Choosing between AT&T U-verse and Time Warner Cable isn’t as easy as it looks. Both companies have confusing websites and confusing deals, to help you make sense of it all we’ve put together this detailed comparison.
But, before we start, make sure to check that both companies are available in your area, if they aren’t then reading this review isn’t worth your time.
Check your AT&T Availability here: https://www.att.com/shop/availability.html
Check your Time Warner Cable availability here: https://www.timewarnercable.com/
A Brief Overview: What Matters in a Provider
When comparing broadband providers most people care about 3 key things:
- Broadband Speeds and TV Channels Available
- Overall Price
- Reliability and Customer Service
If this is a good overview of what you’re looking for, then keep reading because this is the basis for the entire comparison.
Recommendations: Which is Right For You
Based on the detailed review below, here are some general recommendations.
Price Shoppers: Check AT&T’s Bundles First
If you are shopping for both, TV and Internet then make sure to look at AT&T’s bundles before making your decision. Generally AT&T is more cost effective (sometimes $10-30 cheapers a month depending on the deal) than Time Warner because their technology is slightly older allowing them to offer a similar service at a lower cost.
Overall AT&T U-verse is the better value.
Check the current AT&T promotions here: http://www.att.com/u-verse/shop/index.jsp
Want Good Customer Service?: Choose AT&T U-verse
The broadband industry isn’t known for it’s good customer service, but one key difference between Time Warner can AT&T U-verse is that AT&T uses employees instead of contractors to do installation and service calls. What’s this mean for you? Well it means that the employees have an incentive to make sure that you problem is solved, not just “fixed with a band-aid” like many contractors do.
While this distinction may seem subtle, there is a serious difference between professional installers who work for the company and contractors who have no interest in upholding a company’s reputation.
Long story short, if you want good customer service, AT&T is the better bet.
See if AT&T is available in your area: https://www.att.com/shop/availability.html
Heavy Internet Users: Time Warner Cable
As of this writing, Time Warner Cable offers better overall service for consumers who just want Internet access. With speeds ranging from 2mpbs up to 300mbps using DOCSIS 3.0, Time Warner Cable is a better bet for the fastest Internet in the neighborhood. That said, many of AT&T’s plans will meet most consumers needs.
AT&T U-Verse: Digital TV, Broadband, and Home Phone
AT&T’s U-verse is the largest DSL provider in the US but it’s network is actually on VDSL technology. While we could bore you with all the technical details explaining why this is important, here is what you need to know:
AT&T’s digital TV and high speed internet offer the fast speeds and crystal clear picture you’d expect from in today’s hyper connected world because VDSL is about 6.5x faster than traditional DSL.
Additionally because DSL is delivered over existing telephone lines, typically your house won’t have to be rewired to get U-verse service.
In general, U-Verse bundle pricing is a bit less than TWC, especially during the introductory period. The base TV plan, U-verse Family, has a decent number or channels and includes DVR.
Digital TV Service
While the number of TV channels varies between the different bundles and plans, AT&T U-verse offers up to 210 HD channels with whole home DVRs, individual DVRs, and traditional cable boxes.
Additionally, many bundles include reduced prices or several months free of premium movie channels such as HBO and Cinemax, so make sure to read the details of your plan carefully.
Fast Internet Speeds
With today’s super connected world, fast internet is important. With AT&T U-verse you can receive download speeds up to 45mbps and upload speeds up to 6mbps (as of this writing).
With speeds close to 50mbps, all but the most data intensive customers (professional photographers/videographers, programmers, and designers) will be satisfied with these speeds.
With that in mind, if you consume a lot of online video you’ll be covered because AT&T U-verse supports HD streaming from Netflix, Hulu, and Youtube.
Home Phone Service
While most consumers are “cutting the cord” and just using their cell phones as their main phone. With that in mind, if you are looking for robust home phone service including caller ID, call waiting, three-way calling, and anonymous call rejection, and calling across all 50 states and many countries, U-verse does offer home phone options similar (if not better) than what your current provider is offering.
Plans Available: 6 Internet plans, 4 TV plans
Pricing: Varies. more details »
Speeds: 3mbps to 45mbps
Promotions: See current discount offer.
Check Availability: https://www.att.com/shop/availability.html
AT&T Availability Map
Below is a map showing roughly where AT&T is available, but make sure you confirm your availability with the tool on their website.
Time Warner Cable Triple Play Bundle
Which do You Prefer? AT&T Uverse or Time Warner Cable?
Time Warner Cable has multiple tiers of TV plans. Depending on which one you select you can get up to 200 HD channels.
Additionally they offer whole home DVRs and traditional DVRs but make sure to watch their equipment prices as they are typically higher than industry standard.
You can also get all the premium channels through TWC that you can get with other providers, though they do have even more specialty channels in select markets such as New York City.
Time Warner Cable offers internet download speeds up to 50mbps in most areas, and up to 300mbps in upgraded areas starting in 2014. Pricing for basic speeds of 2mbps (which is not considered broadband by the FCC) starts at just $14.99/mo.
Home Phone Service
Time Warner Cable phone service offers multiple packages, but many included unlimited calls to anywhere in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
Plans Available: 6 Internet plans, 6 TV plans
Pricing: Varies. more details »
Speeds: 2mbps to 300mbps
Time Warner vs AT&T U-verse: Who Wins?
AT&T generally offers better pricing on their plans and bundles, but you’ll want to watch the hidden fees.
Time Warner does offer faster internet speeds than the highest tier AT&T plan, but it comes with higher TV and equipment pricing and frustrating customer service.
As service offerings vary with each city, we suggest contacting the companies to determine what is available in your local area. Deals and promotions are constantly changing to provide customers more incentive to purchase services and keep competition alive. Keep in mind that while we aim to keep our information as up-to-date as possible, pricing mentioned here is subject to change without notice.
Note: This post was last updated on January 13th, 2015. The comment since the update where left below for reference.