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Trouble reaching websites

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Bronze Contributor I
Bronze Contributor I
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎11-06-2010

Trouble reaching websites

Message 1 of 13
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Can someone help me figure out why I'm having this problem.  It just started tonight.  I'm unable to log onto my credit union site.  I get a message saying "The requested URL was rejected. Please consult your administrator." I am also unable to reach another website -Philadelphia water online bill pay.  That one times out.

 

I've tried clearing cache/cookies, rebooting modem and laptop, and adding the credit union site to secure sites in my settings.  Nothing has worked.  Can anyone help me?  Thank you.

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Bronze Contributor I
Bronze Contributor I
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎11-06-2010

Re: Trouble reaching websites

Message 13 of 13
(497 Views)

Hi.  I wanted to follow up to say that I am now able to log on again on my laptop and tablet.  I guess the problem was on the website site despite what I was told.  Thank you for your help.

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MVP MVP
MVP
Posts: 417
Registered: ‎09-06-2020

Re: Trouble reaching websites

Message 2 of 13
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Have you tried the same websites from other devices? If they can be accessed by other devices within the same network, then the Verizon modem/ONT and router are not causing the problem. That being said, it is not within the “jurisdiction” of this forum. But one advice for you would be clearing the browser cookies and cache.

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Bronze Contributor I
Bronze Contributor I
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎11-06-2010

Re: Trouble reaching websites

Message 3 of 13
(558 Views)

No I cannot reach these sites in any browsers or devices on the Verizon modem.  As already stated, I have tried clearing my cache/cookies without success.

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MVP MVP
MVP
Posts: 417
Registered: ‎09-06-2020

Re: Trouble reaching websites

Message 4 of 13
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What is the model of your modem? Are you sure it is a modem, which modulates and demodulates signals, not an Optical Line Terminal (ONT)?

 

What is the model of your router?

 

Since you clarified that the websites cannot be accessed through any browsers and devices, I am thinking the problem might be located at the router or upstream Verizon equipment.

 

Can you go to the router's web GUI and temporarily assign static DNS server address to a public DNS, such as Google 8.8.8.8 or 8.8.4.4? Does this help you get to the websites?

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Bronze Contributor I
Bronze Contributor I
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎11-06-2010

Re: Trouble reaching websites

Message 5 of 13
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Thanks for your reply.  First, an update.  It appears that the website that was timing out is working so it's just the one rejecting my URL.

 

I have an Actiontec M1424WR, with an ONT in the basement.  I tried changing the DNS last night by following instructions on a website but it wasn't by going into the router and it didn't work.  Can you please explain how I can do that so I can try?  

 

Thank you very much.

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Bronze Contributor I
Bronze Contributor I
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎11-06-2010

Re: Trouble reaching websites

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Hi Cang__Household,

 

I'm giving more thought to your suggestion that I change the DNS server and have a few questions that maybe can answer when you reply to explain how to change it.

 

First, does changing the DNS server to a public one like Google make me less secure, i.e., more susceptible to hacking?  If not, and it works to correct the problem, is there any reason not to continue using it rather than just keeping it temporary as you said?

 

Also, if it works, does that mean the website was blocking my IP address for some reason?  Finally, will the other websites that are currently loading properly still recognize me with the new DNS and should I expect to have to reenter all my passwords etc.?

 

Thank you very much.

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Gold Contributor VII Gold Contributor VII
Gold Contributor VII
Posts: 1,746
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: Trouble reaching websites

Message 7 of 13
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Computers use DNS to convert human readable URLs (google.com) into IP addresses that are needed to make connections.  When you enter a URL into your browser or click on a link, the system uses a DNS server to find the IP address if it doesn't have a recently cached copy.  That's it!

 

DNS does not impact how your connection is made.  It does not change your IP address.  It does not make your system less secure(*).  It does not change the status of cookies in your browser (which determine login state, for example.)

 

Think of it as looking up a person's phone number.  You know their name, but you need their phone number to call them.  You can use a phone book (remember those?), your local contact list, or any of a variety of online phone books.  Once you have the number, you can call it however you like.

Since every URL needs to be looked up, a slow DNS server or one with bad information can cause problems, or even make websites appear to be down when their not.  (If you can't get the phone number, you can't call them.)

 

Verizon provides DNS services to their customers.  Some people think Google's DNS servers are faster and more reliable.  It's hard to tell.  I use a OpenDNS, as it provides content filtering services.  Handy when you have curious teens in your home.  For example, if someone in my home tries to go to www.<inappropriate>.com, OpenDNS won't return the site's IP address.  Instead, it returns an IP address that points to a page that says it was filtered.  I get to decide what "inappropriate" is with OpenDNS.

 

So, when you can't get to a web site, one of the first things to try is to see if you can reach it from other networks or through other DNS servers.  This helps narrow down the issue.

 

(*) A DNS server could collect statistics about what sites you lookup.  Some people are very concerned about this and pick their DNS provider accordingly.  Note that unless you use a VPN, the network provider can see where traffic goes, too.  While using another DNS is not a security risk, some people consider privacy risk along side security risk.  I'm not one to worry about this; but if you are, now you know.

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Bronze Contributor I
Bronze Contributor I
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎11-06-2010

Re: Trouble reaching websites

Message 8 of 13
(464 Views)

Thank you.  That's a really helpful explanation.  I find all of this public vs. private IP address and IP address vs. DNS very confusing but that did clear it up a bit.

 

I was out this morning and tried the uncooperative website on several public wi-fi networks.  I was able to get my log-on credentials with no problem instead of getting the "URL was rejected" message.  I didn't log in of course because I was on public wi-fi, but it seems that the problem is almost certainly with my home network -- again all browsers on my laptop and on my tablet.  I guess this means it's blocking the Verizon IP address?   From your explanation, I'm thinking maybe it would fix the problem to change the DNS server but I don't know how to do it.   If anyone has any idea how, maybe then can jump in and provide some guidance.  Meanwhile, I'm going to try posting to the DSL Reports Verizon page and see if anyone can help me there.

 

Thanks very much.

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MVP MVP
MVP
Posts: 417
Registered: ‎09-06-2020

Re: Trouble reaching websites

Message 9 of 13
(446 Views)

Yes, I agree with gs0b's points.

 


@merlin96 wrote:

I tried changing the DNS last night by following instructions on a website but it wasn't by going into the router and it didn't work.  Can you please explain how I can do that so I can try?

 

Also, if it works, does that mean the website was blocking my IP address for some reason?  Finally, will the other websites that are currently loading properly still recognize me with the new DNS and should I expect to have to reenter all my passwords etc.?


I am going to address these questions one-by-one. 

 

You can change your DNS server on a host or at the gateway. Typically, the DHCP reply to a host would include the gateway IP address as the DNS server. In this scenario, the host queries the domain name to the gateway (your router). If the gateway has the name resolution entry (not likely for a home router), it will reply the host with the resolved IP address. More likely than not, the gateway needs to relay the DNS query to an upstream DNS server, such as a Verizon DNS server. To relay the query, the gateway needs the IP address of the upstream DNS server. This IP address is set automatically though the WAN DHCP; however, you can set a static DNS IP address to a different one at the router, such as Google Public DNS 8.8.8.8.  If Verizon DNS server is unable to reply the IP address of a domain name, it should redirect you to the searchassist.verizon.com. Since this is not the case for you, I don't think this is a DNS-related issue.

 

You can also modify the DNS server on your host. If the DNS server ceases to be your gateway, your host will directly query the designated DNS server for name resolution. Changing the DNS at your gateway or on your host does not make a huge difference for residential use, unless you want to access some devices in your LAN using the NetBIOS name. For an organization though, it may want to create internal DNS entries at the gateway for the ease of the employees to access internal resources using easily memorized words instead of numbers and dots.

 

If the website is blocking your IP for some reason, you should receive an HTTP status code of 401 Unauthorized or 403 Forbidden, which are not the case for you. You can try to change your public IP address at the router to see whether the website blocks your IP address.

 

If you are using a different DNS server, your saved login credentials are not affected. The credentials are typically saved on your device in the form of cookies. Saving credentials is highly discouraged for security reasons.

 

At this point, I do think the problem may be at your router's firewall. It is interrupting the connection somehow. Did you enable Parental Controls or Access Control? Can you try accessing the websites with your router's firewall turned off. For security reasons, I recommend you to turn on all host-based firewalls and disallow all inbound traffic (except the device you are accessing the websites) when the router's firewall is turned off.

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Bronze Contributor I
Bronze Contributor I
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎11-06-2010

Re: Trouble reaching websites

Message 10 of 13
(436 Views)

Thank you for such a detailed and thorough reply.  I had a little trouble following the first part of it but I'm not sure it was essential to the resolution of this problem so I'm hoping it doesn't matter.

 

I wouldn't have any idea how to enable parental controls or access control, but I will check just to be sure that they haven't somehow become turned on.  Assuming they haven't I will move on to the next part of your reply.  I just want to clarify that the router firewall is separate from the firewall in my anti-virus software?  I wasn't even aware that my router has a firewall.  How would I go about turning off the router's firewall?  And if this did turn out to be the case -- that somehow my router's firewall is interrupting the connection with this one particular website -- is there a fix for this, because as you note, it would not be safe to leave it off permanently.  

 

Thank you very much for your help.

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