Looking to save some money on your monthly internet bill?
Like most cable internet companies, Time Warner provide its users with a modem for a small monthly fee. Also like most cable internet companies, this fee can be waived if you simply choose to use your own modem instead of using theirs.
Top Choices: Rated Modems For TWC
(take yourself over to the routers on Amazon by clicking the links above)
However, if you want to buy a modem to replace the one they give you, not just any modem will do. Be sure to check out their list of confirmed modems before you buy one. It is also worth knowing that all the modems reviewed on our list are also compatible with the service provided by Time Warner.
Why Should I Use My Own Modem?
When you sign up to an internet service like Time Warner, you are usually provided with a modem by the company. While this is great in that it means you can be connected to the internet without any extra startup fees, there is a monthly fee you have to pay when you rent the modem.
In the short term, this fee is generally fairly cheap. However, over the course of a contract, this fee can quickly add up and will soon eclipse the cost of just buying a modem.
When you use your own modem, the monthly rental fee is taken off your contract. This means that while buying a modem will cost you more money in the short term, you will very likely save a lot of money over the longer term.
Do The Modems Include A Router?
Modems and routers are two different products and as such modems do not generally include routers. Having said that, modem/router combos are fairly common so if you want to have both your modem and your router in the same device then that should not be much of a problem. Let’s take a look at what each device does.
A modem is the first port of call for the internet as it enters your home. When data from the internet is being sent over cables, it is in a format that is unreadable by the devices on your network.
What a modem does, is change this data into a format that can be used by the devices on your network. This is why it is important to get the correct type of modem for how you get your internet.
For example, people with cable internet will require a cable modem, DSL internet will require a DSL compatible modem and if you still get your internet over a dial-up connection (unlikely) you will need an analog modem.
Once your modem has changed the data into a format that your computers and devices can use, this signal is sent to a router whose job it is to send (or “route”) this data to all the different devices on your network.
When buying a router, you will need to make sure it can handle the speeds provided by your modem. While it is unlikely, if you don't check this you could end up with slower internet speeds than you are paying for.
As well as this, your router will need to be powerful enough to share this connection to the many users on the network.
A modem/router combo is a device that includes both a modem and a router. This can save you space, makes setting up your network really easy, and can sometimes even save you money.
Perhaps the best thing about a device like this is that you know both devices are setup to handle the speeds provided by each other (ie, you won’t end up with one device slowing the other one down).
Tell Me About DOCSIS
If you decide to use your own modem with Time Warner, the modem you choose must be a modem that uses DOCSIS 3.0 or higher (for the higher speed services).
DOCSIS is the standard used by cable modems to provide internet access. It was first released in 1997 with DOCSIS 1.0 and it has now moved onto DOCSIS 3.1. As time has moved on, the technology has improved and DOCSIS 3.1 can provide higher data transfer speeds than the older versions.
The main difference between DOCSIS 3.0 and older versions is that DOCSIS 3.0 allows channels to bond together which can drastically increase the speed available. For example, while an individual channel can only offer 38 Mbps on the downstream and 27 Mbps on the upstream, by bonding these channels you can significantly increase the speeds you get.
This does mean that not all DOCSIS 3.0 modems are built equally. For example, some may support the bonding of nine channels, while others may support the bonding of 16, 24 or more channels. Despite both modems using DOCSIS 3.0, the modem that allows a higher number of channels to bond will naturally provide the fastest speeds.
DOCSIS 3.1 is the latest standard and once again improves upon DOCSIS 3.0 by improving the speeds available.
Also, all versions of DOCSIS are backward compatible so will work with your current service.
Best Time Warner Cable Modems (TWC Approved)
Here's our list of rated modems (and some routers too) for TWC. Note that the speeds are theoretical...
Netgear C7000 Nighthawk AC1900 (Wi-Fi Router Combo)
This product is a modem/router combo. This means that it has everything you need to set up your wireless network straight out of the box.
It uses DOCSIS 3.0 and allows 24 downstream channels to be bonded giving a maximum theoretical speed of 960 Mbps. Very fast indeed!
Luckily, the built-in router comes with dual-band wireless AC technology which means that, while there is no guarantee that your AC speeds and line speeds will be the same, it should be able to handle multiple clients at the same time over a high-speed line.
Note: This is the only modem that isn't on the official TWC compatible device list, but most customers report that it works just fine...
Arris Surfboard SB6190 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem
The Arris Surfboard SB6190 is a superfast DOCSIS 3.0 compatible modem that allows download speeds of up to 1.4 Gbps due to its ability to bond 32 channels. As well as these impressive download speeds, it can handle upload speeds of up to 262 Mbps.
Despite these speeds it isn’t too expensive and you should be able to start saving money in just over a year's time once you have stopped paying your modem rental fees. The products 2-year warranty mean that the ability to save money really shouldn’t be a worry.
The product is, like all modems, really easy to setup and once it is plugged in you can easily see the status of your connection by looking at the lights on the front of the device.
Linksys CM3024 DOCSIS 3.0 24x8 Cable Modem
This modem uses the DOCSIS standard and allows bonding over 24 channels to provide speeds of up to 960 Mbps on the downstream. Like the above modem, it also bonds 8 channels on the upstream.
While these speeds aren’t quite as impressive as the above Arris modem, they should still be more than fast enough for most uses including streaming movies, gaming, and listening to music.
This modem is really easy to setup, but where it really stands apart from the Arris router is in its sleek and modern looking black design.
TP-Link TC-W7960 DOCSIS 3.0 Modem/Router Combo (Wi-Fi)
This product is another modem/router combo. Where it differs from the Netgear C7000 above is that it neither as fast nor, crucially, anywhere near as expensive. In fact, if you really are looking to save money then this could be the product for you as you should be saving money well before a year is up.
Despite this, the TP-Link TC-W7960 still offers respectable speeds using the DOCSIS 3.0 standard. It offers download speeds of up to 343 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 143 Mbps.
The router uses the wireless N standard which, while not as fast as the AC standard, is still going to be more than fast enough for streaming movies etc. Basically, this is a great product if you want to save a bit of money and aren’t worried about not having the absolute latest technology.
Arris SBG6900-AC Wireless Router Cable Modem Combo
Another modem/router combo, the Arris SBG6900-AC sits somewhere between the other two on the list both in terms of performance and price.
It offers download speeds of up to 686 Mbps due to its ability to bond 16 channels and it has wireless AC support to ensure that this is delivered across your network. This is again more than enough for streaming videos and playing games online.
It has a 2-year warranty and it comes at a decent price which ensures that you should be able to save money over the course of a two year contract.
Buying your own modem can be a great idea if you want to save a bit of money and not be bound to using the modem provided to you by Time Warner.
There are plenty of options in the article to suit you whether you simply want to save as much money as possible or you want to get the modem that will provide you with the fastest speeds.
Hopefully, you have enjoyed reading this article. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.