Spectrum vs. Cox: Which Internet Provider is Best for You?
Spectrum plans offer good value and great perks, while Cox delivers top-notch customer experience.
*Wireless speeds may vary.
† Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter. Spectrum Internet® Gig promotion price is $89.99/mo; standard rates apply after yr. 1. Taxes, fees and surcharges extra and subject to change during and after the promotional period; installation/network activation, equipment and additional services are extra.
‡ for 12 months with 1-yr. term agreement
‡ No annual contract or cancellation fees.
Compare Cox and Spectrum head to head
Spectrum plans provide more internet speed for the money and come with faster speeds and nice perks, like free rental modems and no data caps. Cox gives customers more plans to choose from and received higher ratings in our annual customer satisfaction survey, especially for price and customer service.
It’s unlikely that you’d need to choose between Cox and Spectrum because they share almost no coverage area. Comparing these cable ISP giants provides useful context for gauging the quality and value of the internet service you’re considering. Ultimately, Spectrum’s value, flexible data, and contract policies make it the better deal for most customers.
Pros and cons: Spectrum vs. Cox
- No contracts
- No data caps
- More speed for the money
- Free modem rental
- No low-cost options
- Monthly WiFi charge
- Price hikes after 12 months
- Lots of bundling options
- More plan variety
- Higher customer ratings
- Expensive plans and bundles
- Extra cost for month-to-month option
- Data caps
Plans and pricing: Spectrum vs. Cox
Spectrum plans generally offer more speed for the money than Cox and come with awesome perks like unlimited data and a free rental modem. Cox’s has more variety, including more mid-tier options. Unfortunately, both of these ISPs introduce price hikes, typically after the first 12 months.
Spectrum plans and pricing
|Spectrum Internet® Assist
|Up to 30Mbps
(wireless speeds may vary)
|Spectrum Internet® 100
for 24 mos.
|Up to 100Mbps
(wireless speeds may vary)
|$49.99/mo. for 12 mos.*
|Up to 300Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)
|Spectrum Internet® Ultra
|$39.99-$69.99/mo. for 12 mos.*
|Up to 500Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)
|Spectrum Internet® Gig
|$59.99-$89.99/mo. for 12 mos.†
|Up to 1,000Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)
* Monthly for 12 months. For 12 months when bundled. Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter.
† Monthly for 12 months. Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter. Spectrum Internet® Gig promotion price is $89.99/mo; standard rates apply after yr. 1. Taxes, fees and surcharges extra and subject to change during and after the promotional period; installation/network activation, equipment and additional services are extra.
Spectrum plans bring fast speeds for the money. We like the Spectrum Internet® plan, which delivers up to 300Mbps for only $49.99 per month for 12 months. That’s a good speed price for most households.
Additionally, Spectrum plans feature unlimited data and a free cable modem—two things that cost extra with most providers, including Cox. On the downside, you’ll see a price increase of up to $25 per month after the first year—which is better than other cable internet providers, like Astound Broadband and Optimum.
Cox plans and pricing
|Cox Go Fast
|Cox Go Faster
|Cox Go Even Faster
|Cox Go Super Fast
|Up to 1,000Mbps
|Cox Go Beyond Fast
|Up to 2,000Mbps
* for 12 months with 1-yr. term agreement
† No annual contract or cancellation fees.
Some Cox plans offer slower speeds compared to similarly priced Spectrum plans, but customers have more plans to choose from. The Cox Go Fast plan is the most affordable, but 100 Mbps is only enough speed for one or maybe two-person households. At the same price, Spectrum offers three times as much speed.
The best all-around option is the Cox Go Faster plan, delivering 250Mbps for $69.99—that’s enough speed for most households. Like Spectrum, Cox also introduces price hikes after the promotional period ends, which is typically after 12 months. The rate increases vary per plan but average at about $21 more per month.
Cox low-cost internet plans
Cox has two great low-cost internet plans for individuals and families receiving government assistance:
ConnectAssist package : up to 100Mbps for individuals receiving government assistance.
Connect2Compete package : up to 100Mbps for families with children K-12 receiving government assistance.
Deals and promotions: Spectrum vs. Cox
Get a free mobile line with unlimited talk, text and data and free Advanced WiFi for enhanced network security when you sign up for Spectrum One Stream and get 300Mbps Spectrum Internet®. You can also get a free Xumo Stream Box when you add Spectrum TV®.
|Get the Deal
|Get the Deal
Want a closer look at deals in your area? Enter your zip code to find out.
Extra fees: Spectrum vs. Cox
Spectrum is the clear winner when it comes to equipment and installation costs. You don’t pay a dime to use Spectrum’s cable modem or gateway, but WiFi is a monthly $5 charge whether you use Spectrum’s gateway or its standalone router.
For installation, Spectrum encourages new customers to use the self-install kit, which includes the activation fee. You can get a professional install if needed, costing you half of what you would pay to Cox.
Customer ratings: Spectrum vs. Cox
|Customer Service Rating
Cox received higher ratings in our annual customer satisfaction survey. Cox customers were clearly happier with the pricing and Cox’s customer service when compared to Spectrum customers. But Spectrum still received good ratings, always placing in the top half in every category, and the majority of Spectrum customers reported being happy with their internet service.
Best TV and internet bundles
|Spectrum Internet + TV Signature**
|Up to 300Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)
|Cox Go Faster+ Contour TV Preferred
* Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter.
† for 12 mos. w/ 1-yr. term agrmt.
**Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter. Spectrum TV Select Signature promotion price is $59.99/mo; standard rates apply after yr 1. Taxes, fees, and surcharges (broadcast surcharge up to $23.20/mo) extra and subject to change during and after the promotional period; installation/network activation, equipment and additional services are extra. General Terms: TV: TV equipment required; charges may apply. Channel and HD programming availability based on level of service and location. Account credentials may be required to stream some TV content online. Services subject to all applicable service terms and conditions, subject to change. Services not available in all areas. Restrictions apply. Enter your address to determine availability.
Spectrum doesn’t provide the traditional TV and internet bundle at a discount. Instead, you can pair any one of Spectrum’s TV services with any internet service—each one has a discounted price for the first 12 months. The monthly broadcast TV service is an extra charge, as is any additional standard and premium channel you add.
Cox’s offers bundles, but, like Spectrum, there’s no discount. Cox’s bundles tend to include more channels, but they’re significantly more expensive.
Internet types: Spectrum vs. Cox
Both Spectrum and Cox are cable ISPs, which means they use coaxial cables to deliver internet services. Cable internet is generally an excellent service with wide availability. It’s much better than DSL and capable of extremely fast gigabit speeds.
The big drawback with cable internet is its slower upload speed, which is usually only about a tenth of the download speed. Nearly everything we do online is download-intensive, so a slower upload speed isn’t a huge problem for most customers.
Both Cox and Spectrum offer fiber internet in select areas, but availability is extremely limited.
Data caps: Spectrum vs. Cox
|$10/mo., 50GB over data cap
Spectrum has no data cap. You can download, stream, and browse all you want without worrying about overage fees or running over your limit.
While Cox does have a data cap, it’s pretty high at 1.25 TB. That’s more than enough for your average household. But can’t just forget about your data limit like you can with Spectrum. If you go over, Cox will charge you $10 for every 50 GB you go over, with a max of $100 in overage fees per month. You can still get unlimited data with Cox, but it costs an extra $50 a month.
Contracts: Spectrum vs. Cox
Spectrum doesn’t have the standard annual contract, but you must use the service for at least a month to get the introductory price. You can get the same no-contract experience with Cox, but you pay an extra $10 each month. Most Cox plans have the typical one- or two-year contract if you want the cheaper price.
Installation: Spectrum vs. Cox
Spectrum’s pro install fee is half of Cox’s. Even better, if you try a $24.99 self-installation but end up needing a pro install, Spectrum will waive the $59.99 install fee. Cox offers a self-install kit as well, but there’s no getting out of the hefty $100 installation fee if you do end up needing a technician.
So on the one hand, Spectrum does charge for self-install but gives you a safety net if you end up needing help. But Cox offers totally free self-install, which is great if you’re confident you can set things up yourself.
Availability: Spectrum vs. Cox
Spectrum and Cox are two of the biggest cable ISPs in the country and have sizable coverage areas spread all over the US. These two ISPs don’t share many coverage areas though, so your chances of having access to both are very slim.
Final call: Spectrum vs. Cox
Spectrum is the better choice for most customers. Spectrum internet plans offer more speed for the money, plus unlimited data and a free rental modem. Spectrum really is unique in the flexibility and perks it gives to its customers that, in many ways, provide superior service than other cable ISPs.
Our verdict here doesn’t mean Cox isn’t a good ISP. Cox customers enjoy fast and reliable service from one of the nation’s top cable internet providers. But when comparing the two, Cox’s offerings are just not as remarkable as Spectrum’s.
You can get fantastic broadband service from either provider, so it really comes down to what’s available to you.View Spectrum Plans
View Cox Plans
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 - Austin Aguirre
Austin worked as a broadband technician installing and troubleshooting countless home internet networks for some of the largest ISPs in the U.S. He became a freelance writer in 2020 specializing in software guides. After graduating with a BS in technical communication from Arizona State University, he joined the team at HighSpeedInternet.com where he focuses on home network improvement and troubleshooting.
Editor - Rebecca Lee Armstrong
Rebecca Lee Armstrong has more than six years of experience writing about tech and the internet, with a specialty in hands-on testing. She started writing tech product and service reviews while finishing her BFA in creative writing at the University of Evansville and has found her niche writing about home networking, routers, and internet access at HighSpeedInternet.com. Her work has also been featured on Top Ten Reviews, MacSources, Windows Central, Android Central, Best Company, TechnoFAQ, and iMore.