Internet and communications service providers are difficult to weigh for their pros and cons since their services are so detailed and specific, and many areas have several options for patrons to select from. Two of the most common options are AT&T and Time Warner Cable, however both of those companies have complicated websites that offer confusing deals and packages, so comparing their services and prices can be a challenge. Those who don't have access to both service providers should be sure to weigh the options they do have.
Overview & Initial Recommendations
The basis for this comparison will focus on a few primary areas that most people care about when selecting an ISP. Those features include available TV channels, internet speeds, reliability, customer support, and price. Finding a balance between all these areas can be difficult, and what works for one customer might not work for another.
Based on the full comparisons below, there are a few initial recommendations that can be made for customers searching for specific features. Shoppers who are more interested in price than anything else should consider the bundled packages available from AT&T. Most AT&T bundles are somewhere between $10 and $30 less than comparable TWC bundles since their systems are older and therefore less expensive to operate.
Consumers who are more interested in comprehensive customer service should consider AT&T as well. One of the main reasons why AT&T is generally considered better at customer service is that they don't hire contractors to perform service calls and installations. This means their customers are served by employees of the company who actually care about the reputation since their own careers are connected to the success of the brand. Time Warner Cable uses contractors who are often unprofessional or even rude to customers.
Lastly, users who care more about internet speeds and reliability should look at Time Warner Cable. Their internet speed options go quite a bit higher than what AT&T offers, and while what AT&T offers is more than enough for the standard internet user, consumers who are heavy into streaming content will need the speed reliability from Time Warner Cable.
AT&T Digital TV
As with all service providers, the different bundles from AT&T come with different channels, but AT&T offers a total of 210 HD channels that are available through their different plans. They also offer individual DVRs, whole-home DVRs, and traditional box units for their services. New users can take advantage of bundles that include premium movies channels like Starz and HBO free for several months or at a reduced standard rate.
AT&T is able to offer their incredible TV services thanks to VDSL technology. This technology is similar to DSL technology, only it works much faster. One of the most vital features of such technology is that it runs on existing phone lines, so new customers rarely have to get wiring installed in order to take advantage of AT&T. With a total of four TV plans to choose from, AT&T has the options that will satisfy a large majority of the industry.
AT&T strives to provide their customers with state-of-the-art internet technology, and their download speeds of up to 45mbps are quite impressive. Their upload speeds are advertised at up to 6mbps, which is still exceptional. Only users who consistently use large amounts of data when transferring files between systems, like digital designers, programmers, or photographers, will find the speeds from AT&T insufficient. All standard customers should be more than satisfied with the speeds offered from AT&T.
Even users who prefer to watch streaming TV can take advantage of AT&T since the service is optimized to work with services like YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix. In total, AT&T offers six different internet plans that are all tiered for varying levels of need.
AT&T Home Phone
Home phone services are slowly becoming a thing of the past since so many people are opting to forgo landlines in favor of their smartphones. However, those who are interested in home phone services from AT&T won't be disappointed. Their home phone services include three-way calling, call waiting, caller ID, and anonymous call rejection. Not only that, but AT&T home phone services can call all 50 states and several foreign countries.
Time Warner Cable HD TV
As the third largest cable ISP in the United States, Time Warner Cable is one of the most well-known businesses in the modern digital communications industry. They strictly use cable wiring to supply all their services, including internet and phone. They offer six cable TV packages that include up to 200 channels of HD content, and they also provide DVRs for those who wish to add them to their package. Time Warner Cable offers both traditional DVRs and whole-home DVRs, but their equipment prices tend to be higher than other service providers, so customers should pay attention to additional fees. Time Warner Cable even offers a few specialty channels in certain markets that can not be accessed through other providers.
Time Warner Cable Internet
Cable internet has been achieving higher speeds than standard DSL for quite some time, and Time Warner Cable is still the leading competitor when it comes to internet speeds in many areas. The majority of their service area can access download speeds of up to 50mbps, but many of their areas have been upgraded to work with their new 300mbps service. That was started back in 2014, and it is far ahead of the standard speeds available through AT&T. TWC even offers a basic internet service of up to 2mbps at only $14.99 per month. In total, there are six different internet tiers to select with Time Warner Cable.
Time Warner Cable Home Phone
Like AT&T and every other communications enterprise business, Time Warner Cable still offers home phone service, but those services are rarely sought after by customers. They offer multiple packages that include options for calling the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada with unlimited access. Users will find little difference between home phone services in the current market dominated by smartphones and mobile technology.
Time Warner Cable vs. AT&T: Final Verdict
AT&T is an impressive provider of internet and TV services, and their customer support is next to none in the industry. Their VDSL network is both advanced and highly stable, and it represents a great option for the standard user.
Depending on what a specific customer is looking for, either of these companies could fit the bill. A lot will depend on what is available in the area where the customer is interested in acquiring service, and customer service might not be as good or bad in one area as it is in another. Customers will have to decide if the higher internet speeds possible from Time Warner Cable are worth the higher pricing and subpar customer support.
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