Amidst the prevailing 90s nostalgia, there is no harm in yearning for simpler days. While several sectors, such as fashion and music, occasionally take inspiration from the past, we should all be glad that internet providers are not stuck in the 90s and have moved on from dial-up speeds. They have understood that individuals want a dependable and fast internet connection to participate in modern society. As a result, they are rolling out quicker speed tiers that go beyond the gigabit connection.
Since the internet has such a large space in our lives, selecting the best provider can be difficult, especially if you have several options. And although it might be tempting to find a list of the best options and choose the top internet provider, it is not that simple. However, you can read this AT&T vs. Cox internet comparison to learn about the two big names and see which option works for your home. Let’s look at which internet provider delivers what you need.
AT&T Inc., or simply AT&T, is a multinational telecommunications corporation that takes pride in providing a connection that transforms its customers’ lives. Founded as the Bell Telephone Company after the invention of the telephone in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell, the company became AT&T (American Telephone & Telegraph Co.) in 1885. However, it wasn’t until 1996 that the company started offering internet services.
Today, AT&T is a world-renowned telecommunications company, utilizing multiple technologies such as IPBB, fixed wireless, and fiber optics to connect approximately 15.39 million Americans, with speeds up to 5000 Mbps. In addition to broadband services, AT&T is famous for its cell phone and landline offerings.
Cox Communications Inc., or simply Cox, is a private telecommunications company operating in 645 service areas across the US. The company was founded 61 years ago in Atlanta when its parent company, Cox Enterprises, acquired multiple cable systems in Pennsylvania. Currently, Cox stands as the third-largest cable internet provider in the country.
It delivers a variety of impressive internet and cable TV plans to approximately 6.5 million customers, with pricing starting from $50. Beyond its internet and TV services, Cox also provides home phone and security services. In fact, you can bundle these services to get a taste of the best entertainment and connectivity.
|Download Speed||Up to 5000 Mbps||Up to 1200 Mbps|
|Internet Type||Fixed wireless, IPBB, Fiber||Cable|
|Data Caps||None||1280 GB|
|Coverage Area||21 states||19 states|
Given that Cox and AT&T’s service areas overlap in numerous states, including California, Florida, Georgia, and more, it is crucial to compare their features for evaluation. These two providers display more differences than similarities, employing different technologies to connect their customers and embracing different approaches, resulting in varying degrees of accessibility. Now, let’s dive into their differences in pricing and other terms.
Unlike Cox, which focuses on a single technology to serve its customers, AT&T employs various networks to connect a broader range of people. Consequently, AT&T has a long list of plans, although their availability depends upon your location within its service area. Let’s look into the specifics and determine which provider offers the most attractive price points for their plans.
On the other hand, AT&T’s offerings include a single fixed wireless package, a couple of IPBB options with the same starting price, and five fiber internet plans starting at $55. Now, you might notice that the starting price of AT&T is slightly higher than Cox’s; Well, that’s because AT&T does not trap new customers with short promotional rates, at least on its fiber service (IPBB plans are another story).
As a result, fiber is the company’s flagship offering, known for providing immense value and reliability. Meanwhile, the prices of all the other non-fiber AT&T internet plans increase after a year. So, if you live within the AT&T Fiber area, the provider is an excellent choice. Otherwise, it is better to opt for Cox.
|AT&T Internet Plans|
|Fixed Wireless||$70.00/mo.||Up to 25 Mbps||Fixed wireless|
|Internet 75||$55.00/mo.||Up to 75 Mbps||IPBB|
|Internet 100||$55.00/mo.||Up to 100 Mbps||IPBB|
|Fiber Internet 300||$55.00/mo.||Up to 300 Mbps||Fiber|
|Fiber Internet 500||$65.00/mo.||Up to 500 Mbps||Fiber|
|Fiber Internet 1000||$80.00/mo.||Up to 1000 Mbps||Fiber|
|Fiber Internet 2000||$110.00/mo.||Up to 200 Mbps||Fiber|
|Fiber Internet 5000||$180.00/mo.||Up to 5000 Mbps||Fiber|
Cox has finally joined the race of multi-gigabit speeds with the introduction of its Go Beyond Fast internet plan. In addition to this high-speed internet option, the provider presents four other internet plans with pricing structures commencing at an average of $50. While these options furnish ample speed to support most modern online activities, it’s important to note that they come with data caps.
Furthermore, Cox employs complex policies, wherein specific plans feature promotional periods and entail price increases after 12 months, while others remain free from such hikes or contractual obligations. Consequently, we advise you to meticulously examine the fine print before selecting a plan, to avoid any unpleasant surprises in the future.
|Cox Internet Plans|
|Go Fast||$49.99/mo.||Up to 100 Mbps||Cable|
|Go Faster||$69.99/mo.||Up to 250 Mbps||Cable|
|Go Even Faster||$59.99/mo.*||Up to 500 Mbps||Cable|
|Go Super Fast||$99.99/mo.*||Up to 1000 Mbps||Cable|
|Go Beyond Fast||$149.99/mo.||Up to 2000 Mbps||Cable|
The speed of your internet connection dictates the types of online activities you can perform and the number of devices you can connect. Therefore, understanding the digital needs of your family members while also considering your online activities can help you find the perfect plan with sufficient bandwidth.
Cox and AT&T are two different types of providers. While the former uses a cable network to deliver asymmetrical download and upload speeds that range from 100 Mbps to 2000 Mbps and 5 to 100 Mbps, respectively, the latter uses three different technologies to provide internet access.
AT&T’s non-fiber internet plans may not appeal to many people in front of faster offerings by Cox. But its fiber internet plans tell a different story, offering equal download and upload speeds ranging from 300 Mbps to blistering fast 5000 Mbps. Thus, you have plenty of options to choose a plan that aligns perfectly with your household requirements.
|Download Speeds||100 Mbps – 2000 Mbps||10 Mbps – 5000 Mbps|
|Upload Speeds||5 Mbps – 100 Mbps||1 Mbps – 5000 Mbps|
Don’t settle on either option until you’ve considered the potential additional fees associated with each internet provider. These extra fees, if ignored, can accumulate and considerably increase your monthly internet bill. While AT&T charges a few extra fees, Cox has a bunch of additional costs that you should be aware of.
Both providers include their equipment with their services, but only Cox charges a monthly rental fee of $14 for its Panoramic WiFi gateway. However, you can skip this fee by using your own compatible modem. On the other hand, you don’t have to pay a penny for AT&T’s gateway, as the provider includes this fee in your monthly subscription, helping you save money on your internet bill.
Both providers charge more or less the same for professional installation and also offer a DIY option. However, AT&T’s self-installation option is not accessible at all addresses, so double-check everything with the provider before proceeding with the process.
An early termination fee is a significant consequence of violating a provider’s contract. Since AT&T is a contract-free internet provider, you won’t have to pay this fee if you switch plans within the first year. On the other hand, Cox offers most internet plans without annual contracts, save for its gigabit option, which requires a one-year agreement. It also has a no-contract alternative for an extra $10. But if you have chosen a contract route to receive the promotional discount, bear in mind that breaking this agreement can result in a $120 ETF.
Only AT&T Fiber offers you the freedom of unlimited data. Meanwhile, there are data limitations on all of its non-fiber offerings. Cox also imposes data caps on its plans. The upper limit, on the other hand, varies. While Cox enforces data caps of 1.28 TB on every internet plan, AT&T’s IPBB plans have a 1.5 TB monthly data allowance, and its wireless service has a limit of 350 GB. Except for AT&T’s fixed wireless service, these limitations are enough for many homes. Moreover, Cox also offers options with unlimited data but at a substantial additional cost.
|AT&T||IPBB: 1.5 TB|
|Fixed Wireless: 350 GB|
Are you searching for excellent bundling options? You might be in the right place because both providers offer exceptional bundles.
While AT&T offers internet and home phone services, it lacks a TV service. As a result, AT&T customers looking for internet and TV bundles can combine their internet plans with DIRECTV’s TV plans. As DIRECTV offers both streaming and satellite TV options, you may bundle either with your favorite AT&T internet plan to get the complete experience of dependable connectivity and unlimited entertainment.
However, DIRECTV requires a 2-year commitment with its satellite TV service. Despite this, its plans have a greater channel count than its streaming options. These packages have various benefits, including DVR storage, and are less expensive than Cox’s bundles.
|AT&T Internet & DIRECTV Bundles|
|Internet + DIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT||$119.99/mo.||100 Mbps||165+|
|Internet 300 + DIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT||$119.99/mo.||300 Mbps||165+|
|Internet 500 + DIRECTV PREMIER™||$219.99/mo.||500 Mbps||340+|
In contrast, Cox offers a TV service called Contour, allowing it to provide its own internet and TV bundles. However, these bundles tend to be slightly more expensive than AT&T and DIRECTV’s packages and offer a slightly smaller number of channels. If you want more budget-friendly Cox bundles, you can always combine its internet service with its streaming plans.
|Cox Internet & TV Bundles|
|Bundle||Starting Price||Internet Speed||TV Channels|
|Go Faster + Contour TV Preferred||$182.99/mo.||250 Mbps||140+|
|Go Even Faster + Contour TV Preferred||$172.99/mo.||500 Mbps||140+|
|Go Even Faster + Contour TV Ultimate||$212.99/mo.||500 Mbps||250+|
Since the internet is the foundation of online gaming, you should consider several factors, such as latency, speeds, ping, and technology type, before selecting an internet provider. The ideal latency for gaming is anything below 40 ms, making both providers reasonable choices for gaming enthusiasts. But, if you are a professional gamer or pursuing a smoother and swifter gameplay experience, AT&T Fiber is the more suitable option. It boasts a low latency rate ranging from 6 to 4 ms, depending on the plan, symmetrical speeds, and unlimited data.
Whether you are facing a slower connection or any other technical issue, customer service is your direct link to your internet provider and a pathway for resolving any problems. Internet providers are not typically renowned for their exceptional customer ratings, and you’ll often come across dissatisfied reviews and complaints. However, AT&T is an exception. It leads the fiber internet providers’ category by 80 points in ACSI’s 2023 report, beating the industry average with 5 points. Moreover, it occupies the 2nd position with a score of 72 in the non-fiber list.
In contrast, Cox’s customer service is below average, ranking 7th among non-fiber internet providers with a score of 64, which is 2 points lower than the industry average.
AT&T has a broader coverage area than Cox, providing service in 21 states compared to Cox’s coverage of 19 states. Moreover, AT&T enjoys wider availability within each state and reaches a larger population due to its utilization of multiple technologies, providing broadband access to approximately 15.39 million customers.
The Cox vs AT&T comparison proves that AT&T Fiber is a shining example of high speed and reliability, offering symmetrical uploads and downloads ranging from 300 Mbps to a breathtaking 5000 Mbps. Its unlimited data and minimal latency are perfect for gamers and professionals alike.
But what if AT&T Fiber is beyond your reach? In that case, Cox is a better home internet alternative, with a wide range of plans and a presence spanning 19 states. While not as fast as AT&T Fiber, Cox still provides a good internet experience with packages that satisfy different requirements, keeping you connected and engaged.
Cox has the cheapest internet plan, Go Fast, which costs $49.99 per month for a year.
AT&T offers the fastest internet plan with a speed of 5000 Mbps.
AT&T Fiber is the best choice for online gaming due to unlimited data, symmetrical upload and download speeds, and low latency rate.
AT&T, especially its fiber service, is the best option for low-income families since it doesn’t increase the price after a year of service and has fewer additional costs.