Verizon Fios vs Optimum | Which One is Better?

Verizon Fios vs Optimum – Overview

Choosing an ISP (internet service provider) can be hard especially if you have a couple of reliable options available in your area.

For instance, if you reside in the Northeastern part of the U.S, you will most likely be considering Altice Optimum or Verizon FiOS as your ISP.

Both of these companies offer broadband internet to some big cities on that side of the country, and if you live in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut, you might be spoilt for choice.

As per the latest data from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), Optimum Internet is subscribed by an estimated 12.9 million people covering four U.S states.

On the other hand, Verizon FiOS was subscribed by an estimated 35.8 million people covering eight states.

Altice Optimum and Verizon FiOS offer unlimited data, quick download speeds, competitive prices, and zero contracts.

However, there are a couple of features that differentiate both of them. So let’s take a look at these similarities and differences.

Where Can You Get Altice Optimum and Verizon FiOS?

Optimum Internet is available in Duchess and Westchester Counties in New York State and two boroughs, Brooklyn and the Bronx in New York City.

It’s also available in large portions of New Jersey, a healthy section of Long Island, and some parts of Connecticut.

On the other hand, Verizon FiOS is available in numerous major cities in the Northeast, such as Albany, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Syracuse, Virginia, and Washington DC, among others.

The U.S states covered by Verizon FiOS include New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Virginia.

As illustrated above, there is some crossover between Optimum and FiOS, mainly in the New York metropolitan area.

How Do Speed and Prices for Altice Optimum and Verizon FiOS Compare?

Both Optimum Internet and Verizon FiOS internet offer good deals, especially for their intro packages.

So yes, you will get slightly better speeds with the Optimum 300 plan compared to the Verizon FiOS Home Internet 200 plan.

However, there is a catch here that puts these two companies on level terms. Verizon FiOS is a fiber connection, whereas Optimum is a cable connection for the most part.

Let’s look at the table below to see the differences between speeds and pricing in detail.

FiOS Internet Pricing and PlansPrice Max Download SpeedMax Upload SpeedType
Internet 200/200$39.99/Mo200 Mbps200 MbpsFiber
Internet 300/300$39.99/Mo300 Mbps300 MbpsFiber
Internet 400/400$59.99/Mo400 Mbps400 MbpsFiber
Internet 500/500$59.99/Mo500 Mbps500 MbpsFiber
Fios Gigabit Connection$79.99/Mo940 Mbps880 MbpsFiber
Optimum Internet Pricing and PlansPrice Max Download SpeedMax Upload SpeedType
Optimum 300 $40.00/Mo300 Mbps30 MbpsCable
Optimum 500 $65.00/Mo500 Mbps40 MbpsCable
Optimum 1 Gig $75.00/Mo940 Mbps50 MbpsCable
Fiber Internet 300$40.00/Mo300 Mbps300 MbpsFiber
Fiber Internet 500$65.00/Mo500 Mbps500 MbpsFiber
Fiber Internet 1 Gig$75.00/Mo940 Mbps940 MbpsFiber

Are There Monthly Charges for Optimum and Verizon FiOS Equipment?

Optimum

Optimum charges clients a flat rate of 5 dollars a month for their standard modem. You get the high-speed router for free, although it’s also used as a public Wi-Fi hotspot.

And although the public Wi-Fi is separate from your one, it has raised security fears among clients. 

This is why buying your 3rd party router when you have an Optimum internet plan is vital. It will save you money in the long run.

Optimum even provides information on compatible routers and modem-router combos on their website.

Verizon

Verizon encourages clients to lease their gateway device, the FiOS Quantum Gateway, for a flat rate of 15 dollars a month. However, if you subscribe to the FiOS Gigabit plan, this rental fee will be waived.

Verizon also offers you the option to purchase the gateway device downright, but you might find a better deal if you shop for a 3rd party modem router combo that is compatible with Verizon Fios.

If you decide to purchase a 3rd party router, you will have to ask Verizon to activate your ONT (Optical Network Terminal) box so that you can run an Ethernet cable to your router.

However, this can be a bit tricky if your ONT is situated far from where your router is. But it will be worth it if you want to use one of the newer fancy routers.

You can find more information on this on the Verizon FiOS website.

What’s The Customer Service Rating for Optimum and Verizon FiOS?

Both Optimum and Verizon FiOS score above average when it comes to customer service.

This is because they serve smaller areas which means they give more personalized services compared to other large ISPs such as AT&T. However, they’ve both had some PR nightmares in the past due to client complaints.

In the 2021 ACSI (American Consumer Satisfaction Index), Optimum Internet scored 60, which is one point above the benchmark.

In contrast, Verizon FiOS shared the top spot, with AT&T attaining an impressive score of 71, which is, of course, above the benchmark.

Final Thought on Verizon Fios vs Optimum Comparison

To sum it all up, if you have a choice between Optimum and FiOS, well, it’s a bit hard to choose because both are impressive.

However, Verizon FiOS is the undisputed winner from a reliability and symmetrical upload and download speeds perspective. 

And despite the compelling savings you get from Optimum, Verizon FiOS has a better client satisfaction rating.

Verizon Fios vs Optimum – Author’s Experience

I had to switch from Verizon to Optimum Online because Verizon does not provide the service to the area I moved to (Wayne, New Jersey). I constantly had issues with the wifi coverage in my new large home.

So much so that my office would barely receive wifi signals (at or below 10 Mbps download speed at any given time. Just imagine how I looked during my zoom meetings).

Keeping the door of my office open would not make more than a few Mbps difference either.

But I signed up for the “200Mbps” plan!

After several calls to Optimum Online customer service, I was able to get them to send someone to take a look at my connection speed. The solutions techs offered to the problem were:

“something is interrupting your connection”,

“you should hire an electrician to get your connection hard-wired (rj45)” etc.

They were wrong…

They went so far that they attempted to bill me for the last technician they dispatched to my house (you’ve read it right, they billed me extra for the technicians they sent who never solved the problem).

How do I solve the problem?

I returned optimum equipment (modem and router) and purchased a Netgear modem and Google Mesh Wifi system.

Suddenly nothing was interrupting my coverage as my wifi speed now reads 150+ Mbps in my office and not less than 140Mbps for all the other rooms (first floor, second floor, basement, deck, and front yard). 

Living in a large house and being have to choose Optimum as my ISP was less than ideal in my own experience. It cost me $350 because coupling a Netgear modem with a Google Mesh Wifi system was not cheap.

If you live in a house that is less than 2000 sqft however a modem router combo that is compatible with Optimum should solve your connection problem.