Cox uses its cable infrastructure to deliver solid internet speeds to its customers from as low as 10Mbps to 940Mbps. People are asking more than ever of their internet connections with increased streaming and work from home needs. If your connection isn't holding up as well as you feel like it should, there are a few things you can do to make the most of your Cox connection.
Products used in this guide
- Nighthawk gaming speeds: Netgear Nighthawk MK62 ($192 at Amazon)
- Lower your gaming latency: Elite Gamer ($7 per month at Cox)
How fast should your connection be?
The first thing you need to find out is how much speed your network can actually deliver.
- You can search "speed test" on Google or go to speedtest.net.
- If you don't know how much speed you pay for, look at your bill to find out.
- Run the speed test in the same room as the router or with a PC plugged directly in.
- Check your speed in other common areas
- Compare your actual speed to what you're paying for.
If your speed test result is close to the speed you pay for but it still isn't fast enough, you may need to upgrade to a faster speed. For browsing the web, 10Mbps should be fine but if you want to stream HD video, consider upgrading to Cox's 50Mbps package. This should be enough for one 4K stream or a couple of streams at 1080p with no slowdown.
People are using more data than ever before and while their needs have grown, their internet speeds probably stayed about the same.
If your speeds aren't what they should be, there are still some things to try.
Restart your connection to Cox
If you aren't getting the download speed you should even when you are right next to the router, there may be an issue with your connection that could be resolved with a simple restart. This can be anything from a settings change that didn't properly update to a lingering update. With Cox, you can restart your modem with the Cox app (also on iOS). You should also be able to see if there are any visible network issues.
You could also simply unplug your modem for a few minutes before plugging it back in. While you're at it, make sure the cable coaxial cable is completely screwed into the modem. It will take several minutes to restart so make sure you don't need the internet for a while and try to be patient.
Keep using your Cox equipment
If you are a gamer and your ping times are bad or inconsistent, you may benefit from Cox's Elite Gamer service. For an additional $7 per month, you can get an optimized connection that aims to route your connection to the most efficient way to the server possible. Be sure to check the list of supported games before signing up to make sure you'll be covered. The list isn't that big but some of the most important games for connection quality are there such as Valorant and Apex Legends.
It's time for an upgrade
If you rent a modem from Cox, you should already have one that fully supports the speeds you pay for. To be sure, you want a modem that supports at least DOCSIS 3.0 with DOCSIS 3.1 preferred. The CM1000 from Netgear is a good choice though it may be overkill for people that don't have the fastest speed on their plan. If you have a connection less than 500Mbps, the CM700 should be adequate.
If your modem is all set you can add some speed with an upgraded router. Moving up to Wi-Fi 6 is an easy way to add more speed if you have devices that support it. Wi-Fi 6 routers also often have superior coverage compared to a similar Wi-Fi 5 router thanks to technology like OFDMA and beam steering making the most of the available connection.
If you live in a large home or one with a lot of elements that can block wireless signals, like concrete walls, a mesh solution might be the perfect upgrade for you. Not to mention, the prices on mesh systems have continued to come down with even cheap mesh systems capable of delivering well over 400Mbps to devices.
Building the best network possible is about optimizing at every opportunity. Once you find where your internet is getting bottlenecked, you can find a way to improve that portion. It's easy to jump to the router first but a router can only deliver the speeds it's given. Before running out and dropping a lot of money on the fastest router you can find, make sure everything else is in order and working as it should.
Our top equipment picks
These are the mandatory or core equipment selections. Optional or ancillary equipment will follow.
Gaming and mesh
Mesh network with gaming optimization
The Netgear Nighthawk MK62 is a mesh system with Wi-Fi 6 AX1800 speeds and software to keep games and streaming responsive.
Find the fastest path to the server
Cox Elite Gamer software finds the best connection with the lowest latency to a game server to reduce lag on supported games.
If you need a new modem, make sure to get one with DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1 support with enough channels to support the internet speed you're paying for. It's also more convenient if you get one that's already approved for your ISP such as the Netgear CM1000
Netgear CM1000 ($152 at Amazon)
If you want to use 1 gig internet with Cox, the Netgear CM1000 is a great choice and you can ditch the rental fees.
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When Samuel is not writing about networking or 5G at Android Central, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It's the Pentium 3.