Connectivity Problems

Anyone else having problem?

I am having a bizarre problem: I cannot access OTB from my home WiFi network (I can only access the site on my phone if I use cellular data only, which is how I am writing this). This extends across multiple devices and browsers (I even tried A VPN). My internet connectivity appears otherwise fine.

First: is anyone else having this issue?

Second: any suggestions on what they problem might be?

FILED UNDER: General
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Kathy says:

    I reported something similar a few days ago. Also that some aviation blogs don’t load sometimes. Opera’s VPN worked for this site.

    Then all sites were up, no problems, until yesterday. OTB was fine, but the other blogs didn’t come up. I got home too late to fire up the PC, and I’ve yet to put Opera or a VPN on my phone.

    All this is on the home broadband connection, whether I use WiFi or a LAN cable.

  2. Liberal Capitalist says:

    The standard solution for this is remoot everything. power off everything and then start from your cable modem or DSL modem, and work your way back to your laptop / computer.

    IF that doesn’t take care of it, THEN, one that most overlook is finding a good DNS server.

    Your DNS server is likely forced on your by your internet provider. You can change that.

    more detail: https://whatsabyte.com/internet/best-public-dns-servers/

    Remember, you need to change that on your Cable Modem, any router that provides you an IP Address, and likely also on your computer.

  3. The maddening thing is that it has been going on for over 24hrs now.

    1
  4. @Liberal Capitalist: The full reboot is the one thing I have not yet tried.

    2
  5. Donald says:

    The server that is hosting your blog may have blacklisted your home IP address. If you can access the control panel for your blog (or have your hosting service do this) you can remove the blacklist for this IP and add it to the whitelist.
    This, occasionally, happens to me when my home IP address changes and some activity I do on my site is perceived as a threat by the server.

  6. Stormy Dragon says:

    As I said in response to Kathy’s post a few days ago, I occasionally get warnings in my browser that the site’s SSL certificate does not match the domain the site is actually being served from. This appears to be some sort of CDN issue.

    Some ISPs could be interpreting this as malicious behavior and black listing the site.

    1
  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I had this problem with the NYT yesterday.

    @Steven L. Taylor: I have no idea if this is part of the problem or not but my wife, who is a low level employee for a cable company, says the infrastructure of data transmission is under maximum stress because of a big jump in the #s working from home, the #s going to school on line, and the #s of unemployed sitting at home under lock down searching for something to do, like online gaming. The surge in users is a 24/7 thing.

    I am only surprised we aren’t having more problems.

    1
  8. Andy says:

    I can reach the site just fine.

    If you haven’t already, you should reboot your modem and router.

    Are you getting any kind of error or other messages when you try to access OTB?

  9. Liberal Capitalist says:

    I mentioned DNS… from that link i posted, this quote explains how and why this is important:

    Domain names are the human-readable addresses that we are using every day. For example, the domain name of Yahoo is yahoo.com. If you want to visit Yahoo’s website, just enter Yahoo.com into the address bar of your web browser.

    But, your computer does not know where “yahoo.com” is. Behind the scenes, your computer will contact DNS servers and ask what IP address is associated with yahoo.com.

    After that, it will connect to that web server, load the contents and display in your web browser.

    In this case, Yahoo.com is located at the IP address 206.190.36.45 on the Internet. You can type this IP address in your web browser to visit Yahoo’s website. However, we use “yahoo.com” instead of 206.190.36.45 because it’s easier to remember.

    Without DNS, the whole Internet will not be accessible. We will be back to the time that the Internet wasn’t born yet. And your computer can only use to compose documents or play offline games.

    So, sometimes DNS gets messed up… that is why a reboot helps. (unless the DNS error is in the carrier, then the reboot won’t help, because you cant reboot the carrier’s Central Office).

    You can, however, point to a different DNS address and use that. There will likely be plenty of videos on YouTube that will show you how.

    I use Google’s DNS: 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 primarily because it is easy to remember.

    The thing to know is: if the Carrier’s DNS doesn’t know the name-to-IP-address translation, then you will never get to where you want.

    1
  10. Andy says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    I was thinking it may be a DNS issue as well. Personally, I prefer Cloudflare which is also easy to remember (1.1.1.1) is faster than Google and doesn’t have Google’s privacy concerns.

    3
  11. Michael Cain says:

    I’m with the earlier group who suspect DNS. DNS can fail in the oddest sorts of ways, and bad data can get cached locally for disturbingly long periods of time. Brute force solution to try is power down everything, then bring up the cable/DSL modem and let it stabilize, then any separate router, then the end devices. My personal experience in the last couple of years has been that Google’s DNS servers are more reliable than Comcast’s.

    Some of the intermediate services like Cloudflare also have some odd failure modes. I don’t know if OTB’s hosting service goes through something like that or not.

  12. Mu Yixiao says:

    No issue here.

    And agree with those above: Sounds like a DNS issue.

    Open a command line (CMD in Windows), and type the following:

    ping outsidethebeltway.com

    You should get something that looks like this:

    PING outsidethebeltway.com (64.235.49.6) 56(84) bytes of data.
    64 bytes from lasvegas-nv-datacenter.com (64.235.49.6): icmp_seq=1 ttl=44 time=347 ms

    If you’re not getting that, it’s most likely a DNS issue. The other thing could be a break in the network somewhere, which would show up via traceroute.

    4
  13. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    And if..

    ping outsidethebeltway.com

    … doesn’t work, then try:

    ping 64.235.49.6

    And if THAT works, then it is absolutely a DNS issue.

    3
  14. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    good point

    1
  15. Tyrell says:

    No, I have not had an issue getting to this site. I have expeienced increasing connection problems. I upgraded to a better router. The population here is increasing. This is a rural area, but we have a lot of jets going right over in their landing approach. There are also two cell towers near. Maybe something else is causing it.

  16. Kingdaddy says:

    I say, just kick it.

    2
  17. Kit says:

    I am having a bizarre problem: I cannot access OTB from my home WiFi network… is anyone else having this issue?

    What? Accessing OTB from your home? Well, apart from the signal being a bit weak down here in the basement, it looks fine.

    1
  18. Jay L Gischer says:

    Several points.

    I concur that it is likely DNS. I’ve seen issues myself that look like DNS issues.

    Using Cloudflare or Google DNS (How did Cloudflare manage to get 1.1.1.1? That’s kind of awesome!) might well help.

    Google’s “privacy issues” are overblown. I personally know a lawyer and several other technical people that work on privacy and security issues for Google. They work very hard not only to not leverage DNS level data themselves, but to prevent it from leaking, being stolen, or comandeered by foreign powers at their foreign-based data centers.

    (As an aside, I have it on good authority that access to accelerometer data in your phone can pinpoint your location while driving after just a couple of turns. That’s data worth protecting.)

    Cloudflare could have the same privacy issues, just by selling your data. I consider it useless to switch to them for DNS (versus Google) on the basis of privacy. But it won’t hurt, so go ahead. And they might well be faster. That’s kind of their business, after all.

  19. When I ping the site, it times out.

    Haven’t been able to reboot anything as my wife is in a Zoom meeting. Will try in a bit.

  20. Michael Cain says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    How did Cloudflare manage to get 1.1.1.1?

    They rent it. It’s technically held by the research lab associated with the Asia-Pacific authority for address allocation (APNIC). The 1.0.0.0/8 address block was allocated to APNIC in 2010. That’s fairly late as these things go, but it was a “bad neighborhood” because there’s lots of spurious packets aimed at addresses 1.1.1.1 and 1.2.3.4. A big part of Cloudflare’s business is filtering out spurious packets, so that probably doesn’t bother them.

  21. And, I am already on Google’s DNS

  22. Michael Cain says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    When I ping the site, it times out.

    Ping 64.235.49.6, the address associated with outsidethebeltway.com. If that works, then it’s definitely a DNS thing. If not it’s a different sort of connectivity problem.

  23. @Michael Cain: I get the same result if I ping the address.

    “Request timed out” 3 times and then

    “Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss)

  24. (Actual x4 in the “Request timed out”

  25. Michael Cain says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Do you have traceroute (or tracert) on your computer? You almost certainly can’t trace the packet routing all the way to the destination, but you should at least be able to tell if they’re getting past your cable/dsl modem. Or if they’re not even getting out of your computer.

  26. Andy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Who is your ISP?

    You can check if there are any known or reported problems at DownDetector.

    You can also try a “tracert outsidethebeltway.com” from the cmd prompt to see where along the line the problem is. That would probably confirm if it’s your home network, your ISP or a backbone link.

  27. @Andy: When I run tracert I get a timeout on #2, then a string of 3-21 with responses and then timeouts for 22 thru 30

  28. Update:

    1. Changing DNS servers did not help.
    2. Rebooting the modem did not help (but I did not do a full reboot of everything)
    3. Using Opera’s VPN I was able to connect (but, weirdly, my work VPN had the same problems as no VPN)

  29. Andy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Since you’re able to get past your ISP and presumably can access other websites I’d guess there is a broken link in the backbone somewhere. It looks like the OTB server is located in Las Vegas. Your work VPN is probably taking the same hops outside of your local area as your home connection, which may explain why that isn’t working. Another VPN and your cellular service is working because they hit the public backbone at a different location and take a different path.

    Perhaps contact your ISP to see if they know anything, but I’d guess at this point you’ll need to use an alternate means until it’s fixed. If your cell phone plan has hotspot data you can tether to your computer to get your PC back online for OTB.

    1
  30. @Andy: Thanks for the help in troubleshooting. I suspect that this is just something I will have to wait out. At least now I have a work-around (Thanks @Kathy for the Opera suggestion!)

    1
  31. Kathy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    You’re welcome, but the credit belongs to Jax. She tipped me to it last week.

    1
  32. mattbernius says:

    @Andy: thanks for the DNS tip.

    1
  33. Andy says:

    @mattbernius:

    Sure thing! Cloudflare just came out with free DNS-based malware and adult content filtering. Plus they have a free VPN for mobile devices.

  34. Update: after ~48 hrs, the problem resolved itself.

    2
  35. EddieInCA says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I could not log on tonight for over an hour. Every other site I tried to log into was fine. I went to https://www.isitdownrightnow.com/ and tried, and it told me the site was up. I switched from Firefox to Safari, and was able to load up OTB. Went back to Firefox, and it loaded right up. No idea why. That has never happened before.

  36. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Ah, that is what it is… the carrier DNS was fucked. (that’s the technical term)

    So many things now depend on security certificates… who knows where teh ball was dropped… but that keeps the tech drones in work. 🙂

    1