Cox Gigablast Internet (1.0 Gbps/35 Mbps) Review

Cox Gigablast is a 1.0 Gbps download and 35 Mbps upload speed home internet plan that costs $79.99 monthly. For the first 12 months. Once that time passes, you’ll need to pay $119.99 per month. Cox’s gigabit internet plan works best for homes with over 20 devices performing high-bandwidth tasks simultaneously.

I’m a network enthusiast who wants to find the best internet plans. Thus, I compiled all available information into this review.

Throughout my coverage on Gigablast, I’ll cover:

Let’s dig in.

Cox Gigablast Internet Pros and Cons

The following section includes the pros and cons of Cox Gigablast gigabit internet:

Pros

  • Discounted until September 26th
  • Robust download speeds
  • You can access millions of Wi-Fi access points
  • They offer a money-back guarantee

Cons

  • 35 Mbps upload speeds
  • Expensive once your contract expires
  • Has a data cap
  • Unlimited data costs an arm and a leg
  • Not 100% fiber

Throughout this guide, I’ll cover various pricing schemes and upload speeds. You likely won’t see these exact numbers when getting Cox.

Prices can change. Whether it’s from sales tax or other fees.

And speeds, various factors can influence it. For instance, having a router with max Wi-Fi speeds of 250 Mbps couldn’t support 1.0 Gbps speeds. In the next section, I’ll cover another massive factor in determining internet speed.




What Is Gigablast?

Gigablast offers 1,000 Mbps download speeds if you have devices connected through an Ethernet cable. Otherwise, you’ll likely see 940 Mbps. Moreover, this plan has 35 Mbps upload speeds.

It requires a 12-month contract. Once this time passes, your bill will increase.

Cox will deliver your Gigablast internet service through their hybrid cable and fiber optic network. That means they’ll use a fiber cable to carry signals from the internet service provider until it reaches an Optical Network Terminal (ONT) inside or outside your home.

From there, they’ll use a coaxial cable to transfer data to your modem and router (or network gateway).

Unlike 100% fiber optic networks, you’ll see slower speeds because of potential interruptions from lousy weather or electromagnetic interference (EMI).

Cox Gigablast Data Cap

Cox Gigablast internet has a 1.25 terabyte (TB) data cap.

This data allowance gives you plenty of flexibility except when downloading massive files or streaming 4K video. You can get around 200 hours of watching 4K video before exceeding this cap.

And that’s ONLY if you watch 4K. It doesn’t include other online activities.

Meanwhile, you can watch over 700 hours of content when streaming videos in 720p (standard definition).

Once you surpass that allowance, Cox will add 50 gigabytes (GB) blocks to your account. Each block costs $10, and they’ll charge you a max of $100 a month. That’s a maximum of 500 GB they’ll charge.

After passing the $100 threshold, you could use a zettabyte of data without incurring extra charges.

Every month, the data blocks they add will vanish. Then you’re yanked back to the 1.25 TB allowance.

You can only bypass this cap by paying an additional $50 per month for their unlimited data add-on.

Cox Gigablast Hybrid Internet Features

Gigablast gigabit internet comes with these features:

  • Cox Security Suite: anti-virus software, device locator, and SMS blocking
  • Panoramic WiFi router: a modem/router combo you can rent for $13 a month
  • More than 4 million Wi-Fi hotspots available: 

The McAfee-powered security comes with features you could get for free from other mobile and desktop apps. But with a 500 MB space requirement (for their anti-virus) [1].

And come on. Nowadays, most devices have a “find ‘x’ device” feature. How’s that a selling point?

I’m calming down:

The Panoramic gateway comes with some cool perks. If you’re a gamer and don’t already have “smart router” features like Smart Connect.

Elite Gamer, a perk this router/modem provides, reroutes your network to a server closer to that of your game’s server. In theory, this should lower your latency.

For those using a third-party router who want an alternative to ExitLag, you can get Elite Gamer for $6.99 a month.

And the Wi-Fi hotspots.

They’re by far the most practical perk Cox offers. They’ve aligned themselves with Xfinity and Spectrum to create an army of over 4 million Wi-Fi hotspots.

That means most places you go to will have a means for you to access the internet. And to save money on mobile data.

Who Is Cox Gigablast Best For?

Here are use cases and people who’ll benefit the most from the Gigablast plan:

  • Running 5 security cameras: each camera demands 4.0 Mbps upstream bandwidth [2]
  • Downloading massive files: take less time downloading huge files while on a busy network
  • Streaming 4K video: watch content on 40 devices
  • Livestreaming while online gaming: livestream on Twitch in 720p 30 fps on up to 2 devices simultaneously

The upload speeds aren’t the best. But it’ll accommodate most needs. I’ll cover examples in the following section.




What Can You Do With 1.0 Gbps Internet Speeds?

Here are some use cases for 1.0 Gbps download speeds:

Online ActivitySpeed Req. (Download)Speed Req. (Upload)
20 Devices Streaming 4K Netflix500 MbpsNA
1 PC competitive gaming50 Mbps10
1 device livestreaming on Twitch (720p)4.5 Mbps5.6 Mbps
1 Ring Doorbell2.0 Mbps2.0 Mbps
10 phones watching Peacock Premium (1080p)30 MbpsNA
3 zoom Group conferences11.4 Mbps11.4 Mbps
5 Devices Running GEFORCE NOW200 MbpsNA

List of things you can do with 1.0 Gbps download and 35 Mbps upload speeds.

This list of activities demands 29 Mbps (upstream) and 797.9 Mbps (downstream). The above lists 41 devices running fairly bandwidth-heavy tasks.

The upload speeds and data allowance gate this plan’s potential. While over 20 devices can simultaneously stream 4K, they can’t do so for long without breaking through your data cap.

Unless you pay an extra $50 monthly, you’re limited to 200 hours of 4K streaming.

And since upload speeds aren’t symmetric, you can’t do much in the realm of uploading. That means upload and download streams aren’t equal.

My opinion around this plan (and Cox as a whole) would change if they fixed this.

Verizon Fios and AT&T fiber offer much higher upload speeds in their 1.0 Gbps plans. So you can go much further with your money if you’re in areas they support.

I’ll cover the details on these plans later on.

How Much Does Cox Gigabit Internet Cost?

Gigablast internet (temporarily) costs $79.99 a month during your 1-year term agreement

Once that time’s up, you’ll pay $119.99 monthly.

Then you need to consider Cox’s soft credit check. Depending on their findings, you may have to pay a security deposit. I can’t specify a number because they don’t provide one.

How about router rentals?

It’s $13 a month for a Cox router rental. Then you have to pay $25 for a Cox team member to spend 3 seconds remotely activating your gateway.

You can avoid this fee by getting your own gigabit router. Since Cox is fiber(ish) internet, your ONT will serve as the modem, which means you can’t get your own modem.

But it doesn’t incur a rental fee. Their router does, though.

However:

In a cable/fiber hybrid plan, you’ll need a Cox-approved DOCSIS 3.1 modem. We have a list of modems that’ll work with Cox to reduce the amount of research you’ll need to perform.

Where Is Cox Gigablast Available?

You can get Gigablast gigabit internet in 624 areas spread throughout the following 19 states:

ArkansasArizonaCaliforniaConnecticut
FloridaGeorgiaIowaIdaho
KansasLouisianaMassachusettsMissouri
North CarolinaNebraskaNevadaOhio
OklahomaRhode IslandVirginia

States that Cox supports.

They don’t offer support in every city. I’d love to put every city they support in this post, but it would read like a novel.

Visit Cox.com/local/residential and click on your state. A page will appear that lists every city they support. From there, click on each city and find bundles that Cox offers in your area.

Cox Optical Network Terminal: An Overview

An Optical Network Terminal (ONT) is a device that allows you to convert Cox’s fiber optic internet signals into digital ones. That way, your home’s router can utilize Cox’s high-speed internet.

You’ll ONLY need an ONT on a Cox fiber plan. And in that case, you’ll need a gigabit router. We’ve compiled a list of excellent gigabit routers that’ll work well with Cox. Check it out.

If your household previously had Cox, you’ll find a Calix, Nokia, or Alcatel-Lucent ONT on your garage wall, inside your garage, or where utilities enter your home.

If your home didn’t have this terminal, you’d need a Cox technician to install it professionally. There’s no way around this. As ONTs aren’t self-install(able).

Connecting them to your router or Panoramic gateway isn’t hard. You’ll just connect it via an Ethernet cable.

I’d love to provide more technical information regarding Cox’s ONT, but they’re vaguer than any ISP I’ve researched. The most “recent” information I could find was from 6 years ago.

And I don’t want to give you allegedly outdated sources.

Cox Gigablast Internet Contract

Cox Gigablast requires you to stick with a 1-year contract. If you want to cancel early, you must pay an Early Termination Fee (ETF).

This fee will depend on the number of months you’ve been with Cox. And it can go up to $120.

Here’s a quick example before I explain how to waive these fees. Staying subscribed to Cox for 5 months and canceling will result in a $70 ETF. That means they deduct $10 per month if you’re loyal to their services.

Falling under these circumstances can remove the ETF entirely [3]:

  • Upgrading or transferring your Cox home internet services
  • Moving outside an area that supports Cox internet
  • Canceling within 30 days of first getting your plan

The ‘moving outside a Cox-supported area’ clause applies to active military and civilians.

How Do I Set up Cox Gigabit Internet?

Order your service online and have Cox ship your getting started kit. Or visit your nearest Cox store.

They may have a kit in stock.

If your home doesn’t already have a Cox ONT, you’ll need to schedule an appointment for a technician to install it. At that point, they’ll do all the work for you.

I can’t say whether they’ll help you connect a third-party router.

But the steps you’ll take to install your Cox router or a third-party router aren’t different:

  1. Find an optimal place for your router
  2. Run an Ethernet cable from your wall to the router
  3. Wait for the lights on your router to glow

Connect your devices to your router via an Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi, then test your network speeds. Ensure you get 940 Mbps (on Wi-Fi) or 1.0 Gbps (on Ethernet).

If not, you’ll need to troubleshoot your slow Cox internet.

Cox Gigablast Internet Discounts

You can save $40 on Gigablast internet by upgrading or getting a new plan before September 26th, 2022. And you can get a Peacock Premium subscription for free until January 15th, 2023.

This saves you $4.99 a month and gives you access to over 60,000 hours of content (like The Office).

Cox Gigablast Bundles

You can’t get cheaper internet if you bundle Gigablast with other services. But here are some bundles you can get to potentially make your billing easier:

PackageNumber of ChannelsPriceBest For
Gigablast + Homelife0$107.99/mo.Home security
Gigablast + TV + Homelife140+$205.99/mo.Home security & entertainment
Gigablast + TV + Voice140+$197.99/mo.Entertainment & backup landline phone
Gigablast + Streaming only0$84.99/mo.Affordable entertainment
Gigablast + TV140+$177.99/mo.Entertainment
Gigablast + Tech Support + Panoramic WiFi + Unlimited Data0$159.99/mo.Non-tech-savvy folks
Gigablast + Panoramic WiFi + Tech Support0$122.99/mo.Non-tech-savvy folks
Cox Communication Gigablast bundles.

Here’s an explanation of some of the services you see:

  • Streaming only: Cox Contour TV box
  • Homelife: self-monitored home security
  • Unlimited data: removes the bandwidth cap
  • Technical support: self-explanatory

Streaming only and Gigablast offers the most value. Unless you already have a TV box.

And the technical support’s only necessary for non-tech-savvy people for malware removal. If you frequent sketchy sites and infect your computer a lot.




Gigablast vs. Other Cox Internet Plans

Here’s how Gigablast compares to other Cox plans:

TierDownload SpeedUpload SpeedPrice (Year 1)Price (Year 2)
Essential 100100 Mbps5.0 Mbps$49.99/mo.No contract
Preferred 250250 Mbps10 Mbps$59.99/mo.$83.99/mo.
Ultimate 500500 Mbps10 Mbps$79.99/mo.$99.99/mo.
Gigablast1.0 Gbps35 Mbps$79.99/mo.$119.99/mo.
StraightUp Prepaid100 Mbps5.0 Mbps$50/mo.NA
Cox residential internet plans compared.

If you’ve made it this far into this guide, you’ve likely chosen to read reviews on Gigablast for a reason. You want the high speeds.

StraightUp prepaid and Internet Essentials are likely out of the question for you. Because the 1.0 Gbps plan has 10x the speed.

Usually, I’d recommend Preferred Internet, but Gigablast has 4x the download and 3x the upload speeds.

Ultimate internet comes as the “closest” contender for download speed. It can handle a lot of online video streaming and cloud gaming.

You’ll need to figure out the speeds your household will require. Ultimate costs $20 less monthly than its 1.0 Gbps counterpart. But it has 3x less speed.

None of these plans (other than StraightUp) offer significant perks that make them more appealing.

Cox Gigablast vs. The Competition

Here is how Cox’s gigabit plan does against alternatives with similar speeds:

TierPriceSpeedsBest For
Gigablast$79.99–$119.99/mo.1,000/35 Mbps4K Streaming
AT&T Fiber 1 Gbps$80/mo.1,000/1,000 MbpsBacking up Home Servers
Verizon Fios 1 Gig$64.99–$89.99/mo.940/800 MbpsPairing with mobile plans
Xfinity Gigabit$70–$109/mo.1,200/35 MbpsAvailability
Various gigabit internet plans compared.

Xfinity Gigabit has the most availability in 40 states. And you pay significantly less for unlimited data ($25–$30 a month).

But you have less of a data cap than with Cox. And it’s Comcast. They don’t have the most stellar reputation in the internet provider world.

Do any providers, though?

Verizon Fios and AT&T fiber make it difficult to justify getting Cox. And it’s harder to choose between the 2 plans.

Verizon has plenty of perks, like 6 months of free streaming services.

Then AT&T has a bit more availability, affordability, and equal download and upload speeds. Neither plan has a data cap, so it’s ideal for backing up home servers.

Whether that’s something you’ll do with your internet or if you have a home business that requires uploading files (1.0 Gbps and above), I’d lie if I recommended Cox or Xfinity.

FAQ: Cox Gigablast

Here are some frequently asked questions about Cox’s Gigablast plan.

How Do You Check for a Cox Internet Outage?

You can check for internet outage notifications by logging into your online Cox account through Cox.com/Coxapp/myservices.

Wrapping Up

Gigablast offers the most speeds of any Cox plans, but proves disappointing compared to competing gigabit internet plans. That doesn’t make it the worst fiber(ish) plan, though.

Weigh your needs and what’s available. Then pick your plan.

You may want a downgrade if you think 1,000 Mbps has too much speed. Consider one of these other Cox home internet plans.




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