Best RCN Compatible Modems [2021 Approved List]

RCN (Residential Communications Network) gives its clients the option to rent an internet modem from them. When you look at the offer at first glance, it might seem like a good deal, but it will cost you more money in the long term. If you are subscribed to RCN’s phone service, you have to use an RCN-provided modem.

RCN rents out their cable modems for $9.95 per month, but you would be better off buying your own RCN approved modem for reasons we shall explain.

Advantages of Buying Your Own Modem

 Here are some advantages of purchasing your own internet modem 

Faster Internet

The internet modems that RCN rents out are not the best quality and cannot meet the needs of a home with multiple streaming devices or online gamers. When you choose your RCN approved modem, you can choose the type of internet cable modem to buy based on your needs.

Save on Modem Rental Fees

 The monthly rental fee of $9.95 RCN charges you accumulate to $119.40 annually. Remember, this RCN modem does not belong to you, and it is not your choice but theirs. You cannot keep the internet modem either, and when you move to another internet provider, you have to return the RCN modem. 

RCN also rents out extra beacons that help spread their range of internet coverage for another $5 a monthly rental fee per beacon. Instead of incurring all these extra expenses and still pay the monthly RCN internet plan, you would save more if you stopped renting and used that money to buy the best RCN compatible modem of your choice.

More Network Control

Cybercrimes on the internet have risen, and with this in mind, you need to get more control over your internet network. You might want to get an internet modem with an excellent firewall, guest and parental controls. An RCN modem cannot offer you the control levels you require, but buying your internet modem allows you to have better internet network control.

Requirements for RCN Approved Modems

When you need to shop for an RCN modem, you need to shop around for the best RCN compatible modem to work with RCN internet network.

The requirements are:

  • For speeds of up to 250 Mbps, you need a DOCSIS 3.0 internet modem with 8 downstream channels.
  • For speeds of up to 330 Mbps, you need a DOCSIS 3.0 internet modem with 16 downstream channels.
  • For speeds of up to 500 Mbps, you need a DOCSIS 3.1 internet modem, which you should confirm whether it is RCN compatible as some of the latest DOCSIS 3.1 modems are not compatible with the RCN network.

Modem Router Combo vs. Separate Units 

You can opt to buy a stand-alone RCN approved modem or a modem router combo, a modem with an inbuilt Wi fi router. There are a few advantages to buying a modem router combo:

It saves you money

With the modem router combo, you only need to purchase one unit instead of two, saving you from paying for two items.

Saves on Space

The modem router combo does not take up much space and is therefore easy to conceal in tiny spaces.

Easy setup and management 

You only need to connect the RCN modem to the internet service provider instead of connecting a Wi-fi router to the RCN compatible modem.

The Best RCN Compatible Modems

TP-Link TC-W7960S Cable Modem Router

If you are looking for pocket-friendly RCN approved modems, you should consider the TP link tc w7960 modem router combo. The TP Link modem router combo is compatible with RCN internet and works with Time Warner, Cablevision, and Comcast Xfinity internet providers. If you think you might need to change internet providers, the TP link tc w7960 is among the best RCN compatible modem routers available in the market.

The TC link tc w7960 has 8 downstream and 4 upstream channels, making sure your connections do not have to drop internet signals or experience buffering. The TP Link modem also gives you a download speed of up to 300 Mbps. This makes TP Link a great choice for streaming and online gaming. The DOCSIS 3.0 TP-Link TC modem ensures you get faster speeds on all connected devices, wireless or wired. 

The TP link TC has parental and guest network controls. The guest network allows you to connect friends and other guests away from the main network. The TP Link parental control allows you to monitor what your children can watch on the network.

Netgear Nighthawk X4 (C7500)

If your needs demand a high-performance RDN compatible modem, you can buy the Netgear Nighthawk X4. The Nighthawk X4 is a two-band, three-in-one modem with a 4 Gigabit wired switch and an A3200 Wi fi router. 

The Netgear Nighthawk X4 is a 3.0 DOCSIS RCN-approved modem which is ultra-fast and gives you high-speed internet 24 times faster than its predecessor, the DOCSIS 2.0. This makes it an excellent modem for internet gaming and streaming 4K HD videos. It packs a powerful 1.0 GHz processor that boosts your activities on the internet, making them seamless.

The Nightgear Nighthawk X4 has parental controls that allow you to monitor your kids by filtering the content they watch. The Nightgear Nighthawk’s security system lets you create a guest network that separates guests from your main network and does not interfere with the main network speed.

The Genie App allows you to remotely monitor your network via your smartphone or tablet from anywhere. The setup of the Nightgear Nighthawk X4 is fast and simple.

Netgear Nighthawk CM1100 Cable Modem

The Netgear Nighthawk CM1100 cable modem is among the list of RCN compatible modems. It is compatible with other cable internet providers like Spectrum, Comcast Xfinity, and Cox. 

The Nightgear Nighthawk CM1100 is a DOCSIS 3.1 modem, backward compatible with the DOCSIS 3.0. It does not have an inbuilt router, so you have to buy it separately. This Nightgear modem has 32 upstream and 8 downstream channels and 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports with Link aggregation. It supports all cable internet high-speed internet plans up to 2 Gbps or 2000 Mbps, but you still need a separate router for Wifi.

Motorola MG7550 Wifi Modem Router Combo

The Motorola MG7550 is a 16×4 channel and DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem. It comes with an inbuilt AC1900 dual-band Wifi Gigabit router with 4 GigE (Gigabit), Ethernet ports, Power Boost, firewall DFS, etc. 

The Motorola MG7550 is best recommended for internet speeds of up to 375 Mbps. It operates on a Broadcom chipset and not the Puma 6 chipset. This chipset provides your network with security against DOS (Denial of Service) attacks. The Puma 6 chipset was discontinued for being problematic on other modems. This device’s Wifi performance is exceptional, even in dwelling places like flats where there is a lot of Wifi noise from other occupants. 

This is where the power boost comes in, by ensuring that the high speed signals of the Gigabit router reaches all your devices such as tablets, phones, laptops, or smart devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home. The power boost has amplifiers that boost your network coverage range.

The Motorola MG7550 needs cable internet service to work and is approved for use by major cable internet providers like Xfinity and Time Warner. It has no phone jack and has Beamforming features that directly signal devices that need the signal more.

ARRIS SURFboard SB8200

The Arris SURFboard SB8200 is a DOCSIS 3.1 modem that is RCN compatible and best for any high speed internet service of up to 2 Gbps or 2000 Mbps. To reach 2 Gbps, you need a second IP address from your ISP.

The Arris SB8200 is compatible with major ISPs and has a 32 X 8 channel bonding m and 2 x 2 channels downstream and upstream OFDM DOCSIS 3.1 channels. The modem claims to offer a downstream data speed of up to 10,0000 Mbps, and you can stream 4K videos with zero lagging. The upstream speed is 45 Mbps, and it allows you to live-stream your videos and play games online with ease. The modem is compatible with WPA2 protocols, meaning it keeps your network safe. The two 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports are Link aggregation supported. The cable internet needed excludes Wifi and is incompatible with cable digital voice service.

Netgear C7000 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

The Netgear C7000 is a DOCSIS 3.0 modem that doubles up as a Wifi router. The modem router combo is dual-band, built for speed, and is best suited for RCN internet high speed plans of up to 400 Mbps. 

The Netgear C7000 comes with 24 x 8 channel bonding and provides up to 1800 square feet of coverage, and can connect up to 30 devices connected with up to 1900 Mbps (AC1900.

The Netgear C7000 has 2 USN and 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports that give you the best wired connections to your devices, such as a storage drive, printer, game box, computer, etc. 


The Arris SURFBoard is a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem with an inbuilt Wi fi router that is best for RCN internet speeds of up to 600 Mbps. This modem is compatible with Spectrum, Cox, Xfinity, etc. 

The Arris SBG7400AC2 has 24 x 8 channel bonding downstream and upstream channel bonding. The AC2350 Wi fi of this modem is dual-concurrent, and the modem router has four 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Netgear CM600

The Netgear CM600 cable modem is another modem in the list of RCN compatible modems and compatible with Cox, Spectrum, and other major providers. The Netgear CM600 is for speeds of between 400 Mbps and 600 Mbps.

This Netgear modem router is DOCSIS 3.0, which is 24 times faster than the DOCSIS 2.0. The modem has 24 x 8 channel bonding downstream and upstream channels and is best for 4k and HD video streaming and gaming simultaneously on multiple devices with a plan of at least 50 Mbps.

Arris SURFBoard SBG7600AC2

The Arris SURFBoard makes it into the list of best RCN compatible modems. The DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem has AC2350 dual-band Wifi and an inbuilt router with 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports but does not support cable digital voice service.

The SBG7600AC2 is compatible with the major American cable ISPs like Spectrum, Xfinity, Cox, etc. It is incompatible with Verizon, CenturyLink, AT&T Fiber, and DSL ISPs.

The RCN approved modem has 32 x 8 channel bonding downstream and upstream channels and is best for high-speed plans of up to 600 Mbps. To set up and manage your network, use the SURFboard Manager App.

Netgear CM500 Cable Modem

If you are searching for the best easy-on-the-pocket modem, the best RCN modem alongside the Netgear CM500 is the Netgear CM600. The Netgear CM500 has a single Gigabit Ethernet port that connects the modem to your wireless router, which means you have to buy a separate router. This may be expensive in the long term if you do not already have a router.

The DOCSIS 3.0 modem has 16×4 downstream and upstream channels. It provides speeds of up to 300 Mbps, which is not a problem unless you have multiple users using the internet simultaneously. If your RCN internet package is more than 300 Mbps, you may have to look for a different modem to handle those speeds.

Buying Guide

  • Speed

Consider the download speed of the RCN approved modems before you buy. Ensure it matches the speed of your RCN internet plan. If you buy the wrong modem for your plan, you will be paying for internet speeds you cannot use, courtesy of your inappropriate modem.

  • DOCSIS Standards

DOCSIS means Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification. With every new DOCSIS standard, the pace at which data travels from the ISP to your computer and back gets better. The highest right now is DOCSIS 3.1, but before buying this, confirm with the ISP as most DOCSIS 3.1 are not RCN compatible. Check if the DOCSIS 3.0 modem is compatible as not all are compatible with RCN.

  • Cost

Cost should not be a priority, but it is still a consideration. Buy within your budget, but also consider your needs. Do not go for a fancy-priced modem while a low-priced modem has the same specs. 

  • Channel Bonding

The data between your computer and your cable provider is passed along in channels. Channel bonding involves the combination of many channels that let in data simultaneously. The analogy given is that of lanes on a highway, that the more lanes, the more cars that will pass through, hence less traffic. Look for 24 x 8 or higher.

  • Security

Ensure the modem you buy has firewalls and adheres to security protocols.


What modems work with RCN?

Any modem with a channel bonding of at least 24 x 8 will work for 330 Mbps or fewer speeds. For 500 Mbps, and Gigabit speeds, you need a DOCSIS 3.1 modem, but you have to check with RCN before buying the DOCSIS 3.1 modem as it might be incompatible.

Is Netgear Compatible with RCN?

Yes, some Netgear models are RCN compatible, but you have to confirm on RCN’s official website for a full list of RCN compatible modems.

Can any modem work with any provider?

No, not any modem is compatible with any provider. You have to check whether the modem you intend to buy is compatible with at least the major providers if you decide to change providers in the future.

Are all cable modems compatible?

No, not all cable modems are compatible. You have to confirm the modem’s compatibility before you purchase it.


Buying RCN compatible modems is cheaper than renting. When you rent from RCN, you get a modem of their choice, and you have no choice but to accept. Buying your own RCN approved modem ensures you get a modem of your choice based on your internet plan speeds, security, and other features. 

You also get to save the monthly fee spent on renting a modem. The DOCSIS 3.1 standard is the fastest, but unfortunately, it is rare to get a router-modem combo with this standard. Simply do your due diligence before purchase.