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Cox Cable

*Est. $42 per month
Reviewed
April 2013
by ConsumerSearch
Cox

Best cable broadband ISP

Pros
  • Includes Cox security suite
  • Good customer satisfaction
  • PowerBoost increases speeds for some downloads
Cons
  • Not available in all areas
  • Lower ratings for technical support

Bottom Line

Cox Cable provides reliable Internet service primarily in the Midwest, as well as some areas along the East and West coasts. Its basic plan has speeds comparable to its competitors while the Ultimate package offers an impressive 150 Mbps download speed. Cox is highly rated by its subscribers for reliability and customer support, but gets mixed reviews for technical support.

Plans and Speed

Sometimes faster than advertised. The basic plan includes 3 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speed. Consumers can choose from higher-speed plans and PowerBoost, which offers faster downloads to some accounts when the bandwidth is available. The fastest package is the Ultimate (*Est. $100 per month), with a download speed of 150 Mbps and 20 Mbps upload. The editors of TopTenReviews.com like Cox Cable's high speed, which third-party tests show is often faster than the advertised rates.

Features

Security software included. All Cox subscribers receive 10 email accounts with 2 GB of storage each. Other free features include antivirus tools, online backup with a minimum of 1 GB for the basic plan and a subscription to Nick Jr. Boost, an online education site for kids.

Unlike Verizon FiOS, Cox's Internet security suite comes free with each plan and offers protection for up to five computers. The software includes McAfee family protection to monitor and limit your child's Internet use. Free Wi-Fi access through Cox hotspots is available to customers with top-tier packages in Virginia and Connecticut. Use the PowerBoost tool when downloading large files for a temporary increase in speed.

Customer Satisfaction

Top scores in the West. Subscribers speak highly of Cox's Internet services in general and customer support is available 24/7. Cox Cable is the highest rated Internet service provider in the West in J.D. Power's 2012 Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study.

In that survey, more than 20,000 respondents generally give Cox high marks for overall satisfaction, billing, performance and reliability and customer service. However, the company rates just average in cost of service in the East and loses some marks in the South for performance and reliability. At BroadbandReports.com, users give Cox a 73 percent score for customer satisfaction for the last six months, much lower than its competitors. Cox's technical support gets mixed feedback from subscribers.

Our Sources

1. ConsumerReports.org

Review Credibility: Excellent ConsumerReports.org surveys more than 62,000 subscribers in 2012 and uses the results to rate ISPs on value, reliability, connection speed and customer support. Cox Cable is among the Internet services covered.

Review: Internet Service Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, May 2013

2. J.D. Power & Associates

Review Credibility: Excellent In J.D. Power's 2012 customer satisfaction survey, ISPs are rated on overall satisfaction, performance and reliability, cost of service, customer service, billing, and offerings and promotions. The survey divides the U.S. into four geographical regions: East, South, North Central and West. Cox is top-rated in the West, but receives only average ratings in the East.

Review: 2012 U.S. Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, Oct. 15, 2012

3. PCMag.com

Review Credibility: Very Good When PCMag.com measures nationwide ISP speed results using reader tests, Cox comes out on top. However, results for its competitor Verizon FiOS are lumped in with Verizon's DSL service, which artificially lowers FiOS speed tests, Griffith says.

Review: The Fastest ISPs in the U.S. 2011, Eric Griffith, Aug. 31, 2011

4. TopTenReviews.com

Review Credibility: Good The editors of TopTenReviews.com give Cox Cable a score of 8.4 out of 10, which seems high but doesn't place Cox in the top three providers. Editors like Cox's fast Internet rates that often beat what's advertised, but the service isn't available nationwide and doesn't provide dial-up or DSL services to those living in rural areas.

Review: Cox Cable, Editors of TopTenReviews.com, Not dated

5. BroadbandReports.com

Review Credibility: Fair Subscribers rate Cox's performance over the past six months at 73 percent, which wins it a Silver Award. Ratings are highest for install coordination and lowest for tech support.

Review: All Reviews of Cox HSI (Cable), Contributors to BroadbandReports.com, As of April 2013

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