Everyone looking for a great cable service wants something that they can count on. Not only are prospective cable TV and Internet owners looking for fast, consistent and reliable options, they also want something that fits well into the price range. Fortunately, Wirefly can help. This is a definitive guide comparing Internet, TV, and phone service from Cox and AT&T.
Cox Communications services 6.2 million customers in the country, reaching 21 states. The Atlanta company is the third largest provider in the country, offering home security, TV, internet, and phone via a coaxial cable. On the other hand, AT&T is the largest in the country in terms of phone service. It's second in mobile service, on top of its variety of Internet and home security. The company's reach is as varied as it is verbose, offering products to over 365 million people in the North American continent. In short, the Texas-based company has more than enough options to service essentially anyone.
AT&T offers DSL against Cox's coaxial cable, TV, and even fiber networks (formerly known as AT&T U-verse) for certain regions in the United States. This particular service, GigaPower, is available in Texas, Florida, California, Illinois, Georgia, and Texas. AT&T also owns DIRECTV so they can provide satellite television for areas that their fiber or cable networks don't reach. Make sure to compare satellite TV and cable TV to see which option is the best for your needs.
While we will compare these two services, it's imperative that anyone using this service understands that we're going to compare different types of services. As earlier stated, fiber technology is only available in certain states. It's miles away faster than any coaxial cable or AT&T's own DSL service, though a potential customer may not be in its service area. In the areas where it is not, AT&T will offer its DSL service, where it takes a back seat to Cox's cable service.
Of course, there are some other things to think about if you're considering one service over another. For example, your region may determine whether or not a certain network is in your city, as well as what type of package that will work great for you and the family. If you're curious as to what type of service that is offered to your given area, please click the zip code button and enter your information.
AT&T boasts one of the best set-up and installation processes in the industry, though it should be said that their favorable reviews stretch across the myriad products that they offer, meaning that one's mileage may vary depending on the product that you get. For example, if you're looking for the GigaPower - their Fiber solution - installation fees may reach up to $100. This plan may simply not be in the price point for everyone, dragging their scores down a bit.
Cox Communications isn't necessarily known for their customer service. This is a problem with many cable companies, so Cox definitely isn't alone in this. Cox Communication does shine when it comes to cheaper installation and set-up fees. They even come with a great amount of help and options if you were to choose to install all of the equipment yourself.
TV Signal Reliability and Channel Selection
With a company like AT&T, one can reasonably expect for them to be paragons when it comes to signal reliability. This is one of the older companies in the United States, so their infrastructure is considered to be top-notch. They staff some of the best crews to solve problems reliably and keep signals strong in times where everyone may be using their service.
AT&T's channel selection is much like their signal reliability. Their plans encompass nearly every channel that you could be looking for, offering impeccable HD with half of their 400 channels. AT&T also acquired DIRECTV so they are able to provide satellite television service across nearly the entire country. They also have amicable bundles if you use their DSL network, allowing you to save big money.
While AT&T may be the standard in cable companies, Cox Communications is no slouch. It is true that they come in second in this particular match-up, as they simply don't have enough channels nor HD service to match-up against the giant. However, Cox's Contour service does bring it in terms of on-demand service, something that AT&T does not. Contour offers more than 10,000 different titles to more than makeup for their lack of live content.
In overall performance, Cox's signal reliably isn't too bad. However, coaxial cable will always be secondary. Customers will always experience some kind of slowdown when there are many people in the area sharing their lines.
AT&T does offer more attractive packages and plenty of options, but they also are known as one of the main offenders of capping your data - specifically for those who use the Internet at a high level. If you reach a certain point, the customer will definitely pay for it.
On the other side of the coin, Cox is great for those who are looking to save some money upfront. They also offer a no-contract solution. However, like AT&T and others, they will fluctuate in price and are known to charge hidden fees.
Customer Service and Tech Support
AT&T doesn't have the worst track record in the industry for tech support or customer service, whether you're considering Cox or anyone else. However, like many companies this large, they can still do a lot to improve their efforts.
Cox isn't dismal, but they can also improve. Their pricing isn't easily explainable, nor are they great at explaining all of their service options. Customers can also expect long phone waits and a few customer service agents that aren't always the best at helping solve every problem.
AT&T'S DVR allows for you to record 4 shows at once, store up to 400 hours of content (SD) and 155 hours of HD content. They charge $10 a month for their service.
Cox offers 6 shows at once, 2 TB storage, 1,000 hours of SD content against 300 hours of HD content. They charge $29 for their service.
AT&T boasts speeds up to 1 Gig on their fiber network, 75 Mbps on DSL. They also have 24/7 support plus.
Cox has cloud storage, no data caps, Wi-Fi hotspots, and speeds up to 200 Mbps.
AT&T is the best in the industry for a number of reasons. They have the edge in both customer service and in reliability. They may not be the highest-rated TV service and DVR, but their price, HD, and overall channel selection edges out the other giants in the industry. Also, DSL speeds aren't the best if you don't live in their GigaPower range, but one may not notice once they see the savings on bundling.
Cox doesn't always get credit due to factors that plague the industry as a whole, but they do outperform AT&T in several key areas. They simply have some of the best equipment in the industry. They also have overall better internet speeds, save that you do not live in AT&T's fiber area. While they may have slowdown during peak usage periods, they will more than likely exceed AT&T if you're using multiple internet-enabled devices. Where they do not contend is in channel selection. Secondarily, one would be hard pressed to say that Cox has better customer service and a reputation that only comes with being a telecommunications conglomerate as AT&T is.
All in all, both of these companies can be great choices for those looking for a solid TV, internet, and/or home security company.
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