Cox vs. CenturyLink 2021 comparison

Compare Cox against CenturyLink internet and TV prices, speeds and bundles.

Is Cox or CenturyLink better for you?

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We’ve researched Cox and CenturyLink for you so you can easily compare and choose the best provider and services for your home. Depending on where you live, what internet speeds you want and what TV entertainment you prefer, you may find that either Cox or CenturyLink better fits your unique needs.

  • Best for consistent internet pricing: CenturyLink’s Price for Life Internet (up to 100 Mbps) lets you keep your rate for as long as you keep your Price For Life Internet Plan*.
  • Best for internet plan variety: Cox offers more standalone internet plans and speeds than CenturyLink with 10 Mbps, 30 Mbps, 150 Mbps, 500 Mbps and 1,000 Mbps plans available.
  • Best for TV service: Cox will be your best option for TV since CenturyLink does not offer TV service to new customers.
  • Best customer satisfaction: Cox internet scored slightly higher than CenturyLink over the past three years, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Cox vs. CenturyLink quick comparison

On this page: Click the category below to learn more about what sets these two providers apart.

Cox vs. CenturyLink bundle packages

Cox provides cable internet, TV and digital phone packages while CenturyLink offers high-speed DSL internethome phone and fiber internet plans. If you want a CenturyLink TV package, CenturyLink partners with DIRECTV to offer satellite TV bundles.

Cox gives customers more internet speed package options, but CenturyLink offers more TV package choices through DIRECTV. While Cox standalone TV services cost more than DIRECTV plans, Cox packages offer customers higher savings and lower overall prices when you bundle.

What shoppers should consider in different regions

CenturyLink’s pricing is pretty consistent across the U.S., but the highest speed ranges may not be available depending on your address. Cox doesn’t have as much availability as CenturyLink, but where both providers are available, Cox will likely offer a better package deal.

Cox vs. CenturyLink internet overview

Cox gives customers more plan options with up to five plans available in nearly all service areas. 

CenturyLink customers are limited by the available connection type in their area. If their DSL service is available, it’s possible that you will have a couple plan options to choose from (though they will all have the same starting price) with max speeds up to 100 Mbps. If CenturyLink Fiber is available, the only plan option is their gigabit service.

Cox internet plans

CenturyLink internet plans

*Rate requires paperless billing. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Offer Details

CenturyLink vs. Cox equipment, data caps and contract details

Speed and price are the two main considerations when comparing internet services, but you’ll also want to take into account other factors that can affect costs and service quality.

Equipment rental Cox’s equipment rental fee is a little lower at $10.99/mo. compared to the  $15/mo. you’ll pay with CenturyLink, but both providers give you the option to use your own compatible equipment. Find out which CenturyLink and Cox compatible modems you can use.

Data caps – Both providers have a data cap of 1TB/mo., but Cox charges an overage fee whereas CenturyLink does not. Exceeding your data limit with Cox will likely result in a $10 fee for every 50GB required to satisfy your overage, up to $50. Consistently exceeding your data limit with CenturyLink may result in a letter saying you’ve violated your terms of service (which could lead to service disruptions in extreme cases) but no fee.

Contract CenturyLink does not require a contract with any internet service. Contract requirements with Cox can vary by plan and location, but most areas will be subject to a one-year contract for standalone internet service or a two-year contract for internet and TV bundles.

Cox vs. CenturyLink cheap internet plans

The cheapest internet plan in your area will likely be a Cox internet plan unless you are looking for gig speeds. If you want gigabit speeds CenturyLink offers a better deal.

CenturyLink also has a price for life guarantee on their cheapest plans up to 100 Mbps, which lets you keep your price of $49/mo. for as long as you have the plan. Cox does not offer a price for life guarantee, so the monthly price will likely increase after 12 mos.

Cox offers the cheaper plan, but CenturyLink may be the better value

If you’re looking for the absolute cheapest plan, consider the Cox Internet Starter which has a starting price of only $29.99/mo. This plan only comes with up to 10 Mbps, however, so if you want a little more speed, CenturyLink may be the better option, depending on what’s available in your area. CenturyLink Price for Life 100, for example, comes with up to 10 times the speed as Cox Internet Starter for only around $20/mo. more.

Cox vs. CenturyLink fastest internet plans

Cox and CenturyLink both offer gig speed internet plans. CenturyLink 1 Gbps internet plans cost less than Cox 1 Gbps internet plans.

Though both providers offer gig connections, you’re likely to get better speed reliability and faster upload speeds over a fiber connection vs. cable. CenturyLink Gigabit uses a fiber connection, whereas Cox Gigablast uses a cable network in most locations.

Cox has more high-speed options, CenturyLink has lower-priced gigabit

In areas serviceable for CenturyLink Fiber, their gigabit service will be the only plan option. With a starting price of $65/mo. for gig speeds, this plan is a great deal, but if you want more high speed options, consider Cox. Cox internet speed tiers include a 150 Mbps and 500 Mbps plan (though their 500 Mbps is higher-priced than CenturyLink’s gigabit service).

Cox vs. CenturyLink TV

CenturyLink partners with DIRECTV to offer internet and TV bundles. DIRECTV is great for sports fans and gives customers more channel package choices compared to Cox’s main TV plan, Cox Contour TV.

Cox vs. CenturyLink/DIRECTV TV packages and costs

  • Cox Contour TV starts at $64.99/mo.*
  • 140-250+ channels
  • $75 setup and installation, $20 for self-installation
  • HD receiver included, $8.50/mo.* per additional receiver
  • Record two shows at once with basic DVR, up to six shows at once with whole-home DVR
  • Packages starting at $64.99/mo.*
  • 160-250+ channels
  • Free professional installation available
  • DVR device included, $7/mo.* for each additional receiver
  • Record up to five shows at once

DIRECTV has more entertainment possibilities, Cox has better bundle savings

Those looking for just TV service will likely find DIRECTV a better option than Cox. While the price is a bit higher, DIRECTV offers more package options and better equipment. If you’d like to bundle TV and internet together, however, keep in mind that Cox bundles come with built-in savings, whereas there are no discounts for bundling CenturyLink internet and DIRECTV.

Cox vs. CenturyLink customer satisfaction

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) scores internet providers based on feedback from actual customers on the topics of service quality, cost, call center experience and more. Here’s how Cox and CenturyLink ACSI scores compare over the past three years.

ACSI internet service providers ranking

Cox vs. CenturyLink FAQs

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Taylor Gadsden

Written by:

Taylor Gadsden

Writer, Broadband & Wireless Content

Taylor is a veteran member of the Allconnect content team and has spearheaded a number of projects, including a data piece on the top fiber cities in the U.S. and a troubleshooting guide on how to connect your p… Read more

Robin Layton

Edited by:

Robin Layton

Editor, Broadband Content

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