CenturyLink vs Cox: Side by Side Comparison

Enter your zip code below to see if CenturyLink or Cox offers service in your area.

CenturyLink vs Cox

Centurylink and Cox Communications look similar on the surface, but there are major differences in the “fine print” to consider before you sign on the dotted line. Both providers have a lot to offer the right customer. Making the right decision comes down to examining the benefits highlighted, as well as the shortcomings that are less obvious at first glance.

CenturyLink AT A GLANCE

  • Sales: (855) 272-5033
  • Support: (877) 862-9343

(855) 272-5033

$45 to $75 / mo.

3.0 mbps to 1,000 mbps

Up to 1,000 mbps

63%63%

DSL

Current: 42nd (0)

Cox Communications AT A GLANCE

  • Sales: (855) 534-4847
  • Support: (800) 234-3993

(855) 534-4847

$19.99 to $119.99 / mo.

10 mbps to 1,000 mbps

1.0 mbps to 35 mbps

63%63%

Cable

Current: 6th ↑ (+1)

CenturyLink OVERVIEW

CenturyLink is a telecommunications company that provides DSL and fiber broadband, telephone, and TV service.

Cox OVERVIEW

Cox Communications is an Internet provider offering Internet plans, television, and landline phone bundles. They also sell connected home security and smart home systems.

CenturyLink INTERNET DEALS †

  • $45 for 10 mbps DSL
    • 10 Mbps ↓ and -- Mbps ↑ w/ a 1024 GB/mo data cap
    • Prepay required.
    • Setup: $0 (Free self-installation and internet activation. Standard tech install is $60.)
    • Modem w/ WiFi: $10/mo or one-time $100
    • Call (855) 272-5033 to setup service.
  • $45 for 3.0 mbps DSL
    • 3.0 Mbps ↓ and -- Mbps ↑ w/ a 1024 GB/mo data cap
    • Prepay required.
    • Setup: $0 (Free self-installation and internet activation. Standard tech install is $60.)
    • Modem w/ WiFi: $10/mo or one-time $100
    • Call (855) 272-5033 to setup service.
  • $45 for 40 mbps Fiber
    • 40 Mbps ↓ and -- Mbps ↑ w/ a 1024 GB/mo data cap
    • Prepay required.
    • Setup: $60.00 (Includes standard tech installation. Internet activation is free.)
    • Modem w/ WiFi: $10/mo or one-time $150
    • Call (855) 272-5033 to setup service.
  • $55 for 100 mbps Fiber
    • 100 Mbps ↓ and -- Mbps ↑ w/ a 1024 GB/mo data cap
    • Prepay required.
    • Setup: $60.00 (Includes standard tech installation. Internet activation is free.)
    • Modem w/ WiFi: $10/mo or one-time $150
    • Call (855) 272-5033 to setup service.
  • $75 for 1,000 mbps Fiber
    • 1,000 Mbps ↓ and -- Mbps ↑ w/ no data cap.
    • Prepay required.
    • Setup: $60.00 (Includes standard tech installation. Internet activation is free.)
    • Modem w/ WiFi: $10/mo or one-time $150
    • Call (855) 272-5033 to setup service.
Last updated on 11/9/2018

†All plans not available in all areas or to all customers. Verify details with CenturyLink.

Cox INTERNET DEALS †

  • $19.99 for 10 mbps Cable
    • 10 Mbps ↓ and 1.0 Mbps ↑ w/ a 1024 GB/mo data cap
    • 1-year promo rate. Regular rate is $42.99.
    • Contract Term: 1 year with up to $120 ETF
    • Modem w/ WiFi: $9.99/mo
    • Call (855) 534-4847 to setup service.
  • $29.99 for 30 mbps Cable
    • 30 Mbps ↓ and 3.0 Mbps ↑ w/ a 1024 GB/mo data cap
    • 1-year promo rate. Regular rate is $63.99.
    • Contract Term: 1 year with up to $120 ETF
    • Modem w/ WiFi: $9.99/mo
    • Call (855) 534-4847 to setup service.
  • $49.99 for 100 mbps Cable
    • 100 Mbps ↓ and 10 Mbps ↑ w/ a 1024 GB/mo data cap
    • 1-year promo rate. Regular rate is $84.99.
    • Contract Term: 1 year with up to $120 ETF
    • Modem w/ WiFi: $9.99/mo
    • Call (855) 534-4847 to setup service.
  • $69.99 for 300 mbps Cable
    • 300 Mbps ↓ and 30 Mbps ↑ w/ a 1024 GB/mo data cap
    • 1-year promo rate. Regular rate is $104.99.
    • Contract Term: 1 year with up to $120 ETF
    • Modem w/ WiFi: $9.99/mo
    • Call (855) 534-4847 to setup service.
  • $119.99 for 1,000 mbps Cable
    • 1,000 Mbps ↓ and 35 Mbps ↑ w/ a 1024 GB/mo data cap
    • Modem w/ WiFi: $9.99/mo
    • Call (855) 534-4847 to setup service.
Last updated on 11/12/2018

†All plans not available in all areas or to all customers. Verify details with Cox.

CenturyLink: DATACAPS From 1024 GB/mo.

We have found plans that include datacaps. CenturyLink offer plans with data caps regionally or nationwide. Be sure to verify plan details before purchasing.

Cox: DATACAPS From 1024 GB/mo.

We have found plans that include datacaps. Cox offer plans with data caps regionally or nationwide. Be sure to verify plan details before purchasing.

CenturyLink's TECHNOLOGY

Fiber and DSL are currently the two most common Internet choices provided by CenturyLink.

DSL "piggybacks" over Centurylink’s legacy phone lines to provide Internet. DSL networks are widely available and usually more cost-effective compared to alternatives since they can use the same cheap, abundant cables that carry telephone data[3].

If considering DSL service, verify speed tiers available in your area, as they can change dramatically.

Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) is considered the best consumer internet access. Using a FTTH implementation, Centurylink connects a fiber connection all the way to your residence. The main issue with FTTH is that fiber is expensive — with the result that fiber isn't expanding quickly.

Cox's TECHNOLOGY

Cox Cable delivers broadband Internet service using their coaxial cable network. While the “backbone” of the network transmits service via next-generation fiber lines, these cables end at nodes in neighborhoods. Then, service branches off using coax cable to reach local addresses.

A node commonly service dozens to hundreds of residences, using a technology called statistical multiplexing to effectively "share" service between customers on the node. bandwidth sharing may impact streaming if the whole block attempts to use their Rokus simultaneously.

CenturyLink INSTALLATION

CenturyLink generallyoffers customers two choices for installation: self-installation or professional installation.

Installing the service yourself isn't complex, and they provides an install kit. All equipment, including step-by-step directions, comes with the installation kit.

Installation by a technician is necessary for homes that have not been wired for CenturyLink Internet before. Appointments may be made when you order service.

There is a fee associated with bringing in a professional, so customers who are okay with plugging in a few cables and following simple instructions can easily save by doing WiFi on their own.

Cox INSTALLATION

Cox will encourage customers to self-install,. Assuming a location is already wired for Cox service, setting it up yourself is straightforward. Going this route will generally be cheaper for cost-conscious customers.

Customers getting TV and phone packages are better served by professional installation. Professional installation is also available for people who simply would prefer not to mess around with the cables and configuration.

CenturyLink RATINGS AND REVIEWS

35%35% Customer Rating

35.2% recommendation rating according to 59426 verified users.

Cox RATINGS AND REVIEWS

45%45% Customer Rating

45.0% recommendation rating according to 36272 verified Cox users.

CenturyLink COVERAGE & AVAILABILITY

CenturyLink Interactive SVG Map showing broadband coverage.

Cox COVERAGE & AVAILABILITY

Cox Communications Interactive SVG Map showing broadband coverage.

Buying vs renting

Many customers can cut costs by buying their own modem

Modem rentals are a standard part of many broadband plans, thanks to the convenience of combo units that make “plug and play” self-installation a breeze.

With that in mind, subscribers often find that the modest monthly rental fees will add up to the retail cost of a new modem within the year. Why pay a premium for old hardware, especially when owning your own modem and router opens up so many options so far as security, customization, and network control?

The only catch here is that providers aren’t always friendly to every brand and type of modem and router, so you’ll need to make sure the model you purchase works with your plan. This matters even more for customers who move or switch providers regularly, as they can easily wind up stuck with a modem that no longer works for their plan.[1]

Understanding the fine print

Understanding termination fees and final prices is key

Centurylink and Cox Communications both offer TV and phone in addition to broadband Internet service. The details of these offerings differ, but the marketing tactics are the same: signing up for more services usually comes with a discount for loyalty.

Steep discounts for “triple play” and “double play” Internet/Phone/TV plans are a common incentive for luring new customers. Shoppers need to be aware that signing a multi-year contract can become expensive if the final price they pay once the promotion ends is more than they want to pay. ETFs (early termination fees) can make it difficult to switch if prices rise, so be sure to compare the final monthly price of competing plans, not just the “limited time offer.”[2]

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