Cox Internet vs. Google Fiber

Google is the clear winner in speeds, pricing, and customer satisfaction, but Cox Internet is more available.

Best availability
Prices
$9.95-$149.99
Download Speeds
100-2000 Mbps
Data cap
1.25TB
Check Availability
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Best value and performance
Prices
$70-$150
Download Speeds
1000-8000 Mbps
Data Cap Max
Unlimited
Easton Smith
Feb 26, 2024
Icon Time To Read8 min read

Cox Internet has three specific advantages: a low-speed plan, internet/cable TV bundling, and a larger geographical reach. But Google Fiber wins in the important categories of price, speed, reliability, data caps, and customer service.

Both internet service providers (ISPs) will appeal to different internet users depending on their specific needs and habits. We’ve consulted a variety of sources to compare these companies point by point and help you decide which is the best service for your home.

Google Fiber vs. Cox Internet prices and plans

Where plan options overlap, Google is the better choice

It’s not a stretch to say that Google Fiber has set the bar pretty high for ISPs in certain markets nationwide. That’s because it offers an above-average quality of service at a respectable price point.

Cox Internet, like many legacy internet companies, seems content to keep the bar where it has been. The company’s cable internet network is currently available in more areas, but is not as powerful as Google’s fiber-optic network. Cox does offer fiber internet plans, but they'll cost you $30–$50 more per month than Google Fiber's entry-level plans.

Google Fiber internet plans

Google Fiber prices and plans
Plan
Price
Download speed
Details
1 Gig$70/mo.*1000 Mbps
2 Gig$100/mo.*2000 Mbps
5 Gig$125/mo.5000 Mbps
8 Gig$150/mo.8000 Mbps
* Plus taxes and fees. Upload/download speed and device streaming claims are based on maximum wired speeds. Actual Internet speeds are not guaranteed and may vary based on factors such as hardware and software limitations, latency, packet loss, etc.
Available in select markets only. Plus taxes and fees. Upload/download speed and device streaming claims are based on maximum wired speeds. Actual Internet speeds are not guaranteed and may vary based on factors such as hardware and software limitations, latency, packet loss, etc.

We are very impressed by Google’s high-speed plans. Its plans are definitely geared toward heavy internet users and larger households, but the reasonably priced 1Gig plan is still great for more casual internet users.

On a speed-per-dollar level, Google’s prices are unbeatable. In some cases, the same monthly price will get you four times faster speeds than other major internet providers. For instance, $70 per month gets you 1,000Mbps with Google Fiber, where you'll have to pay $110 per month for those speeds with Cox. The choice is a no-brainer if your priority is speed.

However, Google Fiber’s impressive speed-per-dollar value is only relevant if you need really fast speeds. The slowest plan they offer is a whopping 1,000Mbps, so if you don’t need that much power, you could be better off with another company’s cheaper, low-speed plan.

Not sure how much internet you really need?
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Check out our article about internet speeds to determine what kind of internet user you are and what speeds you’ll need to cover all your bases, whether professional, social, or personal.

Google Fiber fees and contracts

Tech companies like Google, Apple, and Amazon strive to keep the customer experience simple and streamlined. We found this to be true for Google Fiber’s approach to fees and contracts, which are transparent and minimal.

Google Fiber has no contracts, price hikes, or cancellation charges. The company even publishes a list of potential fees so you won’t get caught off guard. Installation comes free (in most cases) and every plan includes a router and Wi-Fi equipment at no cost.

This straightforward approach to pricing is admirable and really sets Google apart from other companies that might charge extra for equipment, cancellation, or continuing service after a promotional pricing period.

Cox Internet internet plans

Cox Internet prices and plans
Plan
Price
Download speed
Details
Go Fast$49.99/mo.100 Mbps
Go Faster$69.99/mo.250 Mbps
Go Even Faster$89.99/mo.Up to 500 Mbps
Go Super Fast$109.99/mo.Up to 1000 Mbps
Go Beyond Fast$149.99/mo.Up to 2000 Mbps
Available in select markets only. No annual contract or cancellation fees.

Cox Internet offers a wide range of speeds from the lightweight Go Fast plan (up to 100Mbps) to the heavyweight Go Beyond Fast plan (up to 2,000Mbps). While we applaud the variety of plans offered by Cox, we are a bit wary of the corresponding price tags, which are above average.

At $50 per month, the entry-level Go Fast plan is cheaper than anything Google Fiber offers, and may appeal to users who know they don’t need a lot of speed. After all, up to 100Mbps might be plenty fast for smaller households and casual internet users who just want to watch Love Is Blind when they get home from work.

One big draw for Cox is that it offers bundles with internet, TV, home security, and mobile phone service. This can be a good way to simplify your monthly bills and even save money if you already subscribe to other Cox services.

If you’re looking for fast internet and not interested in bundling it with TV or mobile, it might be wise to shop around. Type your zip code in the box below, and we’ll show you a list of all the ISPs offering service in your area.

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Cox Internet fees and contracts

Internet companies are notorious for hidden fees and contracts, so it’s good to read the fine print before picking your new ISP. Cox Internet is no exception, with several potential fees and terms that could make your monthly bill even steeper.

First off, Cox’s advertised rates are based on a promotional pricing model, which means the monthly rate you agree to is temporary.  Luckily, Cox has done away with annual contracts and early termination fees, so you can walk away at any time.

Another charge you may find on your Cox bill is an equipment fee. Currently, Go Faster, Go Even FAster, and Go Super Fast plans come with 24 months of free Panoramic Wi-Fi equipment rental, after which you will be charged $15 per month unless you opt to provide your own. In many cases, buying your own router will save you money in the long run. Just make sure it’s Cox-compatible.

Two other potential fees are installation and data usage. Cox provides professional installation for a one-time $100 fee, or you can request a self-installation kit for free. We’ll cover data caps and possible fees in a later section.

Cox Internet vs. Google Fiber internet speed

Fiber-optic is the future, so Google Fiber has the edge over Cox’s cable network

Many people will never notice whether their home internet connection is fiber-optic or cable. That’s because most people only require fast download speeds for their daily internet usage, and both cable and fiber plans offer that. Download speeds are important for things like streaming video, browsing the web, working from home, and most online gaming.

However, only fiber-optic connections are capable of truly fast upload speeds. Upload speed is most important for users that need to upload large or numerous files, upload or livestream video to social media platforms, or play cutting-edge online games. Fiber-optic connections are also more reliable, with fewer interruptions and intermittent slowdowns

Cox’s cable connections will be just fine for most users who need fast download speeds. But at the end of the day, no cable connection can compete with a symmetrical fiber-optic network like Google Fiber.

Cox offers two fiber-optic internet plans: Go Super Fast and Go Beyond Fast. These plans will deliver up to 1,000–2,000Mbps speeds, but they're also Cox's most expensive plans. Cox's fiber plans cost $30–$50 more per month than an entry-level plan with Google Fiber, but they're worth checking out if you don't have Google Fiber in your area. 

Google Fiber vs. Cox Internet speed comparison
Provider
Download speeds
Upload speeds
Details
Cox Internet100-2000 Mbps5-100 Mbps
Cox FiberUp to 1,000–2,000 MbpsUp to 1,000–2,000 Mbps
Google Fiber1000-8000 Mbps1000-8000 Mbps
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Internet companies tend to talk a big game, but how do they perform under pressure? Well, we’ve put that to the test and are happy to report that both Google Fiber and Cox Internet ranked very well in our assessment. We commended Google Fiber for being the fastest ISP currently available in the U.S., while we praised Cox for its bundling options and performance.

Cox Internet vs. Google Fiber data caps

Let’s start off by saying that data caps are bad. Google Fiber’s plans come with truly unlimited data, which means you’ll never be penalized for using your own internet connection.

On the other hand, Cox Internet comes with an annoying 1.25 terabyte (TB) cap on monthly data usage, which means users will need to pay $10 for each 50GB that they go over the limit. For unlimited data, Cox users have the option to pay $40–$60 per month in addition to the regular monthly price. Remember, this is a perk that Google Fiber offers for free.

But will Cox’s data cap really matter to most users? The answer is probably no. This is because 1.25TB is a lot of data. In truth, most households would be hard-pressed to reach that limit in a single month, even if your roommate is watching Scott Pilgrim Takes Off for the third time in a row. For reference, a person could watch that show over 100 times in HD before hitting the cap.

As the internet becomes more prevalent in our lives, we think it is wise to select an unlimited data plan when one is available, especially for highly-connected people or larger households with multiple internet users. A few gigabytes here and there can really add up quickly!

Cox Internet vs. Google Fiber availability

Google Fiber’s network is a rare luxury, while Cox Internet has a pretty wide reach

Anyone can get a Google email address, but it turns out getting Google Fiber internet is not so easy. To do so, you must live in one of the following metro areas:

Google Fiber cities:

  • Huntsville, Alabama
  • Mesa, Arizona
  • Orange County, Oakland, San Diego, and San Francisco, California
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Miami, Florida
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Des Moines and West Des Moines, Iowa
  • Jefferson City and Kansas City, Missouri 
  • Kansas City, Kansas
  • Bellevue and Omaha, Nebraska
  • Charlotte and The Triangle, North Carolina
  • Nashville and Smyrna, Tennessee
  • Austin and San Antonio, Texas
  • Provo and Salt Lake Valley, Utah
  • Seattle, Washington

Cities coming soon:

  • Chandler, Arizona
  • Queens Creek, Arizona
  • Pocatello, Idaho
  • Council Bluffs, Iowa
  • Metro Las Vegas, Nevada 
  • Tega Cay, South Carolina 
  • Murfreesboro, Tennessee 
  • Logan, Utah 

We’re eagerly awaiting Google Fiber’s rumored expansion into other markets in certain Mountain, Southwest, and Midwest states in 2024 and beyond. But for the time being, count yourself lucky to live in a city with Google Fiber.

Google offers another type of internet called Webpass in an additional seven cities, but here we’re focusing on the core service. Read our full Google Fiber Review for more information about Webpass.

While Google Fiber is available in nine metro areas, you would need a lot more fingers to count all of the cities, towns, and rural areas where Cox Internet is available. Cox’s network extends through 19 states, touching the East and West Coasts, Mountain West, Southwest, Midwest, and South.

Check the map below to see if your state of residence is included.

A map of the United States showing Cox internet availability

One reason that Cox’s prices might be above average is that many parts of America lack competition between ISPs. But it’s important to consider all of your options before signing up for service, and there are more ways than ever to access the internet. You may even be able to get high-speed internet through your local 5G wireless network.

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If you haven’t already, enter your zip code for a full list of internet providers in your area. The variety of options may surprise you!

Cox Internet vs. Google Fiber customer service

Once again, Google Fiber rises to the top of the pack while Cox falls somewhere in the middle

Good customer service is not the first thing that comes to mind when most people think about internet companies, and for good reason. In fact, the average consumer ranks their ISP’s call center satisfaction a middling 63 out of 100.

According to HighSpeedInternet.com’s customer satisfaction survey, Google Fiber received the highest overall score and the highest customer service score among major internet providers. Cox, meanwhile, scored about average overall and just above average for customer service.

Even the best customer service call is still going to take valuable time from your day. But if you come prepared, you might have a smoother customer service interaction than you’re used to with either company. Here’s how to reach them:

Google Fiber customer service:

Cox Internet customer service:

Cox Internet vs. Google Fiber: Which internet provider is best?

We’ll come right out and say it: Google Fiber is a better choice than Cox for almost every person who has access to both. The exceptions would be users who only need 100Mbps speed or who already have other Cox services and want to bundle.

Google Fiber provides fast, unlimited speeds at a better price than Cox, all with simpler terms of service and fewer hidden fees. The catch is that Google Fiber is only available in select areas.

Here’s a quick review of the features we compared in this article:

  • Price: If you are looking for a bare-bones internet plan, you can pay less for Cox’s Go Fast plan, which is $50 per month. But if you want more than 100Mbps speed, Google Fiber’s plans are significantly cheaper.
  • Speed: Both Google Fiber and Cox offer fast download speeds, but Google’s fiber-optic network will bring you faster upload speeds and a more reliable overall connection.
  • Terms and Fees: Neither company requires a contract, but Cox comes with notable drawbacks like built-in price increases and equipment rental fees. Google Fiber’s prices are simple and transparent.
  • Data caps: Google Fiber provides unlimited data, while Cox charges customers to use more than 1.25TB of data per month.
  • Customer service: Cox’s customer service is pretty average compared to Google Fiber’s stellar customer service record.

Methodology

We strive to give our readers the best information possible to help them make tough decisions about which companies to trust with their internet service. We aim to make these comparison reviews legible, concise, accurate, and fun.

For this article, we consulted a variety of sources to form a comprehensive account of the differences and similarities between Google Fiber and Cox Internet. Those sources include first party publications, customer reviews, industry surveys, and testimonials.

Ultimately, we aim to help the reader understand the ways in which internet plans vary from company to company and provide recommendations for every type of user. Our hope is that our research and synthesis will guide you to the service that best meets your specific needs.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us (link provided below) if you have any questions or feel that we could make improvements.

Easton Smith
Written by
Easton Smith
Easton has worked as a freelance writer and researcher for several years, reviewing health, lifestyle, and technology products. He has probably read more Terms of Use contracts than any human alive. When he’s not sitting in front of a computer, Easton spends his time camping, climbing, and volunteering with humanitarian aid organizations.

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