Enter one of the big players, Time Warner Cable (TWC). They report to be the second largest multiple service provider in the U.S., and they serve over 14 million customers, including 9.7 million residential high-speed data customers. This large ISP provides services to 39 states, supports internet speeds up to 50Mbps, includes free internet security and wins our TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award.
Through their own hybrid fiber coaxial cable network, they are able to support internet connection speeds up to 50Mbps. They also have a product called Road Runner that supports medium speeds of 10 to 30Mbps and via EarthLink, they can provide a variety of lower speed options. However, the majority of their customers (12 million) are currently residential TV subscribers and they own an extensive list of television news stations.
Time Warner Cable, formerly Time Cable Communications, is located in midtown Manhattan and has 30 operating divisions in such cities as San Diego, Buffalo, Greensboro and Cincinnati. Like most cable companies, they have received some bad press and reviews; however, we had to break through the reputation buzz and determine if they are capable of delivering high-speed internet to their customers and whether they have the means to take care of their customers' needs.
What we have found is that despite their bad customer service reviews, which all cable companies receive, TWC has proved through many third-party tests that it is capable of delivering high-speed internet, well above 10Mbps in many areas. In all tests, they demonstrate speeds faster than wireless and satellite options and often are the only high-speed option in an area. They also have the infrastructure and revenue needed to continue to expand and improve services, which is important for long-term dependability. In our experiences with customer support, they were courteous, knowledgeable and fast.
Time Warner Cable provides high-speed data services to 9.7 million residential customers in 28 states. Like most large cable companies, they provide more services to cities rather than rural areas. The only region they do not provide many services in is the southeast area of the U.S. in such states as Florida, Alabama and Tennessee. In addition, not all areas have access to their newer hybrid fiber coaxial network.
This ISP offers a variety of internet access options, including wideband internet, Road Runner, Road Runner with PowerBoost, WiFi hotspot access and EarthLink high-speed internet. Wideband internet can provide speeds up to 50Mbps, Road Runner between 10Mbps and 30Mbs and Earthlink up to 10Mbs. Their WiFi hotspots are free for all TWC customers accessing from the New York area. Like a few of their competitors, they have begun to deploy DOC SIS 3.0 technology and provide speeds of up to 50Mbps, which is faster than standard broadband. This service is not available everywhere, but it's worth looking into if you have access.
In third-party tests, TWC performs in about the top 25 percent of ISPs and proves capable of performing demanding tasks such as streaming movies. In national broadband tests, you can find speeds within the 50Mbps range in such cities as New York, N.Y., and Arlington, Texas. They also test at speeds ranging from 10 to 25Mbps in cities such as Honolulu, Hawaii, and Greensboro, N.C.
All Time Warner Cable internet accounts may include five 10MB email accounts as well as free antivirus, antispam and firewall protection. Internet plans also come with parental controls. The internet security they include is the CA Internet Security Suite. The parental controls with the software can block websites and filter content. This software also includes anti-phishing protection and continuous updates. TWC also provides digital DVR, HD TV, voice plans and mobile services. Like most large cable companies, they also offer bundled packages for TV, phone and internet services. Some services they offer in limited areas include on-demand movies, remote DVR management, whole house DVR and on-demand recording.
TWC customers can contact technical and customer support 24/7 in a variety of ways. You can contact them via chat support 24/7 or call your local support office. You can also email them at any time or search their support articles. We contacted them by chat and they answered our questions quickly. Their service centers can handle sales, payments, self-install kits, box swaps, product demonstrations and more. In addition, many Best Buys and P.C. Richard & Sons locations can add or upgrade TWC services.
In most cases, they are able to get service techs out to their customers within a few days. Since cable performance can be affected by many things such as bad connections, weather, bad modems, node overloads and so on, we looked for services that can get someone onsite soon to figure out the problem, even if it takes multiple visits, and TWC seems capable of doing this. If one of TWC's faster internet packages is available in your area, it is well worth looking into, especially if you enjoy online media and have more than one computer connected in your home.
When it comes right down to it, what most people want is dependable internet speeds at a decent price and someone there to fix it fast should it go down. Few care about whether they get five or 10 email accounts or McAfee or Norton internet security; they just want internet that works. From numerous third-party tests we have seen, Time Warner Cable is capable of consistently delivering speeds of 10 to 50Mbps. This is fast enough for most people to do the things they want to do online – things like streaming movies and music, watching video, checking social network accounts and shopping online.
Time Warner Cable has the infrastructure in place to provide faster than average internet speeds, up to 50Mbps in some areas.
Their high-speed plans are not available in all areas and it is rumored that TWC may test consumption-based billing again.
If they provide consistently fast internet in your area, you should check them out. They can support up to 50Mbps in some areas and provide good, free internet security.