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Brightspeed vs. Buckeye Broadband vs. Cox Communications Internet plan comparison


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Headshot of Kathryn Casna
Researched by
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Reviewed by
Updated 6/24/24

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BRIGHTSPEED
Staff rating
3.6

  • Plans starting at $50.00
  • Download speeds up to 940 Mbps
Buckeye Broadband brand
Staff rating
3.3
Customer rating
3.6
(6)

  • Plans starting at $9.99
  • Download speeds up to 600MB
Cox
Staff rating
3.6
Customer rating
4.1
(122)

  • Plans starting at $20.00
  • Download speeds up to 2 Gbps
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BRIGHTSPEED
Staff rating
3.6

We were extremely impressed with Brightspeed’s prices—you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better deal on gigabit fiber internet. While its fiber coverage area is growing, it currently remains very small. Plus, it's a brand-new provider so there are still a lot of unknowns.

What we like

  • No data caps or contracts
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Good availability on DSL
What we dislike

  • Mostly limited to DSL
  • New, unproven company
Savings tip: Brightspeed often has sign-up promotions for first-time customers. Call to ask a rep about current deals and discounts.
Check deals
Buckeye Broadband brand
Staff rating
3.3

High-value starter plans during promotional periods

Buckeye Broadband offers a good internet experience for residents of the Toledo area. However, substantial price hikes, high prices on the faster plans, and a reputation for poor customer service make it tough to recommend for certain customers.

What we like

  • Low upfront costs
  • Competitive budget packages
What we dislike

  • Poor value on faster plans
  • Hefty early termination fees
Savings tip: Buckeye Broadband often has sign-up promotions for first-time customers. Call to ask a rep about current deals and discounts.
Check deals
Cox
Staff rating
3.6

Low starting prices and reliable internet speeds

Cox provides a great customer experience and reliable speeds, but you’ll spend more for higher-speed plans, extra data, and add-ons.

What we like

  • Plan variety and options
  • Great customer experience
  • Generous, unthrottled data cap
What we dislike

  • Expensive plans
  • Steep data overages
  • So-so availability
Savings tip: Cox often has sign-up promotions for first-time customers. Call to ask a rep about current deals and discounts.
Check deals
BRIGHTSPEED
Value
4.0
Excellent fiber deals (and decent DSL)

Brightspeed is slowly building out a fiber network that offers a pretty great value at $65 per month for up to 940 Mbps. That’s just 7 cents per Mbps, which puts it right in line with top fiber providers like AT&T. Unfortunately, this fiber service is still not widely available.

Because Brightspeed’s fiber footprint is still fairly small, the vast majority of Brightspeed’s current service offerings are DSL. That means that you’re going to pay more money for less speed—it’s just the nature of the DSL beast.

The upshot is that Brightspeed’s DSL prices are actually pretty competitive, starting at $50 per month. With advertised speeds of up to 140 Mbps (but often lower, depending on where you live), that puts the provider at about 36 cents per Mbps. This, of course, falls far short of most cable and fiber providers.

Learn more about the differences between fiber and DSL internet.

Pricing details vary by location. Visit
Brightspeed's website
or call 1-833-438-0878 to speak with a rep.
See pricing
Buckeye Broadband brand
Value
2.5
Price hikes turn a decent deal into a bad one

Buckeye Broadband isn't a bad deal if you're looking at the introductory price. In fact, for the first six months of service, you can often get a better deal with Buckeye than with the major national players. However, while most providers will guarantee prices for a year or two, you'll see significant price hikes from Buckeye after only six months if you have one of their cable plans. Fiber plans are a bit better, with promotional prices that last 12 months.

In most cases, the month seven price hike will amount to an additional $20 per month on your bill. Then, once the regular rate is applied, it is often double the advertised promotional price. Most Buckeye plans don't have contracts, but you might be locked into these higher prices if you sign one to get a specific deal. We also don't like that the length of the promotional period isn't obvious unless you read the fine print.

Pricing details vary by location. Visit
Buckeye Broadband's website
or call 1-844-719-0029 to speak with a rep.
See pricing
Cox
Value
3.0
Good budget plans, but you’ll pay high prices for top speeds

Cox plans range from around $0.60/Mbps for low-speed plans to around $0.10/Mbps for the fastest plan, which is more expensive than other cable internet providers. The good news? Cox has more lower-speed plan options, so if your internet budget tops out at $50 a month, Cox might be your new best friend. At speeds of 200 Mbps and above, however, Cox loses the price war.

What you get for the money is pretty good. All plans have a 1.25 TB data cap (unless you pay an extra $50 per month for unlimited), but that’s more than most people need. And unlike providers where unlimited comes standard, Cox won’t throttle your speed if you get a little data-hungry. Just beware of overage charges (which can really add up) if you go over the limit.

Pricing details vary by location. Visit
Cox's website
or call 1-844-719-0028 to speak with a rep.
See pricing
BRIGHTSPEED
Performance
4.0
Impressive fiber speeds

Impressive is definitely the right word to describe Brightspeed’s performance. The fiber service is excellent, with symmetrical speeds up to 940 Mbps. Symmetrical speed means the upload and download speeds are equal, which makes for much better overall performance compared to typical services where upload is significantly slower.

The DSL service is competitive with most other DSL providers, and seems to be fairly reliable—although we have heard some complaints of outages and interruptions. That said, it is DSL, so you’re only going to get limited speeds.

Our main concern with Brightspeed’s performance is simply how new the company is. It hasn’t had a chance to prove itself yet, and there may be growing pains as it builds out its fiber network. That said, we don’t expect many issues with DSL, since Brightspeed basically inherited the infrastructure directly from CenturyLink.

Available speeds vary by location. Call 1-833-438-0878 to speak with a Brightspeed rep or
go to its website.
Buckeye Broadband brand
Performance
4.5
Excellent performance across the board, plus symmetrical upload speeds

In terms of speed, Buckeye Broadband competes well. The company offers a range of speeds up to 1 gig, with a good spread of package tiers. There are two types of service—cable internet and fiber—and both offer speedy downloads. The fiber plans also come with symmetrical speeds, meaning the upload speed and download speed are equal—excellent for content creators and anyone else who uploads and shares lots of large files.

Additionally, Buckeye Broadband offers unlimited data. We're happy about this update since cable plans used to only come with 250 GB of data. For a modern household, that's not nearly enough--on average, people typically use around 536 GB of data per month (1). You could upgrade to unlimited data for $30 per month before, but we're happy to see it included from the get-go.

Available speeds vary by location. Call 1-844-719-0029 to speak with a Buckeye Broadband rep or
go to its website.
Cox
Performance
4.5
Speeds are very reliable, but expect minor slowdowns at peak times

Generally, Cox delivers the speeds it says it does, sometimes even a bit higher—though the speed you experience also depends on lots of factors, such as the equipment you’re using and your distance from the router.

Cox specializes in cable internet, which is faster than DSL and satellite, but slower and less reliable than fiber. It’s also typically cheaper and more reliable than wireless internet. The US Federal Communication Commission, in fact, says actual speeds from Cox are faster than advertised and nearly identical to competitor Optimum. Those speeds are stable, too. The report found slowdowns less than 5% of the time. (1) However, cable internet is known to be slower during peak usage times because you and your neighbors are all using the same street lines.

Available speeds vary by location. Call 1-844-719-0028 to speak with a Cox rep or
go to its website.
BRIGHTSPEED
Equipment and installation
3.5
Decent equipment and self-install options

Brightspeed installation is relatively straightforward. The professional installation has a $99 fee attached, which is pretty standard, but self-installation is free. You’ll probably have to go for the pro install with a fiber plan, since you’ll need an optical network terminal (ONT) installed.

For DSL service, you have a choice of professional installation or self-installation, though you can only self-install DSL service if you already have a phone jack in your home. If you don’t, a technician will have to come out and add one.

The equipment is also straightforward. You get a basic wireless gateway (a combination modem and router) that’ll get you online and handle the speeds for your plan. There are none of the mesh systems and other fancy extras some providers offer, but it’ll do the job. Equipment rental will run you $15 per month, which is fairly standard.

That’s kind of the theme with Brightspeed’s equipment and installation process. There’s nothing bad or out of the ordinary, but there’s also nothing particularly interesting or exciting about it.

Equipment and installation options can vary widely depending on
Brightspeed plans
available in your area.
View plans
Buckeye Broadband brand
Equipment and installation
4.0
A fantastic installation process

Buckeye Broadband's equipment situation depends on whether you have cable or fiber.

Buckeye uses pretty standard Arris wireless gateways for its cable plans. Customers can rent one from the provider for $14 per month, which is in line with most other providers. You can also opt to bring your own equipment—the provider has a list of supported modems to choose from.

Fiber plans include free SmartNet routers powered by eero. However, after chatting with a customer service rep about unclear terms of service, we found out there is a $120 activation fee for any SmartNet services unless you sign a 12-month contract. Since you can keep your promotional price for the length of the contract, that's not a deal-breaker, but it is something to keep in mind.

As for installation, Buckeye doesn’t charge a fee for either installation or service activation with most plans. In the event you somehow land on a package that doesn’t waive the installation fee, it’s only $10, which is lower than most providers—it’s usually closer to $100 for a professional installation.

Equipment and installation options can vary widely depending on
Buckeye Broadband plans
available in your area.
View plans
Cox
Equipment and installation
3.5
Rent a Gateway or bring your own networking equipment

Cox’s Panoramic Wi-Fi Gateway ($13/month to rent) is a modem and router in one, and you can purchase (but not rent) additional Wi-Fi pods ($129.99 each) that plug into a regular power outlet to reduce dead spots in your home. Because these pods can be used only with Cox, they're only an ideal solution if you plan to be with Cox for several years. The good news is Cox is also compatible with tons of other modems and routers, so you could save a few bucks while using your own gear.

With Cox, a self-installation kit is free. But if getting set up on your own makes you sweat, a Cox professional can install it for $100... but that installation cost goes up if your home isn’t already wired up and ready to go. They’ll ensure cabling makes it from the street into your home, but you might need to hire a contractor or handyman to run wires to a specific room.

Equipment and installation options can vary widely depending on
Cox plans
available in your area.
View plans
BRIGHTSPEED
Customer experience
3.0
The great unknown

If one area will make or break Brightspeed, it’s customer experience. The provider got its start by acquiring a large number of DSL markets from CenturyLink, so a lot of customers had their internet service transition from one provider to another. A sudden shift in customer experience here could have been really bad.

Opinions of the service are quite mixed so far. Some customers seem to be having a fine experience, with no noticeable change from how things were with CenturyLink. Others have had a rockier transition, with major complaints about speed and customer service.

These types of reports may give you pause, but since the provider is new and the transition from CenturyLink is still happening, things may improve.

Visit Brightspeed's website
or call 1-833-438-0878 for more information on contracts and money-back guarantees.
Go to provider
Buckeye Broadband brand
Customer experience
2.5
A solid experience brought down by dodgy customer support—what else is new?

The combination of solid performance and minimal fees makes for a good overall experience with Buckeye. However, as with all internet providers, there are some issues. The first is that the prices increase substantially after the introductory period. This is normal internet provider stuff, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it.

The second issue is a general reputation for poor customer service. You’ll quickly find complaints online about communication difficulties and service reliability.

In our research, we thought some of the terms were pretty hard to find on the website, but it only took a few minutes to get in contact with a customer service rep via their online chat feature, and they were able to answer our questions.

Not everyone has a bad experience with Buckeye, but clearly, not everyone has a good experience, either, so just be aware of what you’re getting into.

Visit Buckeye Broadband's website
or call 1-844-719-0029 for more information on contracts and money-back guarantees.
Go to provider
Cox
Customer experience
3.5
Decent customer service, and you can pay for extra tech help

Reviews for internet service providers are notoriously low in general, but Cox does pretty well according to our real customer reviews. The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI) ranks Cox ninth in customer satisfaction among internet service providers—the same as Frontier. (2) That's lower than average, but not by much.

We think Cox’s 30-day, no hassle money-back guarantee is solid. And in our own experience with Cox, we've had solid customer service interactions. If you opt for self-installation, you can still get plenty of help online or by phone if needed. But if you use your own gear or technology isn’t your thing, $10/month will get you extra help, day or night, for things like malware removal, software installation and reconfiguration, and general troubleshooting.

Visit Cox's website
or call 1-844-719-0028 for more information on contracts and money-back guarantees.
Go to provider
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Brightspeed
0.0
(0)
5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Buckeye Broadband
3.6
(6)
5 Star
17%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
50%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
B
Brittneyfrom Toledo, OH
Buckeye Broadband Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 6-24-2022
Good, fast internet
T
Terrencefrom Perrysburg, OH
Buckeye Broadband Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 6-22-2022
they are reliable the speed could be better the wifi does not seem to work like it should thats my big hang up
R
Rebeccafrom Toledo, OH
Buckeye Broadband Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 6-17-2022
They're extremely over-priced. As soon as I move somewhere that I have a choice in providers, I will be dumping them.
W
Whitneyfrom Montgomery, AL
Buckeye Broadband Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 6-17-2022
They try to help u as much as they can.With whatever you need help to guide you.
Cox Communications
4.1
(122)
5 Star
43%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
21%
2 Star
2%
1 Star
1%
M
Michaelfrom Las Vegas, NV
Cox Communications Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 6-17-2022
been with cox for quire a few years. service is ok
C
Cindyfrom Virginia Beach, VA
Cox Communications Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 6-17-2022
My review for Cox is a pleasant experience overall. Sometimes the reliability and speed is not consistent. This makes me long for a more reliable service.
T
Tiffaniefrom Las Vegas, NV
Cox Communications Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 6-17-2022
the value of cox i would say is just decent. they do not go above and beyond like they use to but its okay. the speed is hit or miss. and honestly its not very reliable as we always are having connectivity isuues. its crap to keep it sweet
M
Matthewfrom Alexandria, VA
Cox Communications Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 6-17-2022
Cox has been very reliable over the past 18 months. The technician who came to my house was friendly and good at his job. I would love if their prices were a little lower, especially for cable.
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Endnotes and sources
Endnotes and sources
1. "Broadband Insights Report (OVBI)," OpenVault. Accessed 17 October 2022.
Endnotes and sources
  1. "Measuring Fixed Broadband - Tenth Report," FCC. Accessed 5 August 2022.
  2. Internet Service Providers,” ASCI. Accessed 7 December 2022.