Cable Internet Access – Connection Troubleshooting

Cable Internet access modem (example) - Learn how to troubleshoot Internet connection problems.

Cable Internet Access Modem (Example: Your cable modem may look different)

The vast majority of our high-speed DSL and broadband Cable Internet users connect to the Internet every day without any issues.

But nothing’s perfect.

So a while back, we posted tips for high-speed DSL users to help solve DSL Internet connection problems.

Today we’ll provide the same kind of troubleshooting tips for high-speed users who are experiencing a cable Internet access connection problem. Cable Internet access problems are, thankfully, rare. But it’s good to know what you should do first if you ever do experience a problem.

2 Easiest Ways to Fix Most Cable Internet Connection Problems

  1. Reset Your Cable Internet Modem – Most high-speed cable Internet modems have a Reset button (either on the front or back of your modem depending on which brand you hve). If your cable modem has one, press and hold the reset button for 5 seconds. This is the first thing you should try if you are having connection problems. If yours doesn’t have a reset button, you will need to powercycle your cable Internet modem (see #2).
  2. Powercycle Your Cable Internet Modem – If resetting your modem doesn’t resolve your connection problems (or if your modem doesn’t have a reset button), you should powercycle your cable Internet modem. That may sound serious, but it basically just means turning your modem off and back on again. Follow these steps for your operating system:

How to Powercycle for Windows Computers

  1. Make sure the coaxial cable is plugged securely into your cable Internet modem and the wall outlet (loose cables can cause you to lose your Internet connection or experience slow Internet connectivity).
  2. Unplug your cable modem from its power source.
  3. After 2 minutes, plug your cable modem back into the wall outlet.
  4. When the lights on your modem are steady (this typically takes from 1 – 5 minutes), try visiting various Web sites.

Troubleshooting Problems After Powercycling

After powercycling your cable Internet modem, if the modem lights look good but you can’t connect to any Web sites follow these steps.

  1. Run winipcfg or ipconfig, verify that you have a valid IP address, and choose release/renew. Then try visiting various websites.
  2. If you still are unable to connect to websites, shut down your computer and turn off the power.
  3. Wait 30 seconds, turn your computer back on, and try visiting several websites.
  4. If you’ve completed the previous steps, your cable modem lights are properly illuminated, and you still can’t visit any websites, you may need to call Technical Support. Get the phone number for your cable company.

How to Powercycle for Mac Computers

  1. Make sure the coaxial cable is plugged securely into your cable Internet modem and the wall outlet (loose cables can cause you to lose your cable Internet connection or experience slow Internet connectivity).
  2. Unplug your cable modem from its power source.
  3. After 2 minutes, shut down your computer and turn it off.
  4. Plug the cable modem directly into the wall outlet.
  5. When the lights on your modem are steady (this typically takes from 1 – 5 minutes), try visiting various Web sites.

Troubleshooting Other Cable Internet Modem Issues (PC & Mac)

  • Cable Modem Power Light is Out
    1. Check that your modem is securely plugged in to its power source. Your cable modem should be plugged in and powered on 24 hours a day.
    2. If the cable modem is securely plugged in and the power indicator light is still out, try plugging it into another outlet and/or power strip that you know is working.
    3. If the above still does not solve the problem, a service call may be required. Get the phone number for your cable company.
  • Cable Modem PC Light is Out
    1. If the light on the back of your computer (next to the Ethernet cable connection) and/or the light labeled PC on your cable modem is out while your PC is on and your operating system loaded, your network card may not be functioning correctly.
    2. To troubleshoot your cable modem connection, try the following:
    3. Verify that the Ethernet cable (also called RJ-45 network cable) is properly plugged into both the cable modem and to the back of your computer. The Ethernet cable looks like a fat phone cord. If the cable looks securely plugged in and the light on the back of your computer or your cable modem is still out, try unplugging the cable and plugging it back in from the back of the computer and the back of the cable modem. Try running the diagnostic program that came with your network card, if available. Reset or powercycle (turn off, then on) your cable modem. Shut down and restart your computer. (see above for more details on powercycling).
    4. If the above still does not solve the problem, you may need to contact Technical Support. Get the phone number for your cable company.
  • Cable Modem Light is Blinking
    1. If you’re having problems receiving email or browsing the Web, make sure that your cable Internet modem is successfully communicating with the broadband network.
    2. If the cable connection indicator light on your modem is blinking, you may need to reset the modem. Depending upon the type of modem you are using, the cable connection indicator light may be labeled as status, online or cable. (If you are not sure what the lights on your particular modem mean, check in your cable modem owner’s manual.)
    3. To reset your modem, press the reset button on the front or back of your modem. If your modem does not have a reset button, you will need to powercycle (turn off, then on) your modem (see above for more details on powercycling).
    4. Wait 2 minutes. If the light on your cable modem continues to blink, a you may need to call Technical Support. Get the phone number for your cable company.
  • Cable Modem Light is Orange
    1. If you’re having problems getting online, check the lights on the front of your cable Internet modem. If the modem light labeled Status is orange, you will be unable to connect to the Internet. Follow these steps to re-establish your connection:
    2. Make sure the coaxial cable is securely connected to the back of your modem.
    3. If the cable is properly connected to your modem and the Status light is still orange, try to reset the modem. To reset your modem, press the reset button on the front or back of your modem. If your modem does not have a reset button, you will need to powercycle (turn off, then on) your modem (see above for more details on powercycling).
    4. After you’ve plugged the modem back in, wait 2 minutes to regain your cable Internet connection.
    5. If the light does not turn green, a service call may be required. Get the phone number for your cable company.

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