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What Do The Lights On The Modem Or Router Mean?

In This Tutorial, The Meaning Of The Colors Of The Modem Light And How To Read The Symbols On A Modem Are Explained Separately.

The symbols and LEDs of the modem can have different meanings and shapes. Here are some things to look for:

  • Description of modem lamp colors
  • The meaning of modem lights
  • The meaning of modem symbols

Internet modems have a wide range of LED symbols and lights, the meaning of which can vary depending on their color and function. For example, a quick flash of a modem light can mean something completely different from a fixed light or not on at all.

Note: The information you will find in this article applies to both modem and modem/router devices.

Description of modem lamp colors


The LED lights on the modems indicate the operation of the Internet device. If an error occurs, or if a malfunction occurs or is offline, certain colors can indicate which features of the device or Internet service are working.

The meaning of the modem light colors is completely different, depending on the modem model and the ISP used. Therefore, the list below is for basic information only.

Green: A green modem light, usually an indicator

  • Modem power,
  • Active internet connection,
  • Approved connection to another device,
  • Active telephone line
  • Or a strong signal from the Internet.

Blue: Blue lights can indicate that

  • Firmware update underway,
  • The modem is connecting to another device to pair,
  • A service provider has been identified, and the connection process has begun,
  • The connection process is complete
  • And a phone call is in progress.

Orange: An orange modem light, sometimes an indicator

  • A good internet connection (but not great),
  • The initial steps of the connection process after turning on the modem,
  • When the telephone service is disconnected, but emergency calls are still possible,
  • And the mating process has begun.

Red: Red modem light can mean

  • Modem overheated,
  • Service error, poor internet connection,
  • No internet connection,
  • PPP authentication failure
  • Startup error
  • And complete disconnection of telephone service.

White: White LED lights, usually for

  •  Show electricity,
  • The mating process begins,
  • Modem attempt to identify an Internet service provider and connect to the Internet,
  • Ongoing firmware upgrade operation is used.

The meaning of modem lights

Like LED colors, modem lights that flash quickly or have a recorded light can have different meanings.

  • Fixed modem lights: Usually, a non-flashing fixed modem light means that the function is working properly or is finished. However, the modem fixed red or orange light, as mentioned above, may indicate a problem or need to be fixed.
  • Blinking modem lights: Blinking or flickering modem lights, depending on their color, can indicate internet performance, ongoing connection or pairing, or a phone that has been removed from the cradle. Sometimes, a gentle blink of a modem light can mean the beginning of a process, while a quick blink can indicate the final stage.
  • Off light: If the modem LED is off completely, it usually means a power outage, a complete disconnection from the Internet service provider or one of its services, or a feature has been disabled. However, contrary to expectations, sometimes some lights do not show the correct operation of the modem.

Note: Turning off the modem light is not always a bad thing. For example, if you do not need to use an Ethernet cable and do not have a cable connected, it makes sense to turn off the Ethernet light. Likewise, if you do not have a landline from your ISP, you do not need to worry about the line indicator light.

The meaning of modem symbols

Some modems and modems/routers have text tags above the lights and symbols to make them easier to understand. However, many of them do not have a label that can be confusing.

The modem and router icons will vary from device to device. However, they are usually similar to what is shown in the pictures below. In this section, the meaning of each symbol is given from left to right.

  • Power: The first symbol is completely universal and is found in most modems and other products. To indicate whether or not the power is on and reaching the modem.

  • Internet: The second symbol usually indicates the Internet connection. When this light is on, it means you are connected, and you can use the Internet.

  • WPS: In many cases, the two arrows that form a circle indicate WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup). WAP is a way for devices to connect to Wi-Fi instantly by pressing a button on the back of the router.

  • Wireless: Turns off 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi signals.

  • VOIP: Indicates a VOIP phone connection.

  • USB: A trident-like symbol with a midline that ends in a dot indicates a USB connection. There are several versions of the USB icon, but they are usually similar.


  • 1 to 4 LAN ports: Indicates a wired connection to a modem or router. Usually refers to a LAN connection. A symbol of three squares connected by a line or a box with a line coming from the bottom can also indicate a LAN connection.


  • WAN: This symbol is used to indicate the WAN connection.


  • DSL: This symbol indicates the modem’s connection to your ISP.