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RCN Review, Features, and Alternatives


RCN is the best and lowest-priced internet service provider. It is the pioneer and the first American company to come out with the bundled telephone, cable television, and internet service delivered over its fiber-optic local network as well as dialup and DSL Internet service to clients in Boston, New York, eastern Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Los Angeles.

RCN was named Residential Communications Network before that was founded in 1993 and based in Princeton, New Jersey.  In 1993, it first offered a cable television and telephone company. RCN entered the ISP space in 1997.

Today, RCN continues to provide high-speed internet, digital cable TV, and home phone service plans. It offers affordably priced internet service that is perfect for wifi, streaming, watching tv online and internet home networking.

For three consecutive years, its customers rated RCN the best in PC Magazine’s Annual ISP Rankings.

RCN is dedicated to putting its customers first at all times and always aspire to regular innovation. It could offer fast internet up to 940 Mbps, backed by 100% U.S. based customer support.

What are the advantages of RCN?

  • RCN offers the cheapest internet plan that makes it very competitive.  RCN earns the top spot in our rating of the Cheapest Internet Plans with its 10 Mbps internet plan that costs $19.99 a month.
  • No contract is required for this plan, and it comes with unlimited data. RCN cable internet is available in select metro areas (such as Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.). Consumers in some of these areas also have the option to get RCN's fiber internet.
  • It offers from 10 Mbps - 940 Mbps.
  • RCN comes wth two connection type, Fiber, and Cable
  • In addition to fiber and cable internet service, RCN also offers digital TV and phone services for residential and business customers
  • It stands out for its overall reliability, affordability, and variety of options. Among the Best Cable Internet Providers, RCN places at the top. It also is No. 1 in the rating with the Cheapest Internet Services, based on its starting price of $19.99. RCN also offers fiber optic internet in some areas, and places as the third Best Fiber Internet Provider.

Operational Sites

RCN cable internet is available in select metro areas. These include Boston, Chicago, Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., as well as their surrounding neighborhoods. Many of these areas can also get RCN fiber service, but it could vary by each location. New clients could check which services are available by entering their address on RCN’s website or by calling.

Since RCN’s network is based on coaxial cable, they are mostly available in coaxial-heavy areas in suburban and urban areas. Customers outside the metro centers of RCN cities may not get access hence DSL connections are more common in these remote areas. RCN has been investing in network upgrades and expansion in recent years to be more competitive with other cable providers and fiber providers.

RCN Pricing

With RCN customers have six plans that they could choose from.  The plans start at 10 to 940 Mbps download speed. These would let you choose the best plan for you and your family.

The starting introductory price per month in a year is the lowest plan as compared to other internet providers. Although the RCN pricing might be a little different by location.

Introductory prices for RCN start around $20 per month and go up to about $50 per month that would depend on your package. There are yearly increases but RCN has very low prices compared to others.

Customers need to shell out about $50 for installation and $25 for activation. Those are higher than most other Internet companies, but the monthly savings help offset the upfront costs. Some promotional offers will waive the installation fee. RCN would only charge you about $5 per month to rent a modem. Considering all its speeds available on  RCN, its prices are the best you can find. RCN Internet is a great budget value internet provider.

Choose the best plan with the right speed for the demand in your household. Youtube, video calling, gaming, and other online activities might need higher Mbps.

RCN Internet Speed

The fastest RCN Internet Plan is 940 Mbps. It’s not technically a gig, but it’s what you could refer to as a gigabit plan. With this speed, you would not experience any buffering and it could work stably with even more than a dozen devices in your home. It has an upload speeds max out at 20 Mbps.

The next fastest plans available offer speeds of 500, 250, and 100 Mbps. For digitally-minded families, the 250 or 500 Mbps plans would work efficiently enough. The lowest plans of 10 and 50 Mbps are for households with minimal internet usage.

RCN Bundles and Extras

RCN lets customers choose what they need best but signing up with RCN would give you a lower introductory price or even the first one to three months free. In some cases, customers may get a free professional installation or even a gift card.

Customers could choose an internet-only plan or a bundled plan with the ultimate which bundles TV, phone, and internet service that usually saves you money over having separate providers.

Another option for customers is to add eero Secure+, an add-on Wi-Fi security feature that provides antivirus software, ad blocking, and allows you to manage all your internet security settings and tools in just one app.

RCN Bundled Plans

Bundle 1- Internet plus TV

Depending on your location, RCN internet, and TV packages have a lot of options that would suit you. TV customers can choose from Basic TV which is local and music channels, streaming, and apps or the Signature TV plan that has 300+ channels.

Bundle 2 - Internet + TV + Phone

Customers could also add a landline RCN Phone that features unlimited nationwide calling, as well as caller ID, call waiting, digital voicemail, and more. Depending on which internet plan you choose, your phone plan can cost as low as only $10 per month.

RCN is primarily a cable internet provider, though it does also offer fiber-optic connection in select areas. If available in your area, fiber optic internet is always going to be faster and more reliable than cable. You could check the availability in your specific location. If a cable connection is your only option then you can still get enough speed that would suit you.

How do you get RCN Internet Service?

  • Check if you’re included in their service area. You could check it with RCN.
  • Evaluate what your internet needs are that would help you how much speed you need that would depend on the number of devices in your household and the type of activities and usages online.
  • After choosing your plan, you could schedule installation. You have an option to use your equipment or will rent RCN’s.

What Do you Need for RCN Internet Service?

  • Check all of RCN’s computer system requirements.
  • An approved or RCN router/modem: If you go with RCN’s equipment, the company will give you the appropriate router for the speed plan you choose. If using your own, you will either need 24 channels (for up to 330 Mbps plans) or 32 channels (for 500 Mbps plans and higher) downstream channels.
  • A good spot for your router and modem so it’s best to choose an open space, up off the floor, in a room where the internet is frequently accessed, and where there is a wall outlet for the cable to connect to.

Should you Buy or Rent Equipment for RCN Internet Service?

You could save money if you have an existing router since RCN would not allow you to buy their equipment. RCN does not sell any of its equipment, but the monthly rental fees are modest at $2 to $12 per month, depending on which modem you need and your location.

Unlike some ISPs, RCN does allow all its customers to use their equipment, as long as it would meet all the needed requirements for service.

One great exception though is if you reside in an area where RCN’s fiber internet is available then that’s easy as 123. In those cases, you must use an RCN internet device.

How Do I Install Equipment for RCN Internet Service?

RCN would allow you to install RCN internet equipment but if the cable needs to be installed into your home then a professional installation by RCN is necessary. RCN gives all its customers' two-hour service windows.

If you can self-install then all you need to do is to pick up the equipment at one of the company’s payment centers or have it shipped to you.


  • It’s rated #2 for fastest internet speeds
  • Has affordable pricing
  • Offers the cheapest plan at $19.95
  • No data cap for streaming
  • Faster than DSL
  • The network is partially fiber-optic
  • No data caps
  • No need for contracts
  • Offers bundles that include internet, TV, and  telephone service
  • Free installation


  • The service area is small but they are targeting expansion
  • All internet speeds aren’t available in every service area
  • Slower speeds with lower-priced packages

How to Choose the right Internet Service Provider for you?

Internet provider shoppers scout for the best deal for their money. Here are the factors you need to consider in finding the best fit for you in terms of your internet connection.

It should be reliable - It simply has to work and be dependable whenever you need to use your internet. It should have a strong signal and doesn’t go on and off. It should be steady and stable.

It has a fast speed - Nobody wants a slow internet. Its connection should be fast enough to catch up with all of your online tasks. If your internet is lagging, you may want to upgrade to a higher Mbps. You might also change from a DSL connection to a cable internet for instance.

The price-point should be agreeable to your budget - The least expensive plans cost about $20 a month for download speeds of 10 megabits per second (Mbps) that’s available in RCN. There are a lot of prices with their corresponding Mbps.

The billing should be transparent - There should be no hidden charges and the billing should be clear upfront. It should also be convenient to pay it in your preferred way.

Types of Internet Service

There are four ways to be able to connect to broadband internet. It’s possible to use by using a cable, DSL, Fiber, and satellite connectivity.

Cable Internet- This is the far most popular connection as it uses the same connection as your cable TV. Most internet providers offer a bundle plan of internet and cable tv plan.

DSL Internet- This is a connection better than dial-up but cable and fiber connections are more favored now. DSL offers much faster speeds than dial-up, and it tends to be faster and more consistent than satellite internet.

If you're not a heavy internet user then a DSL may work well for you.

Fiber Internet- Fiber optic internet is for high speed. This connection can deliver some of the highest download speeds. Though cable internet can likewise provide fast download speeds, it doesn't usually deliver fast upload speeds.

Fiber plans, on the other hand, has a matching download and upload speeds. This connection is for internet heavy users since it has very little packet loss and low latency that even online gamers would have little or no interruptions during their plays. It’s also for streaming videos, conferences online, and services since it won’t freeze or lag.

Satellite Internet - City dwellers wouldn’t need a satellite for internet connection but rural dwellers, shipping liners, remote areas use it.




Xfinity is one of the most well-known internet service providers (ISPs) in the US. It’s available in Fiber or cable connection. Its download speed is from 15 to 2,000 Mbps.

It’s available in almost all the regions in the US but it doesn’t have very good customer service. Although, it’s still one of the fastest and most reliable internet providers in the US.

If you sign a 1-year contract, the Digital Start package will be $49.99 per month, and the Digital Preferred will be $59.99. Xfinity isn’t for you if you’re looking for the cheapest cable package for your use.

Xfinity is for you if you want a full channel lineup, a decently priced bundle, and a legit DVR.

Xfinity does have a lot of fees to be able to use its maximum service but it’s a cable TV company that is reliable and available in most areas.


  • It has a reliable fast download speeds
  • You could also avail the no-contract service
  • Available almost everywhere in the US
  • Its X1 DVR has a decent storage space


  • Prices come in a varied amount based on location
  • It’s known to have a difficult Xfinity customer service
  • Xfinity has too many fees
  • You'll need the Preferred package if you're a big sports fan.
Where to buy:



Spectrum has plans that begin at $49.99 and connected through a cable with a range of download speeds from 100-940 Mbps.

Spectrum internet plans come with a few freebies like unlimited data. It’s also widely available in the United States. It offers a wide range of speeds that would work for streaming or gamers. You don’t need to sign a contract to avail of their service. But it has confusing fees that include a fake Wi-Fi activation fee plus a not so good customer service to boot.

Spectrum has a small number of plans in each service area than most providers. It generally offers one or two-speed options at most in each location. You could check what plans are available in your area.


  • Has good prices for most speeds
  • No contracts required
  • No data caps limit


  • Its download speeds might be slower than advertised
  • It has poor customer service
  • Offers fewer plan options than most providers normally do
Where to buy:



Verizon is available through fiber connection that offers 100 to 940 Mbps with starting plans at $39.99 Verizon Fios Home Internet has fast download speeds and matching upload speeds.

While its prices and speeds might vary according to your specific location there’s no need to sign an annual contract.

You could avail of Verizon Fios internet service with fast speeds, fair prices that could include your equipment and installation charges. Some users wished it comes with a few extra speed options and services in more locations in the US.

Verizon has great customer support but might have bad signal, slow internet, and lagging in some areas. It’s not highly recommended for people who live in suburban or rural areas. But with areas with a strong signal, it would good for gaming and uploading your videos.


  • Fast, symmetrical speed options
  • Reliable service
  • No annual contracts


  • Limited availability
  • Terrible customer service
  • Speeds never reached advertised speeds and it would often slow down remarkably
Where to buy:

After Thoughts

RCN started the bundled plans in America and they’ve been here for quite sometime. It only means they have the staying power because people believe and rely on it as their internet provider.

RCN provides fast Internet and streaming at a respectable price as it continues to be an excellent provider that offers incredible speeds at very competitive prices.

RCN primarily uses a cable internet network but they also have a fiber-optic or DSL network in select locations. Depending on your location and which RCN internet plan you choose, RCN has you covered.

The true testament of RCN’s performance, dependability, and reliability are they're staying on top since 1993.

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