Universal Mentors Association

Cox Gigablast Review: Fancy Name for a Standard Service


COX logo on a phone against green background

Gigablast is fast, but it’s also higher priced than comparable plans from most ISPs.

Sarah Tew/CNET

When it comes to high-speed internet, gigabit speaks for itself. That’s why you’ll find most providers label their gigabit speed tier simply as that, like Xfinity’s Gigabit plan or the 1 Gig plan from Frontier Fiber. 

“Gigablast” implies something more, like your internet is shot from a coaxial cannon to deliver an internet experience unlike any other. It’s not. It’s just gigabit internet. Specifically, gigabit internet from Cox Communications.

Internet speed
Shopping for a faster internet speed?

We’ll send you the fastest internet options, so you don’t have to find them.

Even more disappointing, Cox’s Gigablast speed tier is more expensive than most gig plans, and you may have to sign a one-year contract to get the lowest pricing. Worse still, all Cox plans come with a 1.25TB monthly data cap. That’s a generous amount of data, but a threshold that is more easily crossed when you have download speeds up to 940Mbps. (Hypothetically, if you could download continually at that speed, the cap would only last for 22 minutes of Gigablasting.)

So the question stands: Is Cox Gigablast worth it? You can probably already tell which way I’m leaning, but your answer depends on how much you want to spend each month on your internet connection, the internet speeds you need and the available internet providers in your area. Let’s take a deeper look at the Cox Gigablast plan to help you decide if it’s right for your home.

What is Cox Gigablast?

Cox Gigablast is the fastest internet plan Cox has to offer in most service areas with download speeds up to 940Mbps and upload speeds of up to 35Mbps over a cable or cable/fiber hybrid connection. Select Cox service areas will have access to Cox’s 100% fiber network, which promises equally speedy downloads and significantly faster uploads for the same price as the cable connection.

Gigablast plan details

Starting monthly price Regular monthly rate Max speeds Data cap Equipment fee Contract
$100 $120 1,000Mbps download, 35Mbps upload 1.25TB $13 (skippable) 1 year

Gigablast runs at the promotional price of $100 per month for the first year, and you’ll likely have to agree to a one-year contract to get that price. 

After the first year, Gigablast pricing jumps to the standard rate of $120 per month where it will stay through at least the next year of service. If that sounds a bit high, even for gig service, that’s because it is. Many providers, including AT&T, CenturyLink, Optimum, SpectrumVerizon Fios and Xfinity, charge less ($70-$90 per month) for a gigabit connection. 

So, if I’m shopping for a cheap internet plan, Cox Gigablast would not be my first choice.

Still, it’s the best Cox value

In spite of the comparatively high price, Cox Gigablast delivers the best bang for your buck compared to other Cox internet plans. 

Like with most internet providers, higher-tiered Cox plans have a lower cost per Mbps, which is a good indicator of a plan’s overall value. Gigablast comes with the lowest cost per Mbps of any Cox internet plan.

Cox cost per Mbps by plan

Plan Starting price Max download speeds Estimated cost per Mbps
Gigablast $100 1,000Mbps 10 cents
Ultimate 500 $80 500Mbps 16 cents
Preferred 250 $60 250Mbps 24 cents
Essential 100 $50 100Mbps 50 cents

But the value stops there

You’ll get more speed for the money with Gigablast, but that’s it. Cox’s gig service comes with no extra incentives, such as free equipment rental, unlimited data or even a special signup bonus like a rewards card. 

All Cox plans come with a monthly data cap of 1.25TB, a one-year term agreement and a $13 equipment rental fee, though you can skip the fee by using your own equipment. Opting for the fastest and most expensive Cox plan, Gigablast, will remedy none of those conditions. You’ll still have the data cap (which may prove easier to meet and exceed with gig speeds, resulting in added fees of up to $100 per month), the year contract and the equipment fee, should you choose to rent. 

While a little something extra with gig service shouldn’t necessarily be expected, it’s not out of the ordinary. In fact, a number of other providers reserve their best incentives for their respective gig plans. Frontier, Verizon Fios and Xfinity, for example, often reward gig customers with their highest rewards card offers. Additionally, Verizon Fios includes free equipment rental with gig service (a $15 per month value), as does CenturyLink.

So is Gigablast worth the cost?

My verdict is: not really. Gigablast is the best bargain when it comes to Cox internet plans, but it’s not the best we’ve seen in comparison to other gig providers.

If you’re interested in gigabit speeds, shop around before committing to Gigablast, even if the name is fun to say. AT&T, CenturyLink and Verizon Fios, among others, offer gig service in many of the same areas serviceable for Cox, and are likely to come with faster upload speeds and better incentives, not to mention the lower pricing. 

For some, Cox may be the only high-speed provider in the area. In that case, I’d recommend the Ultimate 500 plan over Gigablast. Speeds of 500Mbps will support streaming, gaming and more on multiple devices at once, and the plan will save you $20 per month compared to Gigablast pricing. That means that over the course of a year — the minimum term you’d need to sign in order to receive the lowest rates — the 500Mbps plan would save you a total of $240 compared to the Gigablast plan.

Cox Gigablast FAQs

Where is Cox Gigablast available?

Cox Gigablast is available throughout all Cox markets, including Las Vegas, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Phoenix and the majority of Rhode Island. Most locations will have access to Cox’s cable or cable/fiber hybrid network, which caps upload speeds at 35Mbps, but a select few areas may be eligible for 100% fiber service and symmetrical download/upload speeds. 

What equipment is needed for Cox Gigablast?

Those served by Cox’s cable network will need a DOCSIS 3.1 modem for the best experience. You’ll also need a router capable of supporting gigabit speeds, which most Wi-Fi 5 and all Wi-Fi 6 routers are equipped to do. If you’d rather rent, Cox will supply the needed equipment for Gigablast service for an added $13 per month. 

Why aren’t my Gigablast speeds faster?

There are a number of factors that can affect actual speeds. First and foremost, using a Wi-Fi connection will almost always result in slower speeds as you move further from the router and connect multiple devices. A cable connection is also more vulnerable than fiber to speed fluctuations, especially during peak usage times, so if your Gigablast service comes in via coaxial cables, that could affect speed and performance. For ways to improve your Cox Gigablast Wi-Fi speeds, look to CNET’s guide to boosting your home Wi-Fi.


Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *