January 20, 2019

Cox Internet Review

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Cox Communications is a popular telecommunications provider. They offer cable TV, internet, phone, and home security. You can bundle these together for a cheaper, total home service.

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Our review will be focusing on their internet service. Read on to find out if Cox is the right provider for you.

COX INTERNET PROS AND CONS

PROS:

  • Range of speeds and packages (10 Mbps - 1 Gbps)
  • Panoramic Wi-Fi
  • Offers bundles
  • Contract and no-contract plans available
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Cable technology
  • Free McAfee Security

CONS:

  • Extra charges
  • 1TB data cap
  • Average customer service

HOW COX COMMUNICATIONS INTERNET WORKS

Cox Communications has internet, TV, phone, and home security/automation services. They offer regular double play and triple play plans, but you can also include home security. This is good if you're looking for an all-in-one provider.

For internet, Cox offers several plans. They have speeds ranging from 10 Mbps to 1 Gbps. They're structured that way so you can pick a plan based on your needs.

You can also choose to subscribe to a one-year contract or pay month-to-month. If you choose no contract, you'll pay an additional $10 each month.

Cox also has a 30-day money back guarantee, which makes it relatively low risk. But there are still other things you should know before signing up. We discuss these below.

But first, here are highlights of their latest promotions.

REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TO COX COMMUNICATIONS

  1. Range of speeds and packages.
    Cox structures their internet plans based on how much bandwidth you might need. If you're a single person living alone, their 10 Mbps plan is enough. However, if you have a bigger household, you'll probably need their 100 Mbps speed instead.

    Of course, most providers offer tiered pricing - it's nothing new. Still, Cox has five different packages, so you can pick the best plan for your needs.

  2. Panoramic Wi-Fi.
    The biggest problem with home internet are "dead zones." These are spots in your home which the Wi-Fi doesn't get to. The signal is weak or undetectable, resulting in slower speeds and poorer connections.

    Cox's solution to this is their panoramic Wi-Fi modem. It's basically a modem with a stronger Wi-Fi signal. Cox promises wall-to-wall coverage, so you'll always have internet access wherever you are in your home.

    They'll also send a professional to install it for you. The technician will test the signal strength and identify "dead zones." If you still have a problem, he/she will also suggest solutions.

    On top of that, they'll also replace the modem if it becomes obsolete, or it breaks. There's also the "My Wi-Fi" app which allows you to control the network without having to use a computer. Simply change the password and settings directly from the app.

    The catch? You've got to rent their panoramic modem. That's the only way to get it. That means that over the long run, you'll end up paying more.

    It might be better to just get some Wi-Fi extenders yourself. But if you'd rather pay a small fee every month, this is great for large homes and households.

  3. They offer bundles.
    Many telecommunication providers offer double play or triple play bundles. However, Cox is one of the few that also include home automation/security. You can have the complete service suite - internet, TV, phone, and security - all from one provider.

    If you wanted the other services like TV and home security anyway, you might save more by getting them all from Cox.

  4. Contract and no-contract plans available.
    We love that Cox has both, contract and no-contract plans. This lets you choose the best plan for your needs.

    If you know you'll be staying at an address long term, then go with contract. You'll be able to shave about $10 off your monthly bill. Cox's internet contracts are for a year, and prices are locked for that period.

    If you're not sure of your living arrangement, choose no-contract plans. There won't be an early termination fee if you cancel. The downside is, you'll be paying more over the long run. $10 per month might not sound like a lot, but that's $120 a year.

    Either way, having the option of contract and no-contract is a plus for us.

  5. 30-day money-back guarantee
    Cox offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for their internet service. In their terms and conditions, they promise to return:

    • Standard installation charge
    • First month's service fee
    • Equipment charge if purchased or rented from Cox

    If you're under a contract, you be exempt from having to pay an early termination fee.

    This guarantee makes it safer to choose Cox. Try their service for 30 days, and if you don't like it, simply ask for a refund.

  6. You get a free McAfee security software package.
    Customers who subscribe to Cox's High Speed Internet also get a free security software. It's called the Cox Security Suite Plus, and it's backed by McAfee.

    You can install it on any five devices you have. It can be a combination of Windows or Mac OS X computers, Android smartphones and tablets, and Apple iOS iPhones and iPads.

    It's a minor thing, but we think it goes onto the pros list.

  7. You prefer cable over DSL.
    Generally, cable technology is slightly faster than DSL. So between those two choices, we recommend going with cable when you can.

    However, that's not the whole picture. Ultimately your speeds are also affected by other factors, e.g., how many people use the internet at the same time as you.

    Theoretically, cable should provide faster speeds than DSL. But in real life, things could be different - we recommend reading reviews from other users in your area.

    What's the difference between cable and DSL?
    DSL stands for digital subscriber line and uses phone lines which already run to your home. That's why it's widely available - most homes already have a landline service.

    DSL uses the same copper wires as your phone, but it's not dial-up. It's much faster and doesn't share your phone connection.

    Cable internet uses the same coaxial cable which delivers your TV service. It's slightly faster than DSL but needs a shared neighborhood hub. Usually providers won't install it if demand is low, like in rural areas.

REASONS TO CONSIDER OTHER PROVIDERS

  1. You want good customer service.
    The 2018 American Customer Service Index (ACSI) report shows that Cox Communications scored 59, which is slightly below average. It ranks lower than Xfinity and Charter Spectrum.

    Still, it's not the worst there is so, it might still be a good option. Just don't expect to be blown away by their customer service.

  2. Comes with a 1TB data cap.
    Cox does come with a 1TB monthly data cap. That's a lot of data, and regular users will probably never hit it. Still, we'd be more comfortable if Cox offered limitless data. At least that's one less thing to worry about!

    Realistically though, 1TB is a lot. But if you need more, there is the option for adding an extra 500GB of data. Or you can even subscribe to an unlimited plan.

    But if you don't want to pay more for data, try no-cap providers like FiOS by Verizon.

  3. They have quite a bit of extra charges.
    When we signed up for Cox's internet service, we came across quite a few extra charges. Sure, some of them are optional, but we can't help but feel like there's a lot of them.

    For example, there's the modem rental fee. Then there's also the (optional) "Cox Complete Care" service, which is $10 monthly. Then there's a one-time fee of $20, labeled "Self-install (shipment)."

    All this before we even input our address!

    To be fair, Cox does itemize the charges clearly in their invoice. We give them credit for being transparent. Still, these charges do add up. For those unprepared, you'll be in for a nasty surprise.

OTHER INTERNET PROVIDERS TO CONSIDER

FiOS by Verizon: If you're looking for fiber optic, FiOS by Verizon is one of the best providers out there. Their speeds range from 100 - 500 Mbps. In some areas, it can even go up to 940 Mbps! This is fast enough for pretty much anything you'd want to do online.

The numbers aren't just for show either - the FCC reports that Verizon delivered 95% of their advertised speeds. What you see really is what you get.

They rank first on the ACSI index too, so customer satisfaction is top notch.

The only downside is that they're quite limited. It's currently only available in nine states. Still, if Verizon is available where you are, you might want to consider using their service.

Comcast Xfinity: If you can't get Cox internet in your area, try Xfinity. It's a popular choice, available in 40 states nationwide.

Xfinity's customer service is comparable to Cox. Xfinity scored 60 while Cox is 59. Both provide cable, although Xfinity's plans are slightly more expensive than Cox's in general. The upside is that Xfinity has an even wider range of speeds for users.

They offer plans from 15 Mbps - 2 Gbps. Sure, you'll be paying more, but if you need lightning-fast speeds, Xfinity offers it.

Cox is better for those who just want a reasonable internet connection for a reasonable price. Xfinity, on the other hand, is for those who want speed and are willing to pay for it.

Charter Spectrum: With services in over 40 states, Charter Spectrum is another popular provider. Their plans have no contract, which is good news for those who don't want to commit.

In terms of internet speed and performance, Charter Spectrum delivers. The FCC reports that Charter Spectrum delivered more than 90% of its advertised speeds to its users.

Charter Spectrum's pricing is not transparent.
Pricing and services available fluctuate according to your location. It's the same for most other providers, so we can't really fault them on this one.

In short, Charter Spectrum is not a bad choice. The only problem is, it's hard to get a clear idea of your costs. At least Cox gives you a better idea of what your final bill looks like.

Check out our full reviews on these other providers here.

BOTTOM LINE

Cox Communications is great for those looking for a reasonably priced service, without needing extreme speeds. It's also a great provider if you decide to bundle. You'll save a lot from all the services being offered.

We like that there's an option for contract and no-contract. At least you don't have to be stuck in a commitment you can't afford.
If you live in a big home, you'll enjoy their panoramic Wi-Fi feature. No more browsing your phone only in certain areas of the house. You can lie in bed and watch a movie from your iPad, if you want.

Still, those extra charges could do a lot of damage to your final bill. Also, their customer service could improve. Being lower than average isn't a good place to be - even if it is just by a single point.

But, if those aren't big issues for you, then Cox can be a decent choice.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

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