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    Strange problem accessing a web page...any ideas???

    This is a discussion on Strange problem accessing a web page...any ideas??? within the Sky Broadband help forums, part of the Sky Broadband help and support category; Hi I am on 16MB Max and have been running practically trouble free until a few days ago. This one ...

    1. #1
      skymax16mb's Avatar
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      Strange problem accessing a web page...any ideas???

      Hi

      I am on 16MB Max and have been running practically trouble free until a few days ago. This one has stumped me, wondered if anyone had any ideas!?

      I use the website Parcel2Go.com ( UK Courier Services, Express Parcel Delivery & International Shipping ) to book courier collections. Up until late last week all parts of the website were accessible. After last approx Friday last week I can no longer access various sub pages of this site whilst the homepage loads up just fine!

      whilst this link ( UK Courier Services, Express Parcel Delivery & International Shipping ) works fine...

      if you go to his ( Parcel Volume Calculator | Parcel2Go.com ) and click on the 'International Volume Calculator' button in the middle of the page it does not load the next page, just hangs and hangs and then Firefox throws up the 'Could not reach server' message. I get the same hanging when I try and log in to this website upon entering my user name and password.

      Now I am 100% sure Sky have changed something at their end which is now preventing me from accessing these pages!

      I say this for the following reasons:

      1. The same thing happens on both Firefox and IE 6 & 7
      2. I have tried changing the DNS servers on my router to the OpenDNS addresses and this has not solved the problem
      3. I have 2 PC's and three laptops in my house and it happens on all of them
      4. (The clincher!) The pages load up fine when I a) use freebie dial up b) use my Vodafone 3.5G Mobile Broadband through my mobile c) it works for my partner when she is at work down the road on a non sky connection

      So, I know it is not any/all of my PC's, my router (non-sky D-Link G-624T) has not had any of it's settings changed before or after this problem occurred, it works on all of my machines when connected to the internet in a way other than Sky!

      The user name and password login screen tries to access an .aspx page just like the International Volume Calculator button tries to access.....is this just a co-incidence??....I have no idea other than its driving me crazy as I need to use this site every day and i know I wont get any sense out of Sky support.

      ANY advice greatly appreciated!

      Cheers

      W
      Last edited by skymax16mb; 05-02-08 at 11:33 PM.


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    3. #2
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      Re: Strange problem accessing a web page...any ideas???

      Quote Originally Posted by skymax16mb View Post
      if you go to his ( Parcel Volume Calculator | Parcel2Go.com ) and click on the 'International Volume Calculator' button in the middle of the page it does not load the next page,
      Sorry to blow your theory out of the water but I am on Sky Max and it just worked fine for me first time. It sounds to me to be site related rather than an ISP restriction.

      EDIT: My PC is using OpenDNS servers but NOT my router if this helps.

    4. #3
      skymax16mb's Avatar
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      Re: Strange problem accessing a web page...any ideas???

      Hi

      Thanks for your reply. Could it be exchange related, I am assuming you are not on the Witham, Essex exchange. Also, what about the server(s) I access after the exchange, do we access different ones?

      I cannot see how it could be a problem with my hardware...all my PC's work perfectly when connected through dial up or 3.5G..

      Have also set DNS servers on all machines and no joy.

      confused....

      w

      PS - You say you think it might be site related but then surely you wouldn't be access it nor would my partner or me on a different connection with the same PC's?
      Last edited by skymax16mb; 05-02-08 at 11:44 PM.

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      Re: Strange problem accessing a web page...any ideas???

      ^^^ Long shot this but it could be an IP address block. Perhaps if you use it too often they bar you?

      Log into your Sky router, Go to the Router Status page and click the Sky test button. This should reconnect you a with a new IP address. You may need to disconnect first using the Connection Status button then Disconnect.

      Then try the site again.
      Last edited by eyemdee; 06-02-08 at 12:00 AM. Reason: revised instruction

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      Re: Strange problem accessing a web page...any ideas???

      No joy on that one - router has been rebooted/new IP plenty of times since prob occurred

      I am stumped - my usual rules of problem solving have expired here - apart from ONE thing, which is my D-Link router is, for some bizarre reason, not making the connection to the site...but the fact it loads up the homepage and some other pages fine....and what are the chances/possibility of my router being at fault....not much...?

      w

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      Re: Strange problem accessing a web page...any ideas???

      ^^^ If the external IP address has changed on rebooting (mine doesn't always) then yes, it would have to point to the router. Illogical I know, but try powering it down completely for a few minutes, or even a factory reset.

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      Re: Strange problem accessing a web page...any ideas???

      It does seem to be a bit unlikely that the router's at fault. But I do have a D-Link G-624T somewhere in my Big Box of Routers. I can plug that in and see if it exhibits the same problem.

      I know that's not much of a help, but at least it would either confirm that it's the router, or rule it out altogether.

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      Re: Strange problem accessing a web page...any ideas???

      How absolutely bizarre. I put in my G-624T and I get exactly the same problem. Firefox just sits there saying "Loading" before finally giving up saying "Problem loading page" - "The connection was reset - The connection to the server was reset while the page was loading."

      But with the Sky router it loads perfectly. I think it's more likely to be a change in the website, rather than something Sky has done. I'll have a quick look and see if it's something obvious.

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      Re: Strange problem accessing a web page...any ideas???

      ^^^
      Quote Originally Posted by skymax16mb View Post
      I am stumped - my usual rules of problem solving have expired here -
      You have got the man on the job now!!!

    11. #10
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      Re: Strange problem accessing a web page...any ideas???

      It actually looks like a bug in the D-Link firmware. The latest version of the firmware is more than a year old, so it looks like D-Link aren't making much of an effort when it comes to bug fixes. They probably prefer people to buy a new D-Link router.

      I'll do my best to explain what's happening. Data on the Internet always travels in packets. Each packet has information about where it's come from and where it's going to, a few other bits and pieces of information, and a "payload" of data. There's a problem, however, because not all parts of the Internet can handle packets of just any size. Notably, a lot of Internet traffic travels through Ethernet connections, which forces a limit of 1500 bytes.

      Now, ideally, you want packets to be as large as possible, so that you get the maximum amount of data in a packet and reduce the percentage of data that represents the networking overheads. But you don't want them to be too large because then the packets of data have to be "fragmented" and that means two lots of overheads for the same amount of data.

      TCP/IP, the protocol that web servers use, and is being used with this site, has a few clever tricks to determine what the largest packet size (the MSS - maximum segment size) is. When your PC first tries to establish a connection to a web site, it addition to saying that it wants to make a connection, it also says what the largest MSS is that it can handle. The web server looks at that value, and responds with as MSS value - being the smaller of the web server's own MSS and the MSS that the PC specified. There are also mechanisms to discover if there's some piece of networking equipment in between the web server and the PC that can only handle small packets.

      Anyway, what's happening with this site is when I'm using the Netgear router, my PC tries to connect to the web server, and says "I want to establish a connection with you, and by the way, I can handle packets up to 1500 bytes in length." The webserver responds by saying, "OK, I'll accept your request, but I can only handle packets up to 1420 bytes in length." My PC then accepts that, and communication continues freely after that, in packets of no more than 1420 bytes.

      With the D-Link router, however, the response from the webserver says that it's prepared to deal with packets that are 1500 bytes long, and the PC then tries to use that size. Because the "don't fragment" flag is set, everything that the PC transmits is just ignored, and so the webserver never responds. I'm pretty sure the packet that is sent back with the information about the lower MTU is correct - it's just when it gets past through the router's Network Address Translation, it's being corrupted.

      So why don't you see this bug more often? Well, firstly, it's now very rare to see Internet connections that can't handle 1500 bytes. And secondly, most of the time, your requests to access a webserver are far more likely to be quite short - most of the data will be flowing towards you, rather than away from you.

      I can be sure this isn't a Sky problem, because I can get an ICMP packet (ping) through that has an overall size of 1500 bytes (including the headers). What's happened is that at the server end, they have changed the MTU setting on their network interface, and you end up falling foul of the D-Ling bug described above.

      The solution is to switch back to using the Sky router!

     

     
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