Cox Data Caps: How They’ll Affect Your Online Experience

Cox residential internet plans have a monthly data cap of 1.25 terabyte (TB). Once you pass this data, Cox will automatically add 50 GB blocks of data and charge you $10 per block. This bandwidth cap won’t impact most users’ online experiences. You can remove this data cap by paying $50 a month.

I always want to get the most out of my home internet plans. To get more value with Cox, we’ll need to address their data cap. I compiled information from many sources and customer service discussions into this guide.

As you make your way through this guide, you’ll find the following:

Let’s get busy.

What Is Cox’s Data Cap?

All Cox residential fiber and cable internet services enforce a 1.25 terabyte (TB) data cap. This data cap resets at the end of each month.

That means, once your household uses 1.25 TB of internet data, you’ll pay an overage fee.

What’s the overage fee?

You’ll have to pay $10 per additional block of 50 GB they automatically add to your account. The max they can charge you per billing cycle is $100 ($30 for ConnectAssist plans). Regular customers will have to pay for up to 500 GB.

ConnectAssist customers pay up to 150 GB.

Using Cox Wi-Fi hotspots will not contribute to your data cap. When your home’s Panoramic WiFi router modem hosts access points, they also will not contribute to your bandwidth cap.

Important: when using Cox’s 4K Contour Stream Player that’s included in their Stream Only TV plan, you’ll still use data. You won’t use any more or less data than if you were to watch one of the TV box’s apps on a device like a smartphone.

Cox Business Data Cap

Cox business internet does not have a data cap. Cox’s customer service confirmed this information.

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Their business landing page doesn’t specify whether they have a data cap. And reviews I found showed mixed results.

In this scenario, I’m going to trust Cox’s customer service.

Why Does Cox’s Data Cap Exist?

Cox’s data cap exists to help the company make more money.


I wish I could play the devil’s advocate and say they had some excuse like “to help reduce network congestion.” But that’s not the case.

Their landing page words the data cap like it’s a feature.

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Wow! It “helps” you.

Let’s see whether this so-called feature makes a difference with your online experience.

Will You Notice a Difference With Cox’s Data Cap?

Most households will not notice a difference in their online experience with Cox’s data allowance.

If you stream standard- and high-definition videos, browse the internet, game online, and use social media.

If you want to upload files on social media, that’s a different story. For instance, if you want to upload a 5-minute long 1080p video to YouTube, 75 megabytes (MB) vanishes from your data allowance [1].

Let’s dive deeper into what this data cap allows.

What Can You Do With a 1.25 Terabyte Data Allowance?

Here are examples of what you can do with a 1.25 TB data cap [2, 3]:

Online TaskUnit
Cloud-Based Security Cameras8 cameras active 24/7 per month
Digital Game Downloads Per Month (e.g., Xbox)25 downloads per month
Video Conferencing On Zoom42 hours per month
4K Online Video Streaming213 hours per month
Gaming Online2,000+ hours per month

How many devices you can use with 1.25 TB of data.

I used Cox’s and AT&T’s data usage calculator to get these numbers. However, these calculators don’t consider many factors.

Like background task usage.

Here’s an example. You have an Android phone logged into a Google account. Or an iPhone logged into an Apple account. If you don’t disable background synching, your phone will use background data to back up your information to these accounts.

The only quantitative information I could find involves Gmail. Someone’s background Gmail synching used 1.9 gigabytes (GB) of data in 2 weeks [4].

I mentioned uploading videos.

If you’re a remote worker who needs to upload or download files for clients continually, you’re not going to do so with this data cap.

Imagine needing to download multiple 20 GB 4K videos daily. In all honesty, with the asymmetric (unequal) download and upload speeds, Cox’s cable internet plans don’t provide an optimal solution for remote workers or livestreamers.

Because these career paths demand much higher upload speeds. The amount you’ll need depends on the average file sizes you upload.

How Do You Track Your Cox Data Usage?

You can track your Cox internet data usage through the following means:

  • Online account: click ‘My Account’ and look for ‘Data Usage Meter
  • Cox mobile app: you’ll see your data usage on the app’s home screen

Cox will also send you text notifications when you’re nearing 1.25 TB of data usage. You’ll need to enable text notifications in your account settings.

They don’t specify how frequently their Data Usage Meter updates its readings. So you may not find the most accurate results.

Some third-party routers or gateways will provide data monitoring features. For instance, with my router, I can open my device’s dedicated app and check how much data I use daily. Again, I don’t know how frequently the usage meter updates.

Will Unused Data Blocks Transfer to the Following Month?

If you have unused data from your 50 GB blocks Cox adds to your account, they won’t transfer to the following month.

For instance, if you go 1.0 Kbps over the data cap, you’ll pay for the total 50 GB. Then the remaining 49.99 GB won’t transfer to the next month.

How To Get Around Cox Data Cap

You can try the following methods to reduce your data usage and contribute less to your data allowance:

  • Use Cox’s Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Pay for Cox’s unlimited data plan
  • Stream videos in a lower resolution
  • Close background tasks

The following sections will tell you how to use these tips and explain why they’ll reduce your data contribution.

Use a Cox Wi-Fi Hotspot

Cox offers over 4 million Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the country. They’re also in cahoots with other internet service providers to create a collective of their hotspots.

These providers include Xfinity, Spectrum, and Optimum. Cox’s website says these hotspots are often found in residential area waiting rooms [5]. And many of Xfinity’s Wi-Fi hotspots are inside apartments and homes.

Every Cox home internet plan offers access to Wi-Fi hotspots for free.

You could connect Wi-Fi-enabled devices to these hotspots and use these networks. Download and upload speeds you’ll get will vary by provider, location, and other factors.

Don’t expect to download a Call of Duty game file in 5 minutes with this connection. At best, you could use it to watch standard definition (SD) content on Netflix.

And DON’T log into websites with sensitive information. Hackers can intercept your login credentials through a Wi-Fi connection or penetrate your devices with malware. And though you’ll have slower internet speeds, I recommend using protection.

A virtual private network (VPN). It may help prevent cyberattackers from stealing your stuff.

This tip won’t remove the data cap, but it can reduce the amount of data you consume.

Get the Unlimited Data Add-on

Cox offers an unlimited data add-on that costs $50 per month. It’ll remove the data cap.

But it’s pricier than unlimited data solutions other internet service providers (ISPs) offer. Astound charges $20 monthly for theirs. Xfinity’s unlimited data costs $25–30 a month.

$25 if you rent their gateway. And $30 to use a third-party router and modem while getting unlimited data.

Cox’s and other providers with a data cap created a problem they want to sell the solution for. And unfortunately, with this ISP, getting this add-on is your only way to truly remove this cap.

If Cox is your only ISP option, you could push your governor to enact legislation banning data caps. Or you could work outside your home at a Starbucks.

But again, public Wi-Fi isn’t the safest way to access the internet.

Stream Video in Lower Resolutions

You could save over 1,030 GB (gigabytes) per month by streaming videos in 720p (SD) instead of 4K resolution.

Here’s an example of how to change your video resolution through YouTube:

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Click on the ‘cog’ icon and select a different video resolution. Most video streaming websites also use this icon to indicate a resolution setting.

In my experience, 1080p and 720p don’t make the most significant difference. Perhaps I’m blind. Who knows.

Even with a 2K (1440p) monitor, I still don’t notice a difference in detail compared to 1080p.

And 4K is useless unless you have a 42” screen [6]. Any smaller screens would require you to sit close to notice any details.

Let’s compare data usage among various resolutions.

200 hours of 4K resolution content per month would cost you 1,170 GB of data. 200 hours of 1080p content would require 500.40 GB.

Close Background Tasks

I mentioned earlier that Gmail on smartphones alone could sync 1.9 GB of data in 2 weeks. Disabling automatic background syncing on various apps on smartphones and computers can significantly reduce your data usage.

I can’t cover disabling automatic syncing on every app in existence. But I can cover a few.

Here are some popular apps you’ll want to disable automatic syncing with:

  • iCloud for Mac: System Preferences > Apple ID > iCloud > uncheck apps you don’t want to sync
  • Account syncing on Android: Settings > Manage Accounts > Select an account > disable account sync
  • iCloud for iPhone: Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > toggle off apps you don’t want to sync

You still should back up your account data. On whatever calendar app you use, set a reminder at least once a week to manually sync your account’s data.

Or, if you make any changes to your account, backup your data. For instance, if you sync Google Chrome account data, back up your data when you add a new bookmark.

Where Is Cox Internet Available?

Cox’s home internet service is available in the following states:

North CarolinaNebraskaNevadaOhio
OklahomaRhode IslandVirginia

States that you can get Cox cable internet.

Because a state supports Cox doesn’t mean every city will have their services. Cox only offers their television, voice, and internet service in a little over 600 areas.

To find whether Cox supports your city, enter your ZIP code into their service availability tool. They’ll then show whether you can get Cox in your city.

How Does Cox’s Data Cap Compare To Other Internet Plans?

Here’s how Cox’s data cap compares to other internet service providers:

Provider & PlanData Cap
Cox Cable Internet1.25 TB
Xfinity Cable/Fiber Hybrid Internet1.20 TB
Viasat Satellite Internet12–150 GB
Astound Fiber/Cable Hybrid Internet300–1,000 GB

Data caps from various internet service providers compared.

I didn’t think cap caps could get worse than Cox’s. I was wrong.

Viasat enforces a “soft data cap.” That doesn’t mean they’ll charge you an overage fee. But you’ll have slower internet.

Astound only enforces its data cap on the West Coast (California, Oregon, and Washington). And they charge way more per 50 gigabytes (GB) they add. $13 per 50 GB.

But you can use the unlimited data add-on for $20 a month. The most affordable add-on out of every compared provider.

And Xfinity.

They have 50 fewer gigabytes than Cox yet charge the same overage surcharge. However, Xfinity only charges $25 per month for its unlimited data add-on if you rent a gateway. Or $30 a month without renting a gateway.

If you’re determining whether you want 1 of these providers, you’ll need to compare overlapping supported regions.

Viasat’s available anywhere.

Astound and Cox have overlapping support in California and Massachusetts.

Xfinity Comcast and Cox share all the same supported areas, except:

  • Oklahoma (Cox only)
  • Nevada (neither)
  • Kansas (Cox only)
  • Nebraska (Cox only)

Pick the provider that will give you the most value.

FAQs: Cox Data Cap

Before deciding whether Cox’s data cap sucks, browse these frequently asked questions.

Why Is My Cox Data Usage So High?

You may find higher Cox data usage because you’re using a VPN, have various background tasks running, or an unknown party logged into your Wi-Fi network and is torrenting files.

Can a VPN Help Me Get Around Cox’s Data Cap?

A virtual private network (VPN) will not help you get around Cox’s data cap. A VPN will increase your data usage by 4–20% [7].

Wrapping Up

Cox has a 1.25 TB data cap and there’s only 1 way to get rid of it. Spend more money.

It doesn’t appear they’re going to get rid of it anytime soon. Nor does it appear that the government will enact legislation to ban data caps. If you want to go with Cox, I can only recommend monitoring your data usage.

If you’ve changed your mind about Cox, you’ll want to explore alternative internet service providers. We have a list of those providers here.

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