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Best modems for Cox Communications


Jun 3, 2021 — 5 min read

Buying your own cable money can save you money — but you might find it harder to get support. Here are your options

If you’re looking into Cox for home internet, there’s always the option to rent your equipment. Cox offers a gateway modem for $12/mo. This may seem like a small fee, but it can add up over time. You can lower your monthly internet bill by buying your own modem and router. Here’s the best modem to consider for each plan Cox offers.

Should you rent or purchase your cox equipment?

Cox equipment rental

  • Cox technical support

  • Guaranteed compatibility

  • Cox software updates

  • Easily exchanged

  • $10.99 monthly rental fee

Cox equipment purchase

  • One-time purchase

  • Keep if you change providers

  • Customize equipment to your specific needs

  • No rental fees

  • No Cox technical support

Our favorite Cox modems

How we chose the best modem/router for Cox Communications

We began our search for the best modems to use with Cox internet by checking compatibility.

We began our search for the best modems to use with Cox internet by checking compatibility. Cox lists all modems that will work with their service, so all the picks below are Cox compatible modems. Next, we made sure each modem’s speed was up to snuff for the plan we paired them with. Customer satisfaction was also a prime concern, so we dug through reviews to find the best equipment available. Finally, we made sure all of the modems were priced fairly, so you don’t pay too much.

Keep in mind you’ll still need a Wi-Fi router. If you want Wi-Fi at home, check out routers compatible with Cox. Compatible Cox modem router combos are also an option. Here are our picks for the best modems to use with Cox.

Best modem for the Internet Starter 10 Cox plan: NETGEAR CM500

If you go with Cox’s Starter 10 plan, you’ll only be getting the bare essentials. So instead of looking into a top-of-the-line modem, you just need one that’s reliable and can get the job done. The NETGEAR CM500 is a solid, no-frills cable modem that can handle speeds up to 300 Mbps.

This modem comes with 1 Gigabit Ethernet port so you can connect directly to your computer or to a Wi-Fi router. You’ll get 16×4 channel bonding and DOCSIS 3.0, which is probably more than enough for Cox’s Starter 10 plan. And you should be able to buy the CM500 for under $50. 

Best modem for the Internet Essential 50 Cox plan: ARRIS SURFboard SB6183

The Internet Essential 50 plan will give you access to speeds up to 50 Mbps, which the ARRIS SURFboard SB6183 should be able to handle easily. At about $70 per unit, this modem is still on the low end, but it can do everything you need. 

You’ll have 1 Gigabit Ethernet port for connecting to a computer or router, as well as 16 downstream and four upstream DOCSIS 3.0 bonded channels. If you connect this modem to a router, you’ll be able to surf the web on multiple devices, but due to limitations of the Internet Essential 50 plan, we recommend this modem for small households and casual browsing.

Best modem for the Internet Preferred 150 Cox plan: ARRIS SURFboard SB6183

If you opt for the Internet Preferred 150 plan from Cox, the ARRIS SURFboard SB6183 is still probably your best bet. This Cox approved modem can handle speeds up to 400 Mbps, which is well above the needs of Cox’s Preferred plan. 

With 150 Mbps, you should have enough speed to access the internet with multiple devices simultaneously. If you connect the modem’s 1 Gigabit Ethernet port to a wireless router, you should be able to stream movies and shows on at least a couple of devices at the same time without experiencing issues. 

Best modem for the Internet Ultimate 500 Cox plan: NETGEAR CM700

The Internet Ultimate 500 plan offers internet users speeds up to 500 Mbps, which should be plenty of speed to work from home, at least for most jobs. The NETGEAR CM700 is a cable modem that can handle speeds up to 500 Mbps, and it comes highly rated with well over 4 stars on Amazon from thousands of reviews.

The CM700 features a single Gigabit Ethernet port for your computer or router. And this modem is engineered with DOCSIS 3.1 technology for 32 downstream channels and eight upstream channels that will be able to handle plenty of traffic from multiple devices at once. So this is definitely a good option to consider for a Cox Gigablast modem.

Best modem for the Gigablast Cox plan: Motorola MB8600

If you have Cox’s Gigablast plan, you’ll need a router that can handle high speeds. The Motorola MB8600 is one of the finest high-end modems on the market, and it should give you everything you need out of a Gigabit internet plan. 

This modem comes with both DOCSIS 3.1 and DOCSIS 3.0 32×8 channel capabilities, which means it’s compatible with most high-speed cable internet services. So if you move over to a different internet provider at some point, you won’t need to change modems. If you like online gaming or have a big family of internet users, this modem is for you. 

What to look for in a Cox compatible modem 

Speed/compatibility – Different internet plans have different speeds, and it’s important to make sure you buy a modem that can handle the speed you’ll get from the plan you sign up for. Check the upload and download speeds on the modem, and make sure they meet the needs of the plan.

Price – Just because a modem is more expensive doesn’t mean it’s better. Balancing affordability with reliability is your best bet when choosing a modem. Read lots of reviews so you can make an informed decision. 

Router compatibility – If you’re just buying a modem, and you also want to use Wi-Fi with your home internet plan, you’ll need a wireless router. When shopping for a modem, it’s helpful to keep an eye on its compatibility with the router you want. 

Channels – The channels a modem has refers to its downloading and uploading capabilities. The more channels a modem has, the more traffic it can handle, which means you’ll get better speeds. Try to select a modem that has at least 16 download channels and at least four upload channels (16×4), and you shouldn’t have to worry.

Need a faster internet plan?

Many regions in the U.S. are served by more than one internet service provider. If your current provider isn’t able to provide your address with internet fast enough to meet your needs, then there might be a better option available. It never hurts to shop around and see who has coverage in your area.

The bottom line

Buying your own modem means you won’t have to rent one, which lowers your monthly internet bill. But it also means you have to do a little more work. Make sure to go with one of Cox certified modems. And if you want Wi-Fi with Cox, routers are a must. But keep in mind that your equipment will only be as fast as your internet plan, so it never hurts to double check your current service. 

By Julian Dossett

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