Are you shopping for a new internet service for you home or business? We’ve reviewed and compared the likes of AT&T vs Cox internet services so you can make an informed decision. Best of all we’ve had experience with both providers so we are more than qualified to provide you with the necessary information to help you compare the providers to get the most value for your money.
AT&T and Cox Internet are two of the biggest internet providers in the US. Although AT&T is younger in the internet industry compared to Cox, their more focused attention to providing telecommunication services to people gave them a big headway compared to Cox which was primarily established as a cable company.
Now that both companies offer DSL and fiber network solutions to several states, it would be interesting to see how competitive they are in servicing the residential space.
Comparing AT&T vs Cox Internet – Are They Worth It?
Here’s a brief description of how AT&T and Cox Internet fare against each other on streaming, gaming, and web browsing.
AT&T Internet Overivew
AT&T Internet offers two types of internet plans: DSL and fiber. They have good speeds, but there are limited options to choose from. Chances are, if you don’t live in a major city, you’re stuck with getting a DSL plan.
For casual gaming and music streaming, a 100Mbps plan is enough for a small family of 3 to 4 members. But for large families of 5 or more where each member is into heavy gaming, live-streaming, and video streaming, the 300Mbps and 1Gbps plans are the best options.
According to tests, AT&T fiber internet has a latency of 11ms, which is one of the best among internet providers today. This is incredibly low and optimal for heavy online gaming.
- Wider coverage area
- Ranks higher in customer satisfaction
- More TV bundle options, including DIRECTV
- Fiber plans have good value for money
- Limited service availability of fiber plans
- Data caps for DSL connections
- They don’t offer that many choices for speed plans
Cox Internet Overview
Cox Internet offers internet, cable TV, home phone, and home security plans to residential and business customers. They offer both DSL and fiber network options, but they have a more limited coverage area compared to bigger telecom companies.
Cox is known for having a lot of internet plans suitable for a wide range of needs. They have a 10Mbps budget plan that will cost you only $29.99 a month, and not many service providers offer this kind of starter package.
For heavy users who often do online gaming, live-streaming, and video streaming, Cox offers a gigabit plan with speeds reaching up to 940Mbps. This can handle up to 9 devices simultaneously connected to the network without any major speed reduction. The company will also soon be offering the Elite Gamer package which promises an increase of more than 30% in responsiveness for smoother playing experience.
- Stable internet speed
- Delivers more than expected
- Bigger discounts on bundle options
- Limited service availability
- More expensive plans compared to peers
- Contract plans can limit your options
Major Points to Consider Before Deciding
In choosing an internet service provider, it’s best to look at the following factors to determine which is best suited to your needs.
Speed – Who’s Got The Fastest Internet?
AT&T Internet can deliver as fast as 1Gbps through its fiber network. If you don’t need this much speed, a 300Mbps on fiber will be a great value for money. If this is still too much for you, you can choose their VDSL plans that go as high as 100Mbps.
According to the FCC’s records, AT&T even over-delivers its speed than what they advertise by 108.9%. AT&T’s fiber network delivers consistent connection wherever it’s available. On the other hand, the speed of their DSL service may vary from 5Mbps to 100Mbps, depending on your location.
Cox internet plans range from 10Mbps to 940Mbps in most areas they service. This wide range of selection gives you better flexibility in terms of speed and pricing, so you can choose which best suits your needs.
Cox and AT&T offer both fiber and DSL connections. Fiber connection is always recommended, so get this if it’s available in your area.
Monthly Cost – Is It worth It?
AT&T Internet plans start from $39.99 with their 100Mbps cable connection.
AT&T’s internet plans have no contract agreement, which means you’re not forced to stick with them for a specific number of years when you subscribe to them. But promotional offers may be subject to a term limit, so read the fine print before you sign the contract.
Cox Internet offers internet packages starting from $29.99 to $99.99 per month.
Cox internet plans are offered without any contract agreement, so you can cancel them immediately within the first 30 days without any penalty. However, if you choose to cancel the subscription after 30 days, you’ll have to pay a termination fee of $120.
Installation & Equipment Costs
Both the AT&T Wi-Fi Gateway Router and the Cox Panoramic Wi-Fi Router feature wide-range Wi-Fi connectivity and smart-connection technology. The routers offered by either service provider includes a Security Suite software for added malware, virus, and spyware protection, as well as parental control features.
Cox Internet’s equipment fee ranges from $10 to $15.99 per month. You can choose to use your Cox-compatible Wi-Fi router and save on additional monthly costs.
AT&T’s equipment fee costs around $10 per month. The help of a professional for installing your internet connection will cost you $99. If you prefer DIY installation, you’ll only have to pay $35 for the activation fee.
Data Allowance – Does It Give You Enough?
AT&T Internet’s DSL plan has a data cap of 1TB, while its fiber plans don’t have a data cap. Cox Internet’s DSL and fiber plans both have a 1TB data cap.
Although both have a data cap on respective plans, it’s unlikely you’ll hit this limit by the end of the month. Still, if you exceed the data cap several times a year, you may have to pay $100 to add another 500GB to your AT&T internet data limit.
Bundle Deals – Do You Save Money?
Both AT&T and Cox have cable TV and home phone bundle deals that go hand-in-hand with their respective internet plans. But in terms of variety, AT&T has more options to choose from compared to Cox’s offers.
However, Cox Internet offers better DVR technology which allows you to record numerous shows into a cloud service provided by the company. Cox also offers home security services that you can include in your bundle.
Usually, both AT&T and Cox internet packages offer discounted services when you get their bundle deals.
AT&T’s website is neatly designed to make it easier for you to look into frequently encountered problems. It’s divided according to wireless, TV, internet, phone, and home security categories. AT&T also has a forum with helpful members that can assist you in resolving home internet issues.
Aside from the website and the forum portals, AT&T internet customer service can also be reached through Twitter or Facebook chat.
If none of the self-help methods resolved your problems, you can use the live chat function on the website to get in touch with a technical representative to assist you.
Cox Internet has a similar self-help portion on its website which is organized into the different areas of concern including billing, services, and accounts. Cox also has a support forum where you can talk with fellow customers on how to resolve the most common issues encountered.
The website has a live chat function that enables you to get in touch with a customer representative. Cox also has the Cox mobile app available on both Android and iOS devices, and it can get you quicker support response from the company. But if you prefer in-person help, you can visit the nearest Cox store in your area.
Service Availability In The United States
AT&T, being one of the biggest and oldest telecom companies in the US, has a wider reach. AT&T’s internet availability can be felt in the following states:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Cox Internet, on the other hand, offers their services to around 19 states across the country, including:
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
Customer Reviews – What People Really Think?
AT&T Customers Say:
AT&T’s ACSI score is 69 out of 100, which means it’s average and needs improvement.
According to customers, the company has a lot of helpful and polite customer service representatives who patiently answer queries and concerns. Even on-site technicians are very friendly in assisting them with their internet problems.
AT&T also has a fast setup service. Most of the time, you can have the internet set-up on your home within 2 to 3 days after requesting a subscription.
However, many customers complain about AT&T internet’s inconsistent connection, especially during peak hours. Both fiber and DSL connections can succumb to this issue, but this depends on where you’re located.
The neighborhood plays a big factor in AT&T’s internet speed. Some areas have better service than others, so consider researching on AT&T’s connection in your area before forwarding your application. Nonetheless, the consensus regarding AT&T internet is positive, so you most likely won’t have to worry about anything big.
Cox Internet Customers say:
Cox Internet’s ACSI score is 60 out of 100, which means it needs a lot of improvement in its service.
The common issue raised by customers on Cox Internet is the provider’s high prices and data limits. However, customers appreciate the consistency and speed of the connection.
According to customers, as long as everything is working, Cox is a great internet service provider. However, when they started experiencing problems, they felt a big inadequacy with how the company handled the concerns. There are the slow fixes, delayed responses, and sometimes, rude or unhelpful replies from customer service representatives.
Alternative Service Providers
Aside from AT&T and Cox Internet, here are other notable service providers to consider:
Xfinity is available in over 41 states across the country. Their internet plans range from 15Mbps to 2Gbps, with prices starting from around $40 a month.
Xfinity provides mobile bundle plans to subscribers with unlimited data, talk, and text features for only $45 a month. They also have limited data plans that start from $12 a month for those who are on a budget.
Spectrum is a provider of internet, cable TV, home phone, and mobile services to over 44 states across the US. They have solutions for residential, business, and enterprise levels, with broadband and fiber connection options.
Spectrum’s 100Mbps plan costs $49.99 per month, while its gigabit plan is priced at $109.99. This provider is known for delivering high internet speeds without any data cap.
Verizon Fios offers 3 internet-only plans that start at around $40 a month. This price is capable of delivering 200Mbps internet speed, while the most expensive 940Mbps plan costs around $80 per month. Verizon Fios also offers TV bundles to interested customers.
In terms of service reliability and customer satisfaction, Verizon Fios stands above the competition. However, their limited reach is the biggest downside, so not everyone can avail of the company’s quality internet service.
Can I get a Cox Internet plan and DIRECTV at the same time?
This is possible, but you’ll miss on massive discounts by getting internet service from one provider and then a TV deal from another. Internet and TV bundles from one provider are designed to maximize the connection you have, so it’s cheaper compared to getting the services from different providers.
Does Cox offer NFL Sunday Ticket?
Cox doesn’t offer DIRECTV plans with their internet packages. However, AT&T offers DIRECTV and internet deals that will allow you to get NFL Sunday Ticket.
How does DSL compare to fiber connection?
DSL carries data over the same copper cables used for telephone lines. It’s practical and easier to install, which is why DSL connection has a wider reach and is the automatic option provided by telecom companies.
Fiber, on the other hand, uses light technology which is faster compared to DSL. The signal also doesn’t get distorted even over long distances. Moreover, it has a higher capacity and better stability over a DSL connection.
What is AT&T Internet Fixed Wireless service?
AT&T Fixed Wireless Internet service is made available by the company to rural areas with limited to no connection available. It works by connecting an antenna on a fixed location on your roof. This will receive the signal from the nearest cellular tower in your area.
This technology has limited speeds and lower data limits even though subscription costs almost the same as a wired DSL connection.
In general, both AT&T and Cox internet provide great internet service to customers. In terms of coverage area, AT&T leads ahead of Cox by serving more states with their bundled plans.
For online gaming, AT&T is the better choice because of its impressive speeds and bandwidth availability; expect a lag-free experience with their fiber internet connection. So, if you’re opting for speed, reliability, and overall value for money, AT&T is the one you should subscribe to.
Cox Internet shines in the slower speed packages because it makes the network more accessible to those who are on a budget like students and stay-at-home parents. If you don’t need blistering internet speeds and you’re okay with casual internet browsing, the cheaper internet plans of Cox is more suitable to your needs.