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Optimum vs Frontier

Last updated: May 6, 2022

Starts at $39.99/mo
Starts at $27.99/mo

When looking for the best internet out there, you want to be sure you are comparing apples to apples. It doesn’t do much good to compare a DSL internet plan to a cable or fiber internet plan, because a DSL connection can only provide speed up to 100 Mbps. This is one thing you need to be wary of when looking at the difference between Frontier and Optimum.

Frontier is one of the most popular choices for DSL internet over the last decade. They jumped into the fiber internet market with the purchase of Verizon Fios’ fiber network on the West Coast. Optimum offers a fiber connection as well; however, they are only available in a few states. I’m not trying to downplay Optimum in the least — it’s a very strong option, just not a very widely available one.

Both Frontier Fiber and Optimum offer speedy fiber internet with comparable pricing. However, Optimum has faster speeds than Frontier in the Northeast.

Optimum vs. Frontier in a Nutshell

Optimum Frontier
  • Internet-only deals start at $19.99 per month
  • Price for Life guarantee
  • Over 2 million public Wi-Fi hotspot locations
  • No data caps
  • Limited geographic availability
  • Available in more than 25 states
  • Internet-only plans begin $49.99 per month
  • No-contract plans available
  • No data caps

Network Coverage Comparison for Optimum and Frontier

Optimum is only available in a handful of states, yet it's among the largest cable internet provider in the United States. That's because Optimum serves huge cities, including New York City (where it's available the Bronx and parts of Brooklyn, but not Manhattan). Frontier has overlapping availability in the Northeast, but its fiber service is available primarily in the West and South. Where these two ISPs compete, customers are generally choosing between Frontier's DSL offerings and Optimum's speedy plans, which tilts the scales in Optimum's favor.

Optimum vs. Frontier: Speed and Internet Performance

Optimum advertises speeds of up to 940 Mbps. The average Optimum customer receives speeds closer to 230 Mbps, but that’s enough to support a couple working from home with kids going to school virtually. Everyone in that scenario could connect to their Zoom or Slack calls with minimal lag or buffering, even if all four were chatting at the same time.

Frontier may not have as many high-speed plans as Optimum, but its DSL network is still generally fast enough for most consumers. We consider Optimum to be the speedier option in most areas where these two ISPs compete.

Optimum vs. Frontier Pricing and Plan Features

These two ISPs compete closely in price. Promotions and bundling can make the difference, but we typically find that Optimum's plans offer more value than Frontier's,  albeit by only a few bucks per month. Optimum also  offers a “Price for Life” guarantee.

Frontier offers a wide range of plans, which could make it easier for some consumers to find their budget-friendly “sweet spot.” But when you compare the DSL internet plans that Frontier offers to the cable and fiber plans that Optimum offers in many of the same areas, Optimum comes out as the winner more often than not.

Optimum vs. Frontier: Equipment and Installation

Optimum Frontier
Installation Fee: $99 or $149

Modem Lease Fee: $10 per month

Internet Activation Fee: $85 + $10 processing (charged when service ends)

Installation Fee: $75

Wi-Fi Router Service Fee: $10 per month

Wi-Fi Extenders: $6 per month or $75 to purchase

Fees are an issue with both of these providers. Optimum's installation fee can get pretty steep, but activation fees with Frontier are pretty similar. Getting your own modem and router will save you a decent chunk of cash with either ISP.

Our Pick: Optimum Is Faster and More Affordable

Frontier may be one of the most affordable fiber internet providers in the U.S., but when you compare the services they offer in the only areas where Optimum is available, I think you’ll find that Optimum is the faster, more affordable, and more feature-packed provider. I’d only recommend Frontier if you plan on moving to California, Texas, or Florida, which are the places where Frontier’s best plans are available — but if you live out there, then you can't get Optimum anyway!

7 thoughts on “Optimum vs. Frontier – Which One is Best?

  1. Alex says:

    UPDATE: Optimum Internet only(200Mb) $98.44 per month for existing customer.

    1. Mike E. says:

      I got told today (7/19/21) that if I cancel my tv and phone and drop done to the basic internet (less then the 200 plan) it would be $111+taxes+fees

      1. Anonymous says:

        I got told something similar. The “promotional” packages make it near impossible to cord cut with optimum without switching providers.

  2. Amy says:

    Just look up the complaints for optimum dropping constantly it’s insane and I wish I saw them before I got into this mess

    The tech will tell you their modems suck, the internet will agree. A new top end modem and router will not help you and those are some outdated prices at best.

    I don’t know about frontier but run from optimum.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Frontier’s definitely the way to go if you’re into online gaming. I’ve been getting download speeds of only 30mbps with Optimum’s 1 Gig internet, while a friend of mine who lives in the same area has been getting at least 100mbps with Frontier’s FiberOptic internet. Planning to make the switch soon.

  4. Dawn says:

    I’m with optumum not at atnt how do I change

  5. Red says:

    This person is obviously an Optimum employee. When it comes to fiber internet, Frontier is way ahead of Optimum. Frontier gives you the equipment FREE along with FREE installation! 1GB service from Frontier is listed at $59.99 (not a promotion) Optimum is currently listing it at $49.99 (promotion for NEW customers only) and you also still pay for the equipment.

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