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External Modem Indicator Lights.


The majority of external Modems feature LED indicators on the front panel that report the modem status. Your modem may not have ALL these lights and could even use different identifying letter for them. These indicators are normally coloured red, although this in not standard and could differ.




Power On


Modem Ready


Terminal Ready

Send (Transmit)




Receive Data


Off Hook


High Speed


Auto Answer


Carrier Detect


Request to Send


Clear to Send

Modem function

On when power is applied to the modem

On when the modem has completed it's self-check.

On when DTR signal (from PC) is active

On when modem is transmitting data to a remote modem

On when modem is receiving data from a remote modem

On when modem is off hook

On when connected to High speed link.

On when modem is set to accept calls for Answering M/C.

On when remote carrier has been detected

On when RTS signal is active

On when CTS signal is active

DSL Modem Light Status

DSL Modems display lights (LEDs) to indicate the status of that modem. Lights will vary by make and model of the modem, but have similar qualities. At minimum, the Power, WAN/Internet/DSL/Sync, LAN/Ethernet/Link and Activity lights should be lit


a. Red blinking or steady lights nearly always indicates failure.

b. Green and steady generally is the normal "Good" state.

c. Amber indicates a problem state in most modems, but normal in a few.


a. Most lights will normally be steady.

b. Blinking lights usually indicate problems-- though it is normal for a light to blink while resetting, and many modems have an 'activity' light that flickers while actively passing data. The Ethernet also might blink for activity on some modems.


a. "Power" - This light indicates whether the modem is turned on and functioning. If this light is not lit, the modem isn't on, and nothing is going to work.

1. Verify the modem it switched on, and plugged in.

2. Verify the outlet it's plugged into is functioning (plug in a lamp or


b. "WAN/Internet/DSL/Sync" - This light indicates connection with the outside world. If this light is steady green, the customer is in Sync.

c. "LAN/Ethernet/Link" - This light is for the connection between the customer's computer and their DSL modem. If this light is in a failure state, the problem is in between the computer and the DSL modem. Check the Ethernet cable is the proper type, and properly connected.

d. "Activity/RX/TX"- This light indicates traffic. This one normally does blink.

e. 'Wireless/WLAN" - some modems have wireless built in, and this light indicates the status of the wireless network.