Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

Troubleshooting DSL Modems

Ever look at your DSL Modem and wonder what all those lights mean? Why do some flash, while others remain solid? What if your lights are different colors? How do you tell if your DSL Modem is working correctly?

Each light on your DSL Modem represents a function. The light is an indication of whether that function is working properly. Sometimes the placement and title of each function can vary by modem manufacturer, but they are pretty standard in interpetation. If you look closely your modem, you might find that each function is labeled in small print to help identify them.

A standard DSL Modem has a light for power, internet, ethernet, link and wireless connection. A healthy DSL Modem will have a steady green light that does not blink or flutter for all features other than internet, ethernet and wireless. A flashing or fluttering light indicates movement and useage. When you are connected to your DSL Modem wireless, the light for this feature will blink indicating a connection and/or active useage. If the internet connection is working properly the color of the light will be green. If the connection is working but experincing a problem the light can turn to yellow or orange. If the connection fails, the light on the DSL Modem can be red or absent depending on the problem causing the trouble. If your service is turned off by the provider, more than likely the light will be "off".

If your lights turn a different color, are absent or your internet connection fails try power cycling your modem before reporting the trouble to your provider. Power cycling helps the DSL Modem to reset its connection and repair your internet services.

If you are using a DSL Modem alone to connect to the internet (no additional router) you can power cycle it by first turning off your computer and then unplug the modem itself from the power source at the wall. Wait for 1 to 2 minutes and then plug it back into the power source and wait for the warm up to finish before rebooting the pc.

The DSL Modem should go through the normal warm up procedures of blinking lights, making them all stable and solid green ect. You will know when its finished warming up when the features are set at solid green (other than eithernet, internet and wireless connection as explained above). When the modem finished the warm up, reboot your computer and check your internet connection.

Power cycling your DSL Modem can help keep your connection healthy and running at optimal speeds.

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what happen when a adsl line work with a phone but not with a router


The phone line does two jobs. Voice phone which is what it was originally used for and ADSL modem which works at a high audio frequency.
Somewhere between the phone socket and the modem should be a filter splitter. One part goes to the phone and the other to the router. Make sure you have that.
The modem will have a power light and several additional lights. Assuming the power light is on we are interested in two of them; The ADSL light and the Internet light. When you switch the modem on you should first see the power light flash then go solid. Then the ADSL light will flash and then this should go solid. If this light does not come on then you have not plugged the phone wire in properly. If this light just keeps flashing slowly then the modem can't see an ADSL signal on the phone line. If you have a spare router you could try it and see if the ADSL light goes solid on that.
If the ADSL light is fine then the modem has locked onto the signal on the phone line, sync'ed. If not then this is the problem you must solve. Ask your ISP if service is set on your line.
The next light is the Internet light, this maybe a symbol like an i or a world. This light will begin flashing then go solid. It will flash with Internet traffic. This means you have Internet, as far as the modem is concerned. If this light does not stay on then your ADSL account name and password maybe wrong. You can correct this but that's a different question you need to ask.

Feb 18, 2015 | D-Link Dsl-2750b Adsl2 Verizon N Wireless...

1 Answer

Other lights blinking but internet light is blinking for 2-3 times them off all the time so I am not getting internet


On most DSL modems, normal light states are:

Power - Solid
DSL - Solid
Internet - Solid or flashing quickly when data is being transferred.
Ethernet - Only on and flashing quickly if cable attached to it and an active device
Wifi - Solid or flashing with active data transfer

Sep 24, 2014 | TP-LINK 300Mbps Wireless N ADSL2+ Modem...

1 Answer

All lights are green on my DSL modem except the internet light which is solid red. I called AT&T for help ( My modem was a brand new combination router/modem from Netgear with wireless N) and after a frustrating hour was told the modem was bad and to go buy AT&T supported equipment. I also called up NetGear who told me AT&T was not giving me an ip address. Next day I bought the Motorola 2210 modem from Best Buy (complete with AT&T box even) set it up and the internet light on that is red as well. We've tried all available troubleshooting found online and in packaging to no avail.


If you have ATT DSL they should be supplying the DSl Modem. Unfortunately they supply Motorola 2210's, which systematically burn out due to overheating. The symptom is that the DSL blinnks, but the other lights to the right of that will not come on. That means it is sending requests to the network for service, but the receiving section is unable to receive the reply.

I am on my 3rd 2210 in 3 months. ATT do replace them free, but they really need to switch to a different manufacturer.

Aug 23, 2010 | Arris Netopia 2210 ADSL2+ Modem SinglePort...

2 Answers

wont connect. power light is red. wireless light is green. i have a 2701hg-b 2 wire. i ve tried diconnecting, resetting, but the gateway remains the same. what do i do?


I've got the same issue, 2 wire claims that whrn the power light is red, the modem is bad and must be replaced. I would try and power the modem from another circuit before replacing. I am replacing mine today

Jun 24, 2009 | AT&T High Speed DSL Modem

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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