Why Is My Router Blinking?

Router Led Light Indicators

Since we all live in a contemporary society, the internet has become a necessity for everybody. We rely on it for almost everything we do — operating our smart devices, ordering food, sending emails, working from home, etc. However, a router is a valuable piece of electronic gadget found in most homes and offices to access the internet. Its services are an access point to send and receive data on computer networks. So, what does it mean when a router is blinking? 

Quick Answer

Typically, most routers have about four indicator lights. Some of these indicators blink, while some don’t. But those indicators that blink could indicate that you just powered on your router, there is an active internet activity, or there is a pending firmware update

It’s normal to see lights over the icons on your router. Some of these icons may be off, depending on what you are doing with your router. Keep reading to learn more about why your router indicator is blinking. 

Reasons Your Router Is Blinking 

There are several reasons you may be experiencing blinking lights on a router. What the blinking light represents depends on the indicator that is blinking. Also, the color of the blinking light has a lot to do with what it means. 

Below we look at three possible reasons your router may be blinking.  

Reason #1: Powering On

Whenever your switch on your router, the power on indicator will blink, indicating that you have successfully powered on the router. In most cases, the power on indicator will keep blinking until the router has successfully come up. And when the router has successfully powered on, it will stop blinking. 

The power on indicator light on most routers is red. However, the red indicator on routers could mean other things. You can surely tell it is the power-on indicator when it is located under the power icon

Reason #2: Active Internet Activity

Another common reason the light on your router is blinking could be because there is active internet activity. When your router is sending or receiving data with the internet, the internet router will blink. The color of the light that blinks depends on the type of connection you are using. 

If you are using Wi-Fi, the indicator light will blink green on some routers, while if you are using WLAN, the light might blink yellow. Sometimes, the light may blink slowly, and sometime it might blink faster. On some routers, when the indicator blinks slowly, it means the internet connection is weak, while when it blinks faster, it means the internet connection is stronger. 

Reason #3: Firmware Update 

Also, the indicator light will blink if there is a firmware update on your router. In this case, you should treat it with urgency. When you don’t update the firmware on your router, it exposes it to all sorts of bugs and malware. So, whenever you notice your router blinking because there is a firmware update, you should update it. 

On some routers, you will know there is a firmware update when the indicator light blinks yellow or ember. However, your router’s yellow or amber color indicator can mean something else. But to be sure if there is an update or not, log in as an administrator and confirm if you need to do any update.

What Does the Color on Your Router Mean? 

All routers are not the same! There is a lack of standardization of certain indicators in the router manufacturing industry. As such, manufacturers don’t tend to stick to using specific indicator colors to depict the same thing. So, the meaning of a color on a router depends on the brand and model of the router. 

However, based on the most commonly used routers, below, we talked about the different indicator colors on routers. We also explained what each indicator light color means on a router. 

Color #1: Green 

Most routers come with green indicator lights. The green indicator light can be solid or flashing. In most cases, when you power on a router, the indicator changes to a solid green. When there is a green light on your router, it means everything is working perfectly. 

The green indicator light can mean that data between the web and the router is upstream and downstream. A green indicator light can also mean that the router is connected to the ISP core network. Also, when the modem is ready to connect to a WLAN or connected to a WPS-compatible device, it will display a green indicator light. 

Color #2: Yellow 

Another color on most routers is the yellow, amber, or orange indicator. This indicator signals that there is a problem with the internet connection. It is often a warning sign that you may need to check your router to ensure everything is working perfectly. 

A yellow light could mean that the Wi-Fi radiofrequency is disabled. On some routers, a yellow indicator light could mean that the modem is connecting to a WPS-compatible device. If you are connected to the router via an Ethernet cable and notice a yellow indicator light is on, it could mean a problem with the Ethernet connection. 

Color #3: Red 

Sometimes, you may see a red indicator on your router. A red indicator on your router means that there is an issue with your router. The red indicator light will come on when there is no internet connection on your router. Other times, the red indicator on your router comes up when you power on your router. 

If a router cannot detect an ISP core network, it indicates it by turning on the red light. Sometimes, the red light on some routers’ models means it needs to be authenticated. Or, when your router is vulnerable to security threats, the red light could turn on with a solid red or blinking red indicator. 

Color #4: Black/No Color 

Finally, when there is no color displayed on your router, it could mean that the router is not turned on or not plugged into a power source. In such a case, you can check your router’s power cable to ensure it is not faulty. Other times, color is absent on your router’s indicator because it is not connected to an ISP core network.  

When the internet light is black, it is not yet set up or programmed with a password or an SSID. Hence, you wouldn’t be able to use it to connect to a network until you program it. If the Ethernet light is black, it indicates that no device is connected to any Ethernet port. 

Key Takeaway

The meaning of an indicator light on a router varies depending on the brand and model of the router. So, the blinking light doesn’t mean there is any catastrophic failure. Familiarize yourself with the router and understand why these things are happening, as this will help you easily pinpoint the issue if it happens again.


Overall, when the indicator light on your router is blinking, it does not necessarily mean it is something bad. Sometimes it is a good thing your router is blinking, and other times it could mean there is an error or something requiring your attention. 

As we elaborated in this guide, different indicator light colors on your router have different meanings. So, you should know when it requires you to take action and when you should ignore it.

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