A Guide to Cox Compatible Modems
Whether this is your first time moving and installing internet or you’re simply looking to try a new internet provider, Cox has likely crossed your mind.
Cox is one of the leading internet service providers (ISPs) with over 6 million subscribers in the US. However, if you opt for a Cox internet service plan you may find yourself paying a monthly fee to rent one of their modems. And after a move, it’s understandable if you’re looking to save as much as you can on utilities.
In the long run, the cheaper option is to purchase a third-party modem that’s approved and compatible with Cox internet. This article reviews nine Cox compatible modems, their essential features, factors to consider when buying a modem, and answers frequently asked questions.
What to consider when buying a modem
When you’re shopping for a modem for your home, you want to ensure that you’re making the right decision and getting the best value for your money.
Purchasing devices can be challenging for a non-tech savvy homeowner, but it doesn’t have to be. Consider the following features to find the best Cox compatible modem for your internet needs.
- Channel bonding – The more channels a Cox-approved modem has, the higher the traffic it can handle. The minimum cable channels your device should have is 16*4, but this will also depend on the internet plan you’ll be using.
- DOCSIS technology – A high-performing modem should have DOCSIS 3.0 technology at a minimum. But if you’ll be using Cox’s Gigablast internet plan, it is only compatible with a DOCSIS 3.1 modem.
- Speed – Most people already know that they want a modem with impressive speeds, but there’s more to this than you might think. While high speeds may be tempting, remember it’s not possible to draw more data than you pay your ISP for. For example, if your modem can handle speeds of 1400Mbps, but you pay for 25Mbps, you are going to get 25Mbps. Essentially, going for a fast modem is more about future-proofing your setup than pushing it to the limit with a current plan.
- Dual-band Wi-Fi technology – Modem/router combo devices should have two frequency bands – 5GHz and 2.4GHz – for the most flexibility and best overall performance.
- Future-proofed capabilities – If you’re not planning on upgrading your modem or switching to another anytime soon, consider buying future-proof devices. This way, any upgrade by Cox or another ISP will not affect your modem.
Top 9 Cox compatible cable modems
While this is not an exhaustive list of Cox compatible modems, it’s an ideal place to begin as you work to choose the best device for you. The following cable modems are Cox-compatible and offer a wide range of features and capabilities.
This Broadcom chipset-powered modem is among the most reliable Cox-approved modems. It supports DOCSIS 3.1 technology to give you access to faster speeds but also has a fallback option to DOCSIS 3.0 for optimal signal throughput. With speeds of up to 1Gbps, the CM1000 modem is compatible with Cox’s fastest internet plan – Gigablast.
If you’re looking to invest in a future-proof device, the Motorola MB8600 modem could be your best bet. First, the Motorola MB8600 supports Ethernet aggregation. This means that you can combine 2 of its four Ethernet ports into one with twice the speed. A potential download speed of 2Gbps is what the future of the internet looks like.
Second, the MB8600 is future-proof, which means that you’ll not have to spend more on upgrading your device should Cox upgrade their network infrastructure. This modem is compatible with any of the Cox internet plans, but it’s best-suited for the top tier Gigablast package.
Moving on a budget? The Netgear CM500 modem will be an ideal option. With speeds of up to 680Mbps download and 140Mbps upload during peak hours, this device can support online gaming regardless of the internet plan you’re using. That being said, the CM500 model performs optimally for HD streaming along with other average household internet uses. These speeds also mean that the Netgear CM500 is best compatible with Cox’s Preferred 250 internet plan.
Don’t let the device’s single Ethernet port discourage you from buying because it doubles as an auto-sensing feature to help with network speed adjustments.
Arris Surfboard S33
With a 2.5G Ethernet port, the Arris Surfboard 33 is one of the fastest Cox compatible modems. It can work with any Cox internet plan, but it goes without saying that the most preferred is the Gigablast package. The Surfboard 33 is also compatible with other ISPs like Xfinity.
While this device is relatively pricey (around $200) compared to other Cox-approved modems, its features and speed have proven to be worth every penny. Having an ARM-based chipset further supports fast speeds by helping you avoid network interference and congestion.
If you’re shopping for a modem to support long hours of connectivity as well as heavy usage, the Arris Surfboard 33 will serve you well into the future.
Cox’s Gigablast internet plan boasts some of the highest speeds, but you may opt to go with a lower and more affordable plan if you only need the internet for normal household uses. To this end, the Arris SB6190 will be ideal for your needs.
This modem works perfectly with Cox’s Ultimate 500 internet package or a lower tier plan but still has above-average internet speeds of up to 1.4Gbps. The speeds are partly due to the device’s 32*8 channel bonding capability despite having DOCSIS 3.0 technology instead of DOCSIS 3.1.
And even with a single Ethernet port, this device can achieve speeds of up to 1Gbps when the port is directly connected to a router.
The Netgear CAX80 is a modem/router combo that matches up well with Cox’s Gigablast plan. It has a good range of internet connectivity too (90 to 100 feet), making it ideal for larger homes.
With DOCSIS 3.1 network technology and 32*8 channel bonding support, this device can go slightly above 800Mbps when it comes to internet speeds. If you’re wondering how fast this is, it’s enough for a 7-person household to use the modem simultaneously without interference or lag.
However, the Netgear CAX80 lacks some features that might be essential for you, depending on your internet needs. For instance, if you have kids, this modem/router may not be ideal for your new home as it lacks parental control capabilities.
If you’re in the market for a reliable yet cost-effective modem/router combo, the TP-Link CR700 ticks all the boxes.
Even with DOCSIS 3.0, this mid-range device still has impressive internet speeds of up to 600Mbps. Its 16*4 channel bonding capabilities further facilitate these speeds. For compatibility, the modem functions optimally with Cox’s Preferred 250 internet plan.
When it comes to performance, the TP-Link CR700 isn’t impacted by network congestion and internet lag owing to 256MB RAM and a dual-core processor. It also has a 2,000 square foot range that comes with zero signal interference, driven by its internal antennas.
Even when you’re on a budget, some features such as speed are hard to compromise on. If this is your situation, the Netgear CM700 will be a perfect Cox compatible modem. The device comes with advanced Quality of Service (QoS), which supports prioritization to speed up important processes.
However, the Netgear CM700 has DOCSIS 3.0, meaning that you cannot handles the speeds provided by the Cox Gigablast plan. Despite this drawback, this modem can still clock speeds of up to 1.4Gbps, thanks to its 32*8 bonded channel support.
Other features include 8MB of flash storage, 128MB of RAM, pleasant aesthetics, and an auto-sensing Ethernet port.
This is yet another modem/router combo that will offer high value for your money. The Motorola MG8702 is a future-proof device that comes with the latest DOCSIS 3.1 technology and a 2-year warranty. Its internet range is ideal if you’re moving to a large house, but having thicker walls might bring connectivity issues.
Modem speeds can go well above 580Mbps, with wireless speeds of up to 1200Mbps. These impressive speeds are ideal for online gaming and 4K streaming. However, just like the Netgear CAX80, this Motorola MG8702 lacks parental control and QoS features.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Should I buy a modem or rent one from Cox?
Buying a modem instead of renting is cheaper in the long run. Also, you get to choose the features you want in a device, and you potentially use the device with another ISP if you decide to switch your internet service.
Which is the best Cox compatible modem to buy?
There’s no one-size-fits-all modem that is better than the rest. Ultimately, the modem you purchase will depend on your internet needs. Consider factors like the different ways you or your household uses the internet, the total number of devices using the internet, speed, the Cox internet package you’re using, the size of your house for range purposes, and so on, before buying.
Why does my high-end Cox modem lack QoS support?
High-end modems have faster speeds than low-end Cox modems, which means that the former will have minimal to zero traffic issues. However, a low-end modem with a minimal number of channels is likely to experience traffic restrictions, especially for heavy processes like gaming. QoS support helps to prioritize these processes for a better internet experience.
Is the modem/router combo better than a standalone modem?
The modem/router combo and the standalone modem have different purposes. If you’re using Cox’s internet plans with lower speeds, a modem/router combo will come in handy to reduce signal loss. A standalone modem, on the other hand, works better with high-speed internet plans as long as the latter’s minimum speed matches that of your modem.
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*Pricing varies by location and availability. Speeds may vary. All prices subject to change; for current pricing and availability visit our internet service page. Prices as of 5/18/22.
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