Optimum vs. CenturyLink: What You Need to Know

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Picking the right Internet service provider is very important. The quality of your service can affect many aspects of your life, from your ability to work or go to school remotely to how seamless of an experience you have streaming TV shows and playing online games. Selecting your ISP can also be a financial decision, and it pays to have all of the facts. This is where Optimum can help. 

In this article, we’ll compare the Internet service offered by Optimum and CenturyLink. You’ll find all the details about Internet speed, service bundles, installation, and more, below. For a quick overview, we’ve compiled key facts into a handy chart. Beneath it, we’re digging further into Optimum vs. CenturyLink specifics, so you can make an informed decision about your ISP. 

ServiceOptimum CenturyLink
Internet SpeedsUp to 8 Gbps*Up to 940 Mbps
Data CapNoneNone
TV PackagesOptimum TVNone
Contract BuyoutDoesn’t require annual contractsTermination fee
Years in Business5393
Installation ProcessProfessional installationProfessional installation

*8 Gig Fiber Internet is currently available in portions of NY, NJ & CT. Fiber Internet is not available in all areas. Internet speeds may vary depending on location and connection type. Click here to see if 8 Gig is available in your area.

How Does the Installation Process Differ For Optimum and CenturyLink?

Optimum offers both self-installation and professional installation (Optimum Fiber Internet is always professionally installed). If you opt for the former, you’ll receive all of the necessary equipment along with instructions on setting up your Internet connection. With professional installation, a technician will do a home visit to install your service and set up your modem, which is provided by Optimum. They can also help set up your account and hardwire one device for you. 

CenturyLink also offers both types of installation, with a self-install costing less than professional installation. For a self-install, a technician works outside of your house or building, and you install your own equipment inside. With a professional installation, the technician will set up your router and modem for you, which you can buy or lease directly from CenturyLink. 

InstallationOptimum CenturyLink
TypeSelf-installation or professional installationSelf-installation or professional installation
ModemModem included in planModem not included; must be rented or purchased by the customer

What Service Types Do Optimum and CenturyLink Offer?

Both Optimum and CenturyLink provide fiber Internet in some regions. In areas where fiber is not yet available, Optimum provides Internet connection via a hybrid-fiber coaxial (HFC) network. Below, learn more about the different types of Internet service Optimum and CenturyLink provide:


Fiber Internet uses plastic or glass cables to transmit data from one point to another (Optimum uses glass cables). This technology allows for high bandwidth and fast speeds, and it is less susceptible to slowdowns caused by high traffic. (Learn about the differences between Fiber and 5G home Internet here.)


Cable is an extremely common type of Internet service. It uses cable wires to deliver internet to your home, with speeds that typically top out at 1 Gig.


Optimum’s HFC network is used in regions where fiber is not yet available. It’s connected to our greater 100% fiber-optic networks and offers fast speeds.

HFC vs. Fiber Speeds

If you’re able to choose between cable or fiber, consider how much speed you need. Optimum fiber plans range in speed from 300 Mbps to 8 Gig*, while our HFC plans range from 200 Mbps to 1 Gig. Optimum offers many different Internet speeds, so pick the one that is right for you. (Find more information about picking the right Internet speed here.)


ServicesOptimum CenturyLink 
TypesFiber and HFCFiber and HFC
AvailabilityAvailable in 21 statesHFC available in 16 states, fiber in 9 states

*8 Gig Fiber Internet is currently available in portions of NY, NJ & CT. Fiber Internet is not available in all areas. Internet speeds may vary depending on location and connection type. Click here to see if 8 Gig is available in your area.

Is Optimum or CenturyLink Faster?

Both Optimum and CenturyLink provide fast, reliable Internet. Optimum offers more options, with speeds that range from 200 Mbps to 8 Gigs.* CenturyLink Internet, meanwhile, tops out at 940 Mbps for their fiber plan.

*8 Gig Fiber Internet is currently available in portions of NY, NJ & CT. Fiber Internet is not available in all areas. Internet speeds may vary depending on location and connection type. Click here to see if 8 Gig is available in your area.

Which Option Is More Affordable: Optimum or CenturyLink?

Price is important when choosing an Internet service provider. When comparing prices, make sure you’re looking at similar plans: no matter the provider, higher-speed plans will generally cost more than lower-speed plans. At Optimum, our prices are similar to what CenturyLink charges for similar services. We also offer bundling for additional ways to save on your service.

What Other Features Do Optimum and CenturyLink Offer?

Optimum offers extremely flexible packages that combine two to three of the following services: Internet, Optimum TV, and Optimum Phone (for your home phone). There are additional benefits included in these bundles, such as a 60-day money-back guarantee and unlimited data. Optimum Complete is another option. The bundle includes Internet (with speeds of up to 8 Gbps) and Optimum Mobile

Customers can also save by enrolling in auto-pay and paperless billing, which offer lower rates.

Look at the chart below for an overview of some key Optimum vs. CenturyLink features. 

FeaturesOptimum InternetCenturyLink
Bundled service offeringsCustomizable packages with Optimum 200, Optimum TV, and Optimum PhoneTV and Internet bundles
Unlimited dataIn many packagesIn all Internet plans
Annual contractsNot requiredNot required
Promotional ratesYesYes
Guarantee60-day money-back guarantee30-day money-back guarantee

So, What Is the Best Deal Overall?

For the budget-minded Internet customer, Optimum offers competitive pricing, flexible plans, and money-back guarantees. Whether you’re looking for a simple Internet plan or want to bundle in TV or phone service, there’s likely an Optimum plan that fits your budget. Best of all, you can customize your bundle without signing up for an annual contract. Optimum is currently available in 21 states, with more on the way. To see if Optimum is available in your area, click here

Are you getting everything you need from your home internet? 

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Have a question about Optimum Internet service? Explore our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact us for answers. 

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