Cox Internet Review 2020

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
Our Rating
Our Rating
PlanPriceDownload speedData capDetails
Cox Internet Starter 10$19.9910 Mbps1 TBView Plan
Cox Internet Essential 50$29.9950 Mbps1 TBView Plans
Cox Internet Preferred 150$49.99150 Mbps1 TBView Plan
PriceDownload speedData capDetails
$19.9910 Mbps1 TBView Plan
$29.9950 Mbps1 TBView Plans
$49.99150 Mbps1 TBView Plan

Cox Internet Review

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.

Don’t get us wrong, we like that Cox has an internet package for everyone, even those who need gig speeds. But slower download speeds are where Cox really shines. You see, most internet plans 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.

Still, thanks to its reliably fast internet speeds, Cox tends to be one of the better internet choices in the areas where it’s offered. Let’s dig into Cox internet plans, prices, speeds, and more to find out if this is the right ISP for you.

Internet plan data effective 7/8/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*for 12 months with 1-yr. svc. agmt

Pros

  • Budget-friendly low-end plans
  • Wide range of internet speeds to choose from

Cons

  • One-year contract
  • Not-so-great customer service

Compare Cox internet prices in your area.

Cox prices and plans

Cox’s low-speed plans come at some of the lowest prices out there.

Cox internet plans start at a mind-boggling price of less than $20 a month. That’s mind-boggling because we rarely see a monthly price this low.

This low price makes Cox an excellent pick for anyone who can get by on 10 Mbps—it’s a great speed for emailing, social media scrolling, and the occasional afternoon of video streaming.

Of course, most of us probably need more speed than 10 Mbps. We gotta have our 4K Netflix streams, intense Call of Duty matches, and the ability to work from home.

If you fall into the camp of people that has a need for more speed, the rest of Cox’s internet packages can get you into the danger zone. (Pardon our Top Gun reference.)

Cox internet prices and plans
PlanPriceDownload speedData capDetails
Cox Internet Starter 10$19.99*10 Mbps1 TBView Plan
Cox Internet Essential 50$29.9950 Mbps1 TBView Plans
Cox Internet Preferred 150$49.99*150 Mbps1 TBView Plan
Cox Internet Ultimate$69.99*500 Mbps1 TBView Plan
Cox Gigablast$99.99*940 Mbps1 TBView Plan
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
For 12 months with a 1-year agreement.

The Internet Essential 50 and Internet Preferred 150 plans still come at competitive prices. But you may find the prices for Cox’s Internet Ultimate and Gigablast plans creeping past what other internet providers charge for similar speeds.

Is Cox internet cheap?

When it comes to cheap internet, the price for Cox Internet Starter 10 is about as low as they go. Of course, you won’t get a lot of download speed with that plan.

Looking for a little bit more speed that still comes at a reasonable price? Cox’s Internet Essential 50 costs about $5 more per month than Xfinity’s 25 Mbps plan. And its Internet Preferred 150 plan is the same price as Spectrum’s 100 Mbps plan.

Cox internet price comparison
ProviderMonthly priceDownload speedsLearn more
Cox Internet$19.99$99.99*10940 MbpsView Plans
Spectrum Internet$49.99$109.99100940 MbpsView Plans
Xfinity Internet$24.99$299.95^152000 MbpsView Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
For the first 12 months.
^ For the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1- or 2-year contract.

And if you need 500 or even 940 Mbps download speeds, the Internet Ultimate and Gigablast plans are there for you.

But like we mentioned earlier, the prices Cox charges for those speeds are higher than the prices we’ve seen other ISPs charge for similar download speeds. (Though Cox’s 940 Mbps plan isn’t the most expensive—Spectrum charges more than $100 a month for its 940 Mbps plan.)

Cox internet speed

Cox offers an internet speed for every need.

Cox internet speeds cover a wide range of internet lifestyles. We’re talking the right 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 internet download speeds and upload speeds
ProviderDownload speedsUpload speeds
Cox Internet10940 Mbps135 Mbps

What Cox internet speed is right for you?

We go into detail about how to figure out what download speed you need in our Mbps guide. But if you need a quick take on which Cox internet package is right for you, here’s what we recommend.

Cox internet speed recommendations
Plan (download speed)Number of peopleActivities
Internet Starter 10 (10 Mbps)1–2 peopleCasual web browsing, emails, social media
Internet Essential 50 (50 Mbps)1–3Standard definition (SD) video streaming, light gaming
Internet Preferred 150 (150 Mbps)2–4High definition (HD) or 4K video streaming, gaming, smart home and security systems
Internet Ultimate (500 Mbps)2–5Home offices, HD or 4K streaming, gaming, smart home and security systems
Gigablast (940 Mbps)2–8Creative professionals, home offices, HD or 4K streaming, gaming, smart home and security systems

We recommend at least 100 Mbps download speeds if you’ve got a smart home system or run a home security system with cameras.

And if you work from home, the Internet Ultimate plan with 500 Mbps will keep you connected during Zoom meetings and let you download or upload PowerPoint presentations and PDFs.

We recommend the Gigablast plan with 940 Mbps download speeds for creative professionals who need to upload large files, like RAW photos or YouTube videos.

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.

Cox internet speed score1
ProviderReviews.org weighted score
Cox Communications33.4 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.

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. To watch all of Law and Order: SVU would take you about 376 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 your mom is visiting and she can’t miss an episode—or five—of Days of Our Lives. Maybe you’re working from home and need that data to get your boss on.

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.)

And if you have more than one internet provider in your area, you can check out ISPs like Verizon Fios Home Internet, Frontier, or Optimum for unlimited data.

Contracts, equipment, and fees

Cox internet comes with your standard one-year contract and fees.

Cox internet plans all come with a one-year contract (unless you bundle). That’s pretty much on par with most internet providers. Yup, nothing special to see here, move along.

That means your internet bill likely goes up after a year passes by. But on the other hand, a year-long contract may give you a bit of freedom if you expect to stay in one location for 12 months or so.

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

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.

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 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.

You can contact Cox customer service here:

Our picks: The best Cox internet packages

Best for often-offline adventurers: Internet Starter 10

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 Facebook-scrollin’ mama), this plan should do fine.

Why we picked it: The price is hard to beat, and 10 Mbps is enough internet speed for someone who spends most of their time offline. Even so, 10 Mbps is enough to check Facebook, catch up on email, and stream some shows on Netflix. (But we don’t recommend 10 Mbps for homes with a lot of devices connected to the internet.)

Cox Internet Starter 10
Cox Internet
Download speed:
10 Mbps
$19.99 a month

Data effective 7/8/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.

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
$49.99 a month

Data effective 7/8/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.

Recap: Is Cox internet good?

Cox earns a gold star for it’s low-cost, low-speed internet plans. If you need anywhere between 10 and 150 Mbps, Cox internet won’t cost you more than the next ISP. And it may even cost you less.

But while Cox does offer 500 and 940 Mbps plans, we think you’ll find better deals for those speeds elsewhere. Even so, if Cox is your only internet option, the prices it charges for roadrunner-fast internet aren’t the most expensive out there.

  • Prices and plans: Prices for Cox’s low-speed plans, like Internet Essential 10, are really wallet-friendly. And while its prices for the 500 Mbps and 940 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 Cox has been known to deliver the download speeds it promises—or better.
  • Contracts, equipment, and fees: Cox internet service comes with a one-year contract, which is kind of a bummer but also the norm. But we do like that its self-installation kit costs absolutely nothing.
  • Customer service: No one’s ever thrilled to call customer service, and Cox is no exception. It scored below the industry average . . . again. Yikes.

Cox internet plans recap

*For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.

What can you do with Cox internet?

Bundle it, stream video, game, or get your smart home system up and running. There’s a lot you can do with Cox internet.

Recommended TV bundle

If you’re a minimalist and going for the 10 Mbps Cox internet plan, you’ll probably want to bundle TV service. The sad truth is, 10 Mbps won’t keep you streaming video in HD or 4K. Especially if you’ve got other devices or people using the internet with you.

The Internet Essential 10 plan comes bundled with Cox’s TV Starter package, which offers more than 75 channels. And it costs less than $50 a month. Not bad.

TV Starter and Internet Starter 10
Cox Bundles
Internet download speed:
10 Mbps
TV channel count:
75+
$44.99 a month

Data effective 7/8/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*for 12 months

Recommended home security system

If you want to combine your smart home system with top-notch home security, our resident home security expert, Mindy Woodall, recommends Abode.

“Abode is a DIYer’s dream. It has a bunch of smart home integrations that let you add in third-party devices, and it doesn’t charge you extra to self-monitor the system.”

We’re down with that.

Abode home security package
ProviderMonitoring priceCamerasSmart home integrationsDetails
Abode logo$0, $6, or $20/mo.Indoor, outdoor, motion-detector with cameraAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, SonosView Plans

But if you’re already a Cox customer, you might want to check out its own smart home and security system: HomeLife. Though we should mention that Brianne Sandorf, our other home security expert, wasn’t impressed with HomeLife’s pricing and compatibility.

Recommended Cox internet plan for the Abode smart home security system

Cox Internet Preferred 150
Cox Internet
Download speed:
150 Mbps
$49.99 a month

Data as of 7/8/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.

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
  3. Cox, “Fairfax April 2020 Product and Pricing Guide
  4. Cox, “Cox Easy Connect
  5. American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), “ACSI Telecommunications Report 2018–2019

*Reviews.org uses Amazon affiliate links.