|This FAQ text is copyright dslreports.com|
Reproduction of all or part only with our permission..
This FAQ is edited by: PapaSmurf , redxii , No_Strings , CoxTech1 , CoxTOC1 , CoxTier2CB
It was last modified on 2013-12-24 13:54:40
What are the advertised speeds for Cox HSI?
Several packages are available in each Cox market with speeds up to 18 Mbps downstream and 1.5 Mbps upstream. PowerBoost downstream up to 22 Mbps.
Where can I find the AUP, SA and usage limitation information?
What type of email/newsgroups service does Cox offer?
Is my IP address static or dynamic?
Cox High Speed Internet IP addresses are dynamically assigned to each computer on the Cox High Speed Internet network. Therefore, an IP address can change at any time. If you need static IP addressing, please contact Cox Business Services for a business solution that fits your needs.
Does Cox provide web space for my homepage?
No. This formerly free benefit has been removed.
"Cox Communications No Longer Offers Personal WebSpace Effective December 6, 2011
Cox has discontinued offering Personal WebSpace to our customers. Declining usage of the Personal WebSpace service has highlighted the need to focus our resources on other priorities, such as increasing our Internet speeds and providing new services such as Cox Secure Online Backup."
What should my modem signal levels be?
Information on signal levels: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/robin.d.h.walker/cmtips/signal.html#signal
For non-DOCSIS 3.0 modems:
Downstream power level (Receive): -15dbmV to +15dbmV
A value of -15 or worse indicates a poor downstream signal path. A tech would aim for a value close to the optimal 0 dBmV, but a good cable modem should be capable of working within the broader range of -15 to +15 dBmV, provided the downstream Signal to Noise Ratio remains good enough.
Upstream (Transmit): 35-52 dBmV. A value within the range +35 to +52 dBmV is within spec with the low to mid 40's the most common. If the cable modem is going offline, and the upstream signal strength is at or above +52dBmV, then a poor upstream path is probably the problem.
Carrier/Noise Ratio: 35 db and above The downstream Signal to Noise Ratio must be 35 dB or higher. The lower ratio the more noise and the poorer the performance. The Cable Modem will have to keep requesting retransmissions of packets with uncorrectable errors.
DOCSIS 3.0 modems:
Downstream power level (Receive): -15dbmV to +15dbmV
A value of -10 or worse indicates a poor downstream signal path. A tech would aim for a value close to the optimal 0 dBmV, but a good cable modem should be capable of working within the broader range of -10 to +10 dBmV, provided the downstream Signal to Noise Ratio remains good enough. Additionally all downstream channels should be within a +/-2db window with respect to each other.
Upstream (Transmit): 40-52 dBmV. A value within the range +40 to +52 dBmV is within spec with the low to mid 40's the most common. If the cable modem is going offline, and the upstream signal strength is at or above +52dBmV, then a poor upstream path is probably the problem.
Carrier/Noise Ratio: 35 db and above The downstream Signal to Noise Ratio must be 35 dB or higher on each channel. The lower ratio the more noise and the poorer the performance. The Cable Modem will have to keep requesting retransmissions of packets with uncorrectable errors.
How should I ping my first hop?
You should ping your first hop apprx fifty times. (To get your first hop do a tracert to anywhere and note the first address like 10.xx.xx.xx
Then go to the DOS prompt and enter: ping -n 50 xx.xx.xx.xx)
The pings to your first hop should normally be under 30ms with an occasional ping in the 60-70ms range. Disregard the first ping. If you see high pings or a high spike and are running Win9x/ME hold down Ctrl/Alt/Del and "End Task" on all programs except for Explorer and Systray. Then try the ping to your first hop again. If they look normal now that usually indicates it is a program running in the background that is causing the problem. Reboot and try disabling programs loading at start up to find the one causing the problem.
If the pings remain high or high spikes after closing all programs except Explorer and Systray, then you can eliminate the possibility of a background program as a cause.
Who are the authorized Cox employees that provide support on this forum?
What are the advertised speeds for Cox HSI?
Cox offers the following tiers, speeds (up/down) and associated bandwidth caps (per month, includes inbound and outbound and ARP data which accounts for about 1 GB of data see this FAQ: »Cox HSI Forum FAQ
»Why would I see ARP traffic outside my subnet
Speeds are: the non power boosted speeds, dependent on market, and not all tiers/speeds are available in all markets. Accurate as of 1/25/11
512 or 768 Kbps / 256 Kbps
1 Mbps / 256 or 384 Kbps
1.5 Mbps / 256 Kbps
3 Mbps / 384 or 768 Kbps
9, 10, 12, 15 or 16 Mbps / 768 kilobits, 1, 1.5, 2 or 4 Mbps
15, 18, 20, 22 or 25 Mbps / 1.5, 2, 3 or 4 Mbps
25 Mbps / 2 Mbps
50 Mbps / 5 Mbps
Taken from: »ww2.cox.com/aboutus/policies/limitations.cox
Thanks to XIII
for this FAQ.
Why do I need a professional install for Ultimate Package?
The Ultimate package uses frequency spectrum higher than the existing Video and HSI spectrum. A install allows a tech to insure your cabling, splitters, and other equipment are ready for these frequencies.
Thanks to CoxJimR
for this FAQ.
What are my installation options?
Currently any tier of service with the exception of Ultimate can be self-installed in most cases with the exception of customers subscribing to satellite TV service. This is to prevent the possibility of the satellite TV lines becoming interconnected with our cable lines to minimize noise issues. Ultimate Tier requires a professional installation at this time due to the new range of frequencies being used to provide the service. This is to make sure that these newer frequencies work at your residence and ensure a positive customer experience.
What is Provisioning?
Provisioning occurs when a new modem is initiated/activated. Sometimes configuration issues can come up, and you'll hear tech support say, "We will "reprovision" the modem." Think of it as "resetting" your connection.
What is a CMTS?
CMTS stands for Cable Modem Terminating System. It enables access over the hybrid fiber coaxial network via a cable modem.
What is an MLS?
An MLS is a multi-layer switch. It interconnects with other network elements at the edge of the network. Multiple CMTS will usually aggregate into a single MLS.
What is a backbone Router?
A backbone router is an OSI layer 3 device that connects with other backbone routers to form the complete network backbone. Some backbone routers will connect to backbone routers of other providers (non Cox HSI) as well to "peer" the network. Connection to the internet is provided through a backbone router that interconnects to an Internet provider's network.
What is Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC)?
Hybrid Fiber Coax is a way of delivering video, voice telephony, data, and other interactive services over coaxial and fiber optic cables.
An HFC network works consists of a headend office, distribution center, fiber nodes, and network interface units.
The headend office receives information such as television signals, Internet packets, and streaming media, then delivers them through a SONET ring to distibution centers. The distribution centers then send the signals to neighborhood fiber nodes, which convert the optical signals to electrical signals and redistributes them on coaxial cables to residents' homes where network interface units send the appropriate signals to the appropriate devices (i.e. television, computer, telelphone).
What is a node?
The cable system is divided into nodes. In most cable systems, there is fiber optic cable running from the cable company to a large box somewhere in that node. Inside that box there is a media converter which converts the signal from optical (light)to RF (radio frequency).
What is DOCSIS?
DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) is the Cable Modem standard that defines the interface requirements of high-speed data transmission over cable networks. You can also see the CableLabs Certified logo on some modems, which also means the modem is DOCSIS compliant.
What is a cable modem?
A cable modem is an electronic adapter that permits a personal computer to receive Internet data from the high-speed information resources of a cable television system. Cable modems permit personal computers to receive Internet information at rates of up to hundreds of times faster than typical, consumer market telephone modems. A cable modem attaches to a personal computer through a network interface card (NIC) installed inside the computer. The cable television system's cable brings the information into the cable modem and then the cable modem sends the information into the computer through the NIC.
How is prioritizing any different from loss?
That's an excellent question. The reason is that both ping and traceroute use a special packet type called an Internet Control Message Protocol or ICMP packet. These are used primarily for network attached devices to send short messages to each other and as such are very different from transport protocols such as UDP or TCP, which is what 'real data' such as web pages or video downloads use.
As more computers moved from temporary connections such as dialup to permanent connections as we have today, it became common for virus and trojan writers to include a mechanism to search for nearby hosts via ping in an attempt to locate more systems to infect. The net sum of having to manage this additional flood of ICMP packets was that routers, firewalls and other network devices could become so busy responding to pings that they were rendered ineffective at actually sending real traffic...what is known as a denial of service attack.
This is why it is now common practice for engineers to setup their devices to treat ICMP with the lowest priority, if now downright ignore it (my Juniper firewall at home is set to ignore ICMP and thus can't be pinged) This is what is often called "de-prioritization" here and helps to ensure that 'real packets' get through before the fluff.
This is what you are seeing when you do a traceroute and one hop is showing loss or high latency while the next is just fine. You can tell it is just a case of the host in question taking its time to respond because if there was real packet loss that host would impact all the other hops because it sits between you and them.
and there it is in a nutshell, albeit a lengthy one
Explanation provided by bbeesley
3. Service Settings
After successfully completing the installation of the Network Interface Card you will need to verify that your computers TCP/IP settings have been correctly set. TCP/IP is the communication protocol that your computer uses to communicate with the Internet. You must have TCP/IP installed and properly configured in order to access the Cox High Speed Internet service. Your Cox High Speed Internet installation disk should have automatically configured these settings. It is, however, a good idea to verify that these properties are correct.
If your computer is already part of a network, you must modify the network configuration on your computer in order to connect to Cox High Speed Internet.
This involves one of the following actions:
- Change your computers configuration, disconnect from the network, then connect to Cox High Speed Internet.
- Use another computer which is not connected to the network to connect to Cox High Speed Internet.
Use the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) service to obtain the
- IP Address
- Default gateway
- Domain Name Service (DNS) address.
For more information:Equipment setup, networking and other FAQs
What are the POP mail server addresses for Cox HSI?
Cox is divided into three (3) regions:
East = CT, FL, GA, LA, NC, OH, RI, VA
Central = AR, IA, ID, KS, MI, NE, OK, TX, UT
West = AZ, CA, NV
Note: edited to remove news server references.
Does Cox HSI work with Linux?
Cox HSI does not officially support the Linux operating system. However, the service works quite well (some say even better) under Linux. For help setting up your Linux system to use Cox HSI, please visit our All Things Unix forum.
4. Networking and Sharing
Can I use a Router with Cox?
Cox will allow you to create a home network and have helpful FAQs on their support page. However, if you do have problems with your connection you may be required to connect your modem directly into a computer since Cox will not support home networks due to the complexities and numerous configurations they can have.
"I think it's pretty safe to point out that the option "enable WAN requests", if your router has that option, makes your router pingable, and thus can be troubleshooted by a Cox tech. It'll simply appear as the primary machine on the network."
Thanks to MetalMorph
Does Cox offer Multiple IPs?
Cox does offer up to 2 additional IPs to make it possible to have 3 total. This option can be added to the account by the HSD phone tech reps (tier1). After the IPs are added the modem must be power cycled (power disconnected for approximately 45sec-1min and then plugged back in) for the modem to obtain the setting change (new config file) that allows it to pull multiple IPs from the DHCP server. Once this is done the IP lease should be renewed on each machine to verify it can now obtain a public address.
Cox will not support the network directly or the hardware associated with it (hub/switch etc). To troubleshoot problems that arise with this the modem must be attached directly to all PCs individually. Troubleshooting of the LAN hardware itself is generally left up to the manufacturer of said hardware.
The cost is typically a $9.95 one-time setup fee and $6.95 per month per IP. This price may vary slightly from market to market but can be used as a general guide when determining the best multi-pc solution for your individual situation.
What ports and services are blocked on Cox residential accounts?
Why can't I send e-mail outside of Cox's network?
Quite simply, it is to reduce spambots.
If you are in such a situation that you are away from home, say in college, there are two ways around this:
-Use Cox's webmail
-Specify an alternate SMTP server, that you have access to such as your school's mail server, in your e-mail client.
You will probably prefer to use an e-mail client. The incoming server will not change, but you will need to consult your network administrator on getting details for changing your SMTP server.
What are the names and IP addresses of the Cox DNS servers for manual setup
For DNS servers you can find the addresses this way:
You can also find them fairly easily w/ DOS' NSLOOKUP command following Cox's DNS server naming convention.
e.g. NSLOOKUP ns1.xx.cox.net and NSLOOKUP ns2.xx.cox.net where the "xx" is the local area's two-letter code. (or taken from »Cox HSI Router Abbreviations
»What are the Cox Router Abbreviations?
Should I buy or lease a modem?
Not paying a monthly fee on the modem will save you money in the long run (normally about a year, sometimes less depending on price) as long as you keep your service for a significant period of time. Be sure to check with Cox before buying to verify they support the modem.
A list of approved modems can be found at:
Modems supported by Cox
For customers who want to purchase a cable modem from a source other than Cox, A list of approved modems can be found at:Supported modem list
Is there a preferred test for posting problem info on the forum(ping plot,etc)?
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a gospel. Far too many variables to count on any single measurement. While a ping test MAY give an indication of a problem, it can also be misleading.
All that said, it really helps to have someone express what service (e-mail, news, web surfing speed)is affected and how. Saying something like, "My e-mail is slow," doesn't give us a lot to work with. It would be best expressed if you said something like, "My e-mail keeps timing out," or "I can't get to my personal web space, it keeps giving me error x." That's sufficient substance to know where to start trouble shooting, and it's a universal language most tech support professionals understand.
On speed tests, that's an imperfect science as well. Since the packet(s) being measured leave the Cox network(at some point), traverse the Internet and then return, your results are likely to be scewed if you only test once. In my humblest of opinions, the best measure comes from running the test at the same site at different times over a number of days(making sure you clear your cache after each test). This establishes a trend of peaks and valleys, and can give you a better indication of your particular connection's performance. Yet, even this method has it's down side. Once you leave the Cox network you'll likely pick up those Internet dust bunnies (external latency, slow or congested servers, etc.) that can return slower speed results that what you're actually getting through the Cox network. Again, multiple tests over a period of days can minimize the impact of this.
Back to the gospel thing, there are some really good tools here at this site. On occasion, we have been able to help customers just by interpretting the results they've posted here. There are just some obvious things that jump right out. However, what we've found is that a blend of tests work best. In most cases we revert to following up on ping tests and the findings of tools here with our own internal diagnostic tools. That way, we have as much data as possible and can better determine what things to look at and solutions to try.
Is there a web site for Cox HSI support?
Are my ping times and packet loss a problem?
First, remember that a "ping" is an Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) packet. It's a pretty simple as protocols go. ICMP is defined in RFC 792 and provides a way for IP stacks to send simple messages containing information or errors. Given this, it often gets the lowest priority of any protocol on the routing totem-pole, and may actually be rejected by routers if there is a lot of traffic on the network at a given time. To all that, ICMP has been used for scanning, Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, and tunneling thus some providers/markets turned off replies to ping.
Next, pinging the network and trying to correlate packet loss as the cause of your specific problem falls a bit short of the mark. Latency could be a result of the ICMP packets being held while higher priority traffic gets passed. Some devices will even discard ICMPs and give a false positive reading on packet loss. Furthermore, networks are loaded with electronic devices that will experience hiccups (for lack of a better word). That you saw a ping spike or two in a twenty four hour period is probably not an indicator of a problem.
To all that, pinging to a specific interface can give you inconclusive results. You should try to ping through the interface to a known device on the other side. Also, it's not uncommon to see that a ping coming from the ingress side of an interface yields a different result than one coming from the egress side. For example, someone in Middle Georgia, pinging to an interface on the Atlanta network(pinging from egress point)might see packet loss, where someone from Phoenix pinging (ingress)that same interface would see none.
So, what do you do? Well, don't discount packet loss or latency completely. This may indeed be an indicator of a problem with a router or interface. Do post the results of trace routes and ping plots, just remember to further quantify the problem by telling a little bit about what drove you to start trace routing in the first place (i.e. - slow download speeds (under 1 MB), frequent disconnects, modem losing sync, etc.)
Secondly, check all the obvious things -- your cable connections, RWIN settings (see the Tweaks forum here), look at the modem diagnostics if you have access to it, make sure you have all the latest patches for your browser, e-mail, and news client, etc. Check »support.cox.net
for details on technical problems and service configuration.
If you're an online gamer, check the gaming forum here. Lots of pros to help you ensure your game and PC configurations are correct, and that you get the most out of the experience.
Also remember that the more info you can provide about your problem in the post, the easier it will be for other participants and tech support to assist in getting your problem resolved.
Is there an official Cox speedtest site?
Cox does not have an official speedtest site. Some systems may have a home grown solution in place, but nothing exists for the global audience.
Why would I see ARP traffic outside my subnet
ARP stands for Address Resolution Protocol. Its a protocol that allows the OS to associate an ip address (layer 3) with an ethernet MAC address (layer 2). For instance, lets say we have two computers, A and B. A has the ip address 10.0.0.1 and the ethernet MAC address 00:00:00:00:00:01. B has the ip address 10.0.0.2 and the ethernet MAC 00:00:00:00:00:02. Both machines are on the same ethernet segment.
The first time A wants to send an IP packet to B, it initiates a conversation like this:
1) A -> FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF, ARP who has 10.0.0.2? This is a broadcast ethernet frame. It goes to every computer connected to the segment.
2) B -> A, ARP I have 10.0.0.2. This reply is directed specifically to A.
Now A knows that B is on the same segment as itself and the ip address 10.0.0.2 is associated with the ethernet MAC 00:00:00:00:00:02. Any traffic bound for 10.0.0.2 is then addressed to 00:00:00:00:00:02. It caches this ARP entry so it doesnt have to rebroadcast every time it sends a packet to B.
The same principle applies to a CMTS. All the computers connected to cable modems registered on the CMTS are on a virtual ethernet. When the CMTS receives an ip packet, it sends out a broadcast ARP request to every computer attached to the interface for that subnet to find out what CPE MAC is associated with the IP. Most (all?) markets are now using ip bundling, which means that subnets span multiple interfaces. Because of this, each bundled interface has more customers on it, and thus they see a good deal more ARP traffic than they did back in the @Home days.
An ethernet ARP packet is only 60 bytes long, so the extra traffic does not affect the customers service in any way.
So to sum it all up:
1) Its normal for customers to see lots of ARP requests
2) Its normal for customers to see ARP requests for ip addresses on subnets other than the one their computer is currently on
3) The ARP traffic is harmless.
(SPECIAL THANKS: To the Cox abuse department for this input)
ARP traffic is INCLUDED in your data totals for your connection usage and does count against the amount specified in the Cox usage limitation policy. It is estimated that approximately 1GB per month in traffic to your connection is ARP packets.
Will I loose my Cox HSI service during a power outage?
That depends. At a high level, in order for your HSI service to say "up," if you've lost electricity at you house your cable modem and any essential network devices would have to have their own backup power (e.g. UPS) so that they could continue to operate during the power outage.
The various network devices between the head-end and your cable modem have backup power available to keep them running during comercial power failure. Most distribution systems are actively monitored and will continue to operate on batteries for a number of hours. In this scenario, as battery capacity starts to dwindle below a certain standard, a technician is dispatched to the power suply and a portable generator is connected -- thus, keeping the connection alive. Other systems have backup generators which can maintain operation of the system as long as there is a fuel source.
What Are These Messages In My Modem Log?
T3's normally occur on the downstream path after the modem has established communication with the CMTS (Cable Modem Termination System) during what is called station maintenance. The modem negotiates it's upstream power levels (transmit levels) and waits for a response from the CMTS. After 200ms if the modem has not received a response the modem encounters a T3 timeout. The modem then boosts its transmit levels again thinking that the CMTS cannot "hear" it until it can receive a response.
UCD's are Upstream Channel Descriptor. These messages are sent from the CMTS on the downstream path basically telling a modem what upstream frequency it needs to be on.
The next error "Received Response to Broadcast Maintenance Request,..." is known as a T4 timeout. This sort of timeout can sometimes indicate possible upstream issues such as contention (competition for bandwidth with other modems). Periodically, the CMTS will send out "keep-alive" messages to the modems during their maintenance cycles. The error indicates that it received that broadcast packet, but due to unknown reasons it was not able to transmit a response (But no Unicast opportunity received). Sometimes this can be due to the amount of traffic on the upstream channel, upstream utilization, things of that nature. There are numerous possibilities as to why the modem was not able to transmit back. Once a modem encounters 16 T4 timeouts in a row the modem will reset its connection.
The next message is a normal message regarding the Organizaional Identifier (OID).
ToD stands for Time of Day. When the modem has established communication with the CMTS it accesses a TFTP server (Trivial File Transfer Protocol server) where it will obtain an IP address from the DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server and syncs its time with the CMTS, hence the Time of Day request.
The next log entry "DHCP WARNING - Non-critical field invalid response," sometimes will occur during a DHCP lease cycle. DHCP clients request an address on startup and when they are approaching the end of their address lease period. When a client does not have a current lease, it broadcasts a DHCP discover message on its local network segment. All DHCP servers on the network segment copy this message, and respond with a broadcast message announcing that they have an address available. The requesting client chooses one of these offers, usually the first one it receives, and broadcasts a DHCP request message indicating that it has selected that server's offer. While a server is awaiting the client's selection, it can (and should) reserve the offered address so that it is not offered to another client in the meantime. The DHCP server then replies to the request message with a DHCP acknowledgement message which includes the client's IP address, subnet mask, default gateway, and other configuration information.
DHCP provides option fields to allow the client to request and obtain vendor-specific configuration information from the server. This error indicates that one of those options fields were invalid.
The last log entry to address is the "SYNC Timing Synchronization failure - Failed to acquire QAM/QPSK symbol timing and FEC Synchronization Framing. The CMTS periodically broadcasts a basic set of instructions used by all modems. This instruction set must be used by the modem to enable any further communication with the CMTS. QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) is the form of digital modulation used primarily in transmitting downstream data signals. During its scan, the modem must locate and synchronize with the QAM-64 or QAM-256 carrier that contains data necessary for modem operation. This synchronization is commonly referred to as QAM lock.
FEC (Forward Error Correction) places overheard or parity bits in the data stream to help identify and correct errors that may occur when data is transmitted through the network. During the modem's initialization process it must synchronize with these FEC protocols so that the FEC system can correct errors. Cable receivers also use this method of error correction. This can also be associated with PreFEC BER (Bit Error Rate[or Ratio]) and PostFEC BER.
So to sum up many of these errors are common which you will see frequently. The main errors to watch out for in my opinion would be the T3, T4, QAM/QPSK symbol timing and FEC synchronization framing. These could potential point to some signal issues which most likely need to be addressed by a technician.
Descriptions, courtesy of AZHSISUPPRT2
9. Forum Tips
Effective Complaining 101
1) Check the network status at status.cox.net
first. There may be an outage in your area, thus no need to seek help here.
2) If you do post, please give details. While one might consider "my connection sux" or "this Cox stuff don't work" as a keen, fact filled observation, it does little to explain the problem in enough detail to help. Think about giving the OS, modem type, or whatever info you can that may be helpful in diagnosing the issue and determining the solution. That said, make sure you also read www.dslreports.com/faq/4313
in this FAQ. It explains a bit about latency and packet loss and when you should really be concerned.
3) For connection, packet loss or latency issues post a ping plot (download free from pingplotter.com
or an equivalent. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words and can speed up the process of getting you going again. Also try visualroute.visualware.com
4) Check previous threads. There may already be one going on your particular issue.
5) Try to find a fix on the Cox knowledge base at www.expressresponse.com/cox_isp
or poke around support.cox.net
. You'd be surprised at the number of people who've encountered your exact trouble and we've got the resulting fix posted in one of these locations.
6) Check out the tweaks forum here on this site. Loads of good tools to help you optimize your connection as well as FAQs on how and what to tweak.
7) Have a home network? Cox is in the process of launching a fully supported home network product. Additionally, for the do-it-yourselfers, while Cox doesn't officially support your home grown networks, there's lots of knowledgeable help here in this forum and in the Networking forum.