If you are an Optimum subscriber, there’s a good chance that you have been offered the option to rent a router or modem directly from them.
This, however, is a bad idea. Instead, you can buy the best router for Optimum, saving yourself money while improving the quality of service that you get.
Optimum charges $9.95 to rent you a mediocre router than will never meet your network’s individual needs. Instead of settling for less and paying more than you need to, it is time to buy your own router. This is what you need to know.
With the many wireless devices that we all use, we expect to get the best speeds possible. You want to be able to stream and browse without limit.
Yet, when you get a router directly from Optimum, you are taking a big risk in getting speeds that are slow and frustrating. When you buy your own best router for Optimum, you will be able to choose one that has the types of speeds that you are looking for.
When you think about spending an extra $9.95 a month, you might not think that it is so bad. After all, you are only renting a router. But that $9.95 adds up over time and you are never any closer to owning your router.
For 12 months, you are paying $119.40 for a router that you still don’t own. Worse, the cost is for a mediocre to average router. Save yourself the money and buy your own.
Your wireless range is limited to what your router is capable of. In the case of renting your router, you are taking a risk in whether it is large enough to cover your whole network.
When your router has limited range, you will get dead spots throughout the network, dropping your signal when you really don’t want it to. It is a good idea to get your own router to ensure that your entire network is getting the coverage it needs.
When you are shopping for an Optimum compatible router, you will need to decide whether you want a modem router combo or to buy separate units.
1. Netgear R7000
2. Netgear RAX80
3. TP-Link Archer A7
4. Motorola MG7540
5. Google WiFi System
Our choice for the best router for Optimum is the Netgear Nighthawk R7000. We already know that the Nighthawk line is reliable and comes with good performance. The R7000 is no exception.
Design-wise the Nighthawk R7000 is a standard router. It has three high performance antennas to give you a long range. It has to sit horizontally and has no way of being set up vertically, if that was a consideration for you.
It comes with 4 1-Gigabit ports for wired connectivity. This will allow you to plug in any device that needs completely uninterrupted internet access.
This router is an AC1900 speed with dual-bands. The bands go up to 600 and 1300 Mbps respectively. The coverage for this router is also good, reaching up to 1800 square feet without a break in coverage. This will eliminate any potential dead spots that you might have in your network.
The R7000 also has dynamic QoS, so you will be able to identify which devices really can’t have an interruption in coverage or get kicked off when another device starts streaming. It also has MU-MIMO technology, allowing multiple devices to stream at the same time with ease. The Circle App is a paid service that is available to give you boosted controls over who has access to the router and what is allowed.
If you are more in the market for a high performance router for Optimum, you should consider the Netgear Nighthawk RAX80. Just like the RS400, this is a great router that will not disappoint you. It just as more power than the RS400 does.
When you look at this router, you might be a little surprised that it is a router. It looks different than many other routers and is pretty space-age. Instead of antennas, the router comes with fins that are designed to extend your range and the power of your signal. Combined with the Beamforming+, this router has great range.
This router also has 5 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports for wired devices, giving you a lot of chances to wire in the devices that really can’t lose signal.
If you really need the best performance that you can get with Optimum service, this router is not going to disappoint you. To begin with, the RAX80 has 8 simultaneous streams going at once. That means that many people on different devices can stream at the same time without losing any speed.
It also comes with MU-MIMO technology, further allowing multiple users at the same time. Power-wise, it is designed with a 64-bit, 1.8GHz quad-core processor, ensuring you get all of the power that you could ever want.
Sometimes, you need a less costly router, so if you are trying to stay within a budget and still get a good and reliable router, we suggest the TP-Link Archer A7 for your Optimum service.
Looking at the design, the Archer A7 is pretty standard. It is a horizontal router with three high performance antennas to give your signal an added boost.
The Archer A7 comes 4 1-Gigabit ports. These ports allow whatever is plugged into them to be accessed wirelessly within your network. It also comes with wireless USB access, which can be handy for the devices that are not wired in.
The Archer A7 can reach up to 2500 square feet, which is larger than the average home by far so it should work out well. With the QoS technology, you get bandwidth prioritization, ensuring the devices that you want connected with all of the bandwidth they need.
This is essential if you have any gamers or anyone who really streams heavily in your network. Also for networks with heavy streaming, this router offers 4K streaming.
Speed-wise, the Archer A7 can reach up to 1750 Mbps, providing 3X faster Wi-Fi than other traditional routers do. Even at such an affordable price, this router can easily handle every device in your house.
For a modem router combo, we suggest the Motorola MG7540. This is a great modem that can be used with more than the Optimum service, so if you change providers, you should still be able to use this one.
Looking at the design of the MG7540, you will notice that this is a vertical modem, which means it is less likely to get hot and it will take up less room on a table or desk. It is also easier to hide if you wanted it to be away from visible eyes.
On the modem itself, you will find four 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports. This means you can wire in your game system, HDTV, or even your PC, ensuring that you have continued internet coverage.
This is a great modem. It offers speeds up to 375 Mbps, which is about right for a cable modem. The built-in router is also a high-speed AC1600, providing internet access for all of the wireless devices that you have without any trouble.
The MG7540 can also work on the DFS frequencies, which is a little unusual for a router. That means that you are less likely to run into congestion or traffic along your frequencies. The AnyBeam Beamforming with this router works at both the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz frequencies as well.
If you need more coverage than you can get with a standard router, don’t worry, there is still a great router out there for you. The best router for extended coverage is the Google Wi-Fi System, which is a mesh system.
Looking at the design of the Google Wi-Fi System, you will notice right away that it is white and has no external antennas. This means it is easier to blend in with your home décor and will not be an obvious piece of technology.
The Google System comes with three Wi-Fi points that will eliminate dead spots throughout your network. You can purchase additional points if you need to extend your coverage even further, making this ideal for large spaces and buildings that might have obstacles obstructing your range.
Each of the three points that are included with the package have their own LAN port in addition to being a Wi-Fi point, so you gain two Gigabit Ethernet ports in each point. So, you can wire a device directly at any point, ensuring that your devices can be as connected as you need them to be.
The Google Wi-Fi system can cover up to 1,500 square feet without dead spots with each of the three points that come with it. If you need more coverage than 4,500 square feet, you can always get more points to extend it further.
All modems and routers will advertise the amount of speeds that they allow. You might think that buying a router capable of high speeds will give you high speeds, but the speed of your internet is really dependent on the speed you are getting from Optimum.
If your package only has 300 Mbps download speeds, a router capable of a Gig will not be any faster than the 300 you have.
No two homes are the same size and shape. You can even have two networks with the same square footage, but with a different layout. The square footage and layout of your network can affect the range your router gives you.
Consider what you need from your router as far as coverage goes when you begin looking for a new Optimum compatible router. Smaller spaces don’t need the same range as bigger spaces do.
The amount of people that are using your network, the amount of devices connected to the network, and what type of internet usage is happening all go into your ultimate speed.
If you have only one streaming device at a time, you will not need to think about MU-MIMO capabilities like a network with a lot of streaming devices will need to. The amount of activity on your network is a big factor in the features you should be looking for from your router.
When it comes down to it, you can’t do better than the Netgear Nighthawk R7000 for the best router for Optimum. It is a great all-around router, offering you good speeds and securities. It is a dual-band router, allowing you to choose between the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz as you need to.
The only way you would need to go with another router is if you have heavy streaming traffic from multiple users on your network. In that case, you can go with a high performance router like the Netgear Nighthawk RAX80.
Just remember that you need to get a router that will suit your network well. Take into consideration all of the users on your network and how you prefer to use the internet. If you do any activity that seems to go beyond the abilities of the R7000, then you can look into a mesh system for more range or the RAX80 for higher performance.
Hey, it's Tomas here! I'm the founder and chief editor here at BlueGadgetTooth. After spending hours explaining my parents how to hook up their Internet, why it's being so slow etc. I decided to start this blog to help people with their gadgets and questions about technology.