How to Check if My Router Is Connected

By Tammy Columbo

Verify your router's connection to the LAN and to the Internet.
i Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

When you set up a router for the first time, there are several tests you can perform to check your connectivity. Visually check the connection between your broadband modem and router: the broadband modem is connected with an Ethernet cable to the “Internet” port on the router. Ensure that both the modem and router are plugged into a power source and that both devices are powered on. Check that the LEDs on both devices light up. Next, establish a wired connection between a computer and the router and test the Internet connection. Finally, connect a computer to the configured Wi-Fi network and check your computer's IP address. If all connections are successful, your router is connected and working fine.

Test Wired Connectivity

Plug an Ethernet cable into the Ethernet port on your computer.

Plug the other end of the Ethernet cable into one of the four ports on the router.

Open a Web browser on the computer and then navigate to any public site, such as Google. If the site renders in the browser, your connection to the Internet is successful.

Test Wi-Fi Connectivity

Point the mouse at the top right corner of the screen and then pull downward to open the Charms bar.

Click the “Settings” icon and then click the “Wi-Fi” icon to open the Available Networks list.

Click the name of your network in the Available Networks list and then click the “Connect” button. The password prompt for the network displays.

Type the password for your network and then click “OK.” A Wi-Fi connection is established with your router.

Open a browser and surf to a public site to test your Internet connectivity over Wi-Fi.

Check IP Address

Open the Charms bar by pointing the mouse at the upper right corner and pulling downward.

Click the “Search” icon and then click the “Command Prompt” shortcut. The Command Prompt window opens.

Type “ipconfig” at the command prompt and press “Enter.” The IP address next to the “IPV4“ label is your computer’s IP address. If an IP address is assigned to your computer, the router and your computer are communicating and the router is functioning properly.

Check Router Lights

Check the "Power" light on the router. This light should illuminate when the power cord is plugged in and the router is turned on. If the Power light does not display, other lights will not show because your router is not turning on. Try plugging the router into another electrical outlet or surge protector and then turning on the device.

Check the "Internet" light on the router. The Internet light displays when the router establishes a successful connection with your DSL or cable modem and can access the Internet. If the Internet light does not display, your router is not communicating with your ISP.

Check the "Wireless" light on the router if Wi-Fi is enabled and active on the device. The Wireless light indicates that a wireless signal is being sent from the router.

Check the "Ethernet Port" lights only if your computer is connected to the router with an Ethernet cable. The light for the connected port should illuminate. If the light does not display, try connecting the computer to the router with a different Ethernet cable.