Understand Factors That Affect Connectivity
Connectivity tools and troubleshooting tips
Learn more about factors that affect connectivity, the difference between bits and bytes and how to troubleshoot issues.
Step 1: Verify connections
- Verify that one end of the coaxial cable is securely connected to the wall outlet, and that the other is securely connected to the cable modem.
- Verify that the power cord is securely connected.
- Verify that one end of the Ethernet cable is securely connected to the modem's Ethernet port and that the other is securely connected to the computer's Ethernet port. If using a router, securely connect the Ethernet cable to the router's Internet, WAN or modem port.
Step 2: Reboot the modem and router (if any)
- Press the reset button on the modem. If the modem does not have a reset button, you may reset it by unplugging the power cable from the modem (and your router if you are using one).
- Wait for approximately one minute for the modem to reset.
- If you have unplugged the power cable from the modem or router, plug your modem back in first, then your router. If you are using a router, allow about two minutes for the router to "sync" (i.e. reconnect) with the cable modem.
- Wait for the lights to stop blinking on the modem and wireless router if you have one. Allow up to two minutes for the router to "sync" with the cable modem.
- If you are connecting wirelessly, make sure you're within range of your wireless router, and that the wireless connection on your computer is turned on.
Step 3: Restart your computer
- Close all open applications and files.
- Restart your computer. The restart option is generally near a computer’s shut down option.
- Once your computer has restarted, open a browser.
- Test your Internet connection by going to at least two websites.
Protect your PC against viruses, spyware, hackers, spam, offensive websites and other Internet threats that can jeopardize your privacy and diminish PC performance. Security software from McAfee is available for free for our Time Warner Cable customers. Learn more about McAfee software.
Bits per second
Internet speed is measured in bits per second (bps), which is the standard for describing the speed of computer communications. One Kbps (kilobits-per-second) equals 1,000 bits per second and 1 Mbps (megabits-per-second) equals 1,000,000 bits per second. Example: TWC’s Standard Internet service at 15 Mbps more than 200 times faster than the average speeds you'll see from a dial-up modem at 64 Kbps and 2.5 times faster than the fastest DSL service at 6 Mbps.
Bytes per second
File download speeds from your web browser are reported in bytes per second (Bps), kilobytes per second (kBps) or megabytes per second (mBps). The speed of your modem is listed in terms of bits per second or kilobits per-second (kbps). The uppercase "B" means bytes; the lowercase "b" means bits. A 100 kBps download is eight times faster than a 100 kbps download.
How do we measure speed
As a rule, always measure the speed of the Internet in terms of bits per second. If you see a speed listed in terms of bytes per second (or using an abbreviation with an uppercase "B"), multiply this number by eight to convert to bits per second. If your browser reports a file downloaded at 150 KBps, you'll know this is 1200 kbps or about 1.2 Mbps.
Every web page you view or download from the Internet is handled by dozens of computers before it appears on your screen. The speed you receive from the Internet is largely determined by the slowest link in the data chain leading to your computer. Below, we've listed factors that can affect the speed of your Time Warner Cable Modem connection.
1. The host server
The most common cause of slow speed on the Internet is the host server. This server might not be configured properly or underpowered for the number of people using it at the same time.
• Try a few different websites (or FTP sites, or game servers, etc.) and see which one works the fastest.
• The speed of the fastest website or server you find tells you that your Time Warner Cable modem is capable of delivering at least that much speed.
• If other websites or servers are slower, the problem is usually with those websites or servers.
2. The host server's Internet connection
The servers from which you receive web pages, files, videos or gaming data connect to the Internet through an Internet Service Provider. These servers connect using one or more T1 lines, which can deliver a guaranteed 1.5 Mbps. If a server has only a single T1 line and 10 people are using it simultaneously, each person will receive only 150 kbps, which slows the speed.
• Same diagnosis/cure for the host server described above holds true here.
• Speed delivered may vary depending on the time of day you are using the server.
• Demand on servers can be high at peak times or during special events.
3. Internet routers
The data sent to your computer from a server typically bounces through a dozen or so routers. Their purpose is to direct data from one point to another on the Internet. Routers, or the connections between them, can become misconfigured or overloaded by high demand.
Even if a problem is identified, there's not much we can do, because it is up to the company who owns that router to resolve the problem.
4. Ad-ware or spyware
If your computer is infected with "ad-ware" or "spyware" you'll likely see reduced computer performance and a constant stream of pop-up ads. This will likely cause everything on your computer to work slower.
Several software companies provide removal software, which may assist you. Learn more about McAfee security software that’s available to Time Warner Cable customers for no extra charge.
There are many other products and services available on the Internet that provide similar security protection and removal tools.
5. Web browser
A corrupted or poorly configured web browser is one of the most common bottlenecks for fast web browsing.
Upgrade to the latest version of your browser.
6. Your TCP/IP configuration
Installation software provided by dial-up Internet providers can change the default TCP/IP settings on your computer in an attempt to provide better performance. These changes usually cause poorer performance with high-speed Internet services. Macintosh users don't experience this particular problem.
• Windows users can run one of several "registry scripts" to reset the TCP/IP configuration to default values.
• Your Internet service provider's broadband software should contain such a registry fix.
7. Your computer’s hardware
The speed of the processor, hard drive, network card, graphics accelerator, even the amount of RAM, all impact the speed your computer can process Internet data.
• Upgrading your RAM is one of the easiest, least expensive ways to boost speed.
• In general, older computers will limit the speed you receive with your Time Warner Cable modem connection.
Here is a good way to determine whether or not your computer is at fault:
Find a friend who is receiving good speed with their Time Warner Cable Internet connection and borrow his or her laptop. Connect it to your modem. If the speed problem doesn't manifest itself, it could be your computer.
8. Your operating system
With extensive use, any computer operating system can become corrupt, inefficient or misconfigured, which will affect the speed.
• Upgrading to a major new release of your operating system may help.
• Reinstall your operating system. If you're unsure how to do this, call your computer manufacturer or work with a qualified area consultant.
9. Your home networking device
A home networking device, or router, routes traffic between your cable modem and your computer(s). Routers that do not use the 100baseT Ethernet Standard and routers with outdated software could slow your connection.
• Unplug the Ethernet cables from your router and connect your computer directly to the cable modem.
• Reboot your computer and then recheck your speeds.
• If your speeds have increased, your home networking device could be the problem.
• In some cases you may just need to update the firmware/software on the device.
• Or you may need to remove or replace the home networking device.
Please note that Time Warner Cable does not recommend, endorse or provide support for non-Time Warner Cable home networking devices. TWC Home WiFi is the only recommended and supported home networking method.
See also our support topic article about wireless networking and Home WiFi Support.
10. Time Warner Cable routers
In addition to passing through routers on the public Internet, information received also passes through between six and 12 routers maintained by Time Warner Cable. It is possible for them to become misconfigured or overloaded, but it's more common for routine upgrades or maintenance to these routers to be at fault.
• Our automated monitoring tools or Time Warner Cable advanced users versed in network troubleshooting would usually report a problem before it was noticed by subscribers.
11. Your cable modem's signal
If your Time Warner Cable modem signal delivered to your cable modem is too strong, too weak or too noisy, it can cause your modem to slow down or stop working entirely. Adding a signal splitter to your cable line; a nick in the cable line running to your house; or changes to the cable system in your neighborhood could also slow your cable signal.
• Remove any cable splitters you may have added to the cable line leading to your cable modem.
• Contact Time Warner Cable to see if your cable signal is out of spec.
• If it looks like you are experiencing a problem with your cable signal, we'll schedule a visit with one of our technicians to troubleshoot the problem. Visit our contact us page to call us.