Your Ultimate Guide to Self-Installing RCN Internet
The Internet is all but a basic human right by now. Too bad, it’s doesn’t come cheap. For people who are on a budget, getting a quality connection that doesn’t empty your pockets can be hard. You don’t just have to pay for the internet connection itself, but also a ton of other things like activation and equipment fees, taxes and of course, installation. These small changes can really add up and take a major chunk of your budget, and nobody likes that.
While you can’t remove this monthly utility from your budget, there are places where you can cut cost. To begin with we’d suggest you change your internet service provider (ISP) to RCN if you are fortunate to have home in a region covered by RCN’s upgraded network. And when it comes to installation of your internet connection, we would recommend you opt for self-installation to save yourself the onetime pro-installation cost. This way you would not have to drain your budget when you subscribe to your new internet connection, while at the same time you will also be setting yourself up to enjoy a drop in your monthly internet bill.
If you’re living in an area where RCN provides internet service, you’re one of the lucky ones. Why do you ask? Well, to put it simply, it’s because their services are top-notch yet affordable.
Serving America’s residential consumers since 1993, RCN offers high-speed internet, digital TV and phone services in select metro areas - Boston (Massachusetts), Chicago (Illinois), Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), New York City (New York), and Washington DC are the main regions where RCN displays a strong footprint. Given RCN’s rather select coverage by area, is one reason you can stay assured the provider would be more attuned to consumer needs. Though, you may be hard put to find good customer service in the telecom industry, with RCN you don’t have to worry. This is because RCN believes in retaining customers by building a bond with them.
So, do you find yourself convinced that RCN Services is about you, or do you still find yourself back peddling and rethinking whether or not RCN is the service provider for you?
If you are still double guessing, consider this: the service does not trap you in a mandatory contract, offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, and boasts of certified technicians. And, it runs on a fiber-rich coaxial cable network that ensures reliable high-speed internet. What’s more, RCN also offers benefits like fast and seamless Netflix streaming, made possible by the provider’s Open Connect partnership with Netflix; while the HD viewing experience furnished by the provider is YouTube HD Verified.
Subscribing to RCN Services therefore seems like the only logical choice. Ready to make a move? Well, it's convenient, you can do that right here.
Why self-installation maybe more feasible
Installation charges are usually around $50 which is quite often more than what a month of internet costs. It is understandable that you would be reluctant to pay for professional installation. In addition to monetary benefits, another reason to go for the self-install option is flexibility. When you call licensed professionals to do the installation for you, you’ll have to settle for a time when they’re available. And while RCN offers a convenient 2-hour appointment window throughout the week, with the pledge to value your time, conducting the installation process by yourself means you can do it at a time that most suits you - even if it is in the middle of the night!
At the same time bear in mind the disadvantages of self-installation. First off, remember whenever anything goes wrong you’re the one who will have to figure things out. Troubleshooting becomes your job and while the licensed professionals can sort problems out in a jiffy, you’ll have to ride the learning curve, that will take time and effort. If you’re unable to manage that, you’ll be stuck with no internet connection, which is bound to get frustrating.
This leads us to our next point. When you self install your internet connection, it’ll be a process of trial and error no matter how clear the instructions are. It may take more time than you thought it would, or you may get stuck somewhere in the process necessitating a struggle to get out of it. Remember, if a mishap occurs, it can get really infuriating.
While the self-installation process is itself quite straightforward and easy, one we think you should strongly consider taking up on your own, if you don’t think you’ll have the time to maintain it, you should go with professional installation instead.
In case, you do opt for self-installation here is how you can do it.
Take these steps to self-install RCN Internet
First of all, you must ensure the contents of the self-install kit you received, either by home delivery or by picking it yourself from an RCN center nearby, includes all the essential bits and pieces. The self-install kit must come with the modem, router (or a modem-cum-router Wi-Fi Gateway); and you must also have power cords/adapters, Coax and Ethernet cables, as well as a splitter if you are using the same cable connection for your TV service.
Second, pick a spot in your home that is well ventilated and central – this will ensure your equipment stays at optimal temperature and the Wi-Fi signals travel strongly enough in all directions.
Next, using a coax cable, put your modem onto the RCN network. One end of the coax cable will be plugged into the outlet at the rear of the modem labeled ‘Cable’, while the other will be inserted into the RCN wall connection.
If however, you are also using RCN TV service, this is when you will have to introduce a splitter in the process. The IN port on the splitter will be used to establish a connection with RCN’s wall outlet via a coaxial cable, while the 2 OUT ports will take your TV and internet connections. Your modem will thus be connected to the RCN wall outlet via the splitter. If you are not using a second service besides the internet, skip this step.
Time to power your modem. Use the black power cord to connect it to a power outlet.
Next turn off your device i.e. laptop or PC, before you connect the modem to your machine. To connect the modem to your PC or laptop, use the Ethernet cable and the Ethernet ports on the two devices.
Turn on your device and let the modem search for the RCN network. This process can take several minutes. Wait with patience, until the lights on the modem become steady. Once that happens, you are all set to go forward with the online activation of your RCN account.
Activate your RCN Account
To activate your RCN internet service follow these steps and set up your account.
Open Google or any browser that you prefer. It will automatically redirect you to the setup page for RCN.
Once there, you’ll see a list of instructions and prompts on the screen. All you need to do is follow them. Any information you need, you can find it on the RCN packaging slip.
Next, save the changes including the name of the network and the password, before you close the browser.
Then, reboot the modem. To do this, first, turn off the PC and unplug the modem from power. Then reconnect the power cord and start the PC.
To check if the internet works, open a browser and search for something.
Voila! You have successfully self-installed your RCN internet connection. You are now all set to enjoy ‘everything internet’ with fiber-powered speeds.
Change your modem’s settings
If you have a modem or router provided by RCN, it will be most probably one off the Linksys product lineup and will come with instructions on updating the settings. To change its settings, simply follow the provided instructions. If you have your own modem however, you should look for the instruction manual you got with it. The method usually follows a similar pattern, and most often only the starting point differs.
For the Linksys models, it is recommended you use the Cisco Connect software as it tends to simplify setup and management. Here’s how you do that.
First, install the Cisco Connect software that you received with your RCN modem/router
Next, open the software
Under the Router Settings, you’ll find the option ‘change’. Click on it
Then, go to the Personalize section and there too click on ‘change’
A warning will appear on the screen. Press ‘Accept’ and continue
Enter the router’s new name (SSID) and password
Next click on ‘change’ to save the settings.
All that’s left then is to update your devices with the new name and password.
In some cases, you may want to use the browser interface instead, as it offers some advanced features not available on Cisco. You can use it to make some simple changes too, but you must know according to the manual, this may interfere with the running of Cisco Connect later on. Anyhow, if you choose to use the web interface follow these steps:
First, open the web browser
Then type in 192.168.1.1
If this numerical address has no effect and the page doesn’t change, you should try myrouter.local
You will then be asked to plug in your myRCN username and password. If you didn’t change this information when you first used Cisco, you can use ‘admin’ for both.
Once you do, the main menu will open. Here you can change my RCN username and password among other things like security protocols and guest networks.
Save the changes you made and exit the browser.
If you changed your myRCN login credentials you might have to plug in the new username and password into your devices to access the internet.
Common self-installation problems and solutions
The self-installation process seems relatively easy, but once you run into a roadblock you’ll find yourself roaming around like a lost puppy. No matter how tech-savvy you are, you’re bound to run into at least one problem. When you do though, don’t fret. Here are some common challenges people face during self-installation and how you can overcome these.
Roadblock 1: Modem’s indicator light didn’t turn on
The most likely cause of this is a loose cable or lack of power. You might want to check the power outlet, and also see if the power switch is on. If the power still doesn’t kick in and turn on the modem light, maybe the outlet is faulty in which case you should change the electrical socket. If that is not the cause of the problem, check the Ethernet cable. That may have become loose during setup.
Roadblock 2: Internet is slow
If you feel the internet is sluggish, run a speed test to confirm if that is indeed the case. If your connection passes the test but is still too slow for your taste, the problem may be the modem’s location or the number of devices connected to the modem. To increase the internet speed, ensure your modem is placed centrally. Second, if you see anyone on the network who you don’t recognize, disable their access. If all devices must stay connected, consider hardwiring some via LAN. This is bound to reduce the stress on your in-home Wi-Fi network. Also, remember that gaming devices should be the first to be removed from a Wi-Fi connection. As soon as you take these measures, you’ll see a huge difference for sure.
Roadblock 3: Pixelated videos while streaming
One possible cause for this can be your equipment. First, check if your computer and devices can handle the bandwidth from RCN. If that is not the issue, check the modem and router. If your equipment uses DOCSIS 3.0 or higher, you’re good to go. If it doesn’t you’ll face performance issues.
Roadblock 4: Can’t connect to the internet
If you can’t make sense of anything, just restart your modem or router. Rebooting takes care of the system and resets connection settings. If the reboot is not effective, you can give RCN Customer Service a call.
Get help from RCN Customer Service
When you’re installing an internet connection on your own, you must be willing to take the help you can get. So if you do get stuck and cannot get over a roadblock in the process, do consider calling RCN Customer Support to clarify any confusion, or even to run over what you’ve understood. Just call 1-855-349-9313 any time of the day, and you’ll soon be directed to a resolution.
Which modem should you use?
If you rent a modem from RCN, you would not face this question. However, if you bought your own modem to save yourself the monthly rental fee, you must ensure the device meets certain requirements. For instance, if you have subscribed to Gig-speed internet from RCN your device must run on DOCSIS 3.1 while for other speed tiers you can use a modem/router that runs on DOCSIS 3.0, with 24 downstream and 8 upstream channels. Our top recommendations include modems from the ARRIS SURFboard and the Linksys lineup.
The ARRIS SURFboard modems support today’s internet standards and are great in terms of aesthetics and power alike. The Linksys modems, on the other hand, utilize the Intel Puma 6 chipset to ensure delivery of high speeds and consistent connectivity.
Well, that is all about self-installing RCN Internet. It is simple. If you carefully follow the instructions and are fortunate to not run into roadblocks, you can indeed have your internet connection installed and working in no time. If you need TV entertainment or a home phone service to go along with RCN high-speed internet, check out RCN packages. Browsing through great deals and discounted offers from RCN will surely be worth your time.