How to Remove the Cox Cable WiFi Fee

Cox cable internet service comes with a standard $10.99 monthly fee for your WiFi modem and router gateway. This fee applies on all plans except their prepaid-style StraightUp plan and their low-income Connect2Compete plan. However, the fee can be removed if you choose to use your own modem and router, adding up to about $130 in annual savings.

Plan Tier Plan cost WiFi Router Fee Annual WiFi Lease Cost WiFi Equipment Policy
Cox Internet Starter 10 (10 Mbps) $29.99 $10.99 per month $131.88 Own equipment permitted
StraightUp Internet (25 Mbps) $50 Included Free $0 WiFi Equipment included
Cox Internet Essential 50 (50 Mbps) $39.99 $10.99 per month $131.88 Own equipment permitted
Cox Internet Preferred 150 (150 Mbps) $59.99 $10.99 per month $131.88 Own equipment permitted
Cox Internet Ultimate 500 (500 Mbps) $79.99 $10.99 per month $131.88 Own equipment permitted
Gigablast (940 Mbps) $99.99 $10.99 per month $131.88 Own equipment permitted
Cox Connect2Compete (25 Mbps) $9.95 Included Free $0 WiFi Equipment included

WiFi fee removal Compatable modems/routers Included WiFi models

Cox charges $10.99 per month in WiFi gateway fees on most of their internet-only plans.

Customers who opt to lease their WiFi equipment from Cox rather than provide their own receive a Cox-branded modem/router combo device called “Panoramic WiFi Router.” It will show up on your bills as a WiFi fee, Panoramic WiFi fee, or be included under misc fees, depending on your plan.

How to remove the Cox in-home Wi-Fi fee

Using your own modem and router will save you the $131.88 annual cost of renting the equipment from Cox directly.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for everyone. First, check this table to make sure the plan you have does in fact have a WiFi fee:

Plan NamePrice with WiFi feePrice with WiFi fee removedWifi FeeWiFi fee annualized
Cox Internet Starter 10 (10 Mbps)$55.98 ($40.98 first 12 months)$44.99 ($29.99 first 12 months)$10.99/mo.$131.88/yr.
Cox Internet Essential 50 (50 Mbps)$76.98 ($50.98 first 12 months)$65.99 ($39.99 first 12 months)$10.99/mo.$131.88/yr.
Cox Internet Preferred 150 (150 Mbps)$94.98 ($70.98 first 12 months)$83.99 ($59.99 first 12 months)$10.99/mo.$131.88/yr.
Cox Internet Ultimate 500 (500 Mbps)$110.98 ($90.98 first 12 months)$99.99 ($79.99 first 12 months)$10.99/mo.$131.88/yr.
Gigablast (940 Mbps)$130.98 ($110.98 first 12 months)$119.99 ($99.99 first 12 months)$10.99/mo.$131.88/yr.

Cox’s WiFi fee is high, but it’s not the worst among cable and telecom companies. However, the service provided is pretty basic compared to companies like Xfinity that have invested more heavily into integrating their WiFi equipment with smarthome and smart media functionality.

Here’s how Cox compares with all the major ISPs on the market, including their main competitors AT&T and Frontier:

Internet ProviderMonthly Base WiFi FeeAnnual cost of WiFi equipment leaseService type
Cox$10.99$131.88Cable
AT&T$10$120DSL, Fiber
Spectrum$5$60Cable
Xfinity$14$168Cable, Fiber
Frontier$10$120DSL, Fiber

Cox-compatible WiFi equipment

Cox maintains a list of compatible modems and routers at their site. Here are the two I recommend for most people, which are compatible with Cox as well as the other major cable companies:

Ease of use: Arris Surfboard

The Arris Surfboard is the easiest for non-technical users to install, since it combines the modem and router into one unit. You simply plug it into your cable jack, plug in the power cord, and call Cox to let the know the MAC address printed on the back so they can enable service.

The surfboard has gigabit ethernet ports, dual-band WiFi so you can put your newer devices on a faster 5 Ghz network, and should last for at least six years in terms of its ability to handle speed upgrades.

View on Amazon

Premium option: Eero

Eero is the market leader in "mesh networking," meaning that rather than have one router in your house broadcasting WiFi, you have 2–4 "pods" broadcasting signal from multiple points. This results in much better coverage if you have a larger home, and has fewer issues with devices like phones that move around the house when compared with WiFi extenders or installing additional access points.

It's not the absolute best optimization for your connection, but it results in the best full-home WiFi for most people. Eero also comes with an app for network management that is extremely easy to use compared to the bad UX of your standard Linksys or Arris router. If you want to use parental controls or optimize your network to prioritize specific devices, it makes it very simple to do so.

View Eero

Cox Panoramic WiFi Gateway

Cox currently provides their own branded hardware for WiFi when you lease the equipment from them, which they call a “Panoramic WiFi router.”

While it’s an upgrade from an off-the-shelf modem and router like they used to provide, it’s still a bit basic when it comes to functionality. It’s simpler to use than a techie-geared router like a Linksys Nighthawk, but it doesn’t have as many smart features that competitors like Comcast bake into their proprietary hardware.

They also don’t currently offer mesh networking, either as the default or as an upgrade option, which Xfinity has started to do. In my opinion, if you’re going to lease a router from a provider, it should at least provide a better user experience and convenience factor to pardon the price. Cox currently doesn’t offer that — although it’s still a reasonable deal if you are intimidated by configuring your own router, and don’t mind paying an extra $10/month or so for internet that “just works.”

Summary: Most Cox customers should consider buying their own router and modem

In summary, Cox's modem and router lease is a poor value proposition relative to other internet providers. Most customers will recoup the cost of buying their own equipment within a year, or as quickly as six months if they buy refurbished.

Cox Cable WiFi fees summary

  • Cox Internet Starter 10 (10 Mbps plan): $10.99/mo.
  • StraightUp Internet (25 Mbps plan): WiFi equipment included
  • Cox Internet Essential 50 (50 Mbps plan): $10.99/mo.
  • Cox Internet Preferred 150 (150 Mbps plan): $10.99/mo.
  • Cox Internet Ultimate 500 (500 Mbps plan): $10.99/mo.
  • Gigablast (940 Mbps plan): $10.99/mo.

This page is based on a database of Cox internet plan pricing maintained by ConnectCalifornia. This page updates automatically as we update the database on a monthly basis. The last modification was made in February 2021.

Page Summary
  • Cox charges a $10.99 WiFi fee on most internet-only plans, and provides a high-end gateway including a clean mobile app for managing your network.
  • The WiFi equipment fee can be removed by opting to use your own modem and router, rather than leasing the Cox model.
  • StraightUp and Connect2Compete plans currently include the WiFi router as part of the standard price.

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Last Update: February 22, 2021
Published: February 13, 2021
CC BY-ND 4.0

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