Those that live in the tri-state area of Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York are familiar with Optimum because of their Internet, television, and phone services. The company offers a broad range of bundles for different prices including unlimited nationwide calling. Unfortunately, Optimum charges $4.95 to $9.95/ month on modem lease. Even worse is the fact that the modems they mostly lease out are outdated. You certainly don’t want that.
The most popular plan is Optimum’s 300 Mbps which is available for $40 per month. Whichever plan you pick, a low-quality modem will impact negatively on your speed. Besides helping you to cut back on monthly rental, owning your modem is almost a must if you need the best Internet speed. Sadly, the list of Optimum approved modem is very slim. Not to worry, we have compiled the list of the best Optimum modems to save you the headache.
Review of the Best Optimum Modem
Although Optimum offers a Gigabit plan at $75/month, it is not currently available in all areas. Even where it is available, you will need a powerful modem to get up to that speed. If you are considering upgrading your subscription plan, be sure to buy a modem that will work with your new plan. According to ApprovedModemList, Optimum has only 3 approved modems at the moment—and they don’t really live up to modern-day requirements. However, we found a few modems that are not on the list but work well with the network. Have a look at our list and make your choice.
Motorola SBV6220 – Best overall
One of the best modem for Optimum is the Motorola SBV6220. This DOCSIS 3.0 certified modem occupy this position for a number of reasons. Inasmuch as it is DOCSIS 3.0 compatible, it is also backward compatible with the previous technologies. The first feature that will probably catch your attention is the low price. It’s probably the most affordable modem for Optimum users. But there is more to this modem than just the price.
Motorola SBV6220 support bonding capability with 4×4 downstream and upstream channels. This modem can support a download speed of up to 160 Mbps. Another interesting feature of this modem is that it comes with two-line VOIP ports. It makes use of replaceable battery of offer steady and reliable voice services. Motorola SBV6220 supports channel bonding and IPv6 as well as advanced encryption services.
The slim vertical design allows it to occupy less space and gives room for the incorporation of more ventilation pores. Obviously, modems heat up easily and need good ventilation to keep working optimally. On the downside, this modem doesn’t come with a built-in router. To make matters worse, it has a single Ethernet port. Therefore, prepare to get a router by the side or you will have to deal with working with a single device at a time.
- DOCSIS 3.0 certified with backward compatibility
- Highly affordable
- Comes with 2 voice ports
- Battery is field replaceable
- Lacks an inbuilt router
- Has only one Ethernet port
Arris Touchstone TM804G – Best for business
The Arris Touchstone TM804G is one of the modems that is still on the list of Optimus approved modems. This modem has been optimized for businesses. One feature that will catch the attention of any business is the inclusion of 4 voice ports. In addition to that, you will get 2 Ethernet ports which give you the freedom to use one more device in addition to the same time.
One feature that you don’t find frequently on Arris modems is USB port. However, with Arris Touchstone TM804G you will get a USB port. With this port you can share files on your hard disc across devices connected to your network. It comes with substantial ventilation at the top as well as front-facing indicators that tells you the status of the modem at a glance.
One thing you should bear in mind if you are considering this modem is the fact that it is expensive. If your primary aim is to save money from modem rental, it will take you a while before you begin to reap that benefit. Large businesses may need a router to be able to link the entire computers in the establishment. Nevertheless, telecommunication is a key feature of any organization and this modem bridges the gap with ease.
- Comes with 4 voice ports
- Offers 2 Ethernet ports with 1 USB port
- DOCSIS 3.0 certified with backward compatibility
- Good ventilation
- Lacks a built-in router
Arris Touchstone TM822G – Best budget
For many users, the best Optimum modem is simply the one they can afford. Also, if you want to cut back on modem rental and start reaping the benefit in a short time, an affordable modem will get you there. With Arris Touchstone TM822G, affordability doesn’t mean inferior. This DOCSIS 3.0 modem is backward compatible. It is compatible with IPv4 and IPv6. Interestingly, it is one of the modems that Optimus deliver to those who are on rental.
Arris Touchstone TM822G has more download channels than Motorola SBV6220. It has 8×4 downstream and upstream channel bonding with superior throughput. It comes with two telephone ports. To make sure that you never loose telephony services when there is power outage, this modem comes with multiple battery pack options. You’ll never know when this will come handy.
Arris Touchstone TM822G can support an Internet speed of up to 300 Mbps. Like all the previously listed modems, this one lacks a Wi-Fi router too. It has a solitary Ethernet port too. So, you will need to buy a router if you need wireless Internet. These initial expenses can push up your initial spending. However, you will be proud you got it since it eliminates your modem rental fees.
- Highly affordable
- DOCSIS 3.0 modem with backward compatibility
- Comes with 2 telephony ports
- Multiple battery pack option for power outage
- Has one Ethernet port
- Lacks inbuilt Wi-Fi router
Arris Touchstone TM1602A – Best telephony modem for Optimum
One of the best telephony modems that were specifically made for Optimum is the Arris Touchstone TM1602A. It follows the signature Arris design with five front-facing lights to tell you the status of the modem at a glance. It can handle data speed of up to 960 Mbps which makes it perfect for Optimum Gigabit plan if you happen to be in an area where it is available.
Arris Touchstone TM1602A comes with two telephone ports which can always come handy. Interestingly, it is one of the few modems that is still on the list of Optimus approved modems. It makes use of the 24×4 bonded channel which offers more download channels for faster Internet experience. However, before you push the buy button, there are a few seeming flaws you need to bear in mind about this modem.
Firstly, it is pricey. If you have a slim budget, you may want to look elsewhere. Also, the absence of a built-in router in combination with the presence of solo Ethernet port means you need to get a router for it or you will be limited to working with one device at a time. For those who can afford it, it is highly durable and a powerful substitute to leasing.
- Comes with two telephony ports
- Can reach a download speed of 960 Mbps
- More download channels means less lag
- Approved by Optimum
- Lacks a built-in router
NETGEAR CMD31T – Best for Optimum 10
Optimum 10 Mbps is the lowest subscription plan on this network. One modem that suits this plan is the NETGEAR CMD31T. It can easily fit into any shelf and give room for lots of space owing to its small design. For this subscription plan, you don’t need an expensive modem and CMD31T is just the right price. It is compatible with Optimum and a large number of the cable modem.
It is capable of a download speed of up to 150 Mbps. This DOCSIS 3.0 modem is about 4x faster than DOCSIS 2.0. With this improved speed and 4×4 channels, you can enjoy HD video streaming, better gaming experience, and faster downloads. It comes with 1x Gigabit Ethernet port which you can connect straight to your computer or to a wireless router. The interesting news is that it works with any router.
One of the biggest complains about this modem is that of durability. A lot of customers have reported intermittent network drop while using this modem. The design doesn’t allow for good ventilation which could be the reason for the durability problems. However, if you are looking for the best deal for Optimum 10 plan, NETGEAR CMD31T will be your best bet.
- Highly affordable
- Slim compact design
- Support speed of up to 150 Mbps
- Works with any wireless router
- Lacks an inbuilt router
- Durability is questionable
Arris SB6121 – Best for Optimum 60
This DOCSIS 3.0 modem is one of the best options for Optimum 60 subscribers. It can reach a download speed of up to 172 Mbps and upload speed of 131 Mbps which makes it perfect for this plan. It comes with 4 download and 4 upload channels and is compatible with IPv6, the latest Internet standard. The front-facing LED lights allow you to determine the status of the modem at a glance. Also, the slim design is perfect for any shelf.
Behind this modem, you will find a Gigabit Ethernet port that can connect to your computer. The inclusion of a single Ethernet port can seem like a huge limitation. However, if you want to use multiple devices at the same time, it would be best you connect it to a router. Thankfully, this modem can work with any router.
Arris SB6121 is fairly affordable and a huge relief for those who instantly desire to stop charges from modem rental. Bear in mind that this modem does not support telephony services. The number of download channels is not really the greatest and your initial investment can really spike if you have to get a router too. Well, you can’t really expect too much from a budget modem.
- DOCSIS 3.0 modem with IPv6 compatibility
- Front-facing LED indicators
- Work with any router
- Number of download channels is not impressive
- Single Ethernet port
Arris SBG6700AC – Best for Optimum 100
The Arris SBG6700AC is suitable for the Optimum 100 plan. Unlike the other modems that we have mentioned so far, it comes with a wireless router. This 2-in-1 modem combines a DOCSIS 3.0 modem with an AC 1600 dual-band router. Thus, with this modem, you don’t need to invest in a separate router. Interestingly, this modem is highly affordable which means within a short time you will begin to experience the benefit of owning your own modem.
One of interesting feature of Arris SBG6700AC is the presence of 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Even if you want to use wire connection, you have a slightly higher option. Another feature that will easily grab your attention is the fact that it comes with a pre-set Wi-Fi security. This allows you to use this product with some level of ease knowing that intruders will not easily gain access into your network.
Other important features include wireless guest access, 2-year limited warranty, and tech support by Arris. It can reach a download speed of 343 Mbps which is great. The only flaw with this device has to do with durability. Lots of customers complain about drop in wireless signal after a short period of use. Perhaps, this is why many reviewers recommend that you always go for a standalone modem and connect it to a separate router.
- Combines DOCSIS 3.0 modem and AC 1600 router
- Pre-se Wi-Fi security
- Comes with 2-year limited warranty
- Durability is questionable
- Wi-Fi lacks beamforming technology
NETGEAR CM500 – Best modem for Optimum 200
Although NETGEAR CM500 is not on Optimus approved modem list, it is one of the modems that work with Optimus. The price is pretty decent and it can reach a download speed of up to 680 Mbps. However, it is recommended for a data plan of up to 300 Mbps. It is compatible with a large number of operating systems including systems that run on TCP/IP networks.
Inasmuch as this modem is DOCSIS 3.0 certified, it has backward compatibility with older technologies. With NETGEAR CM500 you will get one Gigabit Ethernet port. It is engineered with the 16×4 channel bonding technology. What this means is that you will get 16 download and 4 upload channels. The higher the number of channels, the less lag you will likely encounter when using the modem.
Inasmuch as this modem doesn’t come with an inbuilt router, it can work with any router. Thus, you can choose to use it with the best router to get the full benefit of a wireless connection. There has been lots of complains concerning the durability of this modem. Many report that it failed after just a few months of use. Bear in mind that placing your modem in an area with good ventilation can help extend their lifespan.
- Download speed of up to 680 Mbps
- Compatible with large network and operating systems
- Works with any router
- Durability is questionable
- One Ethernet port
Motorola MB7420 – Best modem for Optimum 300
Motorola MB7420 is one of the best cable modems for Optimum 300. It can reach a download speed of up to 686 Mbps but it is recommended for cable modem plan of up to 375 Mbps. It is easy to set up but US customers can get the assistance of experienced support specialists. The attractive vertical design adds a bit of aesthetics to your shelf. With more ventilation on both sides, it is less likely to heat up.
This DOCSIS 3.0 certified modem comes with rugged lightning and power surge circuit to expand the lifespan of your product. In addition to that, you will get 2-year warranty. The combination of these features translates to more value for money. With this product, you will get 1 Gigabit Ethernet port. Although it doesn’t come with a router, it can work with any of the commercially available routers.
Motorola MB7420 is engineered with the 16×4 channel bonding technology. It is also affordable making it easier for anyone who wants to end their modem rental charges to achieve their dream. This modem has its own flaws. The presence of single Ethernet port combined with the lack of inbuilt router means you need to get one. This can rapidly push up your budget. Overall, it is a great choice.
- Can reach a download speed of 686 Mbps
- Aesthetically appealing
- Comes with 2- year warranty
- Lightning and power surge circuit
- Solitary Ethernet port
- Lacks built-in router
Arris SB6190 – Best for Optimum 400
Before Optimum started offering 500 Mbps and 1 Gbps plans, Optimum 400 was the highest speed you could get with the network. One of the best modems that work with Optimum 400 is Arris SB190. This modem has wide network compatibility and is recommended for an Internet speed of up to 600 Mbps. Part of the reason why it can reach this speed is because of the 32 downstream and 8 upstream bonded channels.
It is important to mention that this modem doesn’t have a telephony port and does not work with DSL networks. Setting up this modem will take you a few minutes. The slightly low price makes it a huge treasure for those that want to save on modem rental fee. It doesn’t come with an inbuilt router but can work with any commercially available router.
Arris SB6190 comes with I Gigabit Ethernet port which you can connect to your computer or any router. You will also get 2-year limited warranty when you purchase this product. Unfortunately, this modem runs on the Puma 6 chipset which is known to be problematic. Besides this, there is probably little to hate about this modem.
- Up to 32×8 bonding channels
- 2-year limited warranty
- Download speed of up to 600 Mbps
- Lacks an inbuilt wireless router
- Runs on Puma 6 chipset which is problematic
Buying Guide for the Best Optimum Modem
It is possible that Optimus will activate any certified DOCSIS 3.0 modem. However, the two major products that have proved their worth on this network are Arris and NETGEAR. For now, Optimum is yet to roll out OFDM services. Therefore, a DOCSIS 3.1 is not recommended on the network. Also, it is important to purchase your Optimum approved voice modem from the Arris store and not from third-party retailers. When it is time to buy your own modem, there are other factors you need to consider.
As you must have noticed already, the list of Optimum approved modems is very slim. However, our list featured other modems that are not approved but work with the network. It will be a nice idea to confirm with your ISP before making a purchase to know if the modem you intend to buy will work on the network.
Optimum has a long list of subscription plan and has rolled out 500 Mbps and 1 Gbps plans in some areas. The choice of your modem should depend on your subscription plan. If you are on a higher plan, let’s say Optimum 300 and buy a modem with a maximum speed of 175 Mbps, you will never be able to maximize the speed cap of your plan because your modem will always max out on 175 Mbps. Modems with 32×8 bonding channels should prepare you for Optimum Gigabit plan.
Modem Router Combo
A modem router combo allows you to have a saner connection without a clutter of wires. Also, since you are purchasing a 2-in-1 product, you are bound to save a few box unlike when you purchase them separately. However, most customers have complained that their inbuilt Wi-Fi started dropping network after a few months of use. Again, modem router combo is usually not upgradable than standalone modem and router. Here, it is basically a choice between aesthetics and durability.
When investing in a modem router combo, one feature that you need to consider is the signal range of the wireless network. Buying a modem router with poor signal range will be your first source of frustration because you will experience poor coverage a little distance away from your modem. In this case, consider buying a modem with the 802.11ac technology because they have better coverage when compared to the older 802.11b/g/n technology. Modem router combo with beamforming technology and power boost will be an added advantage.
When you get a modem with one Ethernet port, your best option is to use it on a router. Sadly, most of the modems that work with Optimum come with one or two Ethernet ports. Without a wireless router, the number of ports on your modem will determine the number of devices you can use simultaneously on it.
A good modem should have some form of security chip (or encryption support for modem router combo) to prevent unauthorized access into your network. Even if your preferred modem doesn’t come with a special security architecture, make sure it is possible to install a third-party protection on it.
Since the largely available Optimum subscription tier are on the low side compared to other networks with Gigabit plans, you will find lots of affordable modems that work on the network. One thing that we strongly discourage is buying a refurbished modem to save cost.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Does Optimum charge for router?
Subscribers that already own a leased modem from Optimum can get a router at no extra cost.
- Can I use my own modem with Optimum?
Buying your own modem helps you to save between $4.95 and $9.95 which Optimum charges per month on modem lease.
- What modems are compatible with Optimum online?
Most DOCSIS 3.0 modems with work on the network but it is better to stick with widely used brands. If you aren’t sure of where to begin your search, start by reviewing our list.
- Which modem is best for Optimus?
There are so many great modems that work with Optimum. However, Motorola SBV6220 is one of our top picks because of a number of reasons. You can check it out by going through our modem review.
- What routers work with Optimum?
Optimum compatible modems usually work with any router. Your choice of router should depend on maximum speed and range.
Owning your own modem on Optimum can help you to save about $120 per year on lease. The best Optimum modems are usually affordable and this lease fee can get you up to two separate modems. Apart from the savings on a lease, it allows you to choose a modem (based on your subscription tier) that can maximize your network speed. Optimum is currently considering upgrades. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the modem you plan to buy is equipped to handle future upgrades. We would advise you to stick with newer modems. In addition to the risk of being deregistered from the list of approved modems by Optimum, you will likely not get the kind of speed that newer models offer.