What Cable Modems are compatible with Optimum? Can I buy my own modem for Optimum? Regardless of which Internet service provider you are subscribed to, the main concern you may have is ‘finding the right router’ or in this case, the best modems for Optimum?
The right router can improve your browsing experience and maximize the internet speed that you can get from an ISP. If you do your research and decide what requirements your router should have, you can find a router that not only suits your needs but is compatible with your ISP.
If you are subscribed to Optimum, you may wonder why you should go through all that hassle. It may seem easier to rent one of the routers they offer that is compatible with their service.
In fact, at $10 a month, it may seem cheaper to just rent a router. However, we recommend that you do a little extra research and buy an Optimum approved router.
Below are some reasons why you should buy Optimum Approved Modems
1. You can do some research before buying your router. Before you purchase a router, you will be able to check what processor it uses, its maximum speed, and how many bands it has.
By doing research, you will be able to find a router that meets your specifications. The router you purchase will be tailored to meet your needs.
2. The router you purchase will have a faster speed. Most of the routers that you can rent from Optimum are not the best. While these routers are okay for casual use, their speed does not match the speed of newer routers on the market.
3. You can decide if you want a router or modem router combo. A lot of the time, internet service providers have only routers available for rent. This can be an inconvenience if you prefer to have a modem router combo.
A modem router combo is usually cheaper than purchasing a modem and router separately. If you want to buy only one device, you should buy a modem router combo.
4. It is cheaper to buy your router or modem router combo. Renting a router costs almost $10 monthly and at the end of the year, you would have paid almost $120 to rent the router.
This money can easily be used to purchase a router that you will own. Furthermore, for $120, you can purchase a mid-range priced router that will perform excellently with your optimum subscription.
If you rent the router for 2 years, the cost of renting the router could be used to purchase a high-end router with advanced features.
Also, the cost of your subscription will be reduced when you purchase a router. Hence, buying a router can be likened to a long term investment.
5. when you purchase a router, you can enjoy the manufacturer’s warranty. After purchasing a router from an authorized retailer, you may receive 1-3 years warranty.
This warranty will ensure that the manufacturer replaces or repairs your router if you have issues with it before the warranty expires. Even after the expiration of the warranty, you will still be able to enjoy technical support.
There are some advantages to renting a router but we recommend that you purchase one, especially if it is for long term use.
If you have decided to purchase a router, you may be wondering if you should purchase a modem or modem router combo. Both of these devices have their pros and cons. We recommend a router to individuals who have a modem already and individuals who do not mind the cost of buying the router and modem separately.
If you do not want to purchase a modem and router separately, and you do not mind the lack of flexible settings, we recommend the modem router combo.
Best Modems for Optimum Reviewed (2020)
Here are our top 5 modems that work with optimum.
#1. Google Wi-Fi System 3-Pack
The Google Wi-Fi System is an expandable high-speed router that works with dual frequencies. The dual-frequency technology ensures that WiFi speed is not affected by multiple systems or devices being connected to the wireless network. You can purchase 1 unit of this router or a 3 set pack. The 3 pack can provide coverage for up to 4500 square feet which are a considerable distance.
Each router in the 3-pack has one Ethernet port and one WAN port. If you purchase a 3 pack, you will have 3 Ethernet ports and 3 WAN ports that you can use for wired internet connections.
The Google Wi-Fi System app (Android Users, Apple users) can help you set up and control your router.
To help you have a balanced assessment of this device, here are the pros and cons of the Google Wi-Fi System.
1. This device provides coverage for up to 4500 square feet. The strength of the signal is enhanced because these router points are placed all around the home. Hence, this router is ideal for individuals who reside in large homes. If you want to use this router system in a larger space, you can buy more router points as well.
2. The Google Wi-Fi System uses network assist technology to detect network congestion and redirect connections to less-used channels.
3. You can use the app to control your router. The app can be used to create guest networks, monitor data activities, and decide who has access to the wireless network. You can set up the parental control settings from the app.
4. The appearance of the Google Wi-Fi System is appealing and sleek. Also, this device does not have any external antennas. This makes it easier for these routers to blend in with the furniture and décor.
5. There are 3 Ethernet ports and 3 WAN ports that you can use to connect the router to devices that do not have wireless capability.
1. There is no USB port on this router. If you prefer media sharing using the USB port, this device may not meet your needs.
2. To set up your device, you need a mobile app. Individuals who do not own Andriod or Ios phones may find it hard to set up or use this router.
3. This Google Wi-Fi System is expensive and every additional unit you purchase is almost $100.
See also: Best Modem for Google Wifi.
#2. TP-Link Archer A7
The Archer A7 is a budget-friendly router that is compatible with Optimum. This router operates with dual bandwidths. The 2.5 GHz and 5 GHz bands can operate at speeds of 450 Mbps and 1300 Mbps respectively. Therefore, the Archer A7 has a collective speed of 1750 Mbps.
Significantly, this is not the speed you will experience in your home due to surrounding factors. However, this router is great for streaming and gaming needs. The Archer A7 has broad coverage and this distance is expanded by the 3 external antennas attached to this router.
Recommended: Best Modem for Gaming
There are multiple ports on this router that will allow you to use the device for wired connections and fast data transfers. Setting up this router is a simple process and the router can be likened to a plug and play device. Some other features of this router include a security protocol, parental control options, app control, and Alexa voice control.
To help you decide if you should purchase the Archer A7, we have provided you with a list of the pros and cons of this router.
1. This router is budget-friendly; it is the cheapest router on our list. You can purchase this router on Amazon. The Archer A7 is worth every penny when you assess the features of the device.
2. The Archer A7 is fast enough to stream 4k movies and play online multiplayer games without buffering.
3. This router uses a dual-band; a dual-band helps to connect devices to less-used wireless frequencies to prevent slow internet speeds.
4. The coverage of this router is broad. With coverage that spans 2500 square feet, you can conveniently use this router in a medium-large sized home. The WiFi is strong despite the distance, over 50 devices can connect to the network and still maintain a stable connection.
5. There are 4 Ethernet ports on this router. The Ethernet ports can transfer data at a speed of 1 gigabit per second. Hence, cable internet connections are very fast as well. There is also one USB port on the router which you can use for media and file sharing.
6. The Archer A7 can be set up and operated using the TP-Link tether app. With the aid of this app, you can alter your security and parental control settings even from outside your home.
7. This router responds to Alexa voice control.
1. If you connect older devices to this router or the wireless network, they may be unable to take advantage of the 5 GHz band.
2. You may have to reset and reboot your router more often.
#3. Netgear Nighthawk R7000
The Nighthawk R7000 is a high-speed router that uses dual bands. The 2.4 GHz band can reach a speed of up to 600 Mbps. The 5 GHz frequency can reach a speed of up to 1300 Mbps.
Therefore, the router has a total speed of 1900 Mbps. The WiFi signal has coverage of 1800 square feet and over 30 devices can be connected to the network without the speed being compromised.
The 1 GHz dual-core processor is a fast processor that is excellent at multitasking.
This router uses beamforming technology to target the devices connected to the wireless network rather than sending signals in random directions and to random devices. Some other features of this router include; external antennas, Qos technology, and response to Alexa voice control.
The Nighthawk R7000 supports cabled connections; it has four Ethernet ports and 2 USB ports that you can use to connect your router to your desktop and printer.
The router uses Netgear Armor to protect your network and the devices connected to it from information theft, malware, and viruses. Furthermore, a WPA 2 security protocol is used to ensure that all devices connected to the wireless network are authorized.
The Netgear Nighthawk R7000 has many advanced features that we like but there are a few things we also dislike about this router.
1. The router uses a dual-core processor which makes it an ideal device for multitasking. You can use the wireless network, connect a gaming system to the Ethernet ports, and also connect a storage device to the USB ports at the same time.
2. The dual-band technology in the R7000 ensures that the WiFi speed is unaffected by interference or network congestion. Furthermore, more devices will be able to connect to the WiFi.
3. Beamforming technology is used to focus the WiFi signal on devices that are already connected to the wireless network.
4. This router can be used in a small to medium-sized home without any dead zones. The 3 external antennas help to extend the reach of the wireless network. This router has coverage of up to 1800 square feet.
5. Netgear Armour is a security software that is preinstalled in your router. This software will protect devices connected to the wireless network from malware, viruses, and data theft.
6. You can operate your router and change the setting of your device using the Circle Smart App. Using this app, you will be able to set up your router, monitor data usage, and decide which devices can connect to the WiFi. You will also be able to alter your parental control settings using your phone.
7. The process of setting up this router is straightforward and somewhat easy. To set up your router, you need to download the circle app and follow the instructions.
1. The Nighthawk R7000 is not cheap. You can purchase this router for $150 on Amazon.
2. Devices that do not support the 5 GHz frequency will be unable to use the dual-band feature. If most of your devices do not support this band, you will be unable to enjoy the benefits of having a dual-band router.
3. While we love that you can manage your router with an app, it is important to note that the app is not free. The first month is free but you will need to pay $5 monthly to continue using the app.
#4. Netgear Nighthawk RAX80
The Nighthawk RAX80 is easily the most powerful router on our list. If you are going to be running multiple, tasking activities and will be connecting many devices to your wireless network, we recommend this router.
This router has a 1.8 GHz quad-core processor which is amazing for running multiple functions at a time. The Nighthawk RAX80 has a speed of up to 6 gigabits per second through 8 simultaneously running streams. The router has a range of 2500 square feet which is great for medium to large-sized homes.
The RAX80 has two USB ports, five Ethernet ports, and one WAN port. The Ethernet ports are gigabit ports which are excellent for high-speed transfers.
Other features of this router include beamforming technology, QoS technology, powerful antennas, a dedicated application, and response to Alexa voice control.
Below are the pros and cons of the Nighthawk RAX80.
1. This is a very fast router and it is powerful enough to run multiple processes at a time without lagging.
2. The availability of 8 WiFi streams ensures that channel congestion is never an issue. It also means that many devices can be connected to the wireless network and still enjoy fast speed.
3. The coverage that you can get using this router is sufficient for a large home or office.
4. The router is backward compatible and can work with older devices.
5. Nighthawk App can be used to set up and manage the wireless network. You can also use the app to change the parental control settings.
6. The Nighthawk RAX80 receives regular automatic updates. Theses updates guarantee that this device is working at its best at all times.
7. You can control your router using Alexa’s voice control and google assistant.
8. This router has four powerful antennas designed and positioned to extend the coverage of the wireless signal.
9. The Nighthawk RAX80 has a 1-year warranty. You will also receive 90 days of free technical support after you purchase this router.
1. This router is very costly. The features of this device make it a workhorse but its costs are on the high side for some people. This is not a router for the casual internet user.
2. The indicator lights are placed in an area where they are hard to see.
3. The specifications of this router indicate that it has a speed of up to 6 Gigabit per second. However, this figure is affected by the network, physical interference, and WiFi interference among many other factors.
#5. Motorola MG7540
The Motorola MG7540 is the second most affordable device on this list and it is a modem router combo. This device acts as a modem and router. The modem uses 16×4 bonded channels to ensure that the internet connection is fast. The DOCSIS 3.0 used in this device is about 16 times faster than DOCSIS 2.1.
The router within this device uses dual bands (2.4 GHz and 5GHz ) which have a combined speed of 1600 Mbps. Significantly, cabled connections can reach a speed of 375 Mbps. These stated speeds will allow heavy data users to stream and play games with minimal buffering time. Beamforming technology is used to further enhance the wireless capability of this router.
There are four Ethernet ports in this modem router combo. These ports can be used to connect devices that are in a dead zone and connect devices without wireless capability.
The Motorola MG7540 has security settings that protect your wireless network and all the devices connected to it from information leechers.
The Motorola MG7540 is a sleek device. It is a vertical style modem that can fit into small spaces and sit inconspicuously in your home. There are 7 LED or indicator lights that you can use to monitor the status of your modem router combo.
The Motorola MG7540 Is affordable and the features of this device make it worth the price tag.
2. You receive two devices for the price of one. It is much cheaper to buy a Motorola MG7540 WiFi Modem Router than to buy a modem and a router separately.
3. The modem uses DOCSIS 3.0, has 16 downstream bonded channels and 4 upstream bonded channels. These specifications contribute to the fast speed of the modem and cable connections.
4. The router operates with a dual-band. The 2.4 GHz is the most common band and sometimes it gets congested. The result of this congestion is reduced WiFi speed. To maintain speed and the stability of wireless connections, the router may move connections engaged in intensive internet use to the 5 GHz band.
Devices that try to connect to the wireless network afterward may be automatically redirected to the least used bandwidth.
5. Beamforming technology is used to target devices that are connected to the wireless network and prioritize them.
6. This router has four gigabit Ethernet ports that you can use to connect other devices to the router.
7. Connecting a new device to the modem router combo is easy because of the WPS button.
8. The Motorola MG7540 has a two-year warranty if it is purchased from an authorized seller.
1. The modem router combo does not have a USB port. This means that media and file-sharing will be hampered.
2. Individuals who have purchased the Motorola MG7540 have complained that the process of setting it up is hard. A few Individuals stated that technical support had to come over and set up the device.
These are our top 5 routers and modem router combos for optimum subscribers.
A Guide To Replacing Your Best Cable Modem for Optimum
If you are in the market for a replacement modem for your Optimum Internet service, you likely already know that there are several to choose from. That being said, you’ll only benefit if you buy one with advanced functionalities that boast a multitude of safety features and regular features, while also catering to your very specific requirements and needs.
Most of the models approved by Optimum are pretty optimal with features that’ll serve most or all of your needs. Given this information, one would think that they could easily and quickly shortlist a modem that adequately serves their requirements and budget. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case at all, as each user’s requirements and needs are unique. What works for some individuals won’t work for others. There really is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to Internet modems and routers.
This is why it is imperative to know exactly what you need out of one of the devices as well as what to look for in one. Confusing, right? Well, this guide is going to break everything down for you. Here are some quick things that you’ll need to consider before making a purchase.
- The type of Internet subscription you have with Optimum
- The manufacturer, as this will ensure quality along with top-notch customer support and features
- Online reviews, as this will get you a general idea of how the modem operates
- The device will obviously need to be compatible with your Internet provider and package
This is just a quick list of things to consider when shopping. If you want to get really detailed, there is a whole multitude of other factors that need to be weighed when choosing a modem that fits into your specific needs and requirements.
- First Thing – The Ratings Of Your Internet Package
Different Internet package plans offered by Optimum will cost you different monthly rates. This is because each specific package offers different benefits and features. For instance, Optimum might offer an Internet package that boasts 300 Mbps download speeds coupled with 35 Mbps upload speeds. They might also offer a package that offers 500 Mbps with a maximum upload of 35 Mbps. The 500 Mbps package will obviously cost more, but it’ll also offer faster download speeds.
Regardless, you’ll need to choose a modem that is capable of delivering on your plan. If you are paying for a 500 Mbps plan, but buy a modem that only produces 300 Mbps, you’ll never achieve the speeds you are paying for.
- Second Thing – The Square Footage Of Installing Location
It is entirely possible that you might need two networks or extenders within your home. Most modems today are built to broadcast a strong signal through the entirety of a medium-sized house. However, if you get any larger than this or go through multiple walls and floors, you’ll likely need an alternative network.
Simply put, you have to be precise when figuring the square footage and interference of the coverage area. Range requirements for smaller spaces are much different as compared to requirements for larger spaces.
- Third Thing – The Number Of Connected Devices
The number of connected devices will also directly impact the type of modem that you choose. This is because the number of devices connected and impact the overall speed. The more devices, the more it will load down the network. If some devices need priority over others, you’ll want to look for a modem that offers you features and technologies to appoint which devices get priority up and download speeds. On the other hand, if you are just streaming one device at a time, you can go with a modem that offers standard features.
- Fourth Thing – ISP Compatibility
This one is probably obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of people that overlook this very crucial piece of information. When shopping for a modem, you must choose one that is compatible with your Internet provider. Just because the speeds are compatible doesn’t mean that the hardware or firmware is compatible. Optimum will provide a list of acceptable modems on their website.
- Fifth Thing – Consider Chipsets
A lot of homeowners and businesses these days are using smart devices to optimize their homes and office. Whether it be a voice assistant or a smart thermostat, you need to know that it is IoT technology (Internet of Things) along with cellular signals from your modem that make such actions possible. It does this by integrating a cellar signal into your IoT applications. Simply put, there are a variety of ways that your mode can do this.
A chipset is one of those options, but likely one you’ll want to avoid because it is the lowest level. Modules or embedded modems are much more effective ways to take advantage of such features.
Why You Should Replace Your Optimum Device
Optimum will be more than happy to provide you with a modem or router for a small monthly fee that you’ll pay until you cancel the service. And, it will be a modem or router that is capable of connecting you to the Internet. It’ll even provide a slew of other features. The only problem is that it won’t completely optimize your network. In fact, it will probably just offer the bare minimum. This is just one of the many reasons that you’ll want to consider replacing that modem or router. Want to know some more?
- Faster Speeds
Unfortunately, the modem or router offered by Optimum will not provide the fastest speeds possible. If you are investing in a subscription specifically for the speeds, you’ll likely be gaming or streaming, making download and upload speeds crucial. If you want a modem or router that’ll offer the best possible speeds for your package, you’ll want to invest in your own.
- Money Saver
Who can’t stand to save a little money these days? Everyone can! And, that’s what you’ll do when you buy your own modem. While it might not seem like it at first, you’ll end up saving money in the long run when you buy a modem or router. How? Optimum charges a monthly fee for as long as you use their modem. It’s not like you pay it off after a few months or years. Plus, you’ll never fully own the modem. You’ll have to send it back when you change or cancel your subscription.
- Extended Coverage
Going bare to the bare minimum, that’s what you’ll get with coverage as well. The modem provided by Optimum won’t likely have features like beamforming technology. This is a type of technology that forces your signal throughout the coverage area to specific devices. Simply put, it offers more effective signal coverage. This will come in handy for users needing to cover larger areas.
- Advanced Security
This Internet is a risky place these days with the sophistication of hackers and scammer. You’ll need to do everything that you possibly can to safeguard yourself and your network. Investing in modems that offer enhanced security features like firewalls and encryption software will help you do just that. Unfortunately, the modem offered by Optimum won’t include such features. It’ll be bare-bones at best.
Setting Up And Configuring Your Optimum Compatible Modem
Buying a modem compatible with optimum Internet package and meets your specific needs is just half the battle. The other part of the equation will be configuring and setting up that modem. Luckily, this isn’t as hard as you might think. However, that doesn’t mean that the process won’t involve several steps.
- The first thing you’ll want to do is connect the modem. You’ll do this by plugging one end of the provided coaxial cable into your wall outlet that Optimum configured and the other end into your modem’s corresponding jack.
- You will now run the Ethernet cord from the computer to the back of the modem in the corresponding jack.
- You will not connect the power to the modem by utilizing the provided power cable. One end goes into a 110-volt out while the other end goes into the corresponding jack on the back of the modem.
- From this point, things can get a bit trickier. And, this is because each modem manufacturer will be different from here. However, the process will be somewhat similar. It will involve turning on the modem and computer and opening the Internet browser. You’ll then enter in a provided web address that’ll take you to a configuration or set up wizard. The provided instructions should walk you through the rest of the process.
FAQs on optimum supported modems
Should I buy or just rent a modem?
Buying a modem is obviously going to come along with immense benefits. The first being that you will actually own the modem. Some of the other advantages are that you’ll get better speeds, access to more features, a reliable warranty, and best of all, you’ll end up saving yourself some money in the process.
Can I use my own modem with Optimum?
You can use pretty much any modem you want with Optimum as long as it is compatible. Check their official website to see what makes and models apply.
How much does it cost to rent a modem from Optimum?
This is one that can vary depending on the type of Internet package that you have with the company. The basic rate is $10 a month, but if you have a business package one that offers higher speeds, it is likely that you may end up paying a little more. It might go as high as $12 to $15 a month.
As you can clearly see, there are a number of reasons to invest in your very own modem and router. Not only are there a number of benefits that you can take advantage of by doing so, but there are even more things that you’ll need to consider when selecting a device. And, this is not to even mention the fact that you’ll likely spend nearly $200 a year on renting a modem that you’ll never own.