Cox Internet Review 2021

Most Cox internet plans come at an excellent price, and it offers one of the few sub-$20 a month plans out there.
Recommended Plans
PlanPriceDownload speedData capDetails
Cox Internet Essential 50$39.9950 Mbps1.25 TBView Plan
Cox Internet Preferred 150$59.99150 Mbps1.25 TBView Plan
Cox Gigablast$99.99940 Mbps1.25 TBView Plan
PriceDownload speedData capDetails
$39.9950 Mbps1.25 TBView Plan
$59.99150 Mbps1.25 TBView Plan
$99.99940 Mbps1.25 TBView Plan

Cox is a great internet choice if you don’t want a sky-high monthly bill and don’t need a lot of internet speed. Most internet providers don’t offer speeds as slow as Cox’s 10 Mbps plan, and Cox’s plan comes with a low price to match.

That said, Cox does offer faster download speeds: 500 Mbps and 940 Mbps. But you’ll pay a little more than what other internet service providers (ISPs) would charge for the same speed.

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

Pros

  • Budget-friendly low-end plans
  • Wide range of internet speeds to choose from
  • No contract on 50 Mbps plan and up

Cons

  • High-priced 500 and 940 Mbps plans
  • Not-so-great customer service

Compare Cox internet prices in your area.

Cox prices and plans

Cox’s low-speed plans are well-priced, but its faster plans come at a premium.

Cox internet plans start at about $30 a month. That’s a great starting price—but it only comes in at  speeds of about  10 Mbps.

We get it. This low price makes Cox an excellent pick for anyone who can make do with 10 Mbps. That speed likely works for any solo internet user who emails, scrolls social media, and doesn’t mind streaming in SD once in a while.

But for the rest of us, 10 Mbps just won’t cut it. We need to work from home and enjoy our 4K Netflix streams and intense Call of Duty matches during our downtime.

Cox’s prices for its internet plans provide enough speed to support a family or household that streams, games, and works from home, but that’s on the high end.

The good news is, Cox’s 50 Mbps plans (and up) all come with no contract, and the promotional price lasts for a whopping three years. Aha, now we’ve discovered the secret behind Cox’s pricing.

Cox internet promotional prices
PlanPriceDownload speedData capDetails
Cox Internet Starter 10$29.99*10 Mbps1.25 TBView Plan
Cox Internet Essential 50$39.9950 Mbps1.25 TBView Plan
Cox Internet Preferred 150$59.99150 Mbps1.25 TBView Plan
Cox Internet Ultimate$79.99500 Mbps1.25 TBView Plan
Cox Gigablast$99.99940 Mbps1.25 TBView Plan
Data effective 10/26/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* for 12 months with 1-yr. svc. agr. + Easy Pay.
for 36 months. No annual contract required.

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.

How do Cox internet prices compare?

We’re scratching our heads over here trying to find a Cox internet plan that starts out at a cheaper price than some of the other ISPs you’ll see in the same area. We’re coming up empty handed.

But, like we mentioned before, the prices for Cox’s 50, 150, 500, and 940 Mbps plans stay the same for three years and don’t require a contract. That changes the game.

Cox internet price comparison
ProviderMonthly priceDownload speedsLearn more
Cox Internet$29.99$99.9910940 MbpsView Plans
CenturyLink Internet$49$65^15940 MbpsView Plans
Mediacom Internet$19.99$99.99°601000 MbpsView Plans
Xfinity Internet$19.99$79.99**151000 MbpsView Plans
Data effective 10/26/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
^ New customers only. Rate requires paperless billing and excludes taxes. Additional fees apply.
° For the first 12 months.
** For the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1- or 2-year contract.

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 Pro Plus plan, which costs $49.99 a month in the western US and comes with 200 Mbps speeds. That’s $10 a month cheaper than Cox’s 150 Mbps plan.

The kicker is that Cox’s 150 Mbps plan stays at $59.99 a month for three years, while Xfinity’s plan bumps up to $70 a month after just one year. So, over a three-year period, the Cox Internet Preferred 150 plan would cost you about $2,160, while the Xfinity Performance Pro Plus plan would cost you about $2,280. Well then.

As for CenturyLink, its plans are cheaper than Cox if you can land the top-end download speeds (100 Mbps)—and they come with a Price for Life. No three-year promotional pricing here. And while CenturyLink’s DSL internet plans didn’t stack up as well as Cox in our speed test analysis, its fiber internet plan likely zooms along just fine.

Another Cox competitor, Mediacom, offers prices similar to Cox’s prices. The only hang-up here is Mediacom’s data caps: you get anywhere from 400 GB to 6 TB of data, depending on which plan you buy. With Cox, you always get a straight 1.25 TB of data.

Cox internet speed

Cox speeds held fast when compared 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.

Cox internet download speeds and upload speeds
ProviderDownload speedsUpload speeds
Cox Internet10940 Mbps135 Mbps
Light Bulb icon
How much speed do you need?
Need help figuring out the right download speed for your family? Check out our easy download speed guide.

Is Cox internet fast?

We found 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’s definitely respectable.

Cox internet speed score1
ProviderOverall scoreCable ISP score
Cox Communications16th out of 388th out of 22

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

It’s likely you won’t go over your Cox data cap. One TB 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 more than likely 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 rollover if you don’t use it.)

Contracts, equipment, and fees

Cox’s 10 Mbps plan comes with a contract, but the rest of its plans are contract-free.

Cox’s Internet Starter 10 is the only plan that comes with a one-year contract. All of its other internet plans don’t require a contract, which is a huge bonus.

We don’t like anything that ropes us into sticking with a service for years on end and punishes us with a hefty fee if we decide to move on to another location—or another ISP. And we doubt you do too.

Equipment

Cox lets you rent its Panoramic Wi-Fi Gateway modem for $10.99 a month2, 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: $10.99/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 it’s ultra-fast Gigabit package.

Pin icon
Cox's Panoramic Wi-Fi Router rental fee is going up
We also heard from a Cox representative that the rental fee is getting bumped up to $12 a month in the beginning of 2021. That’s still a relatively low rental fee when you look at other ISPs.

Cox Elite Gamer

Cox recently introduced its 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 its 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 installation3 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.4

  • 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.

Customer service

Cox has a bad reputation for customer service.

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.

We checked the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s (ACSI’s) latest report, which collects input from thousands of customers, and found Cox stuck at a score of 61 out of 100.5

Cox internet ACSI 2019–2020 customer service rating5
RatingScore
ACSI 2019–202061 out of 100

That’s a one point improvement from Cox’s score last year, but we want to see more improvement. To compare, the internet industry average rose from 62 out of 100 to 65 out of 100.5

If you’re contacting Cox customer service, 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. We’ve got more details on these tips in our guide to calling your ISP’s customer service.

You can contact Cox customer service here:

Our picks: The best Cox internet packages

Best for often-offline adventurers: Internet Essential 50

Who it’s best for: Looking for residential internet for one to two people? This plan is well-priced and brings enough download speed to the table.

Why we picked it: The price is hard to beat, and 50 Mbps is enough internet speed for someone who streams Netflix, downloads a few items, and mainly uses the internet for low-impact activities like emailing and social media.

The price for Internet Essential 50 also stays the same for three years, and you don’t need a contract.

Cox Internet Essential 50
Cox Internet
Download speed:
50 Mbps
$39.99 a month

Data effective 12/9/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*for 36 months. No annual contract required.

Best price for internet-savvy 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: The 150 Mbps download speeds this plan delivers are solid enough for most medium-sized families to hop online together. So your child can stream Disney+ in the rec room while you enjoy some me-time watching Rick and Morty.

The price for the internet speed you get with this plan is also reasonable, so your wallet will thank you.

Cox Internet Preferred 150
Cox Internet
Download speed:
150 Mbps
$59.99 a month

Data effective 12/9/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*for 36 months. No annual contract required.

Best Cox bundle: Gold Duo

Who it’s best for: Large households who all enjoy streaming, gaming, and channel surfing. Not to mention all your connected home security, smart home, and electronic devices.

Why we picked it: The Gold Duo bundle comes with 500 Mbps download speeds and over 250 channels. That’s a lot of channels and speed for the price. But what really sticks out to us is the fact that the Gold Duo comes with premium channels, including Cinemax, STARZ, SHOWTIME, and EPIX. (That’s also why it’s one of our top five picks for the best cable TV bundles.)

Gold Duo
Cox Bundles
Internet download speed:
500 Mbps
TV channel count:
250+
$149.99 a month

Data effective 12/9/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*For 36 months

Recap: Is Cox internet good?

Prices for all but Cox’s Internet Starter 10 plan may seem high for the speed you get, but that price sticks around for three years and doesn’t require a contract. (To be clear, the Internet Starter 10 plan price lasts for one year and requires a contract.)

As for speed performance, Cox does well but doesn’t necessarily top the charts. Otherwise, this ISP looks a lot like the others: it comes with the usual basket of service and equipment fees, and its customer service isn’t great.

Cox internet plans recap

Data effective 12/9/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* for 12 months with 1-yr. svc. agr. + Easy Pay.
† for 36 months. No annual contract required.

FAQ

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. Catherine McNally, Reviews.org, “Fastest Internet Providers 2020,” August 2020. Accessed August 14, 2020.
  2. Cox, “Enjoy Wall-to-Wall Wi-Fi Coverage,” 2020. Accessed December 9, 2020.
  3. Cox, “Fairfax April 2020 Product and Pricing Guide,” April 2020. Accessed December 9, 2020.
  4. Cox, “Cox Easy Connect,” 2020. Accessed December 9, 2020.
  5. American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), “ACSI Telecommunications Report 2019–2020,” June 2020. Accessed December 9, 2020.

*Reviews.org uses Amazon affiliate links.