Other people can access my site, but I can't.

  • Birdeye
  • Born
  • Born
  • Birdeye
  • Posts: 4

Post 3+ Months Ago

Ok, here's the deal (this is my first webpage, and first time posting in any forum about this, so be gentle). 16 days ago (so it should have 'propegated' by now) I registered a new domain name and webhosting package. http://intp-bird.com is the site name. However, it periodically refuses to let me access my own site when I try to visit the address (Cannot find server error). For most everyone else on the internet, there is no trouble. However, occassionally someone else has trouble as well. Also, my problem is intermittent. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Right now, it is not working. Attempts to ping or tracert my site says it can't find my host. "Unknown host intp-bird.com." is the exact response for a ping. Again, sometimes it does work, and I am able to ping. From a working ping I was able to find my IP address: http://66.225.220.4/. Also, right now I tried to ping my site: no response. So, at the same moment, I instructed a friend several hundred miles away to try it, and they pinged my site with no difficulty.

By adding cpanel onto the end of the IP number I am able to access my site and still upload and change things. However, accessing that IP number directly tells me there is no site configured at that address. That message displays regardless of whether I can access my site via the domain name URL.

I've attempted some research on google, looking for this same problem and have determined it may be my ISPs fault. Something about not updating their DNS records properly. I am mostly clueless on this point however, especially as I don't understand why my site would work one moment, and not the next. Also, as I stated, sometimes other people will have trouble reaching my site...while at the same moment I can correctly reach it. Which basically rules out a problem with the webhost, if nothing else. (Indeed, I initially wrote my webhost about this, and they said the hosting was working fine, as they could access my site without problems.)

So, my questions for you all are:

What the heck is wrong with my site?

Who is responsible for this problem? (i.e. Who do I contact to resolve it?)

What can I do? (Especially if somehow this is my error.)

Isn't my main page supposed to appear when I type in my site's IP address? Whose responsiblity is this, and what can I do?

Finally, to head off any questions in this direction that were asked to other people (who I found on google) that had similar problems: I am not using a router. I'm not even sure what that is. I have a network card in my computer, that connects via ethernet cable to my modem, which has a cable sticking into it which goes to the wall. Also, I'm using Charter Cable, if that makes any difference. Oh, I'm using Window ME, and IE for my browser, although firefox has the same problems too.

(Side note: by the time I finished typing this, my site was back up for me. It will be down again shortly, I am sure. It's predictable in that sense at least.)

Thanks for any help you can provide.
  • ATNO/TW
  • Super Moderator
  • Super Moderator
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 23455
  • Loc: Woodbridge VA

Post 3+ Months Ago

You are probably right. It is probably a problem with your host's DNS cache. I'm assuming when you try to ping your site you are pinging the domain name and not the IP? Does it work consistantly if you just try to ping the IP? If so that would be further reason to suspect your ISP.

Try this workaround. If you are on XP open Notepad and browse to C:/WINDOWS/System32/Drivers/Etc/
or if on Win2K
C:/WINNT/System32/Drivers/Etc/

Select "all files" from the drop down menu in Notepad's file selection dialog so you can see all files not just txt.

Open the hosts file.

By default the only entry in there should be 127.0.0.1 localhost (unless you've previously modified it).

Under the 127.0.0.1 entry add the next two lines.

66.225.220.4 intp-bird.com
66.225.220.4 http://www.intp-bird.com

Click File | Save (do not click save as or change the name of the file in anyway.)

In effect here's what that does. Your browser looks to your hosts file first for resolution and then to your ISP. By adding your domain to the hosts file you've essentially circumvented your ISP's DNS servers and hopefully will solve your problem. If that does the trick for you, I would definitely have a talk with your ISP about it.
  • Birdeye
  • Born
  • Born
  • Birdeye
  • Posts: 4

Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, I am using Windows ME. Any type of work around for that? I looked in the path you specified, but there was no Etc folder nor any hosts file to be seen (yes, I told it to look at all files), so I suspect it may not exist on my machine. Unless it is stored somewhere else of course.

I was pinging my address intp-bird.com whenever I did the ping. Just did it again, and strangely the ping failed to find the host, yet I could still access my webpage this time. Also, pinging the IP address works fine at the moment as well.

Is there another work around I could try on my machine?

Also, as a side note, I noticed in my cpanel page that my IP address is a Shared IP address, in case that affects anything.

Also, what should I tell my ISP, so they understand what they need to fix? I'm rather fuzzy on this myself.

Thanks for your help.
  • ATNO/TW
  • Super Moderator
  • Super Moderator
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 23455
  • Loc: Woodbridge VA

Post 3+ Months Ago

Well a shared IP is simply that -- you share the IP with others. That pretty much would put your ISP out of the loop. The problem with shared IP's is that your domain host reroutes incoming requests for your domain to your directory on their server. If traffic is high on the domains of those you "share" the IP with you might get bounced out now and then. I've never been a fan of shared IP hosting plans...they just don't seem to cut it.
  • Daemonguy
  • Moderator
  • Web Master
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 2700
  • Loc: Somewhere outside the box in Sarasota, FL.

Post 3+ Months Ago

Your host is using host-based name resolution to share domains across the same IP.
It may very well be a name resolution issue, but it could go much deeper than that. Normally one must alias IP ranges within their hosting infrastructure for real servers mapped to web services. I doubt that is the case though, and is more likely an issue with either propagating DNS or perhaps one of their web servers (they might use more than one for load sharing) could be configured while the other is not. There really are all sorts of things which may cause this sort of issue, and nigh impossible to pd while the site is fully functional. Which it is. :)
In the future, if you see the problem, you can check out name resolution from the dns side by doing this -- either from a *nix terminal or download cygwin for your windows machine.
Or, come to think of it, I think telnet might be built into your ME machine, you can just open a DOS box up and try it that way.

Here it is.

Code: [ Select ]
shinpi# telnet 66.225.220.4 80
Trying 66.225.220.4...
Connected to phoenix.servershost.net.
Escape character is '^]'.
GET / HTTP/1.0
Host: intp-bird.com


HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Wed, 13 Oct 2004 12:36:50 GMT
Server: Apache/1.3.31 (Unix) mod_auth_passthrough/1.8 mod_jk/1.2.0 mod_gzip/1.3.26.1a mod_log_bytes/1.2 mod_bwlimited/1.4 PHP/4.3.9 FrontPage/5.0.2.2634a mod_ssl/2.8.19 OpenSSL/0.9.6b
Connection: close
Content-Type: text/html

<html>
<head>
<title>INTP-Bird</title>

<style="text/css">
</style>


</head>


<body bgcolor="#FFFFFF">

<p>Welcome to my website, INTP-Bird. Sorry about the lack of color, or anything else, but as this site is both owned and operated by an INTP, it shall be eternally Under Construction.</p>
  1. shinpi# telnet 66.225.220.4 80
  2. Trying 66.225.220.4...
  3. Connected to phoenix.servershost.net.
  4. Escape character is '^]'.
  5. GET / HTTP/1.0
  6. Host: intp-bird.com
  7. HTTP/1.1 200 OK
  8. Date: Wed, 13 Oct 2004 12:36:50 GMT
  9. Server: Apache/1.3.31 (Unix) mod_auth_passthrough/1.8 mod_jk/1.2.0 mod_gzip/1.3.26.1a mod_log_bytes/1.2 mod_bwlimited/1.4 PHP/4.3.9 FrontPage/5.0.2.2634a mod_ssl/2.8.19 OpenSSL/0.9.6b
  10. Connection: close
  11. Content-Type: text/html
  12. <html>
  13. <head>
  14. <title>INTP-Bird</title>
  15. <style="text/css">
  16. </style>
  17. </head>
  18. <body bgcolor="#FFFFFF">
  19. <p>Welcome to my website, INTP-Bird. Sorry about the lack of color, or anything else, but as this site is both owned and operated by an INTP, it shall be eternally Under Construction.</p>


Shinpi is just the name of my box. You run telnet <IP> <port>
Enter.
GET / HTTP/1.0
Enter
Host: intp-bird.com
Enter
Enter
What should follow is the html for your website.

If this works when it will not open in a browser, you know it is DNS, if it DOESN'T work this way, the problem is more involved and you need to call the Host company and tell them what you did. (Or did not do, as the case may be)

Cheers.
  • Birdeye
  • Born
  • Born
  • Birdeye
  • Posts: 4

Post 3+ Months Ago

Okay, I did as you said, and I am able to telnet to my site even while I can't access it with IE.

So, I wrote my ISP, and gave them my DNS server IP [acquired from doing an 'ipconfig /all' on my computer] (of which there was only one, where they were expecting two DNS servers), and here is their reply:

"This DNS server is resolving the URL correctly to the IP you had listed in your post. This would indicate that the problem would not be caused by a DNS routing concern if this is the server you are using."


In addition, other people now have reported their own problems accessing my site, which is leaving me incredibly confused. In most cases, right now, a few refreshes is all it takes to connect to my site. Sometimes even that doesn't work though.

Any suggestions, questions, other stuff that could help me determine what in the world is going on?

Thanks for all your help so far.
  • Daemonguy
  • Moderator
  • Web Master
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 2700
  • Loc: Somewhere outside the box in Sarasota, FL.

Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, I meant *their* DNS, not yours. :) Well, in as much as yours, *is* theirs, so to speak.

Let me explain. Your host for your website, I am guessing they also host your whole domain? As in, you don't host the domain elsewhere, and have them point www at the IP provided by your web hosting company? That might be confusing as well. Hmm.
OK, you have one host. One company for which you maintain your domain AND your web hosting...yes?
Then it falls to them to properly handle DNS for any domain for which they are the authority of; namely, yours.
They provide the name resolution for the domain name you own (lease) to the IP they also provide.
http://www. domain> -> <IP>
When you do a lookup from your home, work, whatever, you are requesting that IP, by name. Your DNS resolver at your ISP goes out and attempts to contact the authority DNS resolver for your domain -- that would be your host. When it gets a reply, it caches (hangs onto) that information in case anyone else requests it during a specified period of time. (Your hosting company's min ttl is 1 day, BTW).

So here's the net-net. You can reach it by IP, using the method I expressed earlier even when you are unable to reach it by name. Ergo, it must be a DNS issue.
Logically, it's in one of three places, (while there are many opportunities for critical failure, more than likely it's one of three);
* host's DNS (This means they either have not propagated from their masters to their slaves and DNS information is not present when a slave answers your ISP's request. That would also explain the intermittent nature.)

* Your ISP's DNS (Your ISP for some odd reason disregards the expires set by the host and perhaps one of the DNS resolvers you need to use is munged. While I know you said you only have one, I doubt sincerely that is all they have. Either you have more than one but cannot see it in ipconfig, or your ISP is using a front end to DNS to round-robin requests, a form of load balancing, to back-end DNS servers. I would think it's the former rather than the latter. ipconfig /all should show every resolver you are configured for. If there's only one, I would ask your ISP to check that IP resolution.

* Your host's named-based httpd config is fubar. This is also possible. If they have more than one machine and round-robin the serving it's possible that one is not configured properly. I would like to think that a hosting company has some sort of automated process, (DCE, AFS, rsync -- something) as a measure to ensure the exact same configs are pushed out... but hey. People make mistakes.

Are there other possibilities, yes. Those are the big three for me though, since they all really infer some human error. :)

Maybe a next step is to call the ISP and tell them the hosting company is trying to push it off on them -- however, you know it can't be them if other people from other ISP's are having the same problem. However, it's a good idea to let them take a hack at it -- geeks sometimes don't like it when other companies try to out-foo them. ;)

After that, it's back to the hosting company with everything you found.
I ran a Keynote check from about 20 points over the US and ran simultaneous nslookups on your domain. It came up right on all of them. So I am leaning more toward option 3, than the other two, but a close second is still option 1. ;)

I'll keep digging, maybe I will have an epiphany.

Cheers.

Post Information

  • Total Posts in this topic: 7 posts
  • Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 24 guests
  • You cannot post new topics in this forum
  • You cannot reply to topics in this forum
  • You cannot edit your posts in this forum
  • You cannot delete your posts in this forum
  • You cannot post attachments in this forum
 
 

© 1998-2014. Ozzu® is a registered trademark of Unmelted, LLC.