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  • [Forum] Users unable to access site

    Three veteran members are suddenly unable to access the site. 3 different e-mail clients, 3 ISPs, same problem, "site does not exist." In 2 cases a rep from the ISP actually came to the residence to troubleshoot, no one can find anything. Host insists all is clear at his end. When I look at users, there are always 80-100 members & guests logged on at any given moment. YET... I used to get 250-300 member applications daily; now I'm down to <30. Something's very odd.
    I have agreements with several authors to reprint. One requires notification. So Friday I sent her a notice, with 2 links to the articles. She can't open them. When I told her we'd been having issues, here's what she says:
    "That is strange. I am on Comcast, and when I click, it looks like it is trying to access the page, and then it just hangs there. Eventually, it times out and says I can't access the page because the server is not responding. If your membership dropped, then something is going on for sure.
    "Just checked again on both links, can't see them. By the way, I can't even get to your home page. It looks like you are still in the SERPs, but if people have access issues, your page rank and SEO results will start to plummet, so I would test your site on several ISPs or something, this seems like a server issue, despite what the ISP is saying."

    I'm pretty much a novice at this. Sure would appreciate any suggestions, in simple language please! Thanks!

  • #2
    Are your members able to ping your site?
    Have you checked your DNS by pinging your Name servers also?
    Also by chance have you whitelisted the members IP's on the server side?

    It definitely sounds like a server side, or DNS issue.
    Your members could try to flush their DNS on the computers and see if that may force it to resolve. Now the more obvious question have you changed servers, or DNS in the last 72 hrs?
    www.cdmagurus.com
    www.cellphone-gurus.com

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    • #3
      Ask them to do a trace and see if anything shows up there.

      Please don't PM or VM me for support - I only help out in the threads.
      vBulletin Manual & vBulletin 4.0 Code Documentation (API)
      Want help modifying your vbulletin forum? Head on over to vbulletin.org
      If I post CSS and you don't know where it goes, throw it into the additional.css template.

      W3Schools &lt;- awesome site for html/css help

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      • #4
        I have changed nothing on the site in weeks. I'll have my geeky son translate what you just said.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by islander View Post
          I have changed nothing on the site in weeks. I'll have my geeky son translate what you just said.
          It may have nothing to do with your site. It could be your host is having issues with one of their upstream servers.

          Please don't PM or VM me for support - I only help out in the threads.
          vBulletin Manual & vBulletin 4.0 Code Documentation (API)
          Want help modifying your vbulletin forum? Head on over to vbulletin.org
          If I post CSS and you don't know where it goes, throw it into the additional.css template.

          W3Schools &lt;- awesome site for html/css help

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          • #6
            I've been able to verify that at least 3 of the users unable to access the site have Comcast as their ISP. Most others seem not to have issues and at any given moment I can see several members and 80-90 guests on the site. Is this a Clue?

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            • #7
              A clue would be given if they can show you a trace from their computer to your site.

              Please don't PM or VM me for support - I only help out in the threads.
              vBulletin Manual & vBulletin 4.0 Code Documentation (API)
              Want help modifying your vbulletin forum? Head on over to vbulletin.org
              If I post CSS and you don't know where it goes, throw it into the additional.css template.

              W3Schools &lt;- awesome site for html/css help

              Comment


              • #8
                Forgive me but I'm out of my depth here. What is a trace, and whom do I ask to do it?

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                • #9
                  It allows the user to see what the route between their computer and your server. These connections aren't direct, they usually go through a dozen different computers and routers to access your server and website. A trace will show this.

                  This is a trace to your server:
                  Code:
                  
                  
                  Hop (ms) (ms) (ms) IP Address Host name
                  1 1 0 0 8.9.232.73 xe-5-3-0.edge3.dallas1.level3.net
                  2 0 0 0 4.69.145.62 vlan60.csw1.dallas1.level3.net
                  3 0 0 0 4.69.151.134 ae-63-63.ebr3.dallas1.level3.net
                  4 20 20 20 4.69.134.22 ae-7-7.ebr3.atlanta2.level3.net
                  5 22 20 20 4.69.148.242 ae-63-63.ebr1.atlanta2.level3.net
                  6 71 28 28 4.69.137.149 ae-1-8.bar1.orlando1.level3.net
                  7 150 63 63 67.30.140.2 hostdime.com-10g-ethernet.core1.level3.net
                  8 56 56 56 67.23.254.13 ns1.micfo.com
                  Trace complete


                  If there were problems, it would show errors. Since they are all on Comcast, there is probably a break in their route.

                  To run one, they would have to open a command windows on their computer and type tracert domain.com

                  Translations provided by Google.

                  Wayne Luke
                  The Rabid Badger - a vBulletin Cloud demonstration site.
                  vBulletin 5 API - Full / Mobile
                  Vote for your favorite feature requests and the bugs you want to see fixed.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by islander View Post
                    I've been able to verify that at least 3 of the users unable to access the site have Comcast as their ISP. Most others seem not to have issues and at any given moment I can see several members and 80-90 guests on the site. Is this a Clue?
                    Is Comcast using a proxy server?


                    vB5 is unequivocally the best forum software, but not yet...

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                    • #11
                      Y'all assume I speak tech. I'm incredibly ignorant beyond the most basic level of keeping my site up & running. I've confirmed via Comcast users across the country that not one can access the site, so the problem is clearly with them. I found out how to do a trace in layman's language and have asked 3 Comcast users to do it & report back.
                      beishe8, how would I know if they're using a proxy server, and why is that important?

                      Thank you all for your suggestions & patience!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by islander View Post
                        beishe8, how would I know if they're using a proxy server, and why is that important?
                        All major internet providers use a proxy server of some sort. A proxy server is a machine that sits between your computer network (which is the ISP) and the internet. It makes requests by proxy for you, retrieves the information and then sends it back to you computer. A proxy server can cause problems if it caches information too long so that it becomes outdated or inaccessible. Most companies do not use caching proxy servers these days.

                        The problem is most like with Comcast's DNS or Domain Name Servers. These are machines that take the fancy human addresses like Google.com and turn them into the numbers that computers like or IP Addresses. If your Domain Name Entries changed, Comcast's servers might not have updated quickly enough. They should update within 24 hours in most cases though.

                        With DNS, a user's local computer can become out of sync with the DNS provided by their ISP. They can flush their local DNS caches to sync these up. On windows (XP and higher), you would do this by opening a CMD window and typing "ipconfig /flushdns" and hitting enter.

                        If you have your own IP address for the site and don't share it with the entire server, check to see if they can access your site by IP address. You should be able to get the IP address from your host. If they can this would signify a DNS issue. If not, then is it something else.


                        The other thing could be that there is a broken computer or router on the chain or Comcast is having issues with one of their upstream backbone providers. This is what a trace route would show.
                        Translations provided by Google.

                        Wayne Luke
                        The Rabid Badger - a vBulletin Cloud demonstration site.
                        vBulletin 5 API - Full / Mobile
                        Vote for your favorite feature requests and the bugs you want to see fixed.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by islander View Post
                          beishe8, how would I know if they're using a proxy server, and why is that important?
                          Wayne already explained what can be wrong with an ISP's proxy server.
                          How to know that an ISP using it? Let your Comcast customers click on this link: http://www.lagado.com/proxy-test


                          vB5 is unequivocally the best forum software, but not yet...

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                          • #14
                            @Wayne: A million thanks for your clear explanation. I'm not stupid, just not trained in Geek.
                            @beishe8: thanks too for your link, which it turns out I do not need now because
                            PROBLEM SOLVED!
                            I explained to my Comcast users how to do a trace. They evidently unlocked Door #3, because suddenly everyone was back on. Can't explain it, no one knew what happened, but overnight everyone was able to log on again, and has had no further problems.
                            Thank you all again, your team is super helpful!

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