What do the different colors of lights in an Ethernet port mean?

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    Left LED




    Speed indicator:

    • Amber on – Operating as a Gigabit connection (1000 Mbps).1
    • Green on – Operating as a 100-Mbps connection.
    • Off – Operating as a 10-Mbps connection.

    Right LED


    Link/Activity indicator:

    • Blinking – There is activity on this port.
    • Off – No link is established.


    The NET MGT port only operates in 100-Mbps or 10-Mbps so the speed indicator LED will be green or off (never amber).

    It depends on the make/model of the device, usually a router or switch. You would need to check the manual as not all routers and switches are made the same. Typically, green LED lights indicate that the port is on. If it’s green flashing, that means there is activity. If there is no LED light, then it’s either off or failing. Amber (orange) can also indicate a failing port or connection. Sometimes, it could be red or yellow, which can also mean bad connection or such.

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    Flashing lights mean activity – no matter what the light is. If it is US/DS, then it is on the Upstream and Downstream. If it is ONLINE, then it almost done connecting to the internet. If it is on WIFI or ethernet then it communicating with one or more devices on your network. That’s a good sign. You don’t want that light off if you have a device plugged into the ethernet. That’s bad.

    Now as far as colors. That is determined by the manufacturer of the device. There is no standard color when it comes to routers or modems. It’s all different! Since I don’t know the manufacturer or model of the device I will just have to use an example. That is an Arris DG1670A. Which is commonly used with Charter Business Accounts.

    That model has two color lights on the back: Green/Amber. Green means that the port is running at 1 Gbps. Amber means that it is running at 100 Mbps. If you see Amber that means something connected to that port is not compatible with gigabit speeds. The device automatically slowed itself down to compensate.

    Is that a problem?

    Provably not. Most internet speeds are not fast enough for you to notice. Only at speeds faster than 100 are you going to notice the difference. Or if you transfer large files between the computers. Otherwise – your fine for now. Worry about it when it becomes a problem.

    If you want more specific information then please include the model and make of your router. That will help us explain more. Hope that helps you understand modem/router lights. Take care.

    On computer ethernet ports there are usually two leds (on some machines there are no leds) One represents the connection state (fixed light) and the other represents activity. Connection state goes on when an active device is sensed at the other end of the cable (usually a switch). Usually the connection state is green or yellow/orange where green means higher speed and yellow/orange means lower speed. (Available speeds are 10/100/1000 megabits/sec). Speed is negotiated at connection, then is fixed. The activity led is usually green and blinks when data is sensed thru the port (either inbound or outbound).

    On cheap switches there is usually a single green led per port indicating connection, which blinks when data is seen passing. Advanced switches can have different meanings for lights depending on user action or configuration.

    There is no standards to define how the LEDs should behave on the RJ45 ethernet port connector. Normally a blinking LED means activity of data flow IN or OUT of the device. The blinking LED may be Green or Amber (Orange) color. The old devices use the amber (orange) LED to indicate link speed, when on = 100Mbps, when off = 10Mbps. But newer devices can operate in 3 different speeds, 10Mbps, 100Mbps and 1Gbps. IBM use to have at the left a two colors LED, orange/green, and at the right only green. The right green indicate activity, and the left two colors LED indicate as such: orange=1Gbps, Green=100Mbps, none=10Mbps. The Netgear switches use only two Green LEDs, one at the left side and other at the right side of the RJ45 connector, the left LED blinks off when the connection is 100Mbps, or the right LED blinks off with 10Mbps. Note that the Netgear blinks off, it means, with no activity the specific LED stays lit.

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    It depends ENTIRELY on the specific piece of gear – they vary, there is no standard, and sometimes they can vary even in different pieces of gear from the SAME MANUFACTURER (though that’s usually over multiple generations).

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    Every Ethernet port has blinking or steady lights. Its colors get changed according to situations. Most probably you get green. orange and yellow lights. Let’s understand what they mean:

    • A steady Green light indicates that the physical connection between devices is good. Data is not transferred just only the connection.
    • A yellow flashing light indicates that data is actively transmitting at high speed. It usually happens over 100 Mbps or Gbps.
    • A flashing green light means that the connection is good and data is transferring live. You are online and getting an internet connection.
    • A flashing orange light is a code for no internet connection. In that case, your router blinking orange light as well as your modem. You should call your internet provider.

    This question has a mistaken premise. All Ethernet network cables are not blue.

    Neat or not, different colors are often used.

    Electrons can’t see or read the colors of the insulating jacket that are in.

    Colors are only to help installers and maintenance people identify the wires. There is no uniform code for what to use. Wires in newly furnished offices and data centers are often bought in bulk and terminated to needed length so they all look alike then.

    They are available pretty much in any color. And the installers get to choose (or they use what they have) for whatever reason they have. If there are multiple networks, such as telephone and internet, they they may well use different color cables from the hub to the wall outlets of the building so as to avoid rather annoying swapping of data and voice lines or at least allow quick determination that that happened.

    When I was installing our engineering prototype equipment on a customers data room and needed to connect our wires to their network, I ordered all red cables (because our corporate logo and colors were red) to help any future servicemen trace out network connections if they came out there. And the cables between all my units in the rack were red.

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