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Six Month Rating

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Review by BillRoland See Profile

  • Location: Ocala,Marion,FL
  • Cost: $65 per month
  • Install: about 1 days
Good "Blazing fast, Low Pings, Reliable, official Cox presence here on DSLR"
Bad "Phone/Web tech support is horrific, non RFC Compliant DNS, no NNTP"
Overall "Best value for the money locally, recommend it over DSL any day in this area."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I got Cox Express back in November of 2001 and the service was rock solid. The speed was at the caps and the pings were low. The problem was that there was no e-mail or news service, and the routing out of the local AT&T DS3's wasn't exactly terrific. Had some problems with connection drops, but thanks to the Cox staff at DSLR and the Local Cox guys, the problem was fixed and service has been great since (almost a year ago now).

Now, warp into 2003. We're being converted to Cox High Speed Internet. We're pretty much on the new HSI network already, and the new features like e-mail, newsgroups, webspace, local start page are now being added to Ocala/Gainesville users. We also have an optional 3000/256Kbps tier. The only problem with all this is that while 3000/256 service costs $39.95 in Pensacola and many other places, it costs us $59.99 a month. I don't like it, but I have lodged my complaints with Cox, lets see what happens. That said, I ordered the new tier earlier today and got a notification that it was active at about 3:00pm. All I can say is, WOW! 3200Kbps is my new average downstream speed, and I'm around 240Kbps up. The pings are good to most places, and the routing has become a lot better in the last 6 months. I wish they would lower the cost, but they're still lower than DSL for double the speed. I would highly recommend Cox to anyone. Also, please remember to stop by the Cox HSI forum here at BBR and take a look around.

March 2004 Update: Since the DOCSIS 1.1 upgrade in this area, the service has been nothing short of perfect for me. My speeds have stabled out considerably, and they are always right at the peak. Pings are equally good, and the whole network seems to perform very well from my end. The e-mail/news servers also work well. Cox has been a little late in the game to SPAM filtering, but that's coming down the pike now too. The only thing I am dissatisfied with as a customer is the fact that in Pensacola, Cox HSI (3000/256Kbpp) service costs $39.95, and here it costs $59.95. In that context I feel like we're getting the short end of the stick. In the context of being the best value around here, I don't feel so bad because I feel it is. A tradeoff I guess.

August 2004 Update: Well Cox just upgraded most markets to great speeds at no cost. That's great, but they left me out again. Sorry but the Value for the Money just took a hit. E-mail and news service has not been great lately either. That takes a hit on the review too. I hope I can raise them all back up this soon.

January 2005 Update: Cox upgraded our market back in November and finally unified our pricing and speed with the rest of the Cox HSI nation. As that has really been my only quarrel, I am what you would call completely satisfied with this service. 5000/768Kbps and I'm always right at the cap, especially since pitching my old trusty Toshiba PCX1100u for a Motorola SURFboard 5100. The SURFboard is just much more stable in speed, and I noticed a big performance gain on the upload side. I feel like, for $52 a month I am getting a great value with the amount of speed they are providing. The service has been rock solid. The e-mail hiccups every now and then but its performance is acceptable, the Spam filter seems a little slow at adapting but Spam is less of a problem now that it was before. Also installed Cox Business Internet at my place of employment, the 6000/1000Kbps package, and the speeds are very stable and very close to the caps, so Cox has done a good job of managing the HFC to make sure its not overloaded with the new speed offerings in this area at least. Overall 5 Stars from me.

March 2006: Ok well DSLR keeps bugging me to update my review. Not much has changed, other than Cox has upped our speed in the area to 9/1Mbps service for the premier tier. Only thing I can say about that is I get 9/1Mbps speeds all the time! The pings are solid and low, the service remains solid, overall it continues to be an excellent experience. I've still got my trusty Motorola SURFBoard 5100 doing the honors, runs like a champ. As I said last time, for $52 a month, I feel like I am getting my money's worth. The only negative part to the Cox HSI experience is that the newsgroup service has deteriorated considerably. They use to have a 5 star newsgroup system, now its barely usable at all. Except for that, the service is top notch.

June 2007: I'm still running along on Cox HSI Premier tier. Speeds have been bumped to 12/1Mbps, and we now have PowerBoost which I have personally hit over 21Mbps during a download, so that is pretty sweet. I am hoping soon for 15/2Mbps but realistically, without meaningful competition from Embarq I doubt we'll see this for a while. I've got a Motorola SURFboard 5120 now, it seems to do its thing quite happily. On the negative side, Cox has implemented broken DNS which redirects mistyped URLs to advertisements, which frankly pisses me off. Tier 1 phone support is as stupid as ever. The techs here on DSLR make up for it though. They've outsourced the news servers to Highwinds, which is a group of idiots. Its completely unusable now, I don't even try anymore, which may have been the plan all along. Overall still recommended, but there are some ominous signs developing.

January 2008: Time for an update. I still have the Cox HSI Premier tier, speeds are still 12/1Mbps, but with PowerBoost it often feels faster. The service has been extremely stable lately and overall I have no real complaints. I still am not happy about the DNS redirection scheme, but I have bypassed that by using different, RFC compliant DNS servers. I don't even try the news groups anymore. The e-mail works pretty good and the storage size and attachment size are generous. The Cox employee presences here on the DSLR boards is second to none, and those guys deserve a big thank you from all of us for dedicating their time to helping us out here. Overall I still highly recommend Cox for internet, tv, and phone services.

October 2008: Still going strong with Cox HSI. Speeds are still stuck at 12/1Mbps for the time being, although they have been upgrading their plant to 1GHz, so maybe some speed increases are in the works. No real complaints about the service; it delivers blazing fast speed, is very reliable, and is generally as advertised. They still use their DNS redirects to ads, but I get around that by using alternate DNS servers. Newsgroups continue to decline, I wouldn't be surprised to see them pull the plug on it soon. Webspace is very lacking. All in all, it delivers 100% on being a fast and reliable pipe to the internet. The extras, such as webspace, newsgroups, are very lacking, but luckily there are alternatives that make it a moot point.

May 2010: Still using Cox HSI. Speeds are now at 15/1.5Mbps, with PowerBoost that regularly surges them into 20/5+Mbps while its active. I have to be honest, there isn't much to report. Its still reliable. The speed is still the best in this area by far, but is stagnant. The value for the money has declined a bit; I consider continuous improvement to be a value and it doesn't seem to be happening nearly as much now. Overall I think its a great service, its a little pricey, but still better than DSL any day.

January 2013: Still using Cox HSI. Speeds are now 36/5Mbps with Powerboost up to 45/6Mbps (I actually see speeds much higher than that). Not too much to report, other than the recent multi-day e-mail outage. Its the best speed for the money, its miles ahead of DSL. The price is a little high, tech support outside of the guys here on DSLR is sketchy, but overall highly recommened.

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updated 1.8 years ago