Best Optimum Approved Modems [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 an article with the list of all Optimum-approved modems, with short reviews of the top 3. 

Optimum Approved Modems

As a Network Engineer, I have spent many hours researching which modems are compatible with Optimum. 

And with this research, I have created a list of Optimum-certified modems. 

I have also concluded that the Netgear CM1000 is the best cable modem for most Optimum customers.

Source: Netgear.com

Netgear CM1000 – Editors Choice’s

Best Overall

  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Works up to: 1000 Mbps
  • Channel bonding: 32×8
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 1 year

But not for all, because everyone has different demands and necessities. Therefore I have reviewed the top 3 modems so you can pick the best for your home. 

Keep reading to learn them. 

Top 3 Optimum Compatible Modems

  1. NETGEAR CM1000 (Best Cable Modem)
  2. NETGEAR Nighthawk CAX80 (Best Modem/Router Combo)
  3. Arris Touchstone TM804G (Best For Voice Service)

3 Best Optimum Approved Modems

Here are the 3 best modems for Optimum, each one for different needs and wants. 

#1 NETGEAR CM1000 (Best Cable Modem)

  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Max speed: 6000 Mbps
  • Recommended for speed: 1000 Mbps or below
  • Channel bonding: 32×8
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Ethernet Ports: 1 x 1G
  • Warranty: 2 years money-back guarantee 
  • Chosen as: Best Cable Modem

The Netgear CM1000 is the cable modem I recommend if you have either the Optimum 500 or 1 Gig plan. 

The modem has a real-world speed of around 1000 Mbps which is enough to watch multiple 4K movies at the same time while playing online games. [1]

If you have a slower internet plan (like 300 Mbps) and want a cable modem, I would instead go for the Netgear CM500. Which is similar to the CM1000, only cheaper and slower.

Overall I find the CM1000 an good all-around cable modem, just a bit of an overkill for the slower plans.




#2 NETGEAR Nighthawk CAX80 (Best Modem/Router Combo)

  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Max speed: 6000 Mbps
  • Recommended for speed: 2000 Mbps or below
  • Channel bonding: 32×8
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Ethernet Ports: 1 x 2.5 Gbps + 4 x 1G
  • Warranty: 2 years money-back guarantee 
  • Chosen as: Best Modem/Router Combo

The Netgear Nighthawk CAX80 the fastest device on this list. It has a real-world speed of 2000 Mbps, which enough for any existing Optimum plan.

The device also comes with one 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port. This means that you can also get these internet speeds with a wired internet connection. 

Furthermore, the router is also dual-banded, which means that you can switch between a 2.4GHz network and a 5GHz network. 

This is good because 2.4GHz has a better range while 5GHz is faster. 

If you have one of the slower plans, then this device might seem like overkill, and it is. But the problem is that this is the only approved modem/router combo for Optimum. 




#3 Arris Touchstone TM804G (Best Telephone Modem)

  • Type: Telephone Modem 
  • Max speed: N/A
  • Recommended for speed: 300 Mbps or below
  • Channel bonding: 8×4
  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Ethernet Ports: 4 x 1G
  • Warranty: 2 years money-back guarantee 
  • Chosen as: Best Telephone Modem 

The Arris Touchstone TM804G is the modem I recommend if you have Optimum Voice Service. That is as long as you don’t have a faster internet plan than 300 Mbps. 

This is because the modem only supports internet speeds up to that. Any faster plan will go to waste. 

This presents itself as a problem because there is only one Optimum-approved modem with telephone support that is faster than the TM804G. 

This is the TM1602. The problem with this one is that it has the Puma Chipset. Which is a chip some modems use that makes their latency terrible. 

And high latency lower the quality of the online game experience and VoIP calls. Therefore, it’s up to you whatever or not you want to buy either of the two telephone modems or rent one from Optimum. 




List of All Optimum Approved Modems

Here is a list of all Optimum-approved modems. 

BrandModel #With RouterChannelsDOCSISPuma ChipsetVoIPSpeed (Mbps)
NetgearCM500No16×43.0NoNo608
NetgearCM600No24×83.0NoNo912
NetgearCM1000No32×83.1NoNo6000
NetgearCM1100No32×83.1NoNo6000
NetgearCM1200No32×83.1NoNo10000
NetgearCM2000No32×83.1NoNo10000
NetgearCAX80Yes32×83.1NoNo10000
ArrisTM804No8×43.0NoYes304
ArrisTM822No8×43.0NoYes304
ArrisTM1602No24×83.0YesYes912

Puma chipset is a bad chipset linked with huge latency problems. Avoid modems having it.

What to Consider Before Buying an Optimum Approved Modem

Modems

There is a couple of things you should consider before buying yourself an Optimum certified modem. These here are the main ones. 

Compatibility With Optimum 

The most important thing you must consider when buying a third-party modem is whatever or not it is compatible with Optimum or not. 

This is luckily nothing you need to think about if you choose any of the modems for Optimum from the list above. 

But if you are want to get some other modem, not from the list, you must make sure it’s compatible with Optimum in your area. [2]

I would recommend calling them and ask

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 is that it allows for higher performance and more customization. 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 easier setup and take up less space. As well as providing more streamlined troubleshooting. 

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

Internet Plan

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

When getting yourself a third-party 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. 

To know the max speed of a modem, check the DOCSIS version and the number of channels. More channels equal more max speed. 

Optimum Voice Service

If you have Optimum Voice Service, you need to get any of the modems with VoIP support. 

There might be more voice modems that would work with Optimum. But if you buy them, it is at your own risk. Since they won’t be approved and are therefore not guaranteed to work. 

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. Connect the Coax cable and power cord to your modem. Also, connect it to your router if you have one. 
  3. Thereafter, check out Optimum’s guide on how to activate your modem here

Optimum Internet Plans

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

All modems and gateways are from the Optimum-compatible modems list. 

Download Speed (Mbps)Upload SpeedRecommended Cable ModemRecommended GatewayRecommended Telephone Modem
30010CM500CAX80TM804G
50020CM1000CAX80TM1602
100050CM1000CAX80TM1602

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. 

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

Altice USA was founded in 1973 with the name Cablevision. Changing 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.

FAQ

Here are some common questions regarding Optimum and third-party approved modems.

What is Altice USA?

Altice USA is the parent company that owns and operates Optimum.

Should I Rent or Buy My Optimum Modem?

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

This fee added up, can pay for a new modem every year. Therefore, I recommend most people buy a third-party modem. 

You can check out this in-depth article on Renting Vs. Buying Your Modem & Router if you are uncertain.

What’s Optimum’s phone number?

You can call Optimum support on 1-866-200-7273.

My Verdict

Taken from the list, I have concluded that the Netgear CM1000 is the best cable modem for most Optimum customers. 

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