Optimum vs. Starlink, Which One is Right for You?
Choosing a Telecommunications Company
We understand how stressful and time-consuming it can be to research the different Internet, Television and Phone Service providers in your area and choose one! To help assist you with this process, we will be evaluating the various offerings on both Optimum and Starlink to help you decide if either of these might be the right choice for you.
What should I know?
Optimum offers speeds ranging from 20-940 Mbps. Packages range between $35-$80 per month, offering Internet, television and home phone services. Optimum doesn’t offer contracts and will even pay $500 to buy you out of your current contract.
Starlink is offering service on a first-come, first-serve basis as they 'are currently in the beta stage both domestically and internationally. They can only serve a certain number of users within a service area but plan to continue global expansion to the populated world in 2021.
As of right now, prices range depends upon your area and whether service is available. You have must pay for the hardware, shipping, handling, taxes, and service. The service is around $99/month. In the coming months, Starlink plans to launch more satellites and install more ground stations, which will improve networking software, data speed, latency, and uptime once completed.
During beta, users can expect to see data speeds vary from 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s and latency from 20ms to 40ms in most locations until the Starlink system is improved over the next several months. In the meantime, there will be occasional periods of no connectivity at all.
How does the set-up process work?
Optimum has free installation if you opt for one of the deals on their website. Otherwise, there is a one-time fee of $99 for a scheduled professional installation. This includes Wi-Fi configuration for up to six devices, the hardwiring of one device, and assistance with setting up your Optimum account. If you are interested in setting up more devices with Optimum, you can upgrade to the premium installation which costs $129 or $59 through the website.
Starlink sends you a kit that arrives with everything you'll need to get online such as your Starlink, Wi-Fi router, power supply, cables, and mounting tripod. The hardware costs $499.99, the shipping and handling is $50.00, and the estimated tax hovers around $50.
It is important that you have a clear view of the sky to connect. You can download the Starlink App for iOS or Android to figure out your best install location.
How is the Internet service?
Optimum offers both cable and fiber to an estimated 12.9 million people spanning four U.S. states. Cable is sent over copper TV lines whereas fiber is made up of plastic and predominantly used for Internet service. Fiber is considered better because it allows for higher bandwidth connections and quick uploads. Additionally, it's less affected by slowdowns caused by high traffic. Unfortunately, it is not always an option due to the high operating costs.
Starlink offers satellite which means that their service comes from satellites that are orbiting the Eearth. Starlink states that their satellites are over 60 times closer than traditional satellites which results in lower latency and the ability to offer support services that aren't usually available with traditional satellite Internet. Though this seems like positive news, the truth is that weather negatively impacts the signal because moisture reduces it, as weather affects the air between the dish and the satellite.
What are the Internet options?
Optimum costs $40/month for 300 Mbps, $60/month for 500 Mbps, and $80/month for 1 GB (940 Mbps).
During Beta, Starlink will offer data speeds from 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s and latency ranging from 20ms to 40ms in most locations as they enhance the Starlink system over the course of months. The price of their service is about $99/month depending on your area.
What are the television options?
Optimum has several packages including Core TV with 220+ channels for $74.99/month, Value TV with 255+ channels for $79.99/month, Select TV with 340+ channels for $89.99/month and Premier TV with 420+ channels, Showtime, HBO Max, and Starz for $124.99/month.
Starlink is not currently offering television, just Internet while within the beta stage.
What home telephone services do they offer?
Optimum offers home telephone service when combined with an Internet and/or television package. If you would like telephone and Internet, you can choose 300 Mbps ($45/month), 500 Mbps ($50/month) or 1 Gig ($55/month). We will go into more detail about the available bundles below.
Starlink does not currently offer home phone service at the moment.
What are the different types of bundles?
Optimum has several Internet, television, and home phone services packages. If you are interested in all of the above, you can choose any of the following: Optimum 300 (300 Mbps), Core TV and phone for $70/month, Optimum 500 (500Mbps), Core TV, and phone for $75/month, or Optimum 1 Gig (940 Mbps), Core TV and phone for $80/month. These packages all include over 220 channels.
If you're not interested in home phone service, there are bundles offering Internet and TV only. These television and Internet packages range from 50-220+ channels, with Internet speeds varying between 300-940 Mbps. These bundles can cost anywhere between $50-$70/month.
As of right now, Starlink is only offering Internet and even this is limited since they’re still in the initial beta stage.
Do they offer mobile phone plans?
Optimum offers mobile phone service through Altice mobile, they charge $19/month per line for 1 GB of data, $32/month for 3 GB, and $60/month for unlimited data. They offer a nationwide network with 5G access and no multi-line commitments.
Starlink does not offer any mobile plans at this time.
So which is the best deal?
Optimum offers a variety of both Internet and home phone options. As far as television is concerned, Optimum has several options whereas Starlink is still in the beta stage and only offering Internet service to their customers. Lastly, you can get phone service through Optimum Mobile, a product of Altice but you cannot get mobile phone service through Starlink currently. To help you decide on which service provider can best suit your needs, we've broken down some of the best deals!
Internet: Optimum charges $40/month for 300 Mbps. Starlink offers Internet for $99/month and the availability and quality depends on where you’re located.
Television: Optimum has several packages including Core TV with 220+ channels for $74.99/month whereas Starlink doesn’t offer television right now.
Home Telephone: Optimum has various bundles with Internet and/or television which include a home telephone ranging from $45-$80/month. Starlink isn’t offering home phone service right now.
Bundle: Optimum offers 300 Mbps, Core TV and a home phone for $70/month whereas Starlink offers Internet only.
Mobile: Altice Mobile offers phone lines starting at $19/month. Starlink does not offer mobile phone service.
Aside from these deals, keep in mind it’s also less stressful to have all your bills consolidated under one single company instead of having to source various providers for your Internet, television, and phone.
We hope this information was helpful to you! Wishing you and your family the best of luck in finding the most suitable service and package for your needs.
*Data as of 08/31/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.