View Full Version : Erratic web site access????
21st Mar 2012, 20:01
I am using latest Firefox version in France on an old Dell Latitude running Windows XP Professional, this worked fine till I changed from one Orange package to another. With the new Orange "Livebox" connection the ability to find a given web site (say as stored in "Bookmarks") is variable, sometimes it connects but usually it gives the "unable to connect" message. If you repeatedly click "try again" it might connect after 10 or 20 clicks or it might never connect.
The other house PC, running Windows 7, works fine and doesn't have this problem. Any ideas?
21st Mar 2012, 20:34
Sounds like a DNS issue.
Try changing your DNS to Google DNS (22.214.171.124,126.96.36.199
See here (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Change-TCP-IP-settings)... steps 1,2,3 and 6 (option 2).
21st Mar 2012, 20:55
Do you still have the Orange software on the machine? That usually installs a proxy server on the PC and can cause DNS resolution headaches, especially with a router (not so bad with the old ADSL modems)
Take a look in your internet connection settings and disable any proxy, or any DNS settings which point to Orange
Personally I prefer to use the OpenDNS servers at 188.8.131.52. and 184.108.40.206
If you want to make your network kiddy-safe, try using their servers at 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168
21st Mar 2012, 20:55
I was going to offer some assistance but then I saw you wrote Erratic, not Erotic. :\
21st Mar 2012, 22:22
Personally I prefer to use the OpenDNS servers
Google's are easier to remember :cool:
But yes, if you want to scrape performance, then for people in the UK OpenDNS will be marginally (6-8 milliseconds) quicker because OpenDNS have nodes in London, whilst Google traffic hops over the channel to their facility in the Netherlands.
But at 6-8 milliseconds, its not really worth loosing much sleep over, especially considering the packet shaping / contention etc. on most people's broadband will add more than that.
traceroute to 22.214.171.124 (126.96.36.199), 64 hops max, 40 byte packets
1 188.8.131.52 (184.108.40.206) 0.490 ms 0.372 ms 220.127.116.11 (18.104.22.168) 0.625 ms
2 22.214.171.124 (126.96.36.199) 0.845 ms 0.727 ms 0.829 ms
3 188.8.131.52 (184.108.40.206) 6.310 ms 220.127.116.11 (18.104.22.168) 5.811 ms 5.893 ms
4 22.214.171.124 (126.96.36.199) 9.721 ms 9.710 ms 9.723 ms
5 188.8.131.52 (184.108.40.206) 17.540 ms 9.879 ms 220.127.116.11 (18.104.22.168) 15.560 ms
6 google-public-dns-a.google.com (22.214.171.124) 9.693 ms 10.382 ms 9.852 ms
64 bytes from 126.96.36.199: icmp_seq=0 ttl=58 time=9.873 ms
traceroute to 188.8.131.52 (184.108.40.206), 64 hops max, 40 byte packets
1 rtr1.lon.opendns.com (220.127.116.11) 0.564 ms 0.564 ms 0.578 ms
2 * * *
3 * *^C
64 bytes from 18.104.22.168: icmp_seq=0 ttl=62 time=0.407 ms
21st Mar 2012, 22:40
My preference isn't for speed reasons, its quite simply that as Google gets more and more invasive in the way it works, I get less and less trusting of it.
Besides which, I like the advantage of the way in which OpenDNS blocks rogue sites - especially with the kiddy-safe version
21st Mar 2012, 22:56
Of course the truly paranoid should run their own DNS servers and not trust any third party whatsoever. :cool:
21st Mar 2012, 23:09
Maybe, but I've got neither the time or resources to do that. And probably not the skill either, though until one tries...who knows?
22nd Mar 2012, 09:01
In its basic form, not particularly difficult. A copy of BIND running on an OS of your choice, a few bits of basic config and Robert's your uncle.
Gets more interesting (read complex) when you start going into running anycast DNS instances, but the average network won't need to worry about that for some time !
22nd Mar 2012, 10:43
Incidentally, i've had to move my customers away from OpenDNS recently, as they've had some significant slowdowns occur periodically. I think they were either under a DoS or had some server issues, but I couldn't hang around and went google instead.
14th Apr 2012, 22:18
Thanks for the advice, have changed DNS as advised above but to no effect so have left it on automatic.
Here's a solution (probably not the best solution but at least web site access is now not erratic): -
Opened "Dell Wireless WLAN Card Utility" and under the "Wireless Networks" tab un-ticked the box: "Let this utility manage your wireless connection".
The status, which was previously stuck on "Authenticating" is now stuck on "Unknown" but at least it now works!
Am I right in concluding that two bits of software were previously trying to control the wireless access?
14th Apr 2012, 23:11
Yes, very probably the built-in Windows and Dell wifi utilities were squabbling - usually Windows detects the other utility and backs off, but not always.
I have always used the Windows utility and disabled / uninstalled the manfr's utility - or just installed the NIC drivers only where possible.