Cord Cutting Guides, News, and Reviews
Cox vs Verizon
September 29, 2020
Cox and Verizon Fios are two of the most popular internet, TV, and phone providers in the nation. They are also two of the best providers I’ve ever had, hands down. Cox was my first internet provider, but I switched to Verizon Fios when I realized I could get fiber internet for nearly half the price of Cox’s cable internet.
If you’re in the Northeast or the Mid-Atlantic, I’d recommend Verizon Fios. Verizon recently made changes to their plans that resulted in even lower prices, even faster speeds, and even better bundling flexibility. Cox may have a cheaper equipment rental fee and better features, but they’re no match for Verizon unless you live outside of Verizon Fios’ coverage area.
Cox is available in more than twice as many states as Verizon Fios, but more isn’t always better. Cox’s internet is backed by a hybrid fiber-cable network that allows Cox to offer speeds similar to those of pure fiber internet providers. Unfortunately, Cox’s network can’t provide the same upload speeds as Verizon Fios. Upload speeds are most important if you’re a live streamer or you’ll need to upload large files promptly.
Verizon Fios is only available in 8 states and Washington DC. Still, Verizon Fios reaches more than 15 million homes, largely because it's available in major cities like New York City and Philadelphia.
Cox cable internet is no match for Verizon Fios fiber internet. Fiber internet delivers its advertised speed better than any other type of internet. Both providers offer similar speeds, yet Verizon Fios customers get an average download speed of close to 400 Mbps while Cox customers get one that’s closer to 260 Mbps. Even though there’s a big difference between those average speeds, they are both more than fast enough for most cord cutter households with multiple devices constantly streaming at the same time.
With Cox, your internet speed is more likely to fluctuate throughout the day. This is due to Cox’s technology. To reliably get the speed you want with Cox, I recommend choosing a plan that has more speed than you actually need. Unfortunately, Cox plans come with a hefty price tag that makes it difficult to get fast speeds if you're a penny-pincher like me.
Cox has five internet plans with speeds ranging from 10 to 940 Mbps. At first glance, Cox seems to have lower prices than Verizon Fios; however, that’s only true if you want 10 Mbps and a 1 TB data cap. The Cox Internet Preferred 150 plan looks ideal for most households until you realize that it costs $20 more than the Verizon Fios 200/200 Mbps plan. And the price difference rises to almost $50 after your first year of service with Cox.
To Cox’s advantage, Verizon doesn’t offer public Wi-Fi hotspots or include internet security with their plans like Cox does. Still, it’s hard to justify the difference in price between Verizon Fios and Cox when you can get faster and more reliable internet, unlimited data, and — in my opinion — better perks, all at a lower price.
For example, the regular price for the Cox Internet Preferred 150 plan is $83.99 per month. Verizon Fios offers new customers a free YouTube TV subscription for one month, a free Disney+ subscription for a year, a Hulu subscription for six months, a free Stream TV (Verizon’s streaming device), a free modem, a digital download of the new Marvel Avengers video game, and up to 940 Mbps internet speeds, all for $79.99 per month. You can get Disney+ for a year with each Verizon Fios plan; the Hulu subscription is available for the Fios 400/400 and Gigabit Connection plans. And if internet security is a concern of yours, Verizon offers Verizon Protect Home, a full-service internet and device security and support service, for $25 per month.
Internet + Home Phone: starting at $49.99 per month
Internet + TV + Home Phone: starting at $64.99 per month
Internet + TV: starting at $89.99 per month
Internet + Phone + TV: starting at $109.99 per month
It may look like Cox has the upper hand on Verizon Fios when it comes to bundled plans, but that’s because Cox’s starting price includes an internet plan with speed up to 10 Mbps and a basic TV plan with 75+ channels. When you compare Cox and Verizon Fios bundles by how much speed they offer, you’ll find that Verizon Fios has lower prices and twice as many channels.
As a cord cutter, I’m not a fan of traditional cable TV. Verizon Fios offers cord cutters the option to bundle Youtube TV with their internet. If you want traditional TV, I’d recommend the Fios TV Test Drive plan. With it, you can watch all 425+ channels Verizon Fios has to offer for 60 days. Verizon will then recommend a TV plan based on the channels you watch during your trial.
Professional installation: $100
Equipment rental fee: $10.99 per month
Professional installation: $99
Equipment rental fee: $15 per month
Cox and Verizon Fios have similar professional installation fees, but it’s difficult to tell if and/or what Verizon charges for self-installation. Safety precautions taken by Verizon Fios during the Coronavirus pandemic have made it clear that their connections can be self-installed, at least in a pinch, and at least if your home was previously serviced by Verizon Fios. But the price of self-installation seems to be a mystery.
The real difference between Cox and Verizon Fios pricing is in the services’ monthly equipment fees. Usually, I’d recommend getting your own modem to save money; however, both providers require you to use their modem/router to get access to certain features, especially technical support. For example, Verizon states that using your own router could negatively impact your internet speed and certain features if you have Fios TV.
Whether you’re already a cord cutter or are just looking to test the waters, Verizon Fios internet plans should interest you. I think they’re ideal for just about any type of internet user. If you’re new to cord cutting, Verizon will set you up with some of the most popular streaming services for free without capping your data and without requiring you to sign a contract. The only circumstances under which I’d consider choosing Cox over Verizon Fios would be if I planned on using public Wi-Fi hotspots as much as I do my home internet.
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