The TV Nerd's Take
Frontier Communications is my recommendation for customers who live in their “FiOS” fiber areas where they have more HD options and packages, although their customer service rating is low for the industry.
Cox Communications offers a more expensive service with blazing fast internet speeds. The provider also offers a good amount of sports options.
Frontier Communications is the more budget-conscious buy, while still offering a wide selection of TV channels. The provider also is generally more available for rural homeowners.
Both providers have their pros and cons, and these may affect which service is best suited for your individual needs.
|Cox Communications||Frontier Communications|
|Average Download Speed||46.16||11.82|
|Major Cities||Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Diego, Oklahoma City||Rochester, Fort Wayne, Durham, Beaverton|
|States Served||19 States including Arizona, California, Virginia, Louisiana and Nevada||38 States including California, Connecticut, Florida, Texas and Indiana|
Cox Communications Pros and Cons
- Fast Internet
- Good sports options
- Mobile Hotspots
- More expensive
- Fewer channels
- Less rural coverage
Frontier Communications Pros and Cons
- Good rural coverage
- Wide channel selection
- No contracts
- Slower internet
- No mobile hotspots
- Fewer sports options
Where Cox excels, Frontier falls short. They do, however, offer a generally better TV service and more comprehensive coverage for rural customers. Add to that the fact that there are no contracts associated with Frontier plans, and it’s easy to see how the provider offers a competitive service.
Coverage and Network Comparison: Cox vs Frontier
Cox Communications is run off of a cable network, which was previously the gold standard for internet connections. This setup transmits data over the television coaxial cables, and features speeds far higher than dial-up and DSL. A tradeoff is that the network’s speeds aren’t always reliable, and can lower significantly under the strain of heavy use.
Frontier Communications still runs off of DSL, or Digital Subscriber Lines, in the majority of their locations. DSL delivers high-speed internet that’s much faster than satellite Internet, and with better latency and much higher data usage ability/bandwidth. DSL offers very reliable speeds, but has a much lower potential compared to cable such as Cox’s network when it comes to the speed of the service.
To sum it up: Cable is faster but variable in that speed, while DSL is slower and more consistent.
Cox Communications vs Frontier Communications Internet performance
|Plan||Download (Mbps)||Upload (Mbps)||Data|
|Internet Starter||5||1||1 TB|
|Internet Essential||15||2||1 TB|
|Internet Preferred 100||100||10||1 TB|
|Internet Ultimate||300||30||1 TB|
|Plan||Download (Mbps)||Upload (Mbps)||Data|
|Simply Broadband Max||6||1||Unlimited|
|Simply Broadband Ultra||12||1||Unlimited|
|Simply Broadband Ultimate||24||1||Unlimited|
|Fios Internet 50/50||50||50||Unlimited|
|Fios Internet 100/100||100||100||Unlimited|
Both services offer double and triple play options. Cox generally has steeper discounts when it comes to bundles, but Frontier’s prices are still lower even with these discounts taken into consideration.
Still, as with most providers, you’ll save a decent amount of money by bundling services if you’re after both TV and internet.
Cox Communications vs Frontier Communications TV service
- Big on-demand library
- Voice activated remote
- Stream TV with Contour “Flex” service
- Convenient TV guide
- Good selection of sports channels.
- More than 500 channels total
- Watch TV on-the-go with Frontier Everywhere
- High availability for rural customers
- Larger selection of entertainment channels
- Affordable pricing
Although Cox has a better on-demand library and an interesting internet TV option in the form of Flex, Frontier offers a wider selection of channels and is available to even rural customers at a reasonable price. Paying less for more content is a no-brainer.
- Sports packages offer live viewing of over 600 live events across a wide variety of sports
- Additional individual options like, NFL Red Zone, MLB Extra Innings, NBA League Pass, and MLS Direct Kick available for an extra fee.
- Sports package covers sports such as golf, soccer, college sports, baseball, football, and basketball.
- Choose specific channels like NHL Center Ice, NBA League Pass, MLS Direct Kick
and MLB Extra Innings for an additional fee
In general, Cox offers the better sports options. Frontier offers NHL Center Ice which seems to be absent from Cox, but outside of that it falls short when it comes to sports despite being the better TV provider overall.
Unless you’re a serious hockey fan, go with Cox if you’re a sports fan!
Equipment: Cox vs Frontier DVRs and routers
Both providers off multi-room DVRs with pretty basic features. Cox has an unusually large amount of storage when comparing their DVRs to others, however, with space for up to 1000 hours of your favorite shows.
The likelihood that all that space will be utilized is rare, but it may be just the ticket if you’re not great at keeping up to date on your TV.
Unfortunately, neither DVR really stands out when it comes to features. While they offer the ability to record shows simultaneously and even watch in different rooms, these features have become standard in the television industry.
Cox Communications Key Advantage: Faster Internet and Better Sports Options
Frontier just can’t compete with Cox’s cable network, which provides much faster speeds. Cox is also a better choice for sports fans, who have more options to watch live events with a more comprehensive service
Frontier Communications Key Advantage: Better TV and Low Prices
While Cox wins when it comes to internet, Frontier definitely comes out on top when talking about TV. With a much wider selection of channels, it’s a perfect option for the television aficionado. The slightly less impressive support for sports is more than made up for with the much more affordable prices.
Equipment and Installation Considerations
Both Cox and Frontier offer self-installation kits, and these are probably the best option for anyone with a little bit of technical knowhow and ability to follow a few simple steps.
Professional installation costs more, but may give you the peace of mind that everything’s set up and ready to go with no hitches in the process.
Frontier installation fees are currently waived with most new internet plans, and Cox will run you about $50.
Both providers offer internet equipment for a rental fee, or the option to purchase your own to save money over time in exchange for a higher initial investment.
TV Nerd Says: Go With Cox Communications, For Their Fast Cable Network
Cox is my top pick for just due to the vast differences in internet speed capability. In 2017, DSL just doesn’t cut it with the widespread use of streaming and other online activity. If you’re a gadget hound like me, you’ll find cable much more rewarding. DSL will get limited for HD streaming on multiple devices in a home of more than three people, and the upload speeds tend to be challenging for video chatting on FaceTime and Skype.
With that said, Frontier is not without its benefits. If you’re in their small fiber “Fios” area, just do it. It’s worth it. Cox is all-around a little stronger, but TV-only users with light internet use may get more use out of Frontier.