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Using Cox compatible modems

The ins and outs of using your own modem device with Cox Internet service

If you choose to use your own equipment, you’ll need both a modem and a router: a modem connects your home to Cox Internet service, and a router delivers wifi to your devices

Pros & cons of using your own modem

What it’s like to use your own equipment

Here are some benefits and drawbacks to consider when using your own equipment:

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Pros of bringing your modem

  • A wider variety of equipment to choose from for every budget.

  • Purchase a new modem whenever you want.
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Cons of bringing your modem

  • Device support is limited to equipment rented/purchased from Cox.

  • Installation, maintenance and upgrades may be expensive.

  • You'll need both a modem and a router.

  • None of the free perks included with Panoramic Wifi:
      - Advanced Security—helps to protect devices connected to your network
      - Upgrade Commitment—free equipment upgrades every three years
      - Panoramic Wifi app—manage your Cox wifi network, change wifi settings and more.

    See more benefits of renting a Panoramic Wifi gateway.

How to choose a modem

Picking the right equipment for your internet needs

When choosing a modem for your home, you’ll want to consider your internet plan speed, the way you want it delivered to your network and if you want a wire-free setup.


Your internet plan tier

Making sure your device can support your internet plan tier is key—especially if you’re looking for the best performance for higher speeds like Internet Ultimate (up to 500 Mbps) or Gigablast (up to 1 Gbps). See our full list of compatible modems or learn more about renting a Panoramic Wifi Gateway. The Gateway is a modem and router in one that delivers fast, reliable speeds for all tier plans.

Wire-free setup

If you’re looking for a device without wires, consider getting a modem with integrated wifi or its own separate wifi router. If you choose one with a separate router, we recommend a minimum of WiFi 6 generation (from 2019) so that it can handle faster speeds.

Where to setup your modem & router

The best location for the best connection

The quality of your wifi signal depends on where you put your modem and/or router. Here are some tips for choosing a spot:

Find a central location

Your modem sends out a wifi signal in all directions, so place it in the center of your home to get the most coverage.

Think open spaces

Place your modem on a shelf or countertop over three feet high, and avoid storing in a cabinet or closet—this reduces speed and the distance your signal will travel.  

Avoid interference

There are a number of objects that can reduce or interfere with your signal like thick walls, reflective surfaces and fish tanks, as well as electronic devices and other wifi devices.  

Modem setup & activation

Get things up and running in 3 steps

It’s easy to install and activate your modem yourself. And if you still need to purchase a modem, you can wait to activate your service when you’re ready to install. Activate a new modem or Gateway


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Verify that your modem will work with our network and supports your speed plan. If it’s not on the list, our service won’t work.

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Install your modem with the instructions that came with it. Lost them? No problem, you have a few options. You can typically find the latest version on the device manufacturer’s website, or you can click on your device in our list of approved devices and find a copy of the instructions near the bottom of the page. Another option is to refer to our general guide. Once installed, if you're not sure that your device is up and running, refer back to manufacturer instructions.

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Connect your device to your wifi network or directly via ethernet. Next, open a web browser and type in your favorite website—if the page opens, then your activation was successful. In some cases, you may be automatically directed to an activation page which will guide you in adding your device to your Cox account. If you aren’t able to browse any sites and aren’t automatically directed to the activation page, try entering www.cox.com/activate to get started.

Some modem manufacturers may have specific requirements for setting up home wifi, like to change the default admin ID and password. We recommend checking the manufacturer’s instructions for specific equipment details before getting started.

Connecting with Fiber

If your internet service is being delivered to your home with fiber and your router connection depends on the location of your ONT (look for an outlet labeled Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia or Calix). Check and see if your ONT is on an inside wall, media panel, garage wall or exterior wall, and then follow this guide to get connected based on its location.

Modem installation support

Help when you need it

If you’re having some trouble installing your modem, there are a few ways we can help:


Support resources

Get extra troubleshooting tips, find relevant articles about modem setup and more.

Chat with OliverSM

Our virtual assistant can help with specific questions or connect you to a live agent.

Cox Complete Care

Add Cox Complete Care to your internet plan for an advanced level of tech support.

Compatible modems FAQs

You can purchase your own modem for use with your Cox Internet, as long as the equipment is certified to work on our network. Before buying from the retailer of your choice, please check here to make sure the modem you’ve chosen supports your internet speed tier.  

While a modem connects your home network to your internet service, a router is responsible for delivering wifi to all your home’s connected devices. If your modem equipment does not include a router combo (like the Panoramic Wifi Gateway), then you will need to purchase a separate router to pair with your modem.  

You're responsible for making sure your retail device is secure and certified, that it supports your Cox Internet service speed and for upgrading your equipment. See here for compatibility. We recommend that you stay aware of new developments in technology to better understand when replacing your retail device may be necessary.

You'll be responsible for troubleshooting device-related issues using the manufacturer's user manual if we've confirmed that your Cox service is functioning properly. You'll also be responsible for configuring your wireless network's security settings, if applicable. Only modems and devices purchased or rented directly from Cox are supported by Cox Customer Support. If you obtain your devices from a non-Cox vendor, Cox is not able to support service and technological assistance to these devices.

Only modems and devices purchased or rented directly from Cox are supported by Cox Customer Support. If you obtain your devices from a non-Cox vendor, Cox is not able to support service and technological assistance to these devices.

If a device isn't supported, it's not certified for use on our network and won't be activated as new or replacement equipment. You have the option to replace your older retail device by renting a Panoramic Wifi Gateway, or by purchasing a certified and compatible device listed here. If you’re interested in switching to a Panoramic Wifi Gateway, you can learn more here.

No, you can wait to activate your service once you get your modem.

No, there is no charge to use your own modem.

Yes, but if the modem is connected to another account we will be unable to activate it.

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. To make it harder for hackers to access data through your network, a VPN encrypts and establishes secure internet connections. It also helps to mask your internet protocol (IP) address when doing online actions. Get more tips for your VPN.

Firewalls help to block dangerous pieces of data (such as malware and viruses) from getting into your device's system. Your router serves as a basic hardware firewall, but you can also add an software firewall for each connected device to add an extra layer of security against hackers. Software firewalls can help to distinguish between programs and devices.

All of our internet plans come with free Cox Security Suite Plus powered by McAfee that help to protect and manage up to five devices at once. For more information on Cox Security Suite Plus.

Panoramic Wifi customers can access the Advanced Security feature in the Panoramic Wifi app. This feature helps to protect your connected devices from online threats, sends automatic alerts for detected threats and shows you the status of your network and past history.

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*Cox cannot guarantee the intended results from the McAfee® services or that the McAfee® software will be error-free, free from interruptions or other failures. The McAfee® services and features are subject to change. McAfee® is a registered trademark of McAfee®, Inc.