Home Router What Modems Are Compatible With RCN?

What Modems Are Compatible With RCN?

by stacy

Do you want to lower your internet costs? You might be interested in the many benefits of having your own RCN-compatible modem. This article will teach you everything you need to know about RCN compatible equipment. We’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of owning a modem, as well as the potential savings and prices, and offer some advice on what to do when shopping for a modem. If you’re just looking for ideas, scroll down and look at our list of the top RCN compatible modems. Let’s begin with a quick rundown of RCN’s internet services.

Overview of RCN Internet Services

RCN is one such small regional internet provider. These providers are often praised because they offer better customer service and service quality than larger internet providers. RCN is an excellent example.


RCN offers cable internet in six states: New York, Pennsylvania (Lehigh Valley), Philadelphia, Illinois (Chicago), and the DC Metro Area. It serves over 1 million consumers and is accessible to over 4 million individuals.

RCN cable Internet coverage map

RCN cable Internet coverage map (source – Broadbandnow)

RCN also provides fiber internet service in these areas. However, this fiber is reserved for businesses (in over 270 zip codes).

Prices and plans

RCN internet plans with promotional prices can be very tempting. Varied places will have different pricing and internet plans, but they all have one thing in common: RCN plans are quite competitive. RCN’s promotional prices are generally cheaper than those of larger players.

RCN internet plans and promotional prices in Chicago

RCN internet plans and promotional prices in Chicago – their prices are very competitive

All areas have a maximum speed of 1Gig (940 Mbps). The lowest speed is dependent on the region. Some areas have speeds as low as 50 Mbps. Some areas get 250 Mbps.

Since we’re discussing cable internet, RCN’s upload rates are significantly slower than their download speeds. If you require symmetrical speeds for whatever reason, see if your location has an ISP that provides fibre service.

For the next year, RCN prices are projected to remain low. After then, the price will nearly double. Despite this, you’ll pay less for the same internet service as someone with a larger ISP. The 1Gig package, for example, has a promotional rate of $110.

Data caps

RCN internet plans are not available through other ISPs like Mediacom, Cox and Xfinity. Data caps not required. All RCN plans have unlimited data, so you don’t have to worry about your monthly data consumption and overage fees. This could be a huge savings, especially if your internet usage is high (e.g., if you stream many movies in 4K or play online games), We think this is a great benefit for RCN.


If you exceed the data limit, ISPs will charge $10-$15 for 50GB. An unlimited plan may cost $25-$50. Others do not provide unlimited plans at all. If you have one of RCN’s internet services, you can forget about all of these costs and fees.


You’re not required to sign a term agreement. There are no 2-year or 1-year contracts. While you may be able to get a discount if you sign a contract you must also pay early termination fees in the event you need to move. These fees are not something that anyone likes. So, unless you’re certain that you won’t be moving any time soon, it’s easier not to sign a contract.

Modem rental policy

RCN charges a monthly rental fee for modems, just like most internet providers. Spectrum is the only ISP which gives you the modem at no cost, but will charge $5 monthly for the router.

Rental fees may vary depending on the state. The fee for a modem in Chicago is $15 per month. New York: The modem and standard wi fi service cost $3/month. Standard wi-fi and 1Gig modems cost $10/month. They will charge $20 per month for a modem, standard wi-fi, and service in Boston.

You will need to pay $180/year for rental fees if you live in Chicago. You will have to spend even more ($240/year) if you’re from Boston. This isn’t a matter of pocket money.

Additional services

RCN provides additional services such as whole-home wi fi and a modem. This service also includes an eero mesh Wi-Fi system that provides better coverage and wi-fi range. This service is $10/month at RCN.

Additional services

If you are a gamer and are looking for the best gaming experience, you might be interested in RCN’s gaming router (Netgear Nighthawk XR1000). RCN charges $13/month to use this service, plus the current modem rental fees.

Netgear Nighthawk XR1000

RCN also offers online security software to provide additional protection. Their software is eero Secure+. It will cost $10 per month. Eero Secure+ includes antivirus protection, VPN security, ad blocking and password management.

Eero Secure+

Although it has nothing to do with RCN internet, it is worth noting that RCN also offers a whole-home audio service powered by SONOS as an add-on to your internet subscription. You may also rent SONOS ONE speakers and SONOS Beam from RCN if you want to add multiroom capabilities to your home audio system. RCN costs $8 per month for SONOS ONE (per speaker) and $15 per month for SONOS Beam.

Customer satisfaction

We frequently quote the statistics from the ASCI’s Telecommunications Report when discussing customer satisfaction, yet RCN was not one of the ISPs included in the study.

Based on RCN’s internet plans and services, as well as comments on social media and numerous forums, we can conclude that RCN is a relatively good internet provider. Their internet speeds are fast, their rates are low, their plans have no usage limitations, and they don’t require you to sign a contract.

RCN’s customer support is often praised. They have stronger reviews and are rated higher than major ISPs.

Can I use my own RCN compatible modem?

You can use your own modem and router with RCN, so you don’t have to pay rental costs if you don’t want to. The modem is not available directly from RCN, however it can be purchased through a local electronics store or online.

Even if you have a bundle subscription, you can use your own RCN compatible modem, however there are some limitations. The modem can only be used by cable internet subscribers. Customers who have a digital phone subscription will have to use RCN’s EMTA modem. Fiber subscribers will also be required to use RCN equipment; utilising your own modem is not an option if you have a fibre subscription.

If you opt to use your own modem, keep in mind that you must return the modem you rented from RCN. They will continue to charge you the monthly rental cost if you do not return it.

Why should I use my own RCN compatible modem?

To begin, having your own modem is a smart idea. You will be able to save money this way. According to our calculations, renting just a modem and router will cost you $180-$240 per year (depending on your location). In other words, every three years, your ISP will upgrade your modem/router, which will cost you $540-$720. That’s enormous! Also keep in mind that certain ISPs won’t upgrade your modem/router unless it’s damaged or you’ve paid for greater speeds. Keep in mind that these prices only apply to modem rentals and basic wi-fi services. Whole-home Wi-Fi, gaming routers, and eero Secure+ will be more expensive.

Even if you rent your modem and router, it will cost you $180 a year to rent them. You can save money by purchasing an RCN compatible modem. You can save more than $300 in three years depending on the type of equipment you choose (entry-level, midrange, or high-end). If your modem costs more than $180 per year and you have certain other services, buying your own equipment will save you a lot of money.

Another benefit of owning your equipment is improved performance. You can get even better performance if you buy it yourself, regardless of how nice the RCN equipment is (it’s actually quite good). Depending on the equipment you select, you will have more adjustability and security options.

Are There Downsides That I Should Be Aware of?

When the time comes, you won’t be eligible for free modem upgrades. You’ll have to buy a new modem on your own if you increase your plan and your existing modem doesn’t support the new speeds (or start renting).

Renting customers will have priority in customer service. You may have to pay extra if you require technical assistance or if your modem malfunctions.

What should I look for when buying an RCN Compatible Modem

First, look for a modem that is cable. Only subscribers to cable internet can use their own modem. Fiber internet subscribers will need to use RCN equipment.

When it comes to cable modems you should at least be aware of the maximum supported speeds. The official RCN webpage lists minimum requirements for various internet speeds.

Regardless these minimum requirements, we recommend buying a DOCSIS 3.1 Modem. It is future-proof and supports the fastest speeds. It can also be used with DOCSIS 3.0 so that it can support slower speeds. If you want to save money, we recommend not going below DOCSIS3.0 modem with 24 uplink and 8 downlink channels.

Note: RCN recommends not to buy Motorola’s MB8600 cable modem because customers have had issues with this model in the past. 

How to Install an RCN Compatible Modem Self-Install?

You will save $55 by installing the modem yourself. That is the cost of having a professional technician install your system.

The RCN’s official help page has all of the instructions. A coax cable, a power cable, and a modem are all required. If your router has a separate Wi-Fi connection, you’ll need an Ethernet cable.

After you’ve finished connecting everything, call RCN customer service to activate your modem and follow their instructions. RCN, unlike several other ISPs, does not offer an online activation service; instead, you must contact customer service and request that your modem be activated.

Last Thoughts

If you haven’t noticed, we believe that purchasing an RCN compliant modem is a far superior option over renting. While you won’t get the same degree of customer service as with a rental modem, the savings and performance are enormous. Don’t be intimidated by installing the modem yourself; it’s an easy and quick process. It does not require skilled installation.

Don’t go away if we’ve persuaded you that getting an RCN compatible modem is a smart idea and you’re looking for some recommendations. The following is a list of the best RCN compatible modems. If you’re looking for discrete units, start with the first section. The second category (best RCN-compatible gateways) is for those looking for an all-in-one solution.

RouterCtrl.com has been voted for by readers. You may be eligible for a small commission if we link to your purchase.

The Best RCN-compatible Modems

1. Best RCN Compatible Modem Under $100 – NETGEAR CM700

NETGEAR Cable Modem CM700

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Router Recommendation NETGEAR Nighthawk – R6700

NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart Wi-Fi Router

Amazon Price Check

Recommended for RCN Plans up to 500 Mbs

If you’re searching for something economical yet still capable and trustworthy, we recommend the NETGEAR CM700. The CM700 works with all major internet providers (Cox Spectrum, Xfinity, Xfinity), as well as RCN internet services with speeds up to 500 Mbps. This modem does not function as a router. The router built by the same company, the Nighthawk R6700, is our recommendation.

The DOCSIS 3.0 modem CM700 has eight uplink channels and 32 downlink channels. It works with all major operating systems and browser versions. The device is both thin and beautiful. On the front, there are five LED indicators. There’s a single 1G Ethernet port, a coax connector, and a reset button on the back.

Our recommended router (R6700) is a dual-band, wi-fi5 (802.11ac) router. It includes three externally detachable antennae and a very high wi-fi coverage of up to 1500 feet2. The categorization of the unit is AC1750. Above 2.4GHz, the maximum download speed is 450Mbps, and above 5GHz, it’s 1,300Mbps. Up to 25 devices can be linked to the unit.

Four Gigabit Ethernet connections and one USB 3.0 port are included on the R6700. It may simultaneously broadcast on both bands. The R6700 includes beamforming technology as well as the latest security features and protocols (WPA2, DoS protection, VPN support, and so on).

The router also comes with the Circle App for Advanced Parental Control Settings. A 30-day trial of NETGEAR ARMOR cybersecurity software is also included with the router. If you want this extra security, you’ll have to spend $70 every year.

The default IP address for the modem is, and the default gateway for the NETGEAR Nighthawk R6700 is

RCN’s voice service is incompatible with your modem.

2. Best RCN Compatible Modem Under $150 – ARRIS SURFboard SB8200

ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1 Gigabit Cable Modem

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Router Recommendation TP-Link Archer AX50

TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router

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Recommended for RCN Plans up to 1Gig

The SB8200 cable modem is a best-seller with excellent reviews. The reasons for this are simple: the modem supports the fastest speeds given by US ISPs, delivers solid and reliable performance, and is reasonably priced. All major cable companies have authorised the device, and it is RCN compatible. Our recommended router is the TP-Link Archer AX50.

SB8200 is a Gigabit DOCSIS 3.1 compliant modem. It has a channel bonding of 22 OFDM channels. Lower speeds and DOCSIS 3.0 32-channel bonding are also supported. It works with any operating system or web browser.

The router we suggest is one of a kind. This router offers dual band wi-fi 6 and is competitively priced (compatible with 802.11ax). It supports all of the latest wireless 6 technologies, including OFDMA, MU-MIMO, and OFDMA. It allows for beamforming. It can handle 40 devices and send four streams at once. AX3000 is the classification (download speed of 876 Mbps at 2.4 GHz and 2,402 Mbps at 5 GHz).

Four Gigabit LAN ports and one USB 3.0 port are included in the AX50. It connects with Alexa and includes a free subscription to TP-HomeCare Link’s security software. All of the basic security protocols and tools are also included.

The SB8200’s default IP is, with as the router’s default gateway.

3. Best Overall – NETGEAR Nighthawk CM2000

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Router Recommendation NETGEAR Nighthawk XR1000

NETGEAR Nighthawk XR1000

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Recommended for RCN Plans up to 1Gig

The CM2000 is one of NETGEAR’s Nighthawk series’ newest and most advanced cable modems. The CM2000 can handle speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second. Most major cable internet providers in the United States have approved it, and it works with RCN. Another NETGEAR Nighthawk router that we recommend is the XR1000. In addition to the modem/router rental fees, you can rent this gaming router for $13/month from RCN. This device is great for gamers and internet addicts. The present pricing is a deal at only $300. If you consider the current price of around $300, the router will pay for itself in around two years.

The CM2000 cable modem supports DOCSIS 3.1 and OFDMA 22 channel bonding. It’s also DOCSIS 3.0 328 compliant. All operating systems and web browsers are supported. It has a futuristic design that is highly appealing. There are several LEDs on the front. There’s one 2.5G Ethernet port and a coax connector on the back.

The XR1000 is a less than $300 gaming wireless router. Duma OS helps to eliminate latency. Duma OS offers a user-friendly interface and is extremely simple to set up. 802.11ax is supported by the XR1000 wi-fi 6 router. It’s dual-band (2.4/5 GHz) and labelled AX5400 (600 Mbps over 2.4 GHz Plus 4,800 Mbps over 5 GHz).

The unit can transmit 6 streams simultaneously using 4 external antennas. The unit has four Gigabit Ethernet ports as well as one USB 3.0 port.

XR1000 supports MU–MIMO and beamforming. It has advanced cybersecurity tools, including WPA2/WPA3 security protocols. VPN support and DoS attack protection. All adjustments are possible (parental control settings, guest wifi, etc.).

Best RCN Compliant Gateways

4. Best Budget – MOTOROLA MG7540


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Recommended for RCN plans with up to 300 Mbps

Motorola MB8600 is not recommended. However, other Motorola modems or gateways can be used with RCN internet service. For cheaper plans, the MG7540 is a great choice.

It is DOCSIS 3.0 compliant and supports 16 uplink and four downlink channels. It’s approved by numerous cable internet providers in the US and works with all operating systems. While the theoretical speed is 686Mbps, actual speed is 343Mbps. It’s not recommended for internet plans above 300 Mbps.

It is compatible with 802.11ac dual band routers. It’s classified as AC1600 (the max speed over 2.4 GHz is 300 Mbps, the max speed over 5 GHz is 1,300 Mbps). For increased speed and range, the unit supports beamforming technology as well as wi-fi power booster. All common security tools and protocols (WPA2, DoS Attack Protection, Firewalls, etc.) are supported.).

MG7540 supports WPS quick connect and has four Gigabit Ethernet ports.

5. Best RCN Compatible Gateway Under $300 – ARRIS SURFboard SBG8300


Amazon Price Check

Recommended for RCN Plans up to 1Gig

You’re seeking for a dependable, low-cost gateway that can handle 1Gig plans. One of our favourite models is the SBG8300, which is our top pick for around $300. You might be able to acquire it for $250 if you’re lucky. Amazon gives this gateway an excellent rating. It’s simple to set up and operate, and it provides consistent speeds and consistent performance.

The SBG8300 supports DOCSIS 3.1 and offers Gig+ internet speeds. It has OFDMA 22 channel bonding and is DOCSIS 3.0 32 channel bonding compatible. The modem has been approved by the majority of major cable ISPs. It is also RCN compatible. It’ll operate with any operating system and any web browser.

The SBG8300 is a dual-band, wi-fi 5 router (compatible with 802.11ac). AC2350 (600 Mbps over 2.4 GHz + 1750 Mbps over 5 GHz) is the model number. Dual-band concurrent indicates that the router can transmit on both frequencies at the same time. The router is capable of beamforming.

The SBG8300 contains four Gigabit Ethernet connections but no USB or phone connectors (not compatible with Voice Service).

The SURFboard Manager application is included with the gateway. It can be used for initial installation, network monitoring, advanced settings, and all other purposes.

6. Best Overall – NETGEAR Nighthawk CAX80

NETGEAR Nighthawk CAX80

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Recommended for RCN Plans up to 1Gig

CAX80 is one the most expensive, yet most advanced, cable gateways. This is basically an upgraded version (with a built-in router) of the NETGEAR CM2000 previously reviewed. Most major US cable ISPs have approved the unit.

The modem inside CAX80 is DOCSIS 3.1 with 2×2 OFDM channel bonding. It’s also backward compatible with DOCSIS 3.0 32×8 channel bonding. The modem works with all operating systems as well as all internet browsers. It can handle speeds up to 6 Gbps theoretically, and can easily handle Gig speeds.

The router comes with a wi-fi 6 (802.11ax), dual-band router. It is classified as AX6000 (1.200 Mbps over 2.5 GHz + 4.800 Mbps above 5 GHz). The unit doesn’t have external antennas, but it still delivers great wi-fi coverage – it can handle up to 3,000ft2. It can transmit eight streams simultaneously. The router can transmit simultaneously on both the bands (dual-band concurrent).

CAX80 includes the NETGEAR Nighthawk App (for network monitoring and initial settings) The NETGEAR Armor app, cybersecurity software, will be included with your CAX80. A 1-month trial license is also available. You can continue to pay if you love it. It will cost $70 per year.

The gateway has 5 Ethernet ports – one 2.5G and four 1G ports. One USB 3.0 port is also available.

We have now concluded our review of the top RCN-compatible modems and gateways. We hope you found this article helpful in understanding why buying modems is better than renting. We’re happy that our selection helped you to find the perfect modem. Check out the FAQs for more details. We invite you to ask questions and share your opinions below.


Q: Can I use a third-party DOCSIS modem on RCN’s network?

A: You certainly can. It is not available directly from RCN, however it is available from a local electronics store or an internet vendor (like Amazon). Any DOCSIS 3.1 modem should work with RCN’s network and give Gigabit speeds. The Motorola MB8600 is the only DOCSIS 3.1 modem you should avoid buying since users have had issues connecting it to RCN’s network.

Q: If I’m a bundle subscriber, may I use my own modem?

A: You certainly can. You should keep in mind, however, that if you have a digital phone service, you won’t be able to utilise your own modem. You’ll need to utilize an RCN EMTA modem in this scenario. If your internet service provider is fibre, you will not be able to purchase a cable modem.

RCN has approved which cable modems are available.

RCN does not make a list of permitted modems available. There are only a few fundamental recommendations on RCN’s website. RCN should operate with all DOCSIS 3.1 modems (except Motorola MB8600). At 500 Mbps or greater, RCN recommends DOCSIS 3.1 modems. You can also utilise DOCSIS 3.0, preferably 248 or 328, for slower speeds. Are you seeking for additional inspiration? View our assortment of RCN-compatible modems and gateways by scrolling down.

Q: If I use my own modem, are there any limitations?

If you have a digital phone service or fibre internet, you won’t be able to use your modem.

Q: Is it possible for me to set up my RCN compatible modem on my own?

A: Yes. You should, in our opinion. It’s not a difficult technique, and you’ll save $55 (the cost of a professional installation). Even if you are uncomfortable around networking equipment and want to pay for the installation, it is not a problem. You can still save money by purchasing your own modem.

Q: Is it feasible to purchase a modem via RCN?

No, you cannot purchase the modem directly from RCN at this time. It is solely available for rent. However, you are permitted to purchase it from other authorized merchants.

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