Cox Cable vs Charter Spectrum Internet

Cox and Spectrum services are very similar: basic cable for mid-range prices. The biggest difference is that Cox has more budget plans, while Spectrum focuses on mid-level plans with a higher 200 Mbps basic performance tier. Spectrum has no data limits, making them the better option for cord cutters.

Brand Service type Speed range Price range Contact
Cox Cable 10–940 Mbps $19.99–119.99/mo. (800) 234-3993
Spectrum Cable 100–940 Mbps $49.99–129.99/mo. (855) 243-8892

Fees and fine print Compare plans

Cox and Spectrum both have large coverage areas in Southern California. While their networks don’t overlap, their territories border each other in SoCal cities like Los Angeles and Irvine, making them a common switch for people moving within the state.

Cox Cable vs Spectrum Internet Basic Features

Cox has the best ultra-affordable plans, with some of the lowest starting prices in the state. However, keep in mind that the pricing is promotional for new customers, so the price you pay as a long-term customer is somewhat higher (sometimes more than 100% higher in the second year).

FeatureCox CommunicationsCharter Spectrum
Starting price$19.99/mo. sign-up price$49.99/mo. sign-up price
Download speed range10–940 Mbps100–940 Mbps
Upload speed range1–35 Mbps10–35 Mbps
Network typeCableCable
Contract termsContract required for cheapest priceContract-free

Cox vs Spectrum Data Usage Policies

Spectrum’s big benefit is the lack of data caps, making them a better fit for streamers, home offices, and other “power users” who need a high level of data allowance and don’t want to worry about overage fees.

That being said, the majority of family homes will be comfortable with the 1.25 TB data allowance on Cox plans, presuming you don’t have a family of five streaming HD video on multiple devices 24/7.

Spectrum Cable vs Cox Cable internet.
Spectrum and Cox both offer cable internet and TV services in Southern California. Cox has the lowest pricing, while Spectrum has the widest footprint.

Many internet providers in California use data caps to manage their network, meaning that if you use more than a certain amount of data, you will be charged extra on top of your monthly bill.

Cox has data caps on some plans. 1.25 TB is a common cap on Cox internet plans. Spectrum offers unlimited plans with no data caps.

Cox Communications Data Caps

Cox places data caps on some plans.

Charter Spectrum Data Caps

Spectrum offers internet plans with unlimited data

Cox vs Spectrum Net Neutrality Policies

Cox Communications Net Neutrality Stance

Cox maintains a page describing their support for the principles of Net Neutrality. However in practice, the company often uses selective throttling in network management.

Cox Net Neutrality statement
Charter Spectrum Net Neutrality Stance

Charter Communications has public statements supporting open networks, but in practice has been applying to remove network management requirements imposed by the FCC during their merger with Time Warner Cable.

Spectrum Net Neutrality statement

Cox vs Spectrum Pricing and Fees

Here is a breakdown of how common add-on fees compare for Cox and Spectrum plans.

Fees are common with cable providers, and can result in larger bill each month. Keep in mind these are for internet-only plans — TV plans will include additional fees related to sports, HD equipment, and etc. As a rule, we recommend that you do not purchase TV from cable companies directly, and instead opt for “skinny bundles” from cord-cutter TV providers like Netflix, Hulu, etc.

FeeCoxSpectrum
WiFi equipment fee~$10.99/mo.~$10/mo.
Price increasesBill increases after promo periodBill increases after promo period
Early Termination FeeFee to cancel contractFee to cancel contract

Note that fee amounts described above may vary by plan. See the plan comparison tables for Cox and Spectrum below for more information.

Cox vs Spectrum Internet-Only Plan Comparison

Most Common Plan Internet speed Sign-up price Final price Avg price over 2 yrs
Cox Internet Preferred 150 (Cox Cable) 150 Mbps $49.99/mo. $83.99/mo. $66.99/mo.
Spectrum Internet (Spectrum) 100 Mbps $49.99/mo. $69.99/mo. $60/mo.

The price of the Cox Cable Cox Internet Preferred 150 internet plan is $49.99/month for the first 1 year. However, the price then rises 68% to a final price of $83.99.

So, that means the price you actually pay for internet, averaged over two years, is $66.99/month.

Remember that Cox Internet Preferred 150 includes the following fees when you compare pricing:

  • $10.99/month fee for WiFi equipment
  • Fees for using more than 1.25 TB

Let’s compare that to Spectrum:

The price of the Spectrum Spectrum Internet internet plan is $49.99/month for the first Contract-Free. However, the price jumps up 40% to $69.99 after that initial period.

So, the price of Spectrum internet is actually $60/month, when averaged over two years.

Spectrum Internet comes with some fees as well:

  • $10/month fee for WiFi equipment

Cox vs spectrum Internet Plans

Note that Spectrum offers up to 200 Mbps for their base-level plan in major cities like Los Angeles. The lower entry speed listed below is the base amount which is provided regardless of market.

Cox Internet Plans

Plan NameDownload SpeedPromo PriceFinal Price
Cox Internet Starter 1010 Mbps$19.99/mo$44.99
Cox Internet Essential 5050 Mbps$29.99/mo$65.99
Cox Internet Preferred 150150 Mbps$49.99/mo$83.99
Cox Internet Ultimate 500500 Mbps$69.99/mo$99.99
Gigablast950 Mbps$99.99/mo$119.99

Spectrum Internet Plans

Cox Cable’s benefit for internet-only customers is the affordable starting prices, which can be a good deal for households that don’t need an excess of bandwidth and are more focused on the best possible price for average daily use like Facebook, email, and a bit of YouTubing.

Plan NameDownload SpeedFinal Price
Spectrum Internet100 Mbps$69.99
Spectrum Internet Ultra400 Mbps$94.99
Spectrum Internet GIG940 Mbps$129.99
Page Summary
  • Spectrum is a basic cable provider with wide availability in Southern California. Their 200 Mbps internet-only plan is a common choice in the greater LA area.
  • Cox Cable is a basic cable provider with strong budget plans. They have strong reviews on customer service, but place data caps on their plans.
  • Spectrum is the best pick for cord cutters who need unlimited data. Cox is the best pick for budget shoppers who need the lowest possible price.

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Last Update: September 17, 2020
Published: July 01, 2020
CC BY-ND 4.0

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