Why my Ethernet cable is blinking orange

It can be a little bit jarring to see a blinking light on your Ethernet cable when the device you plugged it into isn’t even powered on. Why is my Ethernet cable blinking orange? For that matter, why is that light constantly blinking? Is that bad? In this blog post, I will explain what the two lights on an Ethernet port mean.

Is it normal for my Ethernet cable to blink orange?

why is my Ethernet blinking orange?
It is normal for the light on the top right of your Ethernet port to blink. The color can be green or orange or amber. The activity light blinking indicates the card is working.

There are two lights on your Ethernet port, a link light and an activity light. Whichever light that is blinking orange or amber is the activity light.

There is activity on the network even if your device isn’t powered on. Ethernet even has the ability to power a system on if you send the system a specific command. That is one reason why you will see the orange or amber light blinking even if the system isn’t on.

When the system is powered on and working and talking over the network, that blinking light is an indicator but the network connection is functioning. Technicians will use this when troubleshooting the network. If the cable is plugged in but there is no blinking light, that can indicate problem with the connection is on the other side of the cable, or a problem with the cable itself.

What the lights on Ethernet port mean

There are two lights on your Ethernet port. Looking directly at the port, the light on the top left is the link speed indicator. The color of the light changes depending on the speed of your connection. The meaning of the color can vary, but generally speaking, on network cards, orange or amber means a 1000 megabit, or gigabit connection and green means a slower 100 megabit connection. The color indicators on your switch tend to vary more than on the cards themselves. Frequently there will be a legend somewhere on the switch to tell you what the colors mean.

If you have gigabit Ethernet and the card is only connecting at 100 megabits, I have some troubleshooting steps. Gigabit Ethernet used to be considered a luxury, but it’s become rather affordable and I find it’s better to have gigabit, because if your upstream Internet is any faster than 100 megabit, you need gigabit to take full advantage of it.

The light on the top right is frequently orange. Regardless of the color, it is normal for that light to blink, and the faster that light blinks, the more data is moving and the harder your Ethernet card is working.

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