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Activating a New Modem or Gateway


You've entered your order for Cox Internet service. You're ready to connect your new modem or gateway so you can get online. Let's get started by reviewing some useful information.

  • Your new modem or gateway must meet Cox Internet service requirements. See Cox Certified Cable Modems and Choosing the Right Cable Modem or Gateway.
  • If you did not purchase your modem new from a third-party retailer but instead purchased or received it in used condition, then it is possible the modem cannot be used with your Cox Internet service. Contact us to determine if the modem can be activated on your account.
  • If you’re already a Cox Internet customer using a Cox-provided modem or gateway, then contact us before switching to a different modem.

You may also need to have the following information ready so you can register at www.cox.com/activate.

  • Your phone number, service address, or account number
  • Your Cox PIN or the last four of the account holder's Social Security Number (SSN).
  • Your primary user ID and password to sign in to your account.

After unpackaging your new modem from the box, you should have the following items handy.


Next, find the label on your modem. Most modems have a label on the back or bottom that includes the serial number and MAC address information. Click here to view a sample modem label.

You'll need to identify the following details so you can register the modem with us.

  • Manufacturer
  • Model number
  • Serial number
  • MAC address

MAC addresses are written as 12 digits containing both letters and numbers (0-9, A-F). A MAC address is unique. The first six characters of the MAC address are unique to the modem manufacturer. Depending on how the manufacturer labels their modem, Cox will use the CM, HFC, or MAC address to deliver your Internet service. For more information, go to Cox Certified Cable Modems and click on your modem.


The following steps are general guidance to help you connect your modem to Cox Internet. For the most accurate information, refer to the modem's user guide or support website.

  1. Connect the coaxial cable from the cable outlet on the wall to the back of your modem.

    image of connecting to a coax outlet and modem coax port

  2. Plug the power cord into the power port on the back of your modem and the other end into an electrical outlet that is not connected to a switch.

    image of connecting a modem power cord to an electrical outlet

    Result: The modem lights start to flash and light up. Allow the modem up to 15 minutes to finish processing. Many modems will have an Online light that becomes solid when it is ready. Check your modem's user guide or support website to see how your modem indicates it is ready.

Now, let's connect your computer or other internet-ready devices. Here are some common questions to consider.

  • How many internet-capable devices are you going to be using?
  • Does your new modem have built-in WiFi, also known as a gateway, or will you be using a router?

The following steps are general guidance to help you connect your computer or other internet-ready device directly to your modem or a WiFi network broadcast from your gateway or router.

Your Home Set-UpGeneral Connection Steps
Only one computer in your homeConnect your Ethernet cable from the back of your modem to your computer's Ethernet port.
  • One or more internet-ready devices
  • Your modem has integrated WiFi, also known as a gateway
Review the gateway's WiFi label to find the default WiFi network name (SSID) and password/WPA passphrase, then connect your device to the default information. For help using your device, refer to your gateway's user guide.
  • One or more internet-ready device
  • You are going to use a router
Connect the Ethernet cable from the back of your modem to the router. To complete your WiFi set-up and connect your devices, refer to your router user's guide.

To optimize speeds, Cox recommends that you directly connect your device to your modem with an Ethernet cable. You can also learn more about WiFi in Ways to Improve Your In-Home WiFi Network.


Next, on your connected device, open a new web browser and try to go to any website. The website should load, but if not, then you'll get to register your new modem by visiting www.cox.com/activate. Follow the prompts and then enjoy your new Cox Internet.

If you are having any issues activating your new modem, then contact us.

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