How to Connect a Switch to a Cable Modem

by Lita McLeary

A network switch is used to easily split an Internet connection to multiple computers. With the use of Ethernet cables, a DSL connection can be wired in no time. If you have several computers at home, a switch is the perfect solution for creating a small network. If you need to create a network for your office, it can also be used for larger networks. The following steps will help you connect your switch from a cable modem.

Step 1

Turn off the modem, switch and computers. Use the first Ethernet cable to connect the cable modem and switch by attaching the cable from the “DSL” port of the modem to the “Internet” port of the network switch.

Step 2

Use another Ethernet cable to attach into the first numbered port of the switch while connecting the other end to the LAN port of your first computer. Use other Ethernet cables to connect your other computers from the switches to their respective LAN ports. Ensure that the cables are properly connected to the ports. You should see yellow or orange lights blinking from the Ethernet cables. This indicates that the cables are detected by the computers.

Step 3

Power on the modem, network switch and computers. See if the LED lights of the switch are blinking. If not, check to be sure the switch is properly plugged into the power source. Ensure that the computers that you connect to the network have functioning network adapters.

Check to see that the network adapter’s driver is properly installed in Windows. Load the device manager by clicking on “Start” and then “Run.” Type “devmgmt.msc” to open the “Device Manager” window. Locate “Network Adapter” or “Ethernet Controller” and see if there is a yellow question mark or exclamation point beside it. If there is, you may need to install the driver. Place the software disc into the optical drive and run the installer. Restart the computer for changes to take effect.


  • Several switches can be used at once if you want to expand the network to several other computers. For example, if you have eight computers and you only have a 4-port switch, you may purchase another 4-port switch to expand the network, instead of buying a new 8-port switch. To connect two switches, plug an Ethernet cable to a numbered port in the first switch and connect the other end to the “Internet” port of the second switch. Switches come in 4, 8, 16, or 32 ports.

Items you will need

  • Network switch
  • Ethernet cables

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