Time Warner Cable Internet: What to Expect

Time Warner Cable Internet

Time Warner Cable is one of the largest video, voice and Internet providers in the United States, serving over 15 million customers. The company is second only to Comcast, their new partners, and has triple the consumer base of third- and fourth-place providers, Cox Communications and Verizon.

Time Warner Cable Internet has become an essential product in the telecommunications company’s lineup — here’s what you can expect from them and their products.

A History of Innovation

Time Warner Cable got its start in 1973, when Time, Inc., acquired 9 percent of American Television and Communications (ATC). In the same year, Warner Communications formed Warner Cable. Five years later, Time agreed to purchase 100 percent of ATC and in 1989 Warner Cable and Time, Inc., merged to form Time Warner Inc. and eventually TWC, which has now separated from Time Warner, Inc. Then, 1996 saw the release of the first coaxial cable based High Speed Internet service from Time Warner Cable, known as RoadRunner.

By 1999, the company had bolstered their offerings with digital cable, video on demand (VOD) and digital phone service. And in 2005, they gave customers access to “Triple Play” options, which included television, phone and Internet service bundled in a single package. In 2011, TWC began enabling “cloud” services, helping to improve server uptime and provide a more consistent experience for users.

Cable Modem Basics

As a Cable TV provider, it only made sense for Time Warner to also offer cable Internet services. Time Warner Cable uses coaxial cables — the same ones used to transmit television signals — as the basis of its Internet delivery system. This means subscribing to Time Warner Cable Internet doesn’t require any modifications to your existing home network; you simply need to make sure you have an available cable outlet for your modem.

Time Warner Cable offers two choices:

  • Lease a cable modem from the company for a modest fee.
  • Purchase your own and use the Time Warner Cable Internet service.

Leasing a modem includes ongoing technical support for the device, but does mean a small monthly charge is added to your bill. If you decide to buy a modem, Time Warner Cable recommends Motorola, Netgear, Zoom and ZyXEL technology, among others.

There are several benefits to Cable Internet; chief among them is higher overall download speeds than those offered by asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) providers.

Potential downsides include network slowdown when a large number of users all attempt to connect at the same time, since most urban neighborhoods use a single cable “pipe” for all incoming and outgoing traffic. If the pipe is full, you may be unable to connect or experience Internet slowdown, but the use of cloud services has helped to minimize the impact of this issue.

Time Warner Cable Internet Plans

TWC offers six High Speed Internet plans to meet your needs. If you’re looking for more than just Internet access, you may want to consider one of the company’s package deals. For around $45 per month, you can enjoy 20 channels, 2 megabyte per second (Mbps) download speeds and national Home Phone service. For $90 per month, you get 200 channels, 3 Mbps and voicemail.

If Internet is all you need, however, TWC offers its “Everyday Low Price” plan for just $15 per month. This includes 2 Mbps download speeds, 5 emails accounts and 100 MB of email storage. Need to go faster? Try Basic (3 Mbps and $30 per month) or Standard ($35 per month with 15 Mbps). If you’re an online gamer or download large files on a regular basis, the 20Mpbs of TWC’s Turbo plan ($45 per month) may be the best option, while home business users may want to try out the Extreme plan, which offers 30 Mbps download speeds at $55 per month. Finally, if you have a large family or Internet users or connect multiple devices on a daily basis, you may need the Ultimate plan, which provides download speeds of 50 Mbps, 30 email accounts and 10 gigabytes (GB) of email storage for $65 each month.

It’s also worth noting that the Extreme and Ultimate plans include free home WiFi, meaning TWC will supply you with a modem capable of accepting WiFi connections. If you still want WiFi, but don’t need the speed offered by Extreme or Ultimate, you’ll need to purchase a WiFi-capable router or modem. The type you purchase and the number of concurrent users will determine your overall speed — in most cases, using WiFi is slower than using a wired connection. In addition, all TWC plans include Internet use with no data overage penalties and the company includes Internet security software with every plan; many other providers charge a fee of up to $10 per month for the same service.

Time Warner Cable Internet comes in a wide variety of speeds at multiple price points, all backed by one of the nation’s largest cable networks.

Photo Credit: Time Warner Cable LA