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 Name||Price with WiFi fee||Price with WiFi fee removed||Wifi Fee||WiFi 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 Provider||Monthly Base WiFi Fee||Annual cost of WiFi equipment lease||Service type|
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.
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.
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.