Cox vs. Frontier

Cox internet is fast and affordable, but Frontier brings the heat with great bundle options.

  • Affordable internet-only pricing
  • Better customer satisfaction scores
  • Slower upload speeds
  • More affordable bundle pricing
  • Symmetrical upload speeds
  • Longer contract term

The bottom line

Cox is great for customers looking for internet-only plans. It offers fast speeds at a much lower price point than Frontier, and it has shorter contracts (with the option of going contract-free). It suffers a little in the bundle department though. You’ll pay more for a bundle with Cox than you will with Frontier.

Frontier is ideal for content creators and anyone else who shares a lot of media online, thanks to the much faster upload speeds. Frontier is also a perfect choice for users looking to bundle services since their prices are generally lower than what you get from Cox. Just watch for those two-year contracts.

Compare Cox and Frontier packages in your area:

Side-by-side comparison

Cox Communications Frontier

Type of service

Cable

Type of service

Fiber, DSL

Price

$29.99–$119.99/mo.

Introductory price

$30.00–$200.00/mo.

Contract

Optional contract up to 2 years

Contract

Up to 2 years

Download speeds

10 Mbps–1,000 Mbps (1 Gig)

Download speeds

50–1,000 Mbps (1 Gig)

Equipment fees

$9.99/mo.

Equipment fees

$10.00/mo.

Installation fee

$75.00

Installation fee

$75.00 (waived with 2-yr. contract)

Customer satisfaction

3.76/5

Customer satisfaction

3.60/5

View Cox plansView Frontier plans
Cox Communications

Type of service

Cable

Frontier

Type of service

Fiber, DSL

Cox Communications

Price

$29.99–$119.99/mo.

Frontier

Introductory price

$30.00–$200.00/mo.

Cox Communications

Contract

Optional contract up to 2 years

Frontier

Contract

Up to 2 years

Cox Communications

Download speeds

10 Mbps–1,000 Mbps (1 Gig)

Frontier

Download speeds

50–1,000 Mbps (1 Gig)

Cox Communications

Equipment fees

$9.99/mo.

Frontier

Equipment fees

$10.00/mo.

Cox Communications

Installation fee

$75.00

Frontier

Installation fee

$75.00 (waived with 2-yr. contract)

Cox Communications

Customer satisfaction

3.76/5

Frontier

Customer satisfaction

3.60/5

Cox Communications View Cox plans
Frontier View Frontier plans

Data effective 4/13/19. Not all offers available in all areas.

Packages and pricing

Let’s dive right into the meat and potatoes: the plans. Both providers offer a similar range of speeds, but the pricing is quite different between them. Take a look at how it plays out.

Cox packages

PackagePriceSpeedInternet type
Internet Starter 10$29.99/mo. for 12 mos.10 MbpsCable
Internet Essential 30$29.99/mo. for 12 mos.30 MbpsCable
Internet Preferred 150$49.99/mo. for 12 mos.150 MbpsCable
Internet Ultimate$69.99/mo. for 12 mos.300 MbpsCable
Gigablast$119.99/mo.1,000 MbpsCable
PackageInternet Starter 10
Price$29.99/mo. for 12 mos.
Speed10 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackageInternet Essential 30
Price$29.99/mo. for 12 mos.
Speed30 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackageInternet Preferred 150
Price$49.99/mo. for 12 mos.
Speed150 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackageInternet Ultimate
Price$69.99/mo. for 12 mos.
Speed300 Mbps
Internet typeCable
PackageGigablast
Price$119.99/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.

Each plan is available with or without a contract, but you’ll pay an extra $10 per month if you opt to ditch the contract.

Frontier FiOS packages

PackagePriceSpeedInternet type
Simply FiOS 50/50$30.00/mo. for 24 mos.50 MbpsFiber
Simply FiOS 200/200$40.00/mo. for 24 mos.200 MbpsFiber
Simply FiOS 300/300$100.00/mo. for 24 mos.300 MbpsFiber
Simply FiOS 500/500$150.00/mo. for 24 mos.500 MbpsFiber
Simply FiOS 1G/1G$200.00/mo. for 24 mos.1 gig (1,000 Mbps)Fiber
PackageSimply FiOS 50/50
Price$30.00/mo. for 24 mos.
Speed50 Mbps
Internet typeFiber
PackageSimply FiOS 200/200
Price$40.00/mo. for 24 mos.
Speed200 Mbps
Internet typeFiber
PackageSimply FiOS 300/300
Price$100.00/mo. for 24 mos.
Speed300 Mbps
Internet typeFiber
PackageSimply FiOS 500/500
Price$150.00/mo. for 24 mos.
Speed500 Mbps
Internet typeFiber
PackageSimply FiOS 1G/1G
Price$200.00/mo. for 24 mos.
Speed1 gig (1,000 Mbps)
Internet typeFiber

Frontier offers similar speeds to Cox. The prices are a bit higher, and the contract is longer (two years versus one), but Frontier has the major advantage of faster upload speeds.

With Cox, upload speeds are around 10% of your download speeds, while Frontier FiOS keeps the two equal thanks to the higher fiber bandwidth. That means you can switch from streaming to uploading vacation photos without a glitch.

Important features

Speed

When it comes to speed, there’s not a lot of difference between Cox and Frontier. Both offer packages up to 1 Gbps, making them capable of handling anything you can throw at them.

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.

Pro tip: Wondering how Cox and Frontier speeds stack up to your current service? Use our speed test to find out where you’re at now so you know where to go later.

Internet type

Although we’re dealing with two different types of internet service here (Cox is cable, Frontier FiOS is fiber), the download speeds available don’t change much between the service types. The main difference is that Frontier features symmetrical speeds. That means the upload speed is roughly the same as the download speed, where normally it’s only about 10%.

The higher upload speed makes a big difference for sharing large media files, making it ideal for photographers, videographers, YouTubers, and other content creators. It’s also handy for just video chatting with Grandma and Grandpa.

Data caps

Cox has data caps, but Frontier doesn’t. That’s big, especially if you’ve got those superfast upload speeds to take advantage of. That said, while Cox’s data cap is pretty large at 1 TB, it’s still a limit on how much you can use your connection, and limits are never fun.

Equipment

Renting vs. buying

Renting

We think you should probably stick to the equipment provided by Cox and Frontier. That way you don’t have to do any additional shopping. You already know the router is compatible with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and that it can handle your plan’s speed.

It’s also much easier to get tech support for gear that your ISP is familiar with. So unless you’re a tech genius, stick with leasing a modem and router from your ISP.

Buying

If you have your eye on a zippy router from the future or hate renting anything, you can buy your own equipment. Since Cox uses cable, you can use your own modem and router since so many modems are available for cable services.

With Frontier, especially the FiOS fiber service, you’ll probably need to use Frontier’s modem and just add your own router on top of that.

The best reason to use your own gear is you get to call the shots with performance and security. If you have specific performance needs, like a longer range to accommodate a large house, you can set that up. The same goes for advanced security needs, like a stronger firewall.

If you’re looking to purchase your own router, check out our guides on the best long-range routers and modem/router combos first.

Customer experience

Now that we know what packages and equipment Cox and Frontier provide, let’s take a look at the experience of living with them as your ISP.

Installation and setup

Installation feeType of installation
Cox Communications $75Professional/self-installationSchedule an installation
Frontier $75 (waived with 2-yr. contract)Professional/self-installationSchedule an installation
Cox Communications
Installation fee$75
Type of installationProfessional/self-installation
Schedule an installation
Frontier
Installation fee$75 (waived with 2-yr. contract)
Type of installationProfessional/self-installation
Schedule an installation

Both providers charge $75 to install your internet service. Frontier will waive the fee when you sign a two-year contract, and since most of its plans require one, taking advantage of this benefit is easy.

Cox and Frontier also both offer self-install options, which can be a more affordable and convenient option for the DIY crowd. Just know that there may come a time when you want to chuck your system out the window should tech issues arise.

If you have a fiber plan from Frontier, things might be a little dicier. Since fiber is still less common than cable, there’s a chance you may need to fork over the cash to let the pros handle things. We just thought you should know that before you let your head dance with dreams of installing your own fiber service.

Customer service

Cox Communications

Overall customer satisfaction rating:

(3.76/5)

Frontier

Overall customer satisfaction rating:

(3.55/5)

Both providers offer decent customer service, but neither of them will wait on you hand and foot. That’s generally the standard in this industry, so you can’t complain too much.

Still, Cox ranks significantly higher in our customer satisfaction survey (in fifth place) while Frontier comes in third from last. Still, we don’t think you’ll have too many problems with either, and we haven’t heard any of the horror stories you occasionally read about with ISPs.

Apps

Cox and Frontier offer mobile apps to make your experience better. The Cox Connect and MyFrontier apps let you manage your account, pay your bills, and more—right from your smartphone.

Cox Connect

  • Google Play Rating: 3.0/5
  • Apple Store Rating: 2.1/5
  • Compatible Devices: iOS and Android

MyFrontier App

  • Google Play Rating: 4.4/5
  • Apple Store Rating: 4.1/5
  • Compatible Devices: iOS and Android

There are also apps available from both Cox and Frontier for watching live TV and managing DVR recordings. These are handy for killing time when you’re waiting for a layover or at the doctor’s office.

Cox Contour app

  • Google Play Rating: 2.8/5
  • Apple Store Rating: 2.3/5
  • Compatible Devices: iOS and Android

FrontierTV app

  • Google Play Rating: 2.1/5
  • Apple Store Rating: 4.0/5
  • Compatible Devices: iOS and Android

Availability and coverage

Cox availability map

Top 5 states:

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

Frontier availability

Top 5 states:

  1. Connecticut
  2. West Virginia
  3. Oregon
  4. Washington
  5. California

We’ve made it easy to see the internet packages available in your neck of the woods. Just enter your ZIP code below.

Compare plans in your area:

Advantages and disadvantages

 

Overall score: (3.76/5)

Advantages

  • More affordable internet-only pricing
  • No-contract option
  • Better customer satisfaction scores

Disadvantages

  • Slower upload speeds
  • Less availability
 
 

Overall score: (3.60/5)

Advantages

  • Wider availability
  • Symmetrical upload speeds
  • More affordable bundles

Disadvantages

  • Longer contract term
  • Higher overall prices
 

Keep bills simple and save money by bundling.

Cox and Frontier both provide TV and phone service in addition to internet. You can consolidate your bills and often save quite a bit of money by getting your TV and internet service from the same provider.

With Cox, we’re fans of the Cox Silver Bundle. This bundle gets you 140+ channels of TV, including HBO® and SHOWTIME®, as well as 300 Mbps internet and phone service, for $109.99 per month.

View Cox bundles

Frontier also offers Triple Play bundles. The best deal is probably the 100/100 internet, FiOS TV Prime HD, and phone service for $89.99 a month.

View Frontier bundles

Our verdict

It’s hard to go wrong with either provider. Cox has better internet-only prices and shorter contract terms, while Frontier offers faster upload speeds and more affordable bundles.

Our advice? See what the best options are in your area before you commit to Cox or Frontier Either way, you’ll be getting great high-speed internet with plenty of speed to power your life.

FAQ about Cox and Frontier

What’s the difference between cable and fiber?

Generally speaking, the difference between cable and fiber is that fiber allows for faster upload speeds (symmetrical speeds) thanks to greater bandwidth.

Fiber also has the potential to have faster download speeds, but cable speeds have caught up in the last few years. Now you’ll often find similar download speeds available between the two service types.

What is a Triple Play?

A Triple Play is a bundle of TV, internet, and phone service from a single provider. You’ll also find Double Plays, which are bundles of either internet and TV, internet and phone, or TV and phone service.

Bundles are a great way to save some money compared to buying each service individually. It also makes it easier to pay your bill.

What is Frontier Vantage Fiber?

Vantage Fiber is a different fiber service from Frontier. It’s similar to FiOS, but it’s available in different markets.

Basically the reason FiOS exists is because Frontier bought the FiOS service and name from Verizon in certain markets, and it kept the branding the same (except for those two capitalized letters) for those markets.

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).

Editor - Cara Haynes

Cara Haynes has edited for HighSpeedInternet.com for three years, working with smart writers to revise everything from internet reviews to reports on your state’s favorite Netflix show. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span (buffering kills). With a degree in English and editing and five years working with online content, it’s safe to say she likes words on the internet. She is most likely to be seen wearing Birkenstocks and hanging out with a bouncy goldendoodle named Dobby, who is a literal fur angel sent to Earth.

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