Cox Communications serves approximately twenty-one million customers in eighteen different states. Its broadcast coverage, which includes cable internet, home automation services, and digital telephone and TV, occurs in the sunny states of California and Arizona as well as the greener state of Virginia. The Internet Service Provider (ISP) offers cable internet speeds over 100 Mbps. If you subscribe to one of Cox’s internet packages or bundled deals, you’ll be able to stream videos, play games, and share photos on social media simultaneously.
Step by step guide to Cox self-installation
Your internet package determines the self-installation process. We’ve broken down the self-installation instructions accordingly.
Regardless of which internet package you select, the first five steps generally remain the same. After the first five steps, follow either the directions for the cable modem or the Cox Gateway. That is, if you purchase cable internet with a modem, follow those instructions. And if you opt for the Cox Gateway, use those directions.
1. Check the equipment
Whether the equipment ships to your home or you pick it up at a local Cox Communications store, check the box’s contents before beginning the installation process. You should see a modem or Cox Gateway, coaxial cables, a power adapter, an Ethernet cord, a cable filter, and a set of instructions.
2. Find the perfect spot for your modem
Before you pull all the equipment out of the box, figure out where to set it up. You want a central location so that the internet signal can travel unimpeded throughout your home.
3. Power off computers and laptops
To prevent unexpected power surges and other setup oddities, power down the device you plan to use to activate your account. It’s just a precaution, but it could ultimately prevent a call to technical support.
Note: You don’t need to power down devices if connecting wirelessly via the Cox Gateway.
4. Plug in the coaxial cable
Once you’ve chosen a suitable location, connect the coaxial cable to the wall connection. Next, connect it to the cable port on the modem.
5. Connect to power
Plug in the power adapter to the wall first and the modem second.
6. Follow the steps for your equipment
Depending on if you opted for cable internet with a modem or the Cox Gateway, you’ll need to follow different steps. Find the corresponding section for your equipment below.
Cable modem self-installation
1. Wait for the internet light
With a cable modem, you should wait until the internet light turns a solid color. Be patient as the process can take up to ten minutes. Also, the modem likely will reboot a couple of times during that time period. If it does, don’t panic—it’s part of the normal setup process.
2. Add an ethernet cord
If the light turns solid, connect your modem to a laptop or computer via the provided Ethernet cord.
3. Turn on the computer
With the cord plugged in, you are now ready to turn on the device and activate your Cox High Speed Internet service.
1. Wait for the internet and Wi-Fi lights
The gateway provides wired and wireless connections, so this waiting period requires watching for the internet and Wi-Fi lights to turn solid colors. As with the cable modem installation process, this can take anywhere from five to ten minutes. The gateway also will reboot several times.
2. Connect to the wireless network
Once the lights turn a solid color, connect to the wireless network. You can use a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
3. Enter your wireless information
You should have received a “Wi-Fi Quick Reference Card” with your equipment. It contains your Network Name and Key. If you can’t find it, look for the label on the modem. It usually lists the default Network Name and Key.
Looking for a good modem and router?
We’ve done the research for you. If you don’t want to use Cox’s equipment, here’s what we recommend you use instead. Just make sure that the items you pick are compatible with Cox. You can usually find which providers they’re compatible with in the product description or tech specs:
- Best Modem/Router Combos
- Best Long-Range Routers
- Best Gigabit Modems
- Best Gigabit Routers
How to activate your Cox account
You’ll love how easy it is to activate your account. You don’t have to remember a string of numbers or anything of the sort.
- Open your preferred browser.
- Type https://activation.cox.net in the address bar.
- Click “Next” when the page loads.
- The next screen asks you to select your state from a drop-down menu. It may also ask you to select your city.
- Input either your phone number (the one used to set up service) or your work order number.
- Click “Next.”
- Read through the welcome page and click “Next.”
- Verify your contact information and make updates as needed.
- Check your equipment. Since you completed this step earlier, check the box next to “All my equipment is installed at my activation address.”
- Review the Cox Communication Acceptable Use Policy and check the box next to “I accept.”
- Click “Activate.”
- The next screen will display a progress bar as Cox Communications finalizes your account information and installation. The activation can take as long as thirty minutes depending on the type and number of Cox services being installed. You’ll be tempted to open another tab or close the browser, but don’t. If you navigate away from the page or close it, you’ll have to start the activation process all over again.
- Once the activation process finishes, a new screen will appear. The blurb on the screen differs, but you should see a “Register Now” button. Click it to finish the activation and to add any remaining account details.
How to update your Cox modem’s settings
If you opt to use a Cox-supplied Wi-Fi modem, you receive a great perk: you can change your modem’s settings via the website or Cox Connect mobile app. The instructions below apply solely to the online portal. You can find more information about Cox Connect here.
- Go to the Cox website and sign in to your account.
- Navigate to “My Internet,” then click on “My Wi-Fi.”
- Click on the “Network Settings” tab. Depending on your modem, you will see information about your 2.4 GHz network or a dual-band 2.4 and 5 GHz network.
- Each network shows the Network Name (SSID) and Key (Password). Type in either field to change the name and key.
- Click “Save” to store your new SSID and Password and exit out.
- Reconnect your devices using the new Network Name and Key.
How to resolve standard self-installation problems
When you don’t know what’s wrong with your internet, call upon this short list of common self-installation problems. If they don’t solve the issue, call Cox technical support at 1-800-234-3993.
Problem: The modem’s lights never turned on.
- It could be a cable or power issue.
- Check the cable and make sure it’s plugged in securely. Also, look at each end and see if the metal connector is bent. If it is, gently straighten it and try connecting again.
- The power adapter should be connected directly to a wall and not a power strip. If it is plugged in to the wall, ensure it’s plugged in all the way. If all else fails, try a different wall socket. The outlet might be defunct.
Problem: My tablet won’t connect to the internet.
- The answer likely is your Wi-Fi settings or network overload.
- Check the tablet and make sure it is connected to the right signal and using the right password.
- If the settings are up to date, log into your Cox account and navigate to “My Wi-Fi” to see how many devices are connected to the network. You could be at your max limit. If so, you will need to hardwire in a device or consider upgrading to a higher speed plan.
Problem: I can’t connect to the internet from a wired computer.
- Your modem may just be having a rough day. It’s okay—it happens to the best of modems.
- First, close your web browser if it’s open.
- Now unplug the modem’s power cord. Wait fifteen seconds and plug it back in. The restart cycles the modem through its settings and gets it back in working order.
- Open a new browser window. If you still can’t connect to the internet, call Cox Communications to ask about service outages or to receive technical assistance.
Self-installation vs. professional installation
If you purchase Cox’s Bronze or Silver Bundle, you might as well as let the professionals come to your home because the installation comes free of charge. However, if you elect for an internet-only plan or a simpler bundle, self-installation allows you to avoid the professional installation fee.
- Quality Assurance: When the pros do the work, they do it according to the latest home networking practices and standards, ensuring your connection is the best it can be.
- On-Site Support: If the installation goes awry, the technician is present to troubleshoot the problem and get things back on track.
- Cost: Depending on your Cox High Speed Internet plan, you may have to pay an extra fee for the installation service.
- Time: It takes time for a technician to arrive, install the equipment, and activate your service, which could hamper your work schedule or dinner plans.
- Independence: If you’re a die-hard DIY enthusiast, take on the self-installation challenge. Let’s be honest: it’s nowhere near as difficult as rescuing people in the Nakatomi Plaza.
- Convenience: With a self-installation, you choose to set up the equipment and activate your account whenever it’s most convenient for you.
- Troubleshooting: The DIY method works great until you encounter a problem bigger than you are. With a self-installation, all the troubleshooting falls on your shoulders.
- Complexity: Some installations simply are more complex than others. If you purchase multiple services from Cox Communications or fear the ins and outs of dual-band modems, let Cox do the heavy lifting—it’ll take a weight off your shoulders.
Choosing the best Cox modem
Not all Cox internet plans feature rental fees, but some do. If you would like to avoid the expense, purchase a compatible Wi-Fi modem or gateway, like the two listed below.
The NETGEAR Wi-Fi modem uses dual-band technology, meaning you can access and update both the 2.4 and 5 GHz networks. The two frequencies help prevent signal interference.
Notable Features: This modem is CableLabs DOCSIS 3.0 certified to work with Cox High Speed Internet. It also boasts download and upload speeds up to 680 Mbps.
Linksys CM3016 Cable Modem
The Linksys presents a more budget-friendly option, but lacks the dual-band technology. It does, however, claim sixteen downstream and four upstream channels, so it’ll work with the highest internet tiers of Cox Communications.
Notable Features: This modem claims an easy plug-and-play setup. Whether installing your internet for the first time or upgrading to a newer, sleeker modem, this one will get the job done quickly and easily.
How to contact Cox Communications
If you’re internet-less, you should call Cox Communications at 1-800-234-3993. If, however, you installed your equipment and successfully connected to the internet, you can avail yourself of other options should any trouble arise later on, including an online support chat and how-to articles.
Congratulations! You successfully set up your Cox High Speed Internet and it didn’t even require walking across glass or climbing down an elevator shaft. Go celebrate.