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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 traditional cable

Price: $39.99–$79.99/mo.*
Download speeds: Up to 300–1,000 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)**
Upload speeds: 10 Mbps–35 Mbps

Price: $39.99–$79.99/mo.*
Download speeds: Up to 300–1,000 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)**
Upload speeds: 10 Mbps–35 Mbps

Price: $49.99–$149.99/mo.
Download speeds: 100–2,000 Mbps
Upload speeds: 3 Mbps–100 Mbps

Price: $49.99–$149.99/mo.
Download speeds: 100–2,000 Mbps
Upload speeds: 3 Mbps–100 Mbps

Cox Communications and Spectrum offer similar internet speeds, but Spectrum’s internet plans cost less per month. And Spectrum includes a free modem and charges only $5 a month for a router, while renting Cox’s Panoramic Wifi Gateway costs $12 a month.

Spectrum also wins out in customer satisfaction, with a higher percentage of its customers reporting they were extremely or very satisfied in our recent customer satisfaction survey.

Spectrum vs. Cox pros and cons

Spectrum

Free internet modem
Higher customer satisfaction
No budget internet options

Cox

Competitive internet speeds
Good entry-level plans
Higher prices

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Compare Spectrum and Cox head to head

Pricing Maximum download speed Maximum upload speed Details
Spectrum $39.99–$79.99/mo.* Up to 300–1,000 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)** 10 Mbps–35 Mbps View Spectrum plans
Cox $49.99–$149.99/mo. 100–2,000 Mbps 3 Mbps–100 Mbps
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Data effective as of post date. Not all offers available in all areas.
‡For 12 mos. w/ 1-yr. term agrmt.

While Cox and Spectrum both charge within ten dollars of each other for their starting plans, you’ll get more bang for your buck from Spectrum—Spectrum’s starting speed runs thrice as fast as Cox’s.

And if you’re looking for gigabit internet speeds, Spectrum has you covered there too. Its gigabit plan is up to $60.00 less per month than Cox’s. Huge savings there.

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Plans and pricing

Spectrum Internet® plans

Package Price Download speeds Upload speeds up to Details
Spectrum Internet® $39.99–$49.99/mo. for 12 mos.* Up to 300 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)** 10 Mbps View plan
Spectrum Internet® Ultra
Best plan
$49.99–$69.99/mo. for 24 mos.* Up to 500 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary) ** 20 Mbps View plan
Spectrum Internet® Gig $59.99–$79.99/mo. for 24 mos.* Up to 1,000 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 internet service providers (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 one or two years (depending on the plan), its no-contracts setup means that you change providers at any time without paying an early termination fee (ETF).

The internet provider doesn’t have a great budget cable internet plan, since its cheapest option is $39.99 per month for the first 12 months (and that $39.99 is only in certain areas). 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 300 Mbps, Spectrum Internet® works great for a small household that streams TV, casually plays games, and works from home. Spectrum Internet Gig is also a decent gigabit internet option for top-end internet speeds, it’s much cheaper than Cox’s gigabit plan, regardless of what Spectrum area you’re in.

Pro tip: Spectrum may offer different internet deals depending on your location, including longer two-year price guarantees and cheaper prices.

We’d recommend Spectrum Internet Ultra for larger households. With a maximum download speed of 500 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary), you’ll have enough bandwidth if multiple people want to stream 4K video or play online games. Spectrum Internet 500 Mbps’ faster upload speeds will also help if many people are Zoom-ing at once.

Cox internet plans

Package Price* Download speeds up to Upload speeds Details
Go Fast $49.99/mo.* 100 Mbps 5 Mbps
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StraightUp Internet $50.00/mo.** 100 Mbps 3 Mbps
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Go Faster
Best plan
$69.99/mo.** 250 Mbps Up to 10 Mbps
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Go Even Faster $89.99/mo.† 500 Mbps 10 Mbps
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Go Super Fast $109.99/mo.‡ 1,000 Mbps 35 Mbps
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Go Beyond Fast $149.99/mo.* 2,000 Mbps 100 Mbps
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Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*No annual contract or cancellation fees.
†For 12 mos. No annual contract.
‡For 12 mos. w/ 1-yr. term agreement. Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
** Not available in all areas. No term agreement. Same price for 2 yrs. Pricing, packages, and policies are subject to change, including when adjusting or removing services or equipment.

Although Cox’s prices are far from the worst we’ve seen from an internet service provider, it can’t compete with Spectrum’s plans, which all offer faster speeds or lower prices.

But if you have a vendetta against Spectrum, Cox isn’t a terrible alternative. And its Panoramic Wifi Gateway might cost you a pretty penny, but its good equipment.

You’ll get excellent download speeds on Cox’s fastest internet plans, but with higher prices 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.

Go Faster is our pick for the best Cox internet plan.

It’s not the best deal compared to Spectrum, which has a cheaper 300 Mbps plan. But at $69.99 per month for 250 Mbps maximum download speeds, Cox’s Go Faster can work for families who need only average download and upload speeds.

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Installation

Provider Professional installation Self-installation Optional hardware rental
Spectrum $59.99 $9.99 $5.00/mo. (Wi-Fi router)
Cox $100.00 Free $12.00/mo. (combo Wi-Fi router/modem)

Spectrum and Cox’s installation fees aren’t cheap, but they’re also easy to avoid. Both providers offer self-installation kits, although Cox’s are free while Spectrum tacks on an inconvenient $9.99 charge for its self-installation kit.

But while Cox’s free installation is a great perk, it doesn’t offer vast ongoing savings of Spectrum’s free cable modem. While you’ll still need a router if you want Wi-Fi, a modem is all you need to get started with a wired internet connection. So Spectrum is the long-term winner here for devices.

You can rent a wireless router from Spectrum for $5.00 per month or buy your own. Cox offers its Panoramic Wifi Gateway, which is a combo modem and wireless router, for $12.00 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 Spectrum-compatible modems, Cox-compatible modems, and wireless 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 and Spectrum customers disliked their ISP’s modem, placing it 12th and 13th among our polled providers. Cox and Spectrum customers also widely disliked their ISPs’ prices, placing both companies at the near-bottom of our rankings.

TV bundles

Spectrum plans

Plan Price Channel count
Spectrum TV® Select $69.99 for 12 mo. 155+ View plan
Spectrum TV® Select Plus $74.99 for 12 mo. 160+ View plan

Cox plans

Plan Price* Channel count
Cox TV Starter $61.00/mo. 75+ channels
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Cox TV Preferred $115.00/mo. 140+ channels
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Cox TV Preferred Plus $146.00/mo. 170+ channels
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Contour TV Ultimate $152.00/mo. 250+ channels
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* 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 a strong starting TV package that you can bulk up as you like with affordable à la carte add-ons, including more entertainment, sports, and premium channels.

With Cox, you’ll have to pay $115.00 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 155 basic and local TV channels. If you upgrade to Spectrum’s most expensive TV package, you’ll get more than 160 premium and basic cable channels for less than Cox’s entry-level basic cable package.

Bundling Cox vs. Spectrum TV® and cable internet service?

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Is Cox or Spectrum better?

Spectrum is the clear winner in the Spectrum vs. Cox battle. Spectrum has faster starting speeds and cheaper gigabit-speed packages. Plus, it has no-contract plans, so you’ve got flexibility if you need to move within the year.

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 Communications 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.

Why you should trust us

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.

Disclaimer

Spectrum Internet: For 12 months when bundled. 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. Taxes, fees and surcharges extra and subject to change during and after the promotional period; installation/network activation, equipment and additional services are extra.

Spectrum Internet Ultra: For 24 months when bundled. 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 Internet Gig: For 24 months when bundled. 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.

**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.

Spectrum TV Select Signature: 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 Signature promotion price is $59.99/mo; standard rates apply after yr 1. Taxes, fees, and surcharges (broadcast surcharge up to $23.20/mo) extra and subject to change during and after the promotional period; installation/network activation, 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 and location. 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.

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