Time Warner vs WOW!: Side by Side Comparison

Enter your zip code below to see if Time Warner or WOW! offers service in your area.

Time Warner vs WOW!

WOW! and Time Warner Cable have plenty of differences for customers to consider while shopping for broadband Internet, TV, and phone service. WOW! is by far the smaller operation, with benefits in customization. Time Warner Cable, recently acquired by Charter, has all the convenience and dependability that a nationwide communications corporation offers.

Time Warner Cable AT A GLANCE

  • Sales: (844) 445-9202
  • Support: (800) 892-4357

(844) 445-9202

$44.99 to $44.99 / mo.

60 mbps to 300 mbps

Up to 20 mbps

66%66%

Cable

Current: 16th ↓ (-1)

WOW! AT A GLANCE

  • Sales: (888) 607-2611
  • Support: (800) 343-2076

(888) 607-2611

$29.99 to $79.99 / mo.

10 mbps to 1,000 mbps

1.0 mbps to 50 mbps

--

Cable

Current: 2nd ↑ (+1)

Time Warner OVERVIEW

Time Warner Cable provides bundled TV, cable broadband Internet, and phone service throughout much of the US. They were recently acquired by Charter Communications, but subscriptions are still advertised under the Time Warner Cable name.

WOW! OVERVIEW

WOW! is a bundled cable TV, broadband Internet, and phone provider. The name “WOW!” stands for “Wide Open West.” The company also offers fiber Internet connectivity in select areas.

Time Warner INTERNET DEALS †

  • $44.99 for 60 mbps Cable
    • Up to 60 mbps w/ no data cap.
    • 1-year promo rate.
    • Modem included.
    • Call (844) 445-9202 to setup service.
Last updated on 8/13/2017

†All plans not available in all areas or to all customers. Verify details with Time Warner.

WOW! INTERNET DEALS †

  • $29.99 for 10 mbps Cable
    • 10 mbps ↓ and 1.0 mbps
    • Modem: $10/mo
    • Call (888) 607-2611 to setup service.
  • $39.99 for 100 mbps Cable
    • 100 mbps ↓ and 10 mbps
    • 2-year promo rate.
    • Contract Term: 2 years
    • Modem: $10/mo
    • Call (888) 607-2611 to setup service.
  • $79.99 for 1,000 mbps Cable
    • 1,000 mbps ↓ and 50 mbps
    • 2-year promo rate.
    • Contract Term: 2 years
    • Modem: $10/mo
    • Call (888) 607-2611 to setup service.
Last updated on 8/9/2017

†All plans not available in all areas or to all customers. Verify details with WOW!.

Time Warner: NO DATACAP FOUND

We have not found plans that include data caps. This doesn't mean Time Warner doesn't have data caps, just that we haven't found them when collecting their plans. Always verify plan details before purchasing.

WOW!: NO DATACAP FOUND

We have not found plans that include data caps. This doesn't mean WOW! doesn't have data caps, just that we haven't found them when collecting their plans. Always verify plan details before purchasing.

Time Warner's TECHNOLOGY

Broadband Internet offerings from Time Warner Cable are delivered via a hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) network, leveraging an existing television network to bring data over the “last mile” to consumer residences. Like most cable networks, Time Warner Cable bridges the distance between their local office and local “nodes” within neighborhoods via ultra-fast fiber cable.

This allows for higher bandwidth and lower latency than most DSL networks, only using outdated cable technology for short distances within individual neighborhoods.[3]

WOW!'s TECHNOLOGY

WOW! offers a variety of broadband connection types, including cable, DSL, fixed wireless, and fiber, often bundled with cable television and phone offerings. As of 2016, their fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) is available in select areas and scheduled to expand based on consumer demand.

Cable broadband, WOW!’s most prevalent option, is usually delivered via hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) networks. In this type of network, most of the distance between the provider and consumer is covered by high-speed fiber optic cables. Once it reaches a neighborhood, the fiber terminates at a node where data is switched from optic signal to electrical signal for transmission over existing coaxial copper television networks.[4]

While pure fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) connections are the “gold standard” of next-generation broadband technologies — delivering speeds up to 1Gbps in ideal scenarios — WOW! is working to deploy DOCSIS 3.1 to their HFC networks. This advanced protocol, an improvement on the current DOCSIS protocols used to transmit binary data over coaxial cables, will allow some HFC networks to achieve gigabit speeds rivaling FTTH offerings.

Time Warner INSTALLATION

Time Warner Cable customers have two options: self installation and professional installation.

In the case of self-installation, a hardware is provided along with the plan, including detailed instructional materials. All you have to do is connect the modem, set up your router, and follow other basic steps outlined in the accompanying materials. Self-installation is free, and generally required if you bring your own hardware like a personal modem.

Professional installation is easier but comes with a fee and requires an appointment with a licensed technician arranged through Time Warner Cable. Professional installation may be required if your house needs extra work on the wiring setup to be compatible with Times Warner Cable.

WOW! INSTALLATION

WOW! offers a variety of connection types, and generally bundles installation and setup with your plan. Some customers may be able to self-install with their own equipment (compatible router, modem, etc.). However, it probably won’t save them any money as with other providers. For professional installation, WOW! sends out a skilled technician to determine what is necessary to connect your home, as well as set up and configure everything needed to get online. There is usually a small connection fee, but no direct charge for technician setup.

Time Warner RATINGS AND REVIEWS

40%40% Customer Rating

39.7% recommendation rating according to 75,643 verified Time Warner users.

WOW! RATINGS AND REVIEWS

56%56% Customer Rating

56.1% recommendation rating according to 6,074 verified users.

Time Warner COVERAGE & AVAILABILITY

Time Warner Cable Interactive SVG Map showing broadband coverage.

WOW! COVERAGE & AVAILABILITY

WOW! Interactive SVG Map showing broadband coverage.

Hidden fees and other considerations

Always keep an eye on the fine print

There are two big factors to keep in mind when signing up for promotional deals with a provider: ETFs (early termination agreements) and promotion length. ETFs matter because you’re essentially locked in with that provider for as long as the contracts states, and it might not possible to get a refund for it even if you have a legitimate reason for breaking.

Promotion lengths matter because the final, official monthly cost you pay for service should be factored in when you compare prices — unfortunately, many consumers fall into the trap of only comparing the promotional price, which is temporary. Beyond promotions, also keep an eye on the line items when you get bills. If anything is confusing or wasn’t there the previous month, give the company a call and ask for help explaining it. Understanding what you’re paying for is key to making sure you aren’t’ losing out on price.[1]

Modems and routers are cheaper than you might think

Rental fees, on the other hand, can add up quick

Modem and router rentals are a standard part of the most Internet subscriptions. Usually, customers are provided with a “plug-and-play” combo device that makes installation easy. While the monthly fees for this hardware may looks small, it actually adds up to the cost of simply buying one within a year or so. After that, customers are essentially paying for the same old equipment over and over again.[2]

Consider buying your own, as the half hour it takes to configure it properly will be well worth the hundreds of dollars you could save in the long term. Just keep in mind that not every provider will be compatible with every router, so renting is actually a good option for people who relocate frequently. Renting a router also offers benefits for less technically-minded consumers, since the provider will take care of replacing it if there’s every trouble.

Last updated on 8/13/2017.

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