How to Check If Ethernet Port is Working?

When you are bogged down with internet connectivity issues, it’s imperative that you check the ethernet port connectivity. Although we are mostly using Wi-Fi these days, there are times when ethernet comes to our rescue. But how to check if ethernet port is working? Let’s find out.

How to Check If Ethernet Port is Working?
How to Check If Ethernet Port is Working | Image by Michael Schwarzenberger from Pixabay

What is Ethernet Port?

Ethernet refers to the conventional means of connecting devices in a LAN or a WAN so that they can communicate through a protocol. It depicts how various devices can connect as well as transmit data for the other devices in the same local area network segment are able to recognize and receive the information for further processing.

The Ethernet port, simply termed as jack or socket is the opening on the computer networking element where the cable plugs into. Its purpose lies in connecting wired network hardware to different types of wired networks.

Ethernet ports are visible at the rear side of the computer and side of a laptop. A router comes with a number of Ethernet ports for fitting in multiple devices on the network.

Is My Ethernet Port Working?

If you are having trouble connecting to the internet, the Ethernet port is the first place you should check in. This issue could be associated with hordes of things, both hardware, and software.

Is the connection signal visible?

First of all, you should check the connection signal. If there’s any problem with the Ethernet port, you will have no connection whatsoever. If you are trying to connect with your computer, check for the connection icon in the lower right of your screen. If it doesn’t show a full bar or if the globe has an ‘X’ over it, you must review it. If you are trying to connect it to a smart TV, you will see “no signal” on the screen.

Is the cable tightly inserted?

Next, you must confirm that everything is snapped in tightly. Check whpether the wire fits tightly into the port. If there’s anything loose, you may have a hardware issue. Push the cable and listen for the ‘clicking’ sound to ensure that it’s fully inserted.

Are the ports damaged?

If you are living in an apartment that’s not properly maintained, chances are that the Ethernet port on the wall is extremely old and damaged. Even the port on your computer may have signs of heavy usage, resulting in a poor network connection. You should check both the ports to see if it’s warped, cracked, or rusted.

Are the lights working?

Most Ethernet ports have a green light located beside them. It remains on when the cable is connected and there’s good signal strength. If it shows red or yellow lights even when the power cord is connected, there is a problem with the port. If you see no light even after connecting, the port may be entirely broken and requires replacement.

Are the cables alright?

Even when you are testing the Ethernet port, you should also make sure that the cable is working fine. As you are having a connectivity problem, chances are that the real issue is with the cable that connects from the router to the Ethernet port. If thorough testing is not possible, check for signs of physical damage such as rips, bends, or cracks. You must replace the cable if there are any problems with the cable.

LAN cables have a sturdy structure but still, if it’s very old, then it may dry out completely. Installing a new cord can fix the issue without having to check the Ethernet port. On the flip side, if the cable is alright, you can rest assured, the real issue is with the Ethernet port.

How about testing the port?

If you have followed the above steps but still have these problems, it’s time to test the actual port. For this, you will need a laptop, though a TV will also serve the purpose.

  1. Connect your TV or laptop directly with the cable. Then try to browse something that requires an internet connection. If it connects, the Ethernet port is fine.
  2. Connect an end of the cable from the router into the port that’s labeled as ‘WAN’ on the Ethernet device. Then, try to connect the other end from the laptop to the port called ‘LAN 1’ on the Ethernet switch. Reset the modem or router by unplugging and rebooting. Without this step, you will not be able to determine the Ethernet switch at all.
  3. Once the device is rebooted, you will have to plug in the power adaptor. Check whether the green lights above the LAN 1 and WAN ports are working. To ensure that the connectivity is fine, you must check that both the ports are working.

Are the routers working fine?

A router typically connects to dual connectivity, the home network, and the internet. Router devices for regular consumers come with equipment that allows computers and other devices to connect with one another along with the web.

If the router has become unmanageable and you are facing connection problems, it’s best to reboot it to the default factory settings. You will find a hole labeled as ‘Reset’ and press it for around and 10 seconds. You will see lights blinking indicative of rebooting of the device. As you are done, it’s time to refer to the maker’s manual to follow the steps of setting up the router once again.

The Bottom Line

Sometimes, it may happen that the green light is on or blinking, but still, you don’t have an Ethernet connection. It can take a few seconds for the connection to be active, but not more.

Internet and telecom service providers are continually checking their Ethernet signal and connectivity. They are looking for problems and always trying to fix them.

But one thing to note is that they are looking for larger issues and not minor ones like your individual connectivity problem. So be sure to check for the area outages before you blame your Ethernet ports and cables. If you see that the problem still persists with your Ethernet port, it’s time to call a professional.


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