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Am I the only one who can't access www.guardian.co.uk?


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37 replies to this topic

#1 computerwannabe

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 07:08 PM

I have not been able to access the Guardian's website for a while now. I can access other uk news sites just fine (I'm in the US), so that's not the problem. Mozilla tells me that "Firefox can't find the server at www.guardian.co.uk.", and IE says "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage" and gives me an opportunity to "diagnose connection problems" When I choose to diagnose the problem it says that "The Domain Name Server may be down", it also says "Windows found a problem that cannot be repaired automatically". I do not get the same results with any other website. It is also not limited to my computer, as my daughter's laptop gets the same results, so it must be something with the internet connection. I get my internet via a netgear router with a built in firewall, and am connected to it by ethernet cable. I called my ISP tech support and they could not help me since I am able to access the internet just fine. Any ideas? :huh: Thanks!

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#2 Ztruker

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 09:42 AM

Try it again. Perhaps they were having problems. If it doesn't work, try http://77.91.248.30 (the IP address nslookup gives me for www.guardian.co.uk.

If you can get there by IP address but not by name, then it's a DNS problem of some kind.

Try flushing the DNS cache:

Open a Command Prompt
Type ipconfig /flushdns and press Enter

Try the connection by name to www.guardian.co.uk, see if it works now.

Rich

Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.


#3 computerwannabe

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 11:05 AM

Thanks for the help! When I tried to go to the site today it gave me the same result. Then, I clicked on your link and it gave me the same page setup as the google cache results, which was with no graphics at all, just a list of links. Then, when I clicked on a link, I got the same results as before, "problem loading page". I cleared the DNS cache as you suggested, but still am unable to reach the site. I didn't restart the browser though, so I will do that now. Thanks!

#4 computerwannabe

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 11:08 AM

Nope, I closed the browser, flushed the DNS cache, and restarted the browser, still no improvement. :-(

#5 Ztruker

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 11:24 AM

Hmmm, do you have a hosts file that is redirecting that URL?

Start / Run type notepad C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts and press Enter

See if there are any entries that contain guardian.co.uk. If it's a default hosts file, it will have a single, non-commented entry of 127.0.0.1. If you use defensive programs like Spybot Search & Destroy or SpywareBlaster then the hosts file will be quite large and may contain a redirect for the guardian.

Rich

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#6 computerwannabe

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 11:37 AM

I gave it a whirl, and this is what I got: 127.0.0.1 localhost ::1 localhost Do you have any idea what the second line is?

#7 computerwannabe

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 12:03 PM

I did some research, and it seems the second line is a default setting of Windows Vista. Clearly the host file is not the problem. Could it be a problem with my settings?

#8 Ztruker

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 01:11 PM

I know this is unlikely but let's eliminate some kind of router problem. Try connecting directly to the broadband modem, bypassing the router. Any change?

Also, try IE with no Add-ons: Click the Start button, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools then Internet Explorer (No Add-ons). If that allows you to connect then an Add-on in IE is causing it to fail. Use Tools / Manage Add-ons to determine which one.

Rich

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#9 computerwannabe

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 01:18 PM

**sigh** That wasn't it either... I bypassed the router and connected directly to the modem, but still no access to the website. :-(

#10 Doug

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 05:09 PM

Hi computerwannabe and Ztruker

Just for a comparison check, I accessed http://www.guardian.co.uk/ from this machine.
I have MVPS Hosts and SpywareBlaster installed.

I had no problem accessing both the text address and the URL.

________________________

Certainly we can continue problem-solving your machine, but if you are able to navigate to most other sites on the internet and send email and such ordinary internet browsing activities.... the problem may be with your ISP or with the Guardian.co.uk itself.

As a help Forum, we occasionally run into problems with the Domain Name System server contracts to which we subscribe.

High volume presence sites like a Forum or a Newspaper, may use several DNS server listings to shuttle their traffic.
Occasionally, such services get clobbered by internet attacks of various types, leaving unreliable service or blocked service between various addresses. Sometimes it takes a couple of days for a server to clear out and refresh its listing, even after a problem has been brought to their attention.
_________________-

Your ISP subscribes to such services to help route traffic to and from your own connection.
If their service is having a problem, you may not be able to access certain regular sites until they get their problem cleared up.

There is an alternative that you may want to explore, or even adopt if you like it.
OpenDNS is a free domain name system that is available to home users.
If you started using OpenDNS, your traffic would be shuttled via OpenDNS subscribed carriers instead of the carriers that your ISP is subscribing to. This is free and legal, though some State-owned systems such as Denmark's do not allow home users to subscribe to carriers other than that provided by the State-owned service.

If you are in the US or most of EU you should be fine.
You may benefit from giving it a try.
After a couple of days, you can switch back to the services provided by your ISP.
In that time, they will probably have resolved any connection problems that they may have been having.

Most ISP's in the US assign IP's randomly, so you get a fresh IP each time you log on.
This is accomplishe with the setting in your Browser: "Obtain DNS server addresses automatically"
If you have a "static IP" from you ISP, it is important to write down the exact address and connection features, so that you will know what to replace into your Browser settings if you wish to revert to your ISP's DNS.

Try OpenDNS: http://www.opendns.c...ns/homenetwork/
Remove OpenDNS: http://www.opendns.c...ort/article/140


Let us know how that works for you.

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#11 computerwannabe

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 06:28 PM

I haven't installed openDNS yet, but while getting tech help on the phone with my Microsoft Works problem, I asked about this one. He suggested pinging the site through the command prompt. Interestingly enough, the result I got was "Ping request could not find host www.guardian.co.uk. Please check the name and try again." The tech guy said that was just strange, and suggested the site was being blocked somehow. This is just strange.

#12 Doug

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 08:01 PM

Blocked for you from your ISP's resources, but not blocked from others. The recommendation of OpenDNS may not help at all, and my thinking may be way off base. But OpenDNS is a known-safe alternative. And it is a "free" choice for you to decide. Best Regards
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#13 paws

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 03:56 AM

Hi computerwannabe,
I just checked the guardian site and can't see anything wrong with it....

however

the fact that you can't ping the guardain site is relevant.....

I take it you have checked your browser security settings to make sure that you have not inadvertantly blocked the site?

for example On IE
go to Tools>Internet Options>Security>Restricted sites and make sure that the guardian site is not included.
You could also try placing the guardian site into your trusted zone. If you are always using a different browser (Firefox for example) then check/alter the security settings there as well.

Also one other tiny point (but it may be relevant)...the spelling has to be 100% accurate with no errors....

Mozilla tells me that "Firefox can't find the server at www.guardian.co.uk.", and IE says "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage" and gives me an opportunity to "diagnose connection problems"


Interestingly enough, the result I got was "Ping request could not find host www.guardian.co.uk. Please check the name and try again." The tech guy said that was just strange, and suggested the site was being blocked somehow.


In both the above quotes from your posts the URL of the Guardian site is given incorrectly and if used might result in an inability to connect.

the correct website address is:
www.guardian.co.uk

it may be of course that the typo is just in your posts to this forum and you have in fact correctly typed in the correct website in your browser.......however most browsers will "remember" the last spelling used for a website, so if it was incorrectly typed in the past... then it will usually repeat the error.

The incorrect version (that you quote) is so similar to the correct version, that sometimes it's difficult to spot the difference......

I have been caught out a few times myself by this, so it's best to check
Regards
paws
PS the url does not have a final "dot" after it..... so the correct version is:
www.guardian.co.uk
and not
www.guardian.co.uk.

Edited by paws, 24 September 2009 - 04:40 AM.

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#14 computerwannabe

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 09:00 AM

Doug: I haven't tried openDNS because I am nervous about messing with my router's settings. If nothing else works, I will give it a try though. (And it looks like I may have to do so anyway.) Paws: The period after the url was just to end the sentence. I did not use the period in my attempt to ping or in my attempt to go to the site. In fact, I am not even able to click a link and go to the site. I checked the security settings in IE and there are no sites in the blocked sites list. I put the site into the trusted zone, but it still couldn't go to the site. I realize that on the grand scale of things, not being able to access this one site is minute. It is, however, irritating, and I just want to know why it has been blocked. My ISP says they do not block sites, or at least that is what the techie on the phone told me. **sigh** Thanks for your help!

#15 computerwannabe

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 09:12 AM

This may have been a stupid thing to do, but I tried a website called localbypass.com (a proxy) to just see if I could access the site and it worked fine. This makes me think it is being blocked somewhere along the chain.

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