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Why Is My Modem Blinking?


Although modems generally serve the same purpose, their design differs according to the manufacturer. Modems have different sets of indicator lights, each color having different meanings. Most users understand that while a green light on your modem may represent something good, a red light usually indicates a fault or a problem.

Quick Answer

Blinking modems do not necessarily represent something terrible. Sometimes, blinking lights indicate that the modem is transmitting data or pairing with another device. When you notice your modem blinking, study the color of the LED indicator light and the LED icon to help you understand the cause of the blinking light and whether you need to troubleshoot.

In this article, we shall discuss the most common LED icons on a modem and their functions. We will also explain the meaning of the LED indicator lights for each color. Finally, we will explain what the blinking light means for each LED icon.

Modem LED Icons and Their Functions

Modem designs ultimately depend on the manufacturer. While the LED icons may differ from one modem to another, the following are some of the most common LED icons you will find on most modems. 


There is hardly any modem that doesn’t have the power icon. The power icon indicates that the modem has been turned on and is working. Unless the modem is faulty, you will see the LED indicator power light when you turn on your modem.


The internet symbol is used to represent internet connectivity. When your modem is running and has an active internet subscription, the internet icon shows it. The internet icon is usually represented by a planet with a ring around it.


This usually indicates that you have connected a wired external device to the modem through the Ethernet port. 


The WiFi symbol represents WiFi connectivity. The LED indicator signifies the strength of the WiFi connection.


This icon indicates whether the modem is connected to a device compatible with WPS.

Upstream (US)

This icon means the modem is uploading or sending data to the web. 

Downstream (DS)

This icon means the modem is downloading or receiving data from the web.


This icon shows whether the modem is connected to the local service provider through a Coaxial cable (COAX) or a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL).

What Do the Modem Light Colors Mean?

The LED indicators on your modem usually display different colors depending on the situation. The best way to interpret these colors is to read the manufacturer’s manual, which usually provides a detailed explanation of the LED indicators and the meaning behind each color. 

Understanding what the colors represent can help you troubleshoot potential problems that could arise later. The most common colors on internet modems are:


Whenever you see a green indicator on any of the LED icons, you should know that everything is going smoothly and the modem has no problems. A green LED light on the power icon means the modem has been powered successfully. 

For other LED icons, it can also represent a strong internet connection, active WiFi connection, confirmed pairing with another device, active Ethernet, etc.


Blue light is not as common as the other colors. However, when you see the blue indicator light on any of the LED icons on your modem, the possible interpretation is that a firmware update is in progress. 

You might also see blue lights in some modems when they are trying to pair with another device. Sometimes, blue light indicators are switched on when a phone call is in progress. 

Orange or Yellow

Like traffic signals, green is good, while yellow signifies a warning. Depending on the LED icon, a yellow light may indicate a warning to do something before it becomes a problem or that the modem is going through a process that requires some time and patience to complete before you can use your modem normally.


Red means danger. Whenever you see the red indicator light, it means there is a fault or problem, and you need to fix it. A red indicator on your power icon means the battery is low and needs to be charged. 

For modems without backups, red power lights usually indicate that it is not securely plugged into the outlet. Red indicators on other LED icons also mean there is a problem you need to troubleshoot.

Blinking Modem LED Lights

The LED lights can be found in three categories. Either the led light is stable, blinking, or completely turned off. 

Although you might think stability is good, the color of the light ultimately determines whether the message is a good or bad sign. While a stable green light indicates that the modem is in good condition and has no issues, a stable red light means the opposite and calls for troubleshooting. 

Also, when the lights are completely turned off, it either means the modem has not been powered on or is damaged.

Let’s discuss the meaning of the blinking indicator light for each LED icon.

Blinking Power Light

The modem is undergoing an update. If the red light is blinking, it indicates that the battery is low and should be connected to a power source.

Blinking Internet Light

The modem might be having trouble connecting to the internet, and you might want to reboot the modem. 

Blinking WiFi/WLAN Light

When the WLAN indicator flashes, it shows an active data transmission between connected devices.

Blinking Upstream Light

This means that your modem is trying to connect to the local provider before it can upload something to the web.

Blinking Downstream Light

The modem is trying to connect to the local provider before it can download something from the web.

Blinking WPS Light

If the indicator light color is orange or red, it means the modem is trying unsuccessfully to connect to a WPS-compatible device.

Blinking DSL/COAX Light

When the light blinks slowly, the modem is still searching for your internet service provider’s network. If the blinking is rapid, your modem is trying to establish a connection.


The best way to understand why your modem is blinking is to study the manual from the manufacturer because the solution that works for one modem might be different from another modem due to the manufacturer’s unique design. 

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