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:
Pros of bringing your modem
Cons of bringing your modem
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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:
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
Can I use my own modem with Cox Internet?
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.
If I bring my own modem, will I need to bring a router too?
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.
What are my responsibilities when buying and using my own equipment with Cox service?
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.
What if I need help with my own device—will Cox support it?
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.
What should i do if my older equipment isn't supported?
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.
Do I need to purchase my modem in advance of ordering Cox Internet service?
No, you can wait to activate your service once you get your modem.
Will Cox charge me for using my own modem?
No, there is no charge to use your own modem.
Can I use a previously owned modem that my friend or family member gave me?
Yes, but if the modem is connected to another account we will be unable to activate it.
What is a VPN?
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.
What is a firewall?
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.
What is Cox Security Suite Plus?
Related internet topics
*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.