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Time Warner Road Runner Vs AT&T DSL in Milwaukee?
May 16, 2011 9:10 PM   Subscribe

Time Warner Road Runner Vs AT&T DSL in Milwaukee?

I am considering switching to Time Warner Cable from AT&T DSL because of AT&T's new 150 GB cap for DSL. Before the cap I was happy with AT&T DSL though I was limited to 3 Mbps Down/512 kbps Up.

Time Warner is currently advertising a special with free installation and I am considering switching. Time Warner's site is an abomination when trying to find answers and I hope to find out about peoples experiences with Time Warner (Road Runner specifically) in Milwaukee.

A) Does Time Warner regularly offer free installation? If they don't how much does installation cost. Is self-installation an option?

B) Does Time Warner cap their internet service? Are thet likely to in the future?

C) Does Time Warner throttle or packet shape torrents, usenet, or emule?

D) How are the speeds in Milwaukee? Do people experience slow downs? What sort of average up and down speeds are people getting?

E) How is the pricing and trade-offs versus DSL?
posted by cycleback to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
 
I'm in Milwaukee and use Time Warner. Time Warner's installation has always been free (or $10) as long as I can remember. I've had them for like 4 or 5 years, and have moved 4 times. As far as I know they don't cap things, but I don't use the net for huge amounts of data. I don't use torrents/usenet/emule. Speeds are really good. Occasionally there have been issues, maybe once or twice a year. I've had to have a technician out once or twice. One time their technician was out installing to a different apartment and accidentally unplugged mine. Other times there have just been outages. It happens but VERY rarely. DSL is cheaper, but I don't have a home phone, so it would be the same price for me. The main issue with Time Warner is that the price is just introductory; it goes up to $52 from $29.99 or 39.99 after a year.

I'm pretty happy with it.
posted by Slinga at 10:06 PM on May 16, 2011


I switched last year from AT&T to Time-Warner. Here are my thoughts:
  1. Free install seems pretty common to me. I'm pretty sure they charge for the install just so they can make the free installation a "deal." (Warning: this may be confirmation bias.) However, self-install isn't really an option because unless you already have a live signal going into your house/apartment, someone has to physically go and plug you in.
  2. Yes, they do cap. I and several other people in the around MKE work from home doing web work and some hit the cap pretty often. (I believe it's lower than AT&T's, though I don't remember what it is, exactly.)
  3. Some say they do, but I haven't noticed…likely because I personally throttle p2p before it goes out. However, I've noticed that torrent trackers take twice the amount of time to connect.
  4. Slower than AT&T (when AT&T works) if you're paying for the ultra-high speed (I was paying for business class +24mbps). However, my girlfriend doesn't really notice the speed. Recent months have seen some issues across our region, though. (But so was AT&T when I switched.) Latency is comparable. Upload speed is utter shit, (but it's cable, that is expected). I just did a speed test, I was floating at 3.9mbps 3up/.1mbps down.
  5. It really depends on what you're used to on AT&T right now, and your neighborhood. I noticed a huge speed drop (around 70%), but our monthly bill dropped by about 40% and we got cable TV in the package as well. It seems to me a large number of people in my apartment complex are on AT&T DSL, so my bandwidth stays around what I pay for (while on AT&T I was getting around 16-18mbps of a +24 plan, pissed me off). However, Time-Warner's top-tier Internet (which I'm not at) is much lower than AT&T's, so it's not exactly a fair comparison.

posted by thebestsophist at 10:07 PM on May 16, 2011


I am none too happy with AT&T DSL service and will consider switching. I really can't watch HQ Youtube videos without almost continuous buffering but that may be Youtube's fault more than AT&T. They kept trying to get everyone in our area to switch to the new fiber optics line installed a few years back but the price is more than I was willing to spend.
posted by JJ86 at 6:31 AM on May 17, 2011


Bay View represent!

We're on Time Warner, my parents have AT&T DSL. Our service is much, much faster than theirs. I disagree with thebestsophist about caps - We watch tons and tons of Netflix in HD and have never run into a cap. When I was unemployed, I was online the whole damned day and never ran into a cap. My cat used to torrent movies once in awhile and my cat reported no problems.

When I get home I'll run speedtest.net and give you specific numbers.

My only complaint is that when I moved from WI to IL, I returned my router but didn't get a receipt, and then they claimed that I never returned it. I had to argue about it for awhile until they dropped the charge, and they didn't give me any problems when I moved back to Wisconsin.
posted by desjardins at 7:21 AM on May 17, 2011


I should note that we are on Time Warner's top tier internet plan. Our bill, with taxes and everything, comes to about $56/month.
posted by desjardins at 7:34 AM on May 17, 2011


I just checked again, and apparently Time Warner doesn't currently have a bandwidth cap in place (but still reserve the right to do so after their PR fiasco in 2009), must just particularly bad service that occurred at the end of my billing cycle a couple of times.
posted by thebestsophist at 12:49 PM on May 17, 2011


I had AT&T DSL for several years before switching to Road Runner and I much prefer the RR. I haven't hit a cap or noticed any throttling but I don't do a ton of P2P. One caveat with Road Runner...if your internet service goes out you have to call T-W and have the modem reset remotely, just power cycling it doesn't do anything. As for pricing, we bundle RR/cable/phone and we're saving a fair bit over what we were doing (AT&T DSL and landline + T-W cable).
posted by MikeMc at 1:03 PM on May 17, 2011


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