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.
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
“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.