This is an annoying home networking problem, where your device is plugged into the router with an ethernet/LAN cable, but it still says there is no ethernet connection on your device or router. It’s like the router or device isn’t registering that you have an ethernet connection, when you clearly do. How do we go about fixing this problem?
This problem usually boils down to a problem with either the router port(s), cable or your device, and doing some quick checks usually allows us to isolate the problem.
Here is a summary of the things to try to fix this problem:
- Make sure the cable is fully pushed into the port
- Try another ethernet port
- Try another LAN cable in that port (plus other ports)
- Try another device in that port (plus other ports)
- If ports are broken, contact ISP for new router.
- Test to see if the Wi-Fi works
- Check current ISP service status.
- Reset router and device
- Update router and device
Let’s run through all these steps in more detail, to help readers narrow down and solve the problem.
Some Rapid Fire Solutions
Here are some more broad things to try if you get this error message, before we get to the main solutions:
- Just try opening up a browser and accessing the internet anyway. I have sometimes known errors messages like these to appear, but really there’s no issue and you can get online just fine. Perhaps it just took a few more seconds for the router/device to recognize the ethernet connection.
- Try quickly resetting your device to refresh the connection
- Try quickly resetting your router to refresh the connection.
- Make sure router and device are fully updated to the latest software/firmware. For connectivity issues, especially make sure that device network drivers are updated.
Now let’s move to some more practical fixes for this problem.
Solution #1 – Make Sure Cable is Properly Connected
This is the very first thing to check physically – make sure the cable is fully inserted into the ethernet port. If it’s only partially in, then it might not register with the router and it will still say no connection.
In fairness, most ethernet cables have a small plastic snag on them that helps them fully clip into the ethernet port; something like this:
See the plastic snag at the top to help keep the cable in place.
When it’s still attached, then you should hear a click when you push the cable into a router LAN port, and the snag helps keep the cable in place. You shouldn’t have a problem.
However, these little plastic clips are quite brittle and can easily be broken off, so if your cable has lost this little snag, then it won’t fit so snugly into the ethernet port, and might slip out easily, causing the “no ethernet connection” error message.
In this case, you can try and push the cable harder into the port, but the better solution is to just get a new cable as it it is likely to keep slipping out without this snag. See Solution #3 below.
Solution #2 – Try Another Ethernet Port
The next thing to try is to plug the cable into an adjacent ethernet port on the router, to see if this works. Remember, most routers have 4 LAN ports, so try another one out if there’s still a free one:
If everything works all of a sudden trying a different port, then it’s likely that something’s wrong with that one LAN port. Sometimes the connections inside the port can get damaged and prevent the connectors on the cable establishing a connection and allowing the transfer of data back and forth.
If you can manage without just this ethernet port, then you could leave it and just use the others. However, if ALL ethernet ports are not working, and you have established that it isn’t the cable that’s the issue (see next section), then you should definitely contact your ISP for a replacement router, since something has gone wrong more fundamentally within the internal workings of the router if all ethernet ports are not working.
Also be sure the check that the Wi-Fi is working – if even this is not working, then you either have a completely broken router, or your service is down (see last section for doing some diagnostics).
Solution #3 – Try Another Ethernet Cable
The next thing to try to narrow down the problem is to try another LAN cable if you have one lying around spare. They can get twisted, frayed and damaged over time, which can cause them to not work.
Try a different ethernet cable in the same port. If everything works, you know it was the old cable that was broken. If a new cable still doesn’t work in that port, but does in a different port, you know it is that port that is faulty. If no ports and no cables seem to work, and your service isn’t down, there’s something wrong with your router and you should contact your ISP for help.
Doing Some Basic Diagnostics
Here are some more different things you can test out to try and narrow down what is actually not working and causing your error message:
Test Wi-Fi – See if the Wi-Fi works when connecting to the router. If it does, then it’s something wrong with that ethernet port (or all ethernet ports), and you might be best contacting your ISP for a replacement router. If even the Wi-Fi doesn’t work, then either the whole router is broken, or your internet service is down completely – check Downdetector to see current ISP status.
Test Other Devices – Test if other devices can connect to the same ethernet port, using the same cable at first. If they can, then it’s likely that the ethernet port or adapter on your device (rather than the router) is broken. Make sure it is fully updated (especially network drivers) and consult the device help guide or manufacturer customer service for help.
If other devices can connect, but using a different LAN cable, then it’s the cable that’s faulty. If other devices cannot connect at all to that port as well, then the port is broken (try the other ports as well to narrow down what isn’t working).