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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Router Showing a Red Light? Try These 6 Fixes

Key Takeaways

  • Ensure the Ethernet cable is securely connected to WAN. Loose cables can disrupt your internet connection.
  • Power cycling your router can help clear caches and fix electronic device problems.
  • Updating firmware can optimize software and fix vulnerabilities. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.



A router showing a red light can mean different things, like a service outage, misconfiguration, or loose connection, all of which can lead to a broken internet connection.

Fortunately, there are heaps of ways to fix a red blinking light on your router.

1 Check the Cable Connection

One of the first things you should try is to check the cable connection, as a loose cable connection is enough to disrupt your internet connection.

Ensure the Ethernet cable is snug in the WAN port. Remove the cable first, then re-connect it. When you insert the Ethernet cable into the port, it should click into place, which is a sign that it is connected properly. If the cable is not clicking into place, it might be the problem.

Secondly, if you are setting up your internet for the first time, you must also ensure you connect to the right port. Every router has two ports: one for connecting the device to an external network (like the internet) and the other for physically connecting devices.

The first type of port is commonly labeled WAN and is the one you should connect your internet cable to. The second (typically labeled LAN or Ethernet) connects internet-powered devices like your computer and TV.

2 Power Cycle Your Router

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wifi router on a table
Shadow Inspiration/Shutterstock

Power cycling refers to the process of turning an electronic device off, waiting for a few seconds, and then back on again. It’s a common way of fixing problems with electronic devices because it helps to clear caches, temporary states, and problematic configurations. Power cycling explains why restarting your smartphone fixes most problems.

To power cycle your router, turn it off using the power button. If your router doesn’t have a power button, you can unplug the power cable (or switch it off at the outlet). After that, wait for at least 30 seconds and power it on. Once the router is on, it will try to establish an internet connection.

3 Update Your Router’s Firmware

Mercusys S3 Halo Firmware Upgrade page

Outdated firmware may also be the reason your router has internet connection issues. We recommend updating your router’s firmware whenever it is available. Firmware updates can include software optimizations to make your device run smoother or fix vulnerabilities or network issues.

Updating your router’s firmware is easier than it sounds. First, connect to your router via Wi-Fi or an ethernet cable. Then, you need to sign in to your router’s admin panel using its dedicated local IP address (here is how to find your router’s IP address). Once you log in, check for a software update.

Unfortunately, the router firmware update process varies depending on the manufacturer and model. You can check your manufacturer’s website for specific instructions for your router model.

4 Factory Reset Your Router

Factory resetting can be a powerful tool for fixing a red blinking light on your router. It restores the router’s default settings, which can help fix network issues in case of a misconfiguration. Before resetting your router, note that all your custom configurations, including your wireless network settings, will be lost. Ensure you save any necessary custom configurations for easy configuration after the reset.

You can reset your router in two ways: pressing and holding the dedicated reset button at the back for a few seconds or finding the reset option in the admin panel. After resetting, power it on and configure the network with your appropriate internet configurations. The router should no longer display the red light if all goes well.

If none of the fixes above worked, it’s time to contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP). If you need to configure your router correctly after the reset, they can help you set it up. They may also advise you why you don’t have a connection on your device. For instance, could it be because you haven’t renewed your internet subscription?

For issues that can’t be solved over the phone, they may send a representative to help fix your internet issues. Reaching out to your ISP should, hopefully, resolve any internet issues you’re currently facing.

6 Check Your ISP for Service Outage

A service outage may be the reason you’re having internet problems. If your ISP’s internet connection is having problems or is undergoing maintenance, whether in your area or across the entire network, your router will have a blinking red light.

You can check for service updates from your ISP on social media or their official website. Alternatively, Downdetector is a handy website for checking whether a given service has issues. Go to Downdetector and check for the dedicated page for your ISP.

Downdetector page for Verizon

Your ISP may also have alerted you of an outage via message or email, so ensure you’re not missing any updates. Lastly, if you can’t find any communication or problems affecting your ISP online, you should contact them and ask if there’s an outage.

Different factors can cause your router’s red light to blink. This can be due to a misconfiguration, a loose cable connection, outdated firmware, a service outage, or other issues. The first step in fixing your router’s red light is to check for a loose physical connection or faulty cable. If this is a first-time connection, you should check whether the internet cable is plugged into the right port.


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