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10 / 10  Review Rating

Cox Internet in a Nutshell

  • Offers Service in: Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington DC, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Ohio, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Arizona, California, Nevada, and Idaho
  • Major Cities Covered: Washington, DC; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; San Jose, CA; San Diego, CA; Sacramento, CA; Phoenix, AZ; Tucson, AZ; New Orleans, LA; Baton Rouge, LA; Gainesville, FL; Atlanta, GA; Macon, GA; Charlotte, NC; Richmond, VA; Cleveland, OH; Boston, MA; Hartford, CT; Providence, RI; Little Rock, AR; Fort Smith, AR; Springdale, AR; Tulsa, OK; Oklahoma City, OK; Topeka, KS; Wichita, KS; Lincoln, NE; Omaha, NE; and Des Moines, IA
  • Residential Pricing: $29.99+ per month

Cox first started offering high-speed internet in 1996 and has since grown into a cable internet provider that features speeds up to 1 Gbps (that's 1,000 Mbps). The plans are straightforward and don't have a lot of surprises. Most of them will support smooth video streaming, although you may encounter some problems during high-demand times if you have many people in your neighborhood using the cable lines.

I used Cox internet for a year while living in Atlanta, and I was satisfied with their pricing and service. Cox covers many of the same states as fellow nationwide cable providers Xfinity and Charter Spectrum, though it reaches a much smaller portion of the population. That said, if you do live in an area with Cox internet, it’s a great alternative to some of the other large competitors.

Overview of Cox Internet

Cox internet is the third-largest internet provider in the US. It is available in 18 states (plus the District of Columbia), reaching a little over 20 million nationwide. Like many large internet providers, Cox offers internet-only plans, as well as internet, TV, and phone bundles. You can also turn your home into a smart home or get 24/7 professional security monitoring with Cox Homelife. While most of Cox’s network only provides cable internet, some areas also have fiber-optic internet options for businesses.

Throughout my time with Cox internet, the speeds were relatively stable. However, like most internet providers, Cox was not as fast as advertised. For example, I went with the 50 Mbps internet-only plan. My internet never reached the 50 Mbps download speed, and it rarely hit the 3 Mbps upload speed.

Most of the time, my internet plan’s speed and reliability depended on the time of day. I could get download speeds upwards of 40 Mbps and upload speeds around 2 Mbps in the mornings. In the afternoon, those speeds would usually slow to around 25 Mbps and 1.8 Mbps, respectively. My connection got significantly slower at night. Unfortunately, this is when I wanted to do most of my streaming. Here’s what my connection typically looked like between 6 PM and 12 AM:

Cox Speed Breakdown
Cox Speed Breakdown

Fortunately, this was fast enough to stream movies and TV in standard definition. However, I would experience occasional buffering. If I wanted to watch anything in HD, there was a good chance I wouldn’t be able to stream video content consistently for more than a few minutes at a time.

While the speed was a little disappointing, I got what I paid for. The 50 Mbps plan is not the fastest (though it’s also not the slowest) of Cox’s options. If I had shelled out a little more money, I could have had a much easier time streaming content at any time of day.

So, why was I ultimately satisfied with my Cox internet service? For one thing, it was better than past experiences I had had with providers (such as when I did the testing for my Earthlink review). Additionally, you’ll notice that the “ping” in the picture above is just 19 ms — this is relatively low and allowed me to play video games online with virtually no lag or glitching. So, even though I had to stream video content with lower video quality, Cox did not slow down my online gaming experience.

At the time, I also had a roommate who used the internet regularly. On an average night, we had both of our phones connected to the Wi-Fi, as well as at least one laptop and one gaming system. The number of devices we had connected was a pretty heavy load for 50 Mbps, yet we had almost no trouble using multiple devices at once.

Cox offers affordable promotions, but when you consider the standard rates — the amount you’ll pay after the promotion ends — and the price per Mbps, Cox falls well behind some of its biggest competitors. The basic Cox internet-only plan, for example, offers max speeds of 25 Mbps for $29.99 per month for the first year. After the first year, the standard rate goes up to $44.99 per month. Cox’s price increase is part of the reason I used Cox internet for only one year.

Alternatively, Xfinity offers a basic 15 Mbps plan at a standard rate of $49.95 per month, while AT&T offers a basic 25 Mbps plan for $69.99 per month. When you break down the price per Mbps, you’ll find that you have to pay significantly more per Mbps with Cox than you would with Xfinity or AT&T.

Before we take a look at Cox internet plans and pricing, let’s look at the general pros and cons of Cox internet service:


  • Up to five different internet-only plans to choose from
  • Offers plans with or without contracts
  • A good choice for gamers
  • Affordable promotions and bundling packages


  • Limited to select cities and locations
  • Speeds can vary widely based on the time of day and number of connected devices
  • The standard rate requires you to pay more per Mbps than some competitors
  • Cord cutters and streamers will need to spend more for higher Mbps plans
  • A one-year minimum contract is required to qualify for promotional rates

Cox Internet Plans & Speeds

Cox offers five internet-only plans, plus a prepaid (no-contract) plan. Plan speeds range from 10 Mbps to 940 Mbps, but these are the maximum advertised speeds. Actual speeds will likely be significantly lower. In any case, let’s take a closer look at all of the Cox internet plans and prices:

Cox Plans, Pricing, and Speeds

Connection Type Download/Upload Speeds Data Cap Promotional Rate Standard Rate
Starter 25 Cable Up to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps 1,280 GB per month $29.99 per month $44.99 per month
StraightUp Prepaid Cable Up to 50 Mbps/3 Mbps 1,280 GB per month N/A $50 per month
Essential 50 Cable Up to 50 Mbps/3 Mbps 1,280 GB per month $39.99 per month $65.99 per month
Preferred 150 Cable Up to 150 Mbps/10 Mbps 1,280 GB per month $59.99 per month $83.99 per month
Ultimate 500 Cable Up to 500 Mbps/10 Mbps 1,280 GB per month $79.99 per month $99.99 per month
Gigablast Cable Up to 940 Mbps/35 Mbps 1,280 GB per month $99.99 per month $119.99 per month

Cox offers plenty of options for download speeds, but its upload speeds are not as versatile. The Starter 25 and Essential 50 plans are solid options if you want to play online video games or stream video content, but upload speeds that max out at 3 Mbps will limit some online activities.

The Preferred 150 plan offers the best balance of speed and affordability. With 10 Mbps of upload speed, you can stream most HD content with few interruptions. It’s unfortunate that the Ultimate 500 plan offers an increase only in download speed and absolutely no change in upload speed. Having such a low upload speed makes it hard to justify paying more for the Ultimate 500 plan, especially when fiber providers such as Verizon Fios and CenturyLink offer symmetrical download and upload speeds. Cox’s Gigablast plan offers the highest download and upload speeds, but it also comes with the highest monthly premium.

Cox Internet Data Caps

I haven’t talked much about Cox 1.25 TB data cap because it won’t be a huge issue for most subscribers. While using the internet regularly in a two-person household, I never came close to reaching our monthly data cap. On average, you will use about 3G per hour streaming HD content. So, even if you’re streaming HD videos 12 hours per day, you won’t reach your data limit for the month.

However, streaming content is not the only activity that uses data. If you need to download large files in addition to streaming music or video, then you could end up hitting your data cap at some point. Once you go over the data cap, you’ll get charged $10 for the first 50 GB in data and another $10 for every 50 GB in additional data.

Cox Internet Fees

Fees Cost Avoidable? Type
Professional Installation $100 Yes(Self-installation is free) One-time
Early Termination Fee Up to $120 No One-time
Router Fee $10.99 or $149.99 Yes Monthly or one-time
Data Cap Overage Fee $10 Yes Per additional 50 GB
Cox Service Protection Plan $6.99 Yes Monthly


Cable internet is usually easy to install, and Cox internet is no different. Most Cox subscribers can use Cox Easy Connect self-installation to set up their internet for free. This way, you avoid the $100 professional installation fee. I’ve never had to deal with a Cox technician coming to my home for installation. From what I’ve seen, most people who get professional installation request it or need it because they bundled with Cox Homelife Security.


Cox plans require a one-year contract. You can avoid contracts altogether with Cox by paying an additional $10 per month. Signing a contract also gives you access to the promotional rate for the first 12-months of your plan. However, Cox does give users the ability to cancel their contracts early without paying the $120 Early Termination Fee.


Cox is one of the few providers I’ve seen that makes it seem as if you are required to use their modem/router gateway. I’m in one of those situations where I still have a modem and router setup from Cox. The picture below is of my Arris Touchstone SB6183 modem and Cisco Linksys EA4500 wireless router. New Cox customers won’t get this setup. Instead, you’ll get Cox Panoramic Wifi gateway.

If you decide to use Cox Panoramic Wi-Fi gateway, be prepared to pay $10.99 a month, or about $132 a year. As much as Cox recommends using their equipment, you could save money getting your own modem.

Cox Panoramic Wi-Fi gateway
Cox Panoramic Wi-Fi gateway

Be sure to check with Cox’s list of approved modems to ensure you purchase a modem that can handle your plan’s speed. I’d recommend doing so if you’re okay with not receiving technical support from Cox.

I’ve noticed a few providers offer better support and free upgrades only if you use their equipment. I work from home and rely on a stable connection, so I pay the equipment fee for peace of mind.

Cox Router
Cox Router

Cox Customer Service

Thankfully, I didn’t need to contact Cox customer service to fix any issues or dispute any charges. That said, Cox does provide 24/7 phone and live-chat customer service. You can contact a customer service representative directly through your Cox account. Additionally, you can find answers to frequently asked questions in the “Quick Self Help Tools” section.

As with any internet service provider, you may have a long wait trying to get through to a Cox representative. However, most users report favorable interactions and positive resolutions to their internet-related issues.

One of my favorite features internet providers are now offering is a Twitter support account. Cox’s Twitter account (@CoxHelp) is quick to respond and resolve an issue. You need to follow them as they handle support requests via direct messages, but it’s faster than sitting on hold.


Cox benefits from being one of the largest providers in the country. It has a network that can provide cable internet to millions of people and fiber-optic internet to some businesses. It also gives people the option to get high-speed internet without a contract. If you had to choose between Cox and a DSL internet provider, I’d recommend Cox easily. But if you have Verizon Fios, CenturyLink fiber, or any other fiber internet provider, you’ll get faster speeds for a lower price with a fiber provider.

22 thoughts on “Cox Internet Review

  1. Barbara Pierson says:

    For gigablast download of up to 1000mbps you need to have fiber optic which only a very small percent of cox customers do. Those that have cable only get up to 940 gbps download. Cox calls both Gigablast and until a few days ago did not tell customers the difference. Both are priced the same though there is a difference in service. Cox needs to correct this. I like many others were told that we were purchasing up to 1000mbps download when it was not available for us. The last few days tech support was still telling me I was getting the 1000 download.

  2. Bruce Christian says:

    I am not happy with this so called gigablast setup I think all the problems are with the panoramic modem router I am investigating replacment devices and see if I can get this internet connetion to stay consistant.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Gigablast is BS. I do a lot of important, time restraint tasks with the internet. I’m sitting now ten feet from the router and can’t use the Wi-Fi because I can’t trust the connection being lost. I pay almost two hundred dollars a month for the best and here I am NOT USING WIFI because I can’t trust it.
      Definitely gonna start looking for something more reliable

  3. Gilbert Arizona says:

    Bruce Christian you are correct. We upgraded to gigablast. Read the cable line speed… no problem. However the first setup on ethernet I was getting 60mps download 35mps upload. Brand new Panoramic modem/router. Had tech visit day 2, they replaced the modem with another brand new Panoramic. Now I’m see 702 mps on download. 35ps upload. But sitting 2 ft from the router im getting 80-90 mps download, 35mps upload. I was told by the tech maybe our equipment can’t handle the speed. I laugh to myself, then go verify that are hardware is meeting all requirements and Tech comes again the following day after another chat with cox who says we should be getting 940mps ethernet, and at minimum 70% of that on wifi. The tech moves the router to the bedroom where the first cable was put in. But it doesn’t change a thing. They proceed to tell me that with covid and so many people using the internet that they just can’t get optimal speeds. What does that have to do with the fact that ethernet gives me 700 download and wifi gives me 10-12% of the ethernet range. I can only guess how many people just sit with it when cox tells them oh its because the speeds might be to fast for your brand new mac. lol We had the tech report the speeds so that cox could discount us for the limited speeds. But wow what a time sucker… and who really knows.

    1. DC says:

      This….So much this…..Exactly our experience. It is a complete waste of time and money. I don’t even know what to do about though.

      1. Steve Collins says:

        I just installed two attennas and now have 25 channels, abc, NBC, cbs, fox, and PBS 20 more. It’s free. Sports, news, as good programing for free. I will dance on Cox’s grave when they go bankrupt for their arrogance.

        1. Anonymous says:

          It couldn`t happen soon enough !

  4. Steve Collins says:

    I recently purchased panaramric wifi from Cox, and I am pissed. They say nothing about how little you get. $131.92 per month 1 gig. My wife and I are retired. She surfs Facebook and I watch TV. We used our allotment in 11 days, then additional $10.00 day to additional $100.00 $231.92 per month. What a load of crap. I am sorry for a small family. I live in a metro area. I just bought an antenna and I get 40 channels for free including NBC abc cbs fox and PBS. Have you seen the shows available on Cox TV. Fake reality shows. Not worth watching. Anyway panaramric wifi is outrageously expensive. But only if you use it.

  5. Michelle says:

    Horrible internet service. I was so excited going back to cox because I always love their service. I am massively disappointed with gigablast scam. My internet is always disconnected. My kids are being marked absent because of this! I called customer service, they do not have a damn clue of what’s going on and I asked if someone can visit and check my internet, this ignorant agent wanted to charge me a service fee. Urghhh

  6. Steve Collins says:

    Panaramric wifi us not a good deal. It wasn’t explained at all. 400 hrs sounds like a lot but it is not. That’s 13 hours a day total download. Watch 3 shows on 3 TV’s equal 3 hrs of streaming add Facebook surfing, phones and tablets now that’s 5 hours in just 1 hour 3 hours of normal activities and you are out of wifi in just 15 days no more wifi for 2 weeks. No nothing. Or $231.92 a month.

  7. Torsten Jaekel says:

    I went with Cox upgrade offer: a nightmare and disaster at the end: landline phone not working anymore, one Internet streaming service not working anymore at all. A downgrade, instead of an upgrade. Rolling back to old router and services = a disaster. At the end (right now), completely offline. What a crap!

  8. JK says:

    Wasted 3 days working time with no internet with Cox. 1-st day spent 4+ hours on the phone to configure my installation and new account. 2-nd day Jacob came to install, after 90 minutes of nonsense talk and explanations he made two holes in the wall, made a picture and left without installing anything. I talked with the field manager and they promised they will send the next day installer which will finish the job. There is no communication between diferent departments.3-rd day Steven came to install, made a picture of the two holes that the previous day and left without saying he is leaving! Then he canceled the installation order! Both installers were looking for excuses not to make installation. It looks like the installers are on commission and avoid any more complicated installation. Never experienced such a unprofessional customer service in my life. Terrible experience, avoid COX at any cost!

  9. Robert Calderwood says:

    Gigablast is BS. I do a lot of important, time restraint tasks with the internet. I’m sitting now ten feet from the router and can’t use the Wi-Fi because I can’t trust the connection being lost. I pay almost two hundred dollars a month for the best and here I am NOT USING WIFI because I can’t trust it.
    Definitely gonna start looking for something more reliable

  10. Kevin Mac says:

    I agree with everyone. I upgraded to the Panoramic and it has been nothing but trouble. It says self install, yah right. I’m computer savy and I ended up calling the techs on this. Got it up and running, then a month later had to call again as it crashed, and Cox had to send a signal to it. Month later it crashed again and cox tech said it was trying to send the signal to the old modem, which was not hooked up. A couple days ago I lost all internet capabilities, had to call and they sent a signal to it, didn’t work. I unplugged like three different times, didn’t work. Finally it came up on its own. I now have a tech coming to the house. So we will see.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Gee they gave me a great deal almost a year ago I have the best plan offered at that time the panoramic WIFI and I get the fastest speed available for residential customers. I have a rate of $69.00 for the next three years they have to keep that price at $69.00 that’s after taxes and I have no contract I can cancel any time. Wife works at home and I have a collage student from home and a middle school student from home. Wife’s office is in basement at any time of day I have atleast 20 devices connected on-line and it’s used heavily all day and night. I have to say we been extremely happy we have only had a couple of dropped coverage moments and a couple times we had to reboot it other then that so impressed. I can even get full service sitting down the road in truck I say 500 feet away. Out back at pool also no issues. 7 TVs all streaming with Roku and never a buffer none maybe a couple times in this year we had an issue other then that none. I would personally highly recommend them. No I do not work for them.

  12. Jake says:

    Dont listen to the fake reviews. They are a lie just like the service. I am literally moving out of Las Vegas strictly because I am tired of being the financial slave to this monopolizing company. I literally have tried to limit my use to hardly any streaming. no uploading. I don’t even use my smart TV, I watch DVDs anymore to save on the bill and these A$* Holes still manage to charge me over 190 per month, and for what? The internet doesn’t even work well at all! They don’t need to work. Where else are ya gonna go? It falls off and on without warning. Don’t listen to the fake reviews, this is the worst, most overpriced, pure greed company.

  13. Denise Kinney says:

    No customer service, they are texting multiple customers at same time, spent 3 hours with no answers. Paying a fortune and nothing works! Getting a live agent is nearly impossible!

  14. Tell it Like it Is says:

    Cox has been terminating residential customers with accounts in good standing but have complained about poor service or technical issues (like outages, tiling, no sound, black screen, channels superimposed, browser pages will not load, dead phone, etc) in my area of CT. I am elderly, disabled and homebound, and Cox still terminated my services despite the fact that I rely on the Internet for communication with my doctors and caretakers.

    I found out when contacting my local newspaper that Cox was doing this to many other customers who also complained about the lack of service Cox was providing despite paying my >$300 every month. I am an elderly disabled homebound woman and this is a safety issue since I rely on the Internet to communicate with my doctors and caretakers, and now I have no Internet.

    Cox also has a monopoly in my area and there are no other providers to provide this service leaving me with no options. In this COVID-19 era, you really need electronic communication.

    My neighbors who still have Cox are currently experiencing an outage for the third consecutive day. Some are afraid to complain for fear of being terminated by Cox like me. Is this what we have become?

    1. Anonymous says:

      so sorry to hear of your predicament….contact the BBB file a complaint and your State Attorney Office. they are putting your life in jeopardy. I did that with an issue I had with them 2 years ago and fixed the problem immediately. hope you get this resolved.

  15. Jeffrey A Ohmart says:

    Don’t believe the 5 star “10/10” rating popping up on this site for Cox. I live in Kansas and my rate for “preferred” internet ($75/mo). The TV portion (no HBO/Cinemax, etc) is $166/mo for 3 TV’s and no DVR. That’s $1992/year for just the TV service. Recently, they said they could save me $57/mo by installing a camera and a couple door/window sensors. “Installation” would be “Free”. Talking to the installer when he came out about fees, he said the installation would be free but any “mounting” of camera or sensors (where he does the work) would be a $50/each extra fee. I no longer want to do business with a company that feels it necessary to deceive their customers in this manner. I’ll take that $2K and put it into gas money.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Panoramic Wifi gateway made it a whole 2 weeks before having to be reset because one of the switch ports stopped working. That’s not even as good as a linksys router.

  17. Scotsman says:

    The Cox Panoramic WIFI unit is sold by the customer service team, paid on a commision basis, as being able to give high speed service sufficient to cover a 3,500 sq. ft. house. DON’T BELIEVE IT. It is a terible unit, probably suitable only for a one bedroom apartment. We installed a unit, but the WIFI signal strength is so poor that it could not get 52 feet down an open hallway from one bedroom to another bedroom. This is in a 2400 sq. ft. house. The tested signal diagonally across the house measured at 0.5. An/d the unit give out a constant low-pitiched hum. Our exisiting Netgear R6900 which we reinstalled, gives a great signal not only in our main house, but also into our guest house. Our local Cox store said they have four units returned for the same reason in the last two days. Upon challenge, all the service teams we talked with said they know but no one in corporate will listen because they want the additional fees. Don’t get sucked in !!

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