DSL Modem Shows Connected But I Cannot Get to the Internet

By Steven Hill

Your DSL modem may be connected, but you aren't.
i Amos Morgan/Photodisc/Getty Images

Your DSL modem may report that it is connected, but you can't access the Internet. That means that the modem has successfully established a connection to your ISP, but something is blocking your access. The fault for this can lie in several places, such as your computer or home network. You may be able to troubleshoot it yourself, depending on the location of the problem.

Activation Date

Sometimes when you subscribe to a DSL provider, it will send you the equipment ahead of time. This saves both you and the company the trouble of having a technician come out to do the install. However, you still might not be able to get a connection because of your activation date. Your ISP may have provided you with a date and time by which your service should be active. You may not have a connection because your service has not yet been activated by your ISP. Contact them or check your contract or agreement for an activation date and time.

Network Equipment

If you have shared your DSL connection across multiple computers and devices using a networking device such as a router or hub, that may cause connection issues. Even though your modem reports that it has a connection, that connection may have stopped at your network device. Try power cycling both the modem and the router or hub by unplugging or turning both of them off for 15 to 30 seconds each, then powering them back on, modem first, then the router once the modem is fully operational (all normal lights are showing, for instance). If this doesn't work, bypass your router or hub completely and plug the modem directly into a computer. If this works, you may need to purchase new networking equipment. Contact your carrier to resolve the issue.

Home Network

Check your computer or computers to make certain that the network connections are still active. They may need to be repaired or enabled. Click "Start," "Control Panel," "Network and Internet," "Network and Sharing Center" and "Change Adapter Settings." The window then displays your current networking devices. If your device is listed as "Disabled," right-click and click "Enable." If the device shows it is still enabled, right-click it and then click "Diagnose." Allow it to repair the connection, or follow the steps it suggests to do next.

Other Possibilities

Check all of your ethernet cables. If any have become unseated from their sockets, that may be the cause of your connection loss. Plug any loose or disconnected cables back into their ports. Double-check that the account information you entered to access the service is current, and that your account is paid. If the user name or password are incorrect, or if you forgot to pay the bill, your account may have been blocked. Contact your ISP's customer service if you continue to experience problems.