Cox Preferred Internet offers 250 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload speeds. It costs $59.99 monthly. Once your contract expires, it costs $83.99 monthly. Households with at least 7 high-bandwidth users will benefit from this plan.
I’ve tried various internet plans. I grouped information from multiple sources to help determine how this plan compares to its counterparts and competitors.
Details I’ll cover include:
- Disadvantages and advantages
- An overview of the plan
- Who it best serves
- What you can do with 250 Mbps speeds
- Where you can get it
- Whether you need a contract
- How to set it up
- Whether it has discounts
- Preferred Internet bundles
- Compared to its Cox counterparts
- Versus similar competing plans
Keep reading and determine whether it’s a good plan.
Cox Preferred Internet Pros and Cons
The reasons you’ll love or hate Cox preferred home internet include:
- Free security suite
- It’s affordable (for a year)
- The gateway rental offers a lot of value
- Millions of Wi-Fi hotspots you can use
- Has a contract
- You have to deal with a data allowance
- Not many perks
A couple of disclaimers.
One: taxes and other fees will make your price different from what I mentioned.
Two: you need ideal conditions for 100/10 internet speeds. So you may need to connect devices with an Ethernet cable and place your router in an optimal location.
What Is Cox Preferred Home Internet?
Preferred is Cox’s 250/10 Mbps cable internet plan. It requires a 1-year contract that calls for $59.99 a month. Upon completing your contract, you’ll need to pay $83.99 monthly.
Cox Preferred Internet Data Cap
Cox Preferred home internet has a 1.25 terabyte (TB) data cap. Once you pass this data allowance, Cox will automatically add 50 gigabyte (GB) blocks of data to your account.
While a data cap is ridiculous, it’s difficult for most homes to pass it. With HD (1080p) video streaming alone, you can watch over 875 GB of content within a month.
You’ll pay $10 per block for up to 500 GB ($100). Once you pass that threshold, you can use an unlimited amount of data.
Keep this in mind:
The 50 GB blocks won’t transfer to the next month. So if you have 49 GB of data remaining on your block when transitioning until October, that block will vanish.
Or you can pay $50 a month for their unlimited data add-on.
If you’re familiar with Xfinity Comcast, they offer a $25 a month unlimited data feature with their network gateway. Cox’s Panoramic WiFi modem doesn’t have this perk.
Cox Preferred Residential Internet Features
You’ll get these “perks” with Cox Preferred Internet:
- Access to over 4 million Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the U.S.: can help you conserve data
- Panoramic WiFi router gateway: a modem router combination you can rent for $13 a month
- Antivirus and firewall software: and various other features powered by McAfee
The millions of Wi-Fi hotspots Cox offers combines a coalition of various internet service provider access points. These include XFINITY, Spectrum, and Cox.
You’ll have varying speeds. A source claims you’ll get a minimum of 15 Mbps download speeds . And a maximum of 1.0 Gbps.
I don’t trust that number, though. Your speeds will depend on the number of people on the hotspot and whether there’s Wi-Fi interference.
Moreover, I don’t believe many remote workers would pay for pricey Cox internet plans if they could walk into a business district and get gigabit internet speeds.
The Panoramic WiFi is a network gateway with cool features like Smart Connect and Wi-Fi network management. The former feature will automatically connect your device to a less congested network frequency (e.g., 2.4 GHz over 5 GHz).
“Elite” gamers will love this feature.
The gateway comes with a latency-reducing feature known as Elite Gamer. It connects your device to a server closer to the server that hosts your game’s network. Thus, you’ll have less ping.
For instance, if you’re in New Jersey and there’s a World of Warcraft server in California, the app MAY redirect your connection to a server in California.
You can still get Elite Gamer for $6.99 a month if you don’t want the Panoramic gateway. It costs a bit more than ExitLag. I recommend testing both features to see which yields lower ping (and doesn’t get you banned).
I don’t have praise for the security suite. Most of you all can already get similar free software from software like Malwarebytes or Windows Defender. And many browsers have built-in link integrity checkers.
Who Is Cox Preferred Internet Best For?
Preferred Internet will work best for these people and situations:
- 4K cloud gaming: the most demanding provider is GEFORCE, which requires 40 Mbps (downstream)
- Watching Netflix or similar programs in 4K: you can stream buffer-free on at least 6 devices at once
- Online learning and video conferences: 720p 1:1 and group calls on at least 5 devices at once
- Competitive gaming: on one device
Competitive gaming shouldn’t require much upload speed (allegedly). Since you’re not uploading anything . But having enough upstream bandwidth COULD affect your match’s performance.
What Can You Do With 250 Mbps Internet Speeds?
Here’s an extreme example of what a household could do with 250 Mbps download speeds:
|Online Activity||Speed Req. (Download)||Speed Req. (Upload)|
|2 PCs Casual Gaming||6.0 Mbps||1 Mbps|
|1 Playstation 5 Online||5.0 Mbps||.05–3.0 Mbps|
|GEFORCE NOW 4k Cloud Gaming||40 Mbps||NA|
|4 Devices Streaming Disney+ In 4k||50 Mbps||NA|
|1 Device Watching YouTube (1080p)||5.0 Mbps||NA|
|1 Person Googling Stuff||2.0 Mbps||1.0 Mbps|
Use cases for 250 Mbps download speeds.
The table above covers 10 total devices and equals 108/5.0 Mbps of bandwidth used. Even with the low upload speeds, this plan can still perform various online tasks at once.
If you were to only get 200 Mbps from this plan, you could multiply everything in the chart by 2 and still have reliable access to all of those services.
How Much Does Cox Preferred Internet Cost?
Cox Preferred home internet costs $59.99 monthly for the first 12 months. Once your contract expires, you’ll pay $83.99 a month.
This internet service provider doesn’t offer an automatic payment discount. So that won’t factor into your price.
Cox will likely run a credit history check when signing up for this service. If your credit score isn’t the best, you may have to pay a security deposit.
Cox charges $13 a month to rent their Panoramic modem router.
You also have to pay a $25 activation fee for Cox-provided gateways . Is there a way to waive this fee?
But you have to buy your own router and modem. While any router will work, you’ll need to use an approved Cox modem. We have a huge list of modems that’ll work with them.
Our guide will also save you from having to waste time researching a decent modem.
Where Is Cox Preferred Internet Available?
You can get Cox preferred in 624 areas spread throughout the following 19 states:
States that Cox Communication supports.
Visit cox.com/local/residential, click on your state, and see whether Cox offers Preferred Internet services to your city.
Keep in mind:
Don’t bother clicking on your city. Cox will redirect you to a page that tries to sell you a bunch of bundles. Unless you want bundles.
Cox Preferred Internet Contract
Cox Preferred Requires a 1-year contract. Canceling your plan early will result in an early cancellation fee of up to $120.
Each month you remain subscribed to Cox Preferred Internet, you’ll pay $10 in your cancellation fee. Cancelling 4 months into your plan will result in an $80 charge.
You can waive the Cox cancellation fee if :
- You’re in the military and move outside a Cox-supported zone
- Upgrade your Cox internet plan
- Move into an area that doesn’t support Cox
- Transfer your internet to a new address
- Cancel within 30 days of getting your internet plan (for any reason)
Cox didn’t mention whether an account holder passing away will also qualify as a means to eliminate the cancellation fee. I suppose that’s on a case-by-case basis.
How Do I Set up Cox Preferred Cable Internet?
Get your Cox service online or in a Cox store and receive your getting started kit.
Whether you use a third-party modem or the Panoramic gateway, you’ll need to connect and activate them.
Since the gateway doubles as a router, you’ll need to find a good spot for it. Ensure metal objects don’t surround your device, and it remains elevated. These precautions ensure you have maximum Wi-Fi coverage.
You’ll want to put your own router adjacent to a plug outlet. And somewhere not too far from where you’ll place your router. Because you’ll need to connect them.
Once the lights on your router/modem combo (or router) power on, you’ll need to activate your device.
Visit cox.com/activate and follow their prompts.
They’ll eventually ask for a Media Access Control (MAC) or CMAC number. It’s a 12-digit number you will find on the bottom of your device.
Once your router’s activated, connect it to your devices (and router). Open a browser tab and visit an internet speed testing website.
Ensure you get 250 Mbps download, and 10 Mbps upload speeds. If you don’t see these speeds, you’ll want to troubleshoot your slow Cox internet.
Those who went the way of getting a third-party router and modem will need to return Cox’s gateway. Gather everything found in your getting started kit and bring it to a Cox or UPS store.
It doesn’t matter whether you pack your hardware. But ensure you get a return receipt. You’ll need proof you returned your devices in case Cox attempts to claim you failed to return your devices.
Cox Preferred Internet Discounts
Cox Preferred Internet doesn’t have any discounts. But ensure you check out our Cox discounts page to check for future updates.
You CAN get a free Peacock Premium subscription free until January 2023. That’ll save you $4.99 a month and give you access to series like Parks and Recreation.
Cox Preferred Internet Bundles
Cox does not give you discounts when you bundle Preferred Internet with TV or other services. But you can make your billing a bit easier with these bundles:
|Package||Number of Channels||Price||Best For|
|Preferred + Homelife||0||$87.99/mo.||Home security|
|Preferred + TV + Homelife||140+||$185.99/mo.||Home security & entertainment|
|Preferred + TV + Voice||140+||$177.99/mo.||Backup landline phone and channels|
|Preferred + Streaming only||0||$64.99/mo.||Budgeting|
|Preferred + TV||140+||$157.99/mo.||Accessing channels|
|Preferred + Tech Support + Panoramic WiFi + Unlimited Data||0||$119.99/mo.||Non-tech-savvy folks|
|Preferred + Panoramic WiFi + Tech Support||0||$82.99/mo.||Non-tech-savvy folks|
Cox Preferred Internet bundles.
Here’s an explanation of some of the services you see:
- Unlimited data: no data cap on your internet plan
- Technical support: they help less technically-savvy people
- Homelife: home automation and security
- Streaming only: Cox Contour Player TV box
Technical support can save you $75 on in-home technical support visits. They also provide malware removal services.
Before you say, “anti-virus software can do that,” think again. Some malware rooted itself so deep into your system that this software won’t do anything. So you’ll need a professional to interfere.
The streaming box will save you a lot of money if you just go with streaming services instead of cable TV channels.
I don’t have much else to say about the other bundles. Weigh your home’s needs and determine whether it’s worth the costs.
Preferred Internet vs. Other Cox Internet Plans
Here’s how Cox’s 250 Mbps plan compares to its counterparts:
|Tier||Download Speed||Upload Speed||Price (Year 1)||Price (Year 2)|
|Preferred 250||250 Mbps||10 Mbps||$59.99/mo.||$83.99/mo.|
|Essential 100||100 Mbps||5.0 Mbps||$49.99/mo.||No contract|
|Ultimate 500||500 Mbps||10 Mbps||$79.99/mo.||$99.99/mo.|
|Gigablast||1.0 Gbps||35 Mbps||$79.99/mo.||$119.99/mo.|
|StraightUp Prepaid||100 Mbps||5.0 Mbps||$50/mo.||NA|
Consider your household’s required bandwidth.
Do you need more than 35 Mbps of upload speed? Get a provider like Verizon Fios or AT&T.
But you’ll only need higher upload speeds if you frequently send video files at least over 5 GB. Or if you back up media libraries often.
Now let’s work down.
1,000 Mbps (Gigablast) exceeds most homes’ internet needs. If you have people who frequently download games, patch files, or files from clients, you’ll want it.
With homes that use half that speed, Ultimate will work better. But you’ll only get 10 Mbps upload speeds. That’s good for only 1–2 home security cameras.
Preferred Internet works better for homes with at least 5 people who want to stream 1080p or 4K video. Or if you all use cloud streaming platforms like GEFORCE NOW.
Any homes that require less speed will want StraightUp prepaid, Internet Essentials, or Cox’s low-income internet plans.
Cox Preferred Internet vs. The Competition
You’ll find these differences between Cox’s 250 Mbps plan and what competitors offer:
|Cox Preferred Internet||$59.99/mo.||250/10 Mbps||Gaming|
|Astound 250 Mbps Internet||$34.99/mo.||250/10 Mbps||Affordability|
|Verizon Fios 300||$49.99/mo.||300/300 Mbps||Remote workers in large households|
|Fast/Performance Pro Xfinity||$50–$60/mo.||300/10 Mbps||Availability|
Different 250 Mbps home internet plans compared.
I couldn’t find many 250 Mbps internet plans. Either many don’t exist, or my research skills suck.
So I threw in Verizon Fios and Xfinity’s 300 Mbps plans. They have an unfair advantage because they’re higher than the tier they belong in. But they still have lower pricing.
Verizon’s upload speeds triumph over the mere rates their competitors offer. You’ll NEED such upload speeds when running home security cameras and uploading massive files continually.
It also costs less than most plans on this list. No, the prices for Fios won’t increase after a year.
But Verizon Fios has the least availability by supporting only some cities throughout 9 states. And that’s where Xfinity takes the torch. It’s hard to surpass the 40 states they support.
However, you’ll have a 500 GB lower data cap than what Cox offers. While Comcast has a cheaper unlimited data add-on, you shouldn’t even have to pay for unlimited data.
And if you want to save money (and reside in a supported city), Astound works as your best option. Kind of. They have a wacky data allowance system.
Allegedly, they enforce a 300 GB to 1.0 TB data cap in some areas. So that significantly reduces its value. Unless you’re someone who doesn’t download many files or watch HD or 4K online videos.
To Cox’s credit, they have the potential to give you the lowest latency with their gateway’s Elite Gamer feature. So if you’re a single competitive gamer who lives alone, this plan’s perfect for you.
Casual and cloud gamers will benefit from this plan when living in larger households (>5 people).
FAQ: Cox Preferred Internet
Here are some frequently asked questions about Cox’s Preferred Internet plan.
How Do You Check for Cox Internet Outages?
You can check for Cox internet outage notifications by logging into your online account through Cox.com/Coxapp/myservices.
Cox’s Preferred Internet plan offers some of the best value among its counterparts due to its high download speeds and “okay” upload speeds.
If you want to keep shopping before you get a plan, you’ll want to consider other Cox residential internet plans. Check them out here.