Is Cox Panoramic WiFi worth it?

  • Posted on: 09 Jul 2024
    Is Cox Panoramic WiFi worth it?

  • Is Cox Panoramic WiFi good enough?

    Cox Communications provides its Panoramic WiFi as a paid service alongside its internet offerings at a monthly cost. Panoramic WiFi is a range of equipment that comprises of modem and router and additional WiFi pods or extenders to provide a WiFi signal within your home. However, is opting for Cox’s WiFi equipment worth the extra bucks? Let’s dive into the details of Cox Panoramic WiFi and whether it is a good deal for its consumers.

    What Is Offered by Cox Panoramic WiFi?

    The Panoramic WiFi system is itself made of a single key component known as the Panoramic WiFi Gateway modem/router. This is a combined device that works as the modem through which you connect to the Cox Internet service provider and also as a WiFi router to allow wireless connectivity within the home.

    Key features of the Panoramic WiFi Gateway include:

    - The wireless connectivity is offered by dual-band WiFi with support of the latest WiFi 6/802.11ax standard.
    - There are 4 Gigabit LAN ports available for the wired devices connection.
    - 2 phone ports for connecting phones or faxes as well as an RJ11 socket for connecting up to two phones or faxes.
    - The public interface for the status and settings of the network.
    - Cox Communications has added support for WiFi speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps in line with your subscribed internet service.

    To expand the range and power of the Gateway modem/router, there is a Panoramic WiFi system with WiFi pods. These small extenders are often connected to power outlets in different parts of the home to strengthen the WiFi signal.

    It forms a mesh network with the Gateway to give extended coverage in the area. This reduces WiFi dead zones within your home that could be a result of the Gateway providing a weak signal in certain areas.

    Currently, Cox gives the option of adding one, two, three, or none of these pods to the Gateway based on the size of the house. The company boasts that Panoramic WiFi can cover an area of as large as 5,000 sq. ft while maintaining the full strength of a WiFi signal.

    Management and Security Features

    A key selling point of the Panoramic WiFi system is the set of management and security capabilities it comes with:

    - Panoramic Wifi App: This can also enable one to monitor the WiFi status, connect other devices, set up restricted access for children, and other features right from the handheld device.

    - Advanced Cybersecurity: A software that shields the home network and all connected devices from internet threats. Anti-virus, malware prevention, encryption, and firewall are among the key security features that are provided.

    - Customizable Parental Controls: Allows you to block specific sites, set certain hours for Internet usage, and even turn off the Internet for individual users or specific gadgets. May be set up per the family member’s account and individual settings of the user’s choice.

    - Guest WiFi Network: Has a different networks for guests and the actual home network to ensure that the guest cannot use your main home devices and personal content.

    - Built-in Speedtest: This is particularly possible if you can easily perform Internet speed tests on the Gateway you are using to ensure you are receiving the internet speeds you are being charged by Cox.

    Tools of this type of advanced management and security would be impossible or would necessitate purchasing and configuring new software or hardware on one’s outside of the Panoramic system.

    Speed and Reliability

    Besides the management conveniences that it presents, Cox contends that the Panoramic WiFi will deliver better home wireless performance than customers could establish individually.

    The company notes that this WiFi 6 technology impacts the Panoramic Gateway to moderate traffic and latency issues when many members of a household are using applications and services that demand a lot of bandwidth such as video streaming, video calling, and online gaming.

    Moreover, by adding the Panoramic pods, an intelligently managed mesh network is formed and ensures that there is full WiFi coverage with mobility as you move within the house. This is a more firm and continuous link compared to basic routers which may get weak signals and transient link failure in different areas of your house.

    Cox even assures that Panoramic WiFi will provide you with a superior equipment connection speed. However, if not satisfied, they can switch back to their original modem and router without any extra charges within the first 30 days.

    One disadvantage, despite the faster speeds, is that Panoramic WiFi substantially caps the possible internet speeds at 1 Gbps down, even though Cox offers Gigablast speeds “up to 940 Mbps.” To get WiFi 6 Gigablast speeds, you have to buy your own WiFi 6 router.

    This brings us to the cost of Cox Panoramic WiFi where we can note that the company offers different packages that are charged at varying prices.

    Now what are the additional charges involved when one is subscribing to Panoramic WiFi alongside the Cox internet services?

    The monthly cost of renting the hardware is $12 a month for the Gateway modem/router together with $7 per month for each WiFi pod up to a maximum of three.

    As a condition of accessing the Panoramic WiFi service, you will also be required to sign an initial service commitment of two years.

    Here are the total monthly fees for Panoramic setups:

    - Panoramic Gateway Only: It costs about fifteen dollars per month and approximately $360 per year to access all of the features of the program.
    - Gateway + 1 Pod: As it stands, there are various tiers and pricing models, and one of the cheaper options, which costs around $19/month, can be seen below.
    - Gateway + 2 Pods: average monthly spending of $26.
    - Gateway + 3 Pods: In the meantime, the monthly cost of the company’s services will be $33.

    At these prices, a full three-pod for maximum coverage of the WiFi costs $396, and this includes the Panoramic WiFi service contract of at least two years.

    The cost of owning your own WiFi 6 router, and mesh WiFi system ranges from $300 to 600 dollars upfront. Hence, the monthly costs of renting Cox’s Panoramic devices seem quite justified when compared to the whole picture.

    However, customers have found it possible to buy their equipment that is set up to meet or even exceed the specifications of Cox Panoramic WiFi for under $300. Thus I concluded that renting as an option instead of buying is not very cheap.

    Is Cox Panoramic WiFi Service Justifiable for the Additional Cost?

    In the end, the answer depends on your specific needs and preferences as a Cox Internet customer:

    It also provides Panoramic WiFi customers with enhanced cybersecurity, they get an advanced and high-speed WiFi experience that comes with the convenience of remote monitoring through the Cox app, making it very suitable for households willing to pay the monthly fees for these added services.

    However, for well-equipped users to set up WiFi 6 routers and a mesh system for optimal home coverage, Panoramic WiFi may not offer sufficient advantages versus its monthly charges. However, these customers will have to rely on their own devices to sort out any WiFi issues instead of engaging Cox Support.

    From a broader perspective, Cox Panoramic WiFi is most beneficial to those customers who do not wish to spend time and effort to fine-tune and administer their home WiFi connection themselves. The services provided and the tech support offered by Cox give rationalization to the monthly service fees to those less technologically inclined families who require enhanced wireless performance than those offered by the basic equipment.

    Thus, consider very well the long-term advantages against the cost of renting the equipment to determine whether or not the newer, enhanced Cox WiFi service is beneficial for your home requirements and your technological competence.