AT&T vs. Cox

  • Affordable 1 gig plan
  • Wide availability
  • No standout budget plans
  • Great budget and mid-tier plans
  • Fast 1 gig speeds
  • All plans have data caps

The Bottom Line

AT&T is ideal for customers who want the fastest speeds for the least amount of money. Its Internet 1000 plan gives you 1,000 Mbps (1 gig) for less than a hundred bucks a month.

Cox also offers 1 gig speeds, but where it really shines is with slower speeds. Cox budget packages are perfect if you don’t need the fastest speeds (and most people don’t). It also boasts a faster average overall speed than AT&T.

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

 

AT&T vs. Cox Internet

AT&T Cox Communications

Type of Service

Fiber, DSL

Type of Service

Cable

Price

$35.00/mo. for 12 months

Introductory Price

$29.99–$119.99/mo. for 12 months

Contract

1 year

Contract

1 year

Download Speeds

768k–1,000 Mbps

Download Speeds

10–1,000 Mbps

Equipment Fees

Included in package price

Equipment Fees

$9.99/mo.

Installation Fee

$99.00

Installation Fee

$75.00

Customer Satisfaction

3.83/5

Customer Satisfaction

3.60/5

View Plans for AT&T View Plans for Cox Communications
AT&T

Type of Service

Fiber, DSL

Cox Communications

Type of Service

Cable

AT&T

Price

$35.00/mo. for 12 months

Cox Communications

Introductory Price

$29.99–$119.99/mo. for 12 months

AT&T

Contract

1 year

Cox Communications

Contract

1 year

AT&T

Download Speeds

768k–1,000 Mbps

Cox Communications

Download Speeds

10–1,000 Mbps

AT&T

Equipment Fees

Included in package price

Cox Communications

Equipment Fees

$9.99/mo.

AT&T

Installation Fee

$99.00

Cox Communications

Installation Fee

$75.00

AT&T

Customer Satisfaction

3.83/5

Cox Communications

Customer Satisfaction

3.60/5

AT&T View Plans for AT&T
Cox Communications View Plans for Cox Communications
 

Packages & Pricing

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer different tiers of service through packages or plans. Usually the price increases along with the speed, and certain packages may be available only in certain areas. Let’s see how AT&T and Cox packages stack up.

AT&T Packages

PackagePriceSpeedInternet Type
AT&T Fiber Internet 100$35/mo.*100 MbpsFiber
AT&T Fiber Internet 300$45/mo.*300 MbpsFiber
Internet 1000$60/mo.†1,000 MbpsFiber
PackageAT&T Fiber Internet 100
Price$35/mo.*
Speed100 Mbps
Internet TypeFiber
PackageAT&T Fiber Internet 300
Price$45/mo.*
Speed300 Mbps
Internet TypeFiber
PackageInternet 1000
Price$60/mo.†
Speed1,000 Mbps
Internet TypeFiber

AT&T is in the process of transitioning away from older technologies like DSL and expanding its fiber network. This is good news for people with access to AT&T fiber; however, the company is no longer taking new DSL customers. That means that if you live in an area where AT&T offers only DSL, you’re out of luck.

If you can get AT&T fiber, its pricing is competitive, especially at the higher tiers. Paying $60 per month for gigabit internet is a pretty great deal.

Cox Packages

PackagePriceSpeedInternet Type
Internet Starter 10$29.99/mo. for 12 mos.10 MbpsCable
Internet Essential 30$39.99/mo. for 12 mos.30 MbpsCable
Internet Preferred 150$59.99/mo. for 12 mos.150 MbpsCable
Internet Ultimate$79.99/mo. for 12 mos.300 MbpsCable
Gigablast$99.99/mo.1,000 MbpsCable
PackageInternet Starter 10
Price$29.99/mo. for 12 mos.
Speed10 Mbps
Internet TypeCable
PackageInternet Essential 30
Price$39.99/mo. for 12 mos.
Speed30 Mbps
Internet TypeCable
PackageInternet Preferred 150
Price$59.99/mo. for 12 mos.
Speed150 Mbps
Internet TypeCable
PackageInternet Ultimate
Price$79.99/mo. for 12 mos.
Speed300 Mbps
Internet TypeCable
PackageGigablast
Price$99.99/mo.
Speed1,000 Mbps
Internet TypeCable

Cox packages are all the same type of service: cable. And they’re generally a better deal than AT&T at the lower end, but the top tiers are more expensive than comparable AT&T plans. Gigablast, in particular, is much more expensive than AT&T’s Internet 1000 plan. That said, if you don’t need superfast internet speeds because you routinely upload large files or game with your buds online, Cox is usually the better deal.

 

Important Features

Speed

AT&T and Cox are neck and neck when it comes to speed. Each offers plans from just 5 or 10 Mbps up to 1,000 Mbps, which should be plenty of speed for whatever you need it for.

Advertised speeds aren’t always the same as actual speeds. Customers seem to have mixed feelings about AT&T and Cox’s speeds. AT&T ranks towards the top in our customer satisfaction survey, while Cox is one of the lower-ranked providers when it comes to speed.

Not sure how these speeds compare to your current plan? Use our speed test tool to see how your current service stacks up to what you could upgrade to.

Internet Type

AT&T uses DSL and fiber connections, while the Cox network is built on cable lines. In terms of speed and reliability, cable falls right between DSL and fiber. Since AT&T is no longer offering DSL to new customers, it’s really a choice between cable and fiber. Cox’s cable network is much more widely available, but if you have access to both, we suggest going with fiber.

You can check your local speeds by entering your zip code below:

Data Caps

AT&T and Cox both have 1 TB data caps. That’s going to be plenty for most users, though heavy streamers may run into some trouble. If you go with AT&T, they’ll waive the data cap when you bundle with TV service or subscribe to the Internet 1000 plan.

 

Equipment

Your provider will give you all the equipment 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.

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. But it isn’t always free. While AT&T doesn’t charge you extra for the equipment, Cox adds on a $9.99-per-month rental fee.

Using 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 NETGEAR Nighthawk X10. If you need more range, grab one of our recommended long-range routers for whole-home coverage.

 

Customer Experience

Most people look at three things with internet service: availability, price, and speed. Those are all important, but there’s more to the customer experience than just the service itself. What’s the installation process like? How does the ISP treat its customers? All these factors can be just as important as speed and price.

Installation & Setup

Installation Fee: $99

Installation Type: Professional/Self-Installation

Schedule an Installation

Installation Fee: $75

Installation Type: Professional/Self-Installation

Schedule an Installation

AT&T and Cox both charge hefty fees for a professional installation, but there are a few tricks to help ease the bill:

  • AT&T offers a free self-install kit, though they’ll tack a $35 activation fee onto your first bill. Still, that’s better than the $99 for professional installation.
  • Cox also offers a self-install option. If you order internet alone, the kit costs $20. If you bundle with TV, the kit is free, and the professional install drops to $50. And if you get internet, TV, and phone, both installation options are free.

Customer Service

AT&T

Overall Customer Service Rating:

(3.83/5)

Cox Communications

Overall Customer Service Rating:

(3.60/5)

AT&T ranked sixth in 2020 for overall customer satisfaction, ranking towards the top out of 15 providers. Cox didn’t do as well, landing towards the bottom. There aren’t any glaring complaints about either service on our radar, and we think you’ll be very satisfied no matter which way you go. But if customer service is a big selling point for you, stick with AT&T.

Mobile Apps

AT&T and Cox offer handy mobile apps that let you access your account information, view and pay your bill, and more.

myAT&T App

  • Google Play Rating: 3.7/5
  • Apple Store Rating: 4.4/5
  • Compatible Devices: iOS and Android

Cox Connect

  • Google Play Rating: 3.0/5
  • Apple Store Rating: 2.2/5
  • Compatible Devices: iOS and Android
 

Availability and Coverage

Both providers offer service in a similar number of states: twenty-one states for AT&T and eighteen for Cox. There’s a big difference in overall availability though: AT&T is much more widespread, so if you ever need to move, you’re more likely to keep your service with AT&T.

AT&T Availability Map

Top 5 States:

  1. Illinois
  2. Kansas
  3. California
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Texas

Cox Availability Map

Top 5 States:

  1. Arizona
  2. Rhode Island
  3. Nevada
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Kansas

Not sure if AT&T and Cox offer service in your area? We’ve got you covered. Just enter your zip code below.

 

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Affordable 1 gig plan
  • Good customer service
  • No data caps on bundles and Internet 1000 plan

Cons

  • No standout budget plans
  • Expensive installation fees

Pros

  • Great budget and mid-tier plans
  • Fast 1 gig speeds
  • Affordable bundles

Cons

  • All plans have data caps
  • Gigabit package is more expensive than AT&T’s
 

Get fewer bills and save money by bundling.

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

AT&T customers can get DIRECTV or AT&T TV for TV bundling. DIRECTV is a satellite service with nearly nationwide availability and excellent sports coverage, while AT&T TV is a streaming service with live TV broadcasts and apps like Netflix and Pandora. We’re fans of the DIRECTV CHOICE + Internet package, with 185+ channels for $99.98 per month for 12 months. (U-verse is no longer offered with AT&T.)

AT&T customers can also try HBO Max free for 30 days when they sign up for an internet plan. If you bundle your service with TV, you can get three months of HBO Max absolutely free.

Cox offers bundles with its own cable TV service, Cox Contour. Contour is a solid all-around TV service with a good channel selection. We like the Silver Triple Play, with 140+ channels (including HBO®, CINEMAX, and SHOWTIME), 300 Mbps internet, and phone service for $129.99 per month.

 

FAQs about AT&T and Cox

What does 1 gig mean?

The term “1 gig” refers to plans with speeds of 1 gigabit per second (Gbps), or 1,000 Mbps. These plans are fast, making all your online activities better, from simple shopping to heavy streaming. And they’re getting more affordable and easy to find every year. If these plans are available in your area, we highly recommend trying out gig speeds.

Is fiber better than cable?

In theory, yes. Fiber-optic lines technically have higher capacity, so they can move more information faster. But in practice it really depends on the specific provider and how it built the network. Takeaway? Don’t be a fiber purist. There are plenty of cable internet packages out there with 1 gig speeds, for example, and we wouldn’t rule them out just because they’re not fiber.

Our Verdict

AT&T and Cox both offer a lot of great plans, so this choice comes down to one thing: how much speed you need. AT&T is a better deal for faster plans while Cox is better for slower speeds that come with budget and mid-tier packages.

Author -

Dave has written professionally for tech companies and consumer technology sites for nearly five years, with a special focus on TV and internet. He uses his industry expertise to help readers at HighSpeedInternet.com get the most out of their services. No matter the project, he prefers his coffee black (the stronger, the better).

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