Cox Business Internet Review 2020
Fiber might be the internet of the future, but it’s not quite here yet: according to Statista, just over 13% of the US population can reach the fiber-optic network.1 If you belong to the remaining 87%, Cox gets you uber-fast cable speeds that keep your business up and running.
|Plan||Max download speed||Max upload speed||Learn more|
|Cox Business Internet 50||50 Mbps||10 Mbps||View Plan|
|Cox Business Internet 100||100 Mbps||20 Mbps||View Plan|
|Cox Business Internet 300||300 Mbps||30 Mbps||View Plan|
|Cox Business Internet 500||500 Mbps||35 Mbps||View Plan|
|Cox Business Internet 1000||1000 Mbps||35 Mbps||View Plan|
Cox Business Internet: Best for mid-sized businesses that can’t get fiber
High-speed cable from Cox (full name: Cox Communications) bridges the gap between snail-paced DSL and lightning-fast fiber. Its fastest cable plan clocks in at 1,000 Mbps, equal to 1 Gigabit (1 Gbps)—the highest speed many fiber providers offer.
Apart from its speed, Cox’s main selling point is its above-average number of small-business plans. If you’re a freelancer who doesn’t need much more than email (but still wants the added security, support, and speed of business-grade internet), you can make do with Cox Business 10 Mbps. If you have between two and four employees, you’ll do fine with Cox’s 25 Mbps, 50 Mbps, or 100 Mbps plans. And if you have dozens of employees who all need teleconferencing and streaming capabilities, you can get speeds up to 200, 300, or 500 Mbps instead of jumping directly into a pricier 1,000 Mbps plan.
Things to consider about Cox Business Internet
Cox’s high-speed internet plans are undeniably pricey—more on that in our contracts and pricing section below—but a few perks help compensate for cost.
Unlike most business internet service providers, Cox plans usually include a free static Internet Protocol (IP) address. Only businesses hosting their own servers really need a static IP address—but if you do need one, getting it for free is a neat perk. Most plans offer 25 GB for data storage, and you can set your plan to back up data automatically. That way, even if your laptop gets stolen or your hard drive crashes, you’ll still have a copy of your business plan and payroll spreadsheets.
We also like that Cox’s small-business internet includes Cox Security Suite—a data protection program complete with McAfee® Virus and Spyware Protection, McAfee Firewall Protection, and McAfee Browser Protection—with every internet plan purchase. Plans come with up to 25 Security Suite licenses so employees can protect data on every device, and business owners with more than 25 people or devices can purchase more licenses.
Finally, Cox customer service is easy to access and always available. When we tried out the online chat option that pops up on every page, we connected with an agent in seconds and were transferred immediately to the correct department without waiting—we’ve rarely encountered a customer service response this fast!
But if you’re comparing business internet providers, take note of a few drawbacks: Cox might be the fourth-largest internet service provider in the US, but it’s only available in 19 states, and even then only in urban centers like Las Vegas. This availability contrasts sharply with providers like CenturyLink, which serves nearly 40 states and reaches more rural cities and suburbs. And as we will discuss below, the pricing and contract options leave a lot to be desired.
- Diverse speed plans
- 1 static IP address included
- 24/7 customer service + chat
- Limited availability
- Comparatively expensive cable plans
- Auto-renewing contracts
Cox Business Internet speed and pricing by plan
Want to make sure the speed you’re getting isn’t too fast or too slow but just right? When choosing a plan, make sure to balance the number of users with their typical online activities. If you have only three employees but all three need to download large files, use bandwidth-heavy software, and teleconference, 25 Mbps isn’t enough bandwidth to handle the load. Instead, small businesses with heavier online needs should get a faster connection, less lag, and less frustration with 100 Mbps.
|Plan||Starting price||Max upload speed||Number of users||Supported activities||Learn more|
|Cox Business Internet 10||$90/mo.||10 Mbps||1 to 2||General web browsing, emailing, and VoIP||View Plan|
|Cox Business Internet 25||$105/mo.||25 Mbps||3 to 4||Downloading larger files||View Plan|
|Cox Business Internet 50||$130/mo.||50 Mbps||5 to 7||Downloading larger files, HD video streaming||View Plan|
|Cox Business Internet 100||$165/mo.||100 Mbps||7 to 10||Cloud computing, frequent data backups||View Plan|
|Cox Business Internet 200||$215/mo.||200 Mbps||10 to 15||Cloud computing, frequent data backups||View Plan|
|Cox Business Internet 300||$270/mo.||300 Mbps||15 to 20||Server hosting||View Plan|
|Cox Business Internet 500||$360/mo.||500 Mbps||20 to 30||Multi-service hosting, lage-free streaming and conferencing||View Plan|
|Cox Business Internet 1000||$515/mo.||1000 Mbps||30+||Practically any online task with next to no lag or downtime||View Plan|
Confused by the overlap between what each speed plan handles? Cox’s multiple plans are its biggest selling point, but when you get right down to it . . . there honestly isn’t much difference between 200 and 300 Mbps.
If you can’t decide between two fairly similar plans, it’s smart to choose the faster plan as your budget allows. Most businesses won’t notice a huge difference between the 50 and 100 Mbps plans, but you’ll be grateful for the extra bandwidth as your business grows. On the other hand, if you don’t see much changing in your business between now and the end of your contract, feel free to stick to the slightly cheaper plan.
Contracts and pricing
If you decide to sign up for Cox, pay attention to your contract terms. Cox automatically renews your contract for another year once it expires—and automatically ups your rate by 10% at the same time. Unless you provide written notice that you want to discontinue at least 30 days before your contract ends, you’ll be stuck paying much more than you initially bargained for. Those costs add up fast for a small business, so you’ll want to weigh contract restrictions carefully as you choose a provider.
If you don’t cancel your contract via written notice at least 30 days before your term ends, Cox speed plans renew annually with a built-in 10% rate increase.
If you don’t notice your contract has renewed but want to cancel after the fact, you’re out of luck and a huge chunk of cash. Cox requires you to pay the full remaining contract balance and an early termination fee. That’s way harsh.
Unfortunately, if you’re wondering how to avoid those annual price hikes, you’re out of luck. Businesses can opt for month-to-month plans instead of signing a contract, but if you go this route, you’ll pay at least $40 more per month. And monthly plans also renew automatically after 12 months with the 10% rate increase unless you write in to cancel.
These contract terms seem unnecessarily punishing given Cox’s already higher-than-average prices. Paying over $500 for 1,000 Mbps is hard to justify when a Verizon Fios Gigabit Connection with symmetrical upload and download speeds starts at $214.99. (Even Comcast Business Internet 1 Gig—seriously, Comcast—starts at $499.95.)
But since fiber isn’t particularly accessible in the US, paying more for similarly fast cable speeds could be an acceptable trade-off. And at the very least, if you’re paying hundreds of dollars for 1,000 Mbps speeds, you’ll get what you’re paying for. According to the FCC’s most recent data, Cox typically meets or exceeds its maximum speeds.2 Plus, in spite of the higher cost, you should choose cable over DSL any day of the week for speed, reliability, and minimal slowdowns.
Frequently asked questions about Cox Internet
Does Cox have fiber-optic internet?
Even though we’ve focused on cable, Cox does offer two business fiber plans: Cox Fiber Internet (speeds up to 1 Gig) and Cox Optical Internet (speeds up to 10 Gbps). However, fiber prices aren’t listed on Cox’s site—or if they are, they’re impossible to find, which leads us to think these plans are both quite expensive and limited to a small service area.
What is Cox Business VoiceManager Unlimited?
Cox Business VoiceManager Unlimited is a phone plan you can bundle with your business internet or get as a stand-alone service. Among other features, it includes an auto attendant to direct calls, as well as hold music and Do Not Disturb settings.
Can I use residential internet for business?
One could . . . but should one? The short answer: no. Cox residential internet includes data caps, and while you likely won’t hit your data cap at home, cap-free internet simply avoids the problem. Plus, business internet gets you features like business-class security, automatic online backup, and cloud storage. Even if your home is your business’s base of operations, we strongly recommend upgrading to a business internet plan for max security, speed, peace of mind, and ease of use.
How do I get Cox Wi-Fi?
Just sign up for Cox! Wi-Fi is included. You’ll pay an extra $9.99 a month to rent Cox’s Business Internet Gateway, a Cisco model modem/router combo that can accommodate gig speeds; you can always buy one yourself, but the Cisco model is a good one for your buck, so we suggest sticking with Cox’s rental.
Cox also offers managed Wi-Fi solutions, meaning Cox plays a main role in securing your wireless network. These managed solutions cost more, but a Premium Wi-Fi package gives you more robust security for your business. And a Guest Wi-Fi Package is perfect if you operate a hotel, run a school, or just want robust Wi-Fi as a perk for customers in the waiting room. If you want both services, you can bundle them together as a Total Wi-Fi Package.
Cox Business Internet is far from the cheapest in the book, but if you need fast cable that can support dozens of users without slowdowns, it’s perfectly serviceable and just as speedy as fiber.
Not sure Cox is right for you? Take a look at our top five business internet providers.
At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don’t guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.