Optimum vs. DISH: Which Should You Opt-in for?

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When it comes to cost and overall quality, Is Optimum or DISH truly the OPTIMUM brand? Let’s see them DISH it out for the winning title!

Weighing the pros and cons for every telecommunications company in your area can be extremely time consuming and stressful. On top of this, it also seems that each company has various offerings, so deciding which one is best for you can be a bit overwhelming. For this reason, we decided to take a closer look at the many choices that both Optimum and DISH offer their customer base.

What should I know?

Optimum and DISH both offer Internet, television, and home phone and mobile phone services. That being said, there are a lot of similarities and differences between both these service providers. Optimum and DISH both offer speeds ranging from 100-1,000 Mbps. Optimum does not have any contracts or termination fees, and they will even pay $500 to buy you out of your current contract. As for DISH, they do have a two-year contract and early termination fees if you cancel prior to the contract ending. Additionally, they don’t offer Internet or phone services, but instead offer bundles through their various partners.

How does the set-up process work?

Optimum offers free installation their web specials. For others, they charge a one-time fee of $99 for a scheduled professional installation. Optimum’s professional installation service includes Wi-Fi configuration for up to six devices, the hardwiring of one device, and assistance with setting up your Optimum account. If you need to set up more devices, you can opt for the premium installation which costs $129 or $59 through the website.

As for DISH, the Installation is free, but you will need to get the Hopper Duo DVR features for $5/month which includes a satellite receiver with the ability to support a second HD television with a Joey client in the house. Hopper Duo includes voice remote, Wi-Fi, Netflix, and several other apps and features. The Joey receiver connects to other televisions at home with the help of the Hopper to create a versatile entertainment experience without the need for a DVR in every room.

How is the Internet service?

Optimum’s prices for Internet range between $40-80 month. Some of Optimum’s options include the Optimum 300 (300 Mpbs speed) for $39.99/month, Optimum 500 (500 Mpbs speed) for $59.99/month or Optimum 1 Gig (940 Mbps speed) for $79.99/month.

DISH does not offer Internet on their own, but they do offer it through their partners. Their partners include CenturyLink, EarthLink, Frontier, Verizon, Kinetic by Windstream, Viasat, as well as HughesNet. These services require credit qualification and are billed separately. Speeds vary based on location and service; speeds also are not guaranteed.

What are the Internet options?

Optimum offers both cable and fiber to an estimated 12.9 million people spanning four U.S. states, whereas DISH has approximately 2.4 million subscribers. The difference between both is that cable travels through copper TV lines whereas fiber is made of plastic and used mainly for Internet service. 

Fiber is usually considered better due to its ability to provide high-bandwidth connections and quick upload times. Fiber is also less affected by slowdowns caused by high traffic. Fiber is not always an option in particular areas due to the high costs associated with it. Fortunately, both Optimum and DISH offer cable if fiber is not offered near you. With DISH, whether you get cable or fiber will also depend on which partner you utilize for your Internet services since Internet will not be coming directly from them.

What are the television options?

Optimum offers Optimum Basic with 50+ channels for $29.99/month, Optimum Core with 220+ channels for $59.99/month, Optimum Select with 340+ channels for $74/month and Optimum Premier with 420+ channels for $94/month. 

DISH also has a variety of television packages to choose from. Their most affordable package includes 190 channels for $64.99/month, they also have one with over 190 channels for $79.99/month. Their “best value” includes 290 channels for $89.99/month, and their highest priced option has 290+ channels for $99.99/month.

Optimum TV Packages & Pricing DISH Packages & Pricing 
50+ channels for $29.99/month190 channels for $64.99/month
220+ channels for $59.99/month190+ channels for $79.99/month
340+  channels for $74/month290 channels for $89.99/month
420+ channels for $94/month290+ channels for $99.99/month


What home telephone services do they offer?


Optimum offers a home telephone service for $10/month. If you'd also like Internet and television service, you can mix and match services through Optimum FlexAbility® This allows you upgrade, downgrade, or change services at anytime, it's risk-free and promises a 60-day money-back guarantee.

DISH does not offer any phone services, but their partners do. This service is billed separately from television services provided by DISH. The prices vary depending on the partner and your location.

Do they offer mobile phone plans?

Optimum is a part of Altice, which offers mobile phone service with a nationwide network, 5G access and no multi-line commitments. Their mobile options start at $14/month for 1 GB per line or $22/month for 3 GB.  If you'd prefer unlimited data, you can get it for $45/month per line. These prices are for current Optimum customers utilizing Cable TV and/or Internet. If you're a new customer, mobile plans are $10 more than quoted above.

DISH acquired Boost mobile in 2020, so that is the mobile phone service that they offer. Some plans that Boost mobile offers include 15GB for $45/month (now on sale for $35), 10GB a month for $35/month, or 5GB for $10/month for new customers only. All these plans include unlimited talk and text, as well as mobile hotspots. DISH announced in 2019 that they are currently building the first standalone 5G network of its kind within the United States.

Do they offer bundles?

Optimum doesn't necessarily offer bundles, but they do offer Optimum FlexAbility® This allows Optimum Customers to upgrade, downgrade, or cancel their services without any penalty fee. This offering is completely risk-free, as it even boasts a 60-day money back guarantee!

DISH offers a variety of Internet, television, and home phone bundles through their various partners. The partner and the price varies depending on location and availability.

So which is the best deal?

Both Optimum and DISH offer plenty of channels, mobile phone service, as well as Internet and Home phone services (when considering DISH’s partners). With all this information, it may be difficult to decide which service would be best for you. Below we have evaluated the information by their individual categories to help distinguish which package might be tailored best to your needs.

Internet: Optimum offers 300 Mbps with unlimited data for $39.99/month, as well as a variety of other affordable deals. DISH offers a variety of plans through partners, but they are billed separately which complicates the process a bit.

Television: Optimum offers several affordable packages such as Core TV with 220+ channels for $59.99/month, whereas DISH offers 190 channels for $64.99/month Home Telephone: Optimum lets you add a home phone option to any bundle for about $29.95/month. DISH offers home phone options through their partners at varying costs.

Mobile: Optimum Mobile offers phone lines starting at $14/month with no minimum requirement, or unlimited data for $45/month. Boost mobile (acquired by DISH) offers 15GB for $45 a month, although it is currently on sale for $35/month.

Bundle: Optimum offers mix-and-match plans that allow you to pick and choose services based on your needs and your budget. With DISH, you can only add television and home phone services through their partners, this requires signing a two-year contract and a credit check.

We hope this information was useful and that it will help you make a decision on which service provider and package is best suited for you! 

*Data as of 09/30/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

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