Not all the modems on the market are compatible with Cox. Also, not all the Cox compatible modems are worth your money. Putting all these considerations together, we created a list of the best modems for Cox.
Cox is the third-largest cable internet provider in the United States with over 6 million subscribers. One of the reasons why they are preferred by many is because of their broad service plan. The plans are as follows; Internet Starter (10 Mbps), Internet Essential (50 Mbps), Preferred 150 (150 Mbps), Ultimate (300 Mbps), and Gigablast (1 Gbps). Cox charges a rental fee of up to $10 per month. This can cost you an upward of up to $100 per year. To eliminate this charge, you need to buy your own modem.
With a third-party modem, you can get better network performance with lesser electricity demand. Some third-party modems may be easier to repair than Cox modems.
Review of the Best Modems for Cox
Cox accepts DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1 and some service plans require a minimum of 16×4 channel bonding modems. While choosing a modem, you need to pay attention to your service plan. Make sure the maximum speed of your modem matches the speed of your service plan. Having made this clarification, take a look at our list.
Arris Surfboard SBG10 – Best overall
Arris Surfboard SBG10 is the best modem for Cox that is available in the market.
The vertical design of the Arris Surfboard SBG10 allows for better ventilation which is crucial for the extension of the lifespan of the modem. However, there is more to be admired in this device. This is basically 2 devices in 1 because it combines a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem with an AC1600 dual-band Wi-Fi router. In case you ever decide to switch your ISP, know that this modem is compatible with the major US cable internet providers.
In addition to the Wi-Fi router which ensures wider connection and more flexible use, Arris Surfboard SBG10 comes with 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports for broader wired connection. It makes use of 16 downloads and 4 upload channels which ensures faster connection and limits the possibility of freezing, It has a download speed of up to 686 Mbps and is most suitable for the Preferred 150 plan.
Arris Surfboard SBG10 is easy to setup and manage your network, thanks to the Surfboard Manager app. What may seem like an obstacle for many will be the slightly high price of this device. Also, it doesn’t have a special security infrastructure to protect the user from hackers. You may need to rely on other third-party apps for improved security. Nevertheless, it ticks all the basic boxes.
- Combines a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem with AC1600 Wi-Fi router
- Comes with 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports
- Supports speed of up to 400 Mbps
- Easily manage network with Surfboard Manager app
- Slightly expensive
- Lacks robust security infrastructure
Motorola MB8600 – Best DOCSIS 3.1 modem for Cox
One of the criteria for a Cox Gigablast plan is a DOCSIS 3.1 modem. Motorola MB8600 has this and can reach a speed of 6 Gbps. In fact, Wirecutter has recommended it as the best modem for Cox that people using the Gigabit Internet plan. This modem has 32 downstream and 8 upstream channels for maximum internet speed across all cable networks. Its vertical design enhances ventilation which is crucial for durability.
With Motorola MB8600 you can save up to $156 yearly in modem rental fee. A crucial feature of this modem is the Broadcom chipset which provides security from Denial of Services attacks. This modem is equipped with Active Queue Management (AQM) which leads to faster page loads and enhances interactive applications like video conferencing and online gaming. It uses full-band capture digital tuner to enhance speed and save energy.
Unfortunately Motorola MB8600 doesn’t have a Wi-Fi router. However, it is compatible with most routers. If you need a wireless connection, simply plug the Ethernet cable to a router. Also, it has only one Ethernet port meaning you can only connect a single device at a time. In terms of pricing, it doesn’t come cheap. However, it is still one of the best DOCSIS 3.1 modem for cox.
- Support speed of up to 6 Gbps
- Offers 32×8 bonding channels
- Broadcom chipset for improved security
- Active Queue Management
- Comes with single Ethernet port
Arris Surfboard SBG7580AC – Best modem router combo
A modem router combo saves you the cost of buying a separate modem as well as frees up shelve space. Arris Surfboard SBG7580AC merges a best cable modem for Cox with an AC1750 dual-band Wi-Fi router together. This modem can reach a download speed of up to 1.4 Gbps. This has to do with its 32×8 bonding channel. It is most suitable for the Cox Ultimate plan.
Arris Surfboard SBG7580AC supports both IPv4 and IPv6—and there are so many more perks that come with this product. When you invest in this modem, you will get 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports as well as a USB port that allows you to share your hard drive among devices connected to the network. To further boost coverage and signal strength, this modem makes use of Wi-Fi beamforming technology.
Arris Surfboard SBG7580AC use McAfee to secure the entire home Internet. You can use a smartphone-installed app to configure or monitor activities on your network. Arris is offering setup and tech support for this product too. The major setback that can prevent a lot of people from acquiring this modem is the huge price tag. For those who can, it is an exciting world of Internet surfing.
- Cable modem with an AC1750 dual band Wi-Fi router
- Speed of up to 1.4 Gbps
- Offers 32×8 bonding channels
- Makes use of Wi-Fi beamforming technology
- Up to 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 1 USB port
- McAfee secure
- Puma chip is a potential source of problem
Asus CM16 – Best indicator modem
Nothing is more convenient than the ability to tell the status of your modem all at a glance. Asus CM16 has five front-facing LED indicators that tell you the signal strength and status of the modem. The luxurious design of this modem adds a bit of aesthetics to your home or office. It doesn’t have a router but pairs easily with Asus signature routers.
With Asus CM16 you can save up to $120 in annual modem rental. It supports a downstream of up to 686 Mbps and an upstream of up to 131 Mbps using a 16×4 bonding channel. This modem makes use of DOCSIS 3.0 connectivity technology which is certified to work with all the popular cable modem ISP. This will come in handy if you ever and to transition from Cox to another cable network provider.
Inasmuch as Asus CM16 is quite affordable, the absence of a Wi-Fi router is a huge disappointment. It means you will need to spend more if you desire a wireless connection. Also, this modem comes with only one Gigabit Ethernet port limiting your use to a single device at a time. If you can look beyond those seeming flaws, there lies the true beauty of the CM16.
- Five front-facing LED indicators
- Offers 16×4 bonding channels
- Makes use of DOCSIS 3.0 connectivity technology
- Lacks a Wi-Fi router
- Comes with single Gigabit Ethernet port
NETGEAR CM600 – Best cable modem
NETGEAR CM600 will work seamlessly with Cox Ultimate subscription plan and it is compatible with a wide range of cable Internet network providers. This modem is recommended for cable provider plans of up to 400 Mbps which makes it ideal for the Cox Ultimate plan. The vertical and porous design optimizes cooling which helps to enhance the durability of this device.
Like Asus CM16, NETGEAR CM600 comes with five LED indicators that helps you to read off the status of the modem at a glance. Although it doesn’t have inbuilt router, it is compatible with any Wi-Fi router. Simply plug your Ethernet cable to the router and enjoy the speed of a wireless network like no other. This also expands the number of device you can connect at a time.
NETGEAR CM600 is engineered with the 24×8 channel bonding and DOCSIS 3.0 technology. It is one of the great and affordable modems out there. Unfortunately, it has only 1 Gigabit Ethernet port. What this means is that unless you are connected to a router, you can only use one device at a time. This modem is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and other operating systems running a TCP/IP network.
- Porous design enhance cooling
- Comes with five LED indicators
- Compatible with all Wi-Fi routers
- Offers 24×8 bonding channel
- Comes with 1 Gigabit Ethernet port
- You need to spend more for a router
NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000 – Best modem router for Cox
If you are searching for the best modems compatible with Cox that supports large wired and wireless connection, NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000 will easily catch your attention. The Wi-Fi covers a range of up to 1800 sq. ft. and can connect up to 30 devices. The Wi-Fi speed can reach 1900 Mbps. In terms of a wired connection, you have 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports to connect to as well as 2 USB ports. Thus, you can have all your favorite devices including games, storage drives, printers, and so on connected at once.
NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000 is engineered with 24×8 bonding channel and DOCSIS 3.0 modem technology. It’s also safer to use, thanks to the parental controls and the support for WEP and WPA/WPA2 wireless security protocols. With these, you can set your own password and prevent unauthorized intrusion into your network. This modem is most suitable for cable network plan of up to 400 Mbps speed.
NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000 makes use of amplified antennas and range-boosting beamforming+ technology. It is easy to setup. This modem doesn’t come cheap and this can be a huge limitation to the number of people that can afford it. Also, it has the potential to spike your electricity bill. However, the pros always outweigh the cons.
- Comes with 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 USB ports
- Wi-Fi can connect up to 30 devices
- Range-boosting beamforming+ technology
- Offers 24×8 bonding channel
- Support for WEP and WPA/WPA2 wireless security protocols
- Potential spike in electricity bill
Arris Surfboard SB6180 – Best for Preferred 150 plan
The Cox Preferred 150 plan offers a speed of up to 150 Mbps and one of the best modems for Cox that fit into this picture is Arris Surfboard SB6183. Tom’s Guide rated it number 1 cable modem choice twice in a row. Its download speed is up to 300 Mbps while the upload speed is up to 131 Mbps. Ideally, this should be more than enough to give you seamless gaming or HD streaming experience.
Arris Surfboard SB6183 offers 16×4 bonding channels which is partly responsible for the improved speed. Customers that go for this device will get 2-year warranty with US technical support. Interestingly, it is easy to setup. You can do it with ease without having to pay for technical support—for those that are not entitled to free US technical support.
This modem is fairly affordable. However, the absence of a Wi-Fi router means you will have to spend more money to get one if you desire a wireless connection. Also, it comes with one Gigabit Ethernet port which means you can only use one device at a time unless you connect it to a router. Well, it makes up for this flaw by being affordable.
- Offers 16×4 bonding channel
- Comes with 2-year warranty
- Ideal for Cox Ultimate plan
- Has only 1 Gigabit Ethernet port
- Lacks inbuilt Wi-Fi router
Motorola MG7700 – Best for Ultimate plan
Motorola MG7700 is arguably the best modem for the Cox Ultimate plan—and there is a reason we picked it for this position. It is engineered with a 24×8 bonding channel and DOCSIS 3.0 modem technology which gives you unrivaled speed and versatility. In addition to this, it comes with an inbuilt AC1900 dual-band Wi-Fi Gigabit router and 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports which gives you a wide array of connection options whether you opt for wired or wireless connection.
Motorola takes security serious which is why they make use of a Broadcom cable modem chipset. This chipset provides security from denial of service attacks. The Wi-Fi router makes use of a firewall security too. The combination of these prevents invasion of your privacy by people with malicious intent. The Wireless power boost improves speed and range of your wireless signal. Also, AnyBeam Wi-Fi beanforming at the dual channels helps to focus signal on where you need it the most.
The vertical design minimizes shelf space. It also allows for more ventilation which is vital to the lifespan of your product. The manufacturers also incorporates rugged lightning and power surge circuit for further protection. Motorola is offering a 2-year warranty on this product. This product is slightly expensive and this can be a huge limitation for some buyers. For those that can afford it, it is a real treasure.
- Combines AC1900 router and 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports
- AnyBeam Wi-Fi beanforming
- Offers 2-year warranty
- Broadcom cable modem chipset and Wi-Fi firewall
- Comes with rugged lightning and power surge circuit
- Range is questionable
Cisco DPC3010 – Best for Internet Essential plan
Cox Internet Essential plan is one of the low-end subscription plans with a speed of up to 50 Mbps. Ideally, you don’t need an expensive modem for this. Cisco DPC3010 perfectly fits into this picture. It is highly affordable, one of the cheapest Cox compatible modems we encountered. In fact, anyone should be able to afford it. Besides the price, there are several other features that will catch your attention.
Cisco DPC3010 makes use of DOCSIS 3.0 modem technology. However, it is also backward compatible with the previous networks. It comes with 8×4 bonding channels. Thus, it can reach a download speed of up to 343 Mbps and an upload speed of up to 120 Mbps. It is also important to mention that this modem is compatible with other top cable Internet providers.
It’s not all rosy with Cisco DPC3010. Firstly, it doesn’t come with a Wi-Fi router which means you have to spend more to get one if you need a wireless network. Also, it has just one Gigabit Ethernet port, limiting your use to one device at a time. The design doesn’t seem to allow proper ventilation which can be an issue that can lower its durability. Well, looking at the price, it’s not too much of a sacrifice to make.
- Highly affordable
- Makes use of DOCSIS 3.0 modem technology
- Compatible with any router
- Download speed of up to 300 Mbps
- Comes with solitary Gigabit Ethernet port
- Durability can be an issue
Arris Surfboard SBG8300 – Best modem for Cox Gigablast plan
The Cox Gigablast plan is the fastest with a speed of up to 1 Gbps. One modem that can handle this speed is Arris Surfboard SBG8300. It comes with the DOCSIS 3.1 modem technology which is required to run the Gigablast plan. Also, it has an inbuilt AC2350 dual-band Wi-Fi and 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports. These features allow you to connect to a large array of devices at the same time.
Arris Surfboard SBG8300 offers 32×8 bonding channels including 2×2 OFDM channels. It makes use of Wave 2 AC2350 dual band concurrent Wi-Fi router. Another interesting feature of this device is that it is easy to setup and manage your network with the SURFboard Manager app. You can add SURFboard skills to your Alexa network which will allow you to control your Wi-Fi settings with your voice.
Unfortunately, unlike the other models in the series, this one doesn’t come with a USB port. Also, it lacks the McAfee security which can help protect your network from intruders. You will have to rely on third-party software for this. Arris Surfboard SBG8300 is expensive. This could be the ultimate reason why lots of people may opt for an alternative.
- Comes with 32×8 DOCSIS channels and 2×2 OFDM channels
- Built-in Wave 2 AC2350 dual-band Wi-Fi
- Offer 4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
- Approved for Gigablast Internet plan
- Lacks a USB port
Buying Guide for the Best Modems for Cox
We cannot claim that our list is exhaustive. There are so many more Cox compatible modems out there and, if you want to make your own research, it is totally fine. However, there are a number of features that you need to pay attention to. Note that Cox is not compatible with any third-party voice modems. If you want voice services, the only option is to rent an eMTA from Cox. Below are the vital features you need to pay attention to when buying a modem for Cox.
If a modem is not approved by Cox, buying such a modem will only amount to a waste of money. If you visit Cox website, you will see a long list of modems that are compatible with the network. You can call or email the manufacturer or Cox support to determine if a modem is compatible. All the modems on our list are compatible with Cox.
Data Subscription Plan
Cox has five subscription plans and all of them have varying speed. This is an important factor that should guide the type of modem you want to buy. Buying a Gigabit modem for Internet Starter plan will not lead to speed boost. Bear in mind that Cox Gigablast plan only works with DOCSIS 3.1 modem.
Modem Router Combo
Depending on the use location and number of users, you may want to buy a modem router combo. Modem router combo can also save you some money as well as shelf space.
Most modems without an inbuilt router usually have single Ethernet ports. This means you can only use one device at a time. However, modem router combos usually have 2 to 4 Ethernet ports. Have this in mind when making your choice.
Before you choose a modem router combo, make sure you pay attention to the signal range. Some modem router combos are suitable for a small home (less than 50 ft.) while others can cover up to 1800 sq. ft. The wrong choice in this regard will be the first source of frustration. Note, modem router combos with beamforming technology usually have a wider range.
Some modems come with special security chips while others make use of McAfee home security. With hackers becoming more aggressive in their approach, it is smart that you go for a modem with some form of security or offer some form of encryption.
Thankfully, the diversity of products makes it easy to find one that is compatible with your subscription plan. However, always keep a flexible budget because it gives you a larger variety of products to explore.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the best modem to use with Cox?
The best modem will vary from one individual to another depending on a number of factors. However, Arris Surfboard SBG10 is able to create a balance between price, performance, and durability. It offers a great value for money.
- What is the best modem router for Cox cable?
NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000 is one of the best modem router for Cox cable. This modem router comes with 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 USB ports. Also, the Wi-Fi can connect up to 30 devices at a time.
- What is the fastest modem for Cox Internet?
The fastest modem for Cox internet will largely depend on your subscription plan. When you go through our review, you will find the fastest modems for the different Cox subscription plans.
- Should I buy my own modem for Cox?
Buying your own modem can help you to save money you should have spent on renting a modem from the cable network provider. Also, if you rent a modem and it gets broken, the cable network will change it but will charge you for the new modem plus the rental fee.
- What modem does Cox use for Gigablast?
All modems for Cox Gagablast plans must have the DOCSIS 3.1 technology and must have a speed of up to 1 Gbps. There are a couple of modems that meet this criteria and you will find an exhaustive list when you visit Cox website.
Buying your own modem is always a better option than renting one from Cox. Although many people may not consider this fact but most of the third-party modems offer better speed and range with lower energy consumption. The good thing about Cox cable network is that to setup and activate a third-party modem on the network is easy—as long as it is compatible with the network. However, when setting up your modem, be mindful of where you place them. Exposing them to direct sunlight, dust, and dampness can lower the lifespan of your modem. Adhering to these little precautions is what will give you the greatest satisfaction, eventually.