7 Best Router For Cox In 2021

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

This is our review of the best routers for Cox internet. 

Cox

As a Network Engineer, I have bought a bunch of routers and tested them against each other. 

And out of these, I have concluded that the best compatible router for Cox is the ASUS RT-AX3000.

ASUS RT-AX3000
Source: Asus.com

ASUS RT-AX3000

Best Overall

  • Type: Wi-Fi Router
  • Tested Max Speed: 889.41 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Any Cox Internet Plan
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6 
  • Warranty: 2 years

But not everyone has the same amount of smart devices, internet plans, or home size. 

Therefore, I have picked the seven best routers for different circumstances. So you can choose the one that fits you the best. 

Let’s get started. 

Top 7 Routers For Cox Internet

Here are the seven best Wi-Fi routers for Cox internet, with traditional routers, mesh networks, and modem/router combos. 

  1. ASUS RT-AX3000 (Editor’s Choice – Traditional Router)
  2. TP-Link Archer AX6000 (Best Performer – Traditional Router)
  3. TP-Link Archer AX10 (Budget-Friendly – Traditional Router)
  4. Netgear Orbi RBK752 (Best Value – Mesh Wi-Fi)
  5. Motorola MG8702 (Best Value – Modem/Router Combo)
  6. Netgear CAX80 (Premium Option – Modem/Router Combo)
  7. Motorola MG7540 (Budget-Friendly – Modem/Router Combo)

7 Best Routers For Cox

Here are short reviews of the best routers for Cox. 

#1 ASUS RT-AX3000 (Editor’s Choice – Traditional Router)

ASUS RT-AX3000
Source: Asus.com
  • Type: Wi-Fi Router
  • Tested Max Speed: 889.41 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Any Cox Internet Plan
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6 
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Best Overall

The ASUS RT-AX3000 is an excellent option for a normal home with any of Cox’s internet plans. 

During testing, It reached 889.41 Mbps from 5 feet and 534.55 Mbps from 25 feet — both using the 5Ghz band. 

These are some very good results that will be enough for a family of 5+ to watch 4K movies simultaneously. 

Note that all tests use a Wi-Fi 6 compatible device and a Gigabit internet plan. 

The range of the RT-AX3000 is its weaker point, reaching about 80-85 feet. And while not bad, it doesn’t match its throughput performance.

It will, however, be enough for an average-sized home without any issues. 

The RT-AX3000 also has very good Parental Controls and QoS. This allows you to restrict your children’s activities on the internet and prioritize data on the network. 

QoS can be useful, for example, if you have an important video call that you don’t want to lag. 

Because then you can choose to prioritize the data to the video call. And then, no matter what other people do on the internet, it won’t lag. 

Overall, the ASUS RT-AX3000 is one of the best performing, well-priced router I have tested. Perfect for the normal internet user. 




#2 TP-Link Archer AX6000 (Best Performer – Traditional Router)

Tp-Link AX6000
Source: Tp-link.com
  • Type: Wi-Fi Router
  • Tested Max Speed: 837.08 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Gigablast 940 or below
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6 
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Best Performer

The TP-Link Archer AX6000 is high performing router ideal for someone with a busy network and a fast internet plan. 

In testing, it reached 837.08 Mbps from 5 feet, 570.09 Mbps from 25 feet, and 283.31 Mbps from 50 feet. All were using the 5GHz band. 

These are some very good results that will be more than enough for a home with many smart devices.

Range wise the Archer AX6000 also performed pretty well, reaching about 90-100 feet. This will be enough for any but the largest homes. 

The router also has great Parental Controls and QoS. This makes it possible to restrict your kid’s activity on the internet and prioritize bandwidth. 

Although the TP-Link Archer AX6000 is a great router – but honestly, it’s a bit unnecessary for many. Thus, I only recommend it for you with a fast internet plan and a busy home network.




#3 TP-Link AX10 (Budget-Friendly – Traditional Router)

TP-Link AX10
Source: Tp-link.com
  • Type: Wi-Fi Router
  • Tested Max Speed: 651.97 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Ultimate 500 or below
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: 2-years
  • Chosen as: Budget-Friendly

The TP-Link AX10 is the router for you on a budget that still wants performance. 

During testing, it reached 651.97 Mbps from 5 feet and 351.81 Mbps from 25 feet. Both using the 5GHz band. 

This performance is very good considering it’s a cheaper option. Perfect for any Cox plan up to the Ultimate 500. 

The AX10 range is around 80-90 feet, which makes it enough for a normal home. Especially if you place it somewhere closer to the middle of the house. 

The drawback with the router is its extra features which are very lacking. It has both Parental Controls and QoS, but they are very underwhelming. 

Because the Parental Controls only makes it possible to block URLs and keywords and not topics. And the QoS can only restrict devices and not applications. 

This makes the features very limited and impractical to use.

Overall, the TP-Link AX10 is for someone looking for a cheap performance that doesn’t need extra features. 




#4 Netgear Orbi RBK752 (Best Value – Mesh Wi-Fi)

Netgear Orbi RBK752
Source: Netgear.com
  • Type: Mesh Wi-Fi
  • Tested Max Speed: 805.61 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Gigablast 940 or below
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: 1-year
  • Chosen as: Best Value

The Netgear RBK752 is a value mesh system – perfect for you with a large home that wants complete Wi-Fi coverage. 

In testing, the main router reached 805.61 Mbps from 5 feet and 498.83 Mbps from 25 feet. Both using the 5GHz band. 

This is an excellent performance, which is enough for a family of 7+ to all use Wi-Fi without any issues.

Furthermore, the Orbi RBK752, like the RBK852, archives excellent results on the satellite unites. With around 85-90% of the main routers speed from each distance. 

This is possible because the satellites have their own 5GHz network for sending data between the router and the support units. 

The drawback with the Netgear is that it lacks ports, with only a few LAN ports and no USB ports. This makes it unpractical for file sharing and many wired devices. 

It also lacks features like Parental Controls and QoS. 

Overall, the Netgear Orbi RBK752 is excellent for you looking for fast Wi-Fi and complete coverages. Perfect for someone with a large home. 




#5 Motorola MG8702 (Best Value – Modem/Router Combo)

Motorola MG8702
Source: Motorola.com
  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Tested Max Speed: 518.51 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Ultimate 500 or below 
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 5 
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Best Value (Modem/Router Combo)

The Motorola MG8702 is a medium-tier gateway for you with the Cox Ultimate 500 or below. 

It averaged 518.51 Mbps from 5 feet and 272.03 Mbps from 25 feet, using the 5GHz network. 

These are some pretty good results that will be enough for a busy home with a decent amount of smart devices. 

Range wise the MG8702 performed satisfactorily, reaching about 80-90 feet. This will be enough for a somewhat larger home if you place the device closer to the middle of the house. 

The cable modem is also DOCSIS 3.1, which is good because it is both faster and future-proof. 

Because Cox will change out their DOCSIS 3.0 internet in the future. And when they do, they will require DOCSIS 3.1 modems. 

The largest drawback with the MG8702 is its lack of control over the router, with both Parental Controls and QoS being very underwhelming. 

Because with parental control, you can only block devices at certain times and not specific content online. 

And the QoS lacks the advanced controls which allow you to pick an activity to prioritize.

But if you don’t want these and are looking for a gateway, the Motorola MG8702 is a good option.




#6 Netgear CAX80 (Premium Option – Modem/Router Combo)

Netgear CAX80
Source: Netgear.com
  • Type: Modem/Router Combo 
  • Tested Max Speed: 800+ Mbps
  • Recommended for: Gigablast 940 or below
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6 
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Chosen as: Premium Option (Modem/Router Combo)

The CAX80 is the gateway I recommend for the Cox Gigablast 940 Mbps internet packet.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t test its max speed since the internet plan I had access to only reached 800 Mbps. 

But it did reach 800 Mbps from 5 feet. The other speeds measured being 583.15 Mbps from 25 feet and 298.47 Mbps from 50 feet. All using the 5GHz channel. 

This is an incredible performance for a modem/router combo and will be enough for more than a dozen 4K streams simultaneously. 

The range of the CAX80 is also pretty good, reaching about 90-100 feet. This will be enough for any but the largest homes. 

The biggest con with the CAX80 is that it lacks extra features. It doesn’t have features like QoS and Parental Controls.

Furthermore, it’s honestly a bit excessive for you with an internet plan below the Ultimate 500 Mbps plan. 

Altogether, the Netgear CAX80 is a high-performing gateway perfect for you with the Cox Gigablast 940 Mbps plan that has a busy home network. 




#7 Motorola MG7540 (Budget-Friendly – Modem/Router Combo)

Motorola MG7540
Source: Motorola.com
  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Tested Max Speed: 301.85 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Preferred 150 or below
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 5 
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Budget-Friendly (Modem/Router Combo)

For you on a budget that wants a modem/router combo, the Motorola MG7540 is a good option. 

In testing, it reached 301.85 Mbps from 5 feet, 102.38 Mbps from 25 feet, and 49.06 Mbps from 50 feet – All using the 5GHz band. 

This performance is pretty good for its price tag. And it will be enough for a family of four to use the internet without any issues. 

The cable modem is DOCSIS 3.0 with 16×4 channels. This means that the modem will work as long as Cox doesn’t upgrade their cable internet to DOCSIS 3.1. Which, to my knowledge, likely will take a while. 

The drawback with the MG7540 is its coverage, which only reached approximately 70 feet during testing. 

This will be enough for a medium-sized house if it’s placed in the middle of it, but honestly, it’s a better fit for the average apartment. 

Altogether, the MG7540 is a cheaper option for someone with the Cox Preferred 150 Mbps internet packet or below.




What to Consider Before Buying a Router for Cox

Here are what you should specifically consider before getting the best router for Cox Internet. 

Router Performance

One of the most important things to consider when buying a router is getting something that meets your performance needs. 

This means that it, first and foremost, can handle your internet plan – because what’s the point of paying for something you don’t get because of a cheaper router. 

But also, match the size of your home and how many devices you have connected to your network. 

Below you can find what goes into the performance of a router. 

Wi-Fi standards

Nowadays, you have two Wi-Fi standards to choose from. These are the Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax).

The router’s performance is not only based on the standard but also its specs (CPU, Ram, etc.)

But as a rule, you will find that Wi-Fi 6 is faster, better at handling more devices, and is more secure. While Wi-Fi 5 is cheaper. [1]

Wi-Fi 6 Benefits
  • Faster than Wi-Fi 5
  • Can handle more devices
  • Increased security
Wi-Fi 5 Benefits
  • Cheaper than Wi-Fi 6
  • The default for most devices

For Cox, I recommend Wi-Fi 6 for you with an internet plan at or above the Ultimate 500 packet. For you with a slower plan, Wi-Fi 5 should be enough. 

In the end, however, it’s up to you since it’s not set in stone. 

You could get Wi-Fi 6 with a slower plan as a way of future-proofing. 

Or get Wi-Fi 5 even if you have the 500 Mbps plan if you don’t have any Wi-Fi 6 compatible devices, for example. 

Because you will not get Wi-Fi 6 performance if your devices aren’t Wi-Fi 6 compatible. 

For more info, check out Wi-Fi 5 vs. Wi-Fi 6 here

Dual- or Tri-Band

All routers worth getting nowadays have at least two bands. This means that they have one 5GHz band, which is faster, and another 2.4GHz band which has a better range. 

There also exists Tri-banded routers. This means that instead of having two bands, it has three.

Most often, this will be an extra 5GHz band. Which will improve the router’s capacity to handle more data simultaneously but not increase its max speed. 

This makes most sense if you have a faster internet plan and a very busy home network. 

Another possibility is that the tri-band in the router means it’s a Wi-Fi 6E router

This means that it supports the newest wireless standard, which offers the normal Wi-Fi 6 performance plus an extra 6GHz band. [2]

The 6GHz band allows for even faster internet speeds than the 5GHz band but, unfortunately, has a shorter range. 

Only get a Wi-Fi 6E router if you have the Cox Gigabit plan and want the best of the best. 

The best such router I have tested is the Netgear RAXE500. 

Just know that there are very few devices compatible with this standard, so you won’t get the full benefit yet. 

DOCSIS & Channels

Suppose you get a modem/router combo (gateway). You also need to decide what DOCSIS version and channels you want. 

With Cox, you can decide between DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1.

The difference being that DOCSIS 3.1 is faster, has lower latency and is future-proof. 

While DOCSIS 3.0 is cheaper and enough for many. Because no matter how good your modem is, you won’t get faster internet speeds than you pay for in your internet plan. 

For Cox, I recommend getting DOCSIS 3.1. Because they – like many other ISP’s – are moving towards making all their network DOCSIS 3.1. [X]

This means that if you get a DOCSIS 3.0 modem, you might have to purchase a DOCSIS 3.1 after just a year or so because Cox might require it. 

However, suppose you know you’re going to change to fiber internet. In that case, you should only get the minimum requirements for your plan (see table below). 

DOCSIS 3.1 Pros
  • Faster
  • Lower Latency
  • Future-proof
DOCSIS 3.0 Pros
  • Cheaper

If you decide to get a DOCSIS 3.0 modem, you also need to make sure it has enough channels to support your internet plan. 

Channels look like Z×Y (16×4, for example ), with the first number represents the downstream speed, and the second is the upstream speed. 

Below you can see a table with every Cox internet plan and the DOCSIS and channels you need for each one. It also shows the recommended Wi-Fi Standard. [3]

Cox Internet PlanDOCSISChannelsWi-Fi Standard
Starter 253.0 or 3.18×4 or moreWi-Fi 5 or 6
Essential 503.0 or 3.18×4 or moreWi-Fi 5 or 6
Preferred 1503.0 or 3.18×4 or moreWi-Fi 5 or 6
Ultimate 5003.0 or 3.124×8 or moreWi-Fi 5 or 6
Gigablast 9403.1N/AWi-Fi 6

Compatible With Cox

For a router only to work for Cox, it only needs to have a WAN port. Which basically every router has. 

For modems, and thus modem/router combos, things are more complex. Because they need to be approved by Cox. 

Approved means they are part of a list of modems that Cox has tested and thus guarantees will work on their internet. 

You can find the list in our article on the best modems for Cox

Modem/Router Combo Vs. Separate Devices

Suppose you have Cox cable internet (the most common type). In that case, you get to decide if you want a modem/router combo (gateway) or separate devices.

The difference is that a gateway is a modem and a router as one device while a separate has two. 

Both options have their pros and cons, but as a Network Engineer, I recommend separate devices. 

Because this allows you to change one device rather than both. As well as providing better performance and more control. 

That is not to say that a gateway always is worse. It sometimes makes sense for some less technical people to get a gateway since they are generally easier to set up and manage. 

They also have a lower upfront cost than getting both a modem and a router. But if you already have a modem, then the option is simple. 

Furthermore, Cox has plenty of gateways in their approved modems list, so there is much to pick from. 

Separate Devices Pros

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

Modem/Router Combo Pros

  • Cheaper upfront cost
  • Often easier to setup

For more info, check out the gateway vs. separate devices

What about Mesh?

Mesh is when two or more devices together create a single Wi-Fi network. 

Because it has more devices, the coverages it offers is better than what traditional single routers can offer. [4]

Therefore, mesh Wi-Fi is perfect for someone with a large home with plenty of smart devices that all need Wi-Fi. 

For most people, however, a traditional router will be enough. 

Mesh Pros
  • Better Coverage
Traditional Router Benefits
  • Generally cheaper
  • Easier setup

Furthermore, many traditional routers can add mesh units to themselves to create mesh Wi-Fi. 

Click here to read Mesh Wi-Fi Vs. Traditional Router for more info. 

Extra Features

When you get a router, you also have the option to get some extra features. Here are the best ones and what they do.

QoS

QoS stands for Quilty of Service and will allow you to prioritize data on your network. 

Meaning that you can, for example, choose to prioritize applications such as gaming or streaming. 

This ensures that the activity always gets the data it needs no matter what else is done on the network. 

Parental Controls

Parental Controls are what you think it is. It allows you as a parent to restrict your children’s activities on the internet. 

It haves everything from time constraints to URL and topic blockers.

Guest Networks

Guest Networks makes it possible to create a separate network for guests visiting your home.

This will increase the security of your network since your guest’s devices will not share the network with your devices. 

Because your guests might have spyware or other malware on their devices that, unbeknownst to them, can enter your network. 

Antennas

Antennas are good to be able to direct the Wi-Fi signal in your home. A good feature is if you know that you will place your router in the corner of the house. 

Even though I wouldn’t recommend placing it in a corner but rather in the middle of the home, read where to place your router for more info.

Rent Vs. Buy Cox Equipment

Cox charges $9.99 for renting a gateway every month. This adds up to $120 per year, which is enough to get yourself a good router. [5]

Thus, I recommend most of you buy your own router and modem for Cox. 

Reasons for renting do, however, exist. For example, if you change to fiber soon, renting a modem from Cox can make sense. 

But as long as that’s not the case I recommend you to buy your own equipment. Because it is simply cheaper in the long run

Though, I should note that I’m somewhat biased since I make a small commission if you buy a router. 

How To Install Network Equipment With Cox

Here is how to install your network equipment with Cox.

With Separate Devices

Here is how to install a modem and a router as separate devices for Cox internet. 

  • Connect the modem with the coax cable and the power cord and wait for it to light up. 
  • Connect it to the modem and the router with an ethernet cable in the router’s WAN port and any of the modem’s ethernet ports. 
  • Activate the modem here. Call Cox if you get any problems. 
  • Setup the router by following the instructions that come with the router. 

With Combo Devices

Here is how to install a modem/router combo (gateway) for Cox Internet. 

  • Connect the coax cable and the power cord to the gateway. 
  • Activate the modem here. Call Cox if you get any problems. 
  • Setup the rest by following the instructions that come with the device. 

Cox Internet Plans

Here are the most common Cox internet plans and what traditional router, mesh Wi-Fi, and gateway works well for each one. [6]

Cox Internet PlanRouterMeshGateway
Starter 25Archer AX10Orbi RBK852 MB7540
Essential 50Archer AX10 Orbi RBK852 MB7540
Preferred 150RT-AX3000 Orbi RBK852MB7540
Ultimate 500RT-AX3000 Orbi RBK852MB8702
Gigablast 940Archer AX6000 Orbi RBK852CAX80

Our Verdict

After much consideration and testing, we concluded the ASUS RT-AX3000 is the best Wi-Fi router for Cox. 

Because it’s one of the fastest – not too expensive routers that we have tested to date.