Cox Internet in a Nutshell
- Offers Service in: 19 states
- 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: $49.99+ 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 2 Gbps (that's 2,000 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 cable internet provider in the U.S. It is available in 19 states, reaching a little over 23 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 Go Fast internet-only plan. My internet never reached the advertised 100 Mbps download speed, and it rarely hit the 5 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 80 Mbps and upload speeds around 2 Mbps in the mornings. In the afternoon, those speeds would usually slow to around 40 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.
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.
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). The ping from Cox was 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 100 Mbps, yet we had almost no trouble using multiple devices at once.
Before we take a look at Cox internet plans and pricing, let’s look at the general pros and cons of Cox internet service:
- Multiple plan options
- 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
Cox Internet Plans & Speeds
Cox offers five internet-only plans, plus a prepaid (no-contract) plan. Let’s take a closer look at all of the Cox internet plans and prices:
Cox Plans, Pricing, and Speeds
|Plan Name||Download Speeds||Data Cap||Promotional Rate|
|Go Fast||Up to 100 Mbps||1.25 TB per month||$49.99 per month|
|Go Faster||Up to 250 Mbps||1.25 TB per month||$69.99 per month|
|Go Even Faster||Up to 500 Mbps||1.25 TB per month||$89.99 per month|
|Go Super Fast||Up to 1 Gbps||1.25 TB per month||$119.99 per month|
|Go Beyond Fast||Up to 2 Gbps||1.25 TB per month||$149.99 per month|
Cox offers plenty of options for download speeds, but its upload speeds are not as versatile. The Go Fast plan is a solid option if you want to play online video games or stream video content, but upload speeds will limit some online activities. The Go Faster plan offers the best balance of speed and affordability. With these speeds, you can stream most HD content with few interruptions.
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
|Professional Installation||$100||Yes(Self-installation is free)||One-time|
|Early Termination Fee||Up to $360||No||One-time|
|Router Lease Fee||$14 per month||Yes||Monthly or one-time|
|Data Cap Overage Fee||$10||Yes||Per additional 50 GB|
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.