Time Warner Home SecurityBy - 05/18/2016
Our Overall Rating
The Bottom Line
Time Warner Equipment & Protection
As of 5/18/2016 TWC is now a part of Charter Communications. We’ll continue to update our review as this development unfolds. Rumor has it that they may ax home security and automation services. At this point in time, I would caution you against investing heavily in new equipment. The future is unstable for Time Warner’s services.
Time Warner Home Security provides best in class technology. They use color touchscreen panels, wireless monitoring, and high-tech sensors. Their infrared motion sensor has built-in technology to reduce false alarms and is backed by patented 4D processing technology. They offer pet immune motion sensors, glass break sensors, wireless smoke alarms, and more. Time Warner uses Broadband communication for home security, but if your internet and power go down you will be protected by battery and cellular back-up.
The touchscreen is the centerpiece of the system. It is responsible for communicating with the different devices and also the monitoring center. What’s unique about Time Warner’s touchscreen is that it can do more than control your security system. It is also capable of telling you the weather, news, or you can use it as a digital photo frame. The main screen uses different app-like icons to help you easily navigate and control your system. You can even view live camera feed directly from the device.
Time Warner Cable (TWC) will let you buy your home security equipment in a set or a la carte. Buying equipment a la carte is more expensive, but provides you with the freedom to create a custom solution while you avoid paying for equipment you don’t need.
Also, your equipment will be monitored 24/7 by TWC’s 5-Diamond rated Emergency Response Center.
- 100% Broadband Signal with Cellular and Battery Backup
- Free Professional Installation
- Requires that you have Time Warner internet service to work.
- UL Certified 24/7 Monitoring – Burglaries, Fire, Medical, and More
- 5-Diamond Rated Emergency Response Center
- Wireless Takeover Board allows you to use compatible, pre-existing home alarm equipment
- Wireless System = No Drilling
Equipment Security Packages
There are five primary equipment packages that you can choose from if you don’t want to go the a la carte route.
Security Package $99.99
The security package is Time Warner’s entry level package. It includes the in-home touchscreen and two door/window sensors. It also includes your choice between a motion sensor or a glass break sensor.
Security & Video View Package $149.99
The Security and Video package includes everything from the previous package plus an indoor/outdoor camera.
Security & Energy Package $149.99
The Security and Energy Package includes the in-home touchscreen, two door/window sensors, and a smart thermostat. It also includes your choice of a motion sensor or glass break sensor.
Security, Video View & Energy Package $199.99
Security, Video View, and Energy combines the best of the previous two packages. It includes the touchscreen, motion or glass break sensor, two door/window sensors, a smart thermostat, and an indoor/outdoor camera.
Upgrade Package $149.99
If you have a home security system from another company, this is the package for you. This price includes the touchscreen, and will allow you to transfer service to Time Warner Cable if you happen to own a compatible setup.
How Does Time Warner Home Security Compare?
To give you an idea of how they stack up against the competition we’ve created the chart below. Here we compare entry level packages for Time Warner and our top pick for 2016, FrontPoint.
|Entry Level Monthly Cost||$34.99||$39.99|
|Installation||DIY $0 with Free Guided Phone Support||Free Professional|
|Contract Length||12-36 Months||18 Months|
|Our Review||Frontpoint Review|
|Communication||100% Cellular||Broadband with Cellular Backup|
|Other||All costs included.||Requires internet service with TWC and will pull against your bandwidth limit.|
|24/7 Professional Monitoring|
|Crash & Smash Protection|
|Email & Text Alerts|
|Mobile App Control|
|Geo Location Services||Unknown|
|Live Video Streaming|
|Motion Activated Video Recording|
|HD & Night Vision Video|
|Door Lock Automation|
|Energy Management Control|
|30-Day, 100% Risk Free Trial|
|Move for Free|
|Min. Equipment Fee||$99.00||$99.00|
|Base Station Included||Yes, but touchscreen is extra.||Yes, touchscreen included.|
|Extra Motion Detectors||$64.99 ea||$99.99 ea|
|Extra Door/Window Sensors||$32.99 ea||$69.99 ea|
|Key Fob||$29.99 ea||$39.99 ea|
|Light Controllers||$49.99 ea||$49.99 ea|
|Add Additional Items|
|Learn More||Visit Site||Visit Site|
Time Warner offers home automation using Zigbee communication through a service called IntelligentHome. With Time Warner, you can control lights, the temperature, and small appliances from your smart phone or compatible personal device. Recently, they added support for smart locks. The only smart lock they support is the Kwiket 914 SmartCode Remote Door Lock, following the lead from Xfinity. They do not sell this lock directly, but it’s easy to find and can be picked up from Amazon or Best Buy.
Time Warner home security also offers video surveillance using their indoor/outdoor security camera. The camera’s resolution (640p x 480p) is disappointing, but the fact that you can use one camera both inside and outside is awesome. While the $150 price tag is in-line with other indoor cameras, this is a great price for an outdoor camera. The camera includes IR night vision and can work alone or in a group.
Other features of TWC’s camera option includes the ability live video stream and capture video clips. The mobile app allows you to view live video from anywhere in the world, as well as view event history. The cameras can be set to record continuously (assuming you have the right package) or only when an event is detected.
TWC’s smart home features are controlled through their mobile app or by using any internet connected device to log into your IntelligentHome account. Using the mobile app, you can customize your system settings. You can also setup rules to run automatically. For example, you can have the system turn off lights when motion is detected in your master bedroom or see a photo of your children when they get home from school. Of course, if you aren’t an “app person”, you can also use the touchscreen to control your devices. As mentioned above, you can use the touchscreen to watch live video footage, but you can also use it to adjust your home’s temperature and control your other smart home functions.
- Remote Arm and Disarm Abilities
- Customized Settings to Receive Text or Email Alerts
- Control from your smartphone or laptop
- Light, Lock, and Temperature Automation
- Interactive Video Monitoring
Customer Service & Support
Time Warner, like most triple play companies, isn’t known for customer service. In the past, they had a surprisingly high A rating with the BBB, but now, they do not appear to have a score. Also, in a survey by DSL Reports, customers voted AT&T as the company with the worst customer service and Time Warner as the second worst in the nation. In the same survey, Comcast, one of America’s most hated companies, ranked 6th.
The second issue is that home security is tied to your internet service. What if you want to change your internet service? The answer is that you will pay an early termination fee, which is essentially buying out the remaining value of your home security contract. What if you move to an area without TWC service? While I’m not 100% clear on the answer to this question, I will say that the TWC agreement states, “You may not use the Time Warner Cable Equipment with another security services provider or move it to another location.” Do I need TWC internet service? Yes. And if you have an internet bandwidth limit, using smart home devices and streaming live camera feeds will not help.
In general, these are all things to be mindful of. While bundling service may be tempting, there are home security providers capable of competing with Time Warner’s equipment and price, all while delivering an award-winning customer experience.