What are the features that make the best router for Optimum? Before anything else, these routers work seamlessly with Optimum modems and internet service. This compatibility makes these the best routers for Optimum plans in both home and business environments. These models are also incredibly easy to get started on Optimum services.
Apart from compatibility, these Wi-Fi routers are powerful, fast, and customizable. If you want full control over your network, including parental controls, then an Optimum router is an excellent choice. Whether you just started with Optimum cable internet or you’re looking to take your existing service to the next level, you can’t go wrong with a router optimized for Optimum internet plans.
Keep reading below to learn all about the best routers for Optimum, how to tell if they’re compatible with your plan, and the most important features you should consider when shopping for one.
Top Routers for Optimum
#1 TP-LInk Archer AX50 Router
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This model provides excellent wireless speeds and network optimization for busy office environments or multi-user households with numerous devices. Additionally, users will love the great signal range that’s bolstered by beamforming technology and multi-directional antennas.
- Impressive beamforming technology
- Dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity
- Alexa voice controls
- Gets hot during high usage
The TP-Link AX50 router delivers exceptional speed and the latest Wi-Fi standard so users can enjoy lower latency and a denser home network. This model offers dual-band connectivity with 5GHz and 2.4GHz frequencies to deliver up to 2.4Gbps for high-quality streaming and smooth gameplay. Unlike older wireless routers that cast an unfocused wireless signal, this model utilizes beamforming technology to form direct connections with modern wireless devices. While this model needs a lot of ventilation, users will love the impressive processor that minimizes lag.
In addition to incredible speeds and dual-band connectivity, the TP-Link AX50 router is ideal for a large office or home network due to the OFDMA technology that supports up to 40 simultaneous wireless connections with streaming, gaming, and smart home devices. Additionally, this model offers four LAN connections for a strong and stable Ethernet connection. Lastly, with TP-Link HomeCare, users receive best-in-class parental controls and robust antivirus and malware protection.
#2 ASUS RT-AX88U Router
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This model offers incredible speed and multiple connection options to deliver a versatile unit for demanding office environments or a gamer-centric household. Additionally, users will love the integrated network protection and parental controls that keep their devices and family safe.
- Impressive network protection
- Supports gigabit speed
- Eight gigabit LAN ports
- AiMesh is occasionally spotty
The ASUS RT-AX88U router is a fantastic pick for users that need reliably high speeds for work or competitive gaming. This model offers the latest wireless standard, Wi-Fi 6, so users can enjoy uninterrupted service and minimal network congestion, even in a multi-user household. This model offers an Adaptive QoS that prioritizes online games for smoother online play and minimal lag. While the AiMesh feature is occasionally spotty, it offers a user-friendly avenue to complete coverage of a large home.
In addition to advanced QoS and the latest wireless technology, the ASUS RT-AX88U router offers commercial-grade network security so users and their hardware are safe and secure while browsing the web, checking emails, and playing online games. Additionally, multi-device households will love the MU-MIMO technology that ensures this router can communicate with multiple devices at once, improving network traffic and internet speeds. Lastly, power users will love the eight LAN ports so users can connect all of their hardware via Ethernet for a lag-free session of gaming or streaming entertainment.
#3 NETGEAR RBK852-100NAS Router
Award: BEST FOR LARGE HOUSES
WHY WE LIKE IT: This model delivers gigabit speeds and an incredible wireless range for users needing a house-wide signal with zero dead zones. Additionally, users will love the Ethernet ports and support for numerous simultaneous connections.
- Incredible signal range
- Multiple Ethernet ports
- User-friendly setup
- No integrated parental controls
The NETGEAR RBK852-100NAS router is an excellent choice for users needing extensive coverage for a large home or office space. This model delivers up to 5000 sq. ft. of coverage, and users will love the Wi-Fi 6 technology that supports up to 2.5Gbps in a wire-free setup. Additionally, the router and satellite unit each offer four Gigabit Ethernet ports so users can ensure a 5GHz connection. While this model doesn’t offer integrated parental controls, users can connect this system with the Circle App.
In addition to Gigabit internet support and a massive wireless range, the NETGEAR RBK852-100NAS delivers an elegant-looking kit for modern homes and offices. Additionally, users will love the three-step setup process that gets them online without much hassle. This model is also compatible with the Orbi App which delivers enhanced network controls and monitoring. The Orbi App also offers Smart Parental Controls and NETGEAR Armor that delivers top-quality cybersecurity for the entire home network and connected devices.
#4 Amazon eero Pro Router
Award: BEST FOR EASY SETUP
WHY WE LIKE IT: This innovative kit delivers fantastic wireless speeds and tri-band connectivity that allows for a less congested network and better performance for an entire home of wireless devices. Additionally, users will have this model set up in minutes thanks to the associated app with clear instructions.
- Incredibly simple setup
- Strong wireless coverage
- Tri-band connectivity
- Not ideal for advanced users
The Amazon eero Pro router is an excellent choice for users that need expansive wireless coverage with minimal setup. This mesh Wi-Fi kit features a router and two satellites to ensure even coverage up to 6000 sq. ft. Additionally, this system provides up to 550 Mbps over Wi-Fi and two Ethernet ports per satellite for Gigabit speeds. While this system isn’t ideal for smart home enthusiasts or users wanting advanced networking equipment, this easy-to-use kit provides simple access to a wide mesh network.
In addition to an extensive wireless signal and great speeds, the Amazon eero Pro ensures that users are informed and their network is safe while they browse the net or play online games. Additionally, the associated eero App allows users to create passwords, set device schedules, and pause internet access to specific devices on the network. Lastly, this kit provides tri-band internet with 2.4GHz and two 5GHz connections, so users can ensure that their network is well-optimized and uncongested.
#5 Motorola MG7540 Router
Award: BEST FOR OFFICE SPACES
WHY WE LIKE IT: This combo unit delivers a convenient device for high-speed internet across a busy office space or home office. With multiple wireless frequencies and ports for Ethernet connections, this versatile model offers a strong connection, even for an active network.
- Fantastic range
- Strong wireless performance
- DNS protection
- Doesn’t offer Gigabit speeds
The Motorola MG7540 is a modem-router combo unit that’s ideal for users that need improved wireless speeds and complete coverage over a mid-sized home or office. This sleek model delivers dual-band connectivity so users can optimize their network and ensure that bandwidth-intensive activities like gaming and streaming HD movies are lag-free and high quality. Additionally, this model offers four Ethernet ports for non-wireless devices or a more stable connection. While this model doesn’t offer Gigabit speeds, users can still expect between 400-600Mbps.
In addition to the reliable wireless range and decent network speed, the Motorola MG7540 ensures that users enjoy a clean-looking networking setup thanks to the minimal wires and single-unit design. Additionally, the vertical design saves space and ensures that this model fits in with your interior design. With AnyBeam technology, this model offers beamforming at 2.4GHz and 5GHz to focus the wireless internet signal on your connected devices for improved stability and speed.
#6 Linksys EA7500-4B Router
Award: BEST FOR MULTI-DEVICE HOUSEHOLDS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This modern device features fast speeds and an expansive range to deliver an entertainment-centric internet experience for a device-rich household. Additionally, users will love the multiple frequencies that ensure lag-free experiences for gamers and fans of HD media.
- Multiple simultaneous connections
- Great wireless range
- Easy setup
- Sub-par 2.4GHz band
The Linksys EA7500-4B router is an excellent pick for users needing consistent wireless speeds for an interconnected household with multiple devices. This model provides up to 1500 sq. ft. of wireless coverage, and up to 1.9Gbps across both wireless bands. While speed and range suffer a bit on the 2.4GHz connection, this dual-band model features multiple wireless frequencies so users can easily optimize their network and split their network by bandwidth demand.
In addition to an extensive signal range and great wireless speeds, the Linksys EA7500-4B router provides multi-user households with enough bandwidth for 4K streaming media and competing in high-pace online games. Additionally, with the Linksys App users will enjoy a simple setup and enhanced network control, even for inexperienced users. The Linksys App provides device prioritization, granular parental controls, and granting temporary access to guests.
What Are Routers for Optimum?
A router for Optimum is a network device that allows you to connect wireless devices to the internet through a Wi-Fi signal. This piece of hardware uses an Ethernet cable to connect to a cable modem, which is the source of internet for your home or business. Once the device is powered on, it produces the wireless signal and manages all of the incoming and outgoing data from your connected devices.
The wireless routers we cover here are optimized specifically for the Optimum internet service.
Routers for Optimum vs Traditional Routers
Apart from the minor design differences between individual models and brands, you’d be hard-pressed to find much difference between Optimum routers and traditional wireless routers. Both options have the same internal components and even operate in the same manner.
So what exactly is the point of purchasing a router ideal for Optimum? First and foremost, these are the Wi-Fi routers that work best with this internet service, apart from the company’s own leased equipment. Once installed, these compatible routers will work seamlessly with your Optimum internet plan, which you can’t say for every router available on the market.
Like standard wireless routers, though, Optimum routers have differences in features and performance between individual models. These differences are important to consider when making your purchase. If you choose the wrong model with the wrong specs, you could end up with a frustrating internet experience.
How Routers for Optimum Work
Optimum routers don’t offer anything revolutionary or different from other routers regarding standard operating functionality. These routers require a power source — usually a wall outlet — and a connection to a cable modem. After installation and initial configuration, the routers will produce a wireless signal for your other devices. You’ll also get the option to hook your devices directly into the router through USB ports and Ethernet ports.
An Optimum router doesn’t sit back and relax after your devices get onto the network. As their name implies, network routers will actually route traffic back and forth to your devices. They’ll even prioritize traffic and protect your data behind the scenes.
Do You Really Need a Router for Optimum?
If you’ve just signed up for an Optimum internet plan or are a long-time customer looking for something to improve your network, you may be interested in the best Optimum routers. While most internet service providers (ISPs) like Optimum allow you to rent equipment for a monthly fee, purchasing a router of your own can result in more reliable performance and long-term cost savings.
Is a Router for Optimum Worth Buying?
- Optimum Is Your Internet Service Provider: The most logical reason to purchase a new Optimum router is if you actually utilize internet service from this ISP. Since these models are most compatible with Optimum service, you’ll get a reliable overall experience in terms of signal strength and speed.
- You’re Done Leasing Equipment from Optimum: Like other internet companies, Optimum gives you the choice of leasing one of their modem router combos for a small monthly fee when you sign up for a plan. If you’re ready to stop renting a router, the devices we review here are well worth consideration.
- You Want More Options for Settings and Performance: When you lease a router from Optimum, you don’t have much choice in terms of settings and performance. If you have specific networking needs to fulfill, you’re probably better off shopping for your own router. This way, you can find the option that gives you the best upload and download speed, customization, and signal strength for your individual needs.
Why a Router for Optimum May Not Be For You
- Optimum Isn’t Your Internet Service Provider: Most of these routers are compatible with other internet providers, but they are still most optimized for Optimum. If you don’t use Optimum for your internet service, you may want to consider an option most compatible with your specific ISP, like the best router for CenturyLink or a great router for Xfinity.
- You Need to Travel with Your Router: Since Optimum routers are intended for use within your home or business office, you won’t want to buy one if you need internet while you’re traveling. Instead, we recommend looking for a portable router or mobile hotspot.
- You Prefer Leasing Your Equipment from Optimum: While purchasing your own router gives you more freedom in features and performance, leasing equipment from Optimum is much more convenient. If you’d prefer to skip the hassle of finding and purchasing your own router, you may want to consider the leasing options Optimum offers.
How Long Will a Router for Optimum Last?
The primary consideration concerning a wireless router’s lifespan is how quickly it will become outdated compared to internet technology advancements. Because they lack moving internal components, routers can theoretically keep running for many years at a time, as long as they receive the proper care and maintenance.
However, the internet is constantly changing, and ISPs constantly try to keep up. Speeds increase, internet protocols change, and security features become more comprehensive. Unfortunately, there is only so much a router firmware update can do to keep up with these changes.
As such, you’ll want to follow the advice of industry experts, like those at Network World. These experts state that you should expect four or five years of total lifespan from your Wi-Fi routers. Once you reach this time frame, your router is probably already outdated and needs replacement with a newer model that can handle the changes in technology that have taken place.
How to Choose a Router for Optimum
It’s essential to evaluate your specific networking needs before you start shopping for a new router. Look at your CenturyLink plan to determine what type of internet you have, as well as how fast it is. You should also consider what kind of customizability and security settings the router offers. Then, you can purchase a router that is compatible with those two factors. This way, you can protect your data and devices from external threats.
Best Router for Optimum Key Factors to Consider
1. Should you buy a router or a modem router combo for Optimum?
Before diving deep into individual router options, you’ll first need to decide whether or not you should purchase a modem router combo for Optimum. If you choose to lease your equipment from Optimum, you will most likely get a modem router combination. These devices are convenient because they require less maintenance overall. Plus, they’re much easier to install since you only have one device to configure.
On the other hand, modem router combos can be somewhat limited in terms of speed and customizable settings. If you prefer to have full control over your home network, we recommend purchasing a router separately from a modem.
2. How much speed do you pay for with your Optimum plan?
How much speed your internet provides ultimately depends on the exact plan you pay for with Optimum. You can buy the most advanced Asus router available on the market and you’ll still only get the amount of speed your internet provider allows.
Take a look at your Optimum plan details, either online or on your bill, to determine how much speed your network is capable of producing. Then, at a bare minimum, purchase a wireless router that offers speed equal to your plan. In general, we recommend you purchase an option that can handle higher speeds to future-proof your router if you ever want to upgrade.
Speed is an important factor when considering the available Ethernet ports on your router. If you pay for a gigabit internet connection, then you’ll want to purchase a router with a gigabit Ethernet port so you can maximize your speed for wired devices.
3. What type of wireless router is best for your internet needs with Optimum?
There are three common types of routers you should consider: single-band, dual-band, and tri-band. The term band refers to the types of wireless frequencies these routers use to broadcast internet signals throughout your space.
Take a look at each type to determine which will work best for your needs:
- Single-Band Router: This router type offers a single 2.4 GHz band. Single-band routers are good for small spaces and few connected devices. These routers are also the most affordable option.
- Dual-Band Router: This router type offers both a 2.4 GHz band and a 5 GHz band. With a dual-band router, you can use the 2.4 GHz band for devices that aren’t used as often, like network printers. These models are good for average-sized spaces. The 5 GHz band provides more internet speed at the expense of less range.
- Tri-Band Router: This router type offers one 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz bands. These tri-band routers are the most expensive, but they deliver superior wireless coverage for dead spots and faster speeds than other types. Plus, they can easily handle multiple connections simultaneously.
4. Should you buy a router with Quality of Service functionality?
Have you ever wondered why your internet is so slow when so many devices are connected simultaneously? On the one hand, having too many devices connected without a lot of available bandwidth can slow things down. On the other, it may simply mean your router doesn’t know how to prioritize traffic to the most important devices on the network.
This is where Quality of Service (QoS) functionality comes into play. With this feature, you can tell your Wi-Fi router which devices should always receive the fastest speeds. If you’re into online gaming or work from home, QoS is an absolute must for your router.
5. Do you need additional security features for your Optimum router?
When was the last time you thought about the security of your home’s wireless router? Unfortunately, not enough people consider the security vulnerabilities that their routers can create. This can lead to data theft and malicious cyber attacks from external parties.
When it comes to security, you’ll want to purchase a router with at least WPA2 encryption standards. You should also consider an option that gives you parental controls, built-in antivirus software, and firewall functionality.
If you’re technically savvy, you may also want to consider a router that gives you VLAN and VPN functionalities. With these features, you can get into the nitty-gritty details of perfecting your system’s overall security and privacy.