RCN Internet Review

Variety, flexibility, and speed—if you live in the right zip code.
Internet Service Provider
Our Rating
Our Rating
PlanPriceDownload speedDetails
50 Mbps Internet$29.9950 MbpsView Plans
250 Mbps Internet$39.99250 MbpsView Plans
500 Mbps Internet$49.99500 MbpsView Plans
1 Gbps Internet$59.991000 MbpsView Plans
PriceDownload speedDetails
$29.9950 MbpsView Plans
$39.99250 MbpsView Plans
$49.99500 MbpsView Plans
$59.991000 MbpsView Plans

When I first moved to New York City, I had no idea what I was doing with my life yet, and I liked it that way. I worked hard, stayed out late, and moved every six months to a new apartment. And needless to say, I was not interested in long-term internet contracts.

This early-20s version of me 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 internet pricing and plans
PlanPriceDownload speedDetails
50 Mbps Internet$29.9950 MbpsView Plans
250 Mbps Internet$39.99250 MbpsView Plans
1 Gbps Internet$59.991000 MbpsView Plans

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.)

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 at either 25 or 50 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 next-highest speed is 250Mbps, which is 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.

Info Box icon
What speeds do I need?
Not sure what a megabit is or how many of them you need? Check out our handy Mbps guide.

You can save on RCN internet when you bundle it with other services. For example, the company’s Signature TV (295+ channels) and 1 Gbps internet bundle will, at $109.99 a month, shave off about $15 from the price of buying the two separately.

While RCN’s prices are exciting, they might seem less so when compared to the competition. (RCN actually stands for Residential Communications Network, after all. Yawn.)

For example, Verizon Fios offers a 100Mbps plan for $39.99 a month. That’s twice the speed of RCN’s 50Mbps plan for just an extra $5.

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.

RCN 50 Mbps internet
PriceDownload speedData capDetails
$29.9950 MbpsUnlimitedView Plans

Gig 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.

RCN Gig internet
PriceDownload speedData capDetails
$59.991000 MbpsUnlimitedView Plans

RCN internet speed and data

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

RCN has earned a few accolades for its speed.

Exhibit one: RCN was rated the 2nd fastest ISP of 2018 by PC Magazine.1

Exhibit two: 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.

RCA internet speed and data
PlanDownload speedUpload speedData capDetails
50 Mbps Internet50 Mbps10 MbpsUnlimitedView Plans
250 Mbps Internet250 Mbps15 MbpsUnlimitedView Plans
500 Mbps Internet500 Mbps20 MbpsUnlimitedView Plans
1 Gbps Internet1000 Mbps20 MbpsUnlimitedView Plans

Unfortunately, these high speeds are hampered by the fact that, in most of its service areas, RCN runs a cable network. This means that its upload speeds will always be a fraction of its download speeds—and RCN is hushed about the exact stats for their upload speeds.

In short: RCN stacks up against other cable companies, but it can’t compare to fully fiber-optic networks, like Verizon Fios (which beat RCN for that #1 spot in PC Magazine).

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, 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 FAQs

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.