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Cable Alternatives: Xfinity | Spectrum | Mediacom | RCN
Fiber Alternatives: Frontier | AT&T U-verse
Satellite Alternatives: DISH | DIRECTV
Internet-Only Alternative: CenturyLink

The relationship between cable providers and their customers can be tumultuous. While a family may enjoy the entertainment that quality programming brings to their lives, dealing with a cable TV company can make even the most patient of consumers want to pull their hair out.

Unannounced billing increases, missed installation appointments, and less-than-helpful customer service are just a few scenarios that drive cable customers to new levels of frustration. The good news is changing providers may be easier than it seems.

If you’re currently a Cox TV customer looking for an alternative service provider, we’ve got you covered. We’ve laid out all the alternatives to Cox Cable below, including what perks and frustrations you can expect from each.

Alternative Cable TV Providers

Xfinity Logo

Xfinity is one of the nation’s largest cable companies and is widely available. Xfinity is also one of the largest providers of home internet service, as well as the nation’s third-largest home telephone service provider, offering plenty of bundle options to fit your needs.

How is Xfinity different from Cox?

Xfinity offers a more advanced DVR system and significantly faster internet speeds than Cox (up to 2 Gbps in some areas). But Cox offers more channels, with 380+ compared to Xfinity’s 260+.

 

Xfinity Overview

Pros

Xfinity has robust on-demand offerings and plenty of sports channels and pay-per-view options, all at a decent monthly rate. The company offers bundles for TV, internet, and voice products, which helps save you money. Xfinity also provides a somewhat flexible contract, with some packages allowing a choice of no contract or a two-year contract with a $10.00 per month savings.

Cons

Xfinity’s channel count is lacking compared to most other providers. With only 260+ channels in the most expensive packages, you may miss some niche favorites. However, the basics are all covered, and the on-demand library helps compensate.

Xfinity Availability

Cox and Xfinity share several coverage areas:

  • Arizona
  • Virginia
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Florida
  • Louisiana
  • Rhode Island

If you live in one of these states, Xfinity is likely an alternative option for you. Exact availability can vary, so enter your zip code to see if Xfinity is available in your area:

Spectrum Logo

Spectrum is one of the nation’s largest cable providers and is also available in most areas. This alternative to Cox TV was created when Charter Communications merged with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.

How is Spectrum different from Cox?

Spectrum and Cox are fairly similar in that they’re both cable providers. Spectrum actually offers fewer channels than Cox, while prices are about the same. The main reason to switch here would be if you’ve had a poor experience or just need a change.

 

Spectrum Overview

Pros

Spectrum offers over 200 channels and a reasonably priced bundle that includes Internet and phone. Its Gold package touts full-feature on-demand capabilities and the ability to access programs online.

Cons

Spectrum’s customer service ratings are low, ranking at the bottom in our 2018 TV Provider Customer Satisfaction Survey. Another drawback is the lack of availability in the southeastern United States, so subscribers in that area must look elsewhere for an alternative to Cox Cable.

Spectrum Availability

Spectrum and Cox primarily overlap in five states:

  • Virginia
  • Florida
  • Ohio
  • Nebraska
  • California

These include a few major cities in these states as well, like Cleveland, San Diego, and Los Angeles.

Enter your zip code below for more details on availability:

Mediacom Logo

Mediacom is a smaller cable TV and internet provider that serves primarily the southern and midwestern United States. Mediacom offers 225+ television channels and internet speeds as fast as 1 Gig in some areas.

How is Mediacom different from Cox?

Mediacom offers fewer channels than Cox but makes up for it with a better DVR. Mediacom uses the TiVo DVR system. Not only is TiVo a great DVR in its own right, it also works with nearly any cable provider.

 

Mediacom Overview

Pros

Mediacom offers fast internet speeds, a great DVR, and reasonable pricing. The Mediacom Xtream 100 Silver package starts at $109.98 per month and gets you 225+ channels and 100 Mbps internet—not bad.

Cons

Mediacom offers a relatively low channel count. Also, the price will increase after your first year, which is pretty typical among cable TV providers.

Mediacom Availability

If Mediacom sounds appealing, you’ll find overlap with Cox in several states:

  • Arizona
  • Florida
  • California
  • Virginia
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana

Residents of Omaha, Nebraska, also have a great shot at getting Mediacom.

Find out if Mediacom is available in your area:

RCN Logo

RCN is a very small provider based primarily in the Washington, DC, area, with additional service in New York, Chicago, and Boston.

How is RCN different from Cox?

RCN uses fiber optics in some of its coverage areas, so in those areas you may find that the signal is faster and more reliable than Cox’s. In areas where RCN uses cable, the two should be pretty similar in terms of reliability. RCN also scores higher in customer satisfaction than Cox does.

 

RCN Overview

Pros

RCN customers benefit from fast fiber speeds in some service areas. The company is also rated very highly by customers—it sits in the top three or four in nearly every category in our customer satisfaction survey, with the biggest exception being channel selection.

Cons

RCN gets lower scores in channel selection and customer service. The provider also offers 295+ channels, which is far fewer than Cox but still about average for TV providers these days.

RCN Availability

The best area to find RCN as a Cox alternative is Virginia. Enter your zip code below to see if RCN offers service where you live:

Alternative Fiber-Optic TV Providers

Frontier Logo

Frontier was originally created to serve rural communities. It’s a smaller company, but its fiber product (FiOS from Frontier) is rapidly gaining market share.

How is Frontier different from Cox?

Frontier is a fiber-optic service, so customers benefit from faster internet speeds and a clear picture in areas where fiber is available.

 

Frontier Overview

Pros

Frontier offers its customers top quality content, premium movies, local channels, and regional sporting events. It also offers thousands of on-demand options that are easily searchable by genre.

Cons

In non-FiOS areas, Frontier DSL internet tends to be pretty slow, since it relies on older technology.

Frontier Availability

Frontier shares coverage areas with Cox in several states around the country:

  • Connecticut
  • California
  • Rhode Island
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Nevada

To see whether Frontier is available in your city, enter your zip code below:

ATT-logo

AT&T U-verse is a fiber TV service from AT&T. There’s great bundling potential with this provider since AT&T offers high-speed fiber internet, an enormous number of channels through U-verse, and phone service.

How is AT&T U-verse different from Cox?

AT&T U-verse offers significantly more channels than Cox does, with as many as 550+ available on some packages. U-verse pricing is also more competitive than Cox pricing, with cheaper budget packages available. AT&T also scores much higher than Cox in most customer satisfaction categories in our 2018 TV Provider Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Check out our full Cox vs. AT&T U-verse comparison for more details.

 

AT&T U-verse Overview

Pros

AT&T U-verse offers a very large channel count. In fact, it has more channels than nearly any other provider (550+). U-verse is also the highest-rated provider in our customer satisfaction survey—and by a fairly wide margin.

Cons

Many of AT&T’s advertised channels are music channels that function like glorified radio stations. This can make the watchable channel count appear larger than it is. U-verse is also relatively limited in availability.

AT&T U-verse Availability

AT&T and Cox overlap in several states:

  • Georgia
  • Florida
  • Ohio
  • California
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Arkansas
  • Oklahoma
  • Missouri

Some major cities with both AT&T and Cox coverage are Wichita, New Orleans, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

Enter your zip code below to see if U-verse is available in your area.

Alternative Satellite TV Providers

Dish Logo

DISH is a large satellite TV provider, making it an ideal choice for consumers in rural locations. Due to the way satellite transmissions are received, however, satellite TV can be prone to blackouts and poor picture quality during inclement weather.

How is DISH different from Cox?

The biggest difference between DISH and Cox is availability. Since it’s a satellite service, DISH is available almost anywhere in the country. DISH also doesn’t offer its own internet service—instead, it partners with local providers, including Frontier, to give customers bundling options. This might be an issue for some.

Check out our complete comparison of Cox vs. DISH for more details.

 

DISH Overview

Pros

Satellite is generally a cheaper option than cable or fiber, and DISH offers a variety of packages to fit any budget. Its most common package offers over 190 channels. Furthermore, the DISH Hopper 3 is the most powerful DVR on the market, and it offers a ton of features to make your viewing experience better.

Cons

Satellite television requires a satellite dish, and some homeowners associations and apartment complexes may have regulations against the installation of such devices. The picture quality can also be affected by storms. That shouldn’t be a huge deal though—DISH advertises 99% signal reliability, and that’s pretty accurate in our experience. Just know it’s a possibility.

DISH Availability

Since it’s based on satellite technology, DISH is available almost anywhere in the US. In fact, we’d be surprised if you didn’t have DISH service available where you live.

DIRECTV Logo

DIRECTV is another major satellite TV provider. DIRECTV is owned by AT&T, so customers can take advantage of AT&T’s fast internet speeds in Double Play and Triple Play bundles.

How is DIRECTV different from Cox?

Since DIRECTV is a satellite service, it’s available nationwide. That means you can keep the same service when moving without needing to worry about hunting for a new provider and learning how to use a new DVR. DIRECTV also offers a powerful DVR and exclusive sports packages.

 

DIRECTV Overview

Pros

DIRECTV offers a good number of channels (330+) and reasonable prices. Packages start at $35.00 per month. The Genie DVR is also great, with plenty of space for recordings and enhanced sports features. And DIRECTV has sports programming you won’t find anywhere else, including NFL SUNDAY TICKET, the best football package in the business.

Cons

Since DIRECTV is a satellite provider, it also suffers from potential weather interference. Like DISH, DIRECTV advertises 99% signal reliability, and generally it’s fine. Just know signal interference is a possibility. DIRECTV also lacks a little in channel count compared to competitors, including Cox.

DIRECTV Availability

DIRECTV is available nationwide. As long as you have a clear view of the sky, you should be able to pick up a DIRECTV signal.

Find a DIRECTV plan or bundle that works for you:

Alternative Internet-Only Providers

CenturyLink Logo

CenturyLink is a major national Internet Service Provider. CenturyLink also offers phone service and bundles with DIRECTV for television.

How is CenturyLink different from Cox?

CenturyLink is an alternative to Cox internet service. Since CenturyLink no longer offers its own TV service, it offers bundles with DIRECTV—see our section on DIRECTV above for info on how that TV service compares to Cox.

CenturyLink Overview

Pros

CenturyLink offers fast internet speeds that go up to 1 Gig in some areas. Bundles with TV and internet service combine fast internet with a great TV service that brings all the advantages of DIRECTV.

Cons

The biggest issue with CenturyLink is that internet speeds vary widely from location to location. Some areas might only get 10 Mbps, while others might get 1 Gig. The only way to really know is to check what’s available in your neighborhood. Luckily, we’ve got a handy tool for doing just that—enter your zip code below to see what CenturyLink speeds are available in your area:

CenturyLink Availability

CenturyLink internet service overlaps with Cox in a number of states:

  • Florida
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Arkansas
  • Oklahoma
  • Nevada
  • Arizona

If you live in Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Omaha in particular, CenturyLink is likely a major provider for you.

With so many alternatives to Cox Cable—all with varying pros and cons—it’s important to think about what you want out of your television provider. Do you want a lot of channels? The ability to record multiple shows at once? Strong customer support? Or a price that doesn’t break the bank?

Knowing exactly what you want and what’s available will give you the power to break free from your frustrations and choose a provider capable of delivering the features that are most important to you.

Enter your zip code to see which cable providers are available in your area, and make the switch today.

 

*Pricing and speeds are current as of writing. Pricing and speeds are subject to change. Not all offers available in all areas.