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

  • Best speeds for the price
    • Price: $55.00–$180.00/mo.
    • Speed: 25–5,000 Mbps
    • Internet type: Fiber, DSL, fixed wireless
    • Data cap: Unlimited for fiber; 350 GB for fixed wireless; 1 TB for speeds 75 Mbps and under
  • Best availability and budget packages
    • Price: $49.99–$109.99/mo.
    • Speed: 100–1,000 Mbps
    • Internet type: Cable
    • Data cap: 1.25 TB

Compare AT&T and Cox head to head

AT&T is ideal for customers who want fast speeds and a decent deal. Its best plan gives you 300 Mbps speeds for $55 per month, but you can pay a lot more for obscenely fast multigigabit speeds. Like AT&T, Cox also offers 1 gig speeds, but where it really shines is with its lower-priced plans. Cox budget packages are great if you don’t need the fastest speeds (and most people don’t). Just watch out for the price hikes that kick in after 12 months.

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

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 25 Mbps 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

PackagePriceSpeedDetails
AT&T Internet Up to 75 Mbps$55.00/mo.*Up to 75 Mbps
AT&T Internet 100$55.00/mo.*Up to 100 Mbps
AT&T Internet 300$55.00/mo.*300 Mbps
AT&T Internet 500$65.00/mo.*500 Mbps
AT&T 1G Internet$80.00/mo.*1,000 Mbps
AT&T 2G Internet$110.00/mo.*2,000 Mbps
AT&T 5G Internet$180.00/mo.*5,000 Mbps
AT&T Fixed Wireless Internet$59.99/mo.25 Mbps

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

You can’t do much better than $55 per month for the 300 Mbps plan. That’s an incredibly fast 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.

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
Internet Essential 100$49.99/mo. for 12 mos.100 MbpsView Plans
Internet Preferred 250$59.99/mo. for 12 mos.250 MbpsView Plans
Internet Ultimate 500$69.99/mo. for 12 mos.500 MbpsView Plans
Internet Gigablast$109.99/mo.1,000 MbpsView Plans

Cox’s cable packages all come with fairly steep price hikes after one year of service. That said, if you don’t need superfast internet speeds, Cox can still give you a good deal. Also, you’ll likely have an easier time getting a cable plan through Cox than getting a fiber plan from AT&T, making the fastest speeds more accessible.

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.

HSI badge deals

Deals and Promotions: AT&T vs. Cox

Get a $150 or $200 reward card when you sign up for a fiber internet plan. The 300 Mbps and 500 Mbps plans come with a $150 reward card and the gigabit plans include a $200 reward card.
Cox Communications
Get free installation with one of Cox's several TV and internet bundling options.

Get the Deal

Extra fees: AT&T vs. Cox

Equipment FeeInstallation FeeOther Fees
AT&T$10.00/mo.Up to $99 (professional installation) or $35 (self-install kit)$15/mo. (early termination), $5 (late payment)
Cox$12.00/mo.Starts at $25 (professional installation) or $20 (self-install kit)$10/mo. (early termination), late fees based on state laws and regulations

AT&T and Cox both charge hefty fees for a professional installation, but you can opt for a self-install option to help ease the bill.

As for equipment, for a monthly fee your provider will give 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.

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 charges $10 per month for a router and modem, 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

Overall RatingReliability RatingCustomer Service RatingSpeed RatingPrice Rating
AT&T3.8/53.7/53.7/53.8/53.5/5
Cox3.7/53.7/53.8/53.8/53.3/5

AT&T and Cox ranked second and fourth respectively in our annual customer satisfaction report. Customers scored them similarly in reliability and speed, but Cox customers are slightly more satisfied with their customer service than AT&T customers. Both AT&T and Cox received their lowest scores in the price category, but AT&T edged out Cox with a 3.5 satisfaction score compared to Cox’s 3.3.

It’s worth noting that AT&T’s fiber internet customers gave higher ratings in every category compared to the ISP’s DSL customers, especially in the speed and customer service categories. Overall, AT&T fiber customers rated it 3.8, but it’s DSL score is 3.6. So customers actually rated AT&T fiber first, then Cox, and finally AT&T DSL.

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.

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 Internet Essential + Contour Starter100 Mbps75+$115.99/mo.View Plans
Cox Internet Ultimate + Contour Preferred500 Mbps140+$190.99/mo.View Plans

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 (100-1,000 Mbps) with any Cox TV plan (75-250 channels).

But you won’t be able to get a bundle package from AT&T. You used to be able to bundle AT&T internet with DIRECTV and AT&T TV, but those offers are no longer available.

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 5 Gbps 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 1,000 Mbps 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; 1 TB for speeds up to 75 Mbps; 350 GB for fixed wireless
Cox1.25 TBView Plans

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

Cox gives all of its customers a 1.25 TB 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 $49.00; free self-installation kit
Cox$100.00; free for self-installation kitView Plans

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, so you don’t have to pay $49 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’s fiber service is the best bet out of what you get from these two providers. It gives 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. If you want cheap internet, then a lower-tier Cox plan may be just what you need.


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.