Despite being two of the largest, fastest, and most reliable internet service providers in the States, Cox and Spectrum couldn’t be more different from each other. Cox distinguishes itself with straightforward pricing whereas Spectrum outshines others by including unlimited data at no additional cost.
I currently have Cox Internet but I’ve used Spectrum Internet in the past. While I find Cox to be more worth the money, Spectrum is probably better for you if you’re a heavy data user.
Let me elaborate more on these and a few other major differences between Cox and Spectrum.
Before I list the monthly rates, it’s important to understand how Cox and Spectrum differ in terms of pricing strategy.
Spectrum offers internet plans at promotional prices that you pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months, you start paying standard retail rates.
I find this pricing type of pricing a bit misleading. Spectrum makes it very hard to find prices after 12 months. I had to dig through their policies for this article, but an average customer won’t. Spectrum also requires signing up with auto pay, so you start paying the increased monthly charges automatically from the 13 months.
Cox doesn’t use a promotional pricing strategy. Instead, it offers plans at standard retail rates and shows these rates on its marketing pages. Cox’s standard prices are lower than Spectrum’s across speed tiers, and having been overpaying Spectrum for years, this was the main reason I switched to Cox.
Here are the introductory and standard monthly charges of Cox and Spectrum internet speed tiers.
- Cox 100 Mbps
- Standard Price: $49.99 per month
- Cox 250 Mbps
- Standard Price: $69.99 per month
- Cox 500 Mbps
- Standard Price: $89.99 per month
- Cox 1000 Mbps
- Promotional Price: $109.99 per month for 24 months
- Standard Price: 119.99 per month
- Spectrum 300 Mbps
- Promotional Price: $49.99 per month for 12 months with Auto Pay
- Standard Price: $84.99 per month
- Spectrum 500 Mbps
- Promotional Price: $69.99 per month for 12 months with Auto Pay
- Standard Price: $104.99 per month
- Spectrum 1000 Mbps
- Promotional Price: $89.99 per month for 12 months with Auto Pay
- Standard Price: $124.99 per month
Verdict: Cox has more straightforward pricing and is cheaper than Spectrum, although it costs more than Spectrum for the first 12 months.
Now this is where it gets a bit nuanced. Spectrum Internet includes unlimited across all plans, while Cox has a data cap of 1.25 TB. For me, this does not make a difference. 1.25 TB is too much for me to consume in a month, switching to Cox hasn’t made a difference. And unless your home consumes a particularly high amount of data, it shouldn’t make a difference to you either.
According to the Broadband Insights Report for the second quarter of 2023 from OpenVault, an average household in the U.S. consumed 504 GB of data per month and 85% of households consumed less than 1 TB of data per month on average. It’s safe to say that Cox’s 1.25 TB data cap is high enough for most customers.
However, if you’re among the 15% of power users, Cox will charge $59.99 for unlimited data (plus Complete Care). Spectrum is cheaper for homes with exceptionally high data usage.
Verdict: While Cox’s 1.25 TB data cap is high enough for 85% of U.S. households, Spectrum Internet includes unlimited data at no additional cost.
Both Cox and Spectrum offer internet speeds up to 1 Gbps almost everywhere they serve. However, Cox also has a 2 Gbps plan available in some areas and is expected to be available across nearly half of its footprint by the end of 2023. Cox also offers fiber internet in some areas with symmetrical speeds up to 2 Gbps. Cox and Cox en Espanol customer service tell you what services are offered in your local market.
Verdict: Both Cox and Spectrum offer gig speeds almost everywhere they service, but Cox also has a 2 gig tier and symmetrical fiber internet available in some areas.
Spectrum is the second largest ISP in the US with a huge presence in 41 states while only serves a total of 19 states. Cox is also only one-fifth the size of Spectrum in terms of the number of customers served. However, Cox is the most popular internet provider in eight states while Spectrum only reigns supreme in one.
Verdict: Spectrum is available in 41 states compared to Cox’s footprint spanning 19 states.
Let me now list the speed tiers available with both ISPs that you can choose from.
Plans and Pricing
The Go Fast plan features a decent max speed of 100 Mbps for $49.99 a month. You may not be able to stream in 4K at these speeds, but it’s fast and reliable enough for most everyday activities. Panoramic WiFi is included with this plan, which is a nice bonus.
The Go Faster plan delivers a faster download speed of 250 Mbps for $69.99 a month. This is a good choice for households with more demanding internet usage, such as multiple users streaming or gaming simultaneously. Panoramic WiFi is included with this plan for 24 months.
Go Even Faster
This plan, being the most popular among Cox Internet offerings, caters to modern homes with high internet speed requirements. It costs $89.99 for a 500 Mbps max download speed, which is more than sufficient for households with heavy internet usage. Panoramic WiFi is included for 24 months.
Go Super Fast
The Go Super Fast plan is a premium offering with a maximum download speed of 1000 Mbps. The promotional price for this plan is $109.99 for the first 24 months, down from the standard price of $119.99 per month. This plan also includes Panoramic WiFi for 24 months.
Go Beyond Fast
Go Beyond Fast is the top-tier plan, offering an impressive maximum download speed of 2 Gbps. This plan is designed for users with extremely high-speed requirements and is available in select areas. The absence of an annual contract ensures that users can experience top-tier speeds without a long-term commitment.
This plan delivers a decent speed of 300 Mbps for a promotional price of $49.99 per month for 12 months. Advanced WiFi and a mobile line are included for 12 months.
Internet Ultra is the ideal Spectrum plan for modern homes that provides a max download speed of 500 Mbps at $69.99 per month for 12 months. Free Advanced WiFi and a mobile line for 12 months enhance the overall package.
The Gig plan is perfect for power users and large households that require ultra-fast speeds. Featuring a max speed of 1 Gbps at $89.99 for 12 months, it can handle multiple devices and bandwidth-intensive activities simultaneously. Advanced WiFi and a mobile line are also included for free for 12 months.
The Final Take
Cox Internet plans have lower standard prices than Spectrum, so it’s the more affordable option in the long run for most people. However, Cox has a 1.25 TB data cap while Spectrum internet plans include unlimited data, making it the better choice for homes that consume exceptionally high amounts of data monthly.