Each router has a swarm of little lights – and they don’t always mean the same thing. Each internet service provider offers different equipment to its customers, which means familiarizing yourself with a new setup every time. When you notice the Spectrum router is blinking red, there are a few things you may want to do to ensure your network is running in good condition.
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What Do the Lights on Spectrum Routers Mean?
Like most routers, Spectrum routers use lights to send messages about the status of your connection. Almost any router on the market will have lights to tell you whether you’re connected, whether the connection is not working, and whether the router is working as intended.
The only tricky part is learning which lights mean which status. It varies depending on your router, and sometimes a red light that flashes isn’t enough information. For example, a red light pulsing on its own means one thing. A red light alternating in flashes with a blue light means something else entirely.
How to Diagnose a Blinking Red Light?
The first thing you should always do to figure out precisely what’s wrong with a router is to seek out the manual. Customers using Spectrum aren’t necessarily using the same router, which means each light could have a different meaning, according to its manufacturer.
One of your next steps should be testing your internet connection. If it’s working correctly on all devices, you probably don’t have much to worry about. Lack of connectivity or slower speeds can indicate a problem, though.
To test your internet connection, navigate to a speed testing website and let it run a test. If you run these on a regular basis when your connection is good, you have a solid baseline to indicate whether your network is experiencing problems. You’re looking for low ping and speeds that are in line with what you expect from your plan.
One important thing to remember: you won’t always get the highest possible speed. My house has a gigabit connection from Comcast, but we haven’t upgraded our Nighthawk router in a while, and my primary computer is relatively far from the modem and router. Even though our speed is rated much higher, I still only see about 500 Mbps download speeds. So your speeds may not be what the plan says, but they should be acceptable for what you subscribe to.
After you’ve consulted your manual and checked your speeds, it’s time to start troubleshooting your router.
Fixing a Spectrum Router With a Blinking Red Light
A blinking red light means that the router isn’t connecting to the internet properly. You can try to fix this, though it won’t always be possible. Sometimes the network just isn’t operable, and that isn’t something you can fix at home.
However, you can sometimes get it to work again just by refreshing the network. You will have to reset the router to its factory default setting in more severe cases.
Reach Out to Spectrum
To save time, you can check the status of your connection by location. This lets you know whether your home address is included in system upgrades or repairs. If your address is currently having work done or some kind of accident cut your internet, you’ll know to simply wait to address router issues until the network is fixed.
If there isn’t an outage, you can try power cycling your router and modem from your Spectrum account.
- Go to Spectrum’s Storm Center page.
- Click Chat with Us.
- Type “Am I in an outage?” in the chat box that appears. Press Enter.
- Follow the prompts to get the information you need. If you aren’t in an outage, continue with the following steps to reset your connection.
- Sign in to Spectrum.
- Choose Your Services.
- Click the Internet tab.
- View the status of your service. If there’s a connection issue, a button that says Troubleshoot will be available. Click it.
- Click Restart Equipment.
- Click Restart Equipment again.
Your service will be down while the equipment restarts. Find something offline to do for about ten minutes and then return to your computer and perform another speed test to see whether it’s fixed.
If you can’t do these steps on your computer because of the connection, you can always do them on your phone.
Resetting the Network
If using the Spectrum site didn’t work, you can reset your router manually. If you’re using a separate router and modem setup, it’s better to go ahead and work with both to ensure the problem is resolved.
- Unplug your router from the wall. Disconnect it from the modem.
- Unplug your modem from the wall.
- Walk away for five minutes.
- Return to the modem and plug it in. Wait another five minutes for the connection to start and secure itself. While it may happen faster, it’s always better to take the time and not rush to ensure you did it right. Check the modem to be sure all the lights are indicating a solid connection.
- Plug in the router and reconnect it to the modem. Wait for the lights to all become lit. You want to see whether there’s a change in how the lights display. If the light is still red, there’s no problem with Spectrum’s network, and your internet still isn’t working, it may be time to factory reset your router.
Usually, resetting your modem and router can resolve problems with your equipment. Remember that if your problems are only happening on a specific internet-connected device and not the router itself, it could be an issue with that computer or device not connecting correctly.
Resetting Your Router
Resetting your router means getting rid of any personalization and having it work like it did when you first set it up. You’ll have to reset anything you did online through the router’s settings.
- Look for a slot labeled Reset on the back of the router. Most models have an opening small enough for a needle so that you can’t accidentally reset the router when trying to move it.
- Unbend a paperclip so that you can reach into the reset area.
- Press down on the button in the reset slot with the end of the paperclip. You need to hold the button down for at least five seconds. Some models may require that you hold it down for more time.
It’s as simple as that to reset your Spectrum router. Once you’re done, power cycle it again and wait for it to get a connection to see whether the problem is solved. If the light is still blinking red, you may need to reach out and get help from a Spectrum tech.
What if the Light Isn’t Blinking or Isn’t Only Showing Red?
If the light blinks red but alternates that with blue, it means something very different. Your router uses firmware that has to be updated occasionally. You don’t want to do anything to your router during this update because it’s essential and shouldn’t be interrupted.
When you see the red blinking alternated with blue, leave it alone until it returns to a different status.
If your red flashing light stops flashing and is solid, that’s another sign that you need to speak with Spectrum. A solid red light means there are serious, problematic issues that need to be fixed. They could indicate that you need another router.