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Best modem for Optimum in 2024 – our top picks

Here are some of the modems for Optimum available on the market today.
Last Updated on March 1, 2024
Best modem for Optimum

If you’re on the hunt for the best modem for Optimum, then look no further – we’ve got you covered.

There is no doubt that the Optimum-issued modem is a good option for most use cases. You don’t have to worry about any technical difficulties as there is 24/7 tech support, and Optimum will send over a new modem if your old one ever breaks down. However, the monthly rental fee can rack up to some big bucks over time, and generally, most modems don’t malfunction that often. 

So, if you are looking to save some money, want more control over your cable and Internet, and want some specific features that Optimum modems lack, you can go with a third-party modem.

To help you get the right option, we have rounded up the top three Optimum-compatible modems currently available on the market. So, let’s get right to it.

Products at a Glance

How we picked

We did our research based on key factors like DOCSIS standards, channel bonding, port configuration, and security features, so you know you’re getting the best possible option.

Our Recommended

Product Reviews

  • Advanced security features
  • Fast speed of up to 6 Gbps
  • 32x8 channel bonding for excellent download/upload speeds
  • Hefty price tag
  • Overkill if you have a single device

If you’re looking for a 2-in-1 option that packs a punch, then look no further than the Netgear Nighthawk modem with built-in WiFi 6.

This device is jam-packed with features that crown it the best modem of Optimum. For starters, this modem features DOCSIS 3.1 technology with 32 x 8 channel bonding. What this means is that this modem can support speeds of up to 10,000 Mbps. So if you have a high-speed internet plan for Optimum, then coupling this router with it should give you the best result possible, whether it’s 4K streaming or online gaming.

Keeping up with the impressive performance, the modem also has 4x Gigabit LAN ports and 1x 2.5 Multi-Gig port. This goes to say that if you have a multi-gig Optimum plan and you’re looking to have multiple wired connections with excellent data transfer rates, the CAX80 should be right up your alley.  

Netgear modems and routers are known for their advanced security features, and the Nighthawk CAX80 is no different. You get parental controls, a VPN, DoS attack prevention, and a firewall. Plus, if you go for NETGEAR Armor, you can enjoy even more advanced features like protection against brute force attacks, ransomware, and much more. Along with top-tier performance, the CAX80 really sets itself apart from other modems in the market with such extensive security features.

With that said, if you have a high-speed Optimum plan and you want the best possible performance with zero security compromises, you should definitely consider the Netgear Nighthawk CAX80. If you’re looking to explore more options, then we recommend checking out our best modem-router combo guide for the best picks. 

  • Provides excellent coverage
  • Can connect up to 45 devices
  • Has 2x USB 3.0 ports for more wired connections
  • Currently offers limited speeds with select internet providers

If you’re looking for the best modem-router combination at a relatively cheaper price, then the Netgear Nighthawk C7800 is for you.

The Netgear Nighthawk C7800 is an excellent modem + router combo that features multiple technologies, such as DOCSIS 3.1 and dual-band WiFi standard. Why is this important? Well, the dual-band WiFi offers to switch between two frequencies (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) that offer different speeds (1,000 Mbps and 2,200 Mbps).

On top of that, this modem has DOCSIS 3.1 which offers more downstream and upstream channels for faster streaming and more bandwidth, like with other top-tier DOCSIS 3.1 modems. Think of these streams like the highway; the more lanes a highway has, the more cars (data) can travel on it.

Along with that, the router can cover around 3,000 sq. ft. with its 4x antennas while maintaining a solid connection with up to 45 devices. So if you want multiple wired or wireless connections, this is an amazing option. 

Going over the ports, you get 4x Gigabit LAN ports, which is fairly standard as there is no multi-Gig connection. However, a unique feature of the C7800 is that it features 2x USB 3.0 ports. This means you have more ways to set up your own print server or storage. 

As for security, you get basic parental controls, DoS attack prevention, double firewall protection (NAT and SPI), and a guest network for added safety. However, it is disappointing to see a lack of QoS (Quality of Service) for device prioritization. Nevertheless, if you want to replace your own router and modem and get a 2-in-1 solution, we recommend the Netgear Nighthawk C7800.

  • Easy setup with the SURFboard Central App
  • Connects with any router
  • Supports plans of up to 2.5 Gbps
  • Only has 2 Ethernet ports

If you’re looking for the best modem to go with your 1 Gigabit Optimum plan, then the ARRIS Surfboard S33 is sure to catch your attention. 

For starters, this modem can support speeds of up to 3.5 Gbps, that is, if you combine the two Ethernet ports (1 Gigabit and 1 x 2.5 Gigabit) for faster downloads. Other than that, it features DOCSIS 3.1 technology while being backward compatible, meaning that you can get amazing download and upload speeds with better security and reduced latency – which is great if you plan on doing some competitive online gaming or high-definition streaming. 

One thing to note is that while there is no built-in Wi-Fi, the Ethernet ports provide excellent wired connectivity. Having a multi-gig connection is quite good; however, if you were planning on having multiple wired connections, you’ll find this modem to be a bit lacking.  If you’re looking for a bit more variety, we’d recommend taking a look at the Netgear CM1000 Gigabit modem, which is compatible with all major cable providers.  

To round things up, this modem offers easy setup with the help of the SURFboard Central app, and the relatively small size makes for easy storage. Overall, given its features and future-proof multi-gig ports, the ARRIS Surfboard S33 is the way to go if you have an Optimum 1 Gig plan. 

How to pick the best modem

Before investing in any modem, there are certain aspects that you should look for. We’ve listed some of them to help you make an informed decision.


Imagine picking an Xbox controller for your PS5. It won’t work as they aren’t compatible, and the same goes for modems. Before making a decision, verify that the modem is compatible with Optimum. You can do this by visiting their website, emailing them, or cross-checking their list of verified modems.

DOCSIS Standard

If you have a high-speed internet plan, then opt for a modem with the latest DOCSIS standard (3.1). The standard of DOCSIS determines the maximum speed it can handle, and with everything being so bandwidth-intensive nowadays, the more, the merrier.


Going for a modem with multiple Ethernet ports, built-in WiFi, and other fancy features might seem tempting, but these modems also fetch a high price. So, look at your requirements and choose an option that fits them and your budget. For example, going for a router with 2 Ethernet ports might be fine if you want limited wired connections. However, they won’t be enough if multiple people want a direct wired connection – so make your decision wisely.

Ethernet Ports

To make the best use of the internet speed offered by your ISP, ensure that the modem you’re choosing supports those speeds and has a Gigabit or multi-gigabit Ethernet port. These ports will effortlessly sustain the high-speed internet and deliver an exceptional, stutter-free experience.

Number of Channels

A single channel is like a single road. Now imagine a super highway with multiple lanes and vehicles driving on it at fast speeds. The more channels you have, the more data can travel through it faster. This directly impacts your download and upload speeds, so go for a modem with multiple downstream and upstream channels for lag-free gaming, crisp audio and video calls, and an overall seamless experience.

Do I need a modem and a router?

Both devices serve a different purpose. A modem connects your network to the internet, and the router then offers that connection to other devices in your home. So you do need both devices. However, there are some modems with built-in WiFi capabilities, such as the Netgear Nighthawk (CAX80).

Can I use a Netgear modem with Optimum?

You can use any modem offered by any brand, including Netgear, as long as they are compatible with your ISP.

Our Verdict

If you want the best modem for Optimum out there, then we recommend going for the Netgear Nighthawk with built-in WiFi 6. This modem features dual-band WiFi 6 for increased connectivity options, supports speeds of up to 6 Gbps, and comes with the Netgear Armor software and VPN for added protection. Combined with the 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and its support for high-speed internet plans – it future proofs your setup if you’re looking to upgrade your internet plan, making it the best modem for Optimum available on the market.