RCN's coverage area is narrowly centered on major metropolitan areas such as Chicago, Boston, and Washington, DC, and its no-contract internet plans provide the speed and flexibility that most of us need.
RCN's rates, on the other hand, vary depending on where you live, making it more difficult to set goals. And those special rates are only available for a year. Is RCN internet really worth it? Let's take a look and see what we can find out.
Also, Read: RCN Expert Review for Internet and TV
Fast download speeds
Price hikes after one year
25 Mbps Internet
250 Mbps Internet
RCN maintains low rates, but prices can vary depending on where you live.
RCN's monthly rates range from $19.99 to $59.99, making it one of the most affordable internet providers available. However, depending on where you live, you can see different pricing than in other cities served by RCN.
For eg, in New York City, a 500 Mbps plan costs $34.99 per month, while being in Chicago, the same 500 Mbps plan costs $49.99 per month.
Despite regional price changes muddying the waters, RCN internet remains affordable. Here's a short rundown of its Chicago, IL prices:
RCN internet promotional prices in Chicago, IL
25 Mbps Internet
50 Mbps Internet
250 Mbps Internet
500 Mbps Internet
Lower RCN plans, such as 10 and 25 Mbps, are perfect for people like my grandparents, who only send me pie recipes and emails with email messages like "RE: RE: The truth about UFOs." To be frank, we wouldn't advise most people to use those sluggish download rates.
RCN's higher-speed packages, on the other hand, are ideal for the majority of families where the kids want to play Xbox in the basement while the parents want to watch HBO upstairs. (Or stay at home and finish the job project.)
RCN's gigabit plan is at the top of the speed charts, with enough capacity to power a small business and contend with some of the best ISPs for gaming.
RCN's rates make our wallets happy, and when compared to the market, they still seem to be very tiny.
For instance, Verizon Fios Home Internet offers a 200 Mbps plan for $39.99 per month, but RCN offers 50 more Mbps for the same price. Furthermore, Verizon's service is fiber, which usually outperforms a cable connection like RCN's.
Xfinity is another ISP you'll find in the same areas as RCN, and it typically has decent prices for the speeds you get. It also provides a 200 Mbps plan for the same price as RCN, but if you need more speed, Xfinity costs more.
Verizon Fios Home Internet
RCN is one of the cheapest Internet service providers in the United States. And, they are rank as one of the fastest internet service providers.
RCN provides download speeds ranging from 10 to 940 megabits per second.
We wouldn't recommend its slower plans to someone who does a lot of online browsing, but the 50 and 100 Mbps plans are a great place to start for a small family—and the speeds only get better from there.
RCN makes good with their promise of delivering the speed which makes them one of the best.
In our analysis of the fastest ISPs in the United States, RCN received a weighted score of 47.4 out of 100. It is now the sixth-fastest internet provider (third if you remove smaller ISPs that only serve one or two cities) and the fastest cable internet provider, beating out Xfinity, Optimum, and Frontier. We're blown away.
Google Fiber, with a score of 75.6 out of 100, was the highest-ranking ISP. RCN's score of 47.4 seems poor, but it is actually quite good.
We averaged download and upload rates, as well as latency, for more than 1 million speed test results for each ISP, which is why fiber providers like Google and Verizon Fios Home Internet score so well. Fiber internet naturally ranks higher than cable or DSL internet because it has faster upload rates.
Fortunately, RCN is one of the many Internet service providers that have eliminated data limits. This is true with all of their plans, which range from 25 Mbps to 1 Gigabit per second. So go ahead and binge, play, and browse!
RCN isn't immune to charges, but it has less than any.
RCN's regular internet packages are all contract-free. Your price is fixed for just 12 months, but you can cancel at any time without incurring any early termination fees.
The speed of your internet is limited by the equipment that hosts it.
RCN, thankfully, provides a $14.95 per month modem rental option. For an additional $9.95 a month, you can install an eero whole-home mesh Wi-Fi device.
Modem rental fee: $14.95 a month
eero Whole-Home Wi-Fi system: $9.95 a month
Additional Whole-Home Wi-Fi beacons: $5.00 a month
If you prefer to purchase your own equipment, make sure it is DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1 compliant. For the complete RCN Wi-Fi experience, we suggest the NETGEAR Nighthawk modem/router duo, which is available on Amazon. It's pricey, but renting RCN's modem for a year will cost you almost the same: $179.40.
Just because you stop the dreaded early termination payments with RCN doesn't imply you're out of the fee forest yet.
Installation fee: $49.95, but RCN regularly offers free installation deals.
Activation fee: $9.99
Early termination fee: None
Service call fee: $54.95
RCN’s customer support is just, “Press one for repetitive hold music.”
It’s one of the biggest mysteries of our age: internet companies can put the whole world to our disposal almost immediately, but somehow they cannot manage to address our simple technical questions.
Unfortunately, RCN is no exception to this unwritten law. In the most recent customer satisfaction survey, it ranked 11th out of 15 ISPs. RCN's customers aren't pleased, as shown by its low customer service rating of 3.8 out of 5.
Here are the ways you can contact their support:
RCN customer service phone number: 1-800-RING-RCN (1-800-746-4726)
RCN internet has a number of appealing features, including no contracts, quick download speeds, and incredibly low promotional rates.
However, it could also be defined as inconsistency. RCN is only accessible in a few major cities, its rates and policies differ by region, and its customer support seems to be deteriorating rather than improving.
This means that while RCN might not be the best overall, it is still a great choice for those looking for cheap, no-contract internet at a reasonable price in specific areas of the United States.
Recap: RCN promotional prices (Chicago, IL)
25 Mbps Internet: $19.99/month,* 25 Mbps download speeds, unlimited data
50 Mbps Internet: $29.99/month,* 50 Mbps download speeds, unlimited data
250 Mbps Internet: $39.99/month,* 250 Mbps download speeds, unlimited data
500 Mbps Internet: $49.99/month,* 500 Mbps download speeds, unlimited data
Gig Internet: $59.99/month,* 940 Mbps download speeds, unlimited data
With Frontier, you will be able to more online such as surfing, streaming, shop online, and online games. Fios and Vantage internet plans offer an amazing level of internet speed. You can also bundle FiOS TV, Vantage, and Dish for an ultimate entertainment experience.View More Deals! (844) 319-1347
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