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Cox

Cox, serving 32 cities nationwide, is one of the largest ISPs in the country. They have been rated as having one of the fastest connections in America.

The Service

Like many Internet providers, Cox has multiple tiers of service based on price and what the customers may need. Prices and availability vary depending on where you are, but roughly speaking these are:

  • An intro package (such as Essential) that provides a basic connection and limited features. This works best for people who are frustrated with the slow speeds and inconvenience of dial-up Internet, but who don't want to spend extra money on a blazingly fast connection they'll hardly ever use.
  • A Preferred package, with download speeds up to 18 Mbps and upload speeds of 2 Mbps.
  • A Premier package, with download speeds of up to 25 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 2 Mbps.
  • An Ultimate package: in addition to using an advanced telecommunications standard for a fast 50 Mbps download speed and 5 Mbps upload speed, this package also includes some of the newest home networking technology like wireless-N to make your connection ever faster.

The Extras

Cox provides free packages for safely surfing the Internet. This includes their Secure Online Backup, which can help protect you from losing data if your computer ever breaks or is lost.

There is also a bundle of Security Suite Plus anti-virus software and McAfee Family Protection, which has controls for Internet filtering, parental controls, and social network monitoring, as well as a firewall that will help to block dangerous connections.

Some packages also include PowerBoost, a technology Cox licenses from Comcast. This technology takes advantage of existing infrastructure to give Internet users temporary bursts of higher connection speeds when downloading and uploading. It won't permanently increase the speed of a connection, but it can make downloads and uploads go much faster.

The Drawbacks

Like many broadband providers, Cox has a policy of limiting data usage by customers. At least in Cox's case, it sounds worse than it is. Among other things, limits help reduce the load on the system. And unlike some other ISPs, Cox does not have a policy of killing your connection if you reach their limit.

If you're using the Internet recreationally, you’ll probably never run into this problem (by their own estimates, only 3 percent of customers will). This is more of a problem for people running Internet-based business on their home connections, or people who deal with a high volume of traffic.

The Bottom Line

Super-fast connection speeds and the best of modern technology make this the kind of connection even serious Internet junkies can get behind.

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