RCN Gen5 Review

RCN Internet Reviews 2019

Pricing & Packages | Modem & Router | Features | Customer Service | Recommendation

RCN Internet offers high speed cable and fiber internet to over 4 million residents across seven US states. Their services are mainly available in the East Coast area, with greatest coverage being in New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.


Pros:

  • No contracts required
  • Great prices
  • No data caps


Cons:

  • Offer and promotions vary greatly between areas
  • Big differences in price between areas
  • Varying price locks


Packages and Pricing

There are a variety of packages to choose from with RCN which can vary depending on your location or state. The following package examples are based on a Chicago location:

50Mbps Internet

This is RCN’s lowest tier plan available at $29.99 per month for the first 12 months. The plan is a good option for those who need internet for basic browsing and some light streaming. It’s best for smaller households with only a few devices connected at one time.

250Mbps Internet

The next tier is available for the same price as the initial plan, $29.99 per month, but this speed supports much more than just browsing, chatting, and posting photos. With this plan, you can easily stream movies and TV shows in HD resolution, stream music, and play online games, without worrying they will overburden their networks. It’s a good plan for mid-sized households with a moderate number of connected devices. The downside? It’s not available in all areas so you’ll need to check first.

500Mbps Internet

RCN’s 500Mbps plan is available from $49.99 per month, which is quite a big jump when compared to the 250Mbps plan pricing. For this price, however, you can enjoy streaming, online gaming, and downloading at the same time without experiencing any performance issues. This plan is great for bandwidth-hungry users or large households with many devices to connect.

Gig Internet

The Gig Internet plan is the highest tier plan available for $59.99 per month. This plan is intended for big households with lots of devices who need a plan that can support multiple HD (and 4K) streams, data sync, downloads, and online gaming sessions, all at once. This plan has enough bandwidth to support all kinds of smart devices too.

The Gig Internet plan comes with a price lock of two years in select areas, which is more than most providers offer, and it’s one of the most affordable high tier plans comparatively in the market currently.

All RCN Internet plans come with a free professional installation for online orders for customers who use a coupon code (for Chicago the code is currently CHFAST). In addition, each plan in the Chicago area currently comes with the Whole Home Wi-Fi free for the first month.

Other Services

In addition to Internet services, RCN also offers Digital TV and Phone services.

Their phone service starts at $19.99 per month and can be purchased as its own standalone service. It includes unlimited nationwide calling, free digital voicemail that will store up to 20 messages for 30 days, as well as popular features such as caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding, and others.
The Digital TV comes in two packages and the first is available for $29.99 per month including over 70 channels, including favorites such as Fox, ABC, CBS, PBS, NBC, Telemundo, and others.

Their Signature TV is available for $69.99 per month and has a channel lineup with over 290 channels, including everything from Digital package, as well as TNT, Syfy, Comedy Central, AMC, MTV, VH1, news channels, National Geographic, and more.

In addition to these, the TV channel can further be expanded with premium channel packages for additional monthly fees. More information on these additional packages can be found here.

RCN Internet Network Management

RCN discloses that they actively manage their network, meaning that during periods of high demand, they will ensure that congestion doesn’t interfere with your activities and everyone can still have access to quality service.

However, they also state that in times of congestion, they will prioritize telephone service traffic so that voice and phone functionality remains intact. The good news is that RCN has no data caps whatsoever, meaning that you don’t have to worry about overcharges for data, or slowdowns after you reach a specific threshold.

Fees

RCN isn’t exactly forthcoming about their fees, and it’s hard to find specific information unless you call them. The only fees they have mentioned on their website include the following:

  • Network Access and Maintenance Fee – The cost is $3.17 per month, and is basically a fee they charge all customers to keep their network operating and to further improve services. While customers often don’t see benefits in these types of fees, RCN will periodically increase speeds to their customers at no additional charge.
  • Municipal Construction Surcharge – This costs $3.49 per month but is only valid for New York and Chicago, and it doesn’t apply to other areas.
  • Professional Installation – This costs a one-time charge of $54.95, but customers get free installation if they order services online.
  • Service Fee – This is also $54.95 in the event customers choose to get help from Support services for something that’s not covered by RCN services. This can be avoided by buying the Protection Plus package.

RCN states there will also be fees to pay for unreturned equipment. They don’t state the amount, only that they depend on the equipment type and model. For more information on the actual fees, customers will have to contact their local support directly.


Your Modem and Router

RCN Modem and Router ReviewRCN Modem and Router Review

With RCN Internet, customers have the option to rent a modem for $8 per month, and with the modem, you’ll get a standard Wi-Fi router for free should you want to connect devices wirelessly too. You can also rent a dual Wi-Fi & Modem device, again for $8 per month and they mention it will be a DOCSIS 3.0 device, which can support much higher speeds than the original DOCSIS 2.0 devices.

Customers who order the Gig Internet plan will have to pay $12.00 per month for a DOCSIS 3.1 device, which is both modem and Wi-Fi, as well as a telephone modem too.

RCN also have an additional offer for those who want to rent out a modem/router: their Enhanced Whole Home Wi-Fi and Modem package. The package costs $21.95 per month including modem rental and eero-powered mesh technology Wi-Fi network that ensures every corner of the home has the highest signal strength.

You can also choose your own modem instead of renting but you’ll need to check whether the modem you have is supported and sufficient for the plan you want to purchase. RCN warns that customers using their own devices might not be able to handle speed upgrades and they may not be able to fully support them if there is a technical issue. For more info on minimum requirements of supported modems, click here.


Features and Benefits

RCN Features and BenefitsRCN Features and Benefits

RCN offers eero Plus

This is a monthly subscription service of $9.99 per month for their premium Wi-Fi. With the eero Plus, customers get access to security tools and parental controls. Plus this service includes things like ad blocking, antivirus protection, VPN, and password management.

McAfee® Protection Services

With RCN Internet, customers can choose between two McAfee® plans: the Total Protection Suite for $7.95 per month, which offers proactive protection for PCs, and McAfee PC Security Suite for $3.95 per month. With these packages, customers will get antivirus scans, personal firewalls, as well as a privacy service that ensures your information stays safe.

Static IP Address

For $19.95 a month, customers can get a permanent IP address for their connection, which is great for those who play online a lot, or work from home.

RCN Service Protection Plan

At $4.95 per month, you can insure your internet outlets, cable connections, wiring, splitters, and telephone wiring. This can eliminate a $54.95 service charge should you need to contact support.


Customer Service

RCN Customer ServiceRCN Customer Service

RCN offers a fully US-based service that’s available around the clock. Customers can reach their customer service by calling 1-800-746-4726 as well as being available via live chat from 8am to 10pm ET during the week (Monday to Friday) and from 10am to 8pm ET during Saturday and Sunday. During holidays, live chat is available from 10am to 6pm ET.

In addition to phone and live chat, RCN is an ISP who will answer inquiries on social media too, so customers can reach them via their Twitter @RCNConnects, or by sending them a message on Facebook.

Their online knowledge base is quite extensive, so you can search through numerous categories such as Troubleshooting, Equipment and Remotes, or Billing and Account settings. Whether you need help setting up a router or with your billing options, the help section has a lot of support.

When it comes to customer satisfaction, according to the 2018 Internet Customer Satisfaction Survey, RCN was ranked first in overall customer satisfaction, achieving 4.04 out of 5 rating compared to AT&T who achieved 3.92 and Xfinity who achieved 3.87.


Ways to Save on RCN

Ways to Save on RCN

Bundle up

If you need more than one service and RCN provide what you need in your area, switch them all together. Their bundle deals are one of the best value out there, as you can save up to $40 per month by bundling TV, internet, and phone services.

Check highest available speed

While pricing is different in each area, there are some common rules that follow. For example, the price for all speed packages up to 250Mbps are the same, so if you are considering taking a lower-priced package, check the highest available speed in your area and select that package as you’ll get a better service for your money. In some areas, you might only get 50Mbps, while other areas will have up to 250Mbps for the same price.

Use your own modem

RCN allows customers to use their own modem and router if you want to, and offers extensive support to help you choose a modem/router combo that will support the plan you chose. So if you understand the basics of setting up and maintenance or troubleshooting this will save you the whole monthly rental fee.

Order online

RCN not only offers special promotions and coupons to customers who order online, but other bonuses too. These can include free installation, free month of additional services, and in some cases, you can secure double the price lock that’s usually offered (you can get a two-year price lock instead of just one which is fairly unheard of!).

Refer a friend

RCN offers a RAF programs to customers so if you bring your friends to RCN you get one month of free service and up to $50 credit for every other person you bring. It’s also interesting to note that they offer this scheme for residential and business customers!


Our Recommendation

RCN Internet seems to be doing things right when it comes to their service. The only common complaint seems to be the variation in pricing and package availability across service areas however this is often a result of the existing infrastructure limiting services. That said, on the whole, customers are satisfied and hold RCN in high regard. Something that is rarely seen among ISP providers. So, if you live in an area where RCN is available, try getting their higher tier plans with a 2-year price lock promotion, and you’ll enjoy a quality service with no lag or disconnects at the best rates you can hope for.