Network Outages & Your Smartphone

If you’re at home and can’t connect to the Internet, what you want most is really very simple: you want your problem to go away so you can get online.

But it’s also good to know what the problem is. Especially if the problem is a network outage.

What’s a network outage?

Network outages are when there is a problem affecting many people, using a particular type of Internet service, in a defined area. In other words, it’s when the problem you’re having is not just you.

And that’s good to know that right away, because then you won’t waste time trying to fix your computer or troubleshoot your connection problem or even waste your time calling us for support.

So you should remember our Outage Alerts page within the EarthLink Support Center.

And more than just remember it, you should bookmark it.  On your smartphone.

Your smartphone is the best place to bookmark the Outage Alerts page because if you can’t get online at home using your DSL, Cable or Dial-Up Internet access and you want to check the outage page … you won’t be able to check the Outage page … because you can’t get online to do so. It’s an unfortunate catch 22, unless you have another way to get online.

But now your smartphone can come to the rescue.

So, right now, you should open your smartphone’s browser (it might just say Internet on your phone) and enter this web address: 

When the page opens, bookmark it, add it to your favorites, star it, etc. – save it for easy access later however your smartphone browser lets you.

Internet access outages, network outage alerts

The Outage Alerts page is a simple list of our services – Dialup, Cable, DSL, Voice, Web Hosting, Email and EarthLink 4G – and a column showing the current status of the service. Most of the time, as is the case right now, you’ll see All Clear listed for all our services (as you can see in the screenshot above), meaning there are no known network outages.

If there is a known network outage, you’ll see the outage listed in the Status column. You can check back with your smartphone and see when the outage is fixed, and then connect with your home Internet access.

If you see All Clear and you are still unable to connect to the Internet, then the problem is likely something on your end.

We’ve done some previous connection troubleshooting blog posts that can be very helpful and save you time (and aggravation) getting the problem fixed. Most of the time, very quick and easy solutions work to get you back online.

Depending on your access type, try these top 10 dial-up connection solutions, these cable Internet access troubleshooting tips,  these tips for fixing DSL connection problems, and these Wi-Fi home networking troubleshooting tips .

We hope you never need this information. But it’s best to be prepared. Just in case.

Cable Internet – Troubleshooting Cable Modem Connection Issues

Cable Internet access is more than just extremely fast. It’s also an extremely reliable way to connect to the Internet.

But connection issues do occasionally come up. The good news? Often you can quickly and easily troubleshoot and resolve the issue by looking at the cable Internet modem lights.

So, if you ever have problems connecting to the Internet, take a look at the cable modem lights and follow these recommendations.

Cable Modem Connection Light is Out

  • If the light on the front of your cable modem that indicates your cable connection (it may be labeled StatusOnline or Cable) is out or blinking, you will be unable to connect to the Internet.
  • To re-establish your Internet connection, first make sure that the coaxial cable is firmly connected to the back of your modem.
  • If the cable is properly connected to your modem and the light is still out, try to reset the modem.
  • To reset your cable modem, press and hold the Reset button for five seconds. If your modem does not have a Reset button, you will need to power cycle (turn off, then on) your modem. See the complete steps for power cycling your modem below.

Cable Modem Power Light is Out

  • If your modem’s power light is off, make sure that the modem is securely plugged in. Your cable modem should be plugged in and powered on 24 hours a day.
  • If the modem appears to be securely plugged in and the power indicator light is still out, test the outlet or power strip your modem is using by plugging something else in. You can also plug the modem into another outlet and/or power strip that you know is in good working condition.
  • If you have confirmed that your outlet and/or power strip are working and the cable is securely connected to the modem, but the power indicator is still off, a service call may be required. Try power cycling your modem (using the steps below) before you contact Technical Support.

Cable Modem PC Light is Out

  • 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 computer is on and your operating system loaded, your network card may not be functioning correctly.
  • To troubleshoot your cable modem connection, try the following:
  • Confirm that the Ethernet cable (which looks like a slightly enlarged phone cord) is securely plugged into both the cable modem and to the back of your computer. 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 to the back of the computer first and then the back of the cable modem.
  • Try running the diagnostic program that came with your network card, if available.
  • Reset your cable modem by pressing the reset button for five seconds or power cycle your modem using the steps below.
  • Shut down and then restart your computer.
  • If the above still does not solve the problem, please contact Technical Support.

Cable Modem Light is Blinking

  • If you are having problems receiving email or browsing the Web, you should verify that your cable Internet modem is successfully communicating with the broadband network.
  • Depending upon the type of modem you are using, the cable Internet connection indicator light on the front of your modem may be labeled as Status, Online or Cable.
  • If that light is blinking, you may need to reset your cable modem by pressing the Reset button for five seconds. If your modem does not have a Reset button, you will need to power cycle (turn off, then on) your modem (see detailed steps below).
  • If, after one or two minutes, the connection light on your cable modem continues to blink, a Technical Service call may be required.

Cable Modem Light is Orange

  • If the light on your cable modem labeled Status is orange, you will be unable to connect to the Internet. To re-establish your connection:
    1. Make sure that the coaxial cable is firmly connected to the back of your modem.
    2. If the light is still orange, try to reset your cable modem. To do so, unplug the modem and leave it unplugged for one minute.
    3. Plug the modem back in, and wait one or two minutes for it regain connection.
    4. If the light does not turn green, a Technical Service call may be required.

How to Power Cycle Your Cable Internet Modem

Windows Users

  1. Make sure the coaxial cable is plugged securely into your cable modem.
  2. Unplug the cable modem from the power source.
  3. Leave the modem unplugged for two minutes.
  4. Plug the cable modem directly into the wall outlet.
  5. Wait for the modem to regain block sync (this usually takes just one minute or less but may take up to five minutes).
  6. When your cable modem lights are illuminated and steady, try visiting at least two websites.
  7. If the lights on your cable modem are correctly illuminated but you can’t get on the Web, run winipcfg or ipconfig, verify that you have obtained a valid IP address and try release/renew.
  8. Try once more to access a couple of websites.
  9. If you still can’t connect to the Web, shut down your computer and turn off the power by pushing the On/Off button on your computer.
  10. Restore the power and turn your computer back on.
  11. Try connecting to the Web again.
  12. If your cable lights are properly illuminated and the steps above have failed to restore your connection, you will need to call Technical Support.

Mac Users

  1. Make sure the coaxial cable is plugged securely into your cable modem.
  2. Unplug the cable modem from the power source.
  3. Leave the modem unplugged for two minutes.
  4. Shut down the computer and turn it off.
  5. Plug the cable modem directly into the wall outlet.
  6. Wait for the modem to regain block sync (this usually takes just one minute or less but may take up to five minutes).
  7. Check the lights on your modem to ensure the cable lights are steady.
  8. If the lights are illuminated, try visiting various Web sites.
  9. If your cable lights are properly illuminated and the steps above have failed to restore your connection, you will need to call Technical Support.

 

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.