Spectrum vs Optimum
Who is the Best Internet Provider


Starting at


for 12 mos.*

  • Speeds Up to 1000 Mbps
  • No Data Caps
  • No Contract

Call to Order

(877) 654-4997

Starting at


for 12 mos.*

  • Speeds Up to 5000 Mbps
  • No Data Caps
  • No Contract

Call to Order

(877) 783-2597

Internet providers are abundant, and the competition for customers is fierce, so it can be difficult to determine which provider is best for your needs. Two of the most popular internet providers are Spectrum and Optimum, both of which offer a wide range of internet plans that come with competitive pricing.

This post will compare Spectrum vs Optimum and contrast their services to help determine the best internet provider. We’ll also examine how they stack up against each other in terms of speed, reliability, customer service, and pricing to give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

Table of Contents

Spectrum Internet

Spectrum is a brand of Charter Communications, one of the leading internet providers in America. It is currently the second largest cable internet provider in the US, with over 32 million customers across 41 states. Spectrum offers faster download speeds than most providers and is known for having an excellent balance between cost and performance. Forbes has rated it the best internet provider, offering excellent cost and features.

Spectrum provides three easy-to-understand plans based on speed tiers, but the actual speeds you get may vary depending on your location. Customers can select speeds ranging from 300 Mbps to 1 Gig (wireless speeds may vary) for optimal performance and plans that include an unlimited data allowance. You can find Spectrum Internet plans in most states in the US.

In addition to home internet, customers can also add other services to their package, such as phone and television, to save money. 



  • Fast and reliable speed
  • Unlimited data
  • No contract
  • Wide availability
  • Affordable promo prices
  • No modem fee
  • Great bundle options


  • Prices increase after 1 year
  • No fiber internet service
  • Monthly charge for WiFi service

Optimum Internet

Optimum owned by Altice, a telecommunications giant based in Long Island, New York. Altice purchased Cablevision in 2016, and Optimum became part of that deal. Optimum offers fast internet speeds at low monthly prices to residents, making it the fourth-largest cable provider in the U.S., coming in just ahead of Mediacom. 


They offer internet services to select areas, with unlimited data plans that can support many devices using wifi throughout a household. However, Optimum has faced criticism for offering new customers slower internet speeds than existing customers and falls short in 

terms of customer support options.



  • Affordable pricing
  • Unlimited data usage
  • Fiber internet options are available


  • Significant price increases
  • Limited fiber availability
  • Limited coverage area
  • Poor customer satisfaction scores

Internet Service Comparison – Spectrum vs Optimum

Features Spectrum Optimum
Internet Plans 3 8
Price Range $49.99 – $89.99/mo $40.00 – $180.00/mo.
Speed Range 300 – 940 Mbps 300 – 5000 Mbps
Internet Type Cable Fiber, Cable
Data Caps Unlimited Unlimited
Contracts None None
Bundle Deals Yes Yes
Wide Coverage  Yes No
Additional Fee Yes Yes
Spectrum prices are for 12 mos*, and their wireless speeds may vary.

Both companies offer reliable high-speed internet services, with a variety of plans that can fit any budget and household size. Optimum is the only one of the two that offers fiber internet service. Spectrum’s rates tend to be slightly lower than Optimum’s promotional prices, but post-promotional costs are significantly higher.

Let’s take a closer look and get to the bottom of the Optimum vs Spectrum conundrum.

Internet Plans

Both providers offer a diverse selection of internet plans with varying speeds, data allowances, and prices. Which one is the best fit for your needs? Let’s find out.


Spectrum offers three internet plans to meet the needs of different customers. Each with its own features and speeds. The plans offered by Spectrum are Internet, Internet Ultra, and Internet Gig. They also offer add-on services, including in-home WiFi, which provides customers with a secure and reliable WiFi connection throughout their homes. Additionally, all Spectrum plans come with access to nationwide WiFi Hotspots that can be used at no extra charge when traveling or away from home.

Plan Price Download Speed Upload Speed
Spectrum Internet $49.99/mo. 300 Mbps   10 Mbps
Spectrum Internet Ultra $69.99/mo. 500 Mbps  20 Mbps
Spectrum Internet Gig $89.99/mo. 1000 Mbps  35 Mbps


Optimum offers several cable and fiber internet plans for their customers, ranging from download speeds of 300 Mbps up to a maximum of 5000 Mbps. All plans offer unlimited data, and depending on your area, you may be able to get free installation.


The entry-level plan starts with 300 Mbps and is perfect for households that just need basic web surfing, video streaming, and other light activities. If you’re looking for more speed and need to do things like video conferencing or intense gaming, then Optimum offers the 500 Mbps and 1000 Mbps plans. 


When considering cost-effectiveness, Optimum has an advantage over Spectrum. For only $40.00 per month, you can enjoy lightning-fast speeds of 300 Mbps with Optimum. On the other hand, choosing Spectrum will cost you an extra $10 per month. However, the real difference between these providers becomes clear after the promotional period ends. While Spectrum’s rates can increase as much as $25 per month, Optimum’s potential rate increases are even higher, reaching up to $70 per month. So, Optimum might seem cheaper in the short term, but Spectrum will be more affordable in the long run. Below we have listed all the Optimum internet plans:

Plans Price Download Speed Upload Speed
Optimum 300 $40.00/mo. 300 Mbps 35 Mbps
Optimum 500 $60.00/mo. 500 Mbps 35 Mbps
Optimum 1 Gig $80.00/mo. 1000 Mbps 50 Mbps
Optimum Fiber 300 $40.00/mo. 300 Mbps 300 Mbps
Optimum Fiber 500 $60.00/mo. 500 Mbps 500 Mbps
Optimum Fiber 1 Gig $80.00/mo. 1000 Mbps 1000 Mbps
Optimum Fiber 2 Gig $120.00/mo. 2000 Mbps 2000 Mbps
Optimum Fiber 5 Gig $180.00/mo. 5000 Mbps 5000 Mbps

It is important to note that if you choose to bundle your Optimum internet with an unlimited mobile plan, prices for both services will be discounted by $10 per month.

Internet Speed

The speed of your internet connection is a crucial aspect to consider when choosing an internet service provider. Spectrum and Optimum offer cable internet with maximum download speeds of 1000 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary). However, their upload speeds vary significantly. Optimum offers upload speeds of 35 Mbps to 50 Mbps, while Spectrum’s upload speeds are capped at 35 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary).

In addition, Optimum provides fiber internet with symmetrical speeds of up to 5000 Mbps, which is perfect for households with multiple internet-connected devices and high-speed requirements. However, this fiber service is not accessible in all locations, so if it is not available in your area, Spectrum would be a better option for a reliable, high-speed internet connection.

Type of Internet

Spectrum offers hybrid fiber-coaxial cable connections. This type of connection uses a combination of fiber-optic and coaxial cables to deliver internet services. The main advantage of this type of connection is that it is highly reliable and can support high bandwidth speeds, up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps).

Optimum provides both cable and fiber internet services. Cable internet is usually cheaper and more accessible than fiber. It also provides faster download speeds than other types of internet, such as DSL. However, it is not as reliable as fiber and can be prone to outages due to weather conditions. Fiber optic internet is the fastest type of internet available, providing equal download and upload speeds.

Data Caps

With the dramatic increase in online streaming services, internet speeds and data caps have become major considerations when choosing an internet service provider (ISP). Data caps limit the amount of data you can use each month, and if you exceed your limit, you may have to pay extra charges. Thankfully, Spectrum and Optimum offer unlimited data plans, so you won’t have to worry about data caps when choosing either provider. This means you can stream, download, and surf the internet without worrying about exceeding your limit.


Both Spectrum and Optimum offer no-contract services, so there’s no commitment required. This is great news for those who don’t want to be locked into an expensive long-term contract or those who are looking for a short-term solution until they can move somewhere that offers more competitive rates.

Price After One Year – Spectrum vs Optimum

The debate between Spectrum and Optimum Internet providers can confuse customers. Both companies offer reasonable prices, fast speeds, and a variety of service packages to meet individual needs. But one area where they differ is their pricing structure after the first year of service. After the first year of service, the cost of Spectrum Internet typically increases to $25 per month. Meanwhile, the cost of Optimum Internet could skyrocket as high as $70 per month after the first year of service.

The price difference is quite remarkable and can be a major factor in choosing between the two providers. When looking at long-term cost, Spectrum has a clear advantage over Optimum. The rates stay lower over time, allowing customers to save on their monthly bills while still receiving reliable internet service.

Customer Service

No matter what type of internet service you are looking for, customer service is an important factor to consider. Luckily, Spectrum has excellent customer service with a 2021 score of 63 in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) 2022 report. This is five points above the industry average, which is a positive sign. They also scored well in J.D. Power’s latest study, with a score of 667.

On the other hand, Optimum has had a decline in its customer service. The ACSI 2022 report saw a 1-point decrease from 2021, scoring 59 and six points below the industry average. In addition, they scored 655 in J.D. Power’s study and ranked below Spectrum. This is concerning for this ISP and should be considered when making your decision.

Coverage Area

As more households become dependent on the internet to access educational resources, entertainment, and work-from-home opportunities. It is important for internet service providers (ISPs) to offer comprehensive coverage areas. In terms of coverage, Spectrum stands out above Optimum. Spectrum is available in 41 states except for Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, and Washington, DC. Spectrum is available in almost all other states across the US. However, Spectrum does not cover every area, mainly operating in areas where a cable network exists. As such, rural locations are usually not covered. 

On the other hand, Optimum’s coverage spans 21 states but only in select areas, including parts of New York City, Arkansas, California, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

Additional Fee

One important factor that can sway your decision is the additional fees charged by each provider. Spectrum and Optimum charge an activation fee for all new customers and may also require an installation fee. Let’s dive in to uncover the fees lurking behind each provider!


Spectrum and Optimum have different approaches when it comes to equipment rental. Spectrum provides a free modem with every internet plan, but they charge an extra fee of $5 for WiFi if you subscribe to Spectrum Internet® or Spectrum Internet® Ultra. If you want to use their WiFi Pod, you’ll need to pay an extra $3 for each unit. However, you can avoid these fees by purchasing your own compatible router or subscribing to Spectrum Internet® Gig.

On the other hand, Optimum does not charge an equipment rental fee. This means you can enjoy all of the benefits of Optimum Internet service without paying additional fees for equipment rental.

Provider Equipment Fee
Spectrum $5/mo.
Optimum Free


Spectrum provides two installation options to its customers. The most cost-effective and recommended option is the self-installation kit, which can either be picked up from a local Spectrum store or have it mailed to you. This option is free but requires a $24.99 fee for service activation. Spectrum also offers professional installation for a fee of $59.99. 

Optimum provides two installation options – standard and premium. Both of these options are more expensive than Spectrum’s professional installation. The standard installation includes the setting up of 1-4 devices and comes with an activation fee of $99.99. The premium installation includes setting up 5-10 devices and comes with an activation fee of $149.99.

Provider Installation Fee
Spectrum Self-installation – Free
Professional Installation – $59.99
Optimum Self-installation – Free
Standard Installation – $99.99
Premium Installation – $149.99

Internet for Gaming

The most critical factors to consider for gaming are latency, download and upload speeds, and stability. 

Spectrum offers reliable and fast internet service with speeds of up to 1 Gig (wireless speeds may vary) in many areas. This is made possible by its hybrid fiber-coaxial network, which makes Spectrum’s internet speeds more consistent and stable, with reduced latency. 

On the other hand, Optimum offers faster internet than Spectrum. However, it is not available in major areas. Optimum’s fastest plan is up to 5000 Mbps in selected locations, making it an ideal choice for gamers who need maximum performance. 

Both Spectrum and Optimum provide reliable internet service for gaming, but Spectrum tends to be the better choice due to their faster speeds and wider coverage. It all comes down to your specific needs and where you live. 

Final Verdict – Spectrum vs Optimum?

After extensive research and comparison on Spectrum vs Optimum, the answer is clear. Both companies offer a range of packages that cater to different budgets and bandwidth needs. However, based on our comparison of both services, there are a few key differences that can help you make an informed decision. 

Compared to Optimum, Spectrum offers more coverage areas across the U.S., faster average download speeds, and better customer service ratings. In addition, their plans are generally more affordable than those offered by Optimum. For these reasons, we believe that Spectrum is the best overall choice when choosing an internet provider between the two.

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