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Choosing the Right Cable Modem

Last Updated: Wed, 20 Aug 2014 > Related Articles

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Learn how to choose the right cable modem for your high-speed Internet service.


To use Cox High Speed Internet, you will need a cable modem. It is important to choose the right type of device for the level of service you choose with Cox. This will help you make the right choice. When choosing a modem, there are three things you should consider:


All cable modems use a standard for hardware and software called Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS). The maximum Internet speed you can achieve depends upon both the DOCSIS version of your equipment and the Cox High Speed Internet package to which you subscribe.
If you have an older modem, you can greatly increase your Internet speeds by upgrading to a new one. When selecting a device, you should consider current and future speeds, as well as the number of users and devices in your household, to make sure you get the most for your money.
Cox makes significant investments in its network, and these investments enable Cox to periodically upgrade our Internet packages to give you more speed. DOCSIS 3.0 equipment will provide you with the best speed experience and allow Cox to operate a more efficient network.
DOCSIS 3.0: The current industry standard of DOCSIS, and works with all Cox High Speed Internet packages. Many DOCSIS 3.0 devices are also IPv6 compliant.  DOCSIS 3.0 modems are capable of channel bonding, which enables multiple downstream and upstream channels to be used together at the same time by a single user. The more channels a device can bond, the higher the speeds it can achieve.
There are two types of DOCSIS 3.0 modems:

  • 8 x 4 channels (8 downstream and 4 upstream): This is the newest generation modem and is recommended for all CHSI customers, regardless of the package that you select, and is strongly recommended for all Ultimate package customers to support future speed increases.
  • 4 x 4 channels (4 downstream and 4 upstream): While this modem will work with Preferred, Premier, and Premier Plus (where available) packages today, the 8 x 4 will be compatible with future speed increases, while the 4 x 4 may not.

A DOCSIS 3.0 WiFi modem combines a cable modem, router and wireless access point in a single device providing a cost-effective networking solution for both the home and small office. Cox approved WiFi modems are 8 x 4 and can consistently achieve download speeds of up to 150 Mbps.
DOCSIS 2.0: These older generation devices will work with Cox Starter and Essential Internet, although DOCSIS 3.0 (8 x 4) equipment is recommended for all packages due to the network efficiencies it provides.
DOCSIS 1.0 and 1.1: These are the oldest versions of DOCSIS, are not IPv6 compliant and are essentially obsolete. DOCSIS 1.0 devices will not work on the Cox network. If you have a DOCSIS 1.1 device you should replace it to improve your speeds.
Use the table below to help you make the right modem choice based on the level of Cox High Speed Internet you need:

Cox High Speed Internet PackageMinimum Required DOCSIS Version
StarterDOCSIS 2.0
PreferredDOCSIS 3.0 (4 x 4 channel)
PremierDOCSIS 3.0 (8 x 4 channel)
Premier Plus (where available)


Modem Compatibility 

It is also important to make sure the modem you are buying will work with the Cox network. We strongly recommend checking our compatible modems list before buying a modem.

Purchase Options  

In an effort to save money, you could be tempted to purchase a modem at a yard sale, in a thrift store, or from another person. Used modems may be older or not fully functional and could result in connection problems or slow speeds. They may also be associated with an existing Cox account, therefore, cannot be used.

We encourage you to invest in equipment that will assure you get the best experience and speeds that Cox has to offer. Purchasing a new modem protects you with a warranty and helpful advice from experts. You may buy a new modem from a major retail store or directly from Cox.

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