My DSL is down. What do I do?

Part 2, some advanced tricks.

Checking Modem Lights - Westell Wirespeed

The lights on this modem are he best way to find out the status of your DSL. Here's a chart that gives the meanings of all the lights.

LED State Description
POWER Solid Green Power is ON
No Light There is no Power
READY Slow Flashing Green Power is ON, modem has passed power-up diagnostics (1 flash/second)
Moderate Flashing Green Power is ON, modem is attempting synchronization (2 flashes/second)
Solid Green Power ON, and synchronized with ADSL line
Solid Red Hardware power-up in progress
Flashing Red Unit failed power-up diagnostic
Alternating Red/Green Modem diagnostic failed
No Light There is no Power
LINK Solid Green Link established over 10BaseT Ethernet cable
No Light No 10BaseT Ethernet link
ACTIVITY Pulsing Yellow Data is being received or transmitted. Pulses should match the reception or transmission of Ethernet data.
No Light No Data on Ethernet interface

You need green lights for a happy modem. You cannot proceed to the next step until one way or another you get this problem sorted out. Possible problems include:

At this point, if you don't have good lights on the modem, and you call us, we will try and test the line to see if we can transmit packets over the line and observe the modem. If the tests come out positive and we can see the modem then we will ask you to continue to the steps below. The problem is likely between the modem and your computer. Otherwise we will replace the modem and then try again to see if we can see the modem.

If the modem has DSL sync according to the lights, proceed to the next step.

Simplify network cabling to eliminate routers and hubs

If you get to this step it means your line is down, but we can see your modem. Next we will try and test the connection from your modem to your computer. Most customers use routers and firewalls, but that's too complicated for diagnosing DSL problems, so we must simplify the cabling.

Remove any router, hub, or other device and connect your computer to the modem directly. Use the cable that came with the modem. See the note below about crossover and straight through cables if you have problems with the type of cable. Make sure you are using the grey ethernet cable that shipped with your DSL modem from Verizon. If you have lost this cable then you can use a standard "crossover" cable instead. Only use a "straight through" cable for modems shipped after the summer of 2000 and with serial numbers ending in 14. Serial numbers are found on the bottom of the modem.

Your next step is to verify that the computer has ethernet connectivity to your modem. This is an absolute requirement. Your computer must be able to talk to the modem or nothing is going to work.

How to see if you have ethernet connectivity (Windows XP)

You can observe ethernet connectivity by looking at the connection icon on the lower right of your screen. Hover the mouse over the icon and it will tell you if ethernet is connected or not. Very easy. See picture below, look where the mouse is. You can also click on this icon to bring local area connection status up on the screen (see diagram).

If you don't see the little two-tv's icon (look at diagram) then you probably don't have ethernet connectivity at all. You can double check by going to Start->Control Panels->Network Connections->Local Area Network and double click on it. This will bring up the same dialog shown above (see diagram above).

If status is "not connected" then you need to sort out the cables and get ethernet connection going before you go to the next step. This line isn't going to work unless the ethernet connection from your computer to your modem is working.

How to see if you have ethernet connectivity (Mac)

In order for your computer to get on the internet it has to have a good ethernet connection to the modem.

Here's how to test (Mac). From your hard disk, go to applications, then utilities, then find the network utility.

Refer to the diagram below which shows what my computer looks like right now. My computer is connected to a router, so I have an IP address that starts with 192. (see diagram). Ethernet is "UP" so the page shows "Link Status Active". If I don't see link status active there is a problem.

If your computer does not show link status active, then you have a cabling problem. Very likely you have the wrong cable (crossover and straightthrough). If you have one cable and it doesn't work, try the other kind. If you have straight through and it doesn't work, try crossover (see explanation below of how to tell).

If status is "not connected" then you need to sort out the cables and get ethernet connection going before you go to the next step. This line isn't going to work unless the ethernet connection from your computer to your modem is working.

You should also test the cable if you can. Cables can and do go bad. It would be a terrible mistake to have your internet down and nothing working just because of a $5 cable. But it's easy to test them.

How to identify a crossover cable

Ethernet cables all look about the same but the colored wires inside are either "straight through" or "crossover". If you are having a problem with a cable it might be that you have the wrong kind. There are no absolute rules but straight through cables are generally used to connect computers to hubs or routers. Crossover cables are generally used between the modem and a computer with no router. There are exceptions so you must test and if one doesn't work try the other kind.

Here's how to tell the difference: hold up both ends of the cable and look at the colored wires as shown in the diagram below.

The picture below shows a CROSSOVER CABLE.

A crossover cable (the one that is usually supplied with the modem) has in 1 on one end and pin 8 on the other end, the same color. See diagram.

How to identify a straight through cable

A straight through cable has pin one connected to pin one (same color on the left side on both ends). Actually every wire will be the same.

Ping your gateway

The "ping" command is used to test the line. We will use the "ping" command, which exists in both Mac and Windows, to test your connection.

The gateway is the device that is at the other end of your telephone line. Ping tests connectivity. So when you ping your gateway you are testing whether your local telephone line is carrying a dsl signal. Before you do this you should make sure you have happy lights on the modem. You do? Ok, let's check the line.

In order to do this, you need to know your gateway IP address. This will vary depending on the IP address of your computer. It's usually the same as the computer IP address, but put "1" for the last number.

For example, if my address as, then my gateway is

Note that if you are behind a firewall, your address is a dummy address and the gateway you want to ping it the gateway that the router sees.

For windows, open a DOS window and type the following


To open a dos window, from the start menu enter "cmd" in the search box, and a black window will come up that allows you to type commands.

For Macintosh open a Terminal window. From your hard disk look for the file application->utilities->terminal, start it up, and type the following:


For either one, the output should look something like this:

[Gramory-Laptop:~] username% ping
PING ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=242 time=45.135 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=242 time=45.902 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=242 time=45.998 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=242 time=45.421 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=242 time=45.674 ms
--- ping statistics ---
5 packets transmitted, 5 packets received, 0% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max = 202.674/203.225/203.902 ms
[Gramory-Laptop:~] username%

The important thing is to see that the ping times (around 45 in the example above) are reasonable and packet loss negligible. If ping succeeds you are done, otherwise continue to the next step.

Remember, my gateway may not be the same as yours.

If you can't find a gateway, try This may or may not be the gateway for your particular line but you should be able to ping it regardless.

Try connection again

If you got this far, then your modem is online, and you have a good ethernet connection. You should be able to get online. The next step is to go back to the top and start over again. Try pinging your gateway.

If you have ethernet connectivity and you can't ping the gateway then it is time to check the setup configuration. These instructions are intended simply to help with diagnosing downed lines. We won't repeat the basic setup instructions here. You can find the basic setup instructions on our website at

Report problems

If you can't figure it out call us on 310-395-5500 or email for more help. If everything is set up as we describe above, but your modem won't synch up then it may well be a Verizon problem that is the issue. We will test things on our side and if we can't get it to work, we will be happy to file a ticket for you. Please be sure you have followed all the steps above including restarting everything, simplifying the network, and making sure that you have an ethernet connection so that we can try from our side and see what is up or down.

Please keep in mind, we will generally only file a trouble ticket with Verizon if we can't see your modem and everything else seems to be working including ethernet synch. Please keep in mind also that we will be pretty insistent about doing things exactly the way described above. For example, we will not help diagnose a complicated network. We will ask you to connect one computer to the dsl and get that working before trying anything with networks.

Please keep in mind that if you ask repeatedly for replacement modems we will start to suspect that the modem isn't the problem. If two or three modems give the same bad results it's probably not the modem.

Finally we ask you to be polite to our technical support staff. They are underpaid and overworked and the last thing they need is some mean person calling them up and yelling at them. These are people who are trying to help you so please be nice to them.