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Modem Lights Going Crazy


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#1
Chimiti

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I have a friend who posted on her Blog an inquiry for some help with ideas as to what's going on with her modem. Here is her Post:

About three days ago, I noticed the 'send' and 'receive' data lights flashing on my modem even when I was NOT online. This puzzled me and caused me concern. I was playing a quick game of Spider Solitaire before going out to a small job, when I realized they were flashing. I immediately unplugged the cable thinking someone had hacked my pc. Then I ran spyware and virus software, but it showed nothing. The next couple of days, it happened again. Yesterday, I called my IP to ask about this. The woman asked me if I had a wireless router or another computer in the house and I told her no. She then said that she had no explanation for it. But she did take my name and address and someone would be out checking on the lines. ?????? Who knows how long that will take.

This morning when I got up, every single green light was on and the send/receive lights were flashing even though, the pc was shut off. That means, all night long, someone was using my pc? my power? my internet access? what?

The lights in question on the modem are labeled: PC, Cable, Send, Receive, and Power. How could all of these green lights be on when my pc was off? And why would the send and receive date lights be flashing when I am offline?


She says her modem is a Webstar by Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.
I asked her for a Model Number, but I think what she replied with was more like a Serial Number.

Any ideas on what's going on? It seems to me it's possible that her modem is getting ready to give out since even the Power Indicator LED was apparently flashing. She says she's already disconnected the Power to it several times to try to reset it, to no avail.
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#2
Ferrari

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In my experience, the send/recieve lights on a modem are always flashing, small amounts of data/electricity are always being sent back and forth. Partly in what I say below, partly just that there needs to be something going back and forth keeping the connection active I presume.

One way to cut down on this is to have a Firewall... you will quickly notice that even when not on the internet, it will alert you that (fill in the blank) is trying to access the internet... this is often things like the Anti-Virus or Spyware program searching for an update, or another application like Adobe Reader looking for a new version/update.

Windows Firewall only blocks inbound traffic, not outbound traffic. In other words, it is not a two way firewall. If you'd like two way protection, download and install Zone Alarm in my signature, install it, and it will replace Windows Firewall and you will be prompted everytime an application is trying to access the internet or the trusted zone. For common things used and trusted like your web browser, simply place a tick in the box that says something like "remember my selection" before selecting the "allow" button... then you will never be prompted by that application again... do this for only programs you trust and use often.

Hope that helps. :)

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#3
Chimiti

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Thanks, Ferrari! :) I sent your reply to my friend.
Hopefully it helps her out.
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#4
Ferrari

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You're very welcome. :)
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#5
DaffyKantReed

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Windows Firewall only blocks inbound traffic, not outbound traffic.


It depends which versions of Windows you refer to. The firewall included with Vista and Windows 7 is bidirectional. The XP SP3 firewall is more limited in scope. The free version of ZoneAlarm is decent, though harder on system resources than I'd like to see. A decent router with SPI enabled and properly configured, combined with the Windows firewall is a pretty powerful combination.
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