SVG Icons

Cox vs. Spectrum Internet: Which Is the Best Internet Provider?

From internet speeds to channel lineups, we’ve researched both internet service providers to determine who offers the best value for you.

Best overall

Price: $49.99–$109.99/mo. for 12 mos.*
Download speeds: 200 Mbps–1000 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)**
Upload speeds: 10 Mbps–35 Mbps

Best for cheap internet

Price: $29.99–$99.99/mo.
Download speeds: 25 Mbps–940 Mbps
Upload speeds: 3 Mbps–35 Mbps

Cox Communications has serviceable internet plans if you need the cheapest package or the fastest internet speeds. But for most families, Spectrum’s internet plans offer better value and download performance.

Spectrum vs. Cox pros and cons

Spectrum

Free internet modem
Good upload speeds
No budget internet options

View Spectrum plans

Cox

Numerous internet packages
Good entry-level plans
Mediocre mid-range plans

View Cox plans

Compare Spectrum and Cox head to head

Pricing Maximum download speed Maximum upload speed Details
$49.99–$109.99/mo. for 12 mos.* 200 Mbps–1000 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)** 10 Mbps–35 Mbps View Spectrum plans
$29.99–$99.99/mo. 25 Mbps–940 Mbps 3 Mbps–35 Mbps View Cox plans

Data effective as of post date. Not all offers available in all areas.
‡For 12 mos. w/ 1-yr. term agrmt.

Cox has six cable internet plans, and half of them have maximum download speeds of less than 150 Mbps. These slower internet plans can be a great fit if you’re working under a budget because they cost less than $50 per month.

But if your household has more than a few people watching Netflix or downloading games, you’ll quickly hit the limits of a sub-150 Mbps internet plan. Plus, it’ll cost a premium to get faster internet speeds on Cox.

Spectrum has fewer plans than Cox and doesn’t have a great cheap internet option. But Spectrum’s mid-tier internet plan offers excellent download speeds and is a great value.

Want to know more about each internet service provider’s (ISP) fine print? Let’s break down the details for Spectrum and Cox.

Ready to buy home internet?

Enter your zip code to confirm that Spectrum and Cox are available in your town.

Please enter a valid zip code.

Plans and pricing

Spectrum Internet® plans

Price Download speeds Upload speeds up to Details
$49.99/mo. for 12 mos.* Up to 200 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)** 10 Mbps View plan
$69.99/mo. for 12 mos.* Up to 400 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary) ** 20 Mbps View plan
$109.99/mo. for 12 mos.* Up to 1000 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary) ** 35 Mbps View plan

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Spectrum is one of the few ISPs that won’t tie you to a long-term service contract. While Spectrum still has promo price shenanigans with low introductory prices that increase after a year, its no-contracts setup means that you change providers at any time without paying an early termination fee (ETF).

The ISP doesn’t have a great budget cable internet plan, since its cheapest option is $49.99 per month for the first 12 months. But if you can make Spectrum fit your budget, its three internet plans offer ample internet performance for any household.

With download speeds of up to 200 Mbps, Spectrum Internet® works great for a small household that occasionally streams TV shows. Spectrum Internet Gig is also a decent gigabit internet option for top-end internet speeds, although the plan costs $10.00 more per month than Cox’s gigabit plan.

Pro tip: Spectrum may offer different internet deals depending on your location, including longer two-year price guarantees and a discount on Spectrum Internet® Ultra.

We’d recommend Spectrum Internet Ultra for most households. With a maximum download speed of 400 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary), you’ll have enough bandwidth if multiple people want to stream 4K video or play online games. Spectrum Internet Ultra’s faster upload speeds will also help if more than one person takes a video call.

View Spectrum plans

Cox internet plans

Price* Download speeds up to Upload speeds up to Details
$29.99/mo.* 25 Mbps 3 Mbps View plan
$39.99/mo.* 50 Mbps 3 Mbps View plan
$50.00/mo.** 25 Mbps 3 Mbps View plan
$59.99/mo.* 150 Mbps 10 Mbps View plan
$79.99/mo.* 500 Mbps 10 Mbps View plan
$99.99/mo.* 940 Mbps 35 Mbps View plan

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
* For 12 mos. w/ 1-yr. service. agreement.
**Same price for 3 yrs.

Budget internet shoppers who don’t need the fastest home internet will find a lot to like from Cox.

The ISP has three plans that cost less than $50.00 per month, including its prepaid and no-contract StraightUp Internet service. All three plans have download speeds of less than 50 Mbps, so they’ll work best if you use the internet just to check your email or browse Facebook.

But Cox’s biggest problem is the gap between its budget and high-end internet plans. With Cox’s slower budget plans, you’ll experience internet issues if more than a few people are streaming TV shows or taking video calls.

You’ll get excellent download speeds on Cox’s fastest internet plans, but with prices that start at $79.99 per month and with one-year service contracts, the ISP doesn’t offer exceptional value or flexibility.

Pro tip: Depending on your location, Cox internet deals can include waived ETFs and monthly discounts.

Internet Preferred 150 is our pick for the best Cox internet plan.

It’s not the best deal compared to Spectrum, which has a cheaper 200 Mbps plan and a faster 400 Mbps internet plan. But at $59.99 per month for 150 Mbps maximum download speeds, Cox’s Internet Preferred 150 can work for families who need only average download and upload speeds.

View Cox plans

Installation

Fee
Installation
Self-installation
Optional hardware rental
Spectrum Cox
$49.99 $100.00
$9.99 Free
$5.00/mo. (WiFi router) $12.99/mo. (combo Wi-Fi router/modem)

Spectrum and Cox’s installation fees aren’t cheap, but they’re also easy to avoid. Spectrum has paused home installations because of COVID-19 concerns, while Cox offers free self-installation kits. Spectrum tacks on an inconvenient $9.99 charge for its self-installation kit.

Cox narrowly gets the win thanks to its free self-install kits. While Spectrum’s free cable modem is a nice add-on, the ISP’s $9.99 self-installation fee knocked it behind Cox.

You’ll need a router and modem to get online, and each ISP has several hardware options. You can rent a wireless router from Spectrum for $5.00 per month, and the ISP also bundles a free modem. Cox offers its Panoramic Wifi Gateway, which is a combo modem and wireless router, for $12.99 per month. Thankfully, both devices are optional rentals for Cox or Spectrum subscribers.

Generally, we recommend purchasing your own wireless router and cable modem to skip the rental fees. But if you want your ISP to handle your hardware troubleshooting, Spectrum is our pick because of its free modem and cheaper rental costs compared to Cox.

Router or modem shopping?

Check out our wireless roter and combo cable modem/router guides for our top picks.

Customer satisfaction

In our most recent internet customer satisfaction survey, Spectrum narrowly won out over Cox in our ISP rankings. But neither provider earned top marks on any of our questions, and both ISPs had average scores in areas including internet speeds and service reliability.

Cox customers disliked the ISP’s modem, placing it eighth among our polled providers. Cox and Spectrum customers also widely disliked their ISPs’ prices, placing both companies in the bottom-third of our rankings.

TV bundles

Spectrum plans

Price Channel count
$44.99/mo. for 12 mo. 125+ channels View plan
$74.99/mo. for 12 mo. 175+ channels View plan
$94.99/mo. for 12 mo. 200+ channels View plan

Cox plans

Price* Channel count
$50.00/mo. 75+ channels View plan
$90.00/mo. 140+ channels View plan
$110.00/mo. 170+ channels View plan
$130.00/mo. 250+ channels View plan

* For 12 mos. w/ 1-yr. service. agreement.

If you’re interested in bundling TV service with your internet, stick with Spectrum—the ISP offers across-the-board better TV packages compared to Cox.

With Cox, you’ll have to pay $90.00 per month for Cox TV Preferred to get any basic cable channels. Plus, the package doesn’t include popular cable channels like Disney XD, BBC America, or ESPNU. To get these channels, you’ll either have to upgrade to Contour TV Ultimate or purchase channel packs.

Even on Spectrum’s cheapest TV plan, you’ll still get more than 125 basic and local TV channels. If you upgrade to Spectrum’s most expensive TV package, you’ll get more than 200 premium and basic cable channels for the same price as Cox’s entry-level basic cable package.

Bundling Cox vs. Spectrum TV® and cable internet service? Enter your zip code below to see which ISPs in your neighborhood offer TV bundles.
Please enter a valid zip code.

Final take

The difference between Spectrum and Cox internet ultimately boils down to one question: do you want an internet plan that’s fast or one that’s cheap?

Spectrum doesn’t have a great low-budget internet plan, but its mid-tier Spectrum Internet Ultra plan offers excellent 400 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary) maximum download speeds at only $49.99 per month for the first year. For most households with average internet needs, Spectrum strikes the perfect balance between cost and performance.

Cox’s budget and gigabit internet plans are workable options if you’re looking for extremely fast and expensive or cheap and slow internet service. Cox Gigablast costs less than Spectrum’s competing plan. But for most customers, both packages will likely be too slow or too expensive for their home.

Methodology

Our experts crunched the numbers, rating Cox and Spectrum on bang for your buck, reliability, features, and customer satisfaction. Then we matched up both companies head to head to give a clearer picture of their strengths and weaknesses. For more information on our methodology, check out our How We Rank page.

Spectrum vs. Cox FAQ

Is Spectrum better than Cox?

Spectrum offers better internet plans compared to Cox. Most of Cox’s internet plans are expensive or slow compared to Spectrum.

Are Cox and Spectrum the same?

Cox and Spectrum are two different companies.

Is Cox owned by Spectrum?

Cox is not owned by Spectrum. Spectrum is based in Connecticut, while Cox is based in Georgia.

Disclaimer

*Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter. Spectrum TV® Select promotion price is $44.99/mo; standard rates apply after yr. 1. Spectrum Internet® promotion price is $44.99/mo; standard rates apply after yr. 1. Taxes, fees and surcharges (broadcast surcharge up to $16.45/mo.) extra and subject to change during and after the promotional period; installation/network activation, equipment and additional services are extra. General Terms: INTERNET: Speed based on wired connection and may vary by address. Wireless speeds may vary. TV: TV equipment required, charges may apply. Channel and HD programming availability based on level of service. Account credentials may be required to stream some TV content online. Services subject to all applicable service terms and conditions, subject to change. Services not available in all areas. Restrictions apply. Enter your address to determine availability.

**Speed based on wired connection. Available Internet speeds may vary by address. Gig capable modem required for Gig speed. For a list of Gig capable modems, visit Spectrum.net/modem.

Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter. Spectrum TV Select: Price is $44.99/mo for yr 1; Spectrum TV Silver: Price is $74.99/mo for yr 1; Spectrum TV Gold: Price is $94.99/mo for yr 1; standard rates apply after yr 1. Spectrum Mi Plan Latino: Price is $34.99/mo for yr 1; Spectrum Mi Plan Latino Silver: Price is $64.99/mo for yr 1; Spectrum Mi Plan Latino Gold: Price is $84.99/mo for yr 1; standard rates apply after yr 1. Taxes, fees and surcharges (broadcast surcharge up to $16.45/mo) extra and subject to change during and after the term; installation, equipment and additional services are extra; General Terms: TV: TV equipment required, charges may apply. Channel and HD programming availability based on level of service. Account credentials may be required to stream some TV content online. Services subject to all applicable service terms and conditions, subject to change. Services not available in all areas. Restrictions apply. Enter your address to determine availability.