The TV Nerd's Take

Cox Cable offers cable in most areas, making it a good choice for cord cutters. Their sports options are overall stronger than Frontier.

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.

Choosing a TV, Internet, and Phone provider can be a difficult decision, and both Cox Communications and Frontier Communications offer a quality service.

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.

Core Comparison
 Cox CommunicationsFrontier Communications
Pricing$19.99$20.00
Average Download Speed46.1611.82
Netflix Ranking642
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

Setup Service
Looking to setup Cox Communications service? Use this line to speak with a human in less than 60 seconds: (855) 284-1318

Pros

  • Fast Internet
  • Good sports options
  • Mobile Hotspots

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Fewer channels
  • Less rural coverage
Cox Communications offers faster internet and access to that internet on the go,which is more than can be said for Frontier communications. However, their service is also more expensive. Whether that extra speed is worth the extra cost is going to depend on your individual needs.

Frontier Communications Pros and Cons

Setup Service
Looking to setup Frontier Communications service? Use this line to speak with a human in less than 60 seconds: (855) 231-5629

Pros

  • Good rural coverage
  • Wide channel selection
  • No contracts

Cons

  • 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

Before passing judgement on which internet provider is better, it’s helpful to look at how exactly their networks are setup to get a sense of why these companies offer the speeds they do.

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

Cox Communications
PlanDownload (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)Data
Internet Starter511 TB
Internet Essential1521 TB
Internet Preferred 100100101 TB
Internet Ultimate300301 TB
Frontier Communications
PlanDownload (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)Data
Simply Broadband Max61Unlimited
Simply Broadband Ultra121Unlimited
Simply Broadband Ultimate241Unlimited
Fios Internet 50/505050Unlimited
Fios Internet 100/100100100Unlimited

Bundled services

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

Cox Communications

  • Big on-demand library
  • Voice activated remote
  • Stream TV with Contour “Flex” service
  • Convenient TV guide
  • Good selection of sports channels.

Frontier Communications

  • 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

NFL football player on their starting position.
Image via Canon EOS 20d/Maxpixel

Cox Communications

  • 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.

Frontier Communications

  • 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.

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