB unless you opt for the $30 monthly charge to remove the data cap.

    But Optimum does have an excessive use policy. If a subscriber’s data consumption is “wholly uncharacteristic of a typical user,” such as excessive peer-to-peer application use or large FTP uploads and downloads, Optimum will throttle the bandwidth.2 

    For you, that means Optimum won’t punish all customers with data caps. But if you become an excessive data hog, expect your connection to slow substantially.

    Contracts: Optimum vs. Verizon

    Contract lengthDetails
    OptimumNo contractView Plans
    VerizonNo contract

    Both Verizon and Optimum do not enforce annual contracts or early termination fees. However, Optimum drops its discounts when your service reaches its 13th month.

    Installation: Optimum vs. Verizon

    Installation optionsDetails
    Optimum
  • $99.99 for standard install
  • $149.99 for premium install
  • View Plans
    Verizon
  • $99.00 (waived if you order online)
  • With Optimum’s standard installation, a technician will install up to two outlets and set up one wireless device. The premium installation includes up to three outlets, setting up all wireless devices, and connecting one wired (Ethernet) device: smart TV, game console, computer, or alarm system.3

    Availability: Optimum vs. Verizon

    Optimum has wider availability now that Suddenlink is part of the Optimum brand. It covers 21 states from California to Texas to North Carolina to New York. Most of what it offers is cable internet, with some fiber in the New York tri-state area and in small spots across the nation—around 1.2 million homes as of December 2021. Altice expects to expand its fiber to 1.3 million more locations nationwide in 2022.4

    Verizon’s residential fiber service is available in key metro areas in Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington, DC. The company reported 6.6 million Fios connections in June 2022, far surpassing the number of DSL connections new customers can’t even get.

    To see if Optimum or Verizon is in your area, enter your zip code below.

    Final call: Optimum vs. Verizon

    Pick Verizon if you want affordable fiber internet. It has a wider reach with more than 6 million homes versus Optimum’s over 1 million. Verizon is slightly more expensive at the start, sure, but it becomes your cheaper option for the long term once Optimum’s promotional period ends.5

    If there’s no fiber internet in your area and you need lots of download speed, Optimum’s cable internet is the only option of the two providers—Verizon doesn’t offer DSL service to new customers.

    View Optimum Plans

    Methodology

    Our HighSpeedInternet.com 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.

    Sources

    1. Optimum, “Optimum Help via Twitter,” February 27, 2019. Accessed June 4, 2021.
    2. Optimum, “Open Internet Disclosure Statement,” Accessed June 4, 2021.
    3. Optimum, “We’re Ready to Help with Installation,” Accessed June 4, 2021.
    4. Optimum, “Altice USA Q1 2021 Results,” April 28, 2021. Accessed June 7, 2021.
    5. Verizon, “Fact Sheet,” July 22, 2022. Accessed August 5, 2022.

    Author -

    Kevin Parrish has more than a decade of experience working as a writer, editor, and product tester. He began writing about computer hardware and soon branched out to other devices and services such as networking equipment, phones and tablets, game consoles, and other internet-connected devices. His work has appeared in Tom’s Hardware, Tom's Guide, Maximum PC, Digital Trends, Android Authority, How-To Geek, Lifewire, and others. At HighSpeedInternet.com, he focuses on internet security.

    Editor - Cara Haynes

    Cara Haynes has been editing and writing in the digital space for seven years, and she's edited all things internet for HighSpeedInternet.com for five years. She graduated with a BA in English and a minor in editing from Brigham Young University. When she's not editing, she makes tech accessible through her freelance writing for brands like Pluralsight. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span.