Internet providers can be notorious for their hidden fees. What initially looks like a reasonably priced package can turn expensive quickly when extra charges and installation costs are tacked on. If you’re looking to buy Internet service from a cable provider like Cox®, here’s an overview of the major costs — both advertised and hidden — that you may incur.

Basic Plan Pricing

The company’s big selling point is its Cox High Speed Internet℠ plans, which provide fast and reliable connectivity where available. Streaming giant Netflix ranks Cox as the third best large Internet Service Provider (ISP) in terms of nationwide streaming performance during peak hours — only Verizon FiOS® and Bright House perform better. Cox also boasts fast in-home Wi-Fi and offers access to over 400,000 hotspots for any traveling subscribers with Cox High Speed Internet Preferred or higher plans.

Internet packages from Cox vary in price depending on the speeds you sign up for and where you live. For example, it costs $44.99 per month for 12 months to subscribe to the Internet Essential package, which includes download speeds of up to 15 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 2 Mbps. The Internet Ultimate package, currently priced at $84.99 per month for 12 months, includes speeds up to 300 Mbps for downloading, speeds up to 30 Mbps for uploading, and 150GB of Cloud Drive storage in select areas.

Cox Bundle℠ plans are where Cox subscribers will likely see the best deals. The company offers several Triple Play packages, all of which include TV, Internet, and phone services. These packages range between $79.99 per month for 12 months with a 24-month agreement on the low end and $159.99 per month for 24 months with a 24-month agreement on the high end. Cox also offer two-service bundles, which include High Speed Internet and a choice of TV or phone services.

Hidden Fees

As you’re looking at various Cox Internet plans, keep in mind that most advertised prices don’t include installation and/or activation fees, equipment charges, inside wiring fees, additional outlets, taxes, surcharges, and other fees. Here’s a closer look at some of the bigger expenses you might find hiding on your first bill.

1. Equipment Leasing Costs

Like most ISPs, Cox charges fees for its Internet equipment. A single band Wi-Fi modem, for instance, costs $6.99 per month to rent, while purchasing the device costs $129.99. For a dual band Wi-Fi modem, rental is $9.99 per month, and purchasing costs are $149.99.

Select Cox High Speed Internet and Cox Digital Telephone® subscribers may be able to rent an Internet and telephone modem for free, though not all plans qualify. The modem is a two-in-one product, eliminating the need for a separate Internet and telephone modem. If you want a similar device with Wi-Fi capabilities, you’ll need to purchase a router separately or rent a Wi-Fi capable Internet and phone modem from Cox for $6.99 per month.

2. Service and Installation Expenses

If you’re setting up Internet for a workplace, professional installation starts at around $50. Home network setups for up to three computers may cost users up to an additional $40. To save some money on installation, you can opt for Cox’s self-installation for a one-time $20 charge. The company will mail your equipment and instructions to your home, and you’ll be responsible for setting it up.

When signing up for services, users are also given the option to sign up for a Cox Service Protection Plan. The package costs $6.99 a month and gives subscribers access to wiring consultants and repair specialists. If you find a problem with your service’s wiring, the plan will help provide for repair or replacement of the issue.

3. Data Usage Fees

All Cox High Speed Internet plans come with a set monthly data allotment. Though Cox doesn’t charge a fee for going over that allotment, it may require excessive data users to upgrade to a higher service tier or forfeit service altogether. If you tend to go through a lot of data every month, this policy could result in a mandatory upgrade, which could substantially increase your monthly expenses.

Fortunately, Cox does offer a Data Usage Calculator to help you determine how much data your household or business uses each month. Using this tool, you can get a rough estimate of your data usage habits. If your Internet use involves a lot of watching movies online, streaming music, or video chatting using applications like Skype, for example, you probably use a lot more data than someone who uses the Internet to browse social networking sites and send e-mails.

Money Saving Policies

Cox has a few policies that may help offset certain fees or expenses. Notably, it offers a 30-day money back guarantee to Internet subscribers who switch from another ISP, which gives users some time to trial the services and make sure that costs aren’t too high. The company also occasionally runs promotional incentives, including free installation for select services and $20 credits if a service representative is late to an appointment.

Whichever Internet service provider you’re dealing with, it’s a good idea to ask a sales rep exactly how much money you should expect to pay for installation and monthly service charges before you agree to a contract. Even if you feel pretty confident that you understand all the terms and conditions, it won’t hurt to get final clarification. The service representative that you speak with may even be able to waive certain expenses.

Once you’ve determined whether the total cost of Cox Internet services fit your budget, start looking at some select Internet offerings on HighSpeedInternet.com.

*Pricing and speeds are current as of writing. Pricing and speeds are subject to change. Not all offers available in all areas.