7 Best Routers For Optimum In 2024

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 a review of the best compatible routers for Optimum.

Optimum modems and routers

I’ve reviewed dozens of routers over the past few months and this has allowed me to select the best options for Optimum Internet customers.

The best overall has to be the TP-Link Archer AX55 in terms of pure value for money.

TP-Link Archer AX55 AX3000

Best Overall

  • Recommend for: Optimum 500 Mbps or less
  • Tested max speed: 743.49 Mbps
  • Approximate range: 90-100 ft
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime

But different situations require different solutions, so make sure you check out my other suggestions.

Let’s go!

7 Best Optimum Routers

These are my top picks for each category.

7 Top Routers for Optimum Internet Plans

Now, we’re going to take a look at each of those seven in more detail.

#1 Best Overall Router – TP-Link Archer AX55

TP Link Archer AX55 AX3000
  • Recommend for: Optimum 500 Mbps or less
  • Tested max speed: 743.49 Mbps
  • Approximate range: 90-100 ft
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime


  • Pretty good range
  • Very fast for the price
  • Top features


  • HomeProtect costs extra

Based on value for money, I think the best router for most Optimum plans is the impressive but affordable TP-Link Archer AX55.

Even though it’s cheap by comparison to the competition, it’s fast. To find this out, we ran a download speed test while connected from 5 ft. The recorded speed we managed to get was 743.49 Mbps, which beats a lot of more expensive routers. 

This kind of speed would be ideal for Optimum 500 Mbps plans or less. And in fact, it could even be a good option for the Optimum 1 Gig plan. 

It’d also be a good router for those in medium or slightly larger homes. We’ve figured this out based on the range of the router being around 90-100 ft.

When it comes to features, the AX55 continues to impress for the price. It comes with pretty neat QoS, meaning you can improve individual device performance by restricting bandwidth to other devices.

It also allows you to boost the range seamlessly with OneMesh. This is the Mesh feature from TP-Link allowing you to add satellites that connect to the same network. 

The only slight negative is that you will have to pay if you want to upgrade to TP-Link HomeShield Pro. It costs $5.99 per month or $54.99 per year. 

This is a combination of high quality antivirus and advanced parental controls. I recommend it though, as it’s not too expensive.

And you get all of that for a very good price indeed. I’m very confident that those with Optimum 500 Mbps or even 1 Gig plans will be happy with this router. 

#2 Best for Budgets – TP-Link Archer A8

TP-Link Archer A8 AC1900
  • Recommend for: Optimum 300 Mbps or less
  • Tested max speed: 492.69 Mbps
  • Approximate range: 80-90 ft
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 5
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime


  • Pretty quick for Wi-Fi 5
  • Very affordable
  • Lifetime warranty


  • QoS and parental controls are minimal

If you have one of the slower Optimum plans (300 Mbps or less) and want to save money on your new router, check out the TP-Link Archer A8.

This is a Wi-Fi 5 router, which is an older Wi-Fi technology (compared to Wi-Fi 6). This makes the router cheaper, but a little slower.

Not that much slower though. We still managed to record a top speed of 492.69 Mbps with it. Based on this, it could also be a reasonable candidate for the 500 Mbps plan. 

I wouldn’t recommend buying this router if you have a large home. We found the range to be around 80-90 ft, which is about the size of a medium home. 

Interestingly, you can upgrade the range of this router seamlessly using Mesh satellites thanks to TP-Link’s OneMesh. However, this is going to get expensive and the router definitely won’t be in the budget category anymore.

You’ll also get QoS and parental controls on this router but their functions are quite limited compared to some more premium TP-Link routers.

Some good news for those concerned about security is that the A8 comes with the latest in encryption technology, WPA3. This means your personal data will be as safe as possible.

And all that for a very low price. Provided you don’t have a large home and a fast Optimum plan, the A8 is an ideal budget option.

#3 Best for Optimum 1 Gig/2 Gig – Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500

Netgear RAXE500
  • Recommend for: Any Optimum plan
  • Tested max speed: 1203.59Mbps
  • Approximate range: 100-110 ft
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 6e
  • Warranty: One year


  • Lightning fast
  • Mesh capabilities
  • Good organic range


  • Poor features
  • Wi-Fi 6e compatibility limited

If you have the fastest Cox plans (1 Gig and 2 Gig) and you want to max out the speed of them over Wi-Fi, one of the best chances you’re going to have is with the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500.

This speed demon will easily clear 1 Gbps over Wi-Fi. And then some. In fact, we managed to clock in a top speed of 1203.59 Mbps, which really is quite something.

The reason it’s able to do this is that it’s loaded with the latest Wi-Fi protocol, Wi-Fi 6e. Only a handful of devices support this right now though (such as the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra), so make sure your devices are compatible before you get too excited about this speed.

And if you want to max out the 2 Gig plan, you’ll be able to do so with a wired connection. That’s because the RAXE500 has a multi gig port, allowing for ethernet connection speed of up to 2.5 Gbps. 

Its range is strong too. You can stay connected at up to 100-110 ft. That’s plenty for a pretty large home and is actually up there with the widest ranges we’ve recorded. If you want to go even further, you can do so with Mesh.

Other than this, the features could do so with some work. There’s no QoS at all, which is quite a surprise. You won’t be able to select any priority devices with this router. 

There are limited parental controls, but upgrading them to some of the best if you opt for a Netgear Armor annual subscription is possible. This will also come with excellent antivirus, helping keep your network safe.

It’s free for a year with this router, but you’ll need to pay after. I still recommend doing it, but it is a shame that you have to pay more on top of what is already an expensive router. 

Other than the lack of features and the high price, the RAXE500 is an almighty router. It has to be the best option for those superfast Optimum plans. 

#4 Best Mesh System – ASUS ZenWiFi AX AX6600

ASUS ZenWiFi AX (XT8) AX6600 White
  • Recommend for: Optimum 1 Gig or less (1000 Mbps)
  • Tested max speed: 836.45 Mbps
  • Approximate range: 100 ft per satellite
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: Two years


  • Powerful Mesh system
  • Great ASUS features
  • Backhaul third band


  • Slower on 2.4 GHz

Those looking to provide a network to particularly large homes, office spaces or other big areas should probably look at Mesh. Generally, we recommend it for any space of 3000 sq ft or more.

The best option for Mesh right now has to be the ASUS ZenWiFi AX AX6600. It really does tick all the boxes.

And one of those boxes is speed. Our Wi-Fi speed test managed to record 836.45 Mbps at one point, putting this system up there with the fastest out there. This is more than enough speed for a large family and will suit Optimum plans up to 1 Gig.

You won’t need to keep the satellites close together either. The individual satellite range is around 100 ft (although I’d recommend keeping them a little closer than that).

When the satellites link up, they do so very well thanks to the addition of a second 5 GHz, making this a tri-band system.

You can connect smart devices to the second band, meaning a lot of devices can still get the top speeds. But you can also use it as a backhaul band, improving the connections between the Mesh satellites themselves. 

The 5 GHz bands are definitely the best ones to use if you can. We found its 2.4 GHz band to be a little slow, but that’s not going to be a problem unless you have a very old device like an iPhone 4s. 

But that’s just about the only issue. As on the features side of things, the AX6600 impresses some more. It has all the best bits from ASUS, like AiProtection Pro (enhanced parental controls and antivirus) plus Adaptive QoS.

I can’t think of a better option for those with the 1 Gig plan or slower and with a large home.

#5 Best Modem/Router Combo – Motorola MG8702

Motorola MG8702
  • Recommend for: Optimum 500 Mbps or less
  • Tested max speed: 518.51 Mbps
  • Approximate range: 80-90 ft
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 5
  • Warranty: Two years


  • Good gateway speed
  • DOCSIS 3.1
  • Not so expensive


  • Restrictive QoS and parental controls

Based on value for money, I’ve chosen the best modem/router combo or gateway device for Optimum customers as the Motorola MG8702.

A gateway device will make your life easier as it bundles the router and modem together into one device. You won’t get as good performance or features though.

That being said, the MG8702 isn’t exactly slow. We still managed to clock in at a speed of 518.51 Mbps with it, which is good for a gateway. It’s also enough for most families, and the Cox 500 Mbps plan. 

Part of the reason for the good speed is that this is a DOCSIS 3.1 gateway, not 3.0. This means it has the latest in modem technology allowing for better performance. And, you’ll be able to use it for longer as 3.0 is slowly phased out from Optimum plans. 

The range isn’t bad either at around 80-90 ft. That’s enough for a medium-sized home, but if you want to extend that, you’re going to need to go down the traditional Wi-Fi extender route as there is no Mesh.

The MG8702 does have a couple of features in QoS and parental controls. So, you will be able to select priority devices on the network and tailor what children on the network can or can’t see. But, these features are quite restricted in how far they can go.

So if it’s the ease of use you’re looking for and you don’t want to break the bank too much, check out the Motorola MG8702. But if you have a faster plan, stay tuned to read about our premium option.  

#6 Best Budget Gateway – Motorola MG7540

Motorola MG7540
  • Recommend for: Optimum 300 Mbps or less
  • Tested max speed: 301.85 Mbps
  • Approximate range: 70-80 ft
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 5
  • Warranty: Two years


  • Very affordable gateway
  • Does have parental controls and QoS
  • Suitable for 300 Mbps plans


  • Short range
  • Not so fast
  • Won’t be so futureproofed

One of the most affordable gateways out there right now is the Motorola MG7540. But we haven’t only picked it for the price!

Sure, you will have to sacrifice some performance if you want to get a gateway this affordable. We only managed to record a speed of 301.85 Mbps.

Nonetheless, that still makes it suitable for anyone with the Optimum 300 Mbps plan or slower. It’s also still going to be enough speed for most families, unless some family members are particularly internet-heavy!

The range isn’t so good either. Our tests found that it topped out at around 70-80 ft. This means it’s only really going to be enough range for a small or at best medium-sized home. That is, unless you choose to use a Wi-Fi extender.

A couple of reasons for the lack of speed is that this gateway is running older Wi-Fi and modem protocols in DOCSIS 3.0 and Wi-Fi 5. This means it’s cheaper, but it’s likely to become a redundant piece of technology faster than with a more expensive gateway.

Some good news is that this gateway does come with parental controls and QoS, but they’re a bit limited in what they’re able to do.

So if you are on a budget and want to make life easier on the 300 Mbps Optimum plan or less, this could be good for you. Just think twice about that older technology and range. 

#7 Best Premium Gateway – Netgear CAX80

Netgear CAX80
  • Recommend for: Any Optimum plan
  • Tested max speed: 800 Mbps+
  • Approximate range: 90-100 ft
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: One year


  • Mega fast gateway
  • Latest technologies
  • Great range


  • Very expensive
  • Limited features

Anyone who wants to get the best out of their faster Optimum plans but still have the ease of a gateway device will want to consider the Netgear CAX80.

One of the biggest selling points of this awesome modem/router combo is its speed. It maxes out at over 800 Mbps, making it one of the fastest gateways out there. As such, I recommend it for any Optimum plan.

The range is much better than the other two gateways we’ve also looked at. We found it to be around 90-100 ft, making it enough for a medium or even a large home. Any particularly large homes will need to use a Wi-Fi extender though.

One thing that helps the performance of the CAX80 is that it’s a Wi-Fi 6 device instead of Wi-Fi 5 like the other two. This allows it to reach faster speeds but it does boost the price. 

Another is the fact that this is a DOCSIS 3.1 router instead of regular DOCSIS 3.0. This later technology means better speed but it also means that this device will work with Optimum plans further into the future. 

This gateway is expensive, for sure. But the price doesn’t look so bad when you weigh it up against buying a premium router and modem separately.

For the price, I would have liked to have seen better QoS and parental controls. It still has these options, so you can select priority devices for more speed and set access restrictions but they’re not the best tools.

So, the CAX80 is easy and powerful. It’s one of the best gateways but beware of the upfront cost. 

Optimum Router Buying Guide

If you want to take a look for a router yourself, be sure to consider the following factors before you make a decision.

And if you get to the end of this buying guide still wanting to know more, you can pick up more tips in our ultimate router buying guide.

Optimum Internet PlanDOCSISChannelsWi-Fi Standard
100 Mbps Internet3.0 or 3.116×4 or moreWi-Fi 5 or 6
300 Mbps Internet3.0 or 3.116×4 or moreWi-Fi 5 or 6
500 Mbps Internet3.0 or 3.124×8 or moreWi-Fi 5 or 6
1 Gig Internet3.1N/AWi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6e
2 Gig Internet3.1N/AWi-Fi 6e

The only plan you won’t be able to max out over Wi-Fi is the 2 Gig one. To get this speed, you’re going to want to look for a router with a multi gig port. This will allow you to get 2 Gbps with a wired connection.

For every other plan, it’s worth opting for a router that gets close to the top speed of your plan. Otherwise, you’re going to be spending money on an internet plan with a top speed you can’t reach. 

At the same time, it’s important to consider how much speed you actually need. For example, anything over 300 Mbps in a home setting could be seen as a little excessive. 

Wi-Fi 5 vs Wi-Fi 6 vs Wi-Fi 6e

The 300 Mbps will be fine with the majority of Wi-Fi 5 devices. At 500 Mbps, Wi-Fi 5 could still work but I’d begin to recommend Wi-Fi 6.

For 1 Gig, Wi-Fi 6 should cut it but you might also want to consider Wi-Fi 6e. And for everything faster, Wi-Fi 6e is the closest you’ll get to the top speed over Wi-Fi.

What does this all mean? Well, the Wi-Fi number refers to wireless technology. Wi-Fi 5 was introduced some time ago before Wi-Fi 6 a few years later. 

Then, most recently, Wi-Fi 6e was announced but its device compatibility is still rather limited at this stage. For example, it only works with a handful of smartphones like the Google Pixel 6.

As you go through the numbers, the routers get more expensive but faster. Read more about Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 side by side here

Wi-Fi 5 Benefits

  • Cheapest option
  • Highly compatible

Wi-Fi 6 Benefits

  • Quicker
  • Good compatibility

Wi-Fi 6e Benefits

  • Extremely quick
  • Futureproof

When to think about Mesh

Do you have a home larger than 3000 sq ft? A handy piece of technology that could help you out is Mesh.

Mesh is a Wi-Fi extension technology that allows you to add extenders, also known as satellites, to the same network. You can move from satellite to satellite without ever breaking your connection. That’s something Wi-Fi extenders can’t really do.

Setting up a Mesh network can get pretty expensive but for me, it’s worth it if you have a large home.

On the subject of Wi-Fi extenders and Mesh, you can compare them in more detail in our comparison guide.

Mesh benefits

  • Seamless roaming
  • Extend further

Standard router benefits

  • Cheaper
  • Easy to control

Dual-band and tri-band networks

Tri-band networks are a better option for those looking to connect a lot of smart devices to their network (35+). Or, for those looking to add a lot of satellites to their Mesh setup.

Traditionally, Wi-Fi networks would be dual-band in that they would have two bands: a 2.4 GHz one and a 5 GHz one. But then tri-band routers came in, adding a third band. Usually, this is another 5 GHz one but it can also be a 6 GHz in the case of Wi-Fi 6e.

This third band can do one of two things, or sometimes both. It can either free up bandwidth to allow more smart devices to get faster speeds, or it can use that extra bandwidth to improve the connections between Mesh satellites. 

We compared the two in more detail in this article.

Dual-band benefits

  • Cheaper
  • More compatible

Tri-band benefits

  • More bandwidth
  • Better Mesh connections

Buying a router or buying a modem/router combo

I generally recommend keeping your modem and router separate. But if you want to make life a little easier for yourself, you can buy a modem/router combo device, or gateway.

You’ll only need to be concerned with this if you’re an Optimum cable customer. Fiber users will have a slightly different setup with an ONT device instead of a conventional modem. 

Buying a modem and router separately generally offers better performance and better features. This means you can take control of your network in greater detail. Plus, there’s more choice.

However, a gateway is easier to set up and it can be cheaper as an overall setup.

If you want to know more about the differences, you can find out with this comparison guide.

Benefits of routers

  • More features
  • Better performances

Benefits of modem/router combinations

  • More affordable
  • Easier

DOCSIS and channels for gateway devices

If you do decide to go for a gateway, DOCSIS 3.1 is a better option even though it is more expensive.

The DOCSIS of a modem or gateway is the port that converts your cable internet into a signal that your router will then go on to convert into a Wi-Fi local network.

Before DOCSIS 3.1 was announced, DOCSIS 3.0 was the standard format. But now, because DOCSIS 3.0 is a little old, internet service providers are beginning to phase out its compatibility with their networks.

It’s also slower, but it is cheaper. So, consider what your budget is and what plan you have. Because DOCSIS 3.0 is still good for plans up to 500 Mbps, really.

There’s also the matter of channels. You’ll need 16×4 for the slower plans but at least 24×8 for 500 Mbps. 

Find out more about the two different types here.

Benefits of DOCSIS 3.0

  • Less expensive
  • More accessible

Benefits of DOCSIS 3.1

  • Faster
  • Protected to the future

Some other features to consider

Those with small children using the network are certainly going to want to think about getting a router with parental controls. This tool will allow you to restrict access to certain types of content for certain users or devices, and can often do so on a timer basis as well if you like. 

Another good idea is to think about QoS. This is a cool piece of technology that lets you select devices as a priority for the network. It will throttle the bandwidth of other devices connected to the network to get the fastest speed on your main devices when needed.

Thoughts on warranty and security

The length of the warranty of your router or gateway shows you how long the manufacturer will take responsibility for any faults that occur with it. 

If it were to break down of its own accord during the warranty period, the manufacturer would fix or replace it. This period could be anything from the legal minimum of one year in the US to limited lifetime in some cases.

And finally, there’s the matter of security. This comes in two parts. One of those is encryption, and you’ll need to choose between WPA2 and WPA3.

WPA 3 is the latest technology and goes one step further to keeping your personal data safe, but it tends to come on more expensive routers.

Also, consider picking up a router with antivirus. This will keep your devices safe from outside threats.

Optimum Router Upgrade FAQ

Have you still got things you want to know about upgrading your Optimum router? Check the Q&A below.

When do I need to buy a modem?

If you have an Optimum cable plan, you’ll need a modem, router, or device that combines both.

We have actually written an article about which modems are best for Optimum if this is the route you want to go down. You can read it here

Is it easy to set up a new router with Optimum?

It should only take a few minutes to get setup, and you won’t need to do anything complicated either. Just plug it in and activate it.

Do I really need to upgrade?

Optimum charges $11.99 per month for its gateway, so I recommend politely declining this and going for your own device. Not only can you get performance, but you’ll also save money over time. 

Concluding on the Best Routers for Optimum

The TP-Link Archer AX55 is a heck of a router and the Motorola MG8702 is a fine gateway. These are the ones I’d be going for as an Optimum customer.

Only in certain situations though. Everybody’s personal situations are different, so be sure to refer to my buying guide to make sure you’re making the right call. 

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3 thoughts on “7 Best Routers For Optimum In 2024”

  1. I have a Altice fiber gateway that was installed with the fiber service from Optimum. I’ve been waiting to be able to replace it with with something so I can avoid the monthly rent fees that Optimum charges but I haven’t seen anything yet. Another reason I want to replace it is because it won’t let me access the Wi-Fi setting so I can turn that feature off. I’m not thrilled to be being used as a hot spot for other users in the area and a little concerned about the electromagnetic radiation in the house.

  2. For fiber, can I use a Cisco C921-4P Router? I have other Access points in the house. But since I also have voice with Optimum, does that mean I’ll have to have 2 gateways, one for Internet and one for voice?

    • Hi Maurice,

      Yes, you will be able to use the Cisco C921-4P router.

      For your second question, I’m not 100% sure.

      But I do think that you might need two gateways. It’s always a bit weird when you combine fiber and voice service.

      I do, however, recommend you contact Optimum and ask, just to be sure.


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