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Best Cox-Compatible Modems 2020

See how you can save money each month with your own modem.

Best for 10–150 Mbps plans

MOTOROLA MB7420

Amazon price: $58.99
Channels: 16x4
DOCSIS Standard: DOCSIS 3.0

Best for Cox Internet Ultimate plan

ARRIS SURFboard SB6190

Amazon price: $80.74
Channels: 32x8
DOCSIS Standard: DOCSIS 3.0

Best for Cox Gigablast plan

ARRIS SURFboard SB8200

Amazon price: $149.00
Channels: 32x8
DOCSIS Standard: DOCSIS 3.1

Amazon.com price as of 7/21/20 11:15 MST. Read full disclaimer.

Bottom line

If you’re paying $10.99 per month to lease Cox’s Panoramic Wi-Fi Gateway, you’re missing out on an opportunity to save cash. Over time, buying your own cable modem and wireless router costs a lot less than borrowing from Cox.

There are plenty of Wi-Fi routers that will be an excellent fit for your Cox plan, but you also need to make sure you buy the right modem to work with Cox’s cable internet. Fortunately, we’re here to help you find the best modem for Cox.

Oh, and heads up—CableTV.com is an Amazon Associate, so if you follow the links on this page, we’ll get a cash kickback on qualifying purchases.

Best modems for Cox

Cable modem prices frequently change on Amazon. We want to make sure you get the best deal, so we’ve listed two solid options for each download speed range.

Top Cox-compatible modems summary

Modem brand
Best for 10–150 Mbps plans
MOTOROLA MB7420
Runner-up for 10–150 Mbps plans
NETGEAR CM500
Best for Cox Internet Ultimate plan
ARRIS SURFboard SB6190
Runner-up for Cox Internet Ultimate plan
NETGEAR CM700
Best for Cox Gigablast plan
ARRIS SURFboard SB200
Runner-up for Cox Gigablast plan
NETGEAR CM1000
Price Channels DOCSIS standard
$58.99 16×4 DOCSIS 3.0 View on Amazon
$62.99 16×4 DOCSIS 3.0 View on Amazon
$80.74 32×8 DOCSIS 3.0 View on Amazon

$97.67 32×8 DOCSIS 3.0 View on Amazon
$149.00 32×8 DOCSIS 3.1 View on Amazon
$151.34 32×8 DOCSIS 3.1 View on Amazon

Amazon.com price as of 7/21/20 11:15 MST. Read full disclaimer.

If you’re looking for a cheap modem, check out the first two above. But if your Cox plan is Cox Internet Ultimate or Cox Gigablast, those options will be too slow for you. They’re best suited for Cox’s 10 to 150 Mbps plans, advertised as Cox Internet Starter 10, Cox Internet Essential 50, and Cox Internet Preferred 150.

But all these plan titles are a lot of marketing gibberish—we don’t blame you if you don’t remember which Cox plan you signed up for. You can find out by checking your most recent Cox bill or signing in to your Cox account.

Not sure if Cox is the right provider for you? CableTV.com can help you find all your options. Enter your zip code below, and we’ll show you the internet service providers in your area. We don’t store or share this info, so your location stays private.

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Summary of Cox-compatible cable modems

  • MOTOROLA MB7420—Best for 10–150 Mbps plans: $58.99
  • NETGEAR CM500—Runner-up for 10–150 Mbps plans: $62.99
  • ARRIS SURFboard SB6190—Best for Cox Internet Ultimate plan: $80.74
  • NETGEAR CM700—Runner-up for Cox Internet Ultimate plan: $97.67
  • ARRIS SURFboard SB8200—Best for Cox Gigablast plan: $149.00
  • NETGEAR CM1000—Runner-up for Cox Gigablast plan: $151.34

Amazon.com price as of 7/21/20 11:15 MST. Read full disclaimer.

If you want to look more closely at these options or learn more about how to choose a cable modem—read on. We have all the deets for you below.

Best for 10–150 Mbps plans: MOTOROLA MB7420

Amazon price: $58.99
Channels: 16×4
DOCSIS Standard: DOCSIS 3.0

Amazon.com price as of 7/21/20 11:15 MST. Read full disclaimer.

Reminiscent of Eve from Wall-E, the MOTOROLA MB7420 sports a friendly black and white look. There’s not much to say about this modem beyond that—or about any other cable modem, for that matter.

Unlike a lot of other flashy tech, modems are relatively simple in function. They work for the speeds they’re designed to support.

Because of this simplicity, you can sub out this modem out for just about any 16×4 channel modem from reputable brands like MOTOROLA, ARRIS, and Netgear. Look for good reviews, and then choose the best bargain.

Pros

  • Works with cable internet providers like Cox, Xfinity, and Spectrum
  • Advertises up to 300 Mbps download speeds

Cons

  • Doesn’t work with DSL internet providers like AT&T and CenturyLink

Pair with the TP-Link AC1200

If you want wireless internet in your home, you’ll need a Wi-Fi router to go along with your modem.

The TP-Link AC1200 is a bargain, and it’s fast enough to keep up with Cox Internet Starter 10, Cox Internet Essential 50, and Cox Internet Preferred 150.

Best for Cox Internet Ultimate plan: ARRIS SURFboard SB6190

Amazon price: $80.74
Channels: 32×8
DOCSIS Standard: DOCSIS 3.0

Amazon.com price as of 7/21/20 11:15 MST. Read full disclaimer.

Pros

  • Works with cable internet providers like Cox, Xfinity, and Spectrum
  • Advertises up to 600 Mbps download speeds

Cons

  • Doesn’t work with DSL internet providers like AT&T and CenturyLink

The ARRIS SURFboard SB6190 works with cable internet plans up to 600 Mbps. And since the Cox Internet Ultimate plan has download speeds only up to 500 Mbps, this modem is the right fit if you have that plan.

If you downgrade to any of Cox’s smaller plans or switch to a similar plan at another cable internet provider like Xfinity or Spectrum, this modem will still work fine.

TP-Link AC1900 Smart WiFi Router Image

Pair with the TP-Link AC1900TP-Link AC1200

The TP-Link AC1900 can handle Cox Internet Ultimate’s speeds with ease.

With the small price tags on this Wi-Fi router and the ARRIS SURFboard SB6190, the two quickly pay for themselves. Combined, they’re only a little over a year’s worth of leasing equipment from Cox.

Best for Cox Gigablast plan: ARRIS SURFboard SB8200

Amazon price: $149.00
Channels: 32×8
DOCSIS Standard: DOCSIS 3.1

Amazon.com price as of 7/21/20 11:15 MST. Read full disclaimer.

Pros

  • Works with cable internet providers like Cox and Xfinity
  • Advertises up to 2,000 Mbps download speeds
  • Functions with DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1

Cons

  • Doesn’t work with DSL internet providers like AT&T and CenturyLink

The upgrade to DOCSIS 3.1 makes the ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 much more expensive than our other top Cox-compatible modems. But the Cox Gigablast plan requires DOCSIS 3.1 technology, so you’ll need to splurge to support those gig speeds.

Don’t worry—if you decide to go with a smaller plan later, the ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 also works with DOCSIS 3.0. This all-around champ of a cable modem works with any cable internet plan you throw at it.

ASUS Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 Image

Pair with the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300

This router isn’t a cheap buy, but it’s a sure win for supporting high internet speeds throughout your home.

We won’t blame you if you balk at the combined price tags of the ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 and Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300. That’s a big chunk of change to pay upfront compared to Cox’s $10.99-per-month modem/router combo.

But both these devices are some of the best out there, and if you decide to make the investment, it will pay off in the long run.

What to look for in a Cox-compatible modem

Besides price, there are only two things you need to know about cable modems: channel bonding and DOCSIS standard. If you find a reputable modem at a reasonable price, check that it fits the criteria in these two categories, and then snag that deal.

We’ll give you a quick summary of modem channels and DOCSIS below, but if you’re interested in the nitty-gritty, check out our cable modem buyers guide.

Channel bonding

Think of a modem’s channels like lanes on a highway—the more channels there are, the more information can get through at once.

When you look at a channel stat like 16×4, before the x is the number of downstream channels, and after the x is the number of upstream channels. In this case, there are 16 downstream channels and 4 upstream channels.

Downstream channels support the download speeds you pay your internet provider for, and upstream channels support the corresponding upload speeds, which are rarely advertised and don’t usually need to be very large.

Choose a modem with enough channels to support the maximum speeds of your Cox internet plan. Check the chart below for the channel standards we recommend.

Minimum modem channels recommended for Cox plans

Swipe Left to See All →
DOCSIS 3.0 channelsCox plans
16×4Cox Internet Starter 10
Cox Internet Essential 50
Cox Internet Preferred 150
32×2Cox Internet Ultimate

DOCSIS Standard

“But wait!” you say, looking at the chart above, “there’s no Cox Gigablast on this chart!”

You have a keen eye, reader. The chart above displays DOCSIS 3.0 channels, but Cox Gigablast requires the more advanced DOCSIS 3.1 technology.

DOCSIS is an acronym for “Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification.” This writer is happy indeed for an acronym because just looking at that enormous name is exhausting.

DOCSIS tech allows your modem to move information to and from your cable internet provider. Most internet plans work on DOCSIS 3.0, but gigabit internet like Cox Gigablast requires the latest version of DOCSIS—DOCSIS 3.1.

Our final take

Cox charges only $10.99 per month to rent a modem/router, but that adds up over time. If you’re planning on staying with Cox or another cable internet provider for the long haul, you can save a bunch of money with the one-time purchase of your own Cox-compatible modem and Wi-Fi router.

Best Cox-compatible modems FAQ

Is it better to have your modem and router separate?

Having a separate cable modem and Wi-Fi router will help you ensure you get the best technology available and keep up easier with new advances. While combined modem/routers take up less space, they’re usually a bit behind the times as far as technology goes.

But if you’d prefer to combine your modem and router, head on over to our review of 2020’s Best Cable Modem/Router Combos. Be prepared for big price tags—buying a modem/router isn’t usually cheaper than buying separate devices.

What is the fastest modem for Cox Internet?

We recommend the ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 if you have the fastest Cox plan, Gigablast. If you want to check out other gigabit modems, look for cable modems listed with DOCSIS 3.1 technology and 32×8 channels. All such modems are comparably fast.

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to this product. CableTV.com utilizes paid Amazon links.
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