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

We gathered proprietary customer data and staff research to compare Verizon and Optimum.

Best for speed

Customer rating: 3.8

 

Price: $39.99–$89.99/mo.*† 

Speed: 0.5–up to 940 Mbps

Internet type: Fiber, DSL

Annual contract: No

Setup charge: $99.00 (waived when ordered online)

View Plans

Best for affordability

Customer rating: 3.5

 

Price: $39.99–$79.99/mo.**

Speed: 100–940 Mbps

Internet type: Fiber, cable

Contract: No

Installation fee: $99.99

View Plans

* With AutoPay plus taxes and equipment charges.

‡ With AutoPay plus taxes.

† Available only in parts of Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York.

** With Auto Pay, Paperless Bill plus taxes, fees, and charges for 1 year.

Verizon and Optimum primarily offer two different types of internet: Verizon provides mostly fiber and DSL while Optimum supplies mostly cable and some fiber. If you have access to both fiber networks, both are nearly neck and neck in pricing when you compare plans with identical speeds. If you’re shopping for fast downloads only, however, Optimum’s cable plans offer a great megabit-per-dollar value.

Pros and cons: Verizon vs. Optimum

Pros

  • Wider coverage area
  • No annual contracts
  • No data caps
  • DSL internet options

Cons

  • Highest cost
  • Limited fiber availability

Pros

  • Cheaper plans
  • No contracts
  • No data caps

Cons

  • Smaller coverage area
  • No DSL internet
  • Limited fiber availability

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

Plans and pricing: Verizon vs. Optimum

At first glance, Verizon is more expensive than Optimum, especially when you compare Verizon’s fiber plans with Optimum’s cable plans in terms of megabits per dollar. But in a fiber-to-fiber comparison, Optimum is still the cheaper alternative if it’s available in your area.

Verizon plans and pricing

PackagePriceSpeedTypeDetails
Internet 200/200$39.99/mo.*200 MbpsFiberView Plan
Internet 300/300**$39.99/mo.*300 MbpsFiberView Plan
Internet 400/400$64.99/mo.*400 MbpsFiberView Plan
Internet 500/500$64.99/mo.*500 MbpsFiberView Plan
Fios Gigabit Connection$89.99/mo.‡Up to 940 MbpsFiberView Plan
Verizon High Speed Internet + Long Distance$74.99/mo.‡‡0.5–15 MbpsDSLView Plan

* Per month w/ Auto Pay + taxes & equip. Charges.

** Package not available in all areas.

Per month w/ Auto Pay.

Verizon seemingly has a larger fiber offering than Optimum. Its Internet 200/200, Internet 400/400, and Fios Gigabit Connection plans serve a large audience, while its Internet 300/300 and Internet 500/500 plans are limited to specific areas in New York. On the flip side, Optimum’s fiber connections are limited in availability, making it primarily a cable internet provider. That said, Verizon’s fiber may be more widespread in your area than Optimum.

Verizon also offers DSL internet in all service areas if you don’t need a lot of speed, but it’s expensive compared to other providers. For instance, Frontier charges $54.99 per month for 115 Mbps DSL service—far cheaper than Verizon’s $49.99 monthly fee for just 15 Mbps.

Optimum plans and pricing

PackagePriceSpeedTypeDetails
Optimum 300$45.00/mo.*Up to 300 MbpsCableView Plan
Optimum 500$65.00/mo.*Up to 500 MbpsCableView Plan
Optimum 1 Gig$75.00/mo.*Up to 940 MbpsCableView Plan
Fiber Internet 30040.00/mo.*Up to 300 MbpsFiberView Plan
Fiber Internet 500$60.00/mo.*Up to 500 MbpsFiberView Plan
Fiber Internet 1 Gig$80.00/mo.*Up to 940 MbpsFiberView Plan

Optimum is mostly a cable internet provider, so these plans will be slightly cheaper than Verizon’s fiber internet access even though they offer similar speeds.

When you compare fiber to fiber, however, Optimum is still the cheaper alternative. According to Altice USA, Optimum’s fiber rollout—which has already reached 1 million homes by the end of March 2021—will continue to accelerate throughout 2021.4

The advertised price reflects a $5 discount for enrolling in autopay and paperless billing. Optimum will remove the discount starting on the 13th month of your service. Customers must maintain both to keep the discount during the 12-month promotion.

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.

Extra fees: Verizon vs. Optimum

Equipment FeeInstallation FeeOther Fees
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
  • Optimum
  • $10.00/mo. for modem and standalone router
  • $10.00/mo. for modem/router combo (wireless gateway)
  • $99.99 for standard installation (Learn more)
  • $149.99 for premium installation (Learn more)
  • $10.99 late payment fee
  • $3.50 Network Enhancement Fee
  • $10.00 Restore Service Fee (1 or 2 products)
  • $15.00 Restore Service Fee for 3 products
  • The chart speaks for itself, although you may be wondering about Optimum’s “Network Enhancement Fee.” There’s no real explanation for this charge other than it helps Optimum to “continue to invest in our network and infrastructure to deliver the best technology and services possible.”1

    Otherwise, Verizon is the clear winner here with a cheaper late payment fee and waived setup charge if you order online. But we will give Optimum kudos for making its fees transparent on its website.

    Customer ratings: Verizon vs. Optimum

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

    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 customers were asked 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 speedTV channelsPriceDetails
    Verizon 400 Mbps Internet + Your Fios TV400 Mbps125+$129.99/mo.*View Plans
    Verizon Fios Gigabit Connection + More Fios TVUp to 940 Mbps300+$174.99/mo.*View Plans
    Optimum Premier TV & Optimum 300Up to 300 Mbps420+$109.99/mo. **View Plans
    Optimum Core TV & Optimum 400Up to 400 Mbps200+$84.99/mo.#View Plans

    *w/ Auto Pay + taxes & equip. Charges

    ** for 12 mos. plus taxes, fees, and other charges.

    Verizon offers only four Mix & Match options starting at $104.99 per month. The cheapest bundle includes 125+ channels and fiber internet speeds of 200 Mbps. For $25 more, you can double the bandwidth to 400 Mbps.

    Optimum divides its eight bundles into three categories: “Select” with 340+ channels, “Core” with 200+ channels, and “Premier” with 420+ channels. All three tiers range from 200 Mbps to 400 Mbps while the 1 Gig internet plan is bundled only with phone service.

    Internet types: Verizon vs. Optimum

    Internet typeDetails
    VerizonFiber, DSLView Plans
    OptimumFiber, cableView Plans

    Fiber internet uses LED and laser pulses to deliver data across glass filaments, while DSL internet sends electrical signals over copper telephone wires. DSL is the slower connection of the two, supporting up to 115 Mbps, while fiber can reach up to 2,000 Mbps. Fiber should be your go-to choice if it’s available in your area.

    Optimum uses copper coaxial cable lines to deliver internet over an unused TV channel. Cable provides more bandwidth than telephone lines, supporting up to 2,000 Mbps download speeds. 

    The big difference between fiber and cable is that fiber supports equal upload and download speeds whereas cable does not. Fiber is the best choice if you’re livestreaming to Twitch or uploading large audio files to the cloud.

    Data caps: Verizon vs. Optimum

    Data CapDetails
    VerizonNoneView Plans
    OptimumNoneView Plans

    There’s nothing to report here. Verizon and Optimum don’t enforce data caps, so there’s 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: Verizon vs. Optimum

    Contract lengthDetails
    VerizonNoneView Plans
    OptimumNoneView Plans

    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: Verizon vs. Optimum

    Installation optionsDetails
    Verizon$99.00 (waived if you order online)View Plans
    Optimum$99.99 standard installation fee; $149.99 premium installation feeView Plans

    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: Verizon vs. Optimum

    Verizon’s fiber-optic internet service is available in key metro areas in Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington, DC. Verizon DSL internet is available in most areas Verizon has service.

    Optimum has a smaller audience, spanning Connecticut, New Jersey, New York (its largest coverage area), and Pennsylvania. Its fiber internet service is available to around only 1 million homes as of March 2021.

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

    Final call: Verizon vs. Optimum

    If you want a fast fiber internet connection, Verizon has a wider reach with more than 15 million homes versus Optimum’s over 1 million—but Optimum is clearly the cheaper option if you have access to both.5 

    If there’s no fiber internet in your area and you need lots of download speed, Optimum is the better internet choice over Verizon’s expensive (and slower) DSL service.

    View Verizon Plans

    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, “Verizon Fios Availability,” Accessed June 7, 2021.

    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.

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