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).
|Feature||Cox Communications||Charter Spectrum|
|Starting price||$29.99/mo. sign-up price||$49.99/mo. sign-up price|
|Download speed range||10–940 Mbps||100–940 Mbps|
|Upload speed range||1–35 Mbps||10–35 Mbps|
|Contract terms||Contract required for cheapest price||Contract-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.
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 places data caps on some plans.
Spectrum offers internet plans with unlimited data
Cox vs Spectrum Net Neutrality Policies
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.
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.
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.
|WiFi equipment fee||~$10.99/mo.||~$5/mo.|
|Price increases||Bill increases after promo period||Bill increases after promo period|
|Early Termination Fee||Fee to cancel contract||Fee 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||$59.99/mo.||$83.99/mo.||$71.99/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 $59.99/month for the first 1 year. However, the price then rises 40% to a final price of $83.99.
So, that means the price you actually pay for internet, averaged over two years, is $71.99/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:
- $5/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 Name||Download Speed||Promo Price||Final Price|
|Cox Internet Starter 10||10 Mbps||$29.99/mo||$44.99|
|StraightUp Internet||25 Mbps||$50/mo||$50|
|Cox Internet Essential 50||50 Mbps||$39.99/mo||$65.99|
|Cox Internet Preferred 150||150 Mbps||$59.99/mo||$83.99|
|Cox Internet Ultimate 500||500 Mbps||$79.99/mo||$99.99|
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 Name||Download Speed||Final Price|
|Spectrum Internet||100 Mbps||$69.99|
|Spectrum Internet Ultra||400 Mbps||$94.99|
|Spectrum Internet GIG||940 Mbps||$129.99|