Best Approved Cable Modems For Cox In 2022 [Full List]

Note, no device can get you faster internet speeds than your internet plan provides.

Also, get the device you need. A modem and a router are not the same things. Some types of internet require both others only one. If you are uncertain, click here

Here is our review of the best-approved modems for Cox internet in 2022. 

Cox approved modems and routers

As a Network Engineer, I have tested, researched, and talked to Cox to determine which modems are best for their internet. 

And I have concluded that the Motorola MB8600 is the best modem for Cox. Because it’s a fast, future-proof modem, for a fair price. 

Motorola MB8600
Source: Motorola.com

Motorola MB8600 - Editors Choice’s

Best Overall

  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: Any Cox plan
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Best Overall

But not everyone has equal internet needs and wants, with different internet plans, preferences, and homes. 

Therefore, I have also reviewed the 6 best options for different circumstances. 

Keep reading to learn them.

Top 6 Cox Compatible Modems

  1. Best Overall Motorola MB8600 – Cable Modem
  2. Best PerformerArris Surfboard S33 – Cable Modem
  3. Best Budget-FriendlyNetgear CM600 – Cable Modem
  4. Best Premium OptionNetgear CAX80 – Modem/Router Combo
  5. Best ValueMotorola MG8702 – Modem/Router Combo
  6. Best Budget-FriendlyMotorola MG7540 – Modem/Router Combo

6 Best Modems For Cox

Here are short reviews of the best modems for Cox. 

#1 Best Overall – Motorola MB8600

Motorola MB8600
Source: Motorola.com
  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: Any Cox Internet Plan
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 2 year
  • Chosen as: Best Overall

Pros

  • Future-proof
  • Works for any Cox plan
  • Ethernet Aggregation
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Sometimes excessive

The Motorola MB8600 will work for any Cox internet plan and is best for you looking to future-proof your cable modem. 

This is because the MB8600 is a DOCSIS 3.1 modem with a feature called ethernet aggregation. [1]

First, DOCSIS 3.1 makes the modem future-proof for when Cox upgrades their networks. And since it’s backward compatible, it works with DOCSIS 3.0. 

This, together with ethernet aggregation, which allows you to combine two ethernet ports into one with double the speed, makes the modem capable of delivering up to 2000 Mbps. 

Meaning you could use it for an internet plan of up to 2 Gigabits. A speed so fast Cox doesn’t even offer it yet. 

And even if this feels excessive today, it likely won’t be in a couple of years. 

However, I don’t recommend the Motorola MB8600 if you plan to switch ISP shortly or know that you will soon switch to fiber. 

Because this modem is an investment for the future. 

Suppose you are doing either of the two. In that case, I recommend getting a modem with the minimum requirements for your current internet plan (see table under “modem speed”).

Overall, the Motorola MB8600 is a modem you can get and then simply forget. It will be enough for years to come. 

Read the full review of the MB8600.




#2 Best Performer – Arris Surfboard S33

Arris S33
Source: Surfboard.com
  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: Cox Gigablast 940 Mbps
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 2 year
  • Chosen as: Best Performer 

Pros

  • Future-proof
  • Works for any Cox plan
  • Very fast
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Often excessive

The Arris Surfboard S33 is the perfect cable modem for you that want the best of the best. Because it will work for an internet plan up to 2500 Mbps. 

This is a speed so fast that no internet provider is yet to offer it for consumers. Enough to watch more than twenty 4K movies simultaneously. 

Such speeds are possible because the S33 has a 2.5G Ethernet port instead of the common 1G port. 

You can think of the S33 as a more advanced version of the MB8600. Being faster, newer, and even more future-proof. 

The thing is that this also makes it even more excessive. Because remember, no matter how good a modem you have, you will not get speeds exceeding your internet plan.

Therefore, I only recommend the Arris Surfboard S33 for you that want the best of the best. 

Read the full review of the S33.




 

#3 Best Budget-Friendly – Netgear CM600

Netgear CM600
Source: Netgear.com
  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: Ultimate 500 or below
  • Channel: 24×8
  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Chosen as: Budget-Friendly 

Pros

  • Enough for many
  • Cheap

Cons

  • Not future-proof

The CM600 is a good option for you with the Ultimate 500 plan or below that aren’t interested in future-proofing. But rather just want something that will work well now. 

The cable modem is DOCSIS 3.0 with 24×8 channels. This makes the modem enough for any plan except the Cox Gigabit plan. 

Overall, the CM600 is a value package that will provide you with reliable internet for a good price. 

Although, since it’s DOCSIS 3.0, it’s unclear how long time it will stay enough for. 

Because Cox is moving away from DOCSIS 3.0 and is now recommending its customers get DOCSIS 3.1 modems. 

That said, if you have a slower internet plan and want to save some money, the Netgear CM600 is a good option.




Link to Router Page

Need a Router To Your Cox Modem?

If you don’t get a modem/router combo, you might want a new router for your modem. Luckily, we got you covered in the best routers for Cox.

#4 Best Premium Option – Netgear CAX80

Netgear CAX80
Source: Netgear.com
  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Recommended for: Cox Gigablast 940 Mbps
  • Max Wi-Fi speed: 800+ Mbps
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Chosen as: Best Performer

Pros

  • Very Fast
  • Future-proof
  • Good range

Cons

  • Sometimes excessive
  • Lacks extra features

The Netgear CAX80 is one of the fastest gateways I have tested, and it will work for any Cox internet plan. Although, I especially recommend it for the Gigablast packet.

I couldn’t find its exact throughput speed in testing since the plan I had access to only reached 800 Mbps. 

But its Wi-Fi did reach 800+ Mbps from 5 feet, 583.15 Mbps from 25 feet, and 298.47 Mbps from 50 feet. All using the 5GHz network. 

These are some of the best results I have ever got from a gateway.  Enough for a household of 7+ people to use the internet simultaneously without any issues. 

Range wise the CAX80 also performed well, reaching around 90-100 feet. This is enough for any but the largest home. Especially if it’s placed somewhere closer to the middle of it.

The biggest drawback with the CAX80 is its extra features. 

Because it lacks features like Parental controls that allow you to restrict your kid’s activities on the internet and QoS, which makes it possible to prioritize applications. 

Moreover, the CAX80 can sometimes also be a bit excessive. So I don’t recommend it if you have the Cox Preferred 150 plan or below. 

Altogether, the CAX80 is a great option for you with a fast internet plan that wants to get what you are paying for. But just note that it does lack some features. 

Read the full review of the Netgear CAX80.




#5 Best Value – Motorola MG8702

Motorola MG8702
Source: Motorola.com
  • Type: Modem/Router Combo 
  • Tested Max Speed: 518.51 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Ultimate 500 or below
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Best Value

Pros

  • Fast
  • Future-proof
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Lacks extra features

The Motorola MG8702 is the best modem/router combo for the Cox Ultimate 500 plan or below. 

In testing, it reached 518.51 Mbps from 5 feet and 272.03 Mbps from 25 feet, both using the 5GHz network

These are some good outcomes that will be more than enough for a family of 5 people to use the internet simultaneously without any issues.  

The range of the MG8702 was also pretty decent, reaching about 80-90 feet during testing. 

This will be enough for regular homes, but if you have a larger home with thicker walls, you might have some dead spots problems. 

The cable modem is DOCSIS 3.1, which is why it’s future-proof and will thus likely work for years to come. 

The drawback with the MG8702 is that the router lacks features compared to many separate routers. So if you think you might need Parental controls or QoS, then avoid this and any other modem/router combo. 

Overall, the Motorola MG8702 is a solid and reliable option capable of providing your home with fast internet access. Just don’t get it if you have the Cox Gigablast plan. 




#6 Best Budget-Friendly – Motorola MG7540

Motorola MG7540
Source: Motorola.com
  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Recommended for: Preferred 150 or below
  • Max Wi-Fi speed: 301.85 Mbps
  • Channel: 16×4
  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Budget Friendly

Pros

  • Cheap
  • 2-year warranty
  • Enough for many

Cons

  • Not future-proof
  • Short-range
  • Lacks extra features

The Motorola MG7540 is the best modem/router combo for you on a budget with the Cox preferred 150 plan or below. 

During testing, it averaged 301.85 Mbps from 5 feet and 102.38 Mbps from 25 feet. Both from the 5GHz network. 

This is nothing insane, but for the price, I think these results are good enough. It should be able to support 3-4 people to use the internet simultaneously without too many issues. 

The cable modem is DOCSIS 3.0 with 16×4 channel bonding. This means that the modem is not future-proof but still might work for a couple of more years. 

The largest drawback with the MG7540 is, however, its range. Because during testing, it only reaches about 70 feet. 

This will be enough for a normal-sized home if it’s placed in the center of it. But honestly, it fits best for the average apartment. 

Overall, the MG7540 is a good option for you with the Preferred 150 internet packet and a medium-sized home or smaller.

Read the full review of the MG7540.




Complete List Of All Cox Approved Modems

Here is the list of all the Cox-approved modems. [2]

BrandModel #RouterChannelsDOCSISPuma ChipsetVoIPBest for plan
ARRISG36Yes32x83.1NoNoGigablast
ARRISG34Yes32x83.1NoNoGigablast
ARRISCM8200No32x83.1NoNoGigablast
ARRISS33No32×83.1NoNoGigablast
ARRISSB8200No32×83.1NoNoGigablast
ARRISSBG8300Yes32×83.1YesNoGigablast
ARRISDG2460Yes24x83.0YesNoUltimate 500
ARRISSB6141No8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
ARRISSB6180No8×43.0NoNoPreferred 150
ARRISSB6182No8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
ARRISSB6183No16x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
ARRISSB6190No32x83.0YesNoUltimate 500
ARRISSBG10Yes16x43.0YesNoPreferred 150
ARRISSBG6400Yes8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
ARRISSBG6580Yes8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
ARRISSBG6700Yes8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
ARRISSBG6782Yes8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
ARRISSBG6900Yes16x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
ARRISSBG6950Yes16x43.0YesNoPreferred 150
ARRISSBG7400AC2Yes24×83.0YesNoUltimate 500
ARRISSBG7580Yes32x83.0YesNoUltimate 500
ARRISSBG7600AC2Yes32x83.0YesNoUltimate 500
ARRISTM3402No32x83.1YesYesGigablast
ARRISTG1682Yes24×83.0YesYesUltimate 500
ARRISTG2472Yes24×83.0YesYesUltimate 500
TechnicolorCGM4141Yes32x83.1NoYesGigablast
TechnicolorCGM4331 Yes32x83.1NoYesGigablast
MotorolaMB8600No32x83.1NoNoGigablast
MotorolaMB8611No32x83.1NoNoGigablast
MotorolaMG8702Yes32x83.1NoNoGigablast
MotorolaMB7220No8x4 3.0NoNoPreferred 150
MotorolaMB7420No16x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
MotorolaMB7621No24x83.0NoNoUltimate 500
MotorolaMG7310Yes8x4 3.0NoNoPreferred 150
MotorolaMG7315Yes8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
MotorolaMG7540Yes16x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
MotorolaMG7550Yes16x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
MotorolaMG7700Yes24x83.0NoNoUltimate 500
NetgearC7800Yes32x83.1NoNoGigablast
NetgearCAX30Yes32x83.1NoNoGigablast
NetgearCAX80Yes32x83.1NoNoGigablast
NetgearCBR750Yes32x83.1YesNoGigablast
NetgearCM1000No32x83.1NoNoGigablast
NetgearCM1000v2No32x83.1NoNoGigablast
NetgearCM1100No32x83.1NoNoGigablast
NetgearCM1200No32x83.1NoNoGigablast
NetgearCM2000No32x83.1NoNoGigablast
NetgearC3000Yes8x4 3.0NoNoPreferred 150
NetgearC3000v2Yes8x4 3.0NoNoPreferred 150
NetgearC3700Yes8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
NetgearC3700v2Yes8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
NetgearC6220Yes8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
NetgearC6230Yes16×43.0NoNoPreferred 150
NetgearC6250Yes16×43.0NoNoPreferred 150
NetgearC6300Yes16×43.0YesNoPreferred 150
NetgearC6300BDYes8x43.0YesNoPreferred 150
NetgearC6300v2Yes16×43.0YesNoPreferred 150
NetgearC6900Yes24x8 3.0NoNoUltimate 500
NetgearC7000Yes24x83.0NoNoUltimate 500
NetgearC7000v2Yes24x83.0NoNoUltimate 500
NetgearC7500Yes24x83.0NoNoUltimate 500
NetgearCBR40Yes32×83.0YesNoUltimate 500
NetgearCG3000DYes8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
NetgearCG3000Dv2Yes8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
NetgearCG4500BDYes8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
NetgearCM400No8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
NetgearCM500No16x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
NetgearCM600No24x83.0NoNoUltimate 500
NetgearCM700No32x83.0YesNoUltimate 500
Asus CM16No16x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
Asus CM32Yes32x83.0YesNoUltimate 500
Cisco DPC3008No8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
Cisco DPC3010No8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
Cisco DPC3825Yes8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
Cisco DPQ3212No8x43.0NoYesPreferred 150
Cisco DPQ3925Yes8x43.0NoYesPreferred 150
D-LinkDCM301No8×43.0NoNoPreferred 150
Zyxel CDA-30360No8x4 3.0NoNoPreferred 150
Linksys CG7500Yes24x83.0YesNoUltimate 500
Linksys CM3008No8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
Linksys CM3016No16x43.0YesNoPreferred 150
Linksys CM3024No24x83.0YesNoUltimate 500
SMC D3CM1604No16x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
TP-LINKTC-7610No8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
TP-LINKTC-7620No16x4 3.0NoNoPreferred 150
TP-LINKTC-7650No24x83.0NoNoUltimate 500
TP-LINKTC-W7960Yes8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
TP-LINKCR500Yes16x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
TP-LINKCR700Yes16x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
TP-LINKCR1900Yes24x8 3.0NoNoUltimate 500
Ubee DDW365Yes8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
Ubee DDW366Yes8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
Ubee DVW326Yes8x43.0NoYesPreferred 150
Zoom 5341JNo8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
Zoom 5345No8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
Zoom 5350Yes8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
Zoom 5352Yes8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
Zoom 5354Yes8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
Zoom 5360No8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
Zoom 5363Yes8x43.0NoNoPreferred 150
Zoom 5370No16x43.0NoNoPreferred 150

Puma chipset is a chip linked with latency issues. Even though many of its problems are fixed, I still recommend avoiding modem using it. 

What to Consider Before Buying A Cox Certified Modem

Here is what you should specifically consider before buying a Cox-approved modem. For a more general guide, check out the modem buying guide

DOCSIS

DOCSIS is the telecommunications standard cable modems use to deliver data to and from your home. 

Basically, all modems nowadays are either DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1. And the difference is that DOCSIS 3.1 is faster and newer while DOCSIS 3.0 is cheaper. 

Cox recommends its customers get DOCSIS 3.1 modems, and I agree with them for the most part.

Because DOCSIS 3.1 is the future and ISP’s such as Cox are moving towards upgrading all their networks to DOCSIS 3.1. [3]

Thus, a DOCSIS 3.1 modem will not only allow you to upgrade your internet plan without any issues but also future-proof your cable modem for years to come. 

That said, if you think you might switch to fiber, you should maybe get a DOCSIS 3.0 modem. This depends on your current internet plan. 

Because if you are going to switch, then you should get the modem with the lowest possible requirements for your internet plan. As there is no point in future-proofing. 

See the table under “modem speed” for more details. 

DOCSIS 3.1 Benefits

  • Faster
  • Lower latency
  • Future-proof

DOCSIS 3.0 Benefits

  • Cheaper
  • Often enough

Channel Bonding

If you decide to get a DOCSIS 3.0 modem, you also need to consider the number of channels you will need. 

You can think of channels as lanes on a highway. The more channels (i.e. lanes), the more traffic a modem is capable of handling. 

Get a modem that at least meets the requirements of your internet plan. You can see them at the table below. 

Modem Speed

When buying a modem, you should get one that at least supports the speed of your internet plan, preferably a bit more. 

Because otherwise, the cable modem will bottleneck your internet, and you won’t get the speeds you are paying for. 

These are Cox’s requirements for what DOCSIS and channels a modem should have for each plan. [4]

I should, however, mention that Cox recommends you to use at least 16×4 or more.

Cox Internet PlanDOCSIS Compatibility Channel Compatibility 
Starter 253.0 or 3.18×4 or more
Essential 503.0 or 3.18×4 or more
Preferred 1503.0 or 3.18×4 or more
Ultimate 5003.0 or 3.124×8 or more
Gigablast 9403.1N/A

A DOCSIS 3.0 modem with 32×8 might also work with the Gigablast plan. But I would not recommend it as Cox states that you should not use it. [5]

Also, even though a modem with 4×4 channels should be enough for the Starter plan – Cox has said that such modems are not approved with their internet. 

Modem/Router Combo Vs. Separate Devices

Another thing you get to consider is whether you want a modem/router combo (gateway) or a cable modem.

The difference is that a gateway is both a modem and a router in one device. While a normal cable modem requires a separate router to provide Wi-Fi. 

Cox themselves recommends gateways, but here I will have to disagree. Because my experience as a network engineer is that separate devices are better. 

The reason for this is that separate device provides more network controls and enables better performance. Furthermore, it also makes it possible to only change one device if it breaks or needs an upgrade. 

That said, I don’t think gateway is terrible. They are generally easier to set up and take up less space. 

And since Cox has a lot of approved modems, there are many to choose from. 

Separate Pros

  • Better performance
  • Can change one device instead of both
  • More network control

Combo Pros

  • More convenient
  • Often easier set-up
  • Cheaper upfront cost

In the end, it is up to you what you want. And If you feel uncertain, check out my article on modem vs. gateway for a more in-depth overview. 

Approved & Compatible With Cox

Cox is one of those ISPs that actually have made it clear what modems will work. Making writing this article a lot easier than for many others (looking at you Optimum). 

So, if you choose any of the modems in this article, Cox guarantees that they should work for your internet. 

As they are all from the approved modems list on the Cox website.

If you, however, are looking at a modem that isn’t on the list, it still might work. Because Cox requirements are DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1 and at least 8×4 channels. 

And most modems that meet these requirements should work with Cox.

That said, I still recommend you get a modem from the list, as this will lower the risk for problems substantially. 

Cox Voice Service 

If you have Cox Voice service, I can inform you can’t buy a third-party modem. Because Cox is the only one that can provide you with a Voice compatible modem. [6]

Very annoying, I know. I have researched a lot to see if there was any way to get around it. But was unable to find anything.

The only thing you can do is get another modem and use it for the internet and the voice modem for the telephone if you want to. But honesty, it is a bit unnecessary. 

Ethernet Ports

Another thing you might want to consider when getting a modem is how many ethernet ports and what type of ethernet port it has. 

Because the standard ethernet port has a max speed of 940 Mbps, while some newer ones can support speed up to 2500 Mbps (like the S33, for example). 

Furthermore, some modems like the MB8600 support something called ethernet aggregation. This allows you to combine to ethernet port into one port that supports double the speed. 

In many cases, the ethernet port will be the limiting factor. So, this might be important. 

Used Vs. New Modem

Sometimes, getting a used cable modem is a viable option. But for Cox, I would not recommend it. 

Because when you get a cable modem, you need to be able to activate it with Cox, and a used modem might still be connected to another ISP. 

And thus, it might not be possible for them to activate it.

Cox Internet Plans

Here are all the Cox communications internet plans and what cable modem and gateway I recommend for each one. [7]

Cox Internet PlanCable ModemGateway
Starter 25Netgear CM600Motorola MG7540
Essential 50Netgear CM600Motorola MG7540
Preferred 150Motorola MB8600Motorola MG8702
Ultimate 500Motorola MB8600Motorola MG8702
Gigablast 940Arris Surfboard S33Netgear CAX80

How To Set Up A Cox Modem?

How to set up a modem with Cox. 

  1. Pick a location with good airflow. This is so the device doesn’t overheat. If you have a gateway, also try to place it in the middle of the home. This is to improve the Wi-Fi coverage. 
  2. Connect the coax cable and the power cord. Also, the router if you don’t have a gateway. 
  3. The rest of the process depends on your device. But just follow the set-up guide that comes with it. 
  4. You also need to activation of the modem with Cox to get it to work. You can either call them or do that here.

Buy Vs. Rent a Modem From Cox

Cox charges $12 a month for their gateway, which translates to $144 per year. [8]

This is enough to buy a good new modem or gateway every year. 

Therefore, I strongly recommend most people to buy their own modem. Because it’s simply much cheaper in the long run. 

That said, reasons for renting do exist. For example, if you are to switch to fiber very soon, renting a couple of months might be cheaper than buying. 

Otherwise, there are few reasons for anyone to ever rent a modem. Even though I should note that I’m somewhat biased since I make a commission if you purchase a modem. 

If you want a more in-depth overview of the topic, then check out Buy Vs. Renting your Modem.

FAQ

Here are some commonly asked questions regarding Cox equipment. 

Which is the best modem for Cox internet?

After much testing and consideration, we concluded that the Motorola MB8600 is the best modem for Cox. Because it’s a fast, future-proof cable modem for a fair price. 

But if you want to see some other alternatives check out the article above.

Can I use my own modem with Cox?

Yes, you can. Just make sure it’s a modem that is approved for Cox (see list above).

My modem doesn’t work, what should I do?

First, make sure it’s compatible with Cox. Do this by searching for the model number in the approved modems list.

If it’s not approved, you might have found the reason. If it’s approved, then call Cox support and ask them what the problem might be. 

How do I reset my Cox modem?

For a hard reset, press the little hidden button on the back of the device for 5 seconds. Use a toothpick or a needle to press the button. 

For other types of resets and when to do them, check out how to reset a modem

Our Verdict

After much considerations and research, we concluded that the best cable modem for Cox internet is the Motorola MB8600

Because it’s a fast, future-proof modem that will provide your home with fast internet for a reasonable price. 

Was this article helpful?

Leave a Comment