Review by djrobx
Good "Speed, no installation hassles, no contracts, no caps, 2 day wait install"
- Location: Valencia,Los Angeles,CA
- Cost: $99 per month
- Install: about 2 days
Bad "5mbps uploads are dated"
Overall "Faster speeds than what AT&T offers"
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
BBR is nagging me to update my review. TWC just upgraded me to 100/5 service, so it's probably as good a time as any to do it.
My 50/5 service has been excellent and stable over the last two years. I work from home, and have been able to depend on this connection around the clock. I have not noticed peak-hour slowdowns; TWC seems to be doing a good job of keeping up with demand. TWC has pushed out updates to the SBG6580 that have resolved the issues I noted previously. A few months back they also released a ~10% speed boost, which helps ensure you get better-than-advertised speeds. All in, I'm seeing fairly consistent 113/5.5 speed tests, which is great. I've nudged up the reliability and value scores to reflect these experiences and updates. I'm also happy that TWC has continued to offer "unlimited" access.
The downstream upgrade highlights that the upload speeds are in need of improvement. I'm afraid upload upgrades aren't in our near future. LA is still sitting without DOCSIS 3 upstream channel bonding enabled. TWC could also do a better job of communicating upgrades to customers. They sent me an email telling me I was upgraded to 100mbps, and to reboot my modem, but the actual upgrade didn't occur for a couple days. Tech support was not prepared for this email, and seemingly didn't know what to tell people to expect. Users in the TWC forum got a wide variety of answers, as if they were making stuff up.
These are definitely "first world problems" as some would put it. I'm very happy overall.
I've had the service for a week now. Some issues:
1) The SBG6580 seems like a good device on the surface, but it's a terrible router. It seems to have a memory leak which causes speeds to gradually decline. In my case this would degrade my 50mbps service to no more than 30mbps after 48 hours. Speeds would resume after rebooting the modem. I had to dig out an old Buffalo router with DD-WRT to stop this from happening. I can't believe Motorola would put out such a buggy product, but at least there's a workaround.
2) When not inhibited by the modem, my speeds have been terrific. However, I've noticed the LA area suffers from increased pings (adding an additional 25ms of latency to all hosts) during peak hours (between 7-11). Looking at the RR_SOCAL DSLReports line monitors, this issue affects the majority of us in the LA territory. Gamers, stay away for now.
Back in 2008 I left Road Runner for U-Verse Internet. Since then, U-verse has always had slightly faster speeds than Time Warner so I stuck with it.
Time Warner has been slow to roll out Docsis 3. But now that it's here, they seem to have a fairly unified strategy for their customers, which is good to see. For a long while, we had different speed tiers by zip code, with higher speeds in FiOS and FiOS adjacent neighborhoods.
Top speeds come at a big price tag. 50/5 for $99, unbundled. That's down from $109 a few months back. At this price point, I'd like to see higher uploads. I was also offered 30/5 for $59, which is much better bang for the buck, but I can't resist having the best.
I ordered via the web to get the free install. The next available appointment was over a week away. So after finishing the order I called to see if there were any earlier slots available. The first person I spoke with really botched things up. She said there was a $60 "wireless install charge" (huh?), and to avoid that changed my order to a standard 10/1 install and said I could upgrade later. Ugh. I called back and spoke to someone else who confirmed the mess she made, but said he couldn't give me the free install promo as it was a web only deal and she had invalidated that. He said the best bet was to delete the order and start over online. So I did. I called back Monday and this rep was able to change the date to the very next morning without any trouble at all. The whole process might not have been too big a deal if the automated phone system didn't insist that I was an out-of-state caller, and didn't keep dropping the call when trying to connect me to an agent.
The appointment was from 8-12. The tech arrived at 8:30. I think he was a little new, but he was polite and got the job done.
Speed tests have been bang on 51/5 every time. Pretty impressive. GrabIt was peaking around 6000KB/sec from EasyNews. Seems like it wasn't long ago when 600KB/sec was crazy fast. Road Runner has come a long way from the 1.5mbps service it started at here!
No problems at all with this service. Time Warner decided to pull the newsgroup server. I completely understand why and accept that. However, it kept me from even considering other providers. Now what?
A news story in the Los Angeles Times a few months back lamented about the lack of HD channels on Time Warner. Time Warner promised to deliver 14 new channels by July 1. July came and now they're saying "Not until October." for my area.
Meanwhile, I'm looking at AT&T U-verse. They're going to pony up $200 cash back plus a free $75 month worth of TV. No contract. They also got Sci Fi HD and USA HD, two channels I've been wanting that TW has no plans to add (they're not even in the 14 that are supposedly coming). With AT&T practically willing to pay me to try their service out, why should I keep TW? I couldn't come up with a good answer. But to get TV you have to bundle internet, and that means giving up my Road Runner connection.
Road Runner has been 100% rock solid and reliable over the past year. I've really loved it. U-verse is technically a bit faster (10/1.5 vs. 10/1), although U-verse's internet has actually been slower than RR during peak hours. Rumors point to a 15/2 upgrade for Road runner eventually. Maybe when that comes I'll re-evaluate all this again.
Gosh, has it been 6 months already? There's not much to report here. No news is good news. My connection has been flawless. I'm kind of hoping they'll bump us up to 15/2 at some point (perhaps in response to U-verse upgrades to 10/1.5) but my 10/1 connection is rocking for now. The included newsgroup server has slowed down quite a bit since I signed up, but it's still much better than what's offered by most other providers.
Two week update. I have been thoroughly pleased with my decision to switch to Road Runner. The 10/1 speeds work flawlessly and my line monitor on BBR shows a solid, steady connection.
I almost forgot about the newsgroup server Road Runner has, but wow - the Los Angeles server is awesome! DSLExtreme offered 64KB/sec limited access to supernews. I can often pull the full 10 megabits from Road Runner's news server, and the retention seems to be at least as good as Easynews. Geez.
This is not my first go at Road Runner, but it is my first experience with Time Warner Cable. Our cable system has been sold several times since I moved here in 98. I first signed up with MediaOne Road Runner in 2001. We were then sold to AT&T @Home, then to Comcast HSI, and now we've come full circle back to Time Warner Road Runner!
I've been using DSLExtreme for the last several years. Thanks to a nearby remote terminal, AT&T paired with DSLExtreme had been giving me great service and static IP through DSL. But AT&T is in the process of rolling out even newer service, and DSLExtreme wants *more* money per month with another 12 month commitment! I don't want to be stuck in another higher-priced contract with them when new options become available.
Looking over cable's offerings, I found out that Time Warner had increased the speeds to 10000/1000. Okay, so that's Optimum Online in 2001, but for Los Angeles, that's a record breaker. My very fist speed test: 9838/982. Yeah baby!
That's almost double what I was getting from DSLExtreme's premium offering. Great download speed AND upload speed. For less money than I was spending with DSLExtreme. As I type this review, I have a download going that's been at a rock solid 1.16MB/sec. If they can keep it running reasonably reliable, I'll stick with it! And if it ends up sucking, DSL is just a phone call away. No contracts is such a nice thing.
The only negative is what I expected, calling them is a pain in the butt. Tuns out I didn't need to bother. I just went down to the cable office, picked up the modem there and did a self install. It was so painless. I was up in minutes.
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updated 16 days ago