11 Best RCN Compatible Modems in 2020 [List Approved by RCN]

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You need a powerful and an efficient modem that comes with latest technologies such as DOCSIS 3.1 to be able to take full advantage of RCN’s high-speed internet plan that you have subscribed to. It doesn’t stop there, you just can’t order any other modem and get your internet powered up, to be able to connect with RCN, you’ll need a modem that’s approved by them.

Most of the cable internet providers in the US provide outdated equipment that’s why despite having a high speed internet plan, you don’t get the fullest possible speed. The fact that makes it even more disappointing is you pay $10/month as a rental for such outdated internet equipment.

You could just make a search on Amazon or Best Buy to find endless list of modems that are compatible with RCN, but if you’re looking for expert advice to choose the right model, then here’s a list of devices from that’ve been tested with RCN in various locations.

11 Best RCN Compatible & Approved Cable Modems

Our main aim with this article is to help you find the modem that’ll work best for your usage, that’s why we tested 43 different modems in 13 locations in Massachusetts, New York, Illinois, and
Pennsylvania and are here with 11 different modems and modem/router combos that are highly compatible with RCN. So, shall we begin with the list?

1. Best RCN Compatible DOCSIS 3.1 Modem: Netgear CM1000

  • DOCSIS 3.1
  • Downstream/Upstream: 32/8
  • Download/Upload Speed: 1Gbps / 500Mbps
  • Modem/Router Combo: No

In today’s world where high-speed internet is the order of the day, the Netgear CM1000 does a decent job of catering to it. Be it virtual reality gaming or professional requirements, this DOCSIS 3.1 based cable modem can support it all without a glitch.

It is fairly easy to setup and install. All you need to do is plug it to your computer and follow the instructions on the website. Post that, it is ready for use in minutes. And since it’s approved by RCN, you don’t need any technical support to setup. Now, we understand that intensive gaming means excessive heating of the modem. To ward off the heat, you can use a small USB fan or keep it in a cool corner.

When compared to other modems with similar specifications, this is priced slightly higher. But do factor in the 32×8 channel bonding and the high-speed connectivity before making a decision. It is capable of steady 1 Gbps downloads and 500 Mbps uploads for several hours.

Since it is NOT a modem/router combo, you’ll need to get a separate Wireless router for WiFI. Also, this modem is compatible with a selected routers only, so make sure that it works with the router you’re planning to get or already own.

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Pros
  • Backward compatible
  • Easy to set up and install
  • Durable
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Cons
  • Heats up quickly
  • Steep price point

2. Best for Streaming: Arris SurfBoard SB8200

  • DOCSIS 3.1
  • Downstream/Upstream: 32/8
  • Download Speed: Up to 10Gbps
  • Modem/Router Combo: No

With the evolving needs of high-speed internet and constant connectivity, we all need a device that can do that effectively. The Arris SurfBoard SB8200 is great for streaming 4K videos, playing virtual-reality games and streaming movies from quality sources using the 32 x 8 channels. It does all this without a lag due to the DOCSIS 3.1 tech used.

The modem is easy to set up. On hooking it to the system and following the instructions, you can set it up without the help of technical support. However, if you’re still unable to set it up, you can contact RCN’s customer support and ask for help.

The Arris Surfboard SB8200 is capable of 10Gbps downloads. In 7 locations where we tested this, we were able to get steady download speeds up to 2 Gbps and upload speeds at 1.3 Gbps.

When left unattended for long hours, this modem tends to get locked and then you may have to restart it to make it operational again. Instead of that, power off when not in use and restart when you have to use it to save on the time and also to optimally use energy.

With intensive usage, the modem gets too warm for comfort. You can combine with a cooling pad or a USB fan to absorb all the extra heat and keep your device cool. This is only a modem, so make sure your cable operator and router are compatible with this before buying.

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Pros
  • Easy to install and set up
  • Durable
  • Value for money
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Cons
  • Locks up-constantly have to restart
  • Heating

3. Best DOCSIS 3.0 Modem for RCN: ASUS CM-32

  • DOCSIS 3.0
  • Downstream/Upstream: 32/8
  • Download Speed: 1.3 Gbps
  • Modem/Router Combo: Yes

What if there was a device that could cater to multiple devices accessing the internet without a lag. The Asus CM-32 modem-router combo does that seamlessly. If you place this DOCSIS 3.0 based device in a central location, it offers great coverage across all rooms of the house.

This device is also fairly easy to install and set up. You can set it up yourself with the technician on the phone and it is ready for use in a jiffy. In spite of intensive gaming and multiple websites running parallely, the modem doesn’t give off any heat which is a great plus and makes it a durable equipment.

Also when you are streaming high-quality videos and engrossed in multiplayer virtual reality gaming, the device does beautifully. There is no spotting or pixel blur or lag due to 1.3 Gbps download and 600 Mbps upload speeds which is something you experience on the internet equipment you get for the rental.

Now, the price point may be a bit high compared to other devices, but do factor in the 32 x 8 channels and high speed before making a decision. This is a modem and router so you can buy it without a worry.

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Pros
  • Excellent range
  • Great value for money
  • Durable
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Cons
  • Steep price point
  • Cannot connect to VPN sites

4. Best for Home & Office Use: Arris SurfBoard SBG6950AC2

  • Docsis Tech: 3.0
  • Downstream/Upstream: 16/4
  • Download/Upload Speed: 686Mbps / 300Mbps
  • Modem/Router Combo: Yes

The Arris SurfBoard SBG6950AC2 modem-router combo caters to the ever-rising need for connectivity. It is best for streaming high-resolution videos, gaming and most workstation software updates and installs.

With cable companies charging rentals on modems, it is only wise to invest in your own device. At its price point, it does justice for medium to high internet usage. If placed in a central location, almost every room of a decent-sized apartment gets enough speed and coverage.

It is simple to set up and you can do it on your own without the assistance of a technician. The download speed of 686 Mbps and upload of 300 Mbps is quite decent. It uses 16 x 4 channel bonding that can connect a fair number of devices.

We understand that heavy usage may cause this DOCSIS 3.0 modem to heat up and that heat is quite troubling. You can use a USB fan or keep it in a cool corner to ward off the heat.

Sometimes, the lights on this device can get very bright at night and may interfere with your gaming. Keep this in a corner to avoid the glare. So if you don’t have the perfect corner setup avoid getting this.

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Pros
  • Easy to set up
  • Great coverage
  • Value for money
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Cons
  • Gets heated up quickly
  • Bright lights of modem

5. Best Value for Money: Arris SurfBoard SBG7400AC2

  • DOCSIS 3.0
  • Downstream/Upstream: 24 x 8
  • Download/Upload Speed: 1 Gbps / 155Mbps
  • Modem/Router Combo: Yes

It is 3 products wrapped into one. The Arris SURFBoard combines a 24 x 8 channel cable modem, AC 2350 Dual-band Wi-Fi router and a 4-port Gigabit router. It is the ultimate in networking solutions. The Arris SurfBoard SBG7400AC2 comes equipped with DOCSIS 3.0 which is equipped with 24 downstream and 8 upstream channels.

It is your one-shot solution for gaming, downloading and streaming videos. Now, you can get rid of multiple devices. The all-in-one SBG7400AC2 also helps you to cut costs on monthly cable modem rentals. It is compatible with most U.S. cable network service providers like Xfinity, Cox, and Spectrum and offers 1 Gbps download and 155 Mbps upload consistently.

It is a great space-saving and cost-effective option. It is just perfect for your home network. The set up is also quite easy. You can manage it with just a few clicks. The 4 Gigabit additional ports aim at providing ultra-fast wired networking technology at your doorstep. It can help you connect to just about anything, that includes gaming consoles, smart TVs and other devices.

It is also equipped with McAfee’s secure home internet that allows you to take control of your home network. You can guard your home network against malware and phishing scams. It is free for 3 years and that is the best part. Parental control is another top feature of the cable modem-router combo and that should make you click in the buy button.

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Pros
  • Set up is easy
  • Fast and reliable
  • USB ports are very handy
  • Rental costs can be recovered in one year
  • Can support multiple devices
  • A great addition to any home
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Cons
  • Configuring the factory settings is a problem
  • Not compatible with AT & T
  • The support site is of no use

6. Best for Watching Movies: TP-Link TC-W7960

  • Docsis Tech: 3.0
  • Downstream/Upstream: 8 x 4
  • Download/Upload Speed: Up to 343Mbps / 143Mbps
  • Modem/Router Combo: Yes

It is time to move away from monthly cable modem rentals. The TP-Link has come up with a great Cable modem cum router just for you. It is perfect for internet plans up to 150 Mbps. It is compatible with U.S. Cable service providers like Cox, Spectrum, and Comcast. It is the ultimate in wireless networking.

You get 8 downstream and 4 upstream channels that is able to deliver 343 Mbps download and 143 Mbps uploads. Docsis 3.0 technology gives you faster speed, almost 8X. The USB port lets you access files and media and share your network with multiple devices.

Suggested Read: Best Laptops for Watching & Streaming Movies

To top it all, now you have total control over your home network. You can monitor your children’s activity and also guests. There is Parental control that makes life easy for worried parents.TP-Link TC-W7960 is a 2-in-1 device that just works for you. It replaces your ISP’s rental modem and comes with a whole lot of other functionalities. It is easy to set up. Now, watch movies and play games without interruption.

The signals are so strong, that you can even use them outside your house. Then there is the 2-year warranty to back it up. The LED display device shows the network status so well. You are very much informed all the time.

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Pros
  • Under normal circumstances wireless signal is good
  • Easy to set up
  • Great with Comcast/ Xfinity
  • Good reliable speed
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Cons
  • Drops connections when browsing heavy content
  • Reset required every few days
  • Wi-Fi signal is lower than a wired connection

7. Best for HD Video Streaming: Netgear C3000 N300

  • Docsis Tech: 3.0
  • Downstream/Upstream: 8/4
  • Download/Upload Speed: Up to 340Mbps / 122Mbps
  • Modem/Router Combo: Yes

The Netgear C3000 helps you eliminate your monthly cable network bills. Now save up to $156 per year on networks Cox, Spectrum and Comcast. This is a 3-in-1 cable modem and router equipped with 2 Gigabit switch. It is a great combo of modern technology.

You will get 8x speeds on DOCSIS 3.0. Add to that, the Genie App content filtering feature. You can manage your network now from anywhere. The 8 x 4 channel device offers smooth HD video streaming, online gaming, and faster downloads. It is suitable for medium-sized homes offering downloads of 340 Mbps and uploads of 122 Mbps.

The device can be set up easily. You can now operate it through your mobile or smartphone. The Genie app offers a dashboard to control your network. It has easy push-button Wi-Fi controls as well. You can also wirelessly share data using hard drives. You can create a separate network for your guests. This is the best in networking solutions today.

There is a faster self-activation system for Comcast Xfinity users which isn’t really a plus for RCN users, but isn’t a negative thing either. However, it’s compatible with majority of ISPs in the US so you don’t have to get a new modem/router combo if you shift to a different ISP.

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Pros
  • Value for money
  • Certified with major U.S. service providers
  • Good download speeds
  • Reliable and stable
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Cons
  • Customer service is bad
  • Internet is slow
  • Quality degrades with time

8. Best for Downloading Heavy Files: Arris SurfBboard SBG6580

  • Docsis Tech: 3.0
  • Downstream/Upstream: 8/4
  • Download/Upload Speed: Up to 343Mbps / 131Mbps
  • Modem/Router Combo: Yes

The Arris SurfBoard SBG6580 is one of the latest cable modem cum router. Compatible with most U.S. cable internet service providers you sure will find several reasons to purchase it. Your cable modem cum router is compatible with major service providers like Cox, Spectrum and Xfinity.

Use of DOCSIS 3.0 technology provides faster networks than old gen 2.0. Now download large movies and games quickly with downloads at 343 Mbps and uploads of 131 Mbps. You cannot get anything better than this. However, if RCN provides DOCSIS 3.1 at your location consider getting the Netgear CM1000.

You require a cable internet service of up to 100 Mbps for this to work. You can now take total control of your home network. High-speed internet is what you need for your home today. This device with 8 x 4 channel bonding is an affordable solution. It also has in-built security which lets you control your network.

Now you can surf online securely. The 2-year warranty is another add-on. It is also equipped with status indicators for power, receive, online and send functions. This is great for online jobs.

It can also be used for your home office or small business. This is a gateway modem that allows networking up to 253 desktops, laptops, and other wireless devices. The plug-n-play installation is quick and easy. 

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Pros
  • Good speed
  • Easy installation
  • Reliable
  • Self-managed dashboard
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Cons
  • Requires frequent reboots
  • Degrades over time
  • Wi-Fi stops at intervals

9. Arris SurfBoard SB6121

  • DOCSIS 3.0
  • Downstream/Upstream: 4/4
  • Download/Upload Speed: 172 Mbps / 131 Mbps
  • Modem/Router Combo: No

The Arris SurfBoard SB6121 with the Motorola logo in front is a reliable modem. We tested it at our lab, and it was consistently able to provide above 172 Mbps download speeds and 131 Mbps during uploads.

To put that in context, it takes about 20 Mbps to watch streaming 4K video. It is quite challenging to consume in excess of 100 Mbps consistently over a home network. So be assured that you have at least 50% overhead should you need it.

The Docsis 3.0 tech based modem has 4 x 4 channel bonding. That is not an ideal configuration but enough to run a UHD tv, a gaming device, and YouTube at the same time. The same model is also available with 8×4 and 16×4 channel bonding but at a slightly higher price.

The rear plate has a single Ethernet port.  It is advisable to connect the modem to a router and distribute the incoming data among devices. It is not a modem and router combo.

The form factor is vertical, and you can neatly tuck it away in the corner of a room. The blinking LEDs in front indicate Power, Data In, Data Out, and WAN Status. There are numerous perforations on the side for ventilation, and there is no cause for it to get overheated.

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Pros
  • Vertical form factor
  • Solid build quality
  • Stable at speeds above 100 Mbps for hours
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Cons
  • No USB port
  • Single Ethernet port

10. Arris Touchstone TM702G

  • DOCSIS 3.0
  • Downstream/Upstream: 8/4
  • Download/Upload Speed: 343 Mbps / 122 Mbps
  • Modem/Router Combo: No

The Arris Touchstone TM702G looks ubiquitous, but its performance is certainly a notch above. With 8 x 4 channel bonding, it is built to provide your family with reliable data connection with download speeds up to 343 Mbps and uploads at 122 Mbps.

We tested the unit thoroughly and found that there was no interference, and the signal to noise ratio was excellent. Packet loss was negligible, and the ping times were extremely low. This would allow you to browse quickly and jump from one website to another without any pause. The modem is Docsis 3.0 compliant and provides very fast networking.

The front has the usual LED indicators for Power, Online, Link Status, Tel 1, and Tel 2. The modem has a built-in battery that provides between 6 and 12 hours of backup, depending on the demand put upon it. There are 2 outputs for VoIP telephony, and you could carry out crystal clear voice calls to anywhere in the world without incurring huge long-distance charges.

The Ethernet port can be connected to a laptop directly or hooked up to a Wifi router. If you wish, you can opt for the TM722G version that is the same but with 4×4 channel bonding.

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Pros
  • Can be used for VoIP services
  • Can handle both IPv4 or IPv6 address
  • Has a decent battery backup
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Cons
  • Without a built-in antenna for wireless
  • Does not have USB connectivity

11. Cheap RCN Compatible Cable Modem: Netgear CMD31T

  • DOCSIS 3.0
  • Downstream/Upstream: 4/4
  • Download/Upload Speed: 150 Mbps / 120 Mbps
  • Modem/Router Combo: No

With an off white chassis, the Netgear CMD31T looks delicate and quite classy. The package contained a stand, and you could place it horizontally or vertically.

The rear panel has an Ethernet port. We suggest you attach it to a router. There is also the coaxial cable internet input. There are several LED indicators in front, indicating Power, WAN Status, Upload, and Download. The last two can turn partly green and amber to show how many channels are in use.

Setting it up was a breeze. Just type in 192.168.100.1 and type in “admin” and “password” for logging in the first time. The configuration pages were auto-filled mostly, and there was little to select except the device name or SSID.  

We downloaded several Ubuntu distro torrents (these are legal torrents hosted in high-speed servers) to install it on a few Ubuntu compatible laptops. The download speed was quite steady at above 150 Mbps.  The upload was also satisfactory and showed above 120 Mbps most of the time.

For a DOCSIS 3.0 modem with 4 x 4 channels, this is reasonably satisfactory. The circuit boards and connectors are quite well built, and the product will probably last several years, even with constant use. Our conclusion, a cheap, efficient workhorse that is ideal for homes using no more than 5 devices simultaneously. 

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Pros
  • Extremely affordable device
  • Time tested use with several different ISPs
  • Excellent ease of set up
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Cons
  • Only one Ethernet port is restrictive
  • Lack of battery backup

FAQs

Which one is a highly capable modem with Wifi?

A mode, a wired router, and wifi router – you get all of this in one body with the Arris SURFboard SBG6950AC2. Capable of supporting IPv4 and v6 simultaneously, it is not very expensive and is rated AC1900 in Wifi. The device is pleasant to look at and blends unobtrusively into your living room. Get great Wifi speed across almost 2000 sq ft and connect every room to a fast wireless connection.

Which of these offers the fastest downloads?

The fastest speeds could be observed when we tested the Netgear CM1000 modem. It delivered consistently 1 Gbps service with no time lag and pause. This is due to its new DOCSIS 3.1 compliant hardware, and if you connect it to an Ethernet router, you will get fast Wifi everywhere in your property.

I want a VoIP modem. Is there one in this lineup?

The Arris Touchstone TM702G is probably the best VoIP modem we have ever tested. For a price of only $147, it sets you free from long-distance call charges forever. It has a massive battery backup, which ensures that your phone lines are never interrupted due to power outages.

Is there a latest SurfBoard device for RCN?

The Arris SURFboard SB8200 is designed, keeping in mind the latest DOCSIS 3.1 that RCN has implemented. The 32×8 channel bonding gives you sustained 5 Gbps sustained speeds with spikes of 9 Gbps. The newest protocol takes this device to a whole new level allowing super-smooth gaming and video streaming experience for all.

Does TP-Link have any modem for RCN?

The TP-Link N300 is priced at sub$70 and gives blazing fast speeds. The modem also has a built-in router, and you can at ease stream 300 Mbps to multiple devices over 100 feet away.

Verdict 

With so many exceptional devices laid against each other, it was quite hard for us to come to a decision. Finally, we decided that the first place belonged to Arris SURFboard SBG6950AC2. It is not only reasonably priced but also a very handsomely designed product. The McAfee protection is the icing on the cake.

The Netgear CMD31T took second place. It is really cheap and very dependable. Many of us have used it in the past, and none could recall it ever giving any trouble. The download of 150 Mbps is not insignificant. You could play games and use it for video conferencing at the same time and never note any delay.

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