Why are My Modem Lights on But I Have No Internet?
Understanding the status lights on your modem or gateway device can offer valuable insights into your NBN or ADSL internet service. Typically, you’ll notice six key lights on your modem:
- WAN / SYNC / LINK
The first sign of an issue with your internet service—aside from not being able to connect—is often a change in the lights on your modem. They may change colour, start blinking, or go off entirely.
The WAN (Wide Area Network) light signifies the quality of your connection to the exchange or node, thus indicating whether the internet is successfully reaching your modem. Depending on your modem’s make and model, as well as the technology delivering your service, this light may also be labelled as LINK, SYNC, or ADSL.
After the POWER and WIFI lights, the WAN light is typically the first or second light to illuminate. Its status provides an initial indication of whether you have a reliable external connection.
If the WAN light doesn’t come on, it could imply a range of issues:
- A network fault may exist in your local area.
- The cable connecting your modem to the socket may be defective. You can check this by swapping it with another cable.
- There might be an issue with the socket or internal cabling within your home.
If you encounter any of these problems, the first step should be to contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for line testing. If issues persist, especially with internal wiring, consider booking an appointment with one of our NBN-trained technicians to resolve the problem.
The next critical light to observe is the INTERNET light. When this light is either solid or blinking, it indicates that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) settings and security protocols have been validated. This allows for a smooth flow of internet service through your modem.
If this light doesn’t illuminate, the issue often lies in the modem’s ISP settings. Modems supplied by your ISP usually come pre-configured and should work immediately upon connection.
For modems purchased separately, you’ll need to contact your ISP’s technical support to set up the device. Note that for the INTERNET light to be activated, the WAN light must also be on. The modem will initially connect to the node or exchange, as evidenced by the WAN light coming on. Once this connection is established, the modem will validate your ISP settings. Once authenticated, the INTERNET light should illuminate.
The WIFI light should be solid when the WIFI feature is enabled on your modem. If the light is off, you can usually activate WIFI via a switch or button on the device. While a solid WIFI light signifies that the modem is emitting a WIFI signal, it doesn’t necessarily indicate internet connectivity.
On the WIFI network, you can connect to various devices such as Network Attached Storage (NAS) for files and documents, printers, and other networked devices. However, if the INTERNET light is off, you won’t have internet access despite being connected to the WIFI network.
The ETHERNET light illuminates only when an ethernet cable is connected to one of the yellow switch ports at the back of your modem. Using ethernet is a secure and fast method for data transmission across your network.
In most cases, a Cat6 cable is run within your home, featuring RJ45 sockets at each end. This setup allows devices to connect directly to the modem’s switch ports for a robust connection.
As you might have guessed, the POWER light serves a simple yet crucial role: it indicates that your modem is successfully connected to mains power and is operational.
Not all modems come equipped with a PHONE light, but with the rise of Voice over IP (VoIP) services, it’s becoming increasingly common. When switching to NBN, your phone service will be provided through your modem, meaning you’ll plug your home phone directly into the modem instead of traditional phone sockets. Upon doing so, the PHONE light should go solid.
If the light doesn’t come on, there are a couple of possible explanations:
- Your phone may not be NBN-compatible. If so, purchasing a new phone should resolve the issue.
- There could be a porting issue, requiring you to contact your ISP for resolution.
While NBN doesn’t support traditional phone sockets, we can reconfigure them for you, allowing you to use multiple phone points in your home with your NBN service.
SWITCH IT OFF AND TURN IT ON
Sometimes modems can encounter glitches, leading to reduced performance or connectivity issues. If you suspect the modem is the problem, try turning it off for 15 seconds and then turning it back on. This reinitiates the modem’s startup protocol and could resolve any bugs in the system.
If rebooting doesn’t resolve the issue and you’ve exhausted other troubleshooting steps, a factory reset might be necessary. Locate the reset hole on the modem, insert a pin, and hold it for 5 seconds until the POWER light starts flashing. After the reset, you’ll need to re-enter your settings to re-establish your internet connection.
Hopefully, this guide sheds some light on why you may experience issues with your modem lights but still lack internet connectivity. For any further assistance, feel free to contact our experts.
Need Internet Help?
If you’re encountering difficulties with your internet services and are in need of specialised advice, feel free to send us a message. One of our seasoned experts will swiftly get back to you with an insightful answer.
Head Internet Technician
Jason Kearney is the Head Technician at SECURE A COM, with qualifications spanning NBN, ADSL, phone, and data cabling. Starting as an electrician, Jason quickly delved into the telecommunications sector, leading crucial projects like the rehabilitation of the Telstra network. With credentials in both managerial and technical aspects, he now specialises in phone line and NBN fault location and repair, serving both homes and businesses with effective and personalised telecommunications solutions