It’s no secret that you can save a bunch of money by buying your own COX compatible modem instead of renting one at an additional monthly charge. That paired with an approved router should increase your performance. But with so many options out there, what COX modem should you buy? Here are our best choices for each situation with Cox Communications. If you want to save time, it’s this one on Amazon.
Should I Buy a Modem or Router?
Compatible Modem Price Check
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.
Approved Router Price Check
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 Price Check
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 and the router buying guide.
DOCSIS 3.1 Modem for COX Gigablast Price Check
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 3.0 goes away, so you do not have to get the newer modems unless you want the fastest possible internet.
- Replacement Modem: SB6183
Get the standalone modem if you already own a wifi router and just want to save $10 a month and possibly get better speeds/service. It has 16 bonded channels, speeds up to 686 Mbps. You will need a router if you want WiFi.
Best Router for Cox
Above Modem + Good Wireless Router
Wireless AC. Best for an apartment or normal sized two story home.
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 my favorite and most practical for my situation, some people have much larger houses or many more devices and genuinely want the best router out there.
Well this is it, the top of the line RT-AC5300. Strongest Router.
- Easiest Option
Combo Modem Router: Neatgear C6300 All In One WiFi Modem
Wireless AC, great for a normal sized apartment/house. Single device, less wires, great coverage, good for non power users who just want the easiest option for a normal sized living situation. For a larger house you need the stronger version. Best Combo Router
Unfortunately, in almost all cases you MUST buy a new modem. Do not buy a used modem because often they are on a closed account in another state and you do not have permission to add them to your own. It’s silly, but I know how much trouble those agents have when the modem has previously been provisioned on an existing account. List of supported modems. All modems we listed are supported.
Why would you want a separate modem and router instead of the combo router?
I recommend the two separate devices, even if you go with the cheaper option over the awesome router option.
Reason one, it’s the best. The SB6183 and the ASUS router above is a better option than the single Netgear C7000 combo gateway when it comes to functionality and speed. That is why the higher cost. If you want the 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 unit.
Reason three, you get a lot more control with the built-in ASUS 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. More detailed info in the next paragraph.
ARRIS SB6183 + Router vs Netgear Combo Router
The truth is that the Netgear 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 the 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.
Benefits to buying your own modem
- Save $10 every month
- More control over home network
- Faster speeds
- Newer Equipment
How much are Cox Cable modem rental fees?
Currently, it cost $9.99 a month to rent a modem meaning in just one year you pay them an extra $120 in rental fees that you can be avoiding. I’ve had them for at least 12 years, meaning that’s a savings of over $1,200! Trust me, stop renting, buy your own replacement device.
Note: This is for approved for Cox but it is compatible with all cable internet service providers.
Any DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Internet Network. Cox and others current network runs on DOCSIS 3.0 and can provide internet speeds up to 250Mbps. As you see below, I get 58Mbps with this modem, but I think my plan is only 50Mbps.
I have worked for Comcast and other large call centers in the past, and it’s no surprise to me that the current top modem is still a Motorola Arris Surfboard. The Surfboard series was one of the top-tier broadband modems many years ago when I worked for them, and it still is. Owning my modem has saved me over a thousand dollars over the years by not having to pay a monthly fee for their sub-par rental equipment.
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!
Replacement Cable Modem Self Install
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. While I as an ex-agent know it is possible to remove the modem from the old account and put it on the new one, many agents do not, and it will be such a hassle. You do not want to end up in this situation because it could leave you without internet for a while and in limbo. It has been reported that some agents even say you must physically go into a local store to have it activated. Why? So they can see that you physically have the device in your hand and it is not in a home where the old account says it is.
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 modem. You will save thousands of dollars over time. Assuming you’ll continue to have the internet in your home.
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.
As for my personal opinion on Cox as an ISP, I 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. 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!