It’s no secret that you can save a bunch of money by buying your own Cox compatible modem and router instead of renting the flawed TG1682 “Panoramic WiFi Modem” for $10.99 a month. The approved replacement increases your performance and pays for itself in the long run. Otherwise, you’re stuck renting forever. But with so many options out there, what Cox modem and router should you buy?
Here are our best choices for each situation with Cox Communications for replacing the panoramic wifi with your own modem and router.
Best Panoramic WiFi GatewayWhy Choose an All In One Gateway Modem? | Easiest Option For Cox Gigablast, Single Gateway Device.
Powerful wireless AC, great for a normal to large size house, single device, fewer wires, supreme coverage, good for non-power users who just want the easiest option for Cox Panoramic WiFi. If you do not need a Gigabit modem and want to save money, you do have a much cheaper gateway shown in this comparison chart below.
Best Router for Cox Internet
Remember, you asked for the best. That means DOCSIS 3.1 + Wireless AX. If you want a cheap router, view this router buying guide.
While the All-in-One Router Gateways are stronger than the Panoramic WiFi modem issued by Cox, they are still not the strongest routers available on the market today. In order to have the strongest possible router, you will need to pick a stand-alone modem from the next list and pair it with a Wireless AX Router. This is our preferred method because it allows for 2 devices with more power.
Strongest? Wireless AX is here. The latest and newest in Wi-Fi standards. Cutting edge hardware offering the best possible performance. With a full on Quad-Core 1.8GHz CPU to handle a plethora of connected streaming devices simultaneously.
Easy to use for a beginner yet full of advanced options for a techie. USB 3.0 Ports for network storage and FTP access. +more.
While this is our top choice and it is the most practical for most situations, some people have much larger houses(mansions) and a standard router will not provide ample coverage.
Router for a Mansion? This is where Wireless Mesh comes in. Cox’s Panoramic WiFi Pods use the wireless mesh system but at a much poorer performance level. You’re going to want the top of the line, the best, wireless mesh.
Best Approved Cox Modems
As mentioned above, if you truly want the best home wireless network, you will need a separate modem and router. The Wireless-AX and a Gigablast modem. And now for modems approved for Cox. This can be the most confusing topic for many because there are so many price points, performance tiers, and internet packages. No worries though, We break it down in these easy to read visual charts for you.
Modem Speed Tiers
|Cox Plan||Download Speed||Upload Speed||Amazon Link|
|Starter||10 Mbps||1 Mbps||CM500|
|Connect 2 Compete||15 Mbps||1 Mbps|
|Essential||30 Mbps||3 Mbps|
|Preferred||150 Mbps||10 Mbps|
|Ultimate||300 Mbps||30 Mbps||CM600|
|Gigablast||940 Mbps||940/35 Mbps||CM1200|
The first step in choosing an approved modem is knowing how fast your internet is. Cox has several speed tiers at different price points. When buying a modem, there is no need to buy a modem approved for a higher speed if you never plan on upgrading. You would, however, buy a higher rated modem if you planned on upgrading to Gigablast in the future.
Gigablast DOCSIS 3.1 Modem
If you want the absolute best possible modem out on the market, then you must get the brand new DOCSIS 3.1 modem which is ready for Gigabit speeds and the Cox Gigablast package. It will be standard someday, so now is the time. Do not worry, it’ll be a very long time before DOCSIS 3.1 goes away, so you do not have to worry about your equipment becoming outdated for a decade. This with a Wireless-AX router or Wireless Mesh system will outperform the Cox Panoramic WiFi issued modem on all levels.
Cheaper DOCSIS 3.0 Replacement Modem:
These modems are fine, in fact perfect if you never plan on upgrading to Gigablast, the CM500 is an all-around great modem for any normal Cox package.
All modems we listed are supported. List of Cox supported modems.
TG1682 Panoramic WiFi Gateway Review
Warning: The TG1682 is actually on the bad modem list. Why is that? Because it has a flawed Puma 6 chip. This reason alone should be the reason you do not go with the Cox issued Panormanic WiFi modem.
What is “Panoramic WiFi“? It is just a fancy term or way for Cox to brand equipment that you can purchase on your own. They do this so that you have to pay them an extra $10.99 a month. That comes out to $131.88 a year.
Cox uses scare tactics and tries to convince you that if you buy your own modem it will become obsolete. They claim if you pay to rent theirs they will keep you up to date. The truth is, if you buy a DOCSIS 3.1 modem it will not be obsolete for possibly over a decade and you will save a lot of money in the long run by not having to pay the extra rental fees. Have they ever even contacted you and tried to give you a free upgrade replacement modem? No, it’s not going to happen.
When you own your equipment you may use it wherever you move in the future. So if you move to a Comcast region, you’ll still have your own modem and router.
The bottom should be clear by now. In no universe should you pay Cox to rent an ARRIS TG1682 modem when you know it has a bad chip. You know you can buy your own supported modem or gateway to save money in the long run while getting optimal performance.
Should I Buy a Modem or Router? Device Differences
The required device that picks up the cable internet signal coming into your home. If you have only one computer and do not need wifi internet, you can hook straight into it without a router.
The device that hooks up to the modem and cast a wireless signal and allows more than one computer/device to connect. It also has a built-in firewall to protect your network from intrusions. This router is great for almost all situations but you may need to read our in-depth router buying guide if you have a large house.
Modem Router Combo
Both the modem and the router in one piece of equipment to save space and simplify things. Commonly referred to as a gateway or wifi modem. This is the best option for 90% of users. Again, it comes down to house size.
Why would you want a separate modem and router instead of the combo router?
We recommend the two separate devices.
Reason one, it’s the best. The DOCSIS 3.1 modem and the Wireless AX router above is a better option than the single combo modem router gateway by far when it comes to functionality and speed. That is why the higher cost. If you want the better option, you pay more.
Reason two, if something were ever to break (it shouldn’t), then you only have to replace or upgrade one device instead of the whole combo unit.
Reason three, you get a lot more control with the built-in GUI(Graphical User Interface), and it’s effortless for even someone nontechnical to use and you can learn home networking from it.
Reason four, my main reason, instead of the cheap option, you can get the much more advanced router with so many options.
Modem & Router vs Combo Modem Router
The truth is that the combo modem is going to be the better option for most users. It is one simple device with a strong enough wireless signal for most three-bedroom apartments and mid-sized homes out there. It even has a built-in USB 2.0 port for external hard drives.
If you want to cover a larger house and provide excellent signal strength to the whole family for multiple devices(laptops, XBOX, PlayStation, Chromecast, PC’s, tablets and phones), you’ll need to check out the router buying guide mentioned. The more advanced stronger routers also have better options like USB 3.0 Ports. Bottom line? If simple and normal is you, go combo. If you’re not sure, check the guide.
But remember, if you plan on using the latest speed packages such as Cox Gigablast, then you have to go with the DOCSIS 3.1 modem.Benefits to buying your own modem
- Save $10.99 every month
- More control over home network
- Faster speeds
- Newer Equipment
How much are Cox Cable modem rental fees?
Currently, it cost $10.99 a month to rent a modem meaning in just one year you pay them an extra $131.88 in rental fees that you can be avoiding. I’ve had them for at least 20 years, meaning that’s a savings of over $2,637! Trust me, stop renting, buy your own replacement device.
Oh, you need another reason to save money? With a replacement modem, your internet service will usually improve. You’ll no longer experience random disconnects from old recycled overheating cable modems that have not only been rented to you but likely many other people before you. There have even been stories of rental equipment coming with cockroaches in them!
Check Out These Fastest Modem Speeds
Here is my report. Yours may vary based on what package you pay for, who your ISP is and where you’re located. But with this modem, I can bust my 50mb plan on the daily. Older modems and even modems COX have provided me with, lingered between 10-30MB. Break out, get your full potential speeds and watch Netflix streaming in High Definition as you paid for.
Notice how it says faster than 76% of the US?
Because most people don’t have their own modems!
But there are other factors like location, package, and ISP.
How do I install my replacement modem?
This modem is plug and play. Meaning all you do is screw in the coax cable that comes out of your wall, and it works. You don’t have to set it up or know how to access the built-in firmware to configure anything. You just hook it up, wait a moment and POW. Super fast internet speeds.
Ok, there is one step you must take care of first. Because you are using your replacement modem, you must call Cox and give them the MAC Address of your new modem. It sounds difficult, but it is not. The MAC Address is very clearly labeled on a sticker on the bottom of the equipment. They will register the MAC to your account that one time only. After this, you never have to talk to them again. And if you’re renting equipment from them, you must tell them so you can return it and stop getting charged. There are a few ways, but they may send you a postage-paid box to put it in and send back out. Or you can take it to your local office. You’ll now save $10 every month. I’m sure it won’t be long before they start charging $15 to rent their faulty units.
Important Note: Do NOT buy a used modem. It is likely already registered to another person’s account.
Cox Approved Modem Summary
Now you know, hands down no question, to save money and get faster internet speeds you have to buy a new DOCSIS 3.1 modem. You will save thousands of dollars over time. Assuming you’ll continue to have the internet in your home.
As for our personal opinion on Cox as an ISP, we prefer them. I have worked for DirecTV, Comcast, and AT&T. All horrible places to work(AT&T is the worst) and terrible massive corporations price-gouging customers and underpaying their employees. But you must choose one and Cox has the fastest internet at the best price range. Could it be cheaper? Heck yes but that is not an option. The bottom line is cable is a much better option than DSL. I never have outages with Cox, and I never need to reboot my modem or router.
Good luck, please share and feel free to ask questions below!Sources: