Forum connectivity issues

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Forum connectivity issues

Postby Mandrake » Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:17 am

Guys, am I the only one having terrible troubles with the forum in the last week or two, to the point that its nearly unusable ? :(

I don't mean the complete absense of the forum which after a few hours gets replaced with the holding page, I mean the constant intermitent connection timeouts to the server, which are still happening as of this morning.

Its got to the point where if I don't copy my message to the clipboard before posting I have a greater than 50% chance of losing it. :(

What I'm seeing is that one minute the forum is working fine and responding quickly, the next minute a page load will totally hang for minutes and then give up with a server timeout, reloading or trying from a different machine does not help, (so its not a browser issue on the one machine) then maybe 2-3 minutes later it is working fine again, then a few minutes later its timing out again, this has been happening more or less non stop for me for the last week, but also happened before that. Any other website is perfectly fine.

I'm seeing the same problem on iPads, Windows XP and Mac OS at home, (on virgin media cable) any browser, I'm also seeing the same issue at work on Windows 7 on chrome/IE on a 100Mbit connection. In fact at work I was even getting intermittent nslookup timeouts/failures when looking up the domain name...

The number of long posts I completely lost until I got it into my thick head to copy to the clipboard before posting was quite distressing. :lol:

Any thoughts on what might be going on ? As I don't see anyone else talking about trouble accessing the forum.

Edit: right on cue, in posting this message the message posted ok and loaded the "redirecting you to your message" intermediate page, but the main message page failed to load and timed out after a while, I had to manually reload to get back to the thread.

Edit 2: And editing the message it timed out when pressing submit.
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Re: Forum connectivity issues

Postby Mandrake » Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:08 am

I see my post got moved, just as well I checked as I wasn't subscribed to the post at the new location :)

Just an update which may shed some light on this problem, we also use Virgin Media at work for Internet (albeit an expensive business grade connection) and after a particularly frustrating period a few minutes ago where I could barely load the site 1 in 10 times I switched my iPad from Wifi (on virgin media residential cable) to 3G on the Three network and it seems to be working just fine. :shock:

So it looks like it could be an issue between Virgin Media and whoever the forum is hosted with ? Perhaps a transparent proxy issue ? I would add that I have absolutely zero problems with intermittent connectivity to any other website from home or work, so its definitely an odd one...
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Re: Forum connectivity issues

Postby myglaren » Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:46 am

I sometimes find a similar issue Simon.
Sometimes when moving posts or threads, or deleting unwanted multiple posts, the delay can be up to five minutes.
I have not been logged out while posting but any longer posts I write in a text editor, mainly because I often have to leave the machine to do other things so I can save it before doing that.

It was my assumption that the problem was my internet connection although it never happens any other site but YouTube, where some clips can take an hour to load.
like last night, was listening to Jackie Evancho then went to watch some Candy Dulfer concerts. The leverkusen one never even got past 10% loading.
Speed check returned just under 4gb.
Other sites seem to be unaffected.
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Re: Forum connectivity issues

Postby Mandrake » Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:29 pm

Are you with Virgin Media as well ?

By the way the problems with buffering on Youtube are world wide, its not just certain ISP's or even just in the UK, there are intermittent issues with severe buffering of even low quality clips, and it often only affects some clips and not others as if they bandwidth prioritise some clips over others!

Sometimes people with 100Mbit connections that are working fine can't even play a standard def clip without buffering at certain times of the day, yet all other websites and video sites are fine.

There is a lot of talk and speculation around the net about what is going on but it seems Google are having trouble keeping up with the bandwidth demand for youtube, but if they are they're not admitting it publicly. :twisted:

So I'm pretty sure what you notice with Youtube will be unrelated.
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Re: Forum connectivity issues

Postby Xaccers » Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:34 pm

Mandrake I split it off as its a new issue rather than downtime related and if anyone else is suffering we need to know.
It looks like a Virgin Media issue.
Back when I worked for NTL they used inktomi transparent proxies which were a pita.
Can't see if they still use them or not.
For the DNS issues it might be worth manually setting your DNS server at home to 8.8.8.8 rather than using VM's servers.
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Re: Forum connectivity issues

Postby Mandrake » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:35 pm

I worked for Virgin Media for a year although only as a phone jockey :oops: and from what I can remember they do have transparent proxies...

The DNS lookup issue I noticed a couple of weeks ago at work (I've been off work the last week) but we don't use Virgin's DNS servers at work, we run our own recursive resolvers...

At home I don't use google DNS because I've found that using Google DNS makes the whole Youtube buffering issue MUCH worse... and that's both on Virgin Media and Sky ADSL! I suspect Google DNS causes you to connect to the wrong, far away CDN's for youtube content...
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Re: Forum connectivity issues

Postby CitroJim » Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:10 pm

Just to say I'm on TalkTalk here and not a problem at all..

I'm only with TT because I used to be with Pipex and then one day they morphed into TalkTalk...

For me the forum is fast and appears quite reliable at the moment, touch-wood.
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Re: Forum connectivity issues

Postby myglaren » Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:58 pm

Mandrake wrote:Are you with Virgin Media as well ?

By the way the problems with buffering on Youtube are world wide, its not just certain ISP's or even just in the UK, there are intermittent issues with severe buffering of even low quality clips, and it often only affects some clips and not others as if they bandwidth prioritise some clips over others!

Sometimes people with 100Mbit connections that are working fine can't even play a standard def clip without buffering at certain times of the day, yet all other websites and video sites are fine.

There is a lot of talk and speculation around the net about what is going on but it seems Google are having trouble keeping up with the bandwidth demand for youtube, but if they are they're not admitting it publicly. :twisted:

So I'm pretty sure what you notice with Youtube will be unrelated.


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Re: Forum connectivity issues

Postby Xaccers » Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:26 pm

VM now appear to only use proxies for addresses on the IWF blacklist, and judging by the IP addresses you've been posting from, you're not going through any proxies.
Their old inktomi ones were dire, never rebooted often enough, mostly overloaded. Someone got hold of a list of them so you could enter a different proxy into your browser and if you were lucky enough to get an underloaded one you're browsing would improve.

Interesting you have problems with Youtube buffering and 8.8.8.8
I've been using 8.8.8.8 as my DNS forwarder for the past 6 years or so without issue, that's been on Sky ADSL, then O2, and now back on Sky.
I've only had Youtube buffering issue on mobile devices.
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Re: Forum connectivity issues

Postby Mandrake » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:44 am

Hi guys,

An update on this, in the last couple of weeks I've started to notice other problems with our Internet connection at home as well, speed tests were always fine (30Mpbs down, 2Mpbs up) but some things would just stall, time out, buffer etc including youtube, iPlayer etc, no real pattern to the issues which were intermitent, the forum was intermitently timing out as well forcing me to switch to 3G to successfully complete a post...

Well yesterday I got fed up and checked the Superhub and noticed there had been a firmware update. A quick check of the virgin forums suggested it rolled out 2/3 weeks ago, around the time when everything got much worse #-o (although the forum was having problems before that)

Suspecting the NAT firewall in the superhub as the issue after reading some of the posts on the virgin forum I put the Superhub into modem only mode and dug out my trusty Apple Airport Express 2nd gen (simultaneous dual band, which the Superhub is not) and presto, problem solved so far! =D>

Speed tests on 2.4Ghz are actually a bit slower - around 24-27Mpbs, (but full 32Mpbs on 5Ghz) I suspect as the airport express is less "aggressive" in the face of interference from other wireless routers, taking its turn, whereas the Superhub is very aggressive and will try to transmit over bursts of interference.

The forum pages seem to load instantly now no failures yet, youtube, iPlayer etc are all working perfectly, every thing is very snappy and reliable now.

I shouldn't be surprised - I worked for Virgin Media for a while :oops: and I know what utter sh**e the Superhub is, both crappy wireless hardware and extremely buggy firmware, and widely acknowledged inside Virgin as a Lemon if not publicly...

So there you go. :)
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Postby addo » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:53 am

So it wasn't a blocked pipe then.

I have slow responses but it's mainly due to awful attenuation and SNR up and down. It really can get faster sometimes if I open the pit in the street and shake the bundle.
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Re: Forum connectivity issues

Postby Northern_Mike » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:15 pm

No problems here on VM. Not sure what speed. Was on 20mb but got upgraded free. Speedtest.net just goes off the scale..

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Postby addo » Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:34 am

Obviously FCF was up to something deeply offensive and perverted yesterday as my ISP was refusing to connect - I had to go via a proxy. Now it's fine. :)
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Re:

Postby Chris570 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:48 am

addo wrote:Obviously FCF was up to something deeply offensive and perverted yesterday as my ISP was refusing to connect - I had to go via a proxy. Now it's fine. :)


So you didnt miss out then, i'm glad ;)
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