Cox provides cable Internet, TV, and home phone plans — often bundled together in “double play” and “triple play” bundle plans. Our Cox review will focus on the company’s internet packages, but we’ll also take a look at what TV options the company has as well.
As one of the top five largest providers in the US, they’re a common option throughout much of the country, usually as an alternative to slower DSL service providers.
They’re a good mid-level option if you need fast, reliable Internet paired with a decent cable TV selection.
Cox High-Speed Internet
Cox currently offers 5+ tiered cable internet packages, ranging from small economy packages for single users with small bandwidth needs to “top-shelf” packages for large households with heavy streaming habits.
Considering that most providers only offer two or three speed/bandwidth pricepoints, this is a nice bonus. Cox Internet plans are particularly flexible for those on tight budgets.
Cox Performance and Download Speeds
Cox internet speeds tend to range widely depending upon which part of the country you live in. Below, you’ll find data from thousands of real-world speed tests that illustrates this.
Cox Communications Download Speeds Over Time
Here, you’ll find average Cox internet speeds for many different cities that the provider covers. Keep in mind that these are based only on those customers that choose to run a speed test, so the results don’t necessarily reflect what you’ll experience with your Cox service.
|City||Cox Communications Average Speed||Cox Communications Top 10% Speeds|
|Baton Rouge, Louisiana||55 Mbps||116 Mbps|
|Chandler, Arizona||49 Mbps||107 Mbps|
|Chesapeake, Virginia||46 Mbps||101 Mbps|
|Chula Vista, California||52 Mbps||113 Mbps|
|Glendale, Arizona||44 Mbps||95 Mbps|
|Henderson, Nevada||44 Mbps||94 Mbps|
|Las Vegas, Nevada||45 Mbps||102 Mbps|
|Mesa, Arizona||42 Mbps||103 Mbps|
|New Orleans, Louisiana||28 Mbps||76 Mbps|
|Norfolk, Virginia||37 Mbps||89 Mbps|
|Oklahoma City, Oklahoma||62 Mbps||144 Mbps|
|Omaha, Nebraska||37 Mbps||85 Mbps|
|Pensacola, Florida||33 Mbps||82 Mbps|
|Phoenix, Arizona||50 Mbps||113 Mbps|
|San Diego, California||43 Mbps||101 Mbps|
|Scottsdale, Arizona||77 Mbps||163 Mbps|
|Tucson, Arizona||39 Mbps||87 Mbps|
|Tulsa, Oklahoma||61 Mbps||162 Mbps|
|Virginia Beach, Virginia||39 Mbps||98 Mbps|
|Wichita, Kansas||55 Mbps||109 Mbps|
Cox Cable Availability
Cox service is available across the US in select areas. As mentioned above, the company positions itself as a high-speed alternative to DSL providers, offering faster speeds than most other options available in the markets they serve.
Cox Communications Coverage & Availability Map
Cox Cable Internet Plans
Unlike some competitors, the Cox website does a good job of honestly describing which plan is best for which type of household. Rather than emphasizing speed alone, Cox suggests Internet plans based on number of users and the types of online activities they enjoy.
With that said, some of the current plans offer more value than others.
|Deals||Price Monthly||Internet Speed||Phone|
|Cox Internet Essential 30 — Best Internet-Only Deal||$3999||30 Mbps Cable||(877) 232-2158|
|Cox Internet Starter 10||$2999||10 Mbps Cable||(877) 232-2158|
|Cox Internet Gigablast||$9999||1,000 Mbps Cable||(877) 232-2158|
|Cox Internet Preferred 150||$5999||150 Mbps Cable||(877) 232-2158|
|Cox Internet Ultimate||$7999||300 Mbps Cable||(877) 232-2158|
|10 Mbps + TV Starter||$5499||10 Mbps Cable||(877) 232-2158|
|Bronze Duo||$8999||150 Mbps Cable||(877) 232-2158|
|Silver Duo||$10999||300 Mbps Cable||(877) 232-2158|
|Gold Duo||$12999||300 Mbps Cable||(877) 232-2158|
|Platinum Duo||$15999||1,000 Mbps Cable||(877) 232-2158|
|30 Mbps + TV Starter + Cox Voice Premier||$7499||30 Mbps Cable||(877) 232-2158|
|Cox Gold Bundle with Voice Premier||$12999||300 Mbps Cable||(877) 232-2158|
|Cox Bronze Bundle with Voice Premier||$8999||150 Mbps Cable||(877) 232-2158|
|Cox Silver Bundle with Voice Premier||$10999||300 Mbps Cable||(877) 232-2158|
|Cox Platinum Bundle with Voice Premier||$15999||1,000 Mbps Cable||(877) 232-2158|
If you're looking to compare plans, make sure to check out our detailed guide on the latest Cox Communications deals and promotions.
Cable vs DSL and Fiber
In most areas, Cox’s competition is DSL or fiber.
DSL is usually less high-quality than a cable connection, but at a cheaper price (particularly if bundled with phone service).
Fiber, meanwhile, is significantly faster and more stable than cable. However, fiber comes at a premium, and might not be a wise investment for casual Internet users who just want to surf Facebook and watch the occasional movie. It’s also not widely available in the US.
Who should consider Cox Service?
Overall, Cox is a “middle of the road” pick for customers who want a mix of quality and value.
If your primary concern is cost, you should probably check if there’s a low-speed DSL option in your area. It won’t be as useful for “cord cutting” or home offices, but it’ll get the job done for the 90% of customers who just want decent internet and extensive live TV.
If premium services are a key consideration, and you’re lucky enough to live in an area with 100% fiber networks from companies like Google or Verizon, then fiber is the ideal choice. The upload speeds are dramatically higher and latency tends to be much better. This can make a huge difference for video conferencing and cloud-based applications.
Most of us fall somewhere between “occasional” and “power” users, and Cox is a great pick in that middle area.
Digital Cable Channels on Cox: Contour TV
Taking a quick glance at Cox’s Contour TV options, you might not think that they offer as many channels as some of the competition. But as with any TV service, access to your specific favorite shows matters more than pure variety.
If slick DVRs and comprehensive channel selection is what you’re looking for, it may be worth checking satellite TV options such as DirecTV and DISH, although you might wind up paying more than if you bundle both TV and Internet from Cox for a deal.
Cox’s cable TV offerings offer surprisingly few channels on the low end, maxing out around 40. Most TV watchers will have a much better experience with their more expensive plans which offer hundreds of channels. However, be sure to compare those channels to satellite alternatives like DirecTV and DISH.
Something that Cox does well is offering a lot of flexibility on channel options, organizing interests into “Paks” (Sports Pak, Movie Pak, etc) that can be mix-and-matched when you sign up for service, or updated later.
Cox Sports Packages and Expanded Programming
For sports fans, Cox has a variety of Sports Paks offering general sports channel bundles. They also offer season and half-season packages including NBA League Pass, NHL Center Ice, and MLS Direct Kick.
Keep in mind that these come at an extra cost on top of your base TV bill. To be fair, that’s pretty standard among TV providers. The season passes for specific sports (hockey, soccer, etc.) are more expensive than the “Pak” bundles overall.
Cox has extensive International Programming, particularly their Spanish-language plans for Hispanic viewers.
Again, the main benefit Cox’s cable TV plans have over satellite is that they can be bundled with internet to lower your overall cost.
Equipment and DVRs
Cox offers two DVRs, a set-top box, and a receiver for customers who want to extend their TV plan functionality.
There are two tiers of DVR options: a “Record 2 HD-DVR” and a “Record 6 HD-DVR.” The price difference between the two is minimal, so we’d recommend spending the few extra dollars for the Record 6. It can record a full 340 hours of HD programming, while the Record 2 maxes out at a measly 120 hours.
Common Issues with Cox Cable
There are three big cost and quality issues with Cox cable: bandwidth sharing, Early Termination Fees (ETFs), and equipment fees.
Bandwidth SharingWhile DSL and fiber offer “dedicated bandwidth” that’s more or less guaranteed, cable infrastructure like Cox’s is generally shared between houses within a neighborhood.
Because of this, it can sometimes slow down during peak use times (think 6–9pm when everyone gets home from work).
Early Termination FeesContract plans with Cox offer good savings for your one-to-two-year commitment, but they come at a price — cancel before the contract ends, and you could owe a hefty termination fee. As of 2017, the highest fee was a whopping $360.
As is standard for cable contracts, you get a pass if you cancel within the first 30 days, so be sure to thoroughly test your plan before then to make sure it will meet your needs for the long haul.
Buying vs Renting a Cox modem/routerAs with most cable providers, Cox will encourage you to rent a modem/router “gateway” device with your Internet plan. Unlike some other cable providers, they make it easy to use your own, and even encourage free self-installation during the signup process.
Since most cable providers charge around $10/month for a “gateway” device, buying your own modem and router to replace it can save you hundreds over the course of your contract. On the low end, it’ll only cost you $60–150 to purchase outright from third party. Not to mention, it’ll allow you to have more control over your network and get the most out of your plan.
A full list of modems compatible with Cox is available at their site, including detailed information about which specific plans and packages they are sufficient for.
Conclusion: Cox Cable is The “Goldilocks” Option
Cox doesn’t measure up to next-generation options from 100% Fiber providers so far as internet speeds go, but they’re often the only option for customers who want to switch away from DSL.
The prices are a bit high for the services offered, but they make up for it by offering a high level of customizability for TV customers.
Although, if the prices are still troubling you, it’s worth it to jump on the phone to see if you can negotiate a lower internet bill with Cox.
If you’re looking for a double-play Internet/TV plan, Cox is likely your best option.
Cox Communications at a Glance
|Price Range||$29.99 - $159.99/mo+|
|Connection Type(s)||Cable & Fiber|
|Customer Recommendation Rating on BroadbandNow.com||45.0%|
|ACSI Customer Service Rating||63/100|
|Phone Number||(877) 232-2158|
Ana De Castro
Ana De Castro cut her teeth as a SAP consultant for Deloitte during the original tech boom, and now works in a communications role in the telecom industry. When she isn’t explaining technical concepts to confused consumers, she enjoys traveling with her husband and two rambunctious kids.
James Webb is a tech and gadgets expert with a focus on educational content development. He draws on his background in the startup world to make complicated technologies and topics easy to understand for normal folks.
Questions & Answers
3 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
What is the best modem for my Cox Gigablast internet connection?
First of all, you’ll need to decide whether a modem is enough for you or if you need a router. If you want to connect multiple devices to your internet connection, you’ll likely need a router or a two-in-one device.
To take advantage of Gigabit speeds, you’ll need a router that supports IEEE protocol 802.11ac. There are other important features in routers that you should consider when selecting your device. Check our Modems and Routers guide for a detailed description on how to select the best router for your connection.
Are Cox internet speeds fast enough for gaming & streaming on Twitch?
In general, you should be fine with just about any of the company’s internet plans, except for their “Starter 10” package. The remainder of the Cox service options should fare well enough, even for competitive gaming and streaming. Just keep in mind that with digital downloads becoming the norm, the faster plans like the “Preferred 100 and “Cox Internet Ultimate” will be extremely helpful. Opt for the best plan available to you if this is important.