meaning of modem lights

Preston Hagar prestonh at
Tue Jan 19 20:07:11 UTC 2010

On Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 11:04 AM, a_puzzeled_newbie(^_^); <
benjamin1254 at> wrote:

> @Preston usually when a modem resets itself its to refresh the IP from ur
> network to the web. I have a cable box myself and it does this every few
> months to make room for other ppl who subscribe to the isp.
> --ben
> i also called my isp to check to see why modems do that and thats the
> reasoning they gave me!
I actually haven't had cable Internet in about 6 years, so I am quite
possibly behind the times.  When I did have it, I was resetting the modem
manually (by unplugging it and plugging it back in), it wouldn't reset
itself.  I generally do the same thing with my DSL modem occasionally
(although not nearly as often as it seemed I had to do with cable).

As to the suggestion of calling the ISP and fighting with them, I did that
originally.  I had a Linksys router behind my modem and my desktop typically
ran Linux, although it was dual boot.  There were also 2 other guys I shared
the house with (and Internet, the main reason for the router).  Each time I
would call tech support, I would have to disconnect my Linksys router (since
they didn't support it) and plug the cable modem directly into one computer
running Windows.  I would go through a tedious checklist which typically
finished with unplugging and plugging in the cable modem, after which things
would usually work.

I had them replace the cable modem once (they replaced it with the same
model), but still had the same issues.  I had them come out and generally
fought with them for a long time.  Since I live in the US and like most
places in the US the ISP at my location was basically a monopoly (you can
choose either the cable company or the phone company for your Internet, and
that is it), switching providers wasn't a real option.  Instead of wasting
2-3 hours on it each week (after you count in hold times, checklists,
rebooting into Windows, removing the Linksys router, then undoing
everything), I decided that it just wasn't worth the stress or trouble and
just spent about 30 seconds of my time once a week (walk by the modem and
unplug, walk by it about 10 minutes later and plug back in) and all my
troubles went away.  It probably didn't need it once a week, but it didn't
hurt anything either and my Internet was only used for surfing and game
playing, no hosting or anything so it would just cause about a 20 minute
outage (at most) at a regular time when no one was usually using the
Internet anyway.  Overall I found that much easier.

I still do the same with my DSL, although not near as often.  Usually I wait
till it seems "flaky" and then just power cycle the modem.  99% of the time
it fixes it.  The minute or two of my time every month or two isn't worth
even one 3 hour session with tech support for a fix that likely won't come,
and like I said before I have only one other ISP choice at my current
location that will almost certainly have the same issues, so switching to a
different ISP won't really help.

Anyway, I don't know if this has helped the OP at all, I just saw several
replies to my reply and thought I would explain my reasoning a little more
clearly.  In a perfect world it would be possible to get "residential"
Internet that is completely reliable without having to do modem reboots, but
in my experience, it really isn't possible and really isn't worth the
trouble to try.  With all that said, if the OP (or anyone else) has
"business-class" Internet service with some time of service level agreement,
then I would throw a huge fit until it was fixed.  That said, most
"business" DSL and cable accounts, again in my experience, are nothing more
than residential accounts with static IPs and double the price.

Sorry for the long post, I just thought I would fully clarify what I was
getting at.

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