Verizon Fios vs. Cox: Which Internet Provider Is Best for You?

Fantastic fiber versus competent cable—two internet giants go head to head. uses our proprietary data and expert insights to compare these internet service titans.

Best for speed

Optimum vs. Verizon: Which Internet Provider Is Best for You?Best Verizon Fios internet deals
  • Customer rating: 3.8
  • Price: $39.99–$89.99/mo.
  • Speed: 200–940 Mbps
  • Internet type: Fiber, DSL
  • Data cap: None
  • Contract: Month to month

Best for wide availability

Search Cox Availability Map to see if Cox Internet Plans is available in your area. Cox Internet Packages are fast and reliable
  • Customer rating: 3.7
  • Price: $49.99–$109.99/mo.
  • Speed: 100–1,000 Mbps
  • Internet type: Cable
  • Data cap: 1.25 TB
  • Contract: Annual (month-to-month options available)
Optimum vs. Verizon: Which Internet Provider Is Best for You?Best Verizon Fios internet deals


  • Fast upload speeds
  • No data caps or annual contracts
  • Affordable prices on most fiber plans


  • Limited availability
Search Cox Availability Map to see if Cox Internet Plans is available in your area. Cox Internet Packages are fast and reliable


  • Wide availability
  • Excellent customer service ratings
  • Solid bundle deals


  • High price hikes
  • Data caps on all plans

Plans and pricing: Verizon vs. Cox

Verizon offers a handful of fiber internet plans that all deliver superior speeds at affordable prices—you need only decide how deluxe you want to get, since you’ll get excellent service no matter what. Cox offers a more standard set of cable internet options, starting at plans that are slow but cheap and culminating in a top-shelf gigabit plan.


Verizon plans and pricing

Internet 200/200$39.99/mo.*200 Mbps/200 Mbps
Internet 300/300$39.99/mo.*300 Mbps/300 Mbps
Internet 400/400$64.99/mo.*400 Mbps/400 Mbps
Internet 500/500$64.99/mo.*500 Mbps/500 Mbps
Fios Gigabit Connection$89.99/mo.**Up to 940 Mbps/up to 880 Mbps

Verizon gives you more bang for your buck than Cox. Its slowest offered speed is 200 Mbps, and that plan costs $10 less per month than Cox’s 150 Mbps plan. All of Verizon’s plans also come with unlimited data and don’t require an annual contract, unlike Cox’s.

Most internet users will be very content with 200 Mbps download and upload speeds, and Verizon’s 200 Mbps plan comes at an extremely fair price—it’s really the best option of the bunch here. But we recommend one of Verizon’s faster plans if you live in a larger household and spend a lot of time doing bandwidth-heavy stuff like streaming video in 4K or hosting livestreams.


Cox plans and pricing

Internet Essential 100$49.99/mo.*100 Mbps/3 MbpsView Plans
Internet Preferred 250$59.99/mo.*250 Mbps/10 MbpsView Plans
Internet Ultimate 500$79.99/mo.*500 Mbps/10 MbpsView Plans
Gigablast$109.99/mo.*Up to 1,000 Mbps/35 MbpsView Plans

Cox won’t wow you on speed or price in the same way that Verizon does, but you can still get a solid internet setup for a fair deal. Its offerings are pretty much in line with what you can get from most cable internet providers, with lots of options to choose from and exponentially higher prices for faster speeds.

Unlike Verizon, Cox has annual contracts (which you can avoid by paying $10 more on your bill every month) and data caps (albeit fairly generous ones of 1.25 TB per month). Cox also has steep price hikes that hit 12 months after you sign up for service—depending on your plan, expect your bill to go up anywhere from $15 to $26 per month. Definitely check the fine print before signing up.

One additional plan we find intriguing is Cox’s StraightUp Internet. Billed as a kind of no-frills budget option, it gives you 50 Mbps speeds at a flat fee, with equipment and installation included. You don’t have to deal with a term agreement or credit check. Except for the relatively slow speed, we love this plan—if only all of Cox’s offerings worked the same way!

Cox low-cost internet plans

Cox has two great low-cost internet plans for individuals and families receiving government assistance:

ConnectAssist package : up to 100 Mbps for individuals receiving government assistance.

Connect2Compete package : up to 100 Mbps for families with children K-12 receiving government assistance.

Deals and promotions: Verizon vs. Cox

Contracts: Verizon vs. Cox

 Contract lengthDetails
VerizonMonth to month
Cox1 yr., month-to-month option for $10/mo. extraView Plans

Verizon doesn’t do annual contracts. You don’t need to agree to any term limits up front, and you can quit any time without facing early termination fees.

Not so with Cox, which imposes annual contracts on all its plans. You can opt out of a contract by paying $10 more per month for your plan. If you have a yearly commitment and you need to cancel before the 12 months is up, you’ll need to fork over $10 for every month left on your bill—so either way, you’re paying more if you want to leave. Go with the contract option if you think you’ll be on Cox for at least a year.

Installation: Verizon vs. Cox

 Installation optionsDetails
Verizon$99.00 (waived when you order online)
Cox$100 for professional install; free for self-install kitView Plans

Verizon charges $99 for professional installation, but you can get the cost waived by ordering online. Cox will ask for $100 if you need a professional technician to come by and set up your internet. But installing the internet yourself with one of Cox’s self-install kits is free.

Availability: Verizon vs. Cox

Verizon has a relatively small footprint—its Fios internet services are available in 10 states (mostly on the East Coast), including New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Cox has a larger reach overall with availability in 29 states across the East Coast, West Coast, and South.

Final call: Verizon vs. Cox

You just can’t top Verizon in this contest. Any one of its fiber-optic plans will give you superb speeds at a reasonable price, and you won’t have to deal with data caps or contracts, either.

Cox’s offerings come with some extra baggage, including steep price hikes after a year. But it has much wider availability than Verizon and offers some solid, lower-priced plans and bundle deals. And you can’t beat Cox’s customer service, which gets excellent ratings in our latest customer satisfaction survey.


Our editorial team bases our analyses on customer input from our annual customer satisfaction survey, results from our speed test tool, and proprietary internet provider data on speeds and pricing. To strengthen our research, we look closely at provider contracts to get hard-to-find information on price hikes, data caps, and extra fees, and we keep tabs on the latest news reports and online reviews. When applicable, we also rely on our personal experiences testing these services.

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