Why Is My Ethernet Light Blinking Orange? (+ How to Fix It)

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This is why your Ethernet light is blinking orange.

You’ll learn:

  • Why your Ethernet light is blinking orange
  • How to fix your Ethernet light blinking orange
  • Lots more

Let’s get started!

Why Your Ethernet Light Is Blinking Orange and How to Fix It

Ethernet was originally developed to provide techies with an easy way to connect all their devices to one network, specifically on a local scale. 

Although Ethernet runs at much faster speeds than Wi-Fi (40 Gbps vs. 9.6 Gbps), Wi-Fi has taken center stage since Xerox PARC developed this hardware in 1973.

Because of how many fewer techies use Ethernet versus Wi-Fi, in addition to a lack of standardization for LED lights between manufacturers, it’s tough to find answers for an Ethernet light blinking orange.

Fortunately, this in-depth overview will let you know what could be going on and how to fix it:

What to Know if Your Ethernet Port Light’s Not On or Blinking

Blinking lights on Ethernet cables are not just annoying, but they’re also pretty confusing.

People tend to get mixed up when trying to identify the issues with this tech because there is no one standard that ethernet cable manufacturers have to adhere to. 

This means that if the maker of your Ethernet cable and router wanted the warning lights to blink pink, then you’ll be stuck Googling why is my Ethernet orange light on? until you run into someone who happens to have the same model and problem as you. 

You may not want to read this, but here we go:

An Ethernet light blinking orange can mean a lot of different things. (Yes, the dreaded it depends answer!) Thanks to the lack of manufacturing standardization, the exact problem that the light may be alerting you to depends on your router’s make and model.

What Does a Blinking Orange Light Mean? 

Depending on your router’s make and model, there can be several reasons why your Ethernet cable is emitting an orange warning light.

For instance, some routers will produce an orange light to indicate the specific connection speed.

You might find that, when connecting to a device that has a 10, 100, or 1000 Mbps connection, the light will blink instead of sustaining a solid glow. 

In other cases, the blinking is a sign that the router lacks a connection entirely or that there are significant speed issues that are hindering acceptable performance. 

Examples of Ethernet Port Lights on But No Connection and More

Take this example from the Oracle Technology Network: Their standards for LED lights and what they may signal are as follows:

  • Amber (what many refer to as “orange”): When this is on, it’s signaling that the device is operating as a Gigabit connection, or in other words, has a connection speed of 1000 Mbps. 
    • Based on the lack of instruction for an Ethernet light blinking orange, you can assume that, normally, your Ethernet orange light will not be blinking. It may be the green light instead. 
  • Green: A solid green light means that the device is operating with a 100 Mbps connection.
    • If the green light is blinking on the right LED, this means there is no activity on the port.*

*In some cases, the Ethernet will have no green light. In fact, you may find that the lights are not on or that there is no Ethernet blink code at all. If so, you should default to looking for signs with the amber or orange light on to identify the potential problem with your Ethernet port on PC.

Caveats to Consider About Your Ethernet Light Blinking Orange

In the above case, an Ethernet light blinking orange may be informing you of challenges with the connection speed. 

Additionally, based on the descriptions provided by ORACLE Tech, the manufacturer may not reasonably expect the orange light on the Ethernet port on PC to blink at all and will inform you that the behavior is somewhat exclusive to the right green LED.

On the other hand, you may have Ethernet with no green light. If so, independent service providers like Router Support generally advise that an Ethernet light blinking orange means that your router is struggling with complications with the following three item types:

  • Hardware: The tangible parts of the system like the router and Ethernet cable. 
  • Software: Quite the opposite of hardware, in that these components are not physical but digital. Software includes your operating system and wireless connection, for example. 
  • Firmware: This is a type of software that is coded specifically for your router. 

If this is the case, the issue may not be related to your connection speed, but your router’s mechanical or digital failure to function appropriately.

Additional Reasons for a Blinking Orange Light

If you’re not finding an issue with the connection speed, consider the possibility that one or more of the following issues might be plaguing your device:

  • The WAN port may have experienced recent activity. The WAN (wide-area network) port is a central component that allows your router to connect to the internet and share the connection with other devices via Ethernet. An Ethernet light blinking with no internet could result from this.
  • There may be activity on the wireless band. Wireless bands (also known as “frequency bands” are responsible for transmitting your wireless data between devices. These come in two frequencies: 2.4 GHz (provides broader coverage, but slower speeds) and 5 GHz (faster at smaller distances). 
    • Note: Similar to the above problem, an Ethernet light could be orange with no internet.
  • The router is processing a newly connected USB device. Did you just plug in a new device via USB? If so, nothing is wrong with your router. Instead, it’s simply trying to identify the new device so it can access the LAN. 
    • The LAN (local area network) is a group of devices that are all operating within the same location. For example, your computer, video game console, and Smart TV are all operating on the same LAN within your home. 

So, what’s the bottom line here? There are a ton of reasons why your Ethernet light could be blinking orange. Still, no matter what it is, you can fix the issues with the following solutions. 

How to Fix Orange Light on Ethernet Port Issues

There are a few different ways you can stop an Ethernet port orange light from blinking, all of which are quite simple. If these solutions do not work, then you may simply have a broken Ethernet cable and will need to replace the hardware altogether. 

Information on how to check if an Ethernet port is working and stop the Ethernet card blinking orange light is below.

Method 1: Reestablishing the LAN Connection

The first way you can try to fix your Ethernet troubles is to reestablish the LAN connection. Do this by following the steps below:

  1. Unplug the Ethernet cable connecting the router and the modem. (Unplug on both ends.)
  2. Plug the Ethernet cable back into the two devices. 
  3. If the issue was a simple connectivity error, the blinking should stop and the connection should be restored. At this point, you can leave your Ethernet cable plugged in and continue using your internet as normal. 

Unfortunately, this may not always work, as the problem may be much greater than a mere connectivity error. If you’re still struggling to keep a good connection, move on to the following methods. 

Method 2: Check for Overheating

Sometimes, blinking lights can mean that your router is overheating. This shouldn’t be happening with newer devices, but those who have had the routers long enough for pet hair, dust, and other debris to accumulate in the router’s vents are more likely to see this happen. 

In addition to the blinking light, you can tell that overheating is the problem if you notice any of the signs listed below:

  • Failed internet connections
  • Significantly slower connection speeds
  • The router smells like burnt plastic
  • The hardware starts to decline in functionality 

If the overheating continues, you will need to replace or repair your router eventually. For now, though, follow these instructions to stop the blinking light and restore your connection:

  1. Power the router down.
  2. Leave it off for 30 seconds. 
  3. While the router is off, examine it for any debris buildup. If you identify a blocked vent or similar issue, clear it with compressed air. 
  4. Turn the router back on. 

This should give your device a moment to cool down and prevent the problem from happening again in the near future. 

Method 3: Reset the Router

The reset instructions may vary between manufacturers, so you’ll want to get a good look at your user manual to learn how to reset the device correctly. Generally, you can use the steps listed below to complete your reset. 

Before you proceed, please know that performing a full reset means that your device will return to its factory settings. This means you’ll have to configure everything back to how you had it before, which can be a hassle. 

With this in mind, please leave this as a last resort! Unless your router is old or just a crappy device

  1. Locate your router’s reset button (it’s usually on the back panel). 
  2. Hold the reset button for about 10 seconds. (You might need to hold it for either a longer or shorter period, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.) 
  3. Wait while the router reboots, and then watch for the blinking light again. This usually takes about 3-5 minutes but can vary between devices. 

If you’ve done all this and are still not having any luck getting rid of the orange blinking light, then the problem may not be the router at all. Instead, your Ethernet cable could be to blame. 

(If all you have to do is bump the cable to break the internet connection, resulting in the Ethernet cable light blinking orange, then you know for sure that the cable is the problem.) 

Still, before you assume this, make sure that the router’s hardware and firmware are up-to-date. If not, you’ll want to get those updates in before moving onto the cable itself.

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