Cox Internet Review 2021

We found that Cox Internet is a cost-effective alternative for medium- to high-speed internet users when compared to Spectrum and Xfinity.
Recommended Plans
PlanPriceDownload speedData capDetails
Cox Internet Preferred 150$49.99150 Mbps1.25 TBView Plan
Cox Internet Ultimate 500$69.99500 Mbps1.25 TBView Plans
Cox Gigablast$99.99940 Mbps1.25 TBView Plan
PriceDownload speedData capDetails
$49.99150 Mbps1.25 TBView Plan
$69.99500 Mbps1.25 TBView Plans
$99.99940 Mbps1.25 TBView Plan

Cox is an excellent choice if you’re looking to pay less than $120 per month, after the promotion ends, for 500 Mbps to 940 Mbps of high speed internet, as these plans allow for working from home, video streaming, remote learning, and gaming.

That said, Cox Internet’s low-speed options aren’t as competitive as other ISPs like Xfinity and Spectrum, which offer faster download speeds for a lower cost.

So is Cox internet worth the price? Let’s dig into the details and find out.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly high-speed plans
  • Wide range of internet speeds to choose from
  • No contract on Cox StraightUp 25 Mbps plan

Cons

  • High-priced 25 and 50 Mbps plans
  • Not-so-great customer service

Compare Cox internet prices in your area.

Cox internet prices and plans

Cox’s high-speed packages are well-priced, but the company’s slower plans come at a premium

Cox internet plans start at about $29.99 a month and offer internet service speeds of about 25 Mbps. That broadband speed likely works for any solo internet user who emails, scrolls on social media, and doesn’t mind occasionally streaming in SD.

For those who work from home or enjoy 4K Netflix streams and fervid Call of Duty matches during downtime, Cox’s 150 Mbps plans (and up) are better suited. They provide enough speed to support a household that streams, games, and works from home, and that will cost you upwards of $60.

Cox also sometimes offers deals on top of its promotional prices, so be sure to check back for updates on its discount prices.

Under the term agreement, your monthly rates remain fixed for the first year. The company includes a 30-day money-back guarantee for first-time buyers.

Cox internet promotional prices
PlanPriceDownload speedData capDetails
Cox Internet Starter 25$19.99*25 Mbps1.25 TBView Plans
Cox StraightUp Internet$50.0025 MbpsN/AView Plans
Cox Internet Essential 50$29.99*50 Mbps1.25 TBView Plans
Cox Internet Preferred 150$49.99*150 Mbps1.25 TBView Plan
Cox Internet Ultimate 500$69.99*500 Mbps1.25 TBView Plans
Cox Gigablast$99.99*940 Mbps1.25 TBView Plan
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* for 12 months with 1-yr. term agreement
No term agreement. Same price for 3 yrs.

We have to mention that we’ve found 940 Mbps internet plans that ring up at the same price as Cox’s 500 Mbps plan. On the other hand, the Cox Gigablast plan isn’t the most expensive 940 Mbps plan on the block.

Cox internet prices after 12 months

At the end of your one-year term agreement, Cox Internet’s package prices increase by about $15 to $26, with more expensive plans having the cheapest spike in fees.

For Starter 25 customers, expect to pay $44.99 after your 1-year term agreement ends. If you purchase the Cox Gigablast plan, you’ll likely pay $119.99 at the start of your second-year term should you choose to stay, but check out the table below for pricing on everything in between.

Cox internet prices after 12 months
PlanPromotional pricePrice after 12 mos.Download speedDetails
Cox Internet Starter 25$29.99/mo.*$44.99/mo.25 MbpsView Plan
Cox Internet Essential 50$39.99/mo.*$65.99/mo.50 MbpsView Plan
Cox Internet Preferred 150$59.99/mo.*$83.99/mo.150 MbpsView Plan
Cox Internet Ultimate 500$79.99/mo.*$99.99/mo.500 MbpsView Plan
Cox Internet Gigablast$99.99/mo.*$119.99/mo.940 MbpsView Plan

Where is Cox internet available?

Cox provides internet services to over 60 million households and businesses across 19 states in the US, including several large cities such as Cleveland, OH, Santa Barbara, CA, and the District of Columbia. The company administers broadband services to rural and urban areas on the West Coast, East Coast, North, and parts of the Midwest and South.

A map of the United States showing Cox internet availability in the West, Central US, Northeast, and South

How do Cox internet prices compare to CenturyLink, Spectrum, and Xfinity?

CenturyLink plans are cheaper than Cox if you land the top-end download speeds (100 Mbps). While CenturyLink’s DSL internet plans didn’t stack up as well as Cox in our speed test analysis, its fiber internet plan usually zooms along just fine.

Spectrum Internet offers two competitive plans that beat similar Cox plans, Spectrum Internet® and Spectrum Internet® Ultra.

The Spectrum Internet® package provides users with up to 200 Mbps and unlimited data for $49.99 a month. And at download speeds of 150 Mbps, the Cox Preferred 150 plan provides 1.25 TB of monthly data at a $49.99 a month promotional price that increases to $83.99 after the one-year term agreement ends.

The Spectrum Internet® Ultra plan supplies customers with up to 400 Mbps and unlimited data for $69.99 a month, while the Cox Internet Ultimate 500 plan offers 500 Mbps download speeds and 1.25 TB of data for the same monthly price.

Xfinity covers much of the same service area as Cox, and its plans often come in at similar speeds for a much lower promotional price. Take its Performance Select plan, which costs $34.99 a month in the western U.S. and comes with 100 Mbps speeds. That’s $5 a month cheaper than Cox’s 150 Mbps plan.

Cox internet medium-speed packages comparison
ServicePlanPriceDownload speedDetails
Cox InternetCox Internet Preferred 150$49.99*150 MbpsView Plan
CenturyLink InternetSimply Unlimited Internet$50Up to 100 MbpsView Plans
Spectrum InternetSpectrum Internet® Ultra$69.99/mo for 12 mos.^Up to 400 Mbps^View Plan
Xfinity Internet - WestPerformance Select$44.99°100 MbpsView Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* for 12 months with 1-yr. term agreement
Paperless billing or prepay required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Get the fastest internet speed available at your location (max speed is up to 100 Mbps).
^ Wireless speeds may vary.
° For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.

Cox Gigablast plan comparison

Cox’s Gigablast plan offers slightly slower internet speeds for $10 cheaper than Spectrum’s Internet Gig plan. At 1000 Mbps, you’ll pay $129.99 for Spectrum’s Internet Gig plan after the ISP’s promotional pricing ends. For Cox Gigablast, you’ll pay $119.99 for up to 940 Mbps after the 1-year term agreement ends.

Both plans offer internet upload speeds of 35 Mbps, and accommodate large households that work or learn from home, stream in HD, and engage in multi-player gaming.

Even so, Spectrum’s edge is its no contract plans which means you don’t have to pay an early termination fee (ETF) if you choose to switch providers at any time during your subscription. Cox users should expect to pay an ETF of up to $120 if they switch ISPs after the 30-day grace period ends. Just know that the installation fee for Spectrum’s gig plan is $199.99—a good chunk of change that’s far beyond what most other ISPs charge for setup.

Xfinity’s Gigabit plan costs $84.99 a month in the western US. You’ll get faster download speeds than Spectrum and Cox Internet’s premium plans and pay up to $114.99 in the second year of your subscription as the ISP’s promotional prices increase by about $15–$30 after the first year.

Xfinity also includes an ETF for users under contract who choose to cancel their subscription early. To calculate this cost, multiply the amount of months you have left in your agreement by $10. If you have a 12- to 24-month agreement, expect to pay anywhere between $110 and $230.

This gives Cox a competitive edge over Xfinity, as its ETF goes up to $120 under contract, and you have a 30-day grace period to cancel your subscription.

Cox internet high-speed packages comparison
ServicePlanPriceDownload speedDetails
Cox InternetCox Gigablast$99.99*940 MbpsView Plan
CenturyLink InternetCenturyLink Fiber Internet$65**940 MbpsView Plan
Spectrum InternetSpectrum Internet® Gig$109.99/mo for 12 mos.††Up to 1000 Mbps††View Plan
Xfinity Internet - WestGigabit$94.99‡‡1200 MbpsView Plan
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* for 12 months with 1-yr. term agreement
** Rate requires paperless billing. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Speeds may not be available in your area. Maximum download/upload speed of up to 940 Mbps via a wired connection.
†† Speed based on wired connection. Available Internet speeds may vary by address. Gig capable modem required for Gig speed. For a list of Gig capable modems, visit Spectrum.net/modem.
‡‡ For the first 24 months with a 1-year agreement.

Cox 25 Mbps internet plan comparison

Xfinity’s Performance Starter Plus plan comes with 50 Mbps download speeds and costs about the same price as Cox’s Starter 25 plan, which includes 25 Mbps download speeds for a promotional price of $29.99 and spikes up to $44.99 after the first 12 months.

CenturyLink’s Simply Unlimited Internet plan could fall behind any other ISP’s low speed plans, especially Cox. It all depends on what speed you can get in your area, since CenturyLink’s DSL internet speeds range from 20–100 Mbps. You’ll still pay $20 more per month for CenturyLinks’ plan no matter what speed you get, while Cox Starter 25 plan provides 25 Mbps for $29.99 a month (or $44.99 a month after your first year).

Spectrum’s $49.99, 200 Mbps plan beats Cox and Xfinity’s low-cost plans as you get more bandwidth and unlimited data at about the same price, so we rate Cox third after Spectrum and Xfinity.

Cox Internet low-speed packages comparison
ServicePlanPriceDownload speedDetails
Cox InternetCox Internet Starter 25$19.99*25 MbpsView Plans
CenturyLink InternetSimply Unlimited Internet$50Up to 100 MbpsView Plans
Xfinity Internet - WestPerformance Starter Plus$34.99°50 MbpsView Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* for 12 months with 1-yr. term agreement
Paperless billing or prepay required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Get the fastest internet speed available at your location (max speed is up to 100 Mbps).
° For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.

Is Cox internet cheap?

  • Compared to CenturyLink: Cox internet plans are more expensive than CenturyLink, especially since CenturyLink promises unlimited data and no price hikes on its services. CenturyLink’s Simply Unlimited Internet plan does offer slower download speeds of 20–100 Mbps, but the ISP provides upload speeds of 30 Mbps, which makes working from home a viable option for a plan that costs $50 a month.
  • Compared to Spectrum: If you’re looking for high-speed internet, Cox is the cheaper option as the company’s promotional price increases by about $15 to $26 after the first-year term agreement ends. While Spectrum has similar plans that offer a $20 to $30 increase your second year, its premium packs are generally more expensive. And unless you’re a major techie, Cox’s cheaper 500 Mbps pack should cover all your internet needs.
  • Compared to Xfinity: Xfinity’s Performance Starter Plus plan is cheaper than Cox Internet’s Starter 25 and Essential 50 plan as Xfinity offers similar and faster download speeds at a more affordable price. Though Cox’s premium packages cap out at 940 Mbps, you’ll pay less than $100 for its high-speed plans—and up to $120 if you choose to cancel your subscription early.

Cox internet speed and data caps

Cox’s slow internet speed doesn’t quite compare to other cable internet providers in the US

Cox internet speeds cover a wide range of internet lifestyles. From download speeds for your parents who love to keep tabs on the weather, all the way to your daughter who has dreams of competitive esports, Cox’s speeds have you covered.

Even so, we’ve found two other cable internet providers with prices comparable to Cox Internet’s Starter 25 plan, which has a $15 increase after your 1-year term agreement ends.

Cox internet download speeds and upload speeds
PlanPriceDownload speedUpload speedDetails
Cox Internet Starter 25$19.99*25 Mbps3 MbpsView Plans
Cox Internet Essential 50$29.99*50 Mbps3 MbpsView Plans
Cox Internet Preferred 150$49.99*150 Mbps10 MbpsView Plan
Cox Internet Ultimate 500$69.99*500 Mbps10 MbpsView Plans
Cox Gigablast$99.99*940 Mbps35 MbpsView Plan
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* for 12 months with 1-yr. term agreement

If you’re looking for a long-term subscription that’s cost effective, CenturyLink’s Simply Unlimited package beats Cox’s Internet Starter 25—if you can get CenturyLink’s top-end speeds of 100 Mbps. With 100 Mbps, you can run an online business from your home for about $50 a month.

As for Cox, you’ll pay $44.99 in your second year for internet speeds that allow email, light surfing, and social media scrolling.

The Spectrum Internet plan is a viable alternative, but expect to pay about $21.00 more after the first 12 months, as Spectrum offers a promotional price of $44.99 that increases to $70.00 in your second year.

Xfinity’s Performance Starter Plus plan offers faster download speeds than Cox internet’s Starter 25 plan, but we still recommend looking at CenturyLink or Spectrum for your at-home browsing needs as you’ll pay $65 after 12 months at Xfinity for 50 Mbps.

For more detailed information on which ISP might best service your household, check out our reviews on CenturyLink, Spectrum and Xfinity to see how the providers compare.

Cox Starter 25 plan comparison
ServicePlanPriceDownload speedDetails
Cox InternetCox Internet Starter 25$19.99*25 MbpsView Plans
CenturyLink InternetSimply Unlimited Internet$50Up to 100 MbpsView Plans
Xfinity Internet - WestPerformance Starter Plus$34.99°50 MbpsView Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* for 12 months with 1-yr. term agreement
Paperless billing or prepay required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Get the fastest internet speed available at your location (max speed is up to 100 Mbps).
° For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.

Is Cox internet fast?

We learned in our latest report on the fastest ISPs in the US that you might find Cox internet speeds lacking. It ranked 16th out of the 38 different internet providers we analyzed. That’s well below other cable ISPs like Xfinity, Frontier, and Spectrum.

Looking at cable internet providers only, Cox ranked 8th out of 22. That makes cable alternatives like Xfinity and Spectrum a better pick for potentially faster, more reliable speeds.

Cox internet speeds compared to Xfinity, Spectrum, and CenturyLink
ProviderOverall rank*Weighted score**Download speed range
Comcast Xfinity7th46.650–2,000 Mbps
Spectrum14th35.6Up to 200–Up to 1,000 Mbps
Cox Communications16th33.425–940 Mbps
CenturyLink28th20.2Up to 100–940 Mbps

*Overall rank out of 38 internet providers.
**Weighted score out of 100.

Our weighted score isn’t an actual measurement of download speeds in Mbps, by the way. But it is a combo of the average download speeds, upload speeds, and latency that Cox internet customers saw when they took speed tests between January 1 and December 31, 2019.

Cox’s slow Internet Starter 10 and Internet Essential 50 plans may have dropped its score. But even so, it’s likely you won’t get the speeds you pay for with Cox. So, it’s faster plans are likely not worth the above-average price you’ll pay.

Megaphone icon
Cox is expanding its fiber infrastructure, which means faster speeds for all
In a recent meeting with Cox, a representative mentioned the ISP is working on building out its fiber infrastructure. This means the fiber part of its network should get closer to customers’ homes, making speeds faster and more reliable.

Cox data caps

Cox updated its data cap policy in 2020, so every customer gets 1.25 TB of data per billing cycle. That’s up from just 1 TB of data. We can’t argue with free bonus data.

  • Cox data cap: 1.25 TB of data per billing cycle

It’s likely you won’t go over your Cox data cap. One terabyte of data equals about 400 hours of HD video streaming. To put that in perspective, watching all nine seasons of The Office (because you can) would take you about 76 hours.

So unless you’re training for a streaming marathon, Cox’s 1.25 TB of data is probably more than enough to keep you going.

But we all know there are times when you’re not putting that couch to work, and that data cap becomes worrisome. Maybe you’re working from home and need that data to send a critical report to your boss before a deadline.

Thankfully, you do have options. You can keep an eye on your usage with the Cox Connect app. Cox also allows all but its Connect2Compete plans to purchase an additional 50 GB of data for $10, but your data won’t roll over if you don’t use it.

Cox contracts, equipment, and fees

Users can opt out of Cox internet contracts and pay $10 more for each plan

Cox internet offers contract-free options for all its plans, but you should expect to pay $10 more per month than you would under the company’s 1-year term agreement. You’ll pay $15 to $26 more after your first year, regardless of whether you subscribe to the 1-year term agreement or not.

We vote to include that 1-year term agreement in your package plan to save that extra $120 over a year, as the company regularly offers a $10 monthly discount on all its plans under the first-year contract (unless you really can’t bother with signing up for a subscription).

But if you do opt for the contract, it’s important to remember Cox includes up to a $120 early termination fee (ETF) should you decide to switch ISPs after your 30-day grace period ends.

Equipment

Cox lets you rent its Panoramic Wi-Fi Gateway modem for $12 a month, although you may be able to find promotions that let you rent it for free over a certain period of time.

  • Panoramic Wi-Fi Gateway modem/router rental fee: $12.00/month
  • Elite Gamer software: $6.99/month for first connection, $4.99/month extra for additional connections

The gateway doubles as a router, so you can avoid that extra cost if you prefer.

But if you’d like to dodge that modem rental fee, you should check the list of Cox compatible modems before you buy. And if you need a recommendation, we give a big thumbs up to the ARRIS Surfboard SB8200.* The ARRIS Surfboard is compatible with every Cox plan, even its ultra-fast Gigabit package.

Cox Elite Gamer

Cox now offers an Elite Gamer feature, which is essentially software that you download to your computer to find the fastest route for your data to speed back and forth between your computer and game servers.

We’ve heard it called Waze for gamers, and that makes sense. A Cox representative we spoke to said it should reduce game lag by bypassing unnecessary points in your data’s journey.

Less lag is a big deal for gamers, but we’re not sure if it’s worth the additional cost of Elite Gamer. Instead, we recommend setting up Quality of Service (QoS) and prioritization features on your router so your computer or specific games take priority when it comes to doling out bandwidth.

Service fees

Cox charges $100 for professional installation and up to $120 in early termination fees. But you also get 30 days to try out your Cox internet without risking a large-and-in-charge early termination fee. And if you opt to self-install your internet, your Cox Easy Connect kit costs nothing.

  • Professional installation: $100
  • Easy Connect self-installation kit: Free
  • Early termination fees: Up to $120

We’re ecstatic about Cox’s free self-installation kit. Usually, ISPs charge you for shipping and handling. But not Cox.

Cox customer service

Contact Cox customer service at 1-504-304-8444

It’s no surprise that most ISPs don’t get great reviews for customer service. The internet industry as a whole has a bad rep for not taking care of their customers.

Sadly, Cox is no different. Though it did improve its customer service over the past year.

We checked the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s (ACSI’s) latest report, which collects input from thousands of customers, and found Cox bounced up from a score of 61 to 63 out of 100.1

Cox internet ACSI 2020–2021 customer service rating
RatingScore
ACSI 2020–202163 out of 100

For tips on how to best deal with lousy customer service, check out our guide to calling your ISP’s customer service, which has helpful information on how to find what you need before getting on the phone. You can also read about how best to engage with customer service specialists. The contact information for some of the most common ISP’s is included, and Cox is fourth on the list.

Another way to contact Cox customer service is by heading to the Cox Communications customer service portal, which includes live chat, telephone, or in-store service options to answer any questions about your plan. You can reach support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-504-304-8444.

You can contact Cox customer service here:

Recap: Is Cox internet good?

Cox is a good alternative if you’re looking to pay less than $120 per month (after the promotion ends) for 500 Mbps to 940 Mbps of higher speed internet, as these plans allow for working from home, video streaming, remote learning, and gaming.

However, its lower speeds are less competitive with other ISPs that offer faster download speeds at a lower price. Take Xfinity’s Performance Starter Plus plan, which provides 50 Mbps for $30.00 a month, while Cox’s Starter 25 plan costs $29.99 for 25 Mbps. Even after the promotional pricing ends, you’ll still pay less at Xfinity for double the upload speed.

Otherwise, this ISP looks like the others: it comes with the usual basket of service and equipment fees, and its customer service isn’t great.

  • Prices and plans: Pricing on high-speed plans is great but you could get better deals for low speed plans at Xfinity or Spectrum.
  • Speed: If you’re looking for high-speed internet, Cox works. For low-speed internet try Xfinity or Spectrum—they offer faster speeds for many of the same prices as Cox.
  • Data caps: At 1.25 TB, Cox data caps are comparable to Xfinity. But CenturyLink and Spectrum offer unlimited data.
  • Contracts, equipment, and fees: Cox promotional prices increase by about $15 to $26 after your 1-year term agreement ends. We suggest looking at ISPs with similar pricing and faster download speeds before settling on Cox.
  • Customer service: At 63 out of 100, we’re hoping Cox customer service will continue to improve.

Cox internet plans recap

Data effective 7/14/2021. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* for 12 months with 1-yr. term agreement

FAQ

Q: Can I buy my own modem for Cox?

It’s possible to purchase your own modem for Cox. However, it needs to be compatible with the Cox internet service, which the company can confirm before you buy. Be sure to keep the contact information for your modem provider. All troubleshooting for device-related issues is done through the third-party provider, not Cox.

Q: How much is Cox internet by itself?

Cox internet plans range from $29.99 a month to $99.99 a month, and users who purchase Cox’s 1-year term agreement with their package have a $10 monthly discount, regardless of their plan. Under the term agreement, your monthly cost will increase by $15 to $26 at the end of your first year.

If you choose to purchase Cox internet contract-free, each plan will cost about $10 more, and you won’t get the $10 first-year monthly discount. After your first year, expect to pay about $15 to $26 more per month, with the exact price depending on the plan you purchased.

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.

Sources

  1. American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), “ACSI Telecommunications Study 2020–2021,” June 2021. Accessed July 14, 2021.

*Reviews.org uses Amazon affiliate links.

Additional contributors

Jerusha Kamoji