Overall: 2 ¾ Stars
Generally speaking, cable Internet providers score high marks in the performance and reliability categories, and then receive disappointing ratings in the price and support department. Not coincidentally, the two lowest-scoring categories were the most important factors when choosing an ISP, according to our readers. The overall score of 2 3/4 (2.80) stars out of five seems to reflect a weighted average when accounting for what matters most to our surveyed participants: pricing and support.
The performance and reliability marks for Time Warner are average for cable Internet providers overall; Comcast garnered similar scores. These categories also achieved the highest ratings, yet were less important factors when choosing an ISP, according to the Time Warner Cable subscribers who participated in our survey.
"The service, speed and reliability are the things that have me hooked," said one participant who rated everything but pricing at or above three stars. “Customer support and pricing (which is offered at a reasonable rate and [then] climbs over time) are both hugely frustrating,” stated another, who otherwise provided high marks for Time Warner Cable.
The overall score doesn't reflect a true average of the combined criteria, but this is likely due to the weight the poorly-scored categories carry with our readers.
Despite serving up the best price-to performance ratio in our review series so far, our readers rated Time Warner Cable's pricing at a modest 2 1/4 stars. We've seen overall dissatisfaction with pricing for each ISP we've examined, but TWC's score is surprisingly a top contender in our review series so far.
Performance and reliability seems to be the bread and butter of Time Warner Cable, with greater than three-star ratings for each of those categories. However, these impressive scores do not seem to influence our reader's overwhelmingly sub-par analysis of the company's pricing and support; each category consistently garners below three star ratings. It should also be noted that Time Warner Cable is in contention for the top score in each category so far.
Here's our full results from our Time Warner Cable ISP survey results:
|Price (2)||Performance (4)||Reliability (3)||Support (1)||Overall|
|★★ ¼ (2.36) Stars||★★★ ¼ (3.17) Stars||★★★ ½ (3.37) Stars||★★ ½ (2.56) Stars||★★ ¾ (2.80) Stars|
Each category is labeled with the results of the most- and least-important factors when deciding on an ISP, and each score is tallied with its one- to five-star rounded and mathematical average. These scores are so closely in line with other ISPs that we can tell it’s going to be a very close race for first place in each category.
Tom's Hardware's ISP round-up is nearing its end. Thanks goes out to our dedicated community for providing their opinions. In our final ISP evaluation, we will examine another DSL and fiber optic service provider: Verizon.
Derek Forrest is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom’s Hardware. Follow him on Twitter.