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Spending time on the internet is a critical part of modern life these days, and one of the most important parts of internet connectivity is known as the modem. There are many models and types. It can be hard to decide exactly what kind of modem to get and to choose the most cost-effective solution.

Selecting a modem for your computer system may be overwhelming and tricky, but below is a great solutions available you may want to consider.

Modem options available for Altice / Optimum / Cablevision

Optimum offers two options to choose from when you need internet access. You can either rent a modem fro them or you can buy one outright yourself.

Renting a modem

There are several advantages to renting a modem. One of these advantages is the fact that you can trade it in if it stops working and also when it eventually becomes obsolete.

When you rent, concerns about compatibility are no longer necessary and if you need a replacement, Optimum will conveniently swap your old modem for a new one. This option makes it very convenient to make changes to your system or compensate for changes that you may make over time. This will save money initially as you don't have to purchase a new modem.

Purchasing a modem

However, when purchasing a new modem outright, you will save $10 per month plus tax over the cost of renting a modem. At this rate of savings, you can break even after 6 months, afford to replace your modem every 6 months, or over time save even more money. Although you may decide to rent a modem due to the low initial fee if you are low on funds or you are not technically inclined, purchasing a modem is a great solution for those who want to save over time.

Get the new modem

First you'll need an Optimum approved modem to swap out. They only offer four approved choices. The best choice is the Arris TM1602A. It'll handle the highest data rate and phones as well. After my swap, my internet speed increased.

Arris TM1602A Cable Modem

You can pick one up for about $120 new or under $40 used from amazon.

It's not Made in USA. We can't always win. But it is an "Amazon's Choice" product with 4.5 stars from 77 reviews.

We are not changing the Router (which gives you wifi) so that is not a concern at all.


Plan to not have internet access for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour while replacing the old modem. This means home phones, too, if they are part of your Optimum package. Therefore print out these instructional pages ahead of time:

If you don't have a printer, save as PDF to your desktop for reference.

Optimum Online Modem Setup Guide

Also bookmark these two pages - you might need them to register the new modem after installed:

Lastly have handy your Optimum account information:

  • Account number
  • Account holder's last name
  • Account holder's phone number

You can find these on your Optimum bill, except for the phone number.

Perform the Modem replacement

Arris TM1602A rear view

When the unit arrives you're ready for the swap. Since you are replacing the old modem for a new one, it's pretty simple. Disconnect all wires from your existing modem's ports, one at a time, and plug them into the same ports of the new modem. The power cord should be last. If you get lost after disconnecting the old modem, you can follow either one of Optimum's guides:

  1. Start at Section 1 Step 4 of "Optimum's Smart Router and Modem Setup Guide" -or-
  2. Start at Step 3e of "Optimum's Phone and Internet Guide".

Register the new modem

Wait five minutes for the modem to completely start up. It might have to update itself and restart. So give it at least ten minutes.

Modem registration wizard

Per both Optimum guides, you should be able to open any web browser and follow the onscreen instructions. If that doesn't work for you, access the registration page manually in a web browser: Optimum's Modem Registration.

After doing so, if it still does not work, load Optimum's Device Manager manually in another window. It might give you a 'wrong location' error. Hit the 'try again' button. Then it will give you a success message.


Once your internet is up and running again you have to return your old modem to your closest Optimum store. They will scan it, get your signature, and remove the modem fee from your account.