Charter

Charter Reviews

2/5

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2

Charter Review by WhichVoIP.com

Charter Communications is currently the fourth largest cable provider in the United States, offering TV, Internet and phone service to over 5 million customers across 25 states. It has over 16,000 employees nationwide and over 300 offices and the technology is based on cable to the home (or business) rather than DSL.

The Good

Speed and price tend to be the two main factors that users consider when looking at Internet service for their home. Charter's service does a reasonable job in both these categories. Download speeds of up to 30Mbps and upload speeds of up to 4Mbps are stated for their generic plan called Plus. This provides ample bandwidth for the many ways in which we use this service these days, like movie and music streaming, email, gaming, VoIP communications (Skype, home phone service etc), uploading photos, and surfing the web.

They also offer an "Ultra" plan which provides download speeds of up to 100Mbps and upload speeds of up to 5Mbps.

Introductory pricing for the first 12 months can save you some money. The lowest prices come when bundling with other available services (TV and phone service).

A security suite comes included with your service at no additional charge. Parental controls, anti-virus, and email security are part of this suite, which can be installed on up to 3 computers. This is available for both Windows and Mac users.

The modem lease is included in your monthly fee. Some providers may include a monthly charge for this so consider this when comparing different provider options.

A WiFi option is available for additional fees. This service uses a standalone Netgear router device, which requires professional installation by Charter. Dedicated 24 hours, 7 days a week support is included with this additional service. If you want this service then its recommended to select at the same time you sign-up for service to save additional installation times (and possibly more fees).

Service includes up to 10 Charter email addresses at no additional charge. You can also access some TV shows online but additional subscriptions may be required for premium content.

A 30 day money back guarantee is offered and only applies to new customers. They will refund the monthly service charge, plus any lease fees. Taxes will not be refunded.

Technical support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As with most major cable providers there is a good knowledgebase of information and help (guides, FAQ, tutorials, troubleshooting etc.) through their website which is easy to navigate. You can also ask a question or search on a topic if you cannot find what you are looking for.

The Bad

New customers must use the company leased modem. You cannot use your own modem anymore (often referred to as BYOD - bring your own device).

The modem supplied does not include a wireless router. If you want a WiFi network in your home you will need to have a standalone wireless router installed professionally by them at additional charges.

Service is only available in 25 states of the USA so you will need to check for availability to your address through their website. This is typical with many of the main providers though.

The monthly rate increases after the first 12 months special offer has expired. The best rates require bundling with other services.

Part of their acceptable use policy mentions excessive use of bandwidth. This is considered to be 250GB of data per month for Plus plan users and 500GB of data per month for Ultra plan users. If you exceed these amounts then your service may need to be upgraded to a business level plan or at worst case they can terminate your account.

If you cancel your service at any time then you must send back your leased equipment (modem) within 10 days. If you do not you may be charged for the amount of a new device.

The Bottom Line

  • Plus Plan: For the first 12 months you can get this plan as low as $29.99 per month if you bundle with any other services. Standalone service will be $39.99 per month for the first year. Following this period the fee increases to $49.99 per month. This plan includes download speeds up to 30Mbps, upload speeds of up to 4Mbps, and a free lease modem.
  • Ultra Plan: The bundled rate is $89.99 per month for the first one year period and the standalone service is $109.99 per month. The rate increases following this period. Included are download speeds of up to 100Mbps, upload speeds of up to 5Mbps, and a free modem lease.
  • WiFi Plan: A one-time activation fee of $39.99 is required plus a monthly fee of $5 per month. Fees may also apply for the required professional installation.
  • Additional Fees: Expect to pay taxes and regulatory fees on top of your monthly rates.

Overall Thoughts

Charter provides a competitive Internet service to residential users who fall in the 25 states of the USA that they support. Price and speeds are comparable with other options. In recent times they have moved from multiple plan options to one basic plan plus another option for the speed junky. This indicates how most users utilize their service, wanting higher speeds for watching movies and streaming videos.

The main negative is the need to pay extra for having a wireless network set up in your home. This is a must for many users with laptops and tablets becoming common place in the home.

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