Phone Plans

RCN vs Fios: Which One is the Best For You?

By
Sara Nuss
January 12, 2023

Having the best internet with fast speeds and is able to support all of your devices is crucial. There are a ton of internet providers to choose from and the decision on what is the best and also offered in the area you live in, along with the price, customer service, and speeds can be some of the deal breakers when deciding what internet plan is right for you.

RCN and Fios are among some of the most popular internet providers that are out because of their popularity and service. Trying to decide between the two can be tough, but going through the pros and cons of each can make any internet decision easier. 

If RCN and Fios are among the internet options that you can choose from in the area that you live in, it’s important to think about both of these options and what best suits you, so continue reading for more information on the two!

Main image courtesy of Broadband Now.

In this article, we’ll be discussing a bunch of information about both RCN and Fios, but we’ll also discuss topics such as:

  • What is RCN and Fios?
  • RCN vs Fios: What is better for you?
  • How to decide on the best internet provider for you

What is RCN and Fios?

Get to know the difference between the two internet providers and how they operate!

RCN and Fios are amazing internet providers that can provide fast service and speeds for a great price. Image courtesy of Cord Cutting

There are numerous internet providers out there, especially in specific areas that you live in. Choosing the one that works well for you and also falls within your budget is essential, but which one is it?

RCN and Fios are great options to choose from and it’s important to get to know them and cover the basics with both providers!

RCN

RCN, which also stands for Residential Communications Network and also goes by another name, Astound, is a cable and internet company that was founded in 1993 and is based in Princeton, New Jersey. A fun fact about this company is that they were one of the first companies that let its customers bundle cable, internet, and phone services all in one packaged deal.

This internet provider covers large metropolitan areas such as Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, the DC Metro, and a ton of other very popular areas around the country. For a reasonable price and for plans starting at around $20 per month, you can take advantage of internet speeds from 10MBPS to 500 MBPS with a cable plan, or even speeds up to 940 MBPS with their fiber plans. 

Another great reason why many people choose RCN is because they don’t have any long-term contracts that you’ll have to sign up for, and you can take advantage of their affordable prices as well. 

It’s also important to go over the cons as well when it comes to RCN to help narrow down your decision. Some of the cons of an RCN internet plan can include:

  • Limited service area
  • A one-time $50 installation fee is needed
  • Certain speeds aren’t available in every area

Fios

The other great internet provider that we are going to discuss is Fios, which was created by Verizon Wireless. They also bundle everything from phone, cable, and internet into one plan. Verizon Fios is a fiber optic broadband internet that is extremely fast when it comes to both download and upload speeds and is much quicker than a cable internet provider.

Fios has a ton of benefits to take advantage of whenever it comes to signing up for one of their plans. To start off, download speeds with Fios are up to 940 MBPS and upload speeds can go to 880MBPS, which is amazingly fast compared to other cable internet providers. The great thing about Fios is that with these kinds of speeds, you can use a bunch of different devices on them. 

Another great reason to love Fios is because they don’t have hidden fees that you have to pay and offer easy-to-read bills, no data caps so everyone can enjoy high-speed internet, and there are no annual contracts—you can change your plan every month if you need more or less speed.

Fios is offered in areas along the New England side of the United States, such as New York, Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and even the District of Columbia. The prices for their internet plans range anywhere from $40 and more depending on what you get in your plan and how you bundle it together.

Just like RCN, there can be some potential cons to Fios if you are looking more into this internet provider. Some of the cons of Verizon Fios can include:

  • Limited availability
  • DLS (digital subscriber line) is widely more available, but not as good as Fios
  • Fees apply for installation and equipment each month
  • More expensive, mostly because of the fiber optic broadband

RCN vs Fios: What is Better For You?

Now that you understand both, choose the better plan for you and your needs!

RCN and Fios are both great internet providers, but narrowing your choices down and choosing a plan that works right for you is essential. Image courtesy of Moving Waldo

Being on the fence and struggling to pick between both RCN and Fios can be a tough decision to make. There are a ton of positives and negatives to both internet providers, but ultimately it is a decision that you will have to figure out on your own. It all depends on  what you’re looking for in a plan, the features, the speeds, and even the price.

Think about what you are initially looking for in an internet plan and make sure to also get to know what is so different about both RCN and Fios to help narrow down your decision!

Fast Internet Speeds

Many people are opting for fast internet speeds when it comes down to selecting an internet plan. No matter how much you pay, sometimes making sure that you have the best speeds, even if you end up paying a little bit more each month, is worth it. 

It’s also important to think about how many devices you plan on connecting to your internet plan, along with what you intend to use your internet for. For example, if you are using it for gaming and high-definition streaming, it is best to invest in an internet plan with faster download and upload speeds.

Here is a difference within the speeds of both RCN and Fios:

  • RCN - Download speeds from 110 MBPS to 940 MBPS and upload speeds from 15 MBPS to 20 MBPS
  • Fios - Download speeds from 29.73 MBPS to 929.54 MBPS and upload speeds from 25.72 MBPS to 912.22 MBPS

Better Price

Another reason why a lot of people will choose the internet that they do is because of the price of their plan. Internet plans can be pricey and choosing one that has everything that you need in it, but also making sure that it fits within your budget, is another important factor when it comes to choosing an internet provider.

If you’re more worried about the price of your potential internet plan, then here are the prices ranges for both RCN and Fios:

  • RCN - Prices range from $19.99 to $49.99 per month plus $10 per month for equipment
  • Fios  - Prices range from $39.99 to $89.99 per month plus $15 per month for equipment

Bundling Options

Sometimes selecting an internet plan can be difficult, but maybe you’re hoping to save some money by bundling your internet, cell phone, and cable all together. This is always a great option, which in the long run can help you to save money. 

If you’re thinking about bundling your internet, phone, and cable bills all into one, you can do so through RCN and Fios, but here’s some extra info to get to know before choosing a plan:

  • RCN - Triple bundle prices start at $56.17 per month and you can have internet speed up to 250MBPS, have 62 basic cable channels including movies, unlimited nationwide calling with 17 free features, and no annual contract
  • Fios - Fio Triple Play is offered where ultra-fast internet speeds up to 300MBPS, high-definition TV plus 125 channels, and clear phone calling is offered with unlimited minutes is offered at $139.99 per month

Annual Contracts or No Contracts

A deal breaker for any internet plan can be if you have to sign up for an annual contract. Lots of people don’t like to be stuck in long-term contracts, especially if they don’t like the current plan that they’re on for a multitude of reasons. 

It’s important to know if either RCN or Fios have annual contracts, or if you can opt for something shorter, so here is some extra information pertaining to these two internet providers and the contracts they offer:

  • RCN - There are no contracts tied to any of their internet plans. First-year introductory price is offered where users can see an increase in year two, can change their plan on a month-by month basis, and there are no hidden or cancellation fees
  • Fios - No more traditional two-year contracts are offered and instead monthly contracts take their place. There are no more hidden or cancellation fees that customers need on any of their plans.

Availability

Making sure that an internet provider is available in the area that you are living in is essential and there are some internet providers that are only available in certain parts of the country. 

Get to know where both RCN and Fios are available throughout the country and see if you live in the following areas:

  • RCN - Available in Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, the DC Metro
  • Fios - Available in New York, Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia

How to Decide on the Best Internet Provider For You

With so many internet providers to choose from in your area with many plans, which one do you pick?

Picking the best internet plan that best suits how many devices it will be connected to, how big your family is, and even the price is essential. Image courtesy of Ergonofis.

Picking an internet provider that best suits your needs and your price range can be a hard decision because of the availability of many options around you, the extra features included with some providers compared to others, and even the prices that they range from.

If you are struggling to pick between both RCN and Fios, there are some important factors to consider before solidifying your decision and picking a plan. Here’s how to choose the internet provider for you out of both RCN and Fios!

Choose the Plan With the Best Price

Sometimes it is important to choose an internet provider that has affordable internet plans over the extra features that can be included in plans that cost more. Internet plans can be expensive and if you don’t have a lot of devices that you plan on pairing up with your internet plan, or just don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on an internet plan, then you should consider getting a cheaper plan through a carrier that still has amazing service.

Check Out the Customer Service Beforehand

Another important factor to consider before choosing an internet plan is to choose one where the customer service is there for you to help answer any questions you have, and also to help get any issues done ASAP. Customer service is important with any company, no matter what it is, but for your internet provider, this is essential. 

Having reliable customer service that can help you whenever your internet is down, or even when you have questions about switching plans, or your bill is something everyone should consider before choosing an internet provider. 

Choose Faster Speeds if You Have More Devices

Do you have a family that has multiple devices that need to be hooked up to your internet plan? If so, then you should consider an internet plan where you can get faster download and upload speeds when you’re making the big decision. 

Faster download and upload speeds are essential for those who love to game, or watch high-definition movies and TV shows. So sometimes spending a little extra money for this and for the number of devices you have is useful. 

Bundling Prices Can Be Another Factor

Maybe you’re someone who wants to bundle your phone, cable, and internet all in one. It’s important to check out the prices and the options that are available when it comes down to bundling all three in one for your monthly payment. 

Making sure that you still get fast speeds at a great price, a bunch of TV channels, and a good amount of minutes for your phone plan are crucial, so comparing the triple bundle through different internet providers can be a deciding factor. 

Choose a Plan With No Annual Contract

No one likes to be strapped down to a contract, especially for an internet plan. It’s wise to try and find an internet provider where you don’t have to sign up for a contract and this is essential just in case you don’t end up liking the plan that you currently have. 

RCN and Fios, for example, don't offer any kind of contracts, and they stray away from hidden fees as well to help make their customers happy and to give their customers a great internet plan for a great price. 

Both RCN and Fios offer a ton of perks and benefits, all for a great cost. While they both can vary in prices, service, internet speeds, and even availability, there are a ton of reasons to choose between the two if they are offered in the area that you live in.

If you are trying to decide on RCN or Fios and what works better for you, make sure you know the difference between the two, what you are looking for in an internet plan, and which one is better for you when making your decision!

Sara Nuss
Sara Nuss is a journalist from Pittsburgh, PA that specializes in wireless, dewi, phone plan advice & blockchain.