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Time-Warner Cable Internet: The Return of Dial-Up Speed

It's been a few months since Time Warner took over from Adelphia in servicing my area. In that time, we've paid $59.95/month: $45.95 for basic cable Internet service, $17 for "Premium" service, and -$3.00 for owning our own cable modem (I've had this particular modem since I lived in Florida!).

I had been assuming that the "Premium" service related to speed. It turns out that $17/month gets you next to nothing. Go ahead, click - I think you'll be surprised at what a pile of poo "Premium" is.

It turns out that I really want the "Turbo" package instead: for $9.95/month extra. But here's the rub: I highly doubt it matters what package I choose, and I'm seriously contemplating switching to the most basic of cable Internet Time Warner provides. Why? speed testing conducted as I wrote this post (6:21pm - and I ran several tests [not concurrently] to various servers in Miami, LA, etc.) revealed that my upload and download speeds are about 350 Kbps. Oftentimes my upload speeds were faster. One time my download speed (LA) was calculated to be 296 Kbps!

The Time Warner site says I should be seeing speeds of up to 7 Mbps. Or, if my "turbo" thing has kicked in yet, up to 15 Mbps. Yes, I know it says "up to" - but since when is less than 5% an acceptable measure of "up to"?

It ain't my home network. I'm on a Mac Pro with an AirPort Base Station that's doing 802.11g. It's ten feet away and I have full signal strength.


P.S. The fastest result Time Warner's own speed test gave me was 750 Kpbs down. Suuuuuuuuure. And even still that's 5-10% (depending on whether I'm getting 7 Mbps or 15 Mbps). Most of them were about 400 Kpbs.

24 Responses to "Time-Warner Cable Internet: The Return of Dial-Up Speed"

  1. Too much slower and you won't be able to play much Xbox Live....

  2. I have comcast and verizon FIOS at home (redundancy and all that jazz :)). Comcast can literally max out at about 15kb/s/thread during peak periods. Absolutely horrendous for a 10mbit service.
    By contrast I have 50/20 from Verizon, and I can easily do a sustained 40mbit/thread. Uploads I can easily do 20mbit/thread.

    See if you can navigate to (that's a special address lots of cable modems use for the internal diagnostics) and see if anything is funky.

    You also should be using speed tests on the east coast, not out in LA/Miami, latency is a factor when calculating your BDP so eliminate that as a variable. Sometimes avoiding real speed tests in favor of downloading a youtube or some other highly CDN'd content (anything from google :)) is a better less synthetic benchmark. Also, for a variety of reasons any flash based speed tests should be avoided at anything remotely above a few mbit. is my favorite go-to speed test. Use the Java test.

    I am -very- happy with FIOS, if you can already or can soon get it do so.

  3. [quote comment="44646"]I have comcast and verizon FIOS at home[/quote]

    It'll probably be 2020 before FIOS comes to Erie, PA. 🙁

    [quote comment="44646"]By contrast I have 50/20 from Verizon, and I can easily do a sustained 40mbit/thread. Uploads I can easily do 20mbit/thread.[/quote]

    I used to get - in this house - 3500+ Kbps. I used to scoff at T1 lines because I had a line that was always at least twice as fast.

    [quote comment="44646"]See if you can navigate to (that's a special address lots of cable modems use for the internal diagnostics) and see if anything is funky.[/quote]

    Yeah, I did, and didn't see anything out of the ordinary.

    [quote comment="44646"]You also should be using speed tests on the east coast, not out in LA/Miami[/quote]

    To be clear, I used New Jersey primarily. Just now, and using the JAVA test, I got 400 down and 606 up. Uploading has often been faster than downloading for some strange reason. Oh, and the Flash tests have only ever corroborated the Java tests - they've not done anything odd or strange.

    I've also downloaded some rather large movies lately (HD game video captures from Xbox 360 games) and progress is slow - about 35 KB/sec (which is 280 Kbps, so right in line with what I'm seeing from the speed tests).

    [quote comment="44646"]I am -very- happy with FIOS, if you can already or can soon get it do so.[/quote]

    Thanks for bragging. Jerk. 😉 😉 😉 😉 😉 😉 😉

    We can't even get DSL at the house for some reason. In Florida I couldn't get DSL because we had fiber optic lines. I'm not sure why we can't here (neighborhood houses built in 1991). Maybe the same reason.

  4. Be aware that your download/upload issues may be because of your cable modem. I recently switched from my Motorola Surfboard to a Comcast rental and my upload went from 300k to 750k and average 3mb to 6mb. Just a thought but maybe try a rental and see if that works.

  5. I now have a service technician scheduled to come out Friday between 10am and noon.

    I also picked up a new cable modem. The Motorola Surfboard 5101 is only $59.99 at Circuit City. If it doesn't help, I can take it back, I guess. I'll wait for the technician to come out before I try it out.

    BTW, interestingly I got the national support woman I spoke with tonight to tell me that I should see at least 7 Mbps on the 15 Mbps plan and at least 4 Mbps on the 7 Mbps plan. Realistically, she said 4-5 and 7-10.

  6. Man, that IS terrible speed for Time Warner. I've got TW and I can regularly pull about 700-900k/sec, even at peak periods. Of course, this comes after my service kept dropping and I had 2 cable modems swapped (and something else on the pole outside fixed).

  7. Gee, funny enough, the day after I call I get 3800/600 (both kbps, which to me is equal to Kbps, but which is 8x the measure of KB or kB per second). Still not the "7 Mbps" I should be getting minimum on the 15 Mbps plan, and I still intend to have the guy come out and check signal strength, but not bad.

    I've got a call back scheduled: I want to plug in a new cable modem to see if it has any impact whatsoever.

  8. And now I'm back down to the hundreds or low one thousands.

  9. [...] the Time-Warner technician came to the house to look into the slow, dodgy Internet connection I've had for the past few [...]

  10. [...] previously documented the issues I've been having with Time-Warner's service here and [...]

  11. I've never gotten the 7Mbps I'm paying for, but would be happy with the 2-4Mb I used to get. I now regularly get about 230Kbps down and about the same up and QOS stinks. My VoIP telephone service has been nearly unusable since Summer.
    You're right. The online techs don't seem to be putting the pieces together. I figure Time Warner is the best friend Verizon could hope for, as they're sending VoIP customers back to POTS in droves.
    A T-W tech is scheduled to come out on Thursday. After reading this, I don't have much hope that he'll fix anything. I may take a trip to the T-W office in the mall to at least voice my discontent.

  12. [quote comment="44750"]My VoIP telephone service has been nearly unusable since Summer.[/quote]

    The IR tech that came last week made several comments about "you think your Internet service is bad, try our digital telephone service!" BTW, Kevin, there's an update here. Are you in the affected area? Post over on that entry if so.

  13. I had Comcast in New Mexico before moving out to New York and getting Time Warner. Comcast was fast and I could download and surf the web just fine. Since getting TW, I have been unable to surf the web with any real speed. Feels like dial-up all over again. And that is saying something since I have a GB card on my laptop. It can take up to a minute to even load a page if it does at all.

    1. I have major problems with Time Warner as well. After a year of complaining I finally told them that I want them to lower my bill or I would switch over to a t-1 connection. Eventhough it would be slower & more expensive I couldn't justify paying an arm and a leg to TWC when their service is just horrible. I finally got them to credit me $25 a month for the next year - which isn't bad. FIOS doesn't even have a plan to come to my area - so I'm really stuck with TWC for now.

      Anyway to Matt - use's DNS servers. I found that Time Warner's DNS sucks big time. It's completely unreliable.

      I've had my cable modem swapped out 3 times, and I've had 4 people to come out. They are definitely artificially capping capping me. It takes me 7 hours to upload a 700mb file to vimeo.

  14. Found this site while searching for a way to fix TW slow connection problems, its been very bad lately. I used to get 1MB/sec now I can't watch youtube low quality without first pausing the video and letting it buffer. I mean thats like 30kb/s, thats b.s. in my book.

  15. I have the roadrunner turbo and mine was slow also.What i did was do several speedtest in the morning,afternoon and evening.What i found out was it was a satuation problem so i knew what my problem was.I call time warner and the guy who i chatted with also said it was a satuation problem.IN other words you are sharring a cable line with everyone else and at certain times there are just to many people on it all at once.HE told me he would inform the engineers about it.IN other words they were not going to do anything about.

  16. Well yeah TMC is just SUCKING way to much. When I bought the plan it was the same. Up to 7mb down... Well yeah I'm pretty not sure about that. Highest download speed I've ever got even with p2p softwares with 850kb/s...

    I'm so sickin tired of it. best of all, it's SO UNSTABLE!!!! Sometimes u need wait for 40 mins to watch a 5 min youtube video. And it happens all the time. Like in same mp games, the second before I was 32 ping and the second after 300+. This is ridicules.

    My area don't have fios yet and I don't think it will be available anytime soon. hate tmc... And in my area, there is no other internet service as well. So I'm pretty much stuck with tmc like the rest of u. no matter how much u complain about it, they just don't change...

  17. I'd been a Viacom, Adelphia & TWC customer since the mid 90's. Rates going into orbit, slower speeds and I'd had enough when I realized the TWC DNS servers were really poor.

    Well after talking to the TWC CSRBots, being talked to like I know nothing about IP, I d/c'ed from them and went with a regional cable, broadband provider, WOW.
    And wow what a difference.

    TWC has just gotten too big, they can handle what they have and so- be-it.

  18. I have 3mb DSL from verizon and get an average of 300 kbps download and 700 kbps upload? Does that sound right because i thought it would be 3 mbps download?

  19. You may find this useful

    Yes TW uses packet filtering

    Run the speed test then run it again after connecting to any P2P

  20. 8 mb = 1 MB.

    If you pay for 10 mb/s you are paying for 1.25 MB/s

    It's misleading, and there are a ton of ppl here bamboozled.

  21. I just got my time warner cable internet service installed today, it super slow took about 15 seconds or more to load a page, I use MACBOOK PRO, time warner sent someone to my home to fix it, end up it didn't got fix, the guy said lately MAC customer has the same super slow time warner internet problem... and he mention DNS anyone can help???

  22. When I had Cable internet i slowed to a crawl at 7PM every night because all of neighborhood shares the connection. DSL has a direct connection and mine benchmarks at 7.1 Megs 24/7 for $29.95 month with their current deal i got phone with voicemail and many features with internet for 44.95/month, I was paying cable over $59/mo just for internet. never looked back. Verizon's tech support is probably the worst there is, but i rarely have to use it.

  23. Alright so i get 7 mbps as my plan and the day i got the modem i was getting speeds like 30 mbps down and 0.99 upload i was happy about that and i could stream videos my son could play his xbox with no lag or static now speedtest says ping 132 download 356 kbps and upload 0.52 kbps i had the same problem with DSL to i think its a setup what they do is they give you high speeds when you get then they lower it so you think that you need an upgrade but you don't. i upgraded 2 times from 1.5 mbps DSL to 3.0 DSL still my internet was bad so i Switch to Twc just like the other works for a little bit then it basicly gets slow buffering youtube videos we pay for a service get us what we deserve! you just can't also they say did you reset the modem how many times have you heard that or its just multiple people on your network or sharing line no im the only user and still horrible speeds!