dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
    All FAQs Site FAQ DSL FAQ Cable Tech About DSL Distance DSL Hurdles »»
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


This FAQ text is copyright dslreports.com
Reproduction of all or part only with our permission..
This FAQ is edited by: Optimized See Profile, lilhurricane See Profile
It was last modified on 2013-10-13 17:00:33

1. General Information

Getting Official RCN Help

Getting Official Help

First off, try searching for a similar issue using the forum search function.
Older topics should not be posted to, but may provide valuable insight to resolving your problem.

Click for full size


If you can't find the answers there, start a new thread ( New Topic ) in the forum and briefly describe your problem.

Enter your Encoded MAC address (found on the speedtest page)so a RCN approved tech can check for an obvious issue.
You can also IM me, jmirabella See Profile, your MAC address so I can look into your issue.

BE PATIENT

The forums are assisted on our own time, we get to the issues when we can.

Please stay on topic in the threads.

You can also email me: rcn@dslr.net - I will get to those as I can. It is still better to post a new topic, as other helpful people on the forum may have the answer for you before I even read the question.

-joe

Who Is This Joe Character?
Getting Official Help

The 5 Golden Rules

Here are the 5 Golden Rules of the RCN Forum:

This is a technical forum, first & foremost.

We assist members with technical issues as courteously and quickly as possible..so if your question is not answered right away, please be patient.

Please see these links regarding getting assistance: Getting Official Help and How to Get Noticed
Please utilize the "Hey Mods" link on the bottom of any post for anything requiring Mod attention.

Questions designed to get around your ToS/AUP will be locked, moved or summarily deleted.

    •Good manners are really very important. Rude requests, unwarranted criticism of anothers efforts, or generally being a jerk will not get you what you want. It will get you ignored. If you're going to be rude, please do it elsewhere.

    Do not "hijack" someone else's help thread by jumping in -- start your own thread.
    Do not "wake up" a topic in the forum, over 2 weeks old. Better to start a new thread.


    •Getting help is a service we offer. Please do not abuse it. Keep your issues to one thread for best assistance and so as not to duplicate member efforts. Give enough information. Give a little time for a reply.

    This is not the appropriate forum to post about or inquire about service from other providers.
    Please see our complete forums listing here for further assistance


    "Please" and "thank you" may seem like old fashioned concepts, but we like them


    •Sales are handled thru the 1-800-RING-RCN contact numbers.

    •The member helpers, much like the moderators on this site, are unpaid. Even though they don't make money from it, they do it to be helpful, and for their own enjoyment. A polite request goes much further than commands and demands.


RCN Line Monitors - Where's The Info?

Check the introduction of the RCN Forum Line Monitors here.

For an invitation to join the RCN group, send an IM to lilhurricane See Profile to let her know you're interested.

Our RCN Forum Line Monitors are located here.


Information on the RCN Forum Line Monitors and instructions:

The RCN Forum Line Monitor Section provides an easily accessible, reliable, independent indication of the actual performance of member's connections by comparing the line conditions of RCN Forum members.
Members Sign up for basic line monitoring here at Broadband Reports. We then we use that information to generate graphs that show your line's stats along with others from your state. A very important factor is the way you setup the account. Even if you have a static IP, you must create the account as a dynamic IP. For security and privacy, BBR uses a cookie feature so that if you are logged in, only you can see your static IP graph. But for those that are not logged in, the graph is not visible, it will appear broken. So setting the graph to a dynamic IP will allow everyone to see the graph while the IP will remain hidden. If you have a static IP you do not need to run a DDNS client. Just set the monitor for "dynamic" and then type in your IP address in the "monitor this static address" box.

Click on the individual graphs to display more detailed information for that contributor's connection


This is where you need to go to get setup & sign on:

* Sign-Up *

Enter your "static" IP..but also *important* - check the box that says "dynamic" - you must do both!

A very important factor is the way you setup the account. Even if you have a static IP, you must create the account as a dynamic IP. You have to check the dynamic box and enter your static IP. For security and privacy, BBR uses a cookie feature so that if you are logged in, only you can see your static IP graph. But for those that are not logged in, the graph is not visible, it will appear broken. So setting the graph to a dynamic IP will allow everyone to see the graph while the IP will remain hidden. If you have a static IP you do not need to run a DDNS client. Just set the monitor for "dynamic" and then type in your IP address in the "monitor this static address" box.

Make sure you are "pingable".

Click for full size


Make sure when you're done to click "Create Monitor"..




Then go to your profile page and add it to the profile + "drop-down" menu.

»/prefs/flair

Use the drop down to add an entry to "My Home Connection"

That way your connection speed, modem, and router info show.....

*note: For those already taking part of on site monitoring, and for those that haven't yet signed up - if interested, please send me an IM to receive an invitation. You must click "Accept" when you get it for it to display here:

RCN Line Monitoring Group

...and soon to appear in the forum links :)

Here too is an old article describing what it's all about:
»BBR Line Monitoring

The RCN Line Monitoring Group is for informational purposes only and does not in any way replace official status reports or support from your ISP.

Can I upload Firmware or other files here

No, firmware files are not permitted to be uploaded, and direct links to .exe & .zip are not allowed.

You may point to an offsite URL instead.

Network Status



Major Backbone Stats
Internetpulse Backbone Stats.

Thanks jazzman916 See Profile for provisions

Does RCN Accept Credit Card Payments?

See this thread for updated info on using a credit card to pay your pill

»Re: [Other] RCN Credit Card Payment Options

Why do we ask for encoded mac addresses?

Ref: »[INTERNET] Why do we ask for encoded mac address's

said by negativeduck:
I thought everyone would like to know why we're always asking for the encoded mac address with posts on problems. What you may not realize is exactly why we ask especially when you are convinced its not a problem in your residence and you believe it to be an RCN network problem.

The truth is even when it is a RCN network problem which generally we will relay back when responding the encoded mac address tells us literally where to look. The CMTS that provides your service may have more than 40 ports servicing downloads, and some sites may have 3 or more of these chassis installed. Each one of these ports can serve any number of fiber optic nodes, which as youve probably seen in press releases RCN is a very fiber rich company; this means more nodes to deliver service to smaller groups of customers.

Each chassis may have upto 120 physical ports that your uploads connect into that generally represent a subset of the nodes attached to the downstream. When you provide the encoded mac address it hones us in on exactly where you are across the RCN network. When you start to figure each individual port is effectively creating a unique network you start to see why we need to get specific in locations. Likewise because of the way fiber / coax runs in your city / town its entirely possible that you and your neighbor across the street are served from two different chassis or two different ports.

So when you say Im in this town , or Im in this area you realize we have nothing to go on. All we have as an area that could be spread across any number of ports both upstream / downstream and even chassis.

I thought Id just offer up a why we always ask, and why when a customer in Town A posts of a problem even if you are in the same Town your problems are likely not even related. They may be the same symptomatic problem but we can fix one without ever even touching your connection leaving you stuck.

--
Bryan Laird, RCN Engineering


For posting to the public forum, please do NOT post your mac address. instead provide your Encoded Mac found on the RCN Speedtest page.
(No screenshots, please....just copy & paste it for easier look-up)


1.1. One way service

1.2. Email and Newsgroup settings

How To Configure E-Mail

WINDOWS

Outlook Express

1. Open Outlook Express
2. Click the Tools | Accounts menu
3. Click on the Mail tab and then click on Add | Mail
4. In the Your Name box, you may enter anything you choose. The name that you enter here will show up in the "From" field on any e-mail you send. Click Next
5. Enter your full e-mail address, then click Next (userid@rcn.com)
6. In the My incoming mail server is a ______ server list, select Post Office Protocol (POP3)
7. In the Incoming Mail (POP3 or IMAP) server box, type pop.rcn.com
8. In the Outgoing Mail (SMTP) server box, type smtp.rcn.com and click Next.
9. In the Account Name box, enter the part of your e-mail address that comes before the @ symbol.
10. In the Password box, enter your password then click Next
11. Do NOT select Log on using Secure Password Authentication
12. The friendly name will default to the incoming mail server (pop.rcn.com) You can change this name to any name you prefer.
13. Click Finish
14. Select the new account, click Properties
15. Click the Connection tab
16. Under Choose Connection Type, select the method you use to connect to the Internet
Connect Using My Local Area Network (LAN) for cablemodem users
Connect Using My Phone Line for dial-up users
17. Click the Servers tab
18. At the bottom there's an area for Outgoing mail server. Check box that says, "My server requires authentication."
19. Click the Settings button
20. Make sure option "Use same settings as my incoming mail server" is selected
21. Click OK
22. Close the Accounts window

Outlook

1. Open Outlook 2002 / 2003
2. Click the Tools | E-mail Accounts menu
3. Select Add a new e-mail Account then press Next
4. In the Server Type dialog box, click POP3, and then click Next
5. In the Your Name box, you may enter anything you choose. The name that you enter here will show up in the "From" field on any e-mail you send.
6. Enter your full e-mail address (userid@rcn.com)
7. In the User Name box, enter the part of your e-mail address that comes before the @ symbol.
8. In the Password box, enter your password.
9. In the Incoming Mail (POP3 or IMAP) server box, type pop.rcn.com
10. In the Outgoing Mail (SMTP) server box, type smtp.rcn.com
11. Click Test Account Settings.
This is a new capability in Outlook. This feature calls a dialog box that displays, in a step-by-step manner, each phase of testing the configuration that you have just input. The following occurs when you click Test Account Settings:

The connectivity of your system to the Internet is confirmed.
You are logged on to the SMTP server.
You are logged on to the POP3 server.
It is determined if the POP3 server needs to be logged on to first. If necessary, Outlook automatically sets Log on to incoming mail server before messages are sent.
A test message is sent. This message explains any changes that Outlook made to your initial setup.
12. Click Next
13. Click Finish

MACINTOSH

Mail 1.0 on a Macintosh (OS X)

. Open Mac OS X Mail.
2. Click on the Mail pulldown and choose the Preferences option.
3. Select the Accounts icon and click on the New Account button.
4. Click on the Account Information tab.
5. Click on the Account Type pulldown and choose the POP Account option to configure a POP3 account.
6. Under the Account Description, type your e-mail address. This will be the name displayed in the accounts window and is used for account identification purposes only.
7. Type your full e-mail address in the E-mail Address field.
8. Type your name or nickname in the Full Name field. This will be displayed in the From field of your outgoing mail messages.
9. In the Host Name field, type the incoming POP3 server name: pop.rcn.com.
10. In the Username field, type your username. (The username is all of the characters to the left of the "@" sign in your e-mail address.)
Example: If your e-mail address is john_doe@rcn.com, your username would be john_doe.
11. In the Password field, type your e-mail account password.
12. In the SMTP Host field, type the outgoing mail server address: smtp.rcn.com.
13. Click the Account Options tab.
14. Enable the option to Delete messages on the server after downloading.
15. Click OK.
16. Close the Mail Preferences window.
17. Your e-mail account is now configured.

Mail 1.2.5 on a Macintosh (OS 10.2.x)

1. Open Mail.
2. Click on the Mail | Preferences menu.
3. Click on the Accounts icon.
4. Click on the Add Account button.
5. Select POP under the Account Type pulldown.
6. Type your e-mail address in the description field.
7. Type your e-mail address in the e-mail address field.
8. Type your name or nickname in the Full Name field.
9. Type the incoming POP3 mail server in the Incoming Mail Server field: pop.rcn.com.
10. Type your incoming POP3 mail server username in the Username field. (The username is all of the characters to the left of the "@" sign in your e-mail address.)
Example: If your e-mail address is john_doe@rcn.com, your username would be john_doe.
11. Type your incoming POP3 mail server username's password in the Password field.
12. Select Add Server from the Outgoing Mail Server pulldown.
13. Type the outgoing SMTP server address in the Outgoing Mail Server field: smtp.rcn.com.
14. Click the OK button.
15. Click on the Special Mail Boxes tab.
16. Specify your Sent, Junk, and Trash preferences to suit your needs.
17. Click on the Advanced tab
18. Make sure that the following options have a check beside them:
Enable this Account
Include when automatically checking for new mail
Remove copy from server after retrieving a message
19. Your e-mail account is now configured.

A *note: »Re: [E-Mail] smtp.rcn.com suddenly not working for me

Does RCN have email restrictions?

Sending Mail: RCN Limits you to 400 email messages an hour per IP address (3000 for static IP addresses) through their mail server cluster. This is done to prevent machines that are hijacked by spyware from sending more spam and infecting more users.

*Note: We allow a maximum of 1000 recipients per message as well.. so if you have a static IP address, you can send either 3 message with 1000 recipients on each, or 4000 messages

Attachment restrictions: 10mb max mail message size, 6.6mb before encoding.

Newsgroup Access from RCN

This service is currently provided by RCN via Giganews mainly for light use. If you want more thoroughput than that which is included with your RCN subscription, you can sign up for a paid plan from Giganews.com, forteinc.com/apn and others.

Host name: news.rcn.com
(the server does not require a secure [SSL] connection and uses on the standard port 119)

Login Method: No login is required. (server looks at your IP address to insure you are on the RCN network.)

Maximum number of connections: 2

Note that when posting to newsgroups/usenet, your posting is public.
It is suggested to not use your real email address, because some bad people harvest those addresses and use or sell them for spamming.

This was compiled from info posted on this thread: »[Newsgroups] Does RCN provide newsgroup servers?

NOTE: Now Discontinued

How to Forward E-Mail from RCN?

As per this post by tvdrew See Profile in our forums.. it's not quite as easy to find as one might think

Here's how he explains it can work:

quote:
Options (upper right corner)-->message filters (under mail)-->new filter.

You should be able to figure it out from there (forward all to specific address).


jsolo1 See Profile also has another way to add:

quote:
1) Log into webmail.rcn.com

2) Mail Options (right side of the screen)

3) Select the Email Forwarding option

4) It'll ask you to log into USERTOOLS

5) Under advanced options, CHANGE MAIL FORWARDING SETTINGS

There you can set your forwarding options.


*New version URL can be found here: »usertools.rcn.com/

What about E-Mail Quota?

There is a graphical banner on the RCN website stating that they have increased the quota to 5GB:

»www.rcn.com/j/newwebmail?utm_sou···_feb2013

You now have immediate access to easier-to-use, new and improved features:
•More than double the mailbox quota size (From 2GB to 5 GB)
•Search the web from your email screen
•Faster, more intuitive email interface
•Access and share documents on the go
•Much more!

Info found & shared by robgraves See Profile in a forum thread
Before calling Tech Support for a problem it is best to do a few things first.

1) Check to see that your coaxial cable, Ethernet, and power cord are all firmly connected. Make sure that everything (modem, router, computer, etc.) that should have power, has power turned on.

2) If you use RCN cable TV, check to see if it is working and not fuzzy.

3) If you are using a router, disconnect it and go directly from the modem to the computer to test whether it might be a router problem. If you do have to call Tech Support, do so with the router disconnected as it is easier for the tech to diagnose your system without the router involved.

4) Do a powercycle. This simple step will fix a great many problems.

• Turn your computer off.
• Unscrew the coaxial cable from the back of the modem.
• Unplug the modem's power cord (preferrable from the wall outlet)
• Wait 30 seconds or longer.
• Reconnect coaxial cable.
• Reconnect power. Note whether all the modem status lights are lit properly.
• Turn on computer and see if problem is solved.

(Updated 02/20/13)

FYI - some additional modems do work (Doc2 & Doc3) - see this thread for member contributed modems that have been provisioned okay for them:

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r23502565-Equipment-Cable-modem-question
»
[Equipment] BYOM, DOCSIS 3.0, Motorola SBG6580 Chicago

Any Questions? - Please ask in the main forum...however most 3.0 Docsis Modems are configurable to be provisioned through RCN (try a forum "search")

Bring Your Own Cable Modem

If you want to use your own cable modem, you can choose to install it yourself or have one of our professional technicians install it at the time of your high-speed Internet installation. While many models will work on our network, some will simply work better. To achieve optimal performance, we recommend you purchase one of our preferred cable modems.

What kind of cable modem should I purchase?

If you would like to use your own cable modem, we recommend purchasing a cable modem that is Docsis 3.0* certified or higher.

*Docsis 2.0 modems may be compatible with RCN services currently, however we do not guarantee the operation of these types of modems as they are outdated and may not be compatible with the RCN network in the future.

What is RCN's Bring Your Own Modem (BYOM) service?
The BYOM service gives RCN cable modem customers the option to purchase their own modem from an RCN approved list of modems, reducing their bill by $3.00 for the usual modem rental charge.

***IMPORTANT***You may ONLY use an RCN-approved modem.


*Home
Networking customers who have all in one cable gateway modems can not
use the BYOM option.  All in one cable modem gateways are not supported.


How much is the BYOM service?
The BYOM service is $0 charge; it replaces the modem rental $3.00 charge.
Note: You will be charged the $4.00 rental fee then credited back the $4.00 on the same statement.


Can I have BYOM within a bundled package?
Yes. The discounts will remain the same; the package will just be less the $3.00 rental rate.

•We have adjusted all the bundled packages so that the rental is no longer discounted and we have moved the discount that was on the rental to the modem service code to accommodate and keep the discounts/pricing consistent.

BYOM  Service is offered in every RCN market, with the exception of 1-Way Areas.
Can commercial customers have BYOM service?
Yes.


What are the RCN approved modems? (Note: BYOM is not available to Digital Phone subscribers). Click screenshot below to enlarge.

Click for full size


Where can I go to purchase an RCN approved modem?
Your local computer store.


I am a current cable modem customer. How do I switch to BYOM?
As long as you have an RCN-approved modem, you may have this service. You can install the modem yourself by following the on screen instructions. The instructions will display once you properly install your new modem and access the internet. You must return your Starpower cable modem to your closest local office to avoid monthly rental charges. If you are unable to install the modem yourself, you will be charged a truck roll fee to have a technician professionally install the new modem and retrieve the Starpower modem from your home.


Can I hook up my own purchased modem instead of paying a truck roll charge to have an RCN technician come out?
Yes. As long as you have an RCN-approved modem, you may have this service. You can install the modem yourself by following the on screen instructions. The instructions will display once you properly install your new modem and access the internet. You must return your Starpower cable modem to your closest local office to avoid monthly rental charges.


What if I have already paid for a technician to install my BYOM and that BYOM breaks? Do I have to pay ANOTHER $49.95 and have a technician visit the home to install the new BYOM?
No. You should simply contact a RCN support representative at 1-800-RING-RCN (1-800-746-4726) and let us know the MAC address from the new modem.


Will RCN sell the RCN-owned modem to me?
At this time we will NOT be selling any RCN-owned equipment.


If I no longer want BYOM service, how do I get an RCN cable modem again?
You will lose the $3.00 discount and be charged the standard truck roll fee of $49.95.


*Note: Some subscribers have differing opinions - you can read more on that here




How does RCN handle modem firmware updates

RCN sends firmware updates to the modems that need it that are supported.
Please see: »RCN Forum FAQ »What are the RCN Approved (BYOM) Modems?

This job runs nightly.
If a modem is stuck offline during the process, it will get updated the next time it is online during the window.

This includes customer owned modems as well as RCN supplied modems.

Why is my modem activity light constantly flashing

Some flashing of the activity light, even when the computer is not in use, is completely normal. In most cases, this traffic consists of ARP broadcast packets. ARP, which stands for Address Resolution Protocol, is used by TCP/IP to translate IP addresses into their associated MAC addresses, a process which is required for network operation. (The DOCSIS and Ethernet hardware in devices like cable modems, digital cables boxes and the cable modem termination system use MAC addresses when transferring data)

On a few older modems, some additional flashing is caused by multicast packets. Although these are usually filtered out, some modems flash their activity light before the application of the filter.

Once one has established their machine is virus free and firewalled, there is no reason to be concerned about flashing of the activity light. The downstream has *plenty* of capacity to handle this traffic, so it should not cause any performance degradation.

Most cable modems have an LED labeled Cable or Data or D/S, which indicates when data arrives from the cable network. Some users get worried that this LED flashes even when their PC is doing nothing or is switched off. If they are running a firewall, they are puzzled that the firewall does not register any traffic. There is no need for concern: some essential data (DHCP and ARP protocols) is broadcast into the cable network and arrives at every cable modem whether your PC needs it or not. You need not worry that someone is trying to hack into your PC just because the data light is flashing.

If the rate of flashing goes up when your PC is online (compared to when your PC is switched off or disconnected), but you do not know of any reason why your PC should be generating network traffic, then that might be a source of concern.

How to Check your Cable Modem ID -- Encoded MAC Address.

Each cable modem, regardless of brand, is uniquely identified by its Cable Modem ID, or MAC address. Short for Media Access Control, this address is a part of the hardware on the modem, and is associated with a specific user account.

It is used when asking for assistance via Personal Message with one of our techs

If posting to the public forum - please provide your Encoded Mac found on the speedtest page
CLICK PICTURE AT RIGHT TO ENLARGE--------->>
Click for full size


As there are numerous cable modems on the market, and nearly as many that are used by our customers, below are generic instructions to locate the Cable Modem ID:

    •Generally, the Cable Modem ID can be found on the bottom of the modem, usually near or on a barcoded sticker, along with the serial number of the modem.

    •Most times the Cable Modem ID will appear after these letters MAC or EA (e.g., MAC 00-12-ab-34-cd-5e) . Some Motorolas may have only SN (e.g., SN 8386848). Only use the alphanumeric numbers that appear after MAC or EA, or on some Motorolas, the numbers that appear after SN.

    •It can be easily identified by its pattern (e.g. 00-12-ab-34-cd-5e or 8386848 on some Motorolas), which stays the same from modem to modem even if the values change.

    •If your Cable Modem ID can not be located using these tips, please check the manufacturer's user guide for the modem.

    •Also can retrieve your mac address at speedtest.rcn.net . Clicking on any of the speedtests sites (NY, PA, etc.) will load the speed test page and on the table on the bottom it says "Your Modem Mac"

    Speed Test Help

    RCN"s speed test is custom built to accurately measure data throughput between the cable modem and RCN"s network.

    This is done by passively measuring traffic throughput directly at the provider"s side of the cable modem rather than the at the client side.

    Utilizing this approach allows for greater accuracy and simultaniously accounts for traffic passing from multiple hosts behind a modem (IE: home networks).

    In addition to testing your upload / download speeds, you now have the ability to monitor your cable modem throughput.

    This may be helpful to identify malware generated traffic or to simply satisfy curiosity in determining how much bandwidth a particular application uses.

    Note: in terms of cable modem service, "forward" is the downstream or download side of your cable modem service and "return" is the upstream or upload side.

    Forward Frequency:

    Forward frequency is basically the "downstream channel" the modem tunes to for receive service.
    These channels are not viewable on your TV since it"s designated for cable modem service.
    Designated frequencies may change by location and potentially even neighborhood.
    Rest assured that RCN has selected a frequency that optimizes performance in your service area.

    Forward Power:

    The forward power level reported by your modem represents how strong the signal is from RCN"s transmission facility when it reaches your modem.

    While a value of 0 is ideal, the signal should be somewhere between +/- 15 dBmv.
    If you are just outside this range, don"t worry as long as your modem"s working all is well.
    Here's some tips you may try in an attemtp to get this number closer to 0 however, these steps only work if you are at a value that is less than 0.

    Check the coax cables in your house; ensure they"re all nice and tight.

    If you have unnecessary splitters or splitters having more ports than you need, consider removing or replacing that splitter with one containing only enough ports as you need. In general each "port" on a splitter equals about 1.5 db of signal loss. In other words, if you have a 4-way splitter with two unused ports replacing that splitter with a two-way split would be the difference between having a -10dBmv and a -13dBmv forward signal. Remember, closer to 0 is better.

    Ensuring your cable modem is on the earliest split (coming from outside your home) or no split at all helps ensure your modem works at it"s best.

    Forward Modulation:

    Just as AM and FM are two methods of transmitting radio, we also have a few methods of transmitting data to your cable modem.

    The forward modulation used is determined by the environment variables in your service area. As a result not all customers see the same value.
    This signal level info is provided by the speed test merely for information purposes.

    Forward Signal to Noise:
    This number is relative to how well your modem can hear the downstream signal.
    The higher the number the better your modem can hear us. In most cases there"s not much you can do to affect this number without impacting the power level.

    Again if you remove excess splitters and take away unused ports you generally increase this value.
    Did you know that having open ports on a splitter is a bad thing? Every port that is not attached to a TV acts is a leaking point where interference and noise can get into the cable network.
    Noise is bad. If you remove unused splitters and only install splitters that exactly match the number of connections you need you are helping improve your service in more ways than you could imagine.

    Return Frequency:

    Return frequency is the frequency your cablemodem transmits at in order to communicate back to RCN"s facilities.

    Similar to the forward frequency, the return frequency is selected by RCN and optimal for your service area and is not something you control or change.

    Transmit (return) Power:

    Represents how "loud" your modem must talk for RCN"s facilies to hear you.
    The same way you raise your voice in a crowded restaurant for someone to hear you over the background noise modems do the exact same thing.

    Only in the case of cable modem"s, the background noise your neighbors R.C. car, those power lines down the street, HAM radio operators and even that "Amplifier" that you might have purchased to enhance a picture quality.

    As with the forward power, every device between your modem and RCN"s facilities represents a degree of loss that forces your modem to talk louder.
    The same information on forward power applies in that every splitter between your modem and the outside of your house means the modem must talk louder.

    Return Channel Width:

    In terms of radio frequency, this is the bandwidth of the return channel.
    In other words this determines how much of the spectrum is used to transmit data from the modem to RCN"s facilities.

    The term here bandwidth is not the same as in data transfer.

    What's with the 'Encoded Mac'?

    Instead of posting your actual cable modem mac address, use this string when posting your modem info to public forums. This allows RCN to identify your speedtest without displaying your modem mac address.



Can the cable modem work on any cable jack in the house?

Yes, any active cable jack will work with your cable modem - providing it receives enough signal.

Note: Depending on how many splitters are installed, some cable jacks will not have as strong of a signal due to how many times it is split to the TV, which results in Speed reduction. If you must split...Try this plan:

Main Cable Line goes to splitter, then one cable line is for the cable modem, and the other wire goes to the number of TV's in your residence, this is done so the signal will not degrade on your Cable Modem.

Can I disconnect my cable modem from one computer and plug it into another??

Yes, but you will need to reboot your modem every time you swap devices (unplug the modem from one computer and plug into another). Power cycling your modem will allow it to recognize that a different computer has been connected.

You might consider purchasing a router (wired or wireless) which would allow two or more computers to take advantage of your broadband connection at the same time.

Firmware Updates?

This topic comes up time to time and generally speaking from a consumer's point-of-view -- no, there isn't any way to update or "flash" your modem 'manually'. Your cable modem is controlled by the ISP you're connected to - so, in essence, they can leave the current firmware loaded from the manufacturer, or load a firmware from their head-end to each cable modem on the network - when timing assures no end user issues will be forthcoming.

If there is any newer firmware - the CMTS will most likely flash your cable modem automatically, which will likely re-boot your cable modem; this is a normal operation of flashing the firmware.

Please Note: Customer service does not update firmware, these updates are handled/pushed from the cable system's head end - ONLY when such a time to do so is conducive to it's subscribers needs AND services and reliability can be assured.

2. Speed information

Are There Other Ways to Test My Speed?

Some RCN Speed Tests:

According to negativeduck See Profile - these are best to use for a multitude of reasons

New York - »ny.speedtest.rcn.net/
Mass - »ma.speedtest.rcn.net/
DC/MD - »md.speedtest.rcn.net/
Chicago - »il.speedtest.rcn.net/
Penn - »pa.speedtest.rcn.net/

Speed Test Help

RCN"s speed test is custom built to accurately measure data throughput between the cable modem and RCN"s network.
This is done by passively measuring traffic throughput directly at the provider"s side of the cable modem rather than the at the client side.
Utilizing this approach allows for greater accuracy and simultaniously accounts for traffic passing from multiple hosts behind a modem (IE: home networks).
In addition to testing your upload / download speeds, you now have the ability to monitor your cable modem throughput.
This may be helpful to identify malware generated traffic or to simply satisfy curiosity in determining how much bandwidth a particular application uses.

Note: in terms of cable modem service, "forward" is the downstream or download side of your cable modem service and "return" is the upstream or upload side.

Forward Frequency:
Forward frequency is basically the "downstream channel" the modem tunes to for receive service.
These channels are not viewable on your TV since it"s designated for cable modem service.
Designated frequencies may change by location and potentially even neighborhood.
Rest assured that RCN has selected a frequency that optimizes performance in your service area.

Forward Power:
The forward power level reported by your modem represents how strong the signal is from RCN"s transmission facility when it reaches your modem.
While a value of 0 is ideal, the signal should be somewhere between +/- 15 dBmv.
If you are just outside this range, don"t worry as long as your modem"s working all is well.
Here's some tips you may try in an attemtp to get this number closer to 0 however, these steps only work if you are at a value that is less than 0.

Check the coax cables in your house; ensure they're all nice and tight.
If you have unnecessary splitters or splitters having more ports than you need, consider removing or replacing that splitter with one containing only enough ports as you need. In general each "port" on a splitter equals about 1.5 db of signal loss. In other words, if you have a 4-way splitter with two unused ports replacing that splitter with a two-way split would be the difference between having a -10dBmv and a -13dBmv forward signal. Remember, closer to 0 is better.

Ensuring your cable modem is on the earliest split (coming from outside your home) or no split at all helps ensure your modem works at it"s best.

Forward Modulation:
Just as AM and FM are two methods of transmitting radio, we also have a few methods of transmitting data to your cable modem.
The forward modulation used is determined by the environment variables in your service area. As a result not all customers see the same value.
This signal level info is provided by the speed test merely for information purposes.

Forward Signal to Noise:
This number is relative to how well your modem can hear the downstream signal.
The higher the number the better your modem can hear us. In most cases there"s not much you can do to affect this number without impacting the power level.
Again if you remove excess splitters and take away unused ports you generally increase this value.
Did you know that having open ports on a splitter is a bad thing? Every port that is not attached to a TV acts is a leaking point where interference and noise can get into the cable network.
Noise is bad. If you remove unused splitters and only install splitters that exactly match the number of connections you need you are helping improve your service in more ways than you could imagine.

Return Frequency:
Return frequency is the frequency your cablemodem transmits at in order to communicate back to RCN"s facilities.
Similar to the forward frequency, the return frequency is selected by RCN and optimal for your service area and is not something you control or change.

Transmit (return) Power:
Represents how "loud" your modem must talk for RCN"s facilies to hear you.
The same way you raise your voice in a crowded restaurant for someone to hear you over the background noise modems do the exact same thing.
Only in the case of cable modem"s, the background noise your neighbors R.C. car, those power lines down the street, HAM radio operators and even that "Amplifier" that you might have purchased to enhance a picture quality.
As with the forward power, every device between your modem and RCN"s facilities represents a degree of loss that forces your modem to talk louder.
The same information on forward power applies in that every splitter between your modem and the outside of your house means the modem must talk louder.

Return Channel Width:
In terms of radio frequency, this is the bandwidth of the return channel.
In other words this determines how much of the spectrum is used to transmit data from the modem to RCN"s facilities.
The term here bandwidth is not the same as in data transfer.

What's with the 'Encoded Mac'?
Instead of posting your actual cable modem mac address, use this string when posting your modem info to public forums. This allows RCN to identify your speedtest without displaying your modem mac address.




Speakeasy Speed Site:

»www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/

DSLReports.com On-Site Speed Tests:

»/stest

Others:

»www.testmy.net/
»myspeed.visualware.com/
»www.speedtest.net/index.php
»bandwidthplace.com/speedtest/index.php

3. Resilink Packages

Are Resilink Packages still available to new subscribers?

Unfortunately, no. With the exception of the Chicago market, all new customers interested in bundling their services (cable, modem, telephone) must choose from either an Essentials Package (bare bones, not a lot of bells and whistles) or a Power Package (more for your money, choice of premium channels, phone features, Mach 7, etc...)

As of today, 10/5/2004, Chicago market customers may still choose a Resilink Package, as well as an Essentials, or Power Package.

4. Routers

Can I use my router with RCN's cablemodem service?

Yes you can, but there are several things to keep in mind when using a broadband router/gateway.

    • When testing speed, it is best to run directly from your computer to your modem, bypassing any routers, switches and hubs.

    • Older routers with 10 megabit ethernet ports will probably not allow you to reach full speeds.


    *More to be added soon

5. Signal Levels and other tests

What should my cable modem signal levels be?

Downstream (Rx) Receive Power Level:
This is the amount of signal received by the modem from the transmitter in the cable company head-end.

For all modems:
-7 dBmV to +7 dBmV "Recommended"
-8 dBmV to -10 dBmV / +8 dBmV to +10 dBmV - "Acceptable"
-11 dBmV to -15 dBmV / +11 dBmV to +15 dBmV - "Maximum"
Lower than -15 dBmV & Higher than +15 dBmV - "Out Of Spec."

SNR (signal to noise ratio) levels:
This is how clear the signal is at either the modem receiver (downstream SNR) or the receiver in the cable company head-end (upstream SNR).

DOCSIS specifications list minimum CNR (carrier to noise ratio) levels not SNR levels. The SNR levels listed here are based on commonly recommended MER levels for digital cable signals. Not all QAM demodulator chipsets accurately calculate SNR levels that approximate actual MER levels, so these levels may vary depending on which chipset and/or firmware is used in the equipment.

QPSK: 12 dB minimum. 15 dB or higher recommended. (often used in upstream channels)
16 QAM: 18 dB minimum. 21 dB or higher recommended. (often used in upstream channels)
64 QAM: 24 dB minimum. 27 dB or higher recommended. (often used in downstream channels)
256 QAM: 30 dB minimum. 33 dB or higher recommended. (often used in downstream channels)

*There is no upper SNR limit; however, 40 dB is the highest most people see. Going above 40 dB is possible though.

Downstream SNR levels are read at the modem on the downstream data channel and can be viewed using the modem diagnostic screens.

Upstream SNR levels are read at the CMTS on the upstream data channel, not the modem or the modem diagnostic screens. The end-user cannot get the upstream SNR directly. Only the provider can read the upstream SNR level, directly from the CMTS. Also, the upstream SNR level provided by most CMTSs is not specific to any single modem, but is an averaged, aggregate level from all modems on that upstream channel on the upstream port.

Upstream (Tx) Transmit Power (a.k.a. Return Signal) level:
This is the amount of signal transmitted by the modem to reach the receiver in the cable company head-end.

+8 dBmV to +58 dBmV maximum for QPSK. (DOCSIS 1.0, 1.1)
+8 dBmV to +55 dBmV maximum for 8 QAM and 16 QAM. (DOCSIS 1.0, 1.1)
+8 dBmV to +54 dBmV maximum for 32 QAM and 64 QAM. (A-TDMA DOCSIS 2.0)
+8 dBmV to +53 dBmV maximum for S-CDMA DOCSIS 2.0 (All Modulations)
+8 dBmV to +52 dBmV maximum for A-TDMA & TDMA (DOCSIS 3.0)

*Recommended upstream signal levels are +35 dBmV to +49 dBmV.

A cable modem running a higher upstream modulation rate may downgrade itself to a lower modulation rate (i.e. 64 QAM to 16 QAM or 16 QAM to QPSK) if the upstream transmit level is higher than the maximum signal level allowed for the higher modulation rate and the CMTS is configured to allow such a change. This downgrade can cause slow speed, packet loss, and connection loss issues depending on the condition of the upstream channel.

A house or drop amplifier will NOT fix an upstream signal problem because most house amplifiers don't amplify the upstream signals; they only pass the upstream signal through with some loss.

Important notes concerning signal levels:
1. Signal levels not within the specifications listed above can cause slow speeds, connection problems, and connection loss due to packet errors, packet loss, and/or constant packet retransmission.

2. It's recommended to have the modem's signal levels at least 3dB away from the maximum/minimum levels listed above due to normal temperature related signal variation. If the modem's signal levels are at the maximum or minimum limits, they may be out of spec. if the temperature changes significantly. Signal levels that vary more then 3 dB in a 24-hour period usually indicate a problem that should be looked into.

3. Excess splits, bad connectors, and/or poor quality cabling will certainly effect cable signal levels and will cause problems

Updates to this FAQ were provided by Johkal See Profile

*This FAQ is based on user knowledge from a volunteer core of BroadbandReports' members. This FAQ in no way constitutes official information from RCN or any of its affiliates.

Running DocsDiag

You can use a program called DocsDiag to extract information from the modem. You'll need to temporarily change your computer's or router's IP address when running the program, but you won't have to change any wiring. If your computer is connected directly to the modem, you can use the following instructions if you're running Windows 98/98SE; if you're running another OS, you should determine how to change your PC's IP address before proceeding. (If you have a router, it doesn't matter what OS you're using.)

1. Visit the DocsDiag home page and download the docsdiag.zip file. Unzip the downloaded file to extract docsdiag.jar.

2. Change your IP address to 192.168.100.2 and subnet mask to 255.255.255.0. You can use one of the following methods if it applies to your system (note your current settings before you change them):
If your PC is connected directly to the modem and you use Windows 98/98SE, click Start, Settings, Control Panel. Double-click Network. On the Configuration tab, click TCP/IP for your Ethernet adapter, then click Properties. On the IP Address tab, select Specify an IP Address, enter an IP address of 192.168.100.2 and a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0. Click OK and OK. Reboot if prompted.
If you have a Linksys router, go to the router's setup page and select specify an IP address, enter an IP address of 192.168.100.2, a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0, and a gateway of 0.0.0.0.
If you have a Netgear router, go to menu 4, change IP Address Assignment to Static, IP Address to 192.168.100.2, IP Subnet Mask to 255.255.255.0, and Gateway IP Address to 0.0.0.0.

3. In the MS-DOS window, enter the following command:
For machines with Microsoft's Java Virtual Machine

jview /cp docsdiag.jar docsdiag

For machines with Sun's Java Runtime Environment

java -cp docsdiag.jar docsdiag

This should produce output with your signal levels and firmware version.

4. Put your IP address back to dynamically assigned by restoring the original settings you changed in step 3:
For a direct connection to the modem, go back to the TCP/IP Properties dialog box and select Obtain an IP address automatically. Reboot if prompted.
For a Linksys router, go back to the router's setup page and select Obtain an IP address automatically.
For a Netgear router, go back to menu 4 and change IP Address Assignment to Dynamic.

In addition, the following works for Toshiba modems:
To access the built in diagnostics, set your ip statically to 192.168.100.2, set your subnet mask to 255.255.255.0 and set your gateway to 192.168.100.1. Enter 192.168.100.1 into your browser you'll see the diagnostics page.

FAQ credit to Bobcat

Alternate means of obtaining modem vital statistics

If Docsdiag does not work for you here's another way to find this information.

Go to »speedtest.rcn.net , pick any server.

At the bottom of the screen you'll see your modem's vital statistics including the highly sought after MAC.

Click for full size


Click for larger view

6. Security

Which TCP Ports does RCN block?

For non static ip customers, ports 80 inbound and 25 outbound are blocked. Static IP customers have no ports blocked.

We also block ports 135-139 and ports 445 ( windows /netbios )

McAfee Internet Security Services for RCN Subscribers

It's free ** When you get RCN Cable TV or phone service with RCN internet service.
»www.rcn.com/internet/index.php

Thanks to djhartz See Profile for the info


Click for full size


Or you can get discount on services individually here:

»www.rcn.com/internet/internetsec···ndex.php


7. What Is Starpower?

About Starpower

Starpower was a joint venture between Pepco Communications, L.L.C., a wholly owned but separate affiliate of Pepco Holdings, Inc., and RCN Corporation, the nations first and largest facilities-based competitive provider of bundled cable TV, telephone, and high-speed Internet services.

Pepco later sold its stake in the venture, called Starpower Communications LLC, to RCN Corp., the other partner in the business.

What are Starpower's minimum hardware / software requirements?

Operating System ---- Minimum Requirements

Win 95
Processor 75Mhz min 32MB RAM / 60MB free hard disk space
Support Link

Windows 98 / SE
Processor 75Mhz min 32MB RAM / 60MB free hard disk space
Support Link

Windows NT 4.0 (Service Pack 3 or higher)
Processor 75Mhz min 32MB RAM / 60MB free hard disk space
Support Link

Windows ME
Processor 75Mhz min 32MB RAM / 60MB free hard disk space
Support Link

Windows 2000
Processor 133Mhz min 64MB RAM / 650MB free hard disk space
Support Link

Windows XP
Processor 233Mhz min 64MB RAM / 1.5GB free hard disk space
Support Link

O/S 8.6.1 - 9.x
PowerPC or iMac G3 32MB RAM / 90MB free hard disk space
Support Link

O/S X.x
Power Mac G3, G4, G4 Cube; iMac; PowerBook G3, G4; iBook; or eMac computer
128MB RAM - Built-in display or a display connected to an Apple-supplied video card / 3GB free hard disk space.
Support Link

*Mac OS X does not support the original PowerBook G3 or processor upgrade cards.

8. Cable TV

How do I program my RCN Synergy V Remote?

See the instructions and uploaded programming sheets listed here:

»[Cable TV] RCN Motorola 6412 Remote

Are you missing audio on just one channel?


• Check if theres SAP/MTS button on the original TV remote. If there is, press it once. If none, press the menu button on the TV itself. A menu should pop up and check for the setting like SAP/MTS/mono/main/stereo. Choose any of these until theres a sound.

• If you have a home theater system, turn it on. Its possible that the system is controlling the volume.

9. Advanced Topics

How can I change my DNS Server?

To set your DNS, you need to find the Internet Protocol window.

For Users on a Dial-up Connection:

Go to My Computer>Dialup Networking.
Right-click your internet connection and select Properties.
A window will open - click the Server Types tab. Click TCP/IP Settings.

For Windows 7 & Vista

Open Control Panel > Click Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Click Change Adapter Settings (Might also show as: Manage Network Connections)
Select the connection for which you want to configure the DNS.

For example:

- To change the settings for an Ethernet connection, right-click Local Area Connection, and click Properties.

- To change the settings for a wireless connection, right-click Wireless Network Connection, and click Properties.

If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Select the Networking tab. Under This connection uses the following items, click Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4), and then click Properties.

Click Advanced and select the DNS tab. If there are any DNS server IP addresses listed there, write them down for future reference, and remove them from this window. Click OK

For All Other Users (XP & earlier):

Go to Control Panel>Network Connections and select your local network.
Click Properties, then select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP).
Click Properties.
You will see a window like the one below - this is the Internet Protocol window. Select "Use the following DNS server addresses" and enter the desired DNS server(s) in the space(s) provided.

You have now changed your DNS settings. Click the OK button at the bottom of the window to close that window, then click the OK button at the bottom of the next window. If you are asked if you want to Restart your computer, click Yes. You are now finished.

Click for full size


Some DNS servers you can use are provided here (originally posted by jdmatl See Profile)

Verizon (Level3) Nameservers
4.2.2.1
4.2.2.2
4.2.2.3
4.2.2.4
4.2.2.5
4.2.2.6

SpeakEasy Nameservers
66.93.87.2
216.231.41.2
216.254.95.2
64.81.45.2
64.81.111.2
64.81.127.2
64.81.79.2
64.81.159.2
66.92.64.2
66.92.224.2
66.92.159.2
64.81.79.2
64.81.159.2
64.81.127.2
64.81.45.2
216.27.175.2
66.92.159.2
66.93.87.2

ORSC Public Access DNS Nameservers
199.166.24.253
199.166.27.253
199.166.28.10
199.166.29.3
199.166.31.3
195.117.6.25
204.57.55.100

Sprintlink General DNS
204.117.214.10
199.2.252.10
204.97.212.10

Cisco
128.107.241.185
192.135.250.69

Comodo Secure DNS Submitted by ARGONAUT See Profile
»www.comodo.com/secure-dns/
156.154.70.22
156.154.71.22

OpenDNS
208.67.222.222
208.67.220.220
208.67.222.220
208.67.220.222
..more here (thanks JR) »www.opendns.com/

Google Public DNS (free) Submitted by ARGONAUT See Profile
8.8.8.8
8.8.4.4
»code.google.com/speed/public-dns

Be sure & read this first: »Google Invades ISP, OpenDNS Turf With Google Public DNS

Time Warner Telecomm DNS
64.129.67.101
64.129.67.102
64.129.67.103

Chaos Computer Club DNS
80.237.196.2
194.95.202.198
194.150.168.168
213.73.91.35

FoeBuD e.V. DNS
85.214.73.63

Germany Privacy Foundation DNS
62.141.58.13
85.25.251.254
87.118.100.175
87.118.104.203
94.75.228.29

OpenNIC DNS
58.6.115.42
58.6.115.43
119.31.230.42
200.252.98.162
217.79.186.148
82.229.244.191
216.87.84.211
66.244.95.20

Can you please explain kilobits vs. kilobytes?

It will make it easy if we all try to stick with the industry standard abbreviations.

Kilobytes per second = KB/s
Kilobits per second = kbps

Your browser reports speeds in KB/s, the speed tests here at DSLR report speeds in kbps.

1 kbps = 1000 bps
1 KB/s = 1024 B/s
1 KB/s = 8.192 kbps
1 kbps = .1221 KB/s

KB/s to kbps
Take KB/s and multiply by 8.192
Example
100KB/s = 819.2kbps

kbps to KB/s
Take kbps and divide by 8.192 (or multiply by .1221)
Example
1000kbps = 122KB/s

What is a CMTS?

Cable Modem Termination System

At the cable provider's head-end, the CMTS provides many of the same functions provided by the DSLAM in a DSL system. The CMTS takes the traffic coming in from a group of customers on a single channel and routes it to an Internet service provider (ISP) for connection to the Internet. At the head-end, the cable providers will have, or lease space for a third-party ISP to have, servers for accounting and logging, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) for assigning and administering the IP addresses of all the cable system's users, and control servers for a protocol called CableLabs Certified Cable Modems -- formerly Data Over Cable Service Interface Specifications (DOCSIS), the major standard used by U.S. cable systems in providing Internet access to users.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: Howstuffworks.com

RCN InterACTION Music & Gaming

If you cannot access log-in from the .com address, try this link:

RCN InterACTION as suggested by Gripweed7 See Profile

RCN & BitTorrent

Here's a list of Internet service providers (ISPs) that are known to cause trouble for BitTorrent clients or P2P in general and the reason why.

»www.azureuswiki.com/index.php/Ba···_America

Does RCN offer static IP addresses?

Yes, but you must be configured to accept DHCP address assignment, even though you will get the same address assigned.

10. Phone

RCN Phone Information

11. Dial-Up Access

Does RCN provide Dial-Up Access?

For those times that broadband is down, or inaccessible - RCN does provide dial-up access
This page shows the access numbers and is current at this time
You can enter your phone number to find the local access number in your area.

Philly: »www.rcn.com/philadelphia/help/in···s-number
New York: »www.rcn.com/new-york/help/intern···s-number
Chicago: »www.nai.net/chicago/help/interne···s-number

*NOTE: Important notice regarding phone charges
RCN is not responsible for any long-distance charges associated with the use of our service. Always check with your phone company to ensure that the access number you're using is a local call for you.

.

12. Archived Memories From Members

The Night Before The Crush

»[Other] The night before Crush
By tigrzeye See Profile

twas the night before the crush
and all through the house was an eerie hush
all the boxes were installed and ready
and everyone had a remote, even the teddy

all the children were tucked in their bed
with visions of HD programs filling their head
and I and Ma were in front of the tv
wishing we could have 100 channels all in HD

when suddenly there was a whoosh and a clank
and on all of the boxes the displays went blank
they flickered and fluttered and went on and off
then the silence was broken by all sorts of new stuff

our guide was reloaded, and the channels did change
and we suddenly saw numbers in the 1900 range
I cried a tear at first then left out a shout
but all of a sudden the LEDs all went out

I did not dare to think what was the matter
were my dreams of all digital programming about to shatter?
No need to worry no need to fret
the programming had not loaded fully yet

now my tv is happy and I have a cramp in my remote hand
then as I looked out the window I saw a sleigh land
that chubby jolly ole RCN tech sure was a happy sight
as he yelled Merry Crush to all and to all a good night


13. TiVo