Best Optimum Approved Modems in 2022 [Full List]

Note, no device can get you faster internet speeds than your internet plan provides.

Also, get the device you need. A modem and a router are not the same things. Some types of internet require both others only one. If you are uncertain, click here

This is our review of the best-approved modems for Optimum internet in 2022.

Optimum Approved Modems

As a Network Engineer, I have spent many hours researching and testing which modems are best for Optimum. 

And I have concluded that the Arris Surfboard SB8200 is the best modem for Optimum.

Arris Surfboard SB8200
Source: Surfboard.com

Arris SB8200 – Editors Choice’s

Best Overall

  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: Any Optimum Plan
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Best Overall

But everyone has different internet plans, homes, and preferences. And therefore, I have reviewed the top 7 modems, so you can pick the best for your home. 

Keep reading to learn them. 

Top 7 Optimum Compatible Modems

Here are the best Optimum modems. 

  1. Arris SB8200 (Editor’s Choice – Cable Modem)
  2. Arris S33 (Best Performer – Cable Modem)
  3. Netgear CM500 (Budget-Friendly – Cable Modem)
  4. Netgear C7800 (Best Value – Modem/Router Combo)
  5. Netgear CAX80 (Premium Option – Modem/Router Combo)
  6. Netgear C7000 (Budget-Friendly – Modem/Router Combo)
  7. Arris TM3402 (For Voice Service – Cable Modem)

7 Best Optimum Approved Modems

Here are the 7 best Optimum compatible modems with the best one for your likings.

#1 Arris SB8200 (Editor’s Choice – Cable Modem)

Arris Surfboard SB8200
Source: Surfboard.com
  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: Any Optimum Internet Plan
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 2 year
  • Chosen as: Best Overall 

The Arris Surfboard SB8200 is the perfect option for any Optimum customer looking to future-proof their modem. 

First of all, the SB8200 will work for any Optimum cable internet plan. This is due to it being DOCSIS 3.1 with a max speed of 2000 Mbps.

This is also what makes it future-proof. Because when Optimum upgrades the internet to DOCSIS 3.1, you won’t have to get a new modem. And since DOCSIS 3.1 is backward compatible, it will work with DOCSIS 3.0. 

The SB8200 also has something called ethernet aggregation. This allows you to combine two ethernet ports and create a single one with a max speed of around 2000 Mbps instead of 1000 Mbps. [1]

This is not super useful right now, though. Since Optimum doesn’t offer any plans exceeding 1000 Mbps. But it likely will be in the future.

However, I don’t recommend the SB8200 if you think you will change to fiber in the short-term future. Because the modem is an investment for the future. 

Suppose you will get Fiber in a year or so. In that case, you should get a modem with the minimum requirements for your current internet plan (see table later in the article). 

Overall, the Arris Surfboard SB8200 is a modem you can get and then ignore. Because it’s a value packet that will work for years to come. 

Read the full review of the SB8200.




#2 Arris S33 (Best Performer – Cable Modem)

Arris S33
Source: Surfboard.com
  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: Optimum 1000 Mbps
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 2 year
  • Chosen as: Best Overall 

The Arris S33 is the best modem if you are looking for pure speed. Working with internet plans up to 2500 Mbps. 

Optimum does not offer these speeds yet and would theoretically be enough to watch teen 8K movies simultaneously. 

Such speeds are possible because the S33 has a 2.5G Ethernet port instead of the usual 1G port. 

You can think about the S33 as a more advanced version of the SB8200. Faster, newer, and more future-proof. 

But honestly, it can sometimes be a bit excessive. Because no matter how good your cable modem is, you will still get the internet speed of your internet plan. 

Thus, I only recommend this for people who want the best of the best. 




#3 Netgear CM500 (Budget-Friendly Cable Modem)

Netgear CM500
Source: Netgear.com
  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: Optimum 300 Mbps or below
  • Channel: 16×4
  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Chosen as: Budget-Friendly 

The Netgear CM500 is a good option for anyone with the Optimum 300 Mbps plan or below that wants to save some money. 

You will find this modem in many reviews online and for a good reason. It’s a value packet that is enough for many people’s internet needs. 

But as ISP’s such as Optimum move towards DOCSIS 3.1, it’s unclear how long this modem will be enough. 

Thus, you should know that you might have to get a new modem sooner than expected if you get this modem.

But if you have a slower internet plan and are on a budget, it’s a good choice. 




Link to Router Page

Need a Router To Your Optimum Modem?

If you don’t get a modem/router combo, you might want a new router for your modem. Luckily, we got you covered in the best routers for Optimum.

#4 Netgear C7800 (Best Value – Modem/Router Combo)

Netgear C7800
Source: Netgear.com
  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Recommended for: Optimum 500 Mbps or below
  • Max Wi-Fi Speed: 513.64 Mbps
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Chosen as: Best Value

The Netgear C7800 is a modem/router option for you with the Optimum 500 Mbps plan or below. 

During testing, the C7800 averaged 513.64 Mbps, 309.15 Mbps from 25 feet, and 155.21 Mbps from 50 feet.

These results are pretty good, considering it’s an AC3200 Wi-Fi 5 router. Enough for a family of around five people to use the internet without any problems. 

Range wise the Wi-Fi performed decently. Reaching around 80-90 feet, which is enough for an ordinary house.

The modem is DOCSIS 3.1, which makes it future-proof and technically enough for any Optimum plan. 

The router is actually the limiting factor is this device. And is the reason I only recommend it for the Optimum 500 Mbps plan. 

But you could, of course, use it with a faster internet plan if you want to.

The biggest con with the C7800 is that it lacks extra features on the router. For example, Parental Controls that allow you to control your kid’s activities online are missing.

Overall, the Netgear C7800 is a solid gateway that provides a lot of value for the money. Just don’t get it if you need the extra features.




 

#5 Netgear CAX80 (Premium Option – Modem/Router Combo)

Netgear CAX80
Source: Netgear.com
  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Recommended for: Optimum 1 Gig or below
  • Max Wi-Fi speed: 800+ Mbps
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Chosen as: Best Performer

The Netgear CAX80 is one of the fastest modem/router combos I have tested and will work for any internet plan up to Optimum 1000.

In testing, I, unfortunately, wasn’t able to test its max speed since the internet plan I had access to only reached 800 Mbps. 

But it did reach 800+ Mbps from 5 feet and 583.15 Mbps from 25 feet. Both with the 5GHz band

These results are some of the best I have ever got from a modem/router combo. And will be enough of a home of 7+ people to use the internet without any issues. 

The biggest drawback with the CAX80 is the same as the C7800 – it lacks features. 

Because it doesn’t have Parental Controls or QoS, which allows you to restrict your kid’s activities on the internet and prioritize applications on the network. 

These are features I would expect on a modem/router combo this expensive. 

Moreover, the CAX80 is honestly a bit excessive for anyone below the Optimum 500 Mbps plan. 

Altogether, the Netgear CAX80 is best for you who want a modem/router combo and have a fast internet plan. 




#6 Netgear C7000 (Best Value – Modem/Router Combo)

Netgear C7000
Source: Netgear.com
  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Recommended for: Optimum 300 or below
  • Max Wi-Fi speed: 370.47 Mbps
  • Channel: 24×8
  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Chosen as: Budget-Friendly

The Netgear C7000 is a good budget gateway for anyone with the Optimum 300 Mbps plan or below. 

During testing, it reached 370.47 Mbps from 5 feet, 132.82 Mbps from 25 feet, and 70.11 Mbps from 50 feet. All using 5GHz band. 

These are decent results that are acceptable considering the price. Enough for a family of 3-5 to use the internet without any problems.

The modem is DOCSIS 3.0 with 24×8 channels. This makes the modem enough for around 600 Mbps.

So if you have a wired device connected to it, you can get around 600 Mbps if your internet plan provides it. 

The drawback with the C7000 is that it lacks extra features on the router. It’s more forgivable on this one since it is a cheaper option, but I would still like to see something.

Overall, the Netgear C7000 is suitable for someone with a slower internet plan that’s not looking for futureproofing. 




#7 Arris TM3402 (Best For Voice Service – Cable Modem)

Arris TM3402
Source: Surfboard.com
  • Type: Telephone Modem 
  • Recommended for: Any Optimum Internet Plan
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Best Telephone Modem 

The Arris TM3402 is the best cable modem for you looking for a Voice modem compatible with Optimum. 

I haven’t tested this device but from looking around it’s clearly the best modem for Optimum Voice service.

It’s also DOCSIS 3.1 and will thus work for any Optimum internet plan. 

The problem with the TM3402 is that it’s hard to get a hold of. Because it is one of the few voice modems compatible with Optimum that isn’t old and slow, it has a high demand. 

Below you can check if it is available at the Arris store or at Amazon.




Complete List of All Optimum Approved Modems

Here is a list of all modems that are “officially” approved for Optimum. Even though any modem with DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1 with at least 16×8 channels should work. 

As you will find, not all modems recommended above are from the list. But they are all chosen after talking to an Optimum technician, so they should work. 

Here is the list and its sources. [2, 3, 4, 5]

BrandModel #With RouterChannelsDOCSISPuma ChipsetVoIP
TP-LinkTC7650No24x83.0NoNo
NetgearCM500No16x43.0NoNo
NetgearCM600No24x83.0NoNo
NetgearCM700No32x83.0YesNo
NetgearCM1100No32×83.1NoNo
ArrisSB8200No32×83.1NoNo
ArrisCM8200No32×83.1NoNo
ArrisTM1602No24×83.0YesYes
ArrisTM1672No24×83.0NoYes
ArrisTM3202No32×83.1NoYes
UBEEUBC1322Yes32×83.1NoYes
MotorolaMB7621No24x83.0NoNo
ArrisSB6183No16x43.0NoNo

Puma Chipset is a bad chip linked with latency issues. Even though much of its problems are being fixed, I would recommend avoiding modems using it. 

It might be the case that there are some modems with 8×4 channels that will work for you. But this will not be the case in all areas.

What to Consider Before Buying an Optimum Approved Modem

Here are the things you should especially consider before buying the best Optimum certified modem possible. For a more general guide, check out the modem buying guide here

Approved & Compatible With Optimum 

Finding which modem is compatible with Optimum was hard. But after a lot of research, I managed to get in contact with an Optimum technician. 

He explained that for a modem to work with Optimum, it needs to be a cable modem with 16×8 or more channels and be DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1. 

He further stated that even though any brand should work, he recommends Arris or Netgear. 

I also found the Motorola MB8600 had begun having problems in some areas. So even though any brand should work, I also recommend getting Arris or Netgear for Optimum. 

There are also some lists circulating around, which I have placed above. 

DOCSIS

DOCSIS is the standard cable modems use to deliver data to your home. 

Today, basically all modems are either DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1. The difference is that DOCSIS 3.1 is newer and faster while DOCSIS 3.0 is cheaper. [6]

For Optimum, you can get either. 

Even though you can get either, I recommend getting a DOCSIS 3.1 modem for Optimum. 

The reason for this is that this will future-proof your modem for when either you get a faster internet plan or Optimum upgrades their networks. 

You should, however, perhaps not get DOCSIS 3.1 if you are changing to fiber soon.

Suppose you are switching to fiber in a year, then you should get a minimum requirement for your internet plan (see table under “speed”).

DOCSIS 3.1 Pros

  • Faster
  • Lower latency
  • Future-proof

DOCSIS 3.0 Pros

  • Cheaper
  • Often enough

Channels

If you choose to get a DOCSIS 3.0 modem, you also need to consider the channels. 

For a modem to be Optimum-approved, you need between 16×4 and 32×8 channels. 

The first number stands for its downstream channels and the second for its upstream channels, with more channels equaling more speed. 

When picking a modem, you should consider what speeds you need and choose a modem where the channels fit your plan.

See table under speed for some help. 

Speed

Optimum has three main internet plans. These are the Optimum 300, the Optimum 500, and the Optimum 1 Gig plan. All have download speeds that are equal to the numbers in their names. 

When getting yourself a third-party Optimum-approved modem, it needs to support high enough speeds. 

Otherwise, the modem will bottleneck your internet, and you won’t get the internet speed you are paying for. 

Here is a table with what DOCSIS and channels are compatible with what Optimum plan. 

Optimum PlanDOCSISChannels
Optimum 3003.0 or 3.116×4 or more
Optimum 5003.0 or 3.124×8 or more
Optimum 10003.1N/A

Some argue that you can use a DOCSIS 3.0 modem with 32×8 channels with an Optimum 1000 plan. And it might work, but I would not recommend it. 

Modem/Router Combo or Separate

When getting yourself a modem, you need to decide if you want a modem with an inbuilt router or a separate router. 

Both options have their pros and cons, but as a Network Engineer, I recommend separate devices. 

The reason for this is that separate allows for higher performance and more customization. Furthermore, it also makes it possible to only change one of the devices if it breaks or needs an upgrade. 

This is not to say that modem/router combos (gateways) are inferior. They do offer an easier setup and take up less space. 

Separate Pros

  • Better performance
  • Can change one device instead of both
  • More network control

Combo Pros

  • More convenient
  • Often easier setup
  • Cheaper upfront cost

If you want a more in-depth overview, check out Gateway vs. Separate Modem & Router.

Optimum Voice Service

For Optimum Voice service, Optimum makes it very hard for consumers to get their own modem.

They say it’s because of technical reasons, but my opinion is that it’s because they want to rent more devices. 

Whatever is the truth is up for debate. But even though Optimum have made it hard, it is possible.

Here are all the Voice modems that are approved for the Optimum Voice service. 

BrandModem #ChannelsDOCSISPuma Chipset
ArrisTM160216×43.0Yes
ArrisTM167616×43.0Yes
ArrisTM340232×83.1No
UBEEUBC132232×83.1No

The TM804 and TM822 might also work. But as they do not meet the channels requirements and are old – there is no guarantee. 

The UBEE UBC1322 is the only gateway, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any place to buy it.

Rent Vs. Buy Devices From Optimum

The cost of renting a modem from Optimum is $9.95 per month. [7]

This fee adds up to nearly $120 per year. This is enough to get yourself a high-quality modem every year.

Therefore, I recommend most people buy a third-party modem. Because it’s simply cheaper in the long run. 

Nevertheless, there are reasons for renting. If you, for example, are switching to fiber soon, it might be cheaper to rent a couple of months instead of buying. 

Since Fiber Optic internet doesn’t use cable modems. But for most people, buying will be a lot cheaper in the long run. 

If you have a hard time deciding, check out our guide on Rent Vs. Buy Modem & Router. 

How To Install A Optimum Modem

This is how to install an Optimum Modem.

  1. Pick a location with good air circulation. So the modem doesn’t overheat. If you have a gateway, also try to place it in the middle of your home. Do this to avoid any Wi-Fi dead spot.
  2. Then connect the Coax cable and power cord to your modem. Also, connect it to your router if you have one. 
  3. After that, you can activate your modem here. Sometimes you also might have to call Optimum customer service and ask them to register the modem. They will ask for the MAC ID on the bottom of the modem. 

Optimum Internet Plans

Depending on what plan, different modems in the list fit you. Here you can see the internet plans and what modem and gateway I recommend for each one. [8]

Download SpeedCable Modem Modem/Router ComboVoice Modem
300 MbpsCM500C7000TM3402
500 MbpsSB8200C7800TM3402
1000 MbpsS33CAX80TM3402

Optimum Company Information

Optimum, also known as Altice USA and formerly known as Cablevision, provides internet, telephone, and television service to 21 states in the United States. [9]

It is the fifth-largest cable provider and ninth-largest television provider in the US, with most customers in New York. 

Founded in 1973 under the name Cablevision. it Changed its name in 2015 to Altice USA.

Alice USA doesn’t only provide internet access through Optimum but also owns Suddenlink. Both of which it plans to rebrand under the Altice name.

My Verdict

After much research and talking to an Optimum technician, I concluded that the Arris Surfboard SB8200 is the best cable modem for most Optimum customers. 

This is because it’s a well-priced modem that will provide your home with a reliable internet connection for years to come. 

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4 thoughts on “Best Optimum Approved Modems in 2022 [Full List]”

  1. Hello. I have Optimum Internet service and Voice. I use an Arris A1602 modem and a Optimum supplied router, Sagemcom 5260. If I upgrade to the SB8200 will I lose Voice service?

    Reply
    • Hi Marc,

      That is correct, If you only use the SB8200 you will not be able to use your voice service.

      What you could do, is to get the SB8200 for your internet and continue to use the Arris A1602 for your phone service. All you need to do for this is a coax splitter and to contact Optimum so they can set it all up.

      If this sounds too complicated you can always get the Arris TM3402 which is a DOCSIS 3.1 modem with voice support compatible with Optimum.

      Reply
    • Hello Jose,

      The only modem/router with Voice approved by Optimum is the UBEE UBC1322. The thing is that I haven’t found any place to buy it, so I’m afraid you might have to rent if you want a modem/router combo for your voice service.

      Reply

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