RCN Internet Review 2020

Variety, flexibility, and speed—if you live in the right zip code.
Recommended Plans
PlanPriceDownload speedDetails
25 Mbps Internet$19.9925 MbpsView Plans
250 Mbps Internet$39.99250 MbpsView Plans
Gig Internet$59.99940 MbpsView Plans
PriceDownload speedDetails
$19.9925 MbpsView Plans
$39.99250 MbpsView Plans
$59.99940 MbpsView Plans

When one of our team members first moved to New York City, they had no idea what they were doing with their life yet, and they liked it that way. They worked hard, stayed out late, and moved every six months to a new apartment. And needless to say, they were not interested in long-term internet contracts.

This early-20s version of our now 30-something friend seems to be RCN’s target customer. Its service area is laser-focused on big metropolitan areas and its no-contract internet plans have the flexibility and speed that young city-slickers desire.

But if you’ve grown out of your wanderlust, you may not like RCN’s limited geographic range and confusing pricing.

Pros

  • Flexible plans
  • High speeds

Cons

  • Limited availability

Is RCN available near you?

RCN prices and plans

You get a plan! And you get a plan! And you get a plan!

RCN has a host of fairly priced, contract-free plans. (You could even imagine that RCN stands for “Reasonable Costs, Nice!” or “Required Contract? No!” if you want.)

RCN internet prices and plans
PlanPriceDownload speedData capDetails
25 Mbps Internet$19.9925 MbpsUnlimitedView Plans
50 Mbps Internet$29.9950 MbpsUnlimitedView Plans
250 Mbps Internet$39.99250 MbpsUnlimitedView Plans
500 Mbps Internet$49.99500 MbpsUnlimitedView Plans
Gig Internet$59.99940 MbpsUnlimitedView Plans
Heads Up icon
RCN doesn’t offer the same plans everywhere, so before you take the plunge, make sure you know what’s available to you.

Depending on where you live, RCN internet begins with speeds as low as 25 Mbps all the way up to 100 Mbps. These slower plans are great for people like my grandparents, who just send me pie recipes and emails with subject lines like “RE: RE: The truth about UFOs”.

RCN’s higher-speed plans are perfect for when the kids want to play Xbox in the basement and the parents want to stream HBO upstairs.

At the top of the speed charts is RCN’s gigabit plan, with enough power to fuel a small business and to compete with some of the best ISPs for gaming.

RCN’s prices are exciting, and they still look pretty fantastic when compared to the competition.

For example, Verizon Fios offers a 200 Mbps plan for $39.99 a month, but for the same price you get 50 more Mbps from RCN. Hmmm . . .

RCN internet price comparison
ProviderMonthly priceDownload speedsLearn more
RCN Internet$19.99$59.99251000 MbpsView Plans
Verizon Fios$39.99$79.99200940 MbpsView Plans
Xfinity Internet$24.99$299.95152000 MbpsView Plans
Spectrum Internet$49.99$109.99100940 MbpsView Plans

Our RCN internet plan recommendations

50 Mbps Internet

Who it’s best for: College students, bachelors, and low-use households

Why we picked it: 50 Mbps is on the lower end of internet speeds these days, but it’s more than enough to cover the basics: streaming music, watching movies, and getting into late-night Facebook feuds.

50 Mbps Internet
RCN Internet - Boston
Download speed:
50 Mbps
Data cap:
Unlimited
$29.99 a month

1 Gbps Internet

Who it’s best for: Gamers, small business owners, and Brady Bunch–sized families..

Why we picked it: Plans can start getting absurdly expensive at these higher speeds. But at $59.99, RCN’s Gig Internet plan is just per 6¢ per Mbps. Not bad, not bad at all.

1 Gbps Internet
RCN Internet - Boston
Download speed:
1000 Mbps
Data cap:
Unlimited
$59.99 a month

RCN internet speed and data

“No no no, light speed is too slow! We’ll have to go right to. . . ludicrous speed!”

RCN has a gigabit plan. Hypothetically, that’s enough speed to stream all 180 episodes of Seinfeld at the same time! No one needs that much Kramer in their life, but that same speed may be useful if you stream on Twitch or share your Wi-Fi password with your neighbors.

Pro tip: Don’t share your Wi-Fi password with your neighbors.

RCN internet speed and data
PlanDownload speedUpload speedData cap
50 Mbps Internet50 Mbps10 MbpsUnlimited
250 Mbps Internet250 Mbps15 MbpsUnlimited
500 Mbps Internet500 Mbps20 MbpsUnlimited
1 Gbps Internet1000 Mbps20 MbpsUnlimited

But because RCN is a cable internet provider, its upload speeds will always be a fraction of its download speeds.

But when it comes to other cable ISPs, RCN is tops. It ranked as the sixth fastest internet provider overall and the No. 1 fastest cable internet provider in our analysis of the fastest ISPs in the US, beating out competitors like Xfinity, Optimum, and Frontier.

RCN internet speed score1
ProviderReviews.org weighted score
RCN47.4 out of 100

To put this in perspective, the highest-scoring ISP was Google Fiber with 75.6 out of 100. So while RCN’s score of 47.4 may seem below average, it’s actually excellent.

The reason fiber providers like Google and Verizon Fios Home Internet score so well is because we averaged the download and upload speeds, plus the latency, for more than 1 million speed test results for each ISP. And because fiber internet has faster upload speeds, it naturally scores higher than cable or DSL internet.

RCN data caps

For many of us, the internet is sort of like toilet paper. It’s essential, and we’d be very uncomfortable if it was suddenly taken away from us.

Thankfully, RCN is among the many ISPs that have done away with data caps. This is true for all of their plans, from 25 Mbps to 1 Gbps. So feel free to binge, game, and browse!

RCN fees, contracts, and equipment

Like condiments for your internet burger—except they aren’t free and don’t taste good.

RCN service contracts

All of RCN’s regular internet plans are no-contract. Your price is locked down for 12 months, but you’re able to cancel at any time—get this—without any early termination fees. That’s pretty flexible!

RCN service fees

Just because you avoid those infamous early termination fees with RCN doesn’t mean you’re out of the haunted fee forest quite yet.

  • Installation fees: RCN’s standard installation fee is $50, but it’s easy to find a coupon for a free installation.
  • One-time fees: RCN will add an activation fee of $9.99 to your first bill—but it can’t be that hard to activate an account, right?

RCN equipment and fees

Your internet can only go as fast as the equipment that’s hosting it.

Thankfully, RCN offers a few rental options for routers and modems, all of which fall within the $5–$15 a month range.

If you do want to buy your own gear, then make sure that you get a DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1 compatible modem. We recommend checking out the NETGEAR Nighthawk modem/router combo, available on Amazon, for the full RCN Wi-Fi experience.

RCN customer service

Press one for repetitive hold music, press two to talk to a human?

It’s one of the great mysteries of our age: internet companies can bring the entire world to our fingertips almost instantly, but somehow they cannot manage to answer our basic technical questions.

But RCN may be a rare exception to the rule. They were ranked #1 in Highspeedinternet.com’s customer satisfaction survey in the technical support and customer service category.2

Try ‘em out at 1-800-RING-RCN.

You can also contact RCN online here:

Recap: Is RCN good?

RCN’s flexibility will be perfect for some, but not for all.

RCN’s service is hard to pin down. This flexibility is actually its greatest strength: month-to-month contracts, plentiful speed options, and unique coverage areas.

But another word for flexible might be “inconsistent.” RCN isn’t available nationwide, its prices and policies vary by location, and its network is a patchwork of existing cable lines.

This means that RCN might not be the best for streaming or the best overall, but it’s still a great option for those in specific areas of the US who want fast, no-contract internet at a fair price.

RCN FAQ

Q: Does RCN throttle its traffic?

RCN states that it “doesn’t block or throttle consumer access to lawful internet content.”3 So maybe no torrenting, but if you’re doing legitimate internet things, you’ll be ok.

Q: Does RCN have a mobile app?

Yes, it does! You can find it in the App Store and on Google Play.