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AT&T vs. Cox: Which Internet Provider Is Best for You?

  • Best speeds for the price
    • Price: $55.00–$225.00/mo.
    • Speed: 25–5,000Mbps
    • Internet type: Fiber, DSL, fixed wireless
    • Data cap: Unlimited for fiber; 350GB for fixed wireless; 1TB for speeds 75Mbps and under
  • Best availability and budget packages
    • Price: $49.99–$149.99/mo.
    • Speed: 100–2,000Mbps
    • Internet type: Cable
    • Data cap: 1.25TB

Compare AT&T and Cox head to head

AT&T fiber plans give you fast speeds and unlimited data at a decent price, making this provider the ideal pick for most people. AT&T’s 300Mbps plan costs just $55 per month, but you can pay more for obscenely fast multigigabit speeds. Like AT&T, Cox also offers 1 gig speeds, but its cable connection doesn’t have the impressive upload speeds of AT&T fiber. Cox also has steep price hikes that kick in after 12 months. Still, Cox budget packages are solid if you don’t need the fastest speeds (and most people don’t).

Pros and cons: AT&T vs. Cox

Pros:

  • Lots of fiber-optic plans
  • No annual contracts
  • No data caps on fiber plans

Cons:

  • Limited access to the fastest plans
  • Unpredictable DSL speeds

Pros:

  • Top-rated customer service
  • Lots of bundle options
  • No-contract options

Cons:

  • Data caps on all plans
  • Huge price hikes after 12 months

Want to see what plans are available in your area? Enter your zip code below.

Plans and pricing: AT&T vs. Cox

AT&T offers a range of internet plans over fiber-optic, DSL, and fixed wireless connections. The fiber plans give you the best deal, but they’re also harder to come by. Cox provides cable internet at multiple tiers, from a cheap 25Mbps plan to more expensive gigabit service.

Pro tip:

Not sure what sort of plan you’re looking for? Use our How Much Speed Do I Need tool to get an idea of the kind of internet speed you’ll want based on what you do and how many people share your Wi-Fi.

AT&T plans and pricing

PackagePriceSpeedTypeDetails
AT&T Internet 300$55.00/mo.**300MbpsFiber
AT&T Internet 500$65.00/mo.**500MbpsFiber
AT&T 1G Internet$80.00/mo.*1,000MbpsFiber
AT&T 2G Internet$125.00/mo.*2,000MbpsFiber
AT&T 5G Internet$225.00/mo.#5,000MbpsFiber
AT&T Internet Air$55.00/mo.*40–140MbpsFixed Wireless/5G

AT&T has a bunch of fiber internet plans, with speeds going up to a startling 5Gbps—that’s the fastest possible speed you can get from any major internet provider anywhere in the United States. Do you need 5Gbps speeds? Honestly, probably not.

You can’t do much better than $55 per month for the 300Mbps plan. That’s a generous speed, ideal for a household of several people, and it’s not too shabby of a price either. Plus, you can always cancel your plan without facing early termination fees (ETFs).

If you live in a rural area, you can get AT&T’s Fixed Wireless Internet, which is designed for internet users living in places where few internet options are available.

Try AT&T Internet Air as a cheap and speedy DSL alternative

AT&T has been slowly phasing out its DSL service, and recently it launched AT&T Internet Air as a 5G alternative. Similar to the fixed wireless plan, Internet Air uses AT&T’s cellular network to get you a connection, only in this case it works over 5G transmitters that give users much faster speeds and lower latency. The plan is cheap and doesn’t come with extra fees or data overage charges, so you’re getting a sweet deal for a robust 5G broadband connection.

Pro tip:

Curious to know more about fixed wireless internet? Read our fixed wireless guide for details on how much it costs and where you can get it.

Cox plans and pricing

PackagePrice*SpeedsDetails
Go Fast$49.99/mo. for 12 mos.*Up to 100MbpsView Plans
Go Faster$69.99/mo. for 12 mos.*250MbpsView Plans
Go Even Faster$89.99/mo. for 12 mos.**500MbpsView Plans
Go Super Fast$109.99/mo.*1,000MbpsView Plans
Cox Go Beyond Fast$149.99/mo.*2,000MbpsView Plans

Cox has an array of cable plans that let you choose between saving money or getting faster speeds. None of the plans quite compare to AT&T’s fiber offerings—for example, Internet Essential 100 costs $5 less per month, but is 200Mbps slower than AT&T’s basic fiber plan. Also, each of these plans comes with a fairly steep price hike after one year.

Still, Cox gets you fast speeds and reliable service. And you’re more likely to find a cable plan through Cox than you would a a fiber plan from AT&T. So Cox is going to be the fast option for most netizens.

Looking for an easy way to test and track your internet speed?

Take our internet speed test or download our free speed test app to test your speed from anywhere.

Download our free, easy-to-use speed test app for quick and reliable results.

HSI badge deals

Deals and Promotions: AT&T vs. Cox

Get up to $200 in AT&T Visa® Reward Cards when you sign up for AT&T Fiber. Offer ends 3/13.

 

Get the Deal

Get free Panoramic wifi equipment rental for 24 mos with the purchase of any Cox internet plan.

 

Get the Deal

Extra fees: AT&T vs. Cox

Equipment FeeInstallation FeeOther Fees
AT&T$10.00/mo. (for DSL)Up to $99 for professional installation (DSL) or free self-install kit$15/mo. (early termination), Up to $9(late payment)
Cox$12.00/mo.$100 for professional installation or free (self-install kit$10/mo. (early termination), late fees based on state laws and regulations

AT&T and Cox both charge for professional installation, but you can opt for a self-install option to cut extra fees off your bill.

As for equipment, for a monthly fee your provider gives you everything you need to get online after you sign up. This includes a modem, a router, and a cable box or DVR if you get TV service. But you can buy your own equipment to save money.

The nice thing about included equipment is it’s guaranteed to work with your service, and if you run into trouble, it’ll be covered by your provider. AT&T doesn’t charge for a router and modem on fiber plans, while Cox has a $12 per month rental fee for its Panoramic Wifi Gateway (a modem/router combo).

Pro tip: Use your own router

Most providers will allow you to use your own equipment and skip the rental fees if you like—there are lots of options out there.

This can be nice if you like customizing your equipment. For example, if you need something faster, check out a powerhouse like the Linksys EA7500. If you need more range, grab one of our recommended long-range routers for whole-home coverage.

Customer ratings: AT&T vs. Cox

OverallSpeedPriceReliabilityCustomer service
AT&T3.9/53.9/53.7/53.8/53.8/5
Cox3.7/53.9/53.4/53.7/53.8/5

AT&T and Cox both earned high scores in our annual customer satisfaction report. Customers ranked them the same in speed and customer service, but AT&T customers are slightly more satisfied with their service’s reliability than Cox customers. Both AT&T and Cox received their lowest scores in the price category, but AT&T handsomely beat Cox with a 3.7 satisfaction score compared to Cox’s 3.4.

Neither ISP has glaring faults—both ranked in the top half of 12 in every category. You’ll probably get satisfactory service from either one. But numbers-wise, AT&T has happier customers.

Pro tip:

Not sure what kind of speeds you need? Take our speed test to find out how fast your current internet is as a base of comparison.

Are AT&T and Cox available in your area? Enter your zip below to find out.

Best TV and internet bundles

PackageInternet speedTV channelsPriceDetails
Cox Go Fast + Contour Starter*100Mbps75+$81.00/mo.View Plans
Cox Go Even Faster + Contour Preferred*500Mbps170+$169.00/mo.View Plans
AT&T Fiber Internet 300 + DIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT300Mbps75+$124.99/mo.
AT&T Fiber Internet 300 + DIRECTV CHOICE300Mbps105+$139.99/mo.

It makes a lot of sense to bundle your internet and TV with one provider. Not only will you get a simpler bill, but also you’ll usually get a better deal.

Cox offers bundles with its own cable TV service, Cox Contour . Contour is a solid all-around TV service with a good channel selection. There are cheaper bundling options available with Cox Counter Stream Player, which gives you streaming TV service instead of wired cable TV. If you want to bundle a Cox internet plan with cable TV, you can pair any of the Cox internet plans (100–2,000Mbps) with any Cox TV plan (75–250 channels).

AT&T bundles it’s internet packages with DIRECTV, so you can get AT&T’s plan variety and up to 150 channels.

Internet connection types: AT&T vs. Cox

Internet typeDetails
AT&TFiber, fixed wireless
CoxCableView Plans

AT&T primarily offers fiber-optic internet, but it also has fixed-wireless connections for rural customers. Cox’s network is built on cable lines. In terms of speed and reliability, fiber is by far the best—AT&T can get you up to 5Gbps speeds for downloads and uploads. That’s the fastest internet plan ever from a major provider.

Cable is also fast and reliable. But while Cox can get you 1,000Mbps download speeds, your upload speeds will generally be much slower. Keep that in mind if you plan to do upload-intensive tasks like uploading content to social media, hosting livestreams, or attending Zoom meetings.

Pro tip:

Not sure what kind of internet you have? You can get more information by reading our guide to internet connection types.

AT&T vs. Cox: Data caps

Data CapDetails
AT&TUnlimited for fiber plans; 1TB for speeds up to 75Mbps; 350GB for fixed wireless
Cox1.25TBView Plans

AT&T has no data caps for customers on its fiber internet plans. AT&T’s fixed wireless package has a relatively small 350GB data cap.

Cox gives all of its customers a 1.25TB data cap. That’s going to be plenty for most users, though heavy streamers may run into some trouble.

AT&T vs. Cox: Contracts

Contract lengthDetails
AT&TNone for fiber plans or AT&T TV
Cox1 yr., month-to-month option for $10.00/mo. extraView Plans

You won’t need to worry about an annual contract if you sign up with AT&T—all of its internet plans go month to month, so you can cancel any time without worrying about an early termination fee.

Cox gives you the option between signing up for a one-year contract or paying $10 a month extra for a month-to-month option. The early termination fee on the annual contract is $10 for each month you have left on your bill. So, you’ll save a little money by signing a contract, but you might have to pay up in the end if you cancel before it’s over.

AT&T vs. Cox: Installation

Installation optionsDetails
AT&TUp to $99.00; free self-installation kit
Cox$100.00; free for self-installation kitView Plans

AT&T and Cox both charge fees for a professional installation, but there are a few tricks to help ease the bill. AT&T offers a free self-install kit, so you don’t have to pay $99 for professional installation.

Cox charges $100 for professional installation of its internet service, but you can get a self-installation kit at no extra charge.

AT&T vs. Cox: Availability

AT&T and Cox both offer service in a similar number of states: twenty-one states for AT&T and eighteen for Cox. AT&T tends to have more coverage overall, with wider availability in each state.

To find out if you can get either of these providers, type in your zip code below to see if they’re available in your area.

Final call: AT&T vs. Cox

We think AT&T is the best bet of these two providers—just make sure you can get a fiber-optic plan. AT&T’s fiber packages give you faster speeds and a more reliable connection type compared to Cox’s plans.

The catch? AT&T Fiber is a lot harder to come by than Cox’s cable internet, and AT&T’s DSL offerings really aren’t worth the price. If fiber isn’t available where you live, stick with a Cox cable internet plan, even if it costs a bit more than DSL.


View Cox Plans

Methodology

Our HighSpeedInternet.com editorial team bases our analyses on customer input from our annual customer satisfaction survey, results from our speed test tool, and proprietary internet provider data on speeds and pricing. To strengthen our research, we look closely at provider contracts to get hard-to-find information on price hikes, data caps, and extra fees, and we keep tabs on the latest news reports and online reviews. When applicable, we also rely on our personal experiences testing these services.

Author -

Peter Holslin has more than a decade of experience working as a writer and freelance journalist. He graduated with a BA in liberal arts and journalism from New York City’s The New School University in 2008 and went on to contribute to publications like Rolling Stone, VICE, BuzzFeed, and countless others. At HighSpeedInternet.com, he focuses on covering 5G, nerding out about frequency bands and virtual RAN, and producing reviews on emerging services like 5G home internet. He also writes about internet providers and packages, hotspots, VPNs, and Wi-Fi troubleshooting.

Editor - Cara Haynes

Cara Haynes has been editing and writing in the digital space for seven years, and she's edited all things internet for HighSpeedInternet.com for five years. She graduated with a BA in English and a minor in editing from Brigham Young University. When she's not editing, she makes tech accessible through her freelance writing for brands like Pluralsight. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span.

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