Cox Internet Review 2020
|Plan||Price||Download speed||Data cap||Details|
|Cox Internet Essential 30||$39.99||30 Mbps||1 TB||View Plan|
|Cox Internet Preferred 150||$49.99||150 Mbps||1 TB||View Plan|
|Cox Gigablast||$99.99||940 Mbps||1 TB||View Plan|
The quick and dirty is that Cox internet service has a plan for almost everyone. And when it comes to surfing the internet at the speed you paid for, it gets the job done.
While Cox isn’t available everywhere, we do think it’s one of the better choices in the areas it’s offered. Especially if you’re not looking for out-of-this-world download speeds and would rather have a lower monthly bill.
So what makes Cox so great? Let’s find out.
- Budget-friendly low-end plans
- 650,000 Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide1
- One-year contract
Cox prices and plans
We checked the price tag, and Cox internet charges some of the lowest prices out there.
|Cox Internet Starter 10||$19.99*||10 Mbps||View Plan|
|Cox Internet Essential 30||$39.99*||30 Mbps||View Plan|
|Cox Internet Preferred 150||$49.99*||150 Mbps||View Plan|
|Cox Internet Ultimate||$69.99*||500 Mbps||View Plan|
|Cox Gigablast||$99.99*||940 Mbps||View Plan|
We love internet and can’t live without it, but we never want to pay more than it’s worth.
If that sounds like you, then Cox’s internet plans are worth looking into. Especially if you’d rather grab a deal on internet service than browse the web at blazing-fast speeds.
Cox’s internet service starts at about $30 per month for 10 Mbps. And its 30 Mbps is just $10 more a month.
And while 10 and 30 Mbps may not seem like much, if you use the internet just for email and occasionally checking Facebook, those speeds should be just fine. That price ain’t half bad either, and Cox is one of the few ISPs that offers plans at a low cost like this.
And if 10 or 30 Mbps doesn’t strike your fancy, no sweat. Cox’s highest speed is 1,000 Mbps. But if you ask us, 300 Mbps, or even 150 Mbps, should be plenty for all you gamers and intense internet users out there.
When it comes to Cox’s faster plans, you’ll probably find better deals here and there. For example, you’ll get 500 Mbps from Frontier for half the price you’d pay for Cox’s 30 Mbps plan. (Yes, the 30 Mbps plan.) And Verizon Fios and Xfinity are two more internet service providers (ISPs) that offer good deals.
But you may find those lower-priced plans aren’t available in your area, but Cox’s packages are readily available.
Cox internet speed
TL;DR: Cox’s actual speed measures up to its advertised speed.
Cox’s plans should be able to cover just about any internet lifestyle, from a only-occasionally-checks-the-weather-online 10 Mbps household to the 1,000 Mbps multi-device-online-gaming-marathon household.
Cox’s speed efficiency is actually quite good.
We used the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) actual-to-advertised speeds report to get some hard numbers on how efficiently ISPs are performing. Cox’s average download speed was measured at just under 104%.2 That means people paying for 50 Mbps sometimes experience speeds a little faster than 50 Mbps.
As for the local competition, Cox did better than CenturyLink by about 10% and worse than AT&T by about 5%.2 So, if you happen to live where Cox internet is available, and if it’s a choice between Cox and CenturyLink, hands down we’d go with Cox.
|Plan||Download speed||Upload speed||Data cap||Details|
|Cox Internet Starter 10||10 Mbps||1 Mbps||1 TB||View Plan|
|Cox Internet Essential 30||30 Mbps||3 Mbps||1 TB||View Plan|
|Cox Internet Preferred 150||150 Mbps||10 Mbps||1 TB||View Plan|
|Cox Internet Ultimate||500 Mbps||10 Mbps||1 TB||View Plan|
|Cox Gigablast||940 Mbps||35 Mbps||1 TB||View Plan|
If you’re an internet junkie, you’ll want to be aware of Cox’s data limit. Every Cox internet plan has a 1 TB (1,024 GB) monthly data limit. That 1 TB is equal to about 400 hours of HD TV or movies. Needless to say, that’s a lot of screen time.
If you consider yourself an average internet user—say you casually surf the web and stream an hour or two of video each day—there’s no way you’ll hit that 1 TB data limit.
Still, if you’re sharing internet with two roommates who never turn off Netflix, you’ll want to check in on how much data your place is using. The Cox Connect app will let you keep an eye on your data usage.
How does Cox’s data cap compare to the competition? Verizon Fios, Frontier, Optimum, AT&T Fiber 1,000 Mbps plan, and Spectrum offer unlimited data. All the others offer 1 TB or less (*cough* satellite *cough*).
Cox high-speed internet uses a combination of fiber and cable internet. You still need a coaxial cable that connects to your modem, but there shouldn’t be too many bandwidth issues.
Contracts, equipment, and fees
When it comes to contracts, your modem, and extra fees, Cox is pretty average.
Sadly, every Cox plan comes with a one-year contract. On one hand, that’s not great because it means your price likely goes up when those 12 months are over.
But on the other hand, a one-year contract instead of a two-year contract might be more ideal for those who need internet for a short time before their living arrangements, financial circumstances, or internet needs change.
Cox has pretty much the same equipment fees as other ISPs.
If you’re without a Wi-Fi modem, Cox will rent you one for the average price of $10.99 per month. You can also buy the same Wi-Fi modem from Cox for $179.99—the DOCSIS 3.1 Wi-Fi modem, which, we’re sorry to say, doesn’t double as a router.
We’ve never come across an ISP-provided modem that knocked our socks off, so we think it’s best to purchase a modem from a third party. But if buying your own modem seems daunting, don’t get too worried: we can help.
One of the best-selling modems on Amazon happens to be one we also highly recommend—the ARRIS Surfboard. It generally costs less than Cox’s modem, and it’s compatible with most cable ISPs, which means you can use it if you decide to leave Cox for another ISP.
If you already have a modem, you can check if it’s compatible with Cox service here.
- Installation fees: $20 self-installment and shipment fee
- Early termination fees: None
The installation fee applies whether you are buying a modem and internet from Cox or just internet. Not a cool move—though it is better than Comcast’s and Spectrum’s fees.
Cox customer service
Cox’s low-scoring customer service could use a boost.
We checked the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), which surveys tens of thousands of customers, and found that Cox lands below the average score of 62 out of 100—it scored 60 out of 100.3
|ACSI 2018–2019||60 out of 100|
How to handle Cox customer service
If you’re ordering service from Cox for the first time, there’s a chance your experience may not be so bad. Ours wasn’t—the customer service representative was pleasant and surprisingly helpful.
Still, we highly recommend that you ask and repeat questions, take notes (including the name of the representative, time of the phone call, billing date, etc.), and request an email with all the service details.
The call line was easier to work with than the online chat option. (Sometimes modern problems require older solutions.)
It’s a bit of a bummer, but with Cox, the responsibility falls more on the customer when it comes to making sure you get everything you want from your internet service.
You can also contact Cox online here:
Our picks: the best Cox internet plans
Best for solo web surfers: Internet Essential 30
Who it’s best for: If you are looking for residential internet for one person (for instance, if you’re buying an internet package for just yourself or your blog-enthusiast grandmother), this plan should do fine.
We say “should” because if you have a bunch of internet-connected devices running (smartphone, tablet, computer, home security devices, etc.), your downloads will slow down and Netflix may start to buffer.
Why we picked it: The 30 Mbps speed is enough for someone with small internet needs—like checking Facebook and email while watching Netflix only every once in a while. And with a price under $50 a month, we think your wallet will appreciate this plan too.
Best for families: Internet Preferred 150
Who it’s best for: If you’re looking for residential internet for your family or small business, this plan should be enough for all of your video streaming, browsing, and online gaming.
Why we picked it: This is enough Mbps for your family to stream Spotify, watch Hulu, and play Fortnite all at once. You’re welcome.
Recap: is Cox good?
We love that Cox offers low-budget plans, but the rest of its service is pretty middle of the road. Not amazing, not bad.
If all you need is enough speed to flip through Instagram photos and send emails, we recommend picking up one of Cox’s low-end plans. It’s really hard to beat that price, after all. But if you want lots of speeds for your family of streamers and gamers, you might find a better deal elsewhere. Here’s why:
- Prices and plans: Prices for Cox’s low-speed plans, like Internet Essential 30, are really wallet-friendly. And while its prices for the 300 Mbps and 1,000 Mbps plans are a little high, they’re still in stride with most of the competition.
- Speed: You’ve got more than a few different download speeds to choose from with Cox. And the best part is, it’s been known to deliver the speeds it advertises—and then some.
- Contracts, equipment, and fees: Cox internet service comes with a one-year contract, which is kind of a bummer but also the norm. We also recommend buying your own modem and router combo rather than forking out the dough for Cox’s own modem.
- Customer service: No one’s ever thrilled to call customer service, and Cox is no exception. It scored below the industry average. Yikes.
We think Cox is great if you need a simple, low-cost plan. But otherwise we think it’s just not as good as Comcast Xfinity and Spectrum. But if you can’t get Xfinity or Spectrum where you live and you can get Cox, then give Cox a try.
Q: What can I bundle with Cox internet?
You can bundle TV and phone services with Cox internet. It’ll probably save you some money, so it’s worth looking into.
Cox’s own streaming service, Contour TV, offers live channels, on-demand channels, and optional add-ons for premium channels.
Q: Which other ISPs are cable ISPs?
If you mean ISPs that can also bundle as a TV service, your options are Cox, Xfinity, CenturyLink, HughesNet, AT&T, Spectrum, Verizon Fios, and Frontier. Basically, if you want cable TV, or cable-esque TV, you have options.