Time Warner ISP Review & Reader Survey Results

Reliability: 3 ½ Stars

The reliability category was rated the highest by our readers, with Time Warner Cable earning 3 1/2 (3.37) stars out of five. Many folks praised the company's reliability. The majority who scored it three stars or higher noted better-than-advertised bandwidth and minimal downtime as primary factors for their high rating.

"I've seldom had problems, and when I [had problems] they were resolved promptly," said one of our participants who rated performance, reliability and support at four stars, yet scored pricing at three. "I have very reliable Internet service, and if I see two minutes of downtime a month, I am surprised," said another who gave reliability five stars.

Despite the mostly-positive feedback from our community in the reliability category, a 2014 study called Measuring Broadband America showed Time Warner Cable skimping out on maximum bandwidth.

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Advertised Speeds (Available Time Warner Data Rates From 2013)Actual Sustained Download SpeedActual Speed/Advertised Speed Percentage
Up to 3 Mb/s3.03 Mb/s101%
Up to 15 Mb/s14.63 Mb/s98%
Up to 20Mb/s18.88 Mb/s94%
Up to 30 Mb/s29.41 Mb/s98%
Up to 50 Mb/s48.69 Mb/s97%

It is probable that the information (derived from data collected in 2013) is a poor reflection of current Time Warner Cable services, and therefore not a great comparison for current reliability and performance experiences. However, this data supports claims of lower-than-advertised speeds, especially if Time Warner Cable hasn’t improved since then.

The company now offers up to 100, 200 and 300 Mb/s Internet connections, and our readers expressed overall satisfaction with the service's reliability and performance. Ultimately, these two categories were the highest-scoring, yet least important factors as rated by our community. 

The few participants who rated reliability lower than three stars cited lower-than-advertised speeds, connection issues and slow remediation as primary detractors. "I have constant slowdowns and DNS issues," said a reader who rated reliability at just one star.

Let the score show that Time Warner Cable earned a respectable 3 1/2 stars for its reliability, with the company taking the lead in our ISP survey review series. Most readers seem to be under the belief that TWC offers above-average reliability with better-than-advertised speeds and solid up-time.

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...)