The United States internet industry is filled with many Internet Service providers (ISPs). These ISPs come in all sorts with some offering ultra-speed Internet plans and others targeting middle-class Internet users with their low priced internet.
In such a flooded market, it makes more sense comparing two or more Internet service providers available in your area before arriving at a decision. Google Fiber and Cox offer quality, reliable, and reasonably priced Internet plans. However, there must be a few things that set the two ISPs apart. Well, let’s find out.
Google Fiber Overview
Google Fiber provides fiber-optic internet to residents and businesses in the US. It’s currently offering broadband internet and TV packages to small, medium-sized, and large families and businesses.
Over time, Google Fiber has seen massive growth. In 2016, the company had 68,715 television subscribers and more than half a million broadband internet customers. Today, the numbers are even higher because the company has expanded its services to Texas, Provo, Utah, and Austin.
Google Fiber Internet and TV availability
Previously, Google Fiber was a small company that only offered TV and Internet services to a slightly noticeable number of users in the market. Currently, it’s available to millions of Americans in the Triangle, Salt, Lake City, San Antonio, Atlanta, Texas, Provo, Utah, Austin, and charlotte. Visit the Google Fiber official website to see whether their internet and TV packages are available.
Cox Internet Overview
Cox Internet is supplied by Cox Communications, which is an American Company providing Internet and Cable TV services to millions of Americans. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.
Other services include automation services, telecommunication, and voice services. Their internet has 3.5 million subscribers. This makes Cox Internet widely available to companies and families in the US.
Cox Internet availability
Cox Internet is accessible to all users in 18+ states in the US. However, their internet is stably available in California, Arizona, and Virginia. There are about 21.2 million customers making the company 3rd largest residential cable internet service provider. Cox also offers fiber internet to 1,139 zip codes for businesses.
Internet speeds from Cox and Google Fiber
Google fiber and Cox communications have close internet speeds. Google fiber, for example, offers three main Internet plans with download speeds varying from 500Mbps to 1000Mbps. The Fiber 500Mbps connects to more than two devices simultaneously. The 1000Mbps can connect to more than 10 devices at the same time.
Cox Internet has more internet plans with different download and upload speeds as opposed to Google Fiber. While Google Fiber has only three Internet plans for 500Mbps, 100Mbps and 1Gbps, Cox offers a couple of plans with download speeds as low as 30Mbps to 940Mbps. You can get Cox Internet preferred 150Mbps and Cox Internet Ultimate with 500Mbps and upload speeds of 10Mbps.
When it comes to internet speeds, Cox obviously wins for having many options. But it’s worth noting that Cox Internet Gigablast doesn’t top up to 1000Mbps like it is the case with Fiber Internet 1Gbps.
As much as the advertised speeds are very appealing, there are many complaints of slower speeds. This means that you can end up getting Internet speeds lower than the ones on their website. However, this is nothing new in the internet industry. There are also a couple of reasons for this, including the use of an older modem or issues with Cox Internet caused by upgrades and other business factors.
It’s important to note Google Fiber is a fast Internet option. Fiber is the fastest type of internet connection. Google fiber may not be widely available in the US, but it’s in a constant move to grow coverage.
Just by the look of its Internet packages, it’s clear that Google fiber offers ultra-speed Internet plans that are reliable. Though, I would like to let you know that speed is not all about the numbers, especially when it comes to internet. If Google fiber internet is unreliable, it’s not even worth the talk.
Cox Internet, on the other hand, offers Internet plans that are able to cover just about all Internet lifestyles. Occasional internet users would go for 10Mbps from Cox, while heavy users can go for 1,000Mbps internet for their multi-device online gaming marathon.
It’s clear that Cox internet speeds are efficiently good in spite of the complaints. To determine whether Cox Internet is reliable, we used the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) data. The data shows that Cox average download speed was measured at under 104%. This indicates that people choosing Cox Internet 150 Mbps get faster speeds.
Besides that information, Cox didn’t rank well because there are other ISPs that did better, such as Xfinity and Spectrum. Though, remember Cox did better than CenturyLink. This means that their Internet speeds are reliable and work perfectly well for almost all internet needs.
One complaint about Cox is on their upload speeds. Cox Upload speeds do not match those of some competitors, including Google Fiber.
Differences and similarities – How Do They Compare
After Google announced entrance into the highly competitive internet industry, very few people expected it to be the best alternative to slow and highly-priced internet from other providers. Over time, Google significantly grew and succeeded wildly.
Cox, on the other hand, is marked as the 3rd largest Cable internet provider in the US. The company is still on the move to get a larger market share in the internet industry. With that said, you can expect there are few differences and similarities between these two ISPs.
To stream videos online in standard definition and HD formats, someone needs at least 3Mbps. Though, you may be required to get more than 25Mbps for 4K streaming videos on your computer or smart TV. One good thing about Cox and Google Fiber is that they offer Internet speeds higher than 25Mbps. This indicates that streaming videos in all formats is easy and super-fast.
To stream High Definition and 4K videos, someone opts for Google Internet 100Mbps or Cox Internet 150Mbps.
For seamless gaming, these two Internet service providers offer Internet speeds that are perfectly fine for all forms of online games. 100Mbps or 150Mbps is enough for all sorts of online gaming.
Browsers will find Cox and Google fiber a viable alternative to some popular ISPs in the market. The two companies have internet plans that are perfectly fine for browsing as well as business and household internet needs.
One common difference between Cox and Google fiber is coverage and Internet plan options. Cox offers internet to a comparatively large population of users. Cox also offers both Fiber and Cable internet, which is not the case with Google fiber.
Google fiber only features three Internet plans, which doesn’t give users a wide range of options. Cox has more internet plans for small and startup businesses and small families. Unfortunately, the highest in speed Internet plan from Cox is 940Mbps and not 1,000Mbps.
Bundle packages – Internet Phone and TV Packages
Google fiber and Cox communications give their users a chance to combine TV and Voice with Internet plans. This is convenient and saves people tons of money. Though, the prices for these bundle packages vary.
Cox offers Bronze Bundle at the cost of $109.99 per month with internet speeds of up to 150Mbps and 140+ TV channels. The phone package also comes with 14+ Voice features. Another Bundle package from Cox is a Bundle with 500Mbps, 170+Mbps, and 14+ Phone features at the cost of $129.99 per month.
Users can also go for the Cox Silver package at the cost of $149.99 per month with 940Mbps, 170+ TV channels, and 14+ phone features. For medium internet users, 500Mbps and 250+ TV channels and 14+ Phone features is a good alternative at the cost of $149.99 per month.
On the other hand, Google Fiber offers Internet and TV bundles. Recently, Google Fiber dropped TV packages to focus on high-speed Internet service solely. The company actually announced in February 2020 that they’re dropping their TV packages, but this doesn’t mean the service will not be offered to existing customers. They will just not take new contracts and offers for the same.
With that information, Cox Communications automatically wins in terms of bundle packages. However, the cost of these bundle packages is relatively higher than what Google Internet users were previously getting. The price is also higher than some of the competitors to these two Internet service providers.
Monthly costs, Data allowances, and Value for money
To know which of the two has cheaper Internet plans and bundle packages, we had to compare similar Internet plans for the two. Cox offers 50Mbps at $39.99 and 150Mbps at $59.99. Their Gigabit Internet plan with 940Mbps costs $79.99.
On the other hand, 1000Mbps from Google Fiber comes at the cost of $70 per month. Comparing $70 for 1,000Mbps and $79.99 from Cox for 940Mbps, it’s easy to notice that Google Fiber internet is cheaper than Cox.
But the price for internet doesn’t only depend on the specific monthly cost. We should check on each of their rental equipment costs, data caps, and other hidden costs that can increase your monthly bills.
To get Google fiber internet, you will not have to sign any contracts. The company offers a one-size-fit-all monthly contract that comes at zero costs. Though, it has a couple of plans and strategies to keep its customers for longer.
Sadly, you have to sign a year’s contract with each of Cox Internet plans. But still, a one year contract is better than a two with most ISPs.
Equipment and Rental fees
You would expect that Cox and Google Fiber offer their equipment at a monthly fee. Cox has similar equipment fees with many ISPs in the market. If you don’t own a Wi-Fi modem, you’re likely to rent one from Cox at the cost of $10.99 per month. If you’re ready to stay for more than their one year’s contract, you can buy your own Internet equipment at the cost of $179.99
I am going to award Google fiber a few points when it comes to equipment and the rental fees. The company offers free fiber jacks and Wi-Fi Network boxes to all the customers. You’re only required to pay if you need more than one of this equipment.
Additionally, users can get online with Webpass without renting any extra equipment from Google Fiber. But people that need Wi-Fi with Webpass, it’s important to get the router at your own cost.
So, when it comes to equipment and the cost of renting equipment, Google Fiber Internet takes the first place. Users will not have to pay any additional costs per month to use the Google Fiber equipment.
Cox demands a $20 self-installation fee and shipment cost. The good thing is that you will not pay anything in case you choose to terminate your contract with Cox. The installation cost will apply regardless of whether you’re buying a modem and internet from Cox or just the internet. This is not appealing, but the fees are better than what you pay on Comcast and spectrum.
On the other hand, Google fiber doesn’t have any installation fees or hidden costs. But expect to pay a construction fee if the installation requires extra work. There is also no early termination fee.
Customer service – Who wins?
Cox and Google Fiber have relatively helpful customer service. Google fiber has the best Customer service. Verily, their customer service is as helpful as their Google search.
Most users agree that Google fiber has transformed the home-Internet industry. But I have personally found a couple of dreadful stories about Google Fiber online. Most people complain about installation and billing issues. This is a common thing with telecommunication companies, and I can dare you to find a company that doesn’t have such online complaints.
Besides the fact that Google Fiber has its issues, surveys rank it better than most ISPs. A consumer report survey shows that customers are happier with Google Fiber than most ISPs in the US.
Google Fiber Customer reviews
To better understand what I am talking about, I have checked online for some common complaints and praises. A review from Neerja of Tustin found on Customeraffairs.com, claims that Google fiber doesn’t offer the said speeds. Their connection is also not stable, and the internet keeps going down from time to time. This can be very frustrating.
Another complaint from Benjamin of Atlanta found in the same platform shows that the internet connection is not stable. He adds that the advertised speeds are not always what users get on the ground.
There are a couple of praises too. One reviewer on Highspeedinternet.com claimed that he’s receiving superior services with deductions applied on his bills. He adds that he has received an outage but that one issue wouldn’t overrun the many benefits he’s getting from Google fiber as compared to other ISPs.
Cox Customer service has faced a public outroar with many people complaining about anything from prices, billing issues, the time it takes for support to deal with common issues on the ground, and internet speeds. All in all, comparing the complaints available online with those of other ISPs such as CenturyLink, AT&T, spectrum, and WOW, Cox stands at a better position.
Cox Customer reviews
Jessica of Lola, KS says on Customeraffairs.com that she has been using Cox Internet for six years, and she has not experienced serious issues or a reason to leave. She agrees that the prices have gone up with time, but the connection is stable, and the Internet speeds are as advertised.
George of Green Valley, AZ adds that Cox provides excellent customer service, and the support team responds swiftly to solve any issues on the ground. The internet speeds are consistent and high, and internet plans are reasonably priced.
Though this user agrees that the customer service is not the best, it’s decent. He has, however, claimed Cox is not the best ISP, but it’s a reliable Internet provider for most home users and small businesses out there.
Besides those positive reviews from some of the users, a noticeable number of people are complaining about cox Communication services and the representatives. A review from Daysha of Junction City, KS, on Customeraffairs.com claims that the services and the Cox customer representatives are good, but he’s not happy with the prices, speed, and outages.
Lastly, Andrew of Fox Lake, WI, says that Cox representatives have wasted his time and didn’t solve his issues as expected. He has a family of 7 households, and he has been Loyal to Cox Internet for five years, but he cannot get someone to help him remotely.
Google Fiber pros
- No broadband caps
- Internet-only is a single static price
- It’s reliable than most providers
- Consistent speeds
- Upload speeds are good
- No data caps
Google Fiber cons
- You may not be able to use the full bandwidth all the time
- TV service is at the mercy of negotiated contract prices
Cox Internet pros
- High-speed Internet
- A variety of plan options
- Affordable internet plans
- Bundle with cable and phone
- Reliable Internet connections
Cox Internet cons
- Prices are high
- Relatively unhelpful customer care
3 Similar Providers
If these two Internet service providers don’t please you, you still have a couple of other alternatives to try. Some of the alternatives include:
AT&T is one of the top ISPs which poses as the best in terms of bundle packages. AT&T has an overall rating of 3 stars and is widely available, meaning it is probably available in your area.
If you are searching for a better alternative with many internet options and reliable connections, then Viasat is the best fit. Viasat is a provider of Satellite internet and TV, which is the reason why it is available almost everywhere in the country. With a customer rating of 4 stars, you can expect this is a good and reliable satellite internet provider.
For businesses and people that use a lot of internet or want ultra-speed download and upload speeds, Verizon has cheap and affordable internet in your area. Offering download speeds of 200Mbps-940Mbps and a price of $39.99 to $79.99, it’s a viable alternative.
Should I switch to Google Fiber?
Google Fiber is a great Internet service provider that is thriving well in an industry resistant to change. They offer fast internet plans that are sensibly priced. These internet plans don’t come with data caps, contracts, or rental fees. The installation is also free for apartments and condos. Lastly, Google Fiber waives their internet for single-family homes. So why can’t you switch to Google Fiber Internet?
Is Google Fiber Better than Cox Internet?
These two Internet service providers are close competitors. Both offer Internet plans that are fast and reasonably priced. In this case, the decision comes down to personal interests, preferences, and willingness and ability to pay for different Internet plans.
Is Cox Internet the best?
Cox offers businesses and homes with reliable internet at affordable prices. It’s probably not the best ISP in the market, but it works perfectly as an alternative to most Internet service providers in the US.
Is Google Fiber the best?
Unlike most ISPs in the market, Google Fiber has been commended by most users for their internet plans, speed, and prices. The ISP has actually helped drive most competitor internet prices down. Their price per speed ratio is great, and there are no data caps or unexpected price hikes. Google Fiber may not be the best internet in the market, but its internet speeds and pricing are worth noting.
Based on the comparisons available above, Google fiber wins in many categories. This is not to mean it’s the best overall, but it boasts the most reliable and affordable internet as opposed to Cox. Cox is a viable option for people in need of many internet options to make the decision. Cox outweighs Google fiber for its wide coverage and the many internet-only plans and affordable bundle packages.