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 Cox Internet vs 5G Home Internet

May 17, 2023

Which internet option provides the best service for the price? We compare Cox Internet (high-speed, home broadband internet) to new 5G home internet technology and assess cost, speed, and reliability.


We've all felt the frustration of a slow home internet connection while trying to watch a show, play a game, pay a bill or have a video call with the boss.


Choosing the right home internet can help ensure reliable service, but the options can be confusing, especially as new technologies like “5G home internet" and “mobile broadband" enter the landscape.


Here's a guide to help you understand the differences and find the best home internet for you:


What Is Cox Internet?

Cox Internet offers a high-speed, wired connection delivered to your home through an underground, fiber-based network. These cables come from outside into a box or modem in your home. From there, most people attach a wifi router, which takes the wired internet connection and makes it wireless by creating a local wifi network for your devices (smartphones, tablets, computers, game consoles, etc.) to access.


Home broadband internet can provide reliable download and upload speeds that are perfect for online gaming, streaming and video calls. Cox Internet, now with multi-GIG speeds powered by fiber, currently range up to one GIG per second (Gbps) for most users. But there are already efforts on the way to bump that up to 10 Gbps over the next few years.


What is 5G Home Internet?

First, let's explain that 5G stands for “fifth generation" and indicates the most recent version of cellular technology. It's important to clarify that 5G, a cellular technology, is totally distinct from 5 GHz (a setting you might see on your wifi router) and 5 Gbps (5 gigabits per second, which is an internet speed).


Although 5G is a mobile/cellular technology, it can also be used to deliver internet service to your home. You'll see this being marketed as 5G home internet, 5G broadband internet or mobile broadband. In this case, cell towers transmit data across miles to an antenna attached to a modem/router in your home. From there, your devices typically connect via local wifi, in a similar way to wifi with home broadband.


Why Home Broadband Works Better for Most People

Despite the hype surrounding 5G home internet, fiber-based broadband internet remains the better option for most people. Here's why:


  • Speed: While 5G home internet promises to compete with home broadband, the real-world speeds of 5G rarely match Cox speeds. What's more, 5G home internet speeds can vary depending on network and environmental conditions. Average real world speeds for 5G home internet currently range from 50 Mbps to 150 Mbps. Cox Internet offers more consistent, higher speeds (up to 1 Gbps in all of our serviceable areas and up to 2 Gbps in select areas), making it ideal for activities such as online gaming, video conferencing, streaming videos and staying connected to loved ones.
  • Reliability: Cox Internet has faster and more reliable download speeds than 5G Home Internet providers, like T-Mobile Home Internet. Since it uses a wired connection until it reaches your home, there isn't much interference from trees, buildings, weather, etc., so you can enjoy consistent speeds throughout your day. By contrast, 5G home internet relies on over-the-air, cellular transmission all the way to your home, and can be affected by obstacles and weather along the way.

Because 5G Home Internet providers rely on their cellular network to  also provide their 5G Home Internet services, they prioritize users on  their network to manage network traffic and congestion. This can lead to notably slower speeds experienced by 5G Home Internet customers at peak times and during network congestion. T-Mobile 5G Home Internet even acknowledges that they prioritize customers of their Mobile plans over customers of their Home Internet plans, and those Home Internet customers 'may notice reduced speeds in comparison to customers with a higher priority during network congestion.'


Did you know Cox Internet has 2 times faster download speeds than 5G Home Internet providers at peak times?


  • Value: With Cox Internet, you can choose a fixed internet speed plan that is right for your budget and needs. With 5G Home Internet, on the other hand, you choose a fixed internet speed plan that just suits your budget. Speeds can be unpredictable and fluctuate greatly based on many conditions, including network capacity and peak usage times.

The Best Choice for Your Home Internet Needs

The question with home internet is what's the best service for your home? Cox Internet has faster, more reliable download speeds than 5G home internet.


Also wondering what phone plan is best for you? This guide explains five key factors to consider to make the best choice for your cell phone needs.


About speeds

Based on Cox's analysis of Ookla Speedtest Intelligence data during Q1 2023 in Cox serviceable areas. Faster: based on the median speeds delivered. Speed reliability: based on Consistency Score comparisons.


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