Spectrum Review

Editor’s Note: Time Warner Cable is now Spectrum. We will evaluate the services of Spectrum the next time we compare internet service providers.

Our Verdict

If you live in a Time Warner Cable area, you could find yourself with internet speeds up to 50 Mbps matched with free internet security.

For

  • Time Warner Cable has the infrastructure in place to provide faster-than-average internet speeds.

Against

  • The high-speed plans are not available in all areas.
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Time Warner Cable image: These are the internet speed plans offered by this company.

Time Warner Cable image: These are the internet speed plans offered by this company.
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Time Warner Cable image: This is a comparison of each of the speed plans and the features added to each one.

Time Warner Cable image: This is a comparison of each of the speed plans and the features added to each one.
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Time Warner Cable image: This graph shows a side-by-side comparison of each plan and its features.

Time Warner Cable image: This graph shows a side-by-side comparison of each plan and its features.
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Time Warner Cable image: Look for a plan with high internet speeds if you download music often.

Time Warner Cable image: Look for a plan with high internet speeds if you download music often.
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Time Warner Cable image: Photographers will want to look for plans with high upload speeds to put images online.

Time Warner Cable image: Photographers will want to look for plans with high upload speeds to put images online.
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Time Warner Cable image: You can bundle services like TV and telephone for a discounted price.

Time Warner Cable image: You can bundle services like TV and telephone for a discounted price.
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Time Warner Cable image: TWC provides internet security and parental controls with your subscription.

Time Warner Cable image: TWC provides internet security and parental controls with your subscription.
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Time Warner Cable image: From the homepage, you can find information about internet service.

Time Warner Cable image: From the homepage, you can find information about internet service.
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Time Warner Cable image: You have to verify your address before Time Warner will give you a price quote.

Time Warner Cable image: You have to verify your address before Time Warner will give you a price quote.
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Time Warner Cable image: Time Warner offers an app for extra customization and control.

Time Warner Cable image: Time Warner offers an app for extra customization and control.
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Time Warner Cable image: The app lets you view and pay your bill from your phone.

Time Warner Cable image: The app lets you view and pay your bill from your phone.
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Time Warner Cable image: From the app, you can also listen to voicemail from your home line on your mobile phone.

Time Warner Cable image: From the app, you can also listen to voicemail from your home line on your mobile phone.
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Time Warner Cable image: Access to thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots is an added perk of subscribing to TWC.

Time Warner Cable image: Access to thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots is an added perk of subscribing to TWC.
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Time Warner Cable image: You can view Wi-Fi hotspots on Time Warner Cable's website.

Time Warner Cable image: You can view Wi-Fi hotspots on Time Warner Cable's website.
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Time Warner Cable image: You can select the service you need help with from the support homepage.

Time Warner Cable image: You can select the service you need help with from the support homepage.
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Time Warner Cable image: The support section provides FAQs and contact information.

Time Warner Cable image: The support section provides FAQs and contact information.
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Time Warner Cable image: Phone support for Time Warner is divided by region. If you need assistance over the phone, be sure to find the number for your area.

Time Warner Cable image: Phone support for Time Warner is divided by region. If you need assistance over the phone, be sure to find the number for your area.
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Time Warner Cable image: To start a live chat conversation, you need to fill out a quick informational form. This gives the customer representative time to prepare to answer your question.

Time Warner Cable image: To start a live chat conversation, you need to fill out a quick informational form. This gives the customer representative time to prepare to answer your question.
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Time Warner Cable image: You can pay your cable bill online or in person at any of the local TWC payment centers.

Time Warner Cable image: You can pay your cable bill online or in person at any of the local TWC payment centers.
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Time Warner Cable image: There are plenty of helpful articles and tutorials on TWC's website.

Time Warner Cable image: There are plenty of helpful articles and tutorials on TWC's website.
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Time Warner Cable image: You can search the FAQs based on the type of service you use.

Time Warner Cable image: You can search the FAQs based on the type of service you use.

Editor’s Note: Time Warner Cable is now Spectrum. We will evaluate the services of Spectrum the next time we compare internet service providers.

Enter one of the big players, Time Warner Cable (TWC). It is reported to be the second largest multiple service provider in the U.S., and the company has over 15 million customers with cable TV, phone and internet service. This large ISP provides services to 29 states, supports internet speeds of up to 50 Mbps, and includes free internet security.

Through TWC's own hybrid fiber coaxial cable network, the company can support internet connection speeds of up to 50 Mbps. If you don't need the fastest speeds, the plans scale down from 30 Mbps to 20 Mbps and lower. Time Warner Cable, formerly Time Cable Communications, is located in midtown Manhattan and has 31 operating divisions in such cities as San Diego, Buffalo, Greensboro and Cincinnati.

Like all cable companies, TWC has received some bad press and reviews. However, it has proven through many third-party tests that it is capable of delivering high-speed internet well above 10 Mbps in many areas. In all tests, TWC demonstrates speeds faster than wireless and satellite options and often is the only high-speed internet option in an area. This company also has the infrastructure and revenue needed to continue to expand and improve services, which is important for long-term dependability.

TWC offers a variety of internet access options, including the Ultimate 50 plan, which can provide download speeds of up to 50 Mbps and up to 5 Mbps upload speeds. The next plan down, the Extreme, offers up to 30 Mbps downloads speeds and 5 Mbps for upload speeds, similar to the Ultimate option. The next plan is the Turbo at up to 20 Mbps download speeds and up to 2 Mbps for upload speeds. The Standard is not a far drop at up to 15 Mbps, but the Basic and Everyday Low Price plans drop to 3 Mbps and 2 Mbps respectively. All three of the slower speeds have upload speeds of up to 1 Mbps. In very select markets, subscribers can see download speeds of up to 75 Mbps. All these speeds affect how quickly a Netflix movie loads or how fast you can upload your favorite pictures to Facebook. The higher the rate, the faster it is for you to enjoy these aspects of the internet.

In third-party tests, TWC performs in about the top 25 percent of ISPs and proves capable of performing demanding tasks such as streaming music and movies. However, not all of these speeds are available in every area that Time Warner Cable serves. To get an exact idea of what is available in your location, you need to contact the company.

Time Warner Cable provides high-speed data services to approximately 15 million residential customers in 29 states. Like most large cable companies, TWC provides more services to cities and suburbs than rural areas. This ISP neglects the West and a portion of the Southeast, including states such as Montana, Nevada, Florida and Georgia. In addition, not all areas have access to the newer hybrid fiber coaxial network that provides 75 Mbps download speeds.

At its best, Time Warner Cable internet accounts include 30 email accounts with 5GB of free email storage, as well as free antivirus, antispam and firewall protection. While this is for the highest tiered plans, you can expect room for up to 15 email accounts on a standard plan.

Time Warner internet plans also come with parental controls. The internet security TWC includes is the McAfee 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, the company also offers bundled packages for TV, phone and cable internet services. Some services offered only in limited areas include on-demand movies, remote DVR management, whole house DVR and on-demand recording.

As a TWC customer, you can contact customer service via chat 24/7 or call your local support office. You can also send an email at any time or search the support articles. We contacted the company by chat and quickly received answers to our questions. The 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, TWC is able to get service techs out to subscribers 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 down to the copper wire, most people simply want dependable internet at a decent price with the support to fix any problems. Numerous third-party tests show that Time Warner Cable can consistently deliver speeds of 10 to 50 Mbps. This is enough for streaming movies and music, watching video, checking social network accounts, and shopping online.