EarthLink vs. Optimum by Altice

A Side-by-Side Comparison of EarthLink and Optimum by Altice Internet Service in 2021

EarthLink and Optimum by Altice are among the leading internet providers in the U.S. Where EarthLink offers DSL and fiber internet to its customers, Optimum supplies both cable and fiber internet. Optimum’s service is available in four states while EarthLink’s coverage spans across 42 states. Although both EarthLink and Optimum offer internet plans with unlimited data and speeds up to 1000 Mbps, several key differences set the two providers apart. Below are a variety of comparisons that point out these differences to help customers decide which provider is right for them.

EarthLink Info

Price Range

$14.95-99.95/mo.

Optimum by Altice Info

Price Range

$35-80/mo.

EarthLink vs. Optimum by Altice Comparison
Provider EarthLink Optimum by Altice
Speed 3-1,000 Mbps 300-940 Mbps
Pricing $14.95-99.95/mo. $35-80/mo.
Service Type DSL or Fiber Cable or Fiber
EarthLink vs. Optimum by Altice FEATURE COMPARISON
Provider EarthLink Optimum by Altice
High-Speed Plans Yes Yes
Unlimited Data Yes Select Plans
Contract-Free Plans No No
TV Service No Yes
Phone Service No Yes

EarthLink Internet Deals †

Last updated on 10/17/2019

†All plans not available in all areas or to all customers. Verify details with EarthLink.

Optimum by Altice Internet Deals †

Last updated on 4/14/2021

†All plans not available in all areas or to all customers. Verify details with Optimum by Altice.

EarthLink vs. Optimum by Altice Performance Overview

EarthLink offers a wide range of internet plans powered by DSL and fiber broadband networks. They are the largest residential DSL provider in the U.S. with their service available in 43 states. EarthLink is the third-largest fiber provider in the U.S. by coverage alone, as 22 million people have access to this service. EarthLink does not supply phone or TV services with its internet plans.

Optimum by Altice offers its cable internet services to 12.4 million people, making it the fourth-largest U.S. provider of cable internet. Its fiber internet service coverage is significantly less than Earthlink’s at 360,000 people. Unlike EarthLink, Optimum customers can bundle their internet with TV and phone services.

EarthLink Installation

EarthLink’s internet plans charge a self-installation fee of $19.95 and a professional installation fee of $69.95.

EarthLink’s set-up fee for self-installation includes the shipping fee for the modem as well as a self-install kit. Professional installation is required for EarthLink’s Hyperlink plans.

Optimum by Altice Installation

Optimum customers are offered three installation options: free self-installation, standard installation, and premium installation.

Optimum’s standard installation costs $99, which comes with a coaxial cable, one wireless device, and the set-up of two outlets. For a one-time fee of $149, their premium installation includes the necessary hard-wiring for various in-home systems such as Smart TV, computers, alarm systems, and gaming systems.

EarthLink Contracts, Equipment Fees & Fine Print

EarthLink requires a one-year-long contract for all of its internet plans.

Depending on the plan chosen, EarthLink customers can expect to pay early termination fees ranging from $90-200 if they decide to end their contract early. Regarding equipment, EarthLink customers can lease a modem for a monthly fee of $6.95.

Optimum by Altice Contracts, Equipment Fees & Fine Print

Optimum by Altice does not require a contract for its internet plans but offers a promotional rate with 1-year agreements.

If Optimum customers who opt for a contract end their agreement early, they will face early termination fees that vary according to the plan chosen. Similar to EarthLink, customers can expect to pay $10/month to rent a modem, although there is no fee for the router.

EarthLink Data Caps

EarthLink does not have data cap restrictions on its internet plans.

Optimum by Altice Data Caps

Similar to EarthLink, Optimum’s internet plans do not employ any data caps.

Optimum is awesome.

on December 29, 2019

Great speed, great reliability and great customer service. No problems. And many people are using it in this house at the same time. It's great.

Love it!

on May 06, 2020

I came here on this website to get a speed test and I wasn't surprised by the results! I have Optimum and I love it.

EarthLink vs. Optimum by Altice Coverage Availability

EarthLink Coverage & Availability

Optimum by Altice Coverage & Availability

Frequently Asked Questions about EarthLink & Optimum by Altice Internet Services

  • Is EarthLink cheaper than Optimum?

    EarthLink’s cheapest internet-only plan which is priced at $14.95/month is less expensive than Optimum’s at $44.99/month, but with significantly slower speeds. However, Optimum’s most expensive internet-only plan is $74.99/month, which is cheaper than EarthLink’s at $99.95/month.

  • Who has faster speeds? EarthLink or Optimum?

    EarthLink’s internet plans offer speeds starting at 3 Mbps whereas Optimum’s speeds start at 200 Mbps. However, both providers offer plans with speeds up to 1000 Mbps.

  • Do EarthLink and Optimum have unlimited data?

    Both internet providers offer internet plans equipped with unlimited data.

  • Do EarthLink and Optimum require a contract?

    EarthLink requires a one-year contract for all of its internet plans. Optimum by Altice, however, does not require contracts for its plans and offers month-to-month options.