dslreports logo

    ISP Rolodex Intro Local ISPs Members U-Verse FiOS FiOS Soon


how-to block ads

RCN CABLE page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

bullet 361 reviews (188 good) (83 bad)
bullet Submit a review by email click here
bullet login for new review notification feature

Review by itdoesntmat See Profile

  • Location: New York,New York,NY
  • Cost: $50 per month (12 month contract)
Good "none"
Bad "Flaky service, blocking inbound ports"
Overall "Avoid"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

RCN service is occasionally down without notice/email/communication. These days, an SMS or email is still receivable if my home internet is down (via mobile service).

Most detrimentally, inbound ports are blocked. 80, 22, 25, for example are blocked, which prevents me from working on my home computer while traveling. RCN Support does not even understand the concept of inbound port blocking and are completely useless. I am not running a company service on my home connection, I am just trying to connect to my personal computer and they are blocking me for no good reason. Obviously they do this to force me to purchase a more expensive unblocked plan, but breaking service in order to force me into a more expensive contract is infuriating, particularly when RCN support does not understand such basic terminology as "ports".

Here is the list of blocked ports for RCN Cable as sent to me by RCN support...

Cablemodem Side - blocked
Port 80 inbound (unless customer has Static IP) WWW / HTTP Service Prevents customers from running a WWW server
Port 25 outbound (unless destination is smtp.rcn.com) SMTP Mail Service Prevents customers from using outbound e-mail servers other than smtp.rcn.com Static IP subscribers are not effected by this restriction and may use any SMTP server they wish.
Port 135 RPC DCE endpoint resolution Prevent attacks via this port.
Port 137 NETBIOS Name Service Prevents attacks via this port.
Port 138 NETBIOS Datagram Service Prevent attacks via this port.
Port 139 NETBIOS Session Service Prevent attacks via this port.
Port 445 Server Message Block (SMB) over TCP/IP for file sharing Port is a security risk to customers if it is open.
Port 1900 uPNP port used mostly in LAN situations Port may be a security risk to customers if it is open.
Port 21 FTP Permits customers to use FTP
Port 22 SSH Permits customers to use SSH
Port 23 Telnet Permits customers to use Telnet Cablemodem Side - not blocked Service on this port Customer impact
Port 135 RPC DCE endpoint resolution This port is a security risk to customers if it is open.
Port 445 Server Message Block (SMB) over TCP/IP for file sharing This port is a security risk to customers if it is open.
Port 4444 Kerberos 5 to 4 ticket xlator | NV Video default This port is a security risk to customers if it is open.

Fair warning: reviewer joined this month
updated 8 days ago


Avondale, AZ

Try using diffrerent ports.

Try using different ports. Any decent remote access software will allow you change the TCP/IP ports..

I use port 85 for some of my remote login's.

netbus developer
Brighton, MA

use different ports

if you are technically inclined, learn to use different ports. This really is not an issue worth mentioning.
A sane approach to our federal budget: Ignore the tea party

Review by ike3 See Profile

  • Location: Whitehall,Lehigh,PA
  • Cost: $40 per month
Good "Good speed for price"
Bad "No discount for customer-owned modems..."
Overall "Way better than what I came from..."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

October 2012 update:
Came back to RCN for broadband in October 2012 after suffering for two years with Service Electric (still have CableTV with SECTV because they still support analog tuners but internet upload speeds there were so horrible that I had to swap my Vonage service for Verizon Wireless @ Home service]).

Glad I came back to RCN for internet. For less money, I more than doubled my download speeds and tripled my upload speeds (though we still use the Verizon phone service...).

Have yet to have any issues.

Sep 2010 update:
Switched all services to Service Electric Cable TV & Communications (SECTV) after they finished their high-speed build-out...

Aug 2008 update:
Getting quite angry about price and value... HD channels are starting to come in a bit faster now (naturally, noting I really want to watch--where's SciFi channel?!?).

Power/CI plan is now a whopping $182 after tax with two HD-DVRs. Breakdown of charges:

- Mach-7: $37 ($40 less $3 for customer owned modem)

- Limited Cable: $15
- Expanded Cable: $35.04 (up $3.04)
- New Digital Vision: $29.95 (up from $16.05)
- PowerDigital: $10
- HD-DVRs: $17.95 each (up from $12.95 each)
- HD-Tier: $7.95
- Taxes: $10.62 (up from $8.43)

Time to make another call... last time I called about the HD-Tier they basically said the HD-DVR savings was a wash... now, it is an extra $8 for nothing...

Might need to price modem-only and check out DirecTv...

Jan 2008 update:
Getting a bit concerned with price and value... HD channels are coming slowly (TNT and Nat Geo added recently), but lag behind local competition (and very far behind Dish and DirecTV).

Power/CI plan is $153 after tax with two HD-DVRs. Breakdown of charges:

- Mach-7: $37 ($40 less $3 for customer owned modem)

- Limited Cable: $15
- Expanded Cable: $32
- New Digital Vision: $16.05
- PowerDigital: $10
- HD-DVRs: $12.95 each
- HD-Tier: $7.95
- Taxes: $8.43

Recent posting in RCN forum indicate "HD Tier" should now be free, but an email to RCN indicates current plan can't have that.

Jan 2005 Update:
Cable Modem: Sevice has been awesome. Seven megabit right now, reliably (own my own Motorola SB5100--couldn't get above 5 with the Toshiba they loaned out).

TV: Took forever to get an HD-DVR from them (actually, wasn't until they came out of BK did it become available to me--must have been a pending credit issue with Motoroloa...). They are still behind the other local cable co. in regards to HD channel selections (still don't have UPN, TNT or Bravo after a year of "yea, we'll have them soon").

Phone: Since they provide a nice detailed "here's how much each part of your package is costing you" bill, I saw that for unlimited regional calling and 8-features, I was paying nealry $40/mo. Well, didn't take a rocket scientist to know that with 7-megabit (10 in a few weeks!), Vonage for $25/mo is a deal... Once RCN accepts my Local Number Portability (LNP) request to transfer my phone number to Vonage, I won't have the ResiLink package (dropping to Power CI)... That being said, it has been 6-weeks and a dozen calls now for something that should take no more than three weeks and zero calls (next call is to the state PUC to register a complaint....). This is may major complaint of late (that and their prices are going above the competition's, tempting me to leave completely)...

BTW--it took a notice to the PUC to get RCN's butt in gear. Been using Vonage ever since...

Origial review:

Bidirectional Cable (max 1.5m/700k [1.1m/500k actual])
$110/mo (no contract, no setup fees, part of TV, Phone, Internet package--est. $40/mo based on other service's fees)
Toshiba 2500 bi-directional cable modem w/USB and 10-Base-T
Dynamic IP address

Order taken by a "sales guy" for the complete package (details below). Internet, phone and cable were installed the same day by one technician. Took the guy about 5-hours to get everything setup, including running new R6 coax cable throughout the house and mount a "master" box outside.

They ran out of time to complete the update of my Outlook accounts to use RCN's SMTP server for outbound email for my non-RCN accounts (my wife had to leave and they got booted). Only took a moment to do that my self.

Package Details: Resilink Gold ($110/mo)
- Bidirectional cable internet (one dynamice IP address, 4 POP email accounts, 10 MB personal webspace)
- Full Basic TV plus 1-digial converter with 15 HBO/Cinimax channels and 45 digital music channels
- Phone (one line, unlimited local and regional calling [610, 484, 215, 267, 302], "Ultra Feature Package" [voicemail, deluxe caller id, deluxe call-waiting caller id, call waiting, call forwarding, 3-way calling, unlimited *69 & *66], 9¢/min anytime long distance)

So far, so good. Took a bit to get my Linksys router working with the Toshiba cable modem, but after some tweaking (aka--turning off the modem for an hour), all was fine.

member for 14 years, 314 visits, last login: 75 days ago
updated 109 days ago


Review by ctk76 See Profile

  • Location: Woodside,Queens,NY
  • Cost: $45 per month
  • Install: about 1 days
Good "could be a good value when you get close to advertised speeds"
Bad "you rarely get the advertised speeds if at all"
Overall "can't recommend them in my area"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

Rather than a lengthy review, I'll let the speedtest.net results speak for itself.
The advertised speeds are 25/2.
These are my speedtest.net results this month (October, 2013):

Down(Mb/s), Up(Mb/s), Ping(ms)
16.93, 2.11, 18
3.62, 2.08, 16
10.07, 1.95, 14
15.72, 2.02, 24
2.49, 1.94, 15
2.14, 2.08, 18
2.12, 2.16, 27
4.39, 1.92, 24

I had this service for over a year and while this is the worst I've seen,
it's not that much worse than my typical results from the past either.
When it gets bad, I'm having trouble just browsing websites (RCN making me reminisce the dial-up days).
Their pricing structure will make me pay $55 next year. I doubt I'll stay with them paying $55 for 2Mb service.

member for 11.3 years, 44 visits, last login: 138 days ago
updated 1 year ago


Review by Asterix See Profile

  • Location: Nazareth,Northampton,PA
  • Cost: $50 per month
  • Install: about 5 days
Good "Decent speeds"
Bad "High latency and packet loss at times"
Overall "Better than local cable company or Verizon"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

Was stuck with Service Electric with their 15/1 Mbps package. Service sucked with down times and slow speeds.

Reached out to RCN but they were not servicing my house. RCN was across the street but not in my community. Since I was on the HOA Board for my community and with a simple phone conversation was forwarded to the area deployment manager. He setup an expectation to lay the infrastructure in my community by 2012-end or early 2013. At the end of the year I reached out to him again as I did not see any progress, only to find that the plans are still under budgetary process. Since my yard had a pole and close to the RCN pole from across the street, he made an exception and ordered his team to lay the cables from across the street to the pole in and across the yard into my house. I was up and running with RCN 50/6Mbps in less than a week. Kudos to the local area deployment manager.

Speeds have been decent but I haven't seen the full 50Mbps yet. At least once I day I see my firewall struggling to keep up with the latency which is temporary and lasts anytime between 10-45 mins. Rest of the times it works just fine. I researched and found its just not me but other local RCN customers are facing similar high latency issues.

UPDATE - 4/30/2013 -

Its been 3 months since I have RCN services. Internet quality goes down drastically in the evenings after 6pm till around 11pm. High ping times between 180-420ms and intermittent packet loss as well. It affects quality of Internet TV like Netflix and Hulu.

UPDATE - 6/13/2013 -

Connection is still plagued with quality issues with high ping times and packet loss. Changed 2 routers to eliminate a hardware port issue. Modem was changed a few weeks ago but the service issues continue on. Have lowered my overall service score. 50Mbps connection barely gives me 10Mbps these days.

member for 12 years, 3864 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 1.3 years ago


Review by (hidden by request)

  • Location: Somerville,Middlesex,MA
  • Cost: $115 per month
Good "good price for tv and phone"
Bad "Horrid customer service, the live reps dont know how to properly speak to customers, automated systems are not user friendly"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

Maybe I am just spoiled by great customer service, but I switched to RCN for the cheaper rates and I regret it. Their online system, automated phone system, and even live representatives are not user friendly. The rep that signed me up spelled my name wrong, which gave me issues trying to start online billing and when I called about it the reps were very rude and not cust=

omer service oriented. I attempted to set up auto bill pay 2X and each time it failed and I ended up having to call to make my payments which cost a $4 convenience fee with the automated system or $6.95 if I spoke to a live rep. While the tv and phone services themselves worked just fine. I would rather pay a little bit more for conveniences such as: a user friendly online system, a user friendly automated phone system, and representatives that enjoy doing their jobs without an attitude.

(review was emailed from domain samuelsre.com)
lodged 1.4 years ago


Gainesville, VA

RCN Cares

Wow. That sounds awful !! Please accept my apology for the frustration and poor service you experienced; it is not the kind of service we strive to deliver. I work for RCN and along with the technical guys, monitor this forum to help our customers. If your issues have not been resolved and you are a member of the forum, you can send a private message to ‘rcncares’, that’s me, and I will take a look at your account. It sounds like the convenience fee you were charged was our fault and if it has not been credited off of your account, I would be happy to do so.




Customer Service - Lehigh Valley

I had originally signed up online (in error) for the basic service. I had called RCN three times, and got the complete run around, the second time, a supervisor actually hung up on me. I called so I could get the Signature package, which according to the webpage is $89.99 per month. After fighting with the customer service as to what I want, and the price which is on their website, I got 'that is an internet price'; however no where on the webpage does it say it is only an internet price.
I had Service Electric, and switched because they were higher in price, had I known that I would get such crappy customer service and a higher bill than my Service Electric, I would have stayed with them. I am still considering going back to Service Electric because I am so mad and upset about it.
Whatever happened to the customer is always right, or wanting to please the customer. Obviously with RCN, they don't know what this means!!!

Review by dcdavid See Profile

  • Location: Washington,District Of Columbia,DC
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "TiVo"
Bad "Customer service, existing customer pricing, customer loyalty, phone reps uninformed and give out inconsistent and wrong informa"
Overall "switched after 7 years -- they are not loyal to customers"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

You will never get a straight answer from RCN. I was told three different times when calling RCN that when I move to my new house I will qualify for the new customer rates. When I called to actually set it up, I cannot even begin to tell you what a nightmare. One lady said she would handle everything and call me back. She never did, but when I got home all my current services were disconnected. When I called, they said not only did she disconnect me, but my work order for my transfer of new service was cancelled. I called again the next day to start over and was told I could get the new customer rates again. The rep began the process and mid-way through the call we were disconnected. When I called back, the new rep said that the work done previously was also cancelled and that all prior reps were wrong -- I cannot get a new customer rate when transferring/moving. I spoke to a supervisor who was entirely unphased by this horrible experience. She was unapologetic and didn't even offer to correct the reps who had misinformed me. After 7 and 1/2 years with RCN, I'm moving to FIOS. Don't waste your time trying to figure out if you can lower your rate. No one there knows what they are doing.

member for 2.4 years, 186 visits, last login: 19 days ago
lodged 1.5 years ago


Review by jhasbro See Profile

  • Location: Chicago,Cook,IL
  • Cost: $181 per month
Good "Reliability"
Bad "Cost"
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I have had RCN for 10 plus years for cable and internet. During that time I have had almost no trouble with the service. Any problems were addressed quickly.

The recent price increase has pushed me over the edge though. The monthly price of $181.33 is for 25Mb internet and cable. The cable does not include any HD, DVR or HBO. Showtime was included at N/C as a "preview" but not sure for how long. Also included was a $20 charge for the "premiere" package which included Sundance, a few of the Discovery channels and some others.

Their rates for a new customer for the Signature+25Mb package for the first year is $84.99. This includes 25Mb internet, 212 channels including 62 HD and Tivo HD DRV. Second year rate is $94.99 and third year rate is $104.99.

So I called to see what could be done about my rate and service to be told the only thing they could do is drop the $20 package of channels. I understand introductory rates to attract new customers and I didn't expect that rate and package but I also didn't expect that they would do nothing.

I just don't understand why the huge difference in price and service for new and existing customers. I would have been ecstatic with the third year rate for the Signature+25Mb package at $104.99. It is almost like they wanted me drop them as a provider.

So I did. I dropped the cable service and returned the equipment but for now have kept the internet service, but I guess I will drop that once I decide what to do next.

Bottom line, I was happy with connectivity and service but found the price to be very high for what they were providing.

member for 1.6 years, 2 visits, last login: 1.6 years ago
lodged 1.6 years ago


Review by Wasted_Elmo See Profile

  • Location: Elmhurst,Queens,NY
  • Cost: $189 per month
Good "75%"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

being an RCN costumer for a long while i left TWC in the late 90's cause of the internet package RCN had going way faster then TWC

at the time i got RCN they hooked me up at no charge for first time installation 3Mb down 1Mb up topping the 1.5/768Kbps TWC was giving out and this was not true on TWC cause their network was flooded with users so you hardly see those speeds even with their association and purchase of AOL TWC was still not getting better

RCN supported their connections speeds and till this day they still do

when i first had RCN full package ran about $280+ and if i am not mistaken this was '98 but they still price this for full status package meaning triple play with movie package

now i would pay about 189 triple basic package with a Downstream Limit:78000000 Upstream Limit: 11000000 with two basic motorola top boxes and a TiVo DVR with a cisco cable modem

these stats come from the modem data speed net would capture me at 71+ depending on day and time lowest 65Mbps witch aint bad

but now verizon fios is here in my building and my cousin made the switch
so i am sad to say its been a long run but for 153 for installation including first month
and 124 a month after for two yrs aint bad.. so sorry RCN you have been great its been fun callings Costumer Service and hearing :we see your one of our loyal costumers thank you: is warming but my pockets are getting lighter so for now thank you.. your loyal costumer Ron

member for 9.8 years, 6 visits, last login: 337 days ago
lodged 1.9 years ago


Review by tadpole See Profile

  • Location: Framingham,Middlesex,MA
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Bad "Completely Useless Customer Support"
Overall "Going to drop service if not fixed immediately"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

My Other Reviews

I have an RCN branded TIVO which I picked up at the local office and installed myself. It has had N33 errors since over a month ago.

I followed the TIVO trouble shooting instructions and it came back Friday today is Sunday and it's out again. I'm not going to keep power cycling this piece of junk and trying to reach phone support with RCN is hopeless.

I can't switch channels, record, browse the guide or shut it off (unless I unplug the box). Occasionally some functions will work with a lag of up to four minutes. For me this is typical RCN.

I have had very little good experience with this device. It has been trouble since I got it. C and N errors constantly. The only support I got was a call back from a guy named Dave Woods and that was after I’d fixed the problem myself using the TIVO instructions on TIVO’s site.

This is Sunday and tomorrow is a holiday so I don’t expect him to call back before Tuesday.

member for 3.2 years, 4 visits, last login: 62 days ago
lodged 2 years ago





Ive seen the same errors--they seem to be having some issues. Try rebooting your router/modem. If it continues call them.
Prior to this though the Tivo errors were few and far between. Service is generally rock solid. Ive had them for over 2 years.

Review by dslrep0990 See Profile

  • Location: Brighton,Suffolk,MA
  • Cost: $53 per month (month by month)
  • Install: about 30 days
Good "Month-to-month service contract"
Bad "Lousy help desk, connectivity problems, RCN does not deliver what it sells"
Overall "RCN has cleaned their act"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings well below consensus)


RCN service had improved somewhat after I wrote this review so when I moved recently and discovered that they now charge a more reasonable $29/month for Internet access, I decided to give them another chance.

What a change!! This is a 180...

RCN is definitely providing a much improved service. I subscribe to the theoretical 20 Mbps. Connections are stable, speed is still not great but acceptable and much more steady. The service is up most of the time save for occasional outages but I have not had one that exceeded a few minutes yet. Even their customer service is better!

Just one thing that still sucks: monthly charges are supposed to increase for years 2 and 3. There is no good reason for that and it places a penalty on long-term customers. Why?? Go figure!!!

Service ordered: high-speed (10 Mbps) Internet cable access only (no TV or telephony).

RCN charges too much for a service that does not deliver what they promise (I bought 10 Mbps service, but I never get more than 5 Mbps download and 368 Kbps upload).

Appalling customer "service", nobody mans the help desk & when you finally get someone (after many many minutes waiting on hold), they are inept and clueless...

Erratic connectivity. Occasional disconnections that can last hours, sometimes days. No information is ever provided to users before or after.

Bottom line: RCN service is a rip-off. Run in the other direction!

member for 5.6 years, 1 visits, last login: 2.3 years ago
updated 2.3 years ago





Don't forget to adjust your ratings as well.

Washington, DC

Pricing years 2 and 3.

Every company raises rates for current customers. They figure that once you're set up you're less likely to switch to another company than if you're choosing at the outset.

It is a hassle to switch. At a minimum you have to wait half-day for the service guy to show up for the install. Then there's returning equipment and for some people changing email addresses (although anyone who uses an ISP email address deserves the hassle).

That said, RCN's prices kept going up for me so I did switch.