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Cox vs. Windstream

Compare Cox and Windstream internet and TV services to see how they stack up against each other.

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Is Cox or Windstream better for you?

Check out how Windstream and Cox stack up when it comes to internet plans, TV channel options, customer service ratings and more. Depending on where you live and what you need at home, you may find that either Cox or Windstream is a better provider for you.

  • Best for internet plan variety: Cox offers more standalone internet plans and speeds than Windstream. Cox has 10 Mbps, 30 Mbps, 150 Mbps, 500 Mbps and 1,000 Mbps plans where available.
  • Best for no-contract, unlimited data plans: Windstream offers internet plans without data caps or contract requirements.
  • Best for internet customer satisfaction: According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Both Cox and Windstream scored a 61/100 for internet service in 2020.

Cox vs. Windstream review

Windstream fiber scored the highest overall due to its superior value and performance. While Cox does offer some affordable plans, you will not get nearly as fast speeds as you would with Windstream fiber. Windstream DSL, on the other hand, scored the lowest overall due to its unreliable connection and slow internet speeds. If only Windstream DSL is available to you and not Windstream fiber, you will likely want to go with Cox internet.

How we scored internet providers

We evaluate broadband providers in four categories: affordability, performance, value and customer satisfaction. Each category contains multiple sub-factors, all of which are weighted differently to impact the provider’s overall score.

We evaluate broadband providers in four categories: affordability, performance, value and customer satisfaction. Each category contains multiple sub-factors, all of which are weighted differently to impact the provider’s overall score.

For each sub-factor, we score all providers on a continuous scale of 1 to 5, relative to the industry as a whole. Because the average download speed in America is currently 180 Mbps, for example, we assigned all plans with download speeds between 100 and 299 Mbps a score between 3 and 4. Xfinity’s 200 Mbps plan received a 3.50 score for download speed, while Spectrum’s 400 Mbps plan got a 4.16.

We only considered standardized data points in our scoring system. More abstract data like consistency of service and brand reputation is still part of our analysis, but we opted to let our writers address them in the context of each review.

Learn more about our methodology

Cox vs. Windstream internet

Cox internet

Windstream internet

Which internet plan should you choose?

Best overall internet plan: Windstream Kinetic Internet 400 

If you are looking for an internet plan under $50/mo. that offers reliable, high-speed internet, Windstream’s 400 Mbps plan for $47/mo. is the plan for you. Speeds up to 400 Mbps are ideal for households of 4+ people who use the internet heavily. If Windstream fiber is not available to you, however, go with Cox’s 150 Mbps internet plan for $49.99/mo. or Cox’s 500 Mbps internet plan for $69.99/mo. 

Cheapest overall internet plans: Cox Internet Starter 25 and Cox Internet Essential 50

Cox offers the cheaper starting prices compared to Windstream. Customers can either choose the 25 Mbps plan for $19.99/mo. or the 50 Mbps plan for $29.99/mo. You can expect prices to increase between $25 and $35/mo. after the first year, however. Windstream fiber’s cheapest plan is $37/mo. for 200 Mbps and the price will increase to $57/mo. after the first 12 months. If you are looking for the best cheap internet deal, Windstream’s 200 Mbps plan is the way to go. 

Fastest overall internet plans: Cox Gigablast and Windstream Kinetic Gig 

Both Cox and Windstream fiber offer gig speed plans with speeds reaching up to 1,000/1,000 (download/upload) Mbps with Windstream and up to 940/35 Mbps with Cox. Windstream’s Gig plan is significantly cheaper than Cox’s and you will get faster upload speeds as well. 


Additional costs 

Equipment

Cox: Cox charges $10.99/mo. for a gateway modem device. This device will work as both your modem and your router. You always have the option, however, of purchasing your own equipment

Windstream: Windstream requires customers to rent their own equipment. You can expect an additional $9.99/mo. on your bill, therefore. 

Data caps

Cox: Cox charges $10/mo. for every 50GB exceeded over 1TB/mo. 

Windstream: Windstream does not impose data caps. 

One-time charges 

Cox: Cox does not charge an activation fee and installation fees vary by region but is often free. 

Windstream: Customers will have to pay $35 for professional installation and $50 to activate your internet. 


Cox vs. Windstream bundles

If you want TV service with Windstream internet, you can add a DIRECTV package to create a custom bundle. In many areas of the country, Cox gives customers more internet speed package options while Windstream only offers one or two. However, Windstream has a leg up thanks to their partnership with DIRECTV which allows them to offer more TV plans. With Windstream, you can get an overall better bundle deal even though Cox offers excellent bundle savings.

Cox vs. Windstream TV

Cox offers cable TV service and Windstream offers satellite TV options through DIRECTV. Consider provider features, DVR options, installation fees and more before choosing your plan. 

Cox vs. Windstream/DIRECTV TV packages and costs

  • Cox Contour TV starts at $90/mo.*
  • 140-250+ channels
  • $75 setup and installation, $20 for self-installation
  • 1 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.*
  • 160-2330+ channels
  • Free professional installation available
  • 1 DVR device included, $7/mo.* for each additional receiver
  • Record up to five shows at once

Cox offers only one standalone channel package. However, if you bundle Cox TV with other services, you can choose from additional TV plan options like Cox Contour TV Ultimate which features Cox’s highest channel count is more than 250 channels.

In contrast to Cox’s single, standalone TV plan, DIRECTV offers four channel packages with Windstream, and you can add on channel packs if you want specific sports channels, international channels or other premium options.

Cox doesn’t offer as many packages as DIRECTV, but as a cable TV provider, you’re less likely to experience service interruptions. Cox also doesn’t tie you up in a contract.


Cox vs. Windstream customer satisfaction

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) ranks internet providers based on feedback from actual customers. The scores take into account service quality, customer service experiences, pricing and more. Here’s how Cox and Windstream internet scored over the past three years.

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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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