Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

How do I troubleshoot no internet and my DSL modem's lights are flashing

If the DSL light (sometimes may be called the Ready Light) is flashing on your modem, it means you are not getting a DSL signal.

What to do
Step 1. Take a deep breath

Step 2. Check and see if power cycling the modem clears the problem

  • Power cycling is removing the power cord from the modem's back for 30 seconds
  • After 30 seconds, plug it back in. If the DSL light starts flashing fast then goes solid, you may still want to call your provider- you could have intermittent signal loss

Step 3. If powercycling doesn't work, start checking the setup-
  • This means make certain the phones are filtered, not the modem
  • If you use a two-line adapter, remove it and plug the modem direct to the wall- if it goes solid at that point, bad two line adapter
  • Try another phone cord- cords do go bad
Step 4. Nothing's worked- so now what?
  • If the line is not a dedicated internet (You see a phrase like "Dry Loop" on your bill) and has voice- plug a known-good phone in.
  • If you have a dry loop- contact your ISP
  • If it has dialtone- contact your ISP
  • If it does NOT have dialtone, contact your phone service provider
  • If you have weird static noises on the line, unplug the modem from the phone line- if it goes away when the modem is removed off the line, contact your ISP for a modem replacement
  • If it does NOT go away when the modem is removed, contact your phone service provider for noise on the line
Step 5. Ok, I've contacted my ISP- what do they expect me to do?
  • The ISP will have you run through the troubleshooting I just provided
  • Once they've determined that the issue needs to go to Maintenance (Key words: Trouble Ticket, technician call)- make certain you work with them to schedule a window that is at least 4 hours long, and that you provide at least 2 valid contact telephone numbers
  • Once the appointment is made, please realize that this is a window- if the tech has not shown up w/in two hours of the window, it is definitely ok to contact the ISP for a status on where the tech is.
Step 6. Compensation for downtime
  • Varies between companies- usually they will only credit for the service interruption. Documentation is important.
  • If your service goes down- *REPORT IT*
  • Even if it is resolved by a power cycle of equipment- if you have an issue reported that later needs dispatch- a history of having int issues documented will make you getting the appropriate downtime credit a LOT easier
Final tips

DO be polite
DO be prepared to troubleshoot- it could be as simple as removing a bad filter to get you back in service
DON'T expect the tech to fix everything. You have to troubleshoot.
DON'T make unreasonable demands- it is very very unlikely to get a technician out the same day if you call in to report at 7pm. Conversely, reporting it in the morning is more likely to get you in the same day. This however is dependent on the work load for the technicians- but the rule of thumb is: The earlier you report the trouble, the earlier it gets fixed.
DO expect courtesy from the agent
DO read terms of service for your provider
DON'T believe what sales says- they will sell you anything to get you to sign.
DO keep a log of when you have issues- it helps, ESPECIALLY in the intermittent issues DO write down your password to your network and internet- but keep it in a safe place!

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Cannot connect to my Internet. On my 2Wire modem at home, The Power LED light is solid green, the Ethernet LED light is green, the DSL LED light is continually flashing, and there is NO Internet LED light. My AT&T land line phone and jack are working. I have Juno DSL Internet service. Have already tried resetting my 2Wire modem and removing modem power plug for 1 minute and then reinserting with no success. Help!


With the DSL light always flashing, it means that either the ADSL signal (synchronization) does not reach your modem, or your modem cannot 'read' the signal.

You need to determine if the problem is from one of the following places :
  • outside of your house (your land line or ISP equipment) or from the modem;
  • your telephone-cable inside your house or
  • one of your equipment;


Try the following manipulations to determine from where the default comes :

  1. Determine if the problem is in your house or on the land line
    • Unplug each and every equipment which is connected to your telephonic installation (Fax, phones, answering machines etc);
    • Using the shortest telephone cable (RJ11) you possess, plug only your modem to the main telephone jack of your house.
    • If the DSL LED still flashes continuously, the problem is somewhere between your ISP's equipment and your house. You should call them and expose the situation. At this stage, you can't do much else.

  2. Determine if the problem is in your house installation
    If the DSL LED lights up when it is plugged to the main telephone jack, then it is either one of your equipment which is at fault, or the house installation. To pinpoint the problem, do the following :
    • With all the other equipment still unplugged, try the modem on all the other telephone jacks you have around the house.
    • If the DSL flashes continuously on one of the jacks, you will have found the source of your miseries. Depending on your ISP's terms and conditions, you will either have to call them of call for the services of a third-party technician to solve the problem.
    • If the DSL lights up correctly on all the telephone jacks, then your house telephone installation is good. Proceed to the next series of tests.

  3. Determine which equipment is at fault
    • Plus your modem to one telephone jack and wait for the DSL line to light solid.
    • Use a splitter (ADSL filter) to plug the equipments you possess (telephone, fax etc) one by one. Verify each time if the DSL LED is still lit or flashes continuously.
    • If one of the equipment causes the DSL LED to flash, it is that equipment which causes your problem.
    • If every equipment causes the DSL LED to flash, the it is the splitter (ADSL filter) which is causing the problem. You can confirm this hypothesis by testing each and every ADSL filter you have in your possession.
    • Replace any faulty equipment and you should have eliminated the problem.
If nothing of this solves your problem, you won't have any choice but call you ISP. Don't hesitate to tell them all tests you will have done.

May I also make some recommendations :
  1. Use a power surge protector (not a UPS though) to plug your modem to the electric outlet BUT plug it directly to the telephone jack;
  2. Make sure your modem is plugged in as far as possible from UPS, television, etc.;
  3. If possible, don't plug the modem in the same electric outlet as other equipments;
  4. Don't use any telephone extension cable to plug your modem to the telephone jack.

Hope this helps you. Let me know what happens next.

May 11, 2011 | 2wire (1000-000057-000) Modem

3 Answers

Assistance with blinking light on my DSL modem


First thing to do is unplug your DSL modem and leave it unplugged for about a minute then plug it back in and see if problem is corrected. If not you should contact your ISP tech support. You could have a bad line from the phone company or bad connection in your house. Also if you have filters installed on your other phones you can have a bad filter that is causing interference and keeping yoiur DSL from working properly. You should go to "Start" > "Run" and type cmd and hit "Enter"
In the command window type ping google.com -t (Enter) This will start a continual ping. If you are getting ping times exceeding 70 - 120 ms that could be a sign your DSL is not functioning properly or if you get packet loss. That is when the ping time doesn't return a time periodically.

Sep 23, 2009 | Westell Wirespeed LiteLine 6100...

1 Answer

Ethernet light flashing


Check your DSL Filters on your house phones or anything connected to the phone line EXCEPT the modem. The modem should not have a filter on it. If this doesnt help I would recommend getting your ISP out to test the line because sometimes the resisitors or hardware in the box goes bad or at the DSLAM.

Jul 20, 2009 | Efficient Networks SpeedStream 5667 Modem

1 Answer

dsl light flashes red constantly


Whenever your dsl light on the 2wire modem turns red,it only means that there is a problem with the dsl connection to the modem. Here are some ways on how you can isolate the problem

1. check if your modem is properly connected to the phone jack by unplugging and replugging you phone cable
2. try to reboot the modem
3. if still getting the same lights, contact your ISP

Nov 13, 2008 | 2wire HomePortal 1000HW DSL Modem and...

1 Answer

My SBC 2Wire modem (yellow light) in the middle between the green lights goes on and off. Intermittent....


The middle light is the light for internet services. If it is flashing that means its looking for a dsl signal, if its solid orange that means it needs authentication information (IE: username/password entered into it) and if its solid red that means you have no signal at all. What I would recommend is first check all the phones/alarms/satelite dish systems in your house and make sure they all have dsl filters on them before plugging into the wall, since this will cause an intermittent dsl connection. If everything is fine then call your Internet Provider and have them do some line tests for you to see if the service is having problems.

Aug 15, 2008 | 2wire HomePortal 1000HW DSL Modem and...

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