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Metronet vs. Optimum vs. Smithville Internet plan comparison


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Rebecca Palmer smiles for the camera
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Researched by
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Reviewed by
Bri FieldAssigning Editor
Updated 6/26/24

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Metronet brand
Staff rating
4.2
Customer rating
4.4
(7)

  • Plans starting at $20.00
  • Download speeds up to 1 Gbps
Optimum brand
Staff rating
4.1
Customer rating
3.8
(70)

  • Plans starting at $15.00
  • Download speeds up to 940 Mbps
Smithville brand
Staff rating
3.8

  • Plans starting at $29.05
  • Download speeds up to 1 Gbps
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See what providers service your area.
Metronet brand
Staff rating
4.2

Strong value from a local internet provider

Metronet is a growing regional provider that offers value-packed internet service to customers. Its all-fiber network is fast and reasonably priced. Overall, we think Metronet is a solid pick for your next internet provider—if you happen to live in one of its coverage areas.

What we like

  • Unlimited data
  • No contracts
  • 100% fiber service
What we dislike

  • Availability only in the Midwest
  • Limited plan selection
Savings tip: Metronet often has sign-up promotions for first-time customers. Call to ask a rep about current deals and discounts.
Check deals
Optimum brand
Staff rating
4.1

Optimum offers fast internet speeds at reasonable prices

If you can get fiber internet from Optimum, you'll get great all-around service, amazing introductory prices, and fast, reliable internet. If you order online, you'll get free installation and equipment included when you sign up for a new internet plan. If Optimum's fiber internet isn't available in your area, you may be able to sign up for one of its cable plans instead. The best part is Optimum offers a 60-day, money-back guarantee.

What we like

  • Affordable prices
  • No data caps or contracts
  • Cable and fiber offerings
What we dislike

  • Limited availability
Savings tip: Optimum often has sign-up promotions for first-time customers. Call to ask a rep about current deals and discounts.
Check deals
Smithville brand
Staff rating
3.8

Fast, inexpensive internet for rural Hoosiers

Rural south and central Indianans can get this company’s affordable, high-speed, reliable fiber internet with no contract and no data cap. And if you don’t have access to Smithville yet, you might soon. It’s expanding fast!

What we like

  • High-speed, reliable rural internet
  • Low cost
  • No contract
What we dislike

  • No self-setup option
  • Costly customer support
  • Possible legacy DSL speeds
Savings tip: Smithville often has sign-up promotions for first-time customers. Call to ask a rep about current deals and discounts.
Check deals
Metronet brand
Value
4.0
Good value overall, especially on the 1 gig plan

Smaller, regional internet providers sometimes suffer a little in the value department. Either the pricing is good but the speeds offered aren’t up to snuff, or the speeds are fast but the price is outrageous. Metronet bucks this trend. In fact, the 1 gig plan actually starts out at a lower price than most competitors and less than half the national benchmark for similar plans (1).

You do have the standard rate hikes after the first 6-24 months, however. Competing internet providers sometimes offer small perks that make them more attractive, but Metronet definitely holds its own.

Pricing details vary by location. Visit
Metronet's website
or call 1-833-804-6161 to speak with a rep.
See pricing
Optimum brand
Value
4.0
Great value for your money

Optimum offers quality internet and great value for your money. Optimum's fiber and cable internet plans start at 300–500 Mbps, with very competitive prices that tends to beat competitors and be way less than national benchmarks (1).

For most households, 300–500 Mbps is enough for online gaming and work-from-home needs. But you can also get internet as fast as 1 gig (or 1,000 Mbps) if your household is comprised of several heavy internet users. In some areas, Optimum even offers up to 8 gig fiber internet.

If you bundle with a mobile plan, you can get even cheaper internet prices from Optimum. Here are the starting prices for Optimum's most popular internet plans, without a mobile plan:

  • 300 Mbps Fiber: $40 a month
  • 500 Mbps Fiber: $60 a month
  • 1 Gig Fiber: $80 a month

Compared to the competition, the two lower-tier plans almost always offer more speed for the money. And while you can sometimes find cheaper gig plans, Optimum still tends to be the most affordable in its markets. If you qualify only for cable internet with Optimum, you'll still get reliable, fast internet, but your speeds will be slower than the fiber offerings.

We love Optimum's low starting prices, 2-year price lock, and 60-day money back guarantee. You get free installation when you order online with equipment included. Plus, Optimum regularly offers bonus perks with its more premium plans, such as a $50 or $200 Optimum Prepaid Mastercard with qualifying orders in certain areas.

Pricing details vary by location. Visit
Optimum's website
or call 1-844-719-8066 to speak with a rep.
See pricing
Smithville brand
Value
4.0
Uncommonly high speeds and low costs for rural internet

Smithville Communications offers just one fiber internet plan, serving up 1 Gbps and unlimited data for less than about $0.70 per Mbps. Compared to the US benchmark plan for similar service ($134.62) (1), Smithville is a pretty sweet deal. And you won’t have to sign a contract to get it.

This low price is particularly impressive for fiber in rural areas since building infrastructure outside of urban centers can be incredibly costly. Smithville could easily charge higher rates for bringing fiber to rural Indiana, but it doesn’t. And we applaud that.

Pricing details vary by location. Visit
Smithville's website
or call 1-844-719-8071 to speak with a rep.
See pricing
Metronet brand
Performance
5.0
Excellent performance with no data caps

Performance with Metronet is great. There are plans ranging from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps, all of which offer symmetrical upload speeds. This means upload speeds are equal to download speeds—excellent for content creators, streamers, online gamers, and anyone else who shares a lot of large files. Best of all, there are no data caps.

Although some fiber providers have started offering 2 gig and even 5 gig plans, we don't think anyone needs to pay for that much speed (and if you're one of the few who does, you probably already know who you are). Metronet’s 1 gig option will be plenty for most needs, but extremely heavy users who require faster speeds will have to look elsewhere. Find out how much internet speed you need.

Available speeds vary by location. Call 1-833-804-6161 to speak with a Metronet rep or
go to its website.
Optimum brand
Performance
5.0
Optimum internet is fast and reliable

Optimum performance is solid. With speeds up to 2 Gbps (12000 Mbps) in some states, there’s enough bandwidth available for even the heaviest of streaming households. Even the lowest-tier plans offer plenty of speed for most use cases. The cable service is generally very reliable, as well, and usually even faster than advertised, with better latency than any cable competitor. (2)

Optimum offers fiber internet service in some of its coverage areas, which offers extra reliability and symmetrical speeds. That’s an excellent feature for content creators and anyone who shares a lot of large media files. Recently, it started offering home internet plans up to 5 Gbps, a speed that’s nearly impossible to beat.

Available speeds vary by location. Call 1-844-719-8066 to speak with a Optimum rep or
go to its website.
Smithville brand
Performance
5.0
Get 1 Gbps speeds and unlimited data—unless you’re in a legacy DSL area

Fiber is the fastest and most reliable type of internet available, and download speeds max out around 5 Gbps. Smithville fiber reaches only 1 Gbps, but for most people frustrated by slow or unreliable rural internet, it’ll feel like your browser just got a turbo boost. You’ll also see 1 Gbps upload speeds, which is less common among non-fiber internet types like DSL and cable. Everyone—from heavy streamers and online gamers to remote workers and avid YouTube creators—will have plenty of juice (and unlimited data) when they need it.

Unfortunately, there’s one caveat: In some areas, Smithville is still using legacy DSL infrastructure, so you might not be able to sign up for fiber just yet. Smithville is phasing out this infrastructure as it lays more fiber lines, and it was named one of the Top 100 Fiber-to-the-Home organizations by Broadband Communities magazine for its efforts in helping bring fiber internet to rural communities (2). Luckily, Smithville won’t lock you into a contract, so if you’re not happy with your DSL, you can cancel any time and come back later when you have access to fiber.

Available speeds vary by location. Call 1-844-719-8071 to speak with a Smithville rep or
go to its website.
Metronet brand
Equipment and installation
4.5
High-quality equipment and cheap installation

Metronet provides all the equipment you need to get started free of charge, including an eero wireless router so you can get online quickly. This is a nice change of pace in an industry that often charges $10–$15 per month for mediocre gear. You do have the option of adding a wireless extender for $10 per month (called WholeHome Wi-Fi), but it isn’t strictly necessary.

More good news concerning installation—while most providers charge between $50 and $100 (or more) for installation, Metronet will bill you only $25. That’s not bad at all. Of course, when installation is a mandatory part of the service, we’d prefer it to be free, but we’ll take what we can get. Plus, all you have to do to receive a $25 installation credit (effectively making it free) is to sign up for automatic billing.

Our only complaint is the lack of any type of self-installation option, so you'll have to set aside a good two to four hours for a technician to come to your house.

Equipment and installation options can vary widely depending on
Metronet plans
available in your area.
View plans
Optimum brand
Equipment and installation
4.5
Free professional and self-installation

Optimum offers a fairly standard wireless gateway with most of its fiber and cable plans. The combined modem and router are usually free, but may cost you $10 per month in some areas. You can also add Wi-Fi extenders for $3 each per month, which is handy for larger homes and offices (and not a bad price, either).

If you sign up for 1 gig fiber internet, you'll get a free WiFi 6E included to help ensure you get the fastest WiFi speeds. This WiFi technology will help your entire household get great WiFi coverage. This technology is perfect for busy households and provides amazing internet performance and minimal lag. In fact, you can connect over 100 devices to your WiFi!

If you want to use your own equipment instead of Optimum's free gear, you may run into difficulties. Optimum doesn't list compatible equipment and requires at least some third-party modems to be purchased from its stores.

With Optimum installation, you can do it yourself or have a pro help, and either way is free. If you order online, you can opt for a free standard professional installation or pay $59 for a premium installation, where the tech will configure Wi-Fi on up to six devices for you. While other providers may offer to set up your main device during installation, we haven’t seen such an extensive guarantee elsewhere. This could be a selling point for less tech-savvy customers.

Equipment and installation options can vary widely depending on
Optimum plans
available in your area.
View plans
Smithville brand
Equipment and installation
3.5
Free equipment, but you’ll have to pay for activation and possibly installation

Smithville provides a wireless router to all customers with no additional rental fees, which is a good deal. You will pay an activation fee of $25, and if you need any lines run or jacks installed, you’ll pay for those too.

You do have the option of using your own equipment, but you’ll have to contact customer service to find out if your gear is compatible because this info isn’t available on the Smithville website. And if you need help troubleshooting your equipment, you’re on your own.

Equipment and installation options can vary widely depending on
Smithville plans
available in your area.
View plans
Metronet brand
Customer experience
3.5
A good experience overall, but some strange fees

Decent value, fast performance, and reasonable equipment and installation costs make for a great experience overall. Metronet also claims to have 24-hour local support, and customers generally seem satisfied with their service.

There is one glaring issue, though: the provider charges a mandatory “technology service fee” of around $10 per month.

Metronet claims this is to cover the cost of service calls, tech visits, and equipment maintenance. However, we don’t see this type of charge from any other provider, and it effectively nullifies the free equipment, so we have mixed feelings.

We've also seen a few complaints from customers who feel like they were being charged more than advertised, but we thought that the price increases and fees were pretty fairly laid out on the website, so just make sure to read the fine print (2).


Visit Metronet's website
or call 1-833-804-6161 for more information on contracts and money-back guarantees.
Go to provider
Optimum brand
Customer experience
3.0
Good customer experience overall

Optimum provides a good customer experience overall. Both types—cable and fiber—are fast and stable. We haven’t seen any major complaints about Optimum's reliability, which is impressive. We think the day-to-day experience with Optimum is pretty great.

Optimum does have some customer service complaints, with one of the lowest ratings of all providers, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) (3). Most of the complaints we’ve seen involve a poor experience dealing with customer service reps. Optimum does offer solid online support options, so you may be able to get around these issues. And, of course, not everyone has a poor experience.

Visit Optimum's website
or call 1-844-719-8066 for more information on contracts and money-back guarantees.
Go to provider
Smithville brand
Customer experience
3.0
Around-the-clock tech support—at a cost

Smithville offers 24/7 tech support to all customers, which is helpful if you have trouble with its router, need wiring repairs or a jack replacement, or your service is otherwise interrupted and it’s the company's fault.

If a visiting technician discovers the problem was out of Smithville’s control, you’ll have to pay a $35 service fee and $90 technician fee for help. Most companies charge you only one of these fees. Smithville will waive these charges if you buy its Connection Protection plan for at least one year, at a cost of $3.95 per month. But technicians still won’t help you with your own equipment.

Visit Smithville's website
or call 1-844-719-8071 for more information on contracts and money-back guarantees.
Go to provider
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Made up your mind?
Find out what providers are available near you.
Metronet
4.4
(7)
5 Star
43%
4 Star
57%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
R
Richard from Phoenix , AZ
Metronet Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 4-12-2023
Good connection most days from MetroNet. Price is good compared to the other options near me.
M
Maryfrom Wabash, IN
Metronet Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 3-24-2023
I like metronet. Whenever I have a problem and I call them they stay on the line until the situation is completely resolved.
W
William from Tallahassee, FL
Metronet Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 6-24-2022
Combined with more streaming for our television viewing, we have gained financially from switching. Service has been strong thus far. Greater speed is still a desire we have.
B
Brendafrom Tallahassee, FL
Metronet Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 6-24-2022
Everything works just a well as other providers but costs less.
Optimum
3.8
(70)
5 Star
26%
4 Star
46%
3 Star
16%
2 Star
8%
1 Star
4%
D
Debbiefrom Cullowhee, NC
Optimum Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 6-17-2022
Reliable with few issues. Just wish the cost wasn’t so much.
B
Bobbifrom Bridgeport, CT
Optimum Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 6-17-2022
I am very satisfy with my service .I been a customer for years.They are a good value and very reliable.
L
Lyndafrom Sod, WV
Optimum Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 6-17-2022
Optimum currently provides a fast and mostly reliable internet connection. However, the price is not a value at all.
J
Janetfrom Bronx, NY
Optimum Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 6-17-2022
very good service. always available in my area. a sure deal
Smithville
0.0
(0)
5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
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Endnotes and sources
1. “2022 Urban Rate Survey – Fixed Broadband Service,” FCC. Accessed 18 October 2022.2. "Metronet Customer Reviews," BroadbandNow. Accessed 9 December 2022.
Endnotes and sources
1. “2022 Urban Rate Survey – Fixed Broadband Service,” FCC. Accessed 20 October 2022.2. "Measuring Broadband America," FCC. Retreieved Dec. 10, 2022.3. “Internet Service Providers,” American Customer Satisfaction Index. Accessed 15 June 2022.
Endnotes and sources
1. “2022 Urban Rate Survey – Fixed Broadband Service,” FCC. Accessed 9 December 2022.2. “2022 Fiber-To-The-Home Top 100.” Broadband Communities Magazine. Accessed 9 December 2022.