Can't access Metafilter December 10, 2010 3:30 AM   Subscribe

Suddenly I can't access metafilter.com any more.

For some reason, my router doesn't seem to want to connect today. Have rebooted it and it made no difference.

Not a DNS problem as I'm using Google DNS and can do a traceroute:

TraceRoute to 174.132.172.58 [metafilter.com]
Hop (ms) (ms) (ms) IP Address Host name
1 18 12 7 72.249.128.109 -
2 13 9 19 8.9.232.73 xe-5-3-0.edge3.dallas1.level3.net
3 17 26 7 4.69.145.77 ae-2-70.edge4.dallas3.level3.net
4 62 23 14 4.59.32.30 the-planet.edge4.dallas3.level3.net
5 9 40 22 70.87.253.26 te7-2.dsr02.dllstx3.networklayer.com
6 Timed out Timed out Timed out -
7 35 15 18 70.87.254.238 te6-1.car13.dllstx6.networklayer.com
8 43 24 15 174.132.172.58 metafilter.com

Trace complete


However, there is no response in any browser from any computer and ping requests time out:

Pinging metafilter.com [174.132.172.58] with 32 bytes of data:
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.

Ping statistics for 174.132.172.58:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss),


The only way I seem to be able to access the site is through proxies. Every other site I can think of seems to work fine. Any ideas?
posted by turkeyphant to MetaFilter-Related at 3:30 AM (50 comments total)

The site just isn't that into you?
posted by maxwelton at 3:32 AM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Could you have accidentally clicked "Block this site" in some snoopy application's pop-up window? These things happen.

Could you have gotten things backwards when you were setting some sort of "Trust this site/Block this site" settings in your browser?

Are you at work or school and being blocked by an insane IT person who thinks you (or people in general) spend too much time here?

Does your spouse think you spend too much time on MetaFilter and would your spouse be able to figure out how to block an address on your machine?
posted by pracowity at 3:43 AM on December 10, 2010


You're running windows?
posted by pompomtom at 3:45 AM on December 10, 2010


Only I have access to my computer - nobody (myself included) has changed any settings. In any case, the problem occurs on other browsers, other computers and with other operating systems. I am at home using my own hardware. There are no filtering settings.

The only common factor is the router and internet connection. I have no idea why that particular IP is not connectible only from this connection.
posted by turkeyphant at 3:56 AM on December 10, 2010


You can traceroute but not ping? I don't think I've ever seen that before.
posted by DU at 4:35 AM on December 10, 2010


I got my Christmas pony request!

Note to pb: I didn't mean just metafilter.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:47 AM on December 10, 2010


Okay, I'm getting closer. Stupidly realised that I only did a traceroute from a website. A correct traceroute log is below (from what I understand, this seems to be a problem with my ISP which is owned by plus.net). Now what?

Tracing route to metafilter.com [174.132.172.58]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 1 ms 13 ms 2 ms 192.168.0.1
2 533 ms 93 ms 166 ms rb4-lo1.core.global.net.uk [80.189.99.252]
3 317 ms 325 ms 325 ms rb2-ge0-3v405.core.global.net.uk [80.189.99.209]
4 278 ms 249 ms 206 ms po2.pte-gw1.plus.net [212.159.2.113]
5 258 ms 282 ms 300 ms te2-2.pcl-gw01.plus.net [212.159.0.185]
6 * * * Request timed out.
7 * * * Request timed out.
8 * * po4.pcl-gw02.plus.net [212.159.1.129] reports: Destination host unreachable.

Trace complete.

posted by turkeyphant at 4:57 AM on December 10, 2010


Strange. I can't seem to post comments, either.
posted by doublehappy at 5:14 AM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Maybe your ISP is mis-using a bad idea for spam protection as a website blocker?
posted by DU at 5:16 AM on December 10, 2010


Metafilter is under a DDOS for deleting too many Wikileaks threads.
posted by nowonmai at 5:18 AM on December 10, 2010 [12 favorites]


Sorry that was a typo; what I meant to say is that I too am in the UK and am finding connection to MeFi a bit flaky, with frequent timeouts, but I can get the odd page to load. As I write this I can ping but not traceroute. Something that seemed similar was going on with Daring Fireball a week ago, but it fixed itself after a few days.
posted by nowonmai at 5:23 AM on December 10, 2010


No problem at all reaching any part of the site from Italy as of time of writing.
posted by aqsakal at 5:29 AM on December 10, 2010


... and I'm using Windows.
posted by aqsakal at 5:30 AM on December 10, 2010


Latest traceroute:

Tracing route to metafilter.com [174.132.172.58]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 1 ms 1 ms 1 ms 192.168.0.1
2 30 ms 27 ms 34 ms rb4-lo1.core.global.net.uk [80.189.99.252]
3 29 ms 33 ms 28 ms rb2-ge0-3v405.core.global.net.uk [80.189.99.209]

4 38 ms * 31 ms po2.pte-gw1.plus.net [212.159.2.113]
5 57 ms 30 ms 31 ms te2-2.pcl-gw01.plus.net [212.159.0.185]
6 34 ms * * po4.pcl-gw02.plus.net [212.159.1.129]
7 * * * Request timed out.
8 * * * Request timed out.
9 * * * Request timed out.
10 * * * Request timed out.
11 * * * Request timed out.
12 * * * Request timed out.
13 * * * Request timed out.
14 * * * Request timed out.
15 * * * Request timed out.
16 * * * Request timed out.
17 * * * Request timed out.
18 * * * Request timed out.
19 * * * Request timed out.
20 * * * Request timed out.
21 * * * Request timed out.
22 * * * Request timed out.
23 * * * Request timed out.
24 * * * Request timed out.
25 * * * Request timed out.
26 * * po4.pcl-gw02.plus.net [212.159.1.129] reports: Destinati
on host unreachable.

Trace complete.


And to clarify some things:

Browser/OS/computer issues are not relevant - this happens on all browsers and all computers using this problematic internet connection. The traceroute problem I showed above seems to support this.
Other internet connections are fine. I can post because I'm doing it through a proxy. This is the same reason the traceroute in my original question worked.

It could be a spam IP issue the IP that is unreachable is an ISP IP, as far as I can tell? When it says "destination host unreachable" which host is it referring to? I can ping all IPs in the traceroute.

Just got one hop further with a recent traceroute. This is an ISP problem, right?

preview-edit:
nowonmai - what ISP are you using? I have had problems with metafilter being a bit flaky over the last few days, but waiting 15 seconds always seemed to fix it.
posted by turkeyphant at 5:36 AM on December 10, 2010


My ISP is Talk Talk, and I'm in Merseyside if that's relevant.
OS is Mac, although I'm sure that's not relevant.
posted by nowonmai at 5:45 AM on December 10, 2010


Just was about to give up and start some proper work when I refreshed and got through!

Tracing route to metafilter.com [174.132.172.58]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 52 ms 51 ms 50 ms 192.168.0.1
2 27 ms * 33 ms rb4-lo1.core.global.net.uk [80.189.99.252]
3 30 ms 29 ms 30 ms rb2-ge0-3v405.core.global.net.uk [80.189.99.209]

4 138 ms 131 ms 33 ms po2.pte-gw1.plus.net [212.159.2.113]
5 195 ms 225 ms 37 ms te2-2.pcl-gw01.plus.net [212.159.0.185]
6 29 ms 31 ms 29 ms po4.pcl-gw02.plus.net [212.159.1.129]
7 39 ms 43 ms 33 ms 195.50.122.129
8 30 ms 31 ms 190 ms ae-34-52.ebr2.London1.Level3.net [4.69.139.97]
9 101 ms 99 ms 98 ms ae-43-43.ebr1.NewYork1.Level3.net [4.69.137.74]

10 113 ms 191 ms 104 ms ae-61-61.csw1.NewYork1.Level3.net [4.69.134.66]

11 102 ms 102 ms 109 ms ae-62-62.ebr2.NewYork1.Level3.net [4.69.148.33]

12 135 ms 163 ms 151 ms ae-3-3.ebr2.Dallas1.Level3.net [4.69.137.121]
13 153 ms 164 ms 136 ms ae-2-70.edge4.Dallas3.Level3.net [4.69.145.77]
14 182 ms 137 ms 144 ms THE-PLANET.edge4.Dallas3.Level3.net [4.59.32.30]

15 148 ms 140 ms 180 ms te7-2.dsr02.dllstx3.networklayer.com [70.87.253.
26]
16 135 ms 143 ms 140 ms te4-1.dsr02.dllstx2.networklayer.com [70.87.255.
122]
17 140 ms 146 ms 191 ms te6-1.car13.dllstx6.networklayer.com [70.87.254.
238]
18 154 ms 138 ms 143 ms metafilter.com [174.132.172.58]

Trace complete.


How weird. Guess this problem is solved (for now) but anyone know what was going on here?
posted by turkeyphant at 5:49 AM on December 10, 2010


Last week I had some very frustrating long timeout sessions with MeFi too. (I'm in Florida.) I stupidly didn't think to do a traceroute at the time, but just sent the mods a couple of notes when it was happening, and they didn't notice any problems on their end.
posted by Gator at 5:53 AM on December 10, 2010


turkeyphant: "How weird. Guess this problem is solved (for now) but anyone know what was going on here?"

Wouldn't be surprised if plus.net's uplink to Level3 was acting up. Those kinds of things happen on a regular basis, but usually redundancy helps traffic go a different (maybe slower) route. In this case, any number of complex circumstances could have led to an inability to reroute that traffic.
posted by Plutor at 5:56 AM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


That last router at plus.net probably lost some of its tables.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:58 AM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Or, what Plutor said.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:58 AM on December 10, 2010


Yeah, looks like Level3 has been having some packet loss issues for the past hour, at least. Wouldn't be surprised if there were wider-spread issues.
posted by Plutor at 5:59 AM on December 10, 2010


Better link
posted by Plutor at 6:01 AM on December 10, 2010


It's ok everyone, I can still post!
posted by nomadicink at 6:24 AM on December 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Just was about to give up and start some proper work when I refreshed and got through!

"refreshed" what?
posted by DU at 7:08 AM on December 10, 2010


Plutor: "Wouldn't be surprised if plus.net's uplink to Level3 was acting up."

Burhanistan: "That last router at plus.net probably lost some of its tables"

Thanks guys - just too late but that was just what I was looking for.

DU: "Just was about to give up and start some proper work when I refreshed and got through!

"refreshed" what
"

A tab containing a metafilter page.
posted by turkeyphant at 7:26 AM on December 10, 2010


It's like a whoisdunnit.
posted by Eideteker at 7:46 AM on December 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


Metafilter is refreshing.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:46 AM on December 10, 2010


Innit?
posted by Burhanistan at 7:48 AM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


This will all be fixed once port 22 is opened up, and we can all use SSH to get our Metafix.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:53 AM on December 10, 2010


Whoa, a blog/social site with a commandline interface would rule.

And now that I think about it, by "rule" I mean "any multi-user UNIX system in the last 50 years".
posted by DU at 8:15 AM on December 10, 2010


Hmmm... like a MUD?
posted by Roger Dodger at 8:41 AM on December 10, 2010


*fork shell to DU*
posted by Roger Dodger at 8:41 AM on December 10, 2010


Couldn't have been because we were talking in a relatively uninhibited way about the "riots", could it?
posted by jamjam at 10:29 AM on December 10, 2010


Whoa, a blog/social site with a commandline interface would rule.

That's it, I'm starting a Metafilter <> Usenet gateway. Most posts will be in alt.metafilter, but depending on the presence (and order) of certain keywords, some will end up in alt.metafilter.gaga, alt.metafilter.wikileaks, alt.metafilter.videos [no binaries pls], etc.
posted by kenko at 10:43 AM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Shoulda been "Metafilter <—> Usenet".
posted by kenko at 10:44 AM on December 10, 2010


Does your spouse think you spend too much time on MetaFilter and would your spouse be able to figure out how to block an address on your machine?
posted by pracowity

{packs laptop bag, dishes done, write poem, contemplate flowers with little money, poem...operation backrub...Grovel and reason seminar...libido discussion. watch a movie}

THIS IS THE BARGAINING STAGE OF MY GREIF! RIGHT?
posted by clavdivs at 11:14 AM on December 10, 2010


alt.metafilter.drama.ask.ask.ask
alt.religion.deskology
alt.sex.cabal.stories
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:39 AM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


MeFi's been flaky for me all week. Flaky and slow. Dunno why.
posted by klangklangston at 11:50 AM on December 10, 2010


MeFi's been flaky
for me all week flaky and
slow dunno why (honk)
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:54 AM on December 10, 2010


When it says "destination host unreachable" which host is it referring to?

Destination refers to the site you're trying to traceroute, so metafilter.com in this case. Traceroute works by sending test packets to the destination with time-to-live (TTL) values that start small and increase. Each time the packet is handed from one machine to another, the TTL is decreased, and when it hits 0 the packet is returned with a 'time exceeded' ICMP message. By sweeping the TTL value and looking at the result of that time exceeded message you can determine the path the packet takes. But the point I'm trying to make here is that the destination of every test packet is always the target system, so if you get 'destination unreachable' that means that somebody along the way has no route to the host, which usually means a link somewhere is down.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:39 PM on December 10, 2010


I blame EasyDNS
posted by burnmp3s at 12:41 PM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Has the crystal in your hand turned black?

You need to report to Carousel.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:37 PM on December 10, 2010


MeFi's been flaky for me all week. Flaky and slow. Dunno why.

Look, it's the end of the year, it's cold, it gets dark really early...maybe Metafilter just needs some rest, OK? Maybe Metafilter's just hanging on Christmas is over, all right? Metafilter just needs a fresh start in the new year. Maybe Metafilter could just a little help, a little sympathy, instead of the rest of you complaining about how slow and flaky she is. Metafilter's doing her best. *sniff* Gawd, you guys are so critical.
posted by maryr at 1:55 PM on December 10, 2010


Well, the odd thing about this possibly being an IP layer problem is that all ther subsites are served from the same IP address:
www.metafilter.com.	38173	IN	CNAME	metafilter.com.
metatalk.metafilter.com. 42794	IN	CNAME	metafilter.com.
ask.metafilter.com.	41711	IN	CNAME	metafilter.com.
podcast.metafilter.com.	43200	IN	CNAME	metafilter.com.
metafilter.com.		38362	IN	A	174.132.172.58
So if turkeyphant can reach metatalk but not mefi, then either it's a browser or website problem, or random flakiness which just coincidentally broke mefi for him but not meta, or for some unfathomable reason plus.net is doing deep packet inspection to carefully block one subsite but not the others. My money's on the random flakiness.

also I would totally use a MUD or usenet interface to mefi
posted by hattifattener at 2:44 PM on December 10, 2010


I've tried a number of arrangements of this, and it's just not as catchy as Suddenly, Seymour.
posted by Wolfdog at 2:56 PM on December 10, 2010


I don't think the OP was suggesting that metatalk works but the front page doesn't; he mentions having to use a proxy so it's implied that that's how he was able to post this.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:41 PM on December 10, 2010


burnmp3s: "I blame EasyDN"

Is this a meme I'm not aware of? I thought I made it clear it was not a DNS issue.

hattifattener: "So if turkeyphant can reach metatalk but not mefi, then either it's a browser or website problem, or random flakiness which just coincidentally broke mefi for him but not meta, or for some unfathomable reason plus.net is doing deep packet inspection to carefully block one subsite but not the others. My money's on the random flakiness."

As I said, the only way I was able to access Metatalk before the problem was resolved was through proxies. This bypassed the routing problem between PlusNet and Level3.
posted by turkeyphant at 3:42 PM on December 10, 2010


I'm in the UK and had the same problem this morning, trying to access via Plusnet DSL. All fine now at home (and also from work).
posted by adrianhon at 4:21 PM on December 10, 2010


The joke about EasyDNS is that they recently went through hell when numerous bloggers and news organizations repeatedly mistook them for EveryDNS and blamed them for something they didn't do. Despite doing his best to correct them each time, the shoddy "copy/paste journalism" that's apparently rampant nowadays resulted in wave after wave of stories naming them as responsible. So I guess the meme of blaming something on EasyDNS is kind of like saying, "ha ha, look, another shitty blogger that can't be bothered to take 30 seconds to verify a story before retweeting / blogging it."
posted by Rhomboid at 4:24 PM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


When it says "destination host unreachable" which host is it referring to? I can ping all IPs in the traceroute.

When you send a packet on the Internet, it has a 'source' (you) and 'destination' (target) address. It's forwarded over a series of links, and at each hop, the router at that hop has to determine the 'best' direction to send the packet.

When you get back a 'destination unreachable' packet, that means that the router involved (possibly your local computer, even) has determined that it has no working route to the destination. This is usually caused by a downed link or cut fiber somewhere. Most of the time, you don't even see outages, because the Net is smart enough to route around inactive links, but sometimes there is no alternate path, and the router has to give up. It can drop quite a few packets whlle it's trying to fix its links, before giving up and sending you an error on just one of them.

In your case, you started a traceroute, and it successfully got to 212.159.1.129, and stalled. Nothing much happened for awhile, as that router was trying to find a working path. The downed link might have been there, or further upstream. There's no real way to know. Wherever the actual failure was, 212.159.1.129 was the router that realized there was no way to get the packet through.

Eventually, either the routers figured out a new path to the destination (this can take a few minutes, as it's a very CPU-heavy process, and routers tend not to have much CPU), or else a link came back up, and suddenly you could get through again.

tl;dr version: the 'host unreachable' error is the equivalent of a router throwing its hands up in frustration. The 'reporting' address is the machine or router that detected the problem. The 'destination' address is what you were trying to reach.
posted by Malor at 12:15 AM on December 11, 2010


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