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The internet is a multi-billion-dollar industry?in the U.S. alone it is estimated to be worth $966 billion, and 6% of the national economy. And it is also one of the most dynamic?constantly changing and evolving?as more and more of what we do goes online, and our everyday life comes to rely more heavily on the connection to the World Wide Web.

Choosing the right internet service provider for your home is therefore a serious task ? it is the power that fuels your digital life. And while the ‘right internet service provider’ is a very relative term, there are a few things you ought to consider like speed, data allowance, and pricing, when choosing an internet service for your home.

CenturyLink and Cox Communications are 2 of the biggest names in the U.S. broadband market. Internet plans from both providers offer a quality service and benefits unique to each. In this article, we compare CenturyLink and Cox Internet side-by-side, on all the things you should consider before you choose one.

CenturyLink and Cox deliver totally different types of internet, and the features of each service are also unique. CenturyLink is known for its high-speed DSL and Fiber internet, contract-free plans, unlimited data allowance, and better price consistency. Cox Communications, on the other hand, gets you a wide variety of download speeds over a hybrid Fiber-Coaxial network, and offers the opportunity to enjoy a fully customized purchase experience as you bundle the internet with other services on the Cox menu.

So, when you find both CenturyLink and Cox serving your neighborhood, there’d be quite a few things you must compare before making the final call. To start with, here is a quick summary of the 2 broadband services, before we take a look at details.


CenturyLink Internet

Cox Internet


36 states

18 states

Internet type

High-speed DSL & Fiber

Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial

Download speed range

100 Mbps – 1,000 Mbps

25 Mbps – 1,000 Mbps

Data allowance


1.25 TB

Price Range

$50.00/mo. – $65.00/mo.
Paperless billing or prepay required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply.

$29.99/mo. – $99.99/mo.
for 12 months with 1-yr. agmt.

Annual Contract


1-year service agreement


View Plans

View plans


CenturyLink and Cox Internet services, both come with certain advantages and disadvantages that need to be discussed. Of course, it is entirely possible that a set of features may work for you, which is why the pros and cons of each internet service get you a clear idea of what you want.

Here are a few key pros and cons to keep in mind while picking an internet service out of these two. Everything you need to know about CenturyLink and Cox Internet service at a glance is discussed as follows.



CenturyLink Internet


  • Unlimited data
  • No contract
  • Better price consistency
  • No bundling required for the best price on Internet
  • Greater value with fiber plans
  • Available in 36 states


  • Speed offerings are limited and vary between service locations
  • No namesake TV service    

Cox Internet


  • A variety of speed-based plans that are available ubiquitously across the Cox footprint, and include low tier budget options as well
  • Internet security at no extra cost
  • Free access to secure high-speed internet via over 3 million out-of-home Cox WiFi hotspots
  • Freedom to customize your internet bundle if you need more than one service for your home


  • Cox caps your data allowance
  • To get the lower promo price you must sign a 1 year service agreement
  • Limited availability relative to CenturyLink


As we said earlier, the CenturyLink Internet service differs significantly when compared to Cox as far as the variety of speed offerings.

CenturyLink offers limited speed options at any given location ? essentially because of the variation in its network infrastructure and capabilities. The CenturyLink high-speed DSL service delivers top speed of 100 Mbps for downloads ? but if you are located far from the provider’s hub in your vicinity, you’re likely to get slower speed options. As for the CenturyLink Fiber service, its gigabit plan is one of the best in the market ? and a sure bet if available at your address. Overall, CenturyLink makes up for the lack of diversity in its speed offerings with value perks such as unlimited data, no annual contracts and more.  

On the other hand, Cox offers a full range of download speeds, that are accessible almost in the entirety of the Cox footprint. So you get a lot of choice when you are in a Cox service area with download speeds ranging from 25 Mbps to 1 Gig ? no matter what the size of your family, you are likely to find a Cox Internet plan that fits your needs. Plus among the lower speed tiers you get a couple of good low-priced budget options. The only downside, if any, is the data allowance is limited, and while its sufficient for standard usage, it may not work for everybody.

Ultimately, your choice of internet service would depend on many variables and the question comes down to what internet speed and data allowance you are looking for to fulfill your needs based on the number of users and devices that connect simultaneously. And of course, what individual set of features earns your favor better.

Check out the speed-based Cox and CenturyLink Internet plans below so you get an idea of what could fit your needs and budget better. Do bear in mind, however, with Cox Internet plans, the lower promo price sees a hike after the first year, but that is not a problem with CenturyLink plans, which work on a month-to-month basis with no price hike after 12 months because you pay at the standard rate from the get-go.

CenturyLink Internet Plans


Max Download Speed


Simply Unlimited Internet

100 Mbps

Paperless billing or prepay required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Get the fastest internet speed available at your location (max speed is up to 100 Mbps).

CenturyLink Fiber Gigabit

940 Mbps

Paperless billing or prepay required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Speed may not be available in your area. Maximum download/upload speed of up to 940 Mbps via a wired connection.




Cox Internet Plans


Max Download Speed

Promo Price

Starter 25

25 Mbps

for 12 months with a 1-yr. agmt.

Essential 50

50 Mbps

for 12 months with a 1-yr. agmt.

Preferred 250

250 Mbps

for 12 months with a 1-yr. agmt.

Ultimate 500

500 Mbps

for 12 months with a 1-yr. agmt.


940 Mbps

for 12 months with a 1-yr. agmt.


When we talk about TV services, things are slightly different between CenturyLink and Cox.

Cox offers a cable service i.e. Contour TV, so you can bundle the internet with a TV plan of your choosing. A variety of channel packages are available with the channel count ranging from 75+ to 250+, and you get to enjoy all the bells and whistles of a modern cable TV service. The best part is Cox gives you complete liberty to customize your bundle ?pick any speed with any TV lineup, and create a bundle that best fits your family’s needs.

With Cox Internet and TV, one of the most popular Cox bundles is a combo of Internet Preferred and Contour TV Preferred ? it delivers up to 250 Mbps for downloads and 140+ channels for $157.99/mo. for the first 12 months with a 1-year service agreement.

On the other hand CenturyLink, does not offer a namesake TV service. However, it does partner with top Satellite TV providers such as DIRECTV and DISH to get you quality TV services at market-competitive rates. Depending on which TV provider you choose to pair up with, you can enjoy a unique set of features and perks, and a distinctive set of lineups and add-ons with DIRECTV and DISH.

For instance, DIRECTV offers a range of 160+ to 330+ channels, 45,000 to 70,000 On Demand titles, Genie HD DVR, and more. DIRECTV plans start at the promo price of $64.99/mo. for 12 months giving you an opportunity to save significantly during the promotional term. On the other hand DISH offers a range of 190+ to 290+ channels, 28,000 to 36,000 On Demand titles, Hopper Duo Smart DVR, and more. DISH plans start $69.99/mo. but come with a 2-year price guarantee so you don’t face a hike after the promo term.  

In terms of network coverage CenturyLink has an edge over Cox with double the number of states depicting its footprint. CenturyLink’s DSL based network delivers its high-speed internet service in 36 states, albeit Fiber is currently available in 25. Top cities served by CenturyLink include Phoenix (AZ), Tucson (AZ), Las Vegas (NV), Minneapolis (MN), Denver (CO), St. Paul (MN), and Seattle (WA).

To check the availability of CenturyLink Internet in your area, you can reach out to CenturyLink Customer Service at 1-855-349-9310 ? the Spanish speaking can call at 1-844-527-5629.  

Cox Communications, on the other hand, depicts a footprint in 18 states, with services available to well over 20 million people ? and in Arizona, Arkansas, and California, we see particularly expansive coverage. Top cities served by Cox include San Diego (CA), Las Vegas (NV), Virginia Beach (VA), Phoenix (AZ), Tucson (AZ), Omaha (NE), and Oklahoma City (OK).

To determine availability of Cox Internet at your address, you can reach out to Cox Customer Service at 1-855-349-9316 around the clock. For the Spanish speakers, you can call at 1-844-520-8979 for assistance.

CenturyLink Vs Cox: Internet Service Type

CenturyLink offers two types of internet ? high-speed DSL and Fiber. The DSL-based  CenturyLink network utilizes a mix of innovative technologies and Fiber to the Loop ? the hybrid arrangement relies on the Fiber backbone in the infrastructure, and uses pre-existing copper phone lines in the “last mile” to the subscriber’s location. As for CenturyLink Fiber, it is a Fiber-to-the-Home service, so you are bound to enjoy the full advantage of Fiber. 

In contrast, Cox delivers cable internet over a hybrid network of Fiber and Coaxial ? backed by Fiber, the advanced Cox network is able to offer speeds up to 1 Gig. With Fiber to the Loop, you get better speed and more bandwidth, although the connection is shared in any given area so slow downs at peak hours cannot be eliminated.

CenturyLink definitely has an edge over Cox when it comes to data allowance. All CenturyLink Internet plans come with unlimited data so there are no restrictions to worry about. Whether it is gaming, video calls, remote work, or video streaming, you can do it all without the fear of an overage charge.

Cox Internet plans however come with a data cap. You do get virtually unlimited data ? 1.25 TB that is more than enough for standard home usage ? but there is a limit nonetheless that can be a deal-breaker for some users.

CenturyLink Vs Cox: Contracts & Agreements

One of the best things about CenturyLink is its internet service is free of any contracts or agreements ? an appealing perk for the consumer. The month-to-month payment plan with no annual contracts adds to the value of your CenturyLink subscription. If you do not like being bound by contractual obligations, and would want to retain the freedom to cancel the service without having to worry about an early termination fee, CenturyLink is for you.   

As opposed to CenturyLink, Cox offers you its best price with promotional offers that carry a 1-year service agreement. You can go for a contract-free plan with Cox too, but that means a higher monthly service charge ? an extra $10/mo. So really ? the choice is based on what you prefer given your unique set of needs.

CenturyLink installation is fairly simple and available with option ? if you go for standard installation, there is a one-time $15 charge for the technician to complete work outside of your location, and you get to self-install the equipment inside. If you pride yourself on being tech-savvy, you can set up the service yourself with the free CenturyLink self-install kit. Otherwise there is an up to $149 one-time fee for professional installation that takes care of all the outside work as well as setting up of equipment and devices.

As for the modem rental fee, it stands at $15 per month ? but most CenturyLink leased modems come with embedded security so all connected devices are made secure at the home network level.

At times, as currently, you can find limited time offers that waive off the installation and modem rental when you order CenturyLink Fiber Gigabit online.

Cox also provides both professional and self-install options to new subscribers. The professional installation fee for Cox is around $100 ? it’s a one time charge similar to how CenturyLink does it. Opting for self-install, on the other hand, sets you up with the Cox Easy Connect self-installation kit which is completely free.

Monthly modem rental with Cox comes up to $13 per month. but the Cox Panoramic WiFi Gateway includes advanced security so all your devices are made secure without an added cost.

Conclusion: Choosing What’s Best for You

While CenturyLink and Cox are different in many ways, and carry unique service features, the comparison ultimately comes down to what works the best for you. The price point, speed, data cap, contract ? these are some of the things you should definitely consider before you choose an internet provider. CenturyLink Internet is a good pick ? it gets you decent enough speeds at a good price without the headache of a contract or data cap.

The Cox Internet service on the other hand offers multiple choices when it comes to download speed. And it is the perfect pick if you are also looking to bundle with cable TV since you are allowed to enjoy a fully customized purchase experience.

Of course, you will have to make the ultimate decision based on what is offered at your address and what works the best for your home. For an expert opinion, you can call at 1-855-349-9328. Visit Cox En Español if you're a Spanish user. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is CenturyLink Internet better than COX Internet?

CenturyLink offers good speeds with no data caps or annual contracts. This definitely makes it a better choice in comparison to Cox Internet, if you do not want to be bound by data restrictions and contracts. Cox on the other hand gives you a variety of speed-based plans to pick from.

Is Cox or CenturyLink Internet available at my address?

To check for internet providers serving your address, call at 1-855-349-9328 anytime.

Does CenturyLink Internet have data caps?

CenturyLink Internet does not have any data caps. You get an unlimited data allowance with all internet plans.