8 Best Routers For Optimum in 2023 [For All Plans]

Optimum, like most other internet service providers, provides you with the option of renting a router. However, those aren’t any good and rarely perform as expected. That’s why I always suggest readers purchase one, but to ensure smooth performance, you’ll need to get a highly capable and compatible router for Optimum.

While Optimum support will always tell you to go for their router, it is for your benefit that you don’t do that. This will save you a ton of money in the long run because you’re paying them every month for it. Besides, you are almost always likely to get faster speeds and better coverage as you can purchase a device based on your requirements.

Despite being a great internet service provider, Optimum continues to lag in the router front. The kind of devices that they provide for the “monthly rental” are just bare-bone routers that have minimal area coverage and slow speeds. Hence, switching to another router isn’t just a luxury, it is a necessity!

Modems and routers are different devices, when purchasing a separate router, you don’t have to worry about the compatibility as you’ll anyways be pairing it with the modem provided by your ISP or an approved modem. However, if you’re picking a modem/router combo, please make sure that it’s approved by Optimum.

8 Best Routers for Optimum in 2023

This is a definitive list of some of the good routers that you could use to improve your experience while subscribing to Optimum’s internet connection. I have considered several factors, such as upload/download speeds, ports, bands, and range while preparing this list to provide you with a 360-degree view of the situation.

Here’s a closer look at some of the compatible routers for Optimum:

Whether you are a gamer who wants to play online games or someone who wants to stream 4K content, the Netgear Nighthawk RAX45 is the best dual-band router for you.

Speeds & Coverage

Given that this router supports a speed of up to 3840mbps on the 5GHz band and up to 480mbps on the 2.4GHz band, it is one of the fastest routers to use with the Optimum 1 Gig plan. It is not just the speed that is impressive, but the coverage is pretty good too. That said, the router sends strong Wi-Fi signals in every corner of a 2500 Sq Ft house.

Design & Ports

Netgear Nighthawk RAX45 Design

It has quite a modern design to it. There are four non-detachable antennas on the back of the device. It’s all black and white with LED indicators in the center.

Netgear Nighthawk RAX45 Ports

The Nighthawk RAX45 has four LAN ports, one WAN port, and a USB 3.0 port. The USB port allows you to plug in your hard drives and create connected cloud storage within your Wi-Fi network.

Other Features

There are some additional settings on the router, which allow you to set parental controls and restrict kids’ access to certain websites. You can also set the time limits and see website history. The router supports the latest WPA 3 security protocols and is pretty safe to use as well.

Another great thing about this router is that it also supports connecting four times more devices than the AC routers. This allows you to connect your phones, tablets, laptops, and many smart-home devices and gaming consoles like Xbox One, PS4, etc.

Setup & App Support

Setting up this router is also pretty simple, and you don’t really need any technical knowledge. There’s a Nighthawk application for Android and iOS devices that allows you to set up, configure and control this router in just five minutes! The app also allows you to view usage statistics with ease.

Should you buy it?

This is indeed the best router for Optimum, especially those using their fastest Gig Internet plan. There’s practically nothing that this router restricts you from doing and is perhaps the best option available in the markets.

Pros
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Decent coverage
  • 160MHz channels
  • Support for DFS
  • OFDMA
  • WPA3 encryption
Cons
  • Only one USB port
  • Average 2.4GHz speed

Are you looking for a good sub $150 router that offers you the latest wireless standards? The TP-Link Archer AX50 is what you should go for then! It offers you a little bit of everything that you need. On a side note, power-users might consider the higher model Archer AX73 AX5400.

Speeds & Coverage

With an aggregated speed of 3Gbps, you get a maximum speed of 574mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 2402mbps on the 5GHz band. I would suggest this router to anyone who is planning to subscribe to the Optimum Internet 500 plan. TP-Link officially doesn’t mention the range of this router. However, I was able to get strong signals in a 2500 Sq Ft house.

Design & Ports

TP-Link Archer AX50 Design

Visually, it looks pretty premium and outshines all the routers under the $150 price range. Four antennas help boost the Wi-Fi signals.

TP-Link Archer AX50 Ports

Coming to the ports, it features a standard setup of 4 LAN ports, 1 WAN port, and a USB 3.0 port. However, what is inside this router is way better than what is outside.

Setup & App Support

This router is supported by Amazon Alexa, which is a cool feature as it can be controlled using voice commands. There’s a TP-Link Tether app using which you can set up, configure and control the router. Just like the router itself, there’s nothing exceptional about the app.

Other Features

This is a Wi-Fi 6 compatible router, which boasts MU-MIMO and OFDMA technologies. The router also has you covered on the protection front, as TP-Link’s HomeCare security service secures it. It includes in-built antivirus, robust parental controls, and even supports device prioritization with QoS settings.

Should you buy it?

To sum it up, this is a device that does almost everything that a mid-budget router can. It is a highly suitable router for the Optimum 500 service plan. Overall, it can be a great choice for 4K streaming, seamless TV streaming, and internet browsing on multiple devices.

Pros
  • Wi-Fi 6 standards
  • MU-MIMO & OFDMA
  • Value for money
  • Robust parental controls
  • Works with Alexa
  • Qos for device prioritization
Cons
  • Doesn’t mention exact range

If you are looking for a reliable tri-band router for a multi-story house, then Linksys MR9000 has got you covered. It can easily pierce through multiple floors and provides great speeds.

Speeds & Coverage

The tri-band router supports a speed of up to 400mbps on its 2.4GHz band and up to 867mbps + 1733mbps on its dual 5GHz channels. It can easily handle up to 25 users with HD streaming via Firestick and going all the way to video conferencing. It can cover areas of about 3000 Sq Ft if you get the correct router placement.

Design & Ports

Linksys MR9000 Design

There aren’t many highlights to talk about, but the glossy front and unique textured design on the top of this router make it stand out from most of its surroundings, no matter where you keep it. There are four adjustable antennas located on each corner of the device. The device measures ‎‎7.28 x 10.24 x 7.48 inches and weighs 1.30 pounds which is okay.

Linksys MR9000 Ports

Coming to the connectivity, there are four Gigabit LAN ports and one gigabit WAN port present on this tri-band router. The strange thing is there’s no support for link aggregation. Furthermore, there is one USB 3.0 port to connect your hard drives and share data within the network.

Other Features

One of the better things about this powerful router is the 4×4 MU-MIMO and Beamforming+ technology that it comes with. These technologies help multiple users access the same network seamlessly. Meaning that you can carry data-intensive tasks such as 4K streaming, gaming on PS4, and Wi-Fi calling, without any hiccups.

Setup & App Support

Setting up this router isn’t much of a challenge, thanks largely to the Linksys mobile app, which allows you to set up your router in just a few taps. Besides setting it up, the app also allows you to set parental controls, track real-time statistics, prioritize devices, and provide guest access.

Should you buy it?

All said and done, this is a pretty good Wi-Fi 5 router for Optimum users, especially those using their high-speed Gigabit plan. The router truly allows you to make the most out of your internet connection and supports up to 25 devices.

Pros
  • Tri-band operation
  • Supports up to 25 devices
  • Great coverage
  • MU-MIMO & Beamforming+
  • QoS for device prioritization
  • Mesh compatible
Cons
  • No Wi-Fi 6 support

No conversation about routers is ever complete without the mention of a D-Link DIR-2640-US. This is perhaps the best Wi-Fi 5 router for Optimum users who are looking for an inexpensive option that allows them to squeeze the most out of their internet plans!

Speeds & Coverage

With a connection speed of about 2600mbps in total and 800mbps + 1733mpbs individually over 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, respectively. This D-Link router is a good choice for normal users who want a high-speed connection but aren’t necessarily looking for Wi-Fi 6 features. When it comes to range, the device covers areas of up to 3000 Sq Ft.

Design & Ports

D Link DIR 2640 US Design

The design here is quite minimal, and the router looks good and can blend with anywhere you decide to keep it. Furthermore, it’s aided by 4 antennas, out of which two are placed on the back and two on the sides.

D Link DIR 2640 US Ports

There are four Gig LAN ports, one WAN port, and two USB ports. The USB 3.0 port is added on the front, while the USB 2.0 port is located at the back and ethernet ports. There are six indicator lights on top and an arrow-shaped mesh on top to release the heat.

Setup & App Support

You can configure the device using the D-Link Wi-Fi app. The app is pretty useful as it allows setting up multiple filters and parental controls with just a few taps. You can also control this router using Google Assistant or Alexa, which is a major advantage here.

Other Features

The router runs on a dual-core processor, features 128MB of storage and 256MB of RAM. One of the key things you must know about this D-Link device is that it doesn’t heat up as much as some cheaper routers do. The cores run at low temperatures and keep the device functioning well all through the day.

Should you buy it?

All in all, a great Wi-Fi 5 standard router for home use. It works well with the Optimum 500 Mbps Internet plan. This router can adapt to your needs really well and is an excellent choice indeed!

Pros
  • Sleek & minimalist design
  • Great speeds on 5GHz band
  • Range of up to 3000 Sq Ft
  • Alexa & Google Assistant compatible
  • Dual USB ports
  • Doesn’t heat up
Cons
  • Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
  • No VLAN support

Do you want the best modem router combo for your Optimum internet connection? If yes, then Motorola MG8702 is just the right choice for you. Since this is a 2-in-1 device, it helps you eliminate wires and cut down on extra devices and space.

Speeds & Performance

Featuring an impressive combined speed of 3200mbps, Motorola features a dual-band router in it. When it comes to individual band speed capacities, the 2.4GHz can provide up to 1Gbps, and the 5GHz can go up to 2160mbps.

These amazing numbers allow you to perform the most data-intensive tasks without any lags. Be it transferring large video files to work or be it ensuring that all your IoT devices remain connected, this modem/router combo has got your back!

Coverage

One thing that bugs me straight-up is that Motorola doesn’t mention the exact range of this router. However, according to my tests, it covers areas around 2500 Sq Ft, which is a decent range for any routing device. Besides that, it also allows you to connect up to 55 smart devices.

Design & Ports

Motorola MG8702 Design

The device looks straight out of a dystopian movie set, and there are no external antennas (although it has four internal antennas in it!). The device stands vertically with a very sleek and metallic look.

Motorola MG8702 Ports

There are four 1-Gig LAN ports, one WAN port, and a USB 3.0 port. The USB port helps you plug in a hard drive and use it to share data all over your network.

Other Features

The built-in router makes use of Beamforming technology and an intelligent power boost to ensure that the Wi-Fi signals are amplified.

Setup & App Support

The device being a modem router combo, it is very easy and smooth to configure. It also has mobile app support. Not only does it allow you to set it up and ensure that it is up and running in no time, but it also gives you greater control over your security and privacy. You can set up filters for malware, ad privacy, and adult websites.

Should you buy it?

All said and done, this is an amazing 2-in-1 device from Motorola that particularly benefits Optimum internet users to get the best possible performance. If you are a user of the Gig Internet plan, this is just the router-modem combo you should go for!

Pros
  • 2-in-1 device (modem + router)
  • Docsis 3.1 technology
  • Sleek, metallic, and futuristic design
  • Supports upto 55 devices
  • Has parental controls
  • Great speeds even in faraway corners
Cons
  • Only one USB port
  • Quite expensive

The ASUS RT-AC68U is a ‘plug it and forget it’ sort of a router. It is a budget-priced device meant for those users who want an affordable routing device for an Optimum internet connection.

Speeds & Coverage

With a combined speed of about 1900mbps, the ASUS RT-AC68U provides decent connectivity in dual bands. The range at 3000 Sq Ft is pretty good for a medium to large house. You may look for something else with a higher range if you live in a multi-story home.

Design & Ports

Asus RT-AC68U Design

In terms of design, nothing separates it from the hundreds of other generic devices that I have seen out there. There are three antennas on this router which help extend the range across multiple rooms.

Asus RT-AC68U Ports

Setup & App Support

Setting up and managing this router is also pretty easy, thanks to the ASUSWRT web interface. There is also an ASUS router app, but don’t expect too much from it, unlike some names such as Netgear’s Nighthawk Pro XR1000 that we’ve seen above.

Other Features

The router is powered by a 1GHz dual-core CPU, which ensures that Wi-Fi and USB data are processed separately, and each functions at its optimal capacity. There is 256MB RAM and 128MB flash storage on this device.

This model is pretty safe to use as it has a vulnerability detection protocol built into it. It also supports voice commands from Alexa. It supports connecting over 30 devices, making it an ideal router for smart homes with many IoT devices.

Should you buy it?

I know that many Optimum users get low-speed starter plans because they don’t have heavy internet requirements. The ASUS AC1900 is just the right router in this regard, and it can solve all your browsing needs with ease.

Pros
  • Supports up to 30 smart devices
  • Supports Alexa voice commands
  • Includes 2 USB ports
  • Decent range of 3000 Sq Ft
  • Has parental controls
  • Covered by AiProtection
Cons
  • Not effective for multi story house
  • Little pricey for the given specs

Are you looking for an Optimum compatible router that costs around $60? if yes, then you get your hands on TP-Link Archer A7. It promises you a smooth performance at such a low price!

Speeds & Coverage

The router is capable of reaching up to 450mbps on 2.4GHz and a maximum of 1300mbps on the 5GHz band. It covers areas of up to 2500 Sq Ft. It can be used for gaming and streaming on the platforms like Twitch, which is pretty impressive given the price equation. Though an overdose of either of these might end up heating up the router, so watch out for that.

Design & Ports

TP-Link Archer A7 Front Look

On the design front, once again, there’s nothing that really catches the eye. It is a standard router with indicator lights on the front and ports on the back. There are three antennas on the back of the router, which help extend the range.

TP-Link Archer A7 Ports

There are four LAN ports and one WAN port on the back of this router. There’s one USB 2.0 port as well. The USB port can be used to plug in a hard drive and use it as a media server to stream videos across devices.

Setup & App Support

The router can be controlled using the TP-Link mobile application. In addition to this, it can also be controlled by just using Alexa voice commands. Again, as pointed out in the review just above this, there’s nothing exceptional about the app. However, it is good enough to set it up and control it for all your basic needs.

Should you buy it?

This is a good substitute for the generic Optimum supported router if you don’t want to pay the monthly rental but want a cheap and effective alternative. It works best with the 300 Mbps plan.

Pros
  • Can be voice-controlled with Alexa
  • Supports 4K streaming
  • Can be setup & controlled by app
  • Decent range
Cons
  • Tends to heat up
  • Not great for inter-floor connectivity

Last but also the cheapest router on my list that is compatible with Optimum. The Tenda AC6 AC1200 is a surprisingly good device for the price that it comes in at. You can also use it as a backup router, just in case something happens to your primary router.

Speeds & Coverage

The router supports a combined speed of up to 1.2Gbps while offering up to 300mbps in the 2.4GHz band and 867mbps on its 5GHz band. Please note that these are theoretical speeds, and practical speed will vary based on your modem and ISP plan setup. Rest assured, this is a good router for small to medium-sized homes as it boasts a range of up to 2000 Sq Ft.

Design & Ports

Tenda AC6 Design

The Tenda AC6 has impressed me on the design front as it has got a very nice and angular look. It has got four external antennas that improve range. It blends well with most places where it has to be kept and adds to the room’s overall aesthetics.

Tenda AC6 Ports

The router features 3 Gig LAN ports on the back along with 1 WAN port. What is missing, however, is a USB port. But I can’t really complain about the price it comes in at.

Setup & App Support

Setting up and controlling the device is easy, thanks to the Tenda Wi-Fi app. This is a voice-controlled router, too, thanks again to Amazon’s Alexa, as well as the Google Assistant. Besides the voice control, you also get a few parental control features in this router, such as the timeout feature and the ability to grant or block access.

Other Features

This is a standard dual-band router that integrates MU-MIMO technology. However, I still recommend using it only for the basics and avoiding heavy-duty tasks such as online gaming or 4K streaming. Using it for prolonged hours causes the router to heat up quickly and attain temperatures up to 40C.

Furthermore, the router allows you to connect about 20 wireless devices to it, making it an ideal choice for people who live in smart homes, as you can use this router to connect all your IoT devices while using the main router for your data needs.

Should you buy it?

Summing up, a device that punches far above its weight and can be used for all three plans that Optimum provides. Do consider it if you do not want to spend a lot of money on a router but want to get rid of the monthly equipment rentals.

Pros
  • Extremely affordable
  • Very well designed
  • MU-MIMO technology
  • Good connectivity range
  • Supports up to 20 devices
  • Can be controlled using Alexa and Google Assistant
Cons
  • No USB ports
  • Limited RAM & Flash memory

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I buy my own router for Optimum?

Like other internet service providers such as Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, etc., Optimum also allows its subscribers to use their own equipment. You can pair any of the routers listed above, and it will work just fine.

What routers are compatible with Optimum?

Many routers work with Optimum internet plans, however, I took my time testing several of them. According to my testings, I found 8 wireless routers doing well on Optimum internet connection. I’ve listed and reviewed them on this page.

What are the factors to consider when buying a router for Optimum?

You must make sure that the router will meet your needs. Are you looking for something that is only about the basics? Or do you want to stream 4K content? You must also consider the size of your house and the number of devices that you wish to connect before you buy a router.

Why getting a router of your own is better than renting?

First off, it makes economic sense. Instead of paying monthly rental to Optimum, you should rather spend it on getting your own router as it will save you a lot of money in the long run. Besides that, the routers that ISPs provide are generally of average quality. When you buy one yourself, you can be assured that you are getting only the best products!

Is Optimum internet worth it in 2023?

Optimum is absolutely worth it! Their three main packages (1 Gig Internet, 500 Mbps, and 300 Mbps internet) are great for all sorts of users. Optimum has a large fanbase among gamers and live streamers.

Verdict

Optimum continues to be a great choice among gamers and streamers. However, to get the best possible speed from the Optimum, you’ve got to use an optimal kind of router too, which I hope this list has helped you choose!

If you’re still confused, here are my three recommendations for Optimum compatible routers that work well with all of their internet packages:

  • The most preferred option for Optimum’s Gigabit plan is certainly the Netgear Nighthawk RAX45. It has a great combination of speed, power, and security.
  • If you’re in search of a modem/router combo instead of a stand-alone router, the Motorola MG8702 is a great option for you. It operates at stable temperatures and comes equipped with Docsis 3.1 technology and 32 x 8 bonding channels.
  • If you want something for under $150 that boasts Wi-Fi 6 and other advanced features, the TP-Link Archer AX50 is an excellent choice.