Astound Broadband, Powered by RCN, Internet Review

Astound Broadband, powered by RCN, offers no contracts and fast download speeds—if you live in the right zip code.

Astound Broadband logo
Astound Broadband
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
  • pro
    No contracts
  • pro
    Fast download speeds
  • con
    Limited availability
Catherine McNally
Nov 08, 2023
Icon Time To Read4 min read

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Astound Broadband, powered by RCN's service area is laser-focused on big metropolitan cities like California, Chicago, Boston, and Washington DC, and its no-contract internet plans have the flexibility and speed that most of us need.

But Astound's prices change depending on where you live, making it difficult to nail down expectations. And those promotional prices stick around only for one year. So is Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) internet worth it?

We did the research, so let's dig in and find out.

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Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) prices and plans

Astound keeps prices low, but costs could change depending on where you live.

Astound Broadband's prices range from $25 to $70 a month, making it one of the cheapest internet providers out there. But, depending on your city, you might see different pricing compared to other cities Astound serves.

Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) doesn’t offer the same plans everywhere, so before you take the plunge, know what’s available to you.

For example, a 600 Mbps plan in New York City costs $40 a month, while a similar 940 Mbps plan is $50 a month in Chicago.

Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) internet remains cheap despite muddying the waters with regional price changes. Here's a quick look at its prices for Chicago, IL:

Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) internet promotional prices in Chicago, IL
Plan
Price
Download speed
Data cap
Details
300 Mbps Internet$25/mo.*Up to 300 MbpsUnlimited
600 Mbps Internet$45/mo.*Up to 600 MbpsUnlimited
800 Mbps Internet$50/mo.*Up to 800 MbpsUnlimited
940 Mbps Internet$60/mo.*Up to 940 MbpsUnlimited
1500 Mbps Internet$70/mo.*Up to 1500 MbpsUnlimited
* No contract required. 24 Month Internet Pricing. Equipment priced separately. Includes $5 discount for 12 months w/ ebill & autopay. Observed speeds may vary. Excludes surcharges and fees. New residential customers only.

Anything below 100 Mbps is great for people like my grandparents, who just send me pie recipes and emails with subject lines like “RE: RE: The truth about UFOs”. But, honestly, we wouldn't recommend those slow download speeds for most folks.

On the other hand, Astound Broadband's higher-speed plans are perfect for most families with kids who want to play Xbox in the basement and parents who want to stream Max upstairs. (Or finish up that work project at home.)

At the top of the speed charts is Astound Broadband’s 1500 Mbps plan, with enough power to fuel a small business and to compete with some of the best ISPs for gaming.

Is Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) internet cheap?

Astound Broadband’s prices make our wallets smile, and they still look pretty low compared to the competition.

For example, Verizon Fios Home Internet offers a 300 Mbps plan for about $50 a month. Astound's price for the same speed is literally half the cost.

Another ISP you'll find in the same areas as Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) is Xfinity and Optimum, which both offer pretty good deals for the speeds you get. Xfinity also offers a 400 Mbps plan, but Astound's 300 Mbps plan is about $30 cheaper.

Astound Broadband, powered by RCN, internet price comparison
Provider
Monthly price
Download speeds
Learn more
Astound Broadband logo
$25-$70300-1500 Mbps
Verizon
$49.99-$89.99300-2300 Mbps
Xfinity
$25-$80^200-1200 Mbps
Optimum
$30-$265°300-8000 Mbps
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Observed speeds may vary. Exludes surcharges and fees. Equipment extra. New residential customers only.
Price per month with Auto Pay & without select 5G mobile plans. Fios plan prices include taxes & fees
^ Pricing for some packages are for the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1- or 2-year contract.
° Prices w/Auto Pay & Paperless Bill. Terms apply. Not available in all areas.

Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) internet speed and data

Astound Broadband is ranked as one of the fastest ISPs in the US.

Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) offers download speeds anywhere from 300 to 1500 Mbps, though the exact speeds depend on where you live.

Its slower-speed plans, like 300 Mbps Internet, plans are a great place to start for a small family—and the speeds just get better from there.

Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) download speeds and upload speeds in Chicago, IL
Plan
Download speed
Upload speed
Data cap
300 Mbps InternetUp to 300 Mbps20 MbpsUnlimited
600 Mbps InternetUp to 600 Mbps20 MbpsUnlimited
800 Mbps InternetUp to 800 Mbps20 MbpsUnlimited
940 Mbps InternetUp to 940 Mbps20 MbpsUnlimited
1500 Mbps InternetUp to 1500 Mbps20 MbpsUnlimited

Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) data caps

Thankfully, Astound Broadband is among the many ISPs that have done away with data caps. This is true for all of its plans. So feel free to binge, game, and browse!

Does Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) throttle its traffic?

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

Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) fees, contracts, and equipment

Astound is no stranger to fees, but it has fewer fees than some.

Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) contracts

All of Astound Broadband’s regular internet plans come with no contract. Your price is locked down for 24 months, but you can cancel anytime—get this—without any early termination fees.

Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) equipment

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

Thankfully, Astound Broadband offers a modem rental option for $16.00 a month. And you can add an eero whole-home mesh Wi-Fi system for an extra $10.95 a month.

  • eero Pro 6: $11.95 a month
  • eero Whole-Home Wi-Fi system: $10.95 a month for one base and one beacon
  • Additional Whole-Home Wi-Fi beacons: $5.00 a month
  • NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro gaming router: $12.95 a month
  • Standard modem/gig modem: $16.00 a month

If you prefer to buy your own gear, then make sure that you get a DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1 compatible modem. Also, keep in mind that a whole year of renting Astound's gaming router will cost you about $155, so buying your own modem-router combo might be a better deal.

Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) service fees

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

  • Installation fee: $79.95, but Astound regularly offers free installation deals.
  • Activation fee: $9.99
  • Early termination fee: None
  • Service call fee: $79.95

Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) customer service

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 answer our basic technical questions.

Astound Broadband is sadly no exception to this unwritten rule. In its latest customer satisfaction report, HighSpeedInternet.com reported Astound received a 3.6 out of 5 for customer service.

Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) customer service scores
Rating
Overall score
Customer service score
HighSpeedInternet.com 2023 Customer Satisfaction3.6 out of 53.7 out of 5

If you do need to call Astound Broadband customer service, we've got some tips to help you keep your cool, plus a few different ways for you to get a hold of a service rep:

Recap: Is Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) internet good?

Astound Broadband Internet offers some great perks: no contracts, fast download speeds, and extremely low promotional prices.

But you could also call it inconsistent. Astound is available only in a handful of large cities; its prices and policies vary by location; and its customer service could be better.

This means that Astound Broadband might not be 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.

Astound Broadband logo
Astound Broadband, powered by RCN
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Prices
$25-$60
Download Speeds
300-1500 Mbps
Upload Speeds
20-20 Mbps
Starting from
$25
/mo
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Methodology

When reviewing internet services, such as those provided by Astound Broadband, we go above and beyond simple metrics.

We heavily emphasize technical details such as overall download speeds, upload speed, and any included data caps. However, we also consider overall availability, affordability, and contracts involved.

Here are the factors we considered when reviewing services:

  • Overall download/upload speeds
  • Price of each provider’s plans
  • Whether contracts are required
  • Geographic service availability
  • Included equipment and fees
Catherine McNally
Written by
Catherine McNally
Catherine has a degree in journalism and an MBA, and has spent the last 10+ years writing everything from Okinawa travel guides to stories on Medium. She’s been online since AOL CDs were a thing and is an unapologetic PC gamer. She believes the internet is a necessity, not a luxury, and writes reviews and guides to help everyone stay connected. You can also find her on Twitter: @CMReviewsIt.

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