Finding the best cable company isn’t always easy. Depending on where you live, several options might be available. However, the best deals typically require a multi-year contract, which is a big commitment if you’re not familiar with the company.
Cox offers fast Internet speeds, extensive TV packages, and a wide range of money-saving bundles. However, they also have limited coverage areas and a reputation for less-than-stellar customer service.
Is Cox Cable the best cable and Internet provider for your home or business? Your complete guide to their services and prices, including an impartial review of the pros and cons, starts right now:
What is Cox Communications?
Cox Communications, more commonly known as Cox Cable, is the third-largest cable company in the country. They have 6.2 million total customers across three categories:
- 2.9 million digital cable subscribers
- 3.5 million Internet subscribers
- 3.2 million digital telephone subscribers
Although known primarily for Internet and TV, Cox is also the seventh-largest telephone carrier in the U.S.
Headquartered in the Atlanta metro area, Cox serves the following 18 states:
- California (9% Coverage)
- Nevada (69% Coverage)
- Arizona (67% Coverage)
- Colorado (9% Coverage)
- Idaho (1% Coverage)
- Oklahoma (46% Coverage)
- Kansas (38% Coverage)
- Nebraska (36% Coverage)
- Iowa (2% Coverage)
- Arkansas (20% Coverage)
- Louisiana (43% Coverage)
- Ohio (2% Coverage)
- Georgia (3% Coverage)
- Florida (4% Coverage)
- Connecticut (13% Coverage)
- Virginia (35% Coverage)
- Rhode Island (98% Coverage)
Cox Digital TV
Channel availability varies slightly by package. However, you can expect a large lineup including FX, MTV, CNN, Fox, Bravo, A&E, and many other popular cable channels.
Additionally, four premium channels are available, including:
Contour is Cox’s digital TV service. It consists of three parts:
- Streaming Apps
- Live TV with OnDemand
Contour’s Streaming App lets you watch your favorite channels on an Apple or Android device. Download the app from either the Apple Store or Google Play Store.
You can watch OnDemand programs, DVR recordings and some live TV (depending on where you live).
Keep in mind the data limits for your smartphone apply. Streaming movies and multiple TV episodes can burn through your data quickly, making the Streaming App far less useful than it first appears.
You can start watching shows immediately after signing up for service. No installation is required (although it’s still necessary for at-home service).
Contour also offers On-Demand programming. It includes new movies, live sporting events, and a large library of current and classic TV shows. Their On-Demand programming is similar to other packages offered by competitors. It’s fine, but nothing stands out as particularly excellent.
Like most digital TV systems, Contour offers a built-in DVR system. It features search tools, voice activation, and up to 1,000 hours of storage space. The storage capacity is significantly larger than what’s offered by most other cable companies, making Cox a good choice if you like to record lots of shows.
Cox offers bundles of bundles. Honestly, they probably have too many options. Scrolling through all the price packages on their website will likely strain your wrist (okay, not really, but it is figuratively painful). Here’s a closer look:
Bronze Bundle with Voice Premier
It’s the cheapest option at $89.99 a month with a two-year commitment. You save 53% by bundling instead of buying the services separately.
You get Cox Internet Preferred with up to 150 Mbps download speeds. That’s a solid maximum speed, but there are no minimum speed guarantees, so your speeds in the house could be slower. (Of course, that’s not always the cable company’s fault. Your gear plays a role, too.)
The Contour TV plan includes just over 140 common cable channels but no premium channels like HBO, Showtime, etc.
Finally, the digital voice line features unlimited calling nationwide plus 30 countries, including Mexico and Canada.
Silver Bundle with Voice Premier
Next up is the Silver Bundle. The price increases to $109.99 a month, also with a two-year commitment. The Internet and phone stay the same.
What do you get for your extra $20? HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, and Starz join the fun. Choose the Silver Bundle if you regularly watch premium channels.
Silver Bundle with GigaBlast
Upgrade your Internet speeds with the GigaBlast. It increases download speeds up to 1,000 Mbps. Monthly costs increase to $129.99 a month.
Do you need the GigaBlast? Download speeds in the four figures sound great, but they’re meaningless if you’re not hitting 150 Mbps with the Bronze plan.
Gold Bundle with Voice Premier
For $129.99 a month – the same price as Silver GigaBlast – you can also get the Gold Bundle. It has download speeds up to 300 Mbps, and upload speeds up to 30 Mbps.
The Contour TV package expands to 250 channels, allowing you to watch a variety of niche programming. You also get the full suite of premium channels.
The Gold package is ideal for large families. Up to nine devices can access the Internet simultaneously.
Plus, the average user will get more value from the expanded channel lineup than the increased speed from the Gigablast.
The Platinum Bundle
The Platinum bundle features fast download speeds and lots of channels. You get download speeds up to 1,000 Mbps and upload speeds up to 35 Mbps. It costs $159.99 a month with a two-year commitment.
The TV package includes 250 channels plus premium channels and local programming.
Is the Platinum Bundle worth the price? Not always. The Silver Gigablast bundle has the same download speeds but costs $30 less. If the 1,000 Mbps download speed is what you want, choose the Gigablast.
If you’re mainly interested in the expanded TV lineup, choose the Gold Bundle instead of the Platinum. Going gold will save you about $30.
Cox also offers three discounted plans. You don’t get fast speeds or many channels, but the prices fit just about any budget.
Cox Starter 10
For $64.99 a month, the Starter 10 includes:
- Download speeds up to 10 Mbps
- Upload speeds up to 1 Mbps
- 75 Channels including local channels
- Digital voice line
Internet activity is limited. Only one or maybe two devices can go online simultaneously. Streaming is possible, but you’ll likely face frozen screens from time to time.
Additionally, the TV option mainly features local channels. The cable channels offered consist of government and educational programming. You won’t find many popular entertainment channels here.
Cox Starter 30
For $74.99 a month, you can increase download speeds up to 30 Mbps. Otherwise, the package remains the same as the Starter 10.
Cox Starter 150
For $94.99 a month, you can upgrade the download speed to 150 Mbps.
The Bronze and Silver bundles are a better deal than the Starter 30 and 150. For about $20 more, you get faster Internet speeds and a far better selection of cable channels.
The Starter bundles only make sense if you only need basic Internet access and don’t care about TV.
Modem Rental Fees
All Internet plans require a modem. You can either supply your own, rent one from Cox or buy one from them.
Rental fees vary but average around $10 a month. That’s a standard price found across most cable companies. You can also buy a modem from Cox for about $180. Honestly, you can probably get a modem just as good if not better for the same price when buying from a third party seller.
A ten-dollar modem fee doesn’t sound like much, but it can add quickly. Remember, most bundles require a two-year commitment. You’ll spend $240 on rental fees. For the same amount, you can buy a nice modem which will pay for itself starting in year three.
Cox also offers Homelife, a combination of smart home and home security features. They have two Homelife plans:
Smart Home Automation
For $29.99 a month, Smart Home Automation lets you control and monitor your house while you’re away. Features include:
Lighting Control – Set timers and turn individual lights on or off at will.
Breach Alerts – Receive instant notification if any door or window opens.
Live Video Feed – Use the smartphone app to watch real-time video. (You buy and place the cameras.)
The Smart Home system is easy to upgrade, too. You can add equipment to control locks, appliances, or your thermostat.
Smart Home with Monitored Security
For $54.99 a month, you can add monitored security. Trained security personnel stand ready to assist you in the event of a break-in, fire, or another emergency.
Additionally, you can add motion sensors, a battery backup, continuous video recording, and more.
Is Homelife Worth the Price?
It depends. Homelife services and prices are similar to those offered by traditional security services. However, traditional security monitoring companies typically have a more well-established reputation.
Home security is a relatively new feature for Cox. Unfortunately, Cox doesn’t have the best customer support (which we’ll detail further down). Trusting your cable company to react quickly in a life-or-death emergency can seem like a tall order for many people.
Additionally, there’s a lot of equipment to buy. If you want to take full advantage of all the Homelife features, you’ll need to buy sensors, outlets, control panels, locks, and more. It can add up quickly.
Homelife is a solid option if you want a smart home but don’t care about price. However, there’s currently not much reason to believe your cable company can effectively monitor your home’s security.
Cable and Internet companies frequently suffer from poor customer service, and Cox is no exception. They consistently score in the low 60s on the American Customer Satisfaction Index.
However, while that’s low, it’s still better than many Xfinity, Time Warner, Spectrum and many other major cable companies.
Their customer support is hardly the worst. It also doesn’t show any significant signs of improvement. Year after year, support remains aggressively mediocre.
Cox Business Internet
Do you run a business from home? Cox can be a valuable partner. They offer several bundles designed for at-home businesses:
Cox Business Internet
Their business Internet plans offer speeds up to 1,000 Gbps plus a variety of wireless features. Business plans are highly customizable. A personal consultation with a Cox representative is required to sign up for Business Internet.
They offer several packages based on industry:
- Small Business
- K-12 Education
- State and Local Government
- Federal Government
The Small Business plan is for anyone who runs websites, freelances, or works from home. The other packages are designed for large-scale operations.
The lack of detailed info on their website is frustrating. All the pages eventually require you to call and speak to a representative. However, personal service does make choosing the right plan easy.
Fiber Optic Internet
Fiber optic Internet (FiOS) is the fastest, most reliable type. Plus, it also allows for symmetric uploading and downloading, which is ideal for video conferencing (and online gaming, but that’s probably frowned on during working hours).
However, availability is an issue. Cox only offers FiOS in a few large cities. You’ll have to check their website for details.
Cox offers an intriguing combination of virtual and physical security.
Their virtual security includes DDoS protection, security tool, and more. Your website will be protected from data theft and other black hat activities.
However, they also offer physical security, including entryway monitoring, motion sensors, light controls, and other features found in the Homelife system.
While Homelife doesn’t make sense for many residential users, the Cox Business Security is another story. Bundling your physical and virtual security together helps your business stay safe. If disaster strikes, you only need to contact one company instead of several.
Is Cox the Best Choice for Cable and Internet?
Let’s find out.
First, is Cox available in your area? If so, are they the only option? Unfortunately, many cities only have one cable provider. Without competition, you’ll likely see high rates and poor customer services.
If more than one ISP is available, you’ll want to do some comparison shopping. Compare Internet speeds, TV packages, and prices.
If you’ve settled on Cox, how do you know what plan is the best option?
Consider your TV viewing habits. Don’t buy a bundle if you never watch cable TV. Instead, spend the extra money increasing the download speed of your Internet for streaming.
However, if you like TV, make sure to check the channel list for your specific zip code. Cox doesn’t offer the same channels across all service locations. Make sure you’re paying for channels you want to watch.
How many people live in your household? Bronze and Silver packages support anywhere from one to five devices. Gold and Platinum packages are better for larger households. They support up to nine devices.
Is Cox the country’s best Internet provider? Not really. Their customer service is poor, and their bundles can be confusing to navigate. However, they still have lots to like.
Cox excels at providing affordable TV and Internet bundles with fast speeds and a wide variety of entertainment options. Generally, stay away from both their high-end and low-priced bundles. Instead, their Silver and Gold bundles provide the best overall value for most users.
Overall, Cox is a good choice for most at-home users who mainly surf the net, stream movies, and play online games.
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