Should I Choose Frontier or Cox as my High-Speed Internet Service Provider?

Side-by-Side Comparison

Type of Service

DSL (High-Speed Internet), Fiber (FiOS)

Type of Service

Cable

Download Speeds

1–24 Mbps (DSL), 50–150 Mbps (Fiber)

Download Speeds

15–200 Mbps

Price

$19.99–$39.99 per month (DSL), $40.00–$60.00 per month (Fiber)

Price

$39.99–$99.99 per month

Equipment Fees

Included

Equipment Fees

$9.99 per month

Installation Fee

Varies (DSL), $80.00 (Fiber)

Installation Fee

$75

Data Caps

None

Data Caps

1–2 TB*

Customer Satisfaction

3.28/5 (DSL), 4/5 (Fiber)

Customer Satisfaction

3.4/5

Type of Service

DSL (High-Speed Internet), Fiber (FiOS)

Download Speeds

1–24 Mbps (DSL), 50–150 Mbps (Fiber)

Price

$19.99–$39.99 per month (DSL), $40.00–$60.00 per month (Fiber)

Equipment Fees

Included

Installation Fee

Varies (DSL), $80.00 (Fiber)

Data Caps

None

Customer Satisfaction

3.28/5 (DSL), 4/5 (Fiber)

Type of Service

Cable

Download Speeds

15–200 Mbps

Price

$39.99–$99.99 per month

Equipment Fees

$9.99 per month

Installation Fee

$75

Data Caps

1–2 TB*

Customer Satisfaction

3.4/5

Pricing and speeds are current as of May 10, 2017. Pricing and speeds are subject to change. Not all offers are available in all areas.
*Cox’s internet plans use data plan tiers. To see the exact breakdown, refer to the Cox website.

The Verdict

Choose Frontier for more options. Frontier offers two types of internet: DSL and fiber. While availability for the latter varies, you’ll find Frontier’s DSL (High-Speed Internet) in many states. Its fiber offering, FiOS from Frontier, is not as widely available, but the service area could expand as Frontier continues to grow its network.

Choose Cox for reliable internet. Cox sells cable internet, which offers reliable speeds designed for streaming and gaming. The company provides a connection you can depend on, with fewer outages and latency issues.

Find and compare Frontier and Cox plans and pricing in your area:

 

When shopping for internet, you want the facts and only the facts. You want to know about prices, fees, speed, reliability, customer service, and billing practices. This guide provides that information specific to Frontier and Cox so that you can make an informed decision regarding the two Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

What You Should Consider When Choosing an Internet Provider

DSL, Cable, or Fiber

Frontier and Cox differ widely in how they deliver internet service to your home. Frontier provides two options: DSL and fiber. Cox, by contrast, employs cable. These three types of internet accomplish the same goal—internet service—but they go about it through different methods, which results in various speeds and performance.

Fiber stands as the best of the best. It’s a newer technology and uses underground fiber-optic lines to transmit internet signals to and from your home. With fiber, you receive the fastest speeds available, outstanding reliability, and little to no signal interference.

DSL is delivered via existing telephone lines and delivers the slowest speeds. This type of connection can also suffer from signal interference, although DSL filters work wonders. Think of the filters as performance enhancements—like fuel additives you put in the gas tank from time to time.

Cable falls between DSL and fiber. It rarely competes directly with fiber, but it provides the speeds needed to play online games and stream 4K shows. However, cable sometimes experiences traffic congestion during peak periods, which can diminish speed and performance.

Coverage Area

Frontier and Cox span a number of states, so you will likely find either provider in your area. To find out which providers and services are available to you, use our Zip Finder.

FiOS from Frontier

FiOS from Frontier is a newer product offering, which explains its limited availability. If you live in Oregon, congratulations—you’re in luck! California and Washington residents may also be able to purchase FiOS from Frontier.

Frontier High-Speed Internet

You can find Frontier High-Speed Internet across the United States. Its largest coverage area occurs in Connecticut. The provider also claims 100% saturation in Charlotte, Virginia, and Arlington, Texas.

Cox

Cox provides cable internet service in eighteen states, with Arizona standing as its largest coverage area. From there, its primary coverage areas extend toward other portions of the southwestern United States and the Eastern Seaboard.

Top 5 States:

  1. Oregon
  2. California
  3. Washington
  4. Florida
  5. Texas

Top 5 States:

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

Top 5 States:

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

Customer Satisfaction Ratings

The following customer satisfaction ratings come courtesy of our annual survey of high-speed internet customers. The ratings include information about installation and setup, transparent billing practices, and customer service for Frontier and Cox. To find out more about the survey and its results, click here.

FiOS from Frontier

Overall Customer Rating
4 Stars (4 / 5)

Frontier High-Speed Internet

Overall Customer Rating
3.28 Stars (3.28 / 5)

Cox

Overall Customer Rating
3.4 Stars (3.4 / 5)

Installation & Setup

FiOS from Frontier

4.33 Stars (4.33 / 5)

Fiber internet requires professional installation services, so it’s not a surprise that FiOS from Frontier rests in the upper echelons for this category. Fiber involves connecting wires and boxes—definitely not something to put down as a “do it yourself” task.

Frontier High-Speed Internet

3.28 Stars (3.28 / 5)

Frontier High-Speed Internet scores solid points for installation and setup. The ISP slightly surpasses Cox in this category, although almost all ISPs average somewhere between three and four stars.

Cox

3.51 Stars (3.51 / 5)

Customers rank Cox and Frontier High-Speed Internet about the same in this category. Presumably, you can expect a fairly easy self-installation and setup or a good professional installation experience—wins all around.

Internet Speed

FiOS from Frontier

4.33 Stars (4.33 / 5)

Fiber delivers high speeds, which consumers never complain about and always want. They need top speeds to connect devices, watch shows, and play games, and fiber makes all of that possible.

Frontier High-Speed Internet

3.56 Stars (3.56 / 5)

Frontier High-Speed Internet receives lower marks for speed, but you should expect them. Frontier’s High-Speed Internet plans rely on DSL, which is a connection that always provides slower speeds than either cable or fiber.

Cox

3.53 Stars (3.53 / 5)

You’ll get solid, high speeds with Cox. The speeds might not outpace what you’ll get with a fiber connection, but they should still deliver the bandwidth needed for 4K streaming and online gaming.

Reliability

FiOS from Frontier

4.17 Stars (4.17 / 5)

Reliability refers to steady connections that don’t cut out during peak times or cause unexpected lags. Thanks to the inherent reliability of a fiber-optic connection, FiOS from Frontier provides a dependable connection, earning just over four out of five stars.

Frontier High-Speed Internet

3.08 Stars (3.08 / 5)

Frontier’s lower ranking for reliability may be due to some mismanagement of the Verizon acquisition last year. It’ll be interesting to see how the score fares this year as Frontier High-Speed Internet regains ground with its existing customers and the larger marketplace.

Cox

3.53 Stars (3.53 / 5)

Cox turns in a good reliability score, competing with providers like AT&T DSL and Brighthouse. With the reliable cable connection you’ll get from Cox, you can trust that the internet won’t die during a climactic moment in a movie or game.

Monthly Bill (Pricing)

FiOS from Frontier

5 Stars (5 / 5)

Customers want to know what they’re paying for every month and why. With five out of five stars for its transparent billing practices, FiOS from Frontier seems to deliver on this expectation.

Frontier High-Speed Internet

3.15 Stars (3.15 / 5)

Customers satisfaction with monthly bills generally tends to settle toward the lower end of things, but Frontier High-Speed Internet’s billing score has improved over the years as Frontier along with other ISPs seek to provide clearer payment structures and fees.

Cox

2.87 Stars (2.87 / 5)

Cox surrenders to both types of Frontier service in the billing category. Given its low ratings, Cox will likely take steps this year to increase transparency to become more competitive with other internet providers.

Technical Support and Customer Service

FiOS from Frontier

3.94 Stars (3.94 / 5)

When customers encounter technical problems with their internet connections, they don’t want to be left hanging by the Internet Service Provider. It seems FiOS from Frontier delivers on this, considering that it’s only eclipsed in this category by Optimum, a cable internet provider.

Frontier High-Speed Internet

3.4 Stars (3.4 / 5)

Frontier drifts toward a mid-range score in this category. Although its rating isn’t outstanding, odds are you’ll receive good customer service if you call in asking for help.

Cox

3.49 Stars (3.49 / 5)

Cox skims past Frontier High-Speed Internet for technical support and customer service. If prompt, courteous service matters to you, you may want to give Cox a second look.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Frontier

Advantages

  • Options: Depending on your location, you can select either FiOS from Frontier or Frontier High-Speed Internet.
  • Installation: Both FiOS from Frontier and Frontier High-Speed Internet offer easy installation and setup.

Cox

Advantages

  • Reliability: Cox provides high-speed internet, but more importantly the ISP ensures those high speeds stay connected and consistent.
  • Customer Service: Cox receives good marks in the customer service category, meaning you should be able to speak with an agent or get a technician out to your home quickly should any problems arise.

Disadvantages

  • Availability: FiOS from Frontier claims limited availability. If you want super-fast speeds, you may need to research other ISPs.
  • Pricing: Pricing varies widely, particularly in markets where FiOS from Frontier or Frontier High-Speed Internet is the only option for internet.

Disadvantages

  • Availability: Cox provides internet service in only eighteen states, mostly in the Southwest.
  • Billing: Customers rate Cox poorly for its billing practices. If you care about dependable, transparent bills, you may wish to consider other ISPs.

Equipment

Frontier

Frontier gives customers different routers and gateways according to the internet service plan they purchase. FiOS from Frontier is the exception; the internet service plan requires a FiOS-specific router. For more information about Frontier’s various routers, visit Frontier.com.

Cox

Cox provides a Wi-Fi modem, sometimes called a gateway. The gateway employs dual-band, meaning internet signals travel on two frequencies, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The two frequencies limit signal interference and control traffic congestion. For more details, visit Cox’s information page.

About the Providers

Frontier

Frontier provides DSL and fiber internet service, with the second largely thanks to acquiring some of Verizon’s fiber-optic networks in 2016. The initial acquisition period upset a number of customers, but Frontier should be out of those particular woods this year. To date, Frontier offers fiber internet in seven states and DSL in twenty-nine. Its largest coverage areas occur in Oregon (Frontier FiOS) and Connecticut (Frontier High-Speed Internet).

For more information about Frontier FiOS and High-Speed Internet, visit the Frontier provider page.

Cox

Cox may be known for its cable internet and television, and digital telephone services, but the ISP is grooming a reputation in home security and smart-technology solutions. Its latest endeavor includes a connected smart home, which the provider created to demonstrate how its high-speed internet supports residential customers and homes. Cox provides internet service in eighteen states, with its largest coverage area in Arizona.

For more information about Cox, visit the Cox provider page.

With the information found here, you should be amply prepared to choose between Frontier and Cox as your Internet Service Provider. If you have any lingering questions, don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments.

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