Comparisons are necessary for buying the best service at the most suitable price or value. This is why it is common to compare the available internet providers at your address to find the one that works best for you. Some customers specifically look for internet-only plans, while others actively search for internet providers that can provide them with additional services. Hence with different requirements, not every provider can fit in every household. The term “best internet provider” is, therefore, somewhat subjective.

This AT&T vs Cox comparison can help you pick the right option for your home internet if these providers service your area. We’ll evaluate the finer details of each provider to give you a close comparison of their internet plans, speeds, data caps, and customer service.

AT&T

As the largest telecommunication company, AT&T provides internet access to millions of Americans. The Dallas-based company uses a combination of fiber and hybrid-fiber connections to cover various demographics. Since 2020, the company has been phasing out its DSL service and now uses an IPBB network – a hybrid fiber-optic and copper wire network – to service the majority of its customers.

In addition to being the largest internet provider, AT&T is renowned for its extensive fiber network, which spans 21 states. This telecommunication powerhouse is continuously working to increase the size of its fiber network, giving around 5.2 million Americans access to 2-gig and 5-gig internet services.

Cox

Cox is the largest private telecommunication company in the county. This family-owned business, with headquarters in Atlanta, is a unit of Cox Enterprises to market various entertainment and home automation services besides broadband connection. However, it is mainly known for its cable internet, serving around 7 million customers in 19 states.

Cox is an excellent substitute for fiber internet since it has considerably faster speeds than DSL and satellite internet providers. The company also has some fiber internet options, but due to their scarce availability, its customers mostly rely on its cable network.

Pros & Cons – AT&T vs Cox Internet

Want to avoid decision-making paralysis? Weighing the pros and cons of AT&T and Cox can speed up your selection process. Therefore, we have highlighted the main benefits and drawbacks of each provider.

Pros – AT&T vs Cox
AT&T Cox
Several fiber internet plans Wide range of bundles
Wider coverage 30-day money-back guarantee
Excellent customer service
No contracts
No data caps on fiber internet plans
Cons – AT&T vs Cox
AT&T Cox
Data caps on other plans Limited coverage
IPBB network covers more service area Data caps
Enforces a 1, or 2-year contract
Gig plan is pricier

Internet Service Comparison – AT&T vs Cox Internet

FeaturesAT&TCox
Internet Plans5+4
Price Range$55.00/month – $180.00/month$49.99/month – $99.99/month
Speed Range300 Mbps – 5000 Mbps100 Mbps – 1000 Mbps
Internet TypeFiber, IPBB, Fixed WirelessCable, Fiber
Data CapsNone (On fiber internet plans)Yes (On non-fiber plans)Yes
Bundle DealsYesYes
ContractsNoneYes
Wide Coverage AreaYesNo
Additional FeeYesYes
Contact ProviderCall NowCall Now

It is necessary to compare the different features of each provider, and Cox and AT&T share some vast differences. While both companies have fiber internet service, Cox’s service is available only to its business customers. Beyond fiber-optic service, both AT&T and Cox offer connectivity through different connection types and have different speeds and terms.

Cox primarily provides cable internet service, and AT&T relies on its IPBB network – a hybrid fiber and DSL connection, that is not as fast as fiber but is faster than a typical DSL connection. Keep reading this AT&T vs Cox comparison to find everything in detail.

Plans & Pricing – AT&T vs Cox

AT&T and Cox both provide a variety of plans via different technologies. Let’s take a look at what these providers charge for their internet service while comparing their plans and internet speeds.

AT&T

AT&T offers connectivity through different connection types, and thus, it presents a wider number of plans. The availability of these plans, however, depends on your location. Its fiber service gives you the best deals at an excellent value among all the connection types. Unfortunately, most AT&T customers qualify for its IPBB service, which, although incomparable to its fiber internet, is significantly faster than other providers’ DSL service.

Besides its wireless connection, all AT&T plans start at $55. This starting price of AT&T is higher than Cox, but its 500 and 1000 Mbps internet plans are more reasonable than the latter. Additionally, AT&T does not tempt its customers with short-term promotional deals. Instead, AT&T internet plans come at regular rates, which shows that AT&T doesn’t hike your price after a year like Cox.

PlanMonthly PriceSpeedInternet Type
AT&T Fixed Wireless$70.00/month10 Mbps – 25 MbpsFixed Wireless
AT&T Internet 75$55.00/monthUp to 75 MbpsIPBB
AT&T Internet 100$55.00/month100 MbpsIPBB
AT&T Fiber Internet 300$55.00/month300 MbpsFiber
AT&T Fiber Internet 500$65.00/month500 MbpsFiber
AT&T Fiber Internet 1000$80.00/month1000 MbpsFiber
AT&T Fiber Internet 2000$110.00/month2000 MbpsFiber
AT&T Fiber Internet 5000$180.00/month5000 MbpsFiber

Get AT&T Internet Plans

  • Lightning fast internet speeds
  • Unlimited internet plans
  • 99% Reliability

AT&T also provides a fixed wireless service as an alternative to wired broadband access. The AT&T Fixed Wireless plan, which starts at $70, offers connection to rural customers who cannot access the company’s other connection types.

Cox

On the other hand, Cox offers a variety of cable internet plans which are vastly different from what AT&T has to offer. For example, its starting plan, Internet Essential, costs less than AT&T Fiber Internet 300, but it also has less speed. Every Cox internet plan also includes a monthly cap of 1.25 TB, which is more than enough for the majority of households but doesn’t spare you from worrying about your data usage.

The most significant difference is perhaps the steep price hike. The company requires its customers to sign a 1-year contract with every plan except the first one to get them at promotional rates. At the end of this period, Cox hikes up your monthly bill by $25 to $40. And Although Cox’s website does an inadequate job of explaining this, you cannot escape this price hike. Hence, your monthly bill will increase whether or not you accept the promotional rate.

In short, the cost of Cox internet plans depends on the data allowance, internet speed, and the number of devices you want to connect. Besides the basic internet plans, this provider even offers support programs to low-income customers.

PlanStarting Price(with contract)Internet SpeedInternet Type
Cox Internet Essential 100$49.99/month(no annual contract)100 MbpsCable
Cox Internet Preferred 250$49.99/month250 MbpsCable
Cox Internet Ultimate 500$69.99/month500 MbpsCable
Cox Gigablast$99.99/month1000 MbpsCable

Additional Fee

Different providers charge different additional charges when it comes to their service. And the story does not end at your monthly subscription fee. Your internet bill is riddled with extra costs and hidden charges. While some of these costs are one-time payments, like installation, others are recurring fees. Therefore internet subscribers should be aware of these costs.

Here is a rundown of the additional charges of Cox and AT&T.

Equipment Fee

Every provider offers its own equipment with internet service. Similarly, Cox provides a Panoramic Wi-Fi gateway, for which it charges a monthly rental fee of $13. You can avoid this fee by purchasing a compatible modem. In comparison, AT&T no longer charges a monthly equipment rental fee and includes the price of its gateway device in the internet service.

Both service providers include a range extender solution in case of poor signals. While each extender from AT&T costs $50, the Cox Wi-Fi extender costs $130. Since you’ll be already paying $13 for Cox’s gateway, a mesh router is a much better option.

ProviderEquipment Fee
AT&TNone
Wi-Fi Extender (optional) – $50.00
Cox$13.00/month
Wi-Fi Extender (optional) – $130.00

Installation Fee

Setting up an internet service comes with an installation fee. Hence, your first internet bill is always the largest. Both AT&T and Cox also impose $99 and $100, respectively, with their complete in-home tech installation. But if you cannot afford this upfront payment, both suppliers also offer a self-install kit that allows you to forego this fee. However, AT&T limits the availability of this service to specific addresses.

ProviderInstallation Fee
AT&TPro-installation: $99.00
Self-installation: at a few addresses
CoxPro-installation – $100.00
Self-installation – Free

Early Termination Fee

Many providers offer discounts and special offers if you sign a contract. However, breaking this agreement could result in expensive repercussions. You might have to either pay a fixed amount for the remaining months your contract has left or a substantial ETF at once. Therefore, consider how long you’ll use their service before choosing a provider with contracts.

AT&T is one of the few providers that do not bind you in a contract, allowing you to switch your service effortlessly. On the other hand, Cox enforces you in a 1, or 2-year term agreement and charges an upfront early termination fee if you breach it. This is why AT&T is more suitable for people who want to avoid long-term commitments.

ProviderEarly Termination Fee
AT&TNone
Cox1-year contract: $120.00
2-year contract: $240.00

Data Overage Fee

Many carriers frequently set data limitations. Therefore, if your household relies on more demanding activities like streaming or gaming, you should attention to the data caps. In case of exceeding the allotted amount of data, providers typically impose an overage fee.

Every plan from Cox has a 1.25 TB data restriction, and going over that amount will cost you $10 for every 50 GB. You won’t need to worry about this additional cost with AT&T Fiber because this service includes unlimited data. However, all AT&T non-fiber plans contain a data cap that, when exceeded, results in a penalty price akin to Cox.

ProviderOverage Fee
AT&TNone (Fiber internet plans)
$10.00 for every 50 GB (Non-fiber internet plans)
Cox$10.00 for every 50 GB

Internet Speed

Speed is the most crucial element of your home internet. Your household might not need the highest internet speed, but it is necessary to have an internet plan with sufficient bandwidth. Many factors influence the internet speed, and this includes your connection type.

AT&T and Cox use different technologies to provide internet access, which is why they have different speeds. While AT&T uses various connection types, its fiber internet service provides excellent internet speeds. It offers 25x faster and more reliable connection than Cox, with symmetrical upload and download speeds. This allows you to perform heavy data bandwidth activities like streaming on Netflix, attending Zoom meetings, or streaming on Twitch without experiencing any lags.

In contrast, Cox uses cable technology to deliver internet service. Therefore, its customers have to depend on asymmetrical upload and download speeds. Cable connection is also susceptible to rush hours, resulting in customers facing slower speeds.

Internet SpeedsAT&TCox
Download Speed Range10 Mbps – 5000 Mbps100 Mbps – 1000 Mbps
Upload Speed Range1 Mbps – 5000 Mbps5 Mbps – 35 Mbps
Learn MoreCall NowCall Now

Data Caps

As the world is advancing digitally, we are using more and more data. But some providers impose data restrictions on their plans, forcing you to keep an eye on your monthly consumption and limiting your data usage. Exceeding these limits often results in incurring overage charges and facing throttled speeds. So, how do AT&T and cox compare in this regard?

With AT&T, fiber internet plans have unlimited data, but IPBB and fixed wireless services have data restrictions. On the other hand, Cox enforces a data limit on every plan and charges the same penalty as AT&T if you exceed them. But its cap is higher than AT&T, and it even offers unlimited data packages at some additional fees. 

Bundle Deals

The ability to receive several perks under a single bill makes bundling appealing to many Americans. As a result, many customers combine several services to increase value. Let’s compare the AT&T and Cox bundles.

AT&T

Rather than providing its own TV service, AT&T now offers personalized bundles with DIRECTV, a satellite TV provider. DIRECTV offers both satellite TV and streaming service, and depending on your preference, you can combine any AT&T internet plan with either of them. DIRECTV Stream is excellent for people who want a contract-free bundle. Otherwise, DIRECTV Satellite is a perfect option for people who love a higher channel count.

There are several benefits to bundling your AT&T and DIRECTV services, including a three-month complimentary HBO subscription, hours of DVR storage, and more. And although you don’t get special discounts, AT&T and DIRECTV bundles, starting at $124.99, are more affordable than Cox packages. Here are the top AT&T Bundles.

BundleStarting PriceInternet SpeedChannelsHome Phone
AT&T Fiber INTERNET 300 + DIRECTV STREAM ENTERTAINMENT PACKAGE$129.99/month300 Mbps65+
AT&T Fiber Internet 500 + DIRECTV CHOICE$144.99/month500 Mbps185+
Internet 1000 + DIRECTV STREAM ULTIMATE + Phone$209.98/month1000 Mbps130+Unlimited North America

Make Your Bundle with AT&T

  • High-Speed Fiber Internet
  • DIRECTV Stream
  • DIRECTV Choice
  • Home Phone Service

Cox

Unlike AT&T, Cox has its own cable TV service and offers a variety of TV plans. But its bundles, starting at $147.99 with 100 Mbps and 140+ networks, are more expensive than AT&T. This provider also does not offer any discounts but allows you to customize the packages according to your taste. Plus, it gives you access to the top streaming platforms like Peacock, Prime Video, and more at some extra monthly costs.

With Cox bundles, you can enjoy an internet plan of your choice, your favorite shows, and high-quality phone calls with 14+ features. Here are some of the best Cox internet bundles.

PackageInternet SpeedTV ChannelsHome PhoneStarting Price
Cox Internet Essential 100 + Contour TV Preferred100 Mbps140+147.99/month
Cox Internet Preferred 250 + Contour TV Preferred250 Mbps140+147.99/month
Cox Internet Ultimate 500 + Contour TV Preferred + Voice Preferred500 Mbps140+14+ calling features$187.99/month

Customer Service

A good customer service experience can turn a potential customer into a loyal one. While American internet providers often rank at the bottom of customer service rankings, few providers are known for their excellent customer service.

Since many customers rely on these rankings to make their purchase decision, AT&T attracts numerous customers due to exceptional customer service, as shown by its ranking in major reviewers’ reports. It is often among the best internet providers in ACSI and J.D. Power’s Study due to its timely responses to complaints and fast actions. It is also way ahead of the industry average in this year’s ACSI report, with a score of 69. It also claimed the top position in the North-Central and South regions of J.D. Power’s Study, further cementing itself as one of the best providers.

In comparison, Cox has below-average customer service as it scored 61 in this year’s ACSI report, 2 points below its last year’s score. And although it performed comparatively better in J.D. Power’s Study, it still has below-average scores compared to others.

ACSI RankingsAT&TCoxIndustry Average
2022696164
2021716365

Coverage Area – AT&T vs Cox

AT&T has much broader coverage than Cox thanks to its IPBB, fixed wireless services covering rural areas. Its fiber service, on the other hand, only covers 30% of its footprint, but it is available in 21 states, making it one of the largest fiber internet providers in the country. The company continues to expand its network, and we expect to see AT&T Fiber available in more states in the future.

As for Cox, it is the largest independent cable internet provider, primarily delivering cable internet in 19 states, but it mainly covers urban areas and their surrounding neighborhoods. These two providers share coverage in some cities, which include New Orleans, San Diego, Irvine, Oklahoma City, and more. 

Conclusion

Cox and AT&T overlap in quite a few cities. So, if your final choice also comes down to these two providers, consider AT&T Fiber as your top option if available at your address. With fast speeds, remarkable customer service, unlimited data, and contract-free plans, AT&T Fiber offers the best service in the industry. Otherwise, a cable internet provider like Cox is a suitable alternative. We have compared the finer details of each provider in this AT&T vs Cox guide so you can make a wise choice.