If you subscribe to a cable or DSL internet service, your modem will act as a bridge to connect your cable service directly to your computer or your wireless router.
Your router, on the other hand, works to connect one computer network to another. The most common router for the casual consumer is the wireless router. The wireless router basically functions as a connection point to transmit your wired computer network to your wireless network.
All modems and routers have a series of lights that are designed to provide you with information regarding your internet connection. While most brands provide lights for similar purposes, every device will have a slightly different lighting configuration.
When your internet is working properly, take a minute to jot down exactly what your modem and router lights are doing. Write down the color of the lights, whether or not they're flashing, how fast they're flashing and if any of the lights are off. With this information on hand, the instant your internet stops working, you'll be able to tell if there's something amiss that the router or modem is trying to communicate. When writing this information down, make sure you check the back of the device as well to see if there are lights that display in the back.
Whether you're using a modem, a router or a combination of the two, the lights will provide you with certain information regarding your internet connection. Most devices will communicate the following information, although it's important to check your user manual to verify how the lights are supposed to display on your device:
If you have different lights than the ones listed here, make sure you consult with your manual or an online resource to confirm their purpose.