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Find great deals on Optimum internet and TV service.
One of my favorite things to do to get away from the New York area’s never-ending, in-your-face pace is binging mixed martial arts fights on YouTube. Watching strangers exhibit my frustration is stress-relieving, but having a slow internet connection is just the opposite. If you live in New York (outside of New York City), Connecticut, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania, take a look at Optimum internet deals. Optimum offers super-fast speeds and perks such as access to public Wi-Fi hotspots at lower prices than most providers.
Optimum's plans and pricing start with introductory rates, making your first year or two a bit cheaper.
Optimum’s internet-only plans boast pretty fast internet speeds, though they slowed down a bit when Optimum cut back its upload speeds in July of 2021 (the download speeds — more important for most kinds of internet activities — are still very high, but upload-intensive activities like gaming are a bit worse off under Optimum's newer rules).
I recommend opting for one of the faster plans: Optimum 300, Optimum 500, or Optimum 1 Gig. Optimum 300 is a good starter plan with up to 300 Mbps, which is more than enough to support my video-consuming family. For $35 per month, it’s a hard deal to pass up. Deals from Verizon Fios and other competitors offer speeds closer to 200 Mbps for a slightly higher rate.
Optimum also offers a fiber gigabit plan with a lower price than Verizon Fios internet plans and plans from most other providers. If you want more than 300 Mbps, the Optimum 1 Gig plan is the way to go. It costs only $10 more than the Optimum 500 midtier plan, which has up to 500 Mbps.
Optimum is one step ahead of providers that still impose data caps. Internet plans from Cox and AT&T Internet have data caps, but that's not true of Optimum: Each Optimum internet plan is free of data caps. Data-cap-free internet is second only to fast internet, and Optimum uses the two fastest types of wired internet connections: fiber and cable. Optimum’s fiber internet isn’t as widely available as its cable internet, but the company is still one of the five fastest cable internet providers in the U.S. The speed providers advertise, however, is the maximum speed you can get. In our hands-on Optimum review, we discuss how your actual day-to-day speed may be slower — although some Optimum customers actually get faster speeds than what their plan advertises.
All of Optimum’s plans are contract-free. Most providers no longer require contracts, and there’s no reason to when providers such as Optimum, Verizon Fios, and Spectrum's internet plans offer contract buyouts as incentives to new customers. If you’re considering Optimum and you’re stuck in a contract, the company will pay up to $500 of early termination fees. (I’ve never seen a provider that charges more than $500 in termination fees.)
Optimum’s promotional pricing includes a $5 discount for autopay and paperless billing. This is pretty standard, and I’ve seen providers such as Suddenlink implement the same discount. If you are not into autopay or saving paper, expect an additional $5 tacked onto your bill. In 2019, Optimum also introduced a network-enhancement fee, which is currently $3.50 per month for all its internet plans.
Setting up your service requires installation. Optimum’s standard installation is currently free, and it should be enough for most customers. For $59 you can upgrade to premium installation and the company will configure up to six of your devices — including your TV, gaming console, and smart home devices — to connect to your new network. Premium also includes the wiring of one device within six feet of your network equipment.
No matter which installation you choose, you’ll still need a modem. Optimum charges $10 per month for modem rental, which comes with a free smart router. You could purchase your own modem and router, but you’d need to ensure they’re compatible with your Optimum service. If you aren’t very tech savvy, it may be easier to just pay the extra $10 each month.
All of Optimum’s plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you cancel your service within that period, it will refund your service fee. You likely won’t get a refund for extra costs such as premium installation or equipment rentals though.
On top of free installation, a free smart router that can blanket your entire home with a strong Wi-Fi signal, and a $35-per-month plan that has enough speed to support multiple streaming devices in 4K, Optimum customers also get access to more than 2 million Wi-Fi hotspots. That may not sound like a lot compared to what AT&T offers, but it covers a large number of Optimum’s customers when you look at how concentrated Optimum’s availability is in the northeastern U.S. Verizon Fios (read our review) may offer a free Disney Plus subscription and Hulu subscription, but you’ll save more money in the long run with Optimum.