Time Warner ISP Review & Reader Survey Results

Pricing: 2 ¼ Stars

Despite offering seemingly reasonable performance for a modest price (compared to similar services from different ISPs), our readers gave Time Warner Cable's pricing the lowest score of any category, at only 2 1/4 (2.36) stars out of five. A trend appears to be developing in our round-up where we see the lowest scores in the pricing category. Many of our readers are particularly sensitive to pricing; pricing was voted the second most-important factor when choosing an ISP by our surveyed Time Warner Cable participants. Despite our survey results, though, when you do the math, Time Warner Cable's rates have some of the best price-to-performance ratios in our series.

I was required to input a serviceable address into Time Warner Cable's website, and once I found a suitable location in Texas, I was shown the ISP's speed tiers. Similarly to other ISPs, TWC offers promotional rates for a year, after which regular rates apply. However, I could not find a set-in-stone contract term or price anywhere on the company's site, so I contacted support for help.

The representative I spoke to helped shed light on the subject, explaining that the promotional rates last 12 months, after which they can be renegotiated (by choosing another promotional rate) or the service can be cancelled with no penalty. Furthermore, I was told that normal pricing for each service tier is only $5 to $10 more expensive, or even cheaper after the first year. Time Warner Cable's Internet services don't technically come with a minimum term, so it appears that these prices are legitimate and you can cancel any time.

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TWC Internet PlanDownload SpeedPromotional Rate TermMinimum Contract TermStand-Alone PricePrice to Performance
“Low Priced”Up to 3 Mb/sN/AN/A$15/month$5.00 per Mb/s
BasicUp to 10 Mb/s12 MonthsN/A$30/month$3.00 per Mb/s
ExtremeUp to 50 Mb/s12 MonthsN/A$35/month$0.70 per Mb/s
Ultimate 100Up to 100 Mb/s12 MonthsN/A$45/month$ 0.45 per Mb/s
Ultimate 200Up to 200 Mb/s12 MonthsN/A$55/month$0.28 per Mb/s
Ultimate 300Up to 300 Mb/s12 MonthsN/A$65/month$0.22 per Mb/s

Time Warner Cable offers the best price-to-performance ratio we've seen thus far. It also offers speeds higher than any previous entrant in our series. However, the survey score, as determined by our readers, appears to ignore this, resulting in a sub-par 2 1/4 stars out of five awarded to the second-largest cable Internet provider in the country.

Readers who rated pricing below three stars didn't generally score other categories as low, with many actually praising the service in all areas except its price tag.

"TWC is a little pricey, but I've had no issues with them and they [don't have a] bandwidth cap," said one reader who rated every category above three stars (even pricing). Unlike other ISPs we've reviewed so far, a data limit is seemingly not a factor. Many readers with ISPs that do impose limits note that overage charge-incurring policies negatively affect their opinions in this category.

"While they provide generally adequate service, it's very much overpriced for the service provided," said another participant who rated all other categories at or below three stars, with pricing pegged at just one star out of five.  

One of our readers simply commented "it is overpriced because it is the only ISP in town," perhaps pinpointing the reason so many of our respondents gave Time Warner (and most other ISPs) a poor pricing score. Some regions simply have no competition for high-speed broadband cable Internet, and when there's a lack of competition, the perception is that prices are automatically too high (or at least higher than some people are comfortable paying).

These lower-than-average results may come from a lack of knowledge of what other companies charge. At the end of the day, I simply cannot account for the disappointing score that Time Warner Cable's Internet services received, since each service tier offers more speed at a better price per Mb/s than any other ISP we've reviewed, and without a data cap.

Derek Forrest
Derek Forrest is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes hardware news and reviews gaming desktops and laptops.
  • utroz
    Yeah well all know how Time Warner is.. They have faulty lines that they refuse to fix in my area causing both internet and cable tv to have outages at least 1-2 times a day for 5 min or so.. Really annoying when watching netflix and stuff.. One good thing is no data caps for me which is good as we pull around 20TB a month download ( not even close to what I could if I was pulling data 24/7 at max bandwidth). All it takes is a few people watching neflix, hulu, youtube, downloading updates, online gaming,ect.. Comcast's 300GB limit is a total joke.. I could pee 300GB of data.. ;)
  • holyneo
    I love my TWC service, I get like insane speeds (60-75Mbps down, 6Mbps up). My service never goes down, I could complain about the price, but my complaint is more for the TV service price. Nobody comes close to those speeds in my area. I can stream 4k content with no problems as well.
  • LookItsRain
    I understand that prices differ between cities and states, but TWC wants 65 dollars for 50/5, 45 dollars for 20/2 and 15 for 2/1. Prices are much higher than what is listed here, and 50/5 is the fastest you can get in my area. Not to mention the price jumps after the 12 month promotion, or the complete lack of competition that allows them to do this.

    Not to mention it goes out every month, and even has more issues with its DNS(thanks google
  • thburninator
    Seeing these rates makes me sad. The "Extreme" is the highest option offered in my area, and that costs about $75 a month. I pay $60 for 30 down/ 5 up. Then again, that is basically my only high-speed option in my area, so it's not like I have much choice anyways.
  • dangus
    Those prices are just straight up not what TWC offers in my area. My bill is almost $65/month and i get 25 down/5 up......
  • InvalidError
    Should have checked prices in more than one city and state. I doubt TWC would have scored 2.25 on pricing if everyone could get 50Mbps for $35/month regular (non-promo) rate.
  • ChuckLezPC
    What area in Texas did you test? I currently pay $60 (non-promo rate for NE Ohio) for 15/1 (would have to pay $80 to get 30/5). I would shank someone to get 50/5 for $35.

    Maybe consider taking multiple cities (and/or states without google fiber), and average them.

    Also, you did not need to enter an address to get their rates: http://www.timewarnercable.com/en/support/account-and-billing/topics/retail-rates.html
  • QuangT
    TWC is decent if you live in a highly populated area, they get things done fast since there are other companies like Verizon, Optimum, etc. here in NYC. When I lived in a house, the performance was terrible which huge packet loss 24/7 for over 3 years. After moving to my apartment, the only bad performance was just internet loss for about a couple of hours. This happened twice for the past 2 years, otherwise constant 50/5 with <1% packet loss at all time.
  • Gurg
    My experience: When paying for 30mbps got around 36, now paying for extreme 50mbps and getting 62. Dropped Directv and went with bundle with TV and phone (new add on for us) and am now paying over $100 less than with TWC and DTV separately.

    Initially when using TWC rented combined router/modem unit my service was terrible and spotty. Bought my own sb6141 modem and ASUS router and everything is working great throughout the home.

    If you are unhappy with TWC service and performance and using their rental modem/router that could be the cause of the problem.
  • EnigmaX
    Yeah, I created an account just to chime in on how far the pricing in the article is off in my area (Upstate NY). I pay $58/mo for the privilege of 15/1 service. And for that, I can thank an absence of competition.

    Calling into tech support for various sustained drops in speed (as low as 0.05 mb/s for hours at a time, a couple times each month), has resulted in them simply pointing fingers at my hardware (purchased cable modem, router, cables). Techs have been sent, and they just test my lines, scratch their heads, and leave.

    The upside is that I now have a perfectly functioning backup for each component. The downside is they still haven't fixed THEIR issue. But, then again, what's their incentive?

    The obvious solution is for government to get out of bed with the ISP's and allow competition. Only then will pricing, speed, and reliability see noticeable improvement. (But, money...)