Verizon Fios vs. Cox

Fantastic fiber versus competent cable—two internet giants go head to head.

  • Best fiber performance
    • Customer rating: 3.8
    • Price: $39.99–$89.99/mo.
    • Speed: 200–940 Mbps
    • Internet type: Fiber, DSL
    • Data cap: None
    • Contract: Month to month
  • Best for availability
    • Customer rating: 3.7
    • Price: $49.99–$109.99/mo.
    • Speed: 100–1,000 Mbps
    • Internet type: Cable
    • Data cap: 1.25 TB
    • Contract: Annual (month-to-month options available)

Compare Verizon and Cox head to head

You really can’t beat Verizon. The fiber provider offers extremely fast internet service at an extremely fair price—our only qualm is Verizon’s limited availability. Cox has much better availability throughout the US and great customer service ratings, but it will also hit you with higher price hikes and annoying extra fees.

Pros and cons: Verizon vs. Cox

Pros:

  • Fast upload speeds
  • No data caps or annual contracts
  • Affordable prices on most fiber plans

Cons:

  • Limited availability

 

Pros:

  • Wide availability
  • Excellent customer service ratings
  • Solid bundle deals

Cons:

  • High price hikes
  • Data caps on all plans

Want to know if Verizon or Cox are in your area? Take a look by typing in your zip code below.

Plans and pricing: Verizon vs. Cox

Verizon offers a handful of fiber internet plans that all deliver superior speeds at affordable prices—you need only decide how deluxe you want to get, since you’ll get excellent service no matter what. Cox offers a more standard set of cable internet options, starting at plans that are slow but cheap and culminating in a top-shelf gigabit plan.

Verizon plans and pricing

PackagePriceSpeedDetails
Internet 200/200$39.99/mo.*200 Mbps/200 Mbps
Internet 300/300$39.99/mo.*300 Mbps/300 Mbps
Internet 400/400$64.99/mo.*400 Mbps/400 Mbps
Internet 500/500$64.99/mo.*500 Mbps/500 Mbps
Fios Gigabit Connection$89.99/mo.**Up to 940 Mbps/up to 880 Mbps

Verizon gives you more bang for your buck than Cox. Its slowest offered speed is 200 Mbps, and that plan costs $10 less per month than Cox’s 150 Mbps plan. All of Verizon’s plans also come with unlimited data and don’t require an annual contract, unlike Cox’s.

Most internet users will be very content with 200 Mbps download and upload speeds, and Verizon’s 200 Mbps plan comes at an extremely fair price—it’s really the best option of the bunch here. But we recommend one of Verizon’s faster plans if you live in a larger household and spend a lot of time doing bandwidth-heavy stuff like streaming video in 4K or hosting livestreams.

How much speed do you have?

Run a speed test to see what kind of Wi-Fi firepower you have with your current home internet network. If it isn’t fast enough for you, then consider upping your Mbps to a better speed.

 

 

 

 

Cox plans and pricing

PackagePriceSpeedDetails
Internet Essential 100$49.99/mo.* 100 Mbps/3 MbpsView Plans
Internet Preferred 250$59.99/mo.*250 Mbps/10 MbpsView Plans
Internet Ultimate 500$79.99/mo.*500 Mbps/10 MbpsView Plans
Gigablast$109.99/mo.*Up to 1,000 Mbps/35 MbpsView Plans

Cox won’t wow you on speed or price in the same way that Verizon does, but you can still get a solid internet setup for a fair deal. Its offerings are pretty much in line with what you can get from most cable internet providers, with lots of options to choose from and exponentially higher prices for faster speeds.

Unlike Verizon, Cox has annual contracts (which you can avoid by paying $10 more on your bill every month) and data caps (albeit fairly generous ones of 1.25 TB per month). Cox also has steep price hikes that hit 12 months after you sign up for service—depending on your plan, expect your bill to go up anywhere from $15 to $26 per month. Definitely check the fine print before signing up.

One additional plan we find intriguing is Cox’s StraightUp Internet. Billed as a kind of no-frills budget option, it gives you 50 Mbps speeds at a flat fee, with equipment and installation included. You don’t have to deal with a term agreement or credit check. Except for the relatively slow speed, we love this plan—if only all of Cox’s offerings worked the same way!

Cox low-cost internet plans

Cox has two great low-cost internet plans for individuals and families receiving government assistance:

ConnectAssist package : up to 100 Mbps for individuals receiving government assistance.

Connect2Compete package : up to 100 Mbps for families with children K-12 receiving government assistance.

HSI badge deals

Deals and promotions: Verizon vs. Cox

Sign up for Fios Gigabit Connection to get a Disney+ trial for 6 mos., Motorola MoCA Adapter, $50 XBox gift card, and either a discount on a Stream TV Soundbar or a free Stream TV device.

Cox Communications
Use the Affordable Connectivity Program to get a plan for as low as $19.99/mo.


Get the Deal

Extra fees: Verizon vs. Cox

Equipment FeeInstallation FeeOther Fees
Verizon$15.00/mo. or $299.99 (router), additional extenders available to rent for $10/mo. or buy for $199.$99.00 (waived if you order online)1.5% of the owed balance or $5 (late fee)
Cox$13.00/mo. (Panoramic Wi-Fi)$100 for professional installation; no cost for self-install$10.00/mo. (early termination), $10.00 per 50 GB of data over your data cap, $10.00 (late payment), $75.00 trouble call service charge if not covered with Cox Complete Care

Verizon and Cox both have fairly standard extra fees for things like equipment and late charges. Both providers let you rent a modem and router (combined into one piece of equipment known as a gateway) to get your Wi-Fi connection going. Or you can use your own modem and router to avoid paying rental fees.

Both Verizon and Cox also charge for installation—but there are ways to avoid paying for it. With Verizon, simply order online and the $99 installation fee will be waived. In Cox’s case, opt for self-installation instead of professional installation and you can get a self-install kit to set everything up yourself for free.

Want to know if you can get Verizon and Cox in your area? Find out by searching your zip code below.

Should you rent a router or buy one?

We recommend buying your own modem and router instead of renting one from the provider. Doing so saves you money in the long run and also gives you more flexibility about the type of equipment you can use.

We’ve got all the details on the best Wi-Fi routers, the best long-range routers, and the best routers for streaming. But if you really want to know the best router to get of them all, we say go for Google Nest Wi-Fi. This two-band mesh router delivers excellent speeds over a range of up to 2,200 square feet.

Customer ratings: Verizon vs. Cox

Overall RatingReliability RatingCustomer Service RatingSpeedPrice
Verizon3.9/5.03.9/5.03.8/5.04.0/5.03.5/5.0
Cox3.6/5.03.6/5.03.6/5.03.9/5.03.1/5.0

Verizon gets much better ratings than Cox in our annual customer satisfaction survey

Verizon’s scores are great across the board, but customers say especially great things about Verizon’s reliability and speed, with the vast majority reporting few minimal outages and fast, consistent speeds.

Although Cox didn’t do as well in the survey, the majority of customers still say their satisfied with Cox’s internet speeds. 

Best TV and internet bundles

Internet speedTV channelsPriceDetails
Verizon 200 Mbps Internet + Your Fios TV200 Mbps/200 Mbps125+$89.99/mo.*
Verizon Fios Gigabit Connection + More Fios TVUp to 940 Mbps/up to 880 Mbps300+$149.99/mo.**
Cox Internet Essential 100 + Contour TV Starter100 Mbps75+$115.99/mo.***View Plans
Cox Internet Ultimate 500 + Contour TV Ultimate500 Mbps140+$190.99/mo.***View Plans

***for 12 mos. w/ 1-yr. term agrmt.

Verizon and Cox both have bundle deals that let you combine your internet with a TV package. Cox has a ton of package options to choose from, with its highest-tier Contour TV plan giving you access to 250 channels. And while Cox is a cable TV provider, it also offers up-to-date digital features like cloud DVR and access to Netflix. The obvious downside is that Cox’s bundles are quite expensive compared to Verizon.

Verizon has fewer packages on deck, but you get added flexibility through its Your Fios TV service. You can get up to 425 channels on the highest-tier Your Fios TV plan. And if you want, you can customize your channel lineup (somewhat) by picking your five favorite channels and going from there. Verizon also doesn’t have annual contracts on its TV plans.

Internet types: Verizon vs. Cox

Internet typeDetails
VerizonFiber
CoxCableView Plans

Verizon offers fiber internet, while Cox specializes in cable internet. Fiber runs over fiber-optic wiring, using light signals to deliver an incredibly fast and reliable internet connection. It can deliver max speeds of up to 2,000 Mbps and is the only type of internet capable of delivering symmetrical upload and download speeds.

Cable internet runs on the type of coaxial cabling normally reserved for cable TV. It’s slower than fiber, but it still delivers consistent speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps. Cable internet is also much more widely available than fiber, making it the most common option for high-speed internet among American Wi-Fi customers.

Data caps: Verizon vs. Cox

Data CapOverage feeDetails
VerizonNoneN/A
Cox1.25 TB/mo.$10 per 50 GBView Plans

Verizon doesn’t have data caps on its internet plans. You can use as much data as you want all month long without having to pay any extra fees or experience internet slowdowns.

By comparison, Cox imposes a 1.25 TB data cap on all of its internet plans. While we’re not thrilled about any data cap, 1.25 TB is a lot of data—more than enough for most internet users. But if you exceed your cap, a $10 fee will be automatically added to your bill for every additional 50 GB you use.

Contracts: Verizon vs. Cox

Contract lengthDetails
VerizonMonth to month
Cox1 yr., month-to-month option for $10/mo. extraView Plans

Verizon doesn’t do annual contracts. You don’t need to agree to any term limits up front, and you can quit any time without facing early termination fees.

Not so with Cox, which imposes annual contracts on all its plans. You can opt out of a contract by paying $10 more per month for your plan. If you have a yearly commitment and you need to cancel before the 12 months is up, you’ll need to fork over $10 for every month left on your bill—so either way, you’re paying more if you want to leave. Go with the contract option if you think you’ll be on Cox for at least a year.

Installation: Verizon vs. Cox

Installation optionsDetails
Verizon$99.00 (waived when you order online)
Cox$100 for professional install; free for self-install kitView Plans

Verizon charges $99 for professional installation, but you can get the cost waived by ordering online. Cox will ask for $100 if you need a professional technician to come by and set up your internet. But installing the internet yourself with one of Cox’s self-install kits is free.

Availability: Verizon vs. Cox

Verizon has a relatively small footprint—its Fios internet services are available in 10 states (mostly on the East Coast), including New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Cox has a larger reach overall with availability in 29 states across the East Coast, West Coast, and South.

You can find out which providers operate in your area by searching your zip code below:

Final call: Verizon vs. Cox

You just can’t top Verizon in this contest. Any one of its fiber-optic plans will give you superb speeds at a reasonable price, and you won’t have to deal with data caps or contracts, either.

Cox’s offerings come with some extra baggage, including steep price hikes after a year. But it has much wider availability than Verizon and offers some solid, lower-priced plans and bundle deals. And you can’t beat Cox’s customer service, which gets excellent ratings in our latest customer satisfaction survey.

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 - 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.