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Cox vs Frontier

Last updated: May 6, 2022

Starts at $29.99/mo
vs
Starts at $27.99/mo

Choosing an internet provider can be difficult. Some of us don’t get a choice, while others have to choose between leading providers like Cox and Frontier. If we compare Cox vs. Frontier, which one comes out ahead?

If internet speed and reliability matter the most to you, I’d recommend choosing Cox. But if you are on a budget, you might want to consider Frontier — particularly if you live in an area served by the company's fiber network rather than its slower DSL network.

Cox vs. Frontier in a Nutshell

Cox  Frontier 
  • Internet-only plans starting at $29.99
  • Panoramic Wi-Fi
  • No-contract plans available for $10 extra per month
  • Access to public Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Internet-only plans starting at $49.99
  • Greater rural availability
  • Fiber internet plans available
  • No data caps
  • No contracts required

Network Coverage Comparison for Cox and Frontier

Although Cox’s availability is scattered in pockets throughout the United States, they still offer service to 18 states. If you’re in the military, you’ll see Cox internet a lot: Cox serves areas around major military bases like Norfolk Naval Base and Marine Corps Recruiting Depot (MCRD) in San Diego.

Frontier offers DSL internet service in 26 states and serves 10 million more people than Cox. Unfortunately, their faster, more reliable service, Frontier FiberOptic, is only available in four states.

Cox vs. Frontier: Speed and Internet Performance

Cox offers advertised speeds of up to 940 Mbps, and its real-world speeds tend to edge out Frontier's in most areas where the two ISPs compete. Frontier holds its own in areas where the ISP is able to offer its fiber network, which allows for faster speeds than older DSL technology.

I have Frontier now, but I’m also a former Cox customer: I had Cox when I was stationed in Virginia. Cox is one of the only internet providers with which I’ve never experienced an outage or buffering problems. Cox customers are more satisfied than Frontier’s, and, if they’re like me, internet performance plays a large part in that satisfaction. While Cox’s internet speed was able to handle having more guests in my apartment than the fire marshall would have liked, the internet price got to me.

Cox vs. Frontier Pricing and Plan Features

Fiber internet used to be the most expensive kind of internet, but Frontier’s fiber prices prove that’s a thing of the past. Cox's high-end plans aren't always as cheap. However, when you compare the low end of each provider's offerings, you'll find a few Cox internet deals that edge out Frontier's offerings.

Cox vs. Frontier: Equipment and Installation

Cox Frontier
Self-installation: Free

Professional installation: $100

Equipment rental fee: $10.99 per month

Activation fee: $85

Self-installation: Free

Equipment delivery fee: $9.99

Professional installation: $75

Equipment rental fee: $10 per month

Although Cox has cheaper setup fees, you could save more money with Frontier in the long run. With both ISPs, you can save a bit of money every month by buying your own modem and router rather than paying to rent the equipment. With that said, there's a good reason to pay Cox's equipment rental fee: Cox's Panoramic Wi-Fi modem/router device is very impressive, and the rental fee covers free updates, upgrades when necessary, and technical support.

Our Pick: Cox Has the Edge

While Frontier has some solid budget-friendly options, they are no match for Cox. Cox is fast, reliable, and offers really exceptional value at a few different price points. Its customers are generally more satisfied than Frontier's,  and that matches our experience in reviewing the two ISPs.

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