Internet Woes

I’ve been having a bit of a nightmare with connectivity recently. For some reason on a few occasions I’ve been unable to access any of my sites (or my clients sites) on a particular web-server – Watch out, this may get a bit techy!

The first time it happened I was still able to connect to sites on other servers and if I cloaked my IP address by surfing the web through a proxy server I was also able to access my sites. This showed me that the server wasn’t down but I still couldn’t access it for some reason.

I checked with the hosting company and my IP address hadn’t been blocked and was even added to the ALLOW list but still no access. I therefore phoned my ISP (Plusnet). As usual, they answered straight away and I got to talk to an english person who although he didn’t know how to help me, did change my IP address for me when I asked him to. The change of IP address had an immediate effect and once again I was able to get to my sites. Well done Plusnet, you fixed it.

It didn’t last long though, within 24 hours it had happened again. This time I discovered that one of my clients also had the same problem. He uses a different ISP to me and lives quite a way from here, but he too could access all sites except for those on this one particular server. Once again the server wasn’t down as we could get to the sites via a proxy server, but not through our normal connections. Needless to say I got back in touch with the hosting company support crew and this time they added our IP addresses to their firewall allow list. That had an immediate effect and fixed the problem. One point to the hosting company for fixing it this time.

Unfortunately, 24 hours later it happened again. Once again both of us were unable to connect to the server in question, but other sites were OK. I spoke to both Plusnet and the hosting company. Plusnet didn’t know what they could do to help as it was also a problem for my client who uses a different ISP so they didn’t think it could be their problem. The hosting company said that the server was running fine, the sites were up and our IP addresses weren’t blocked so they couldn’t do much to help either. Whilst on the phone to Plusnet I decided to look into my internet connection speed. The hosting company escalated the problem to their data centre and asked me to provide them with a traceroute to the server from both my computer and my clients computer. I gave them my traceroute and awaited a reply.

These things get me a little stressed to say the least so I didn’t sleep too well and got up early this morning to find that I once again had access to the sites. Apparently no one had changed anything and the hosting company are still waiting to hear back from the data centre. It’s good that it’s working at the moment, but the fact that the cause of the fault has yet to be found doesn’t really make me confident that it won’t happen again.

I think it has to be something at the server end, but quite why both my client and I keep getting access issues to that one server is beyond me.

Sometimes I hate computers – even those with a nice shiny Apple logo on them.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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