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Mystery of the blinking modem lights solved

router lights internet service provider real threats botnets wi-fi thieves spyware

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#1 Hum

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 15:14

Your modem and router lights are blinking all the time – even when you know that no one is using the Internet. Is that a warning that something’s wrong?

Mostly, the lights on your modem or router indicate perfectly normal activity. Even when you aren’t actively browsing the web or downloading a video, your computer busily monitors all its network connections – to your Internet Service Provider, to your Wi-Fi-connected phones, and to other connected devices, like your cable box, AppleTV, or Xbox. And all of this communication shows up as activity on your modem or router.

While most blinking lights are nothing to worry about, there are some real threats that you should know how to protect yourself from.

Botnets: Botnets are software programs that scan through the Internet looking for unsecured computers they can take over and turn into zombie spam machines. But no need to panic here; any computer that has even a basic firewall or is behind a router is perfectly safe.

Wi-Fi Thieves: Wi-Fi thieves are most likely your neighbors who don’t feel like paying for their own service. This isn’t a big threat, except that it may slow down your own connection – plus, it isn’t really fair. If you suspect you have a Wi-Fi thief, log into your router and look at the list of devices connected. You should mostly see devices you recognize. If a neighbor is using your network, it’s likely their device will be simply labeled. These Wi-Fi thieves are generally thwarted pretty easily; just change the name of your router and your Wi-Fi password.

Viruses: if you have a virus on your computer, it could be sending traffic through your router too. Or worse, if someone has installed monitoring software, that could be sending out a log of all your Internet activity. To check, first run a virus scan and then try a network traffic monitor like Little Snitch for Mac or the Comodo Firewall for Windows machines.

source


#2 articuno1au

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 15:16

Why would you post this.. :\

#3 Draconian Guppy

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 15:17

not sure if serious...

#4 +Nik L

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 15:35

Dude, you're a valued member here, you bring the site a fair deal of real news. Why are you posting this absolute junk? Is it meant to be tongue-in-cheek? Are you mocking the ridiculous basic nature and 2005 feel to the article?

#5 +techbeck

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 15:37

Good news for those who do not know whats going on. I have been asked several times what the lights mean on modems. Not everyone is technically inclined and know.

#6 Buttus

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 15:41

it could also be that your computer has become sentient, and is searching the internet on it's own to learn more and become more powerful

#7 Haggis

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 15:42

Funnily enough i called my ISP the other day

they said Unplug everything from your router (which i did)

he said is the internet light still flashing, i said yeah

he went into a big fuss about should not be flashing as nothing is plugged in until i told him wireless devices

#8 OP Hum

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 15:47

Good news for those who do not know whats going on. I have been asked several times what the lights mean on modems. Not everyone is technically inclined and know.


At least someone gets it. ;)

#9 ILikeTobacco

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 15:50

This reminded me of something I once heard in college.

The reason computers, modems, routers, etc have blinking lights at all is because back in the day, when IT was showing off its crazy expensive servers to management and the higher ups, the higher ups wanted to see something "happening" like you would in a factory. The lights were basically added just to show them that hey, its doing something right now.

I was wondering if anyone had a source for this or if the professor was talking out of his ass.

#10 +techbeck

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 15:56

At least someone gets it. ;)


Wasnt hard to get.

#11 francescob

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 16:05

"Mostly, the lights on your modem or router indicate perfectly normal activity."
So they can also blink due to paranormal activity? Should I call Ghost Hunters?

#12 +Audien

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 16:07

Message for you in my post from the other day, Hum.

#13 francescob

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 16:08

The reason computers, modems, routers, etc have blinking lights at all is because back in the day, when IT was showing off its crazy expensive servers to management and the higher ups, the higher ups wanted to see something "happening" like you would in a factory. The lights were basically added just to show them that hey, its doing something right now

That finally explains why Blink 182 were so popular during the 90s.

#14 Growled

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 01:51

Thanks for the info, Hum. I wonder lots of time why my modem lights are flashing when I know no one is using the Internet.