Living abroad and can't access Gmail or Facebook - help!
October 6, 2009 11:01 AM   Subscribe

I can search Google, read the news and view most websites, but specific sites like Facebook and Gmail won't load on my Mac Powerbook - I just get page load errors. Any idea what the problem is?

I'm a Canadian living in France temporarily, and I've taken my laptop from home with me. While here I'm using a shared internet connection at a school, and although I can do web-searching and such, Gmail and Facebook won't load, in Firefox or Safari (or even the crappy discontinued version of Internet Exporer I just downloaded in the hope that it might work). I suspect the problem is with my computer, since other people using the same network connection are able to access these sites with no problems.

The page load error message suggests I might have a firewall in place, but I've checked the settings and nothing seems to be enabled. That said, I'm not terribly well-versed in this stuff. As well, the local tech support guy gave my computer a thorough once-over and can't figure out the problem.

Any ideas? For what it's worth, I've used both Gmail and Facebook in Canada and elsewhere on this computer with no problems.
posted by nicoleincanada to Technology (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: DNS settings have been automatically yet, regretfully.
posted by nicoleincanada at 11:20 AM on October 6, 2009

Response by poster: Also, it's an ethernet connection.
posted by nicoleincanada at 11:22 AM on October 6, 2009

Response by poster: Sorry, no dice. But thanks for the efforts so far.
posted by nicoleincanada at 11:36 AM on October 6, 2009

I had PeerGuardian installed and it borked some sites for me. Uninstalled it (kind of a pain) and the problems went away.
posted by rtha at 11:56 AM on October 6, 2009

This was my question on the subject, FWIW.
posted by rtha at 11:57 AM on October 6, 2009

I have no answer, but can tell you that my kid's macs had the same problem (GMail) for a while and I tried everything. It worked when I logged in as an admin, but not on their regular logins. Just another datapoint. (THe problem cleared itself up or I did something, but it went away and I cannot tell you why.)
posted by JohnnyGunn at 12:15 PM on October 6, 2009

What are the error messages?
posted by mendel at 3:42 PM on October 9, 2009

Response by poster: Sorry odinsdream, my tech expertise is lacking - what's a terminal window? I'd like to try that option.

Here's the error message from Firefox, in its entirety:

Failed to Connect

Firefox can't establish a connection to the server at

Though the site seems valid, the browser was unable to establish a connection.

* Could the site be temporarily unavailable? Try again later.
* Are you unable to browse other sites? Check the computer's network connection.
* Is your computer or network protected by a firewall or proxy? Incorrect settings can interfere with Web browsing.
posted by nicoleincanada at 1:31 AM on October 10, 2009

Response by poster: Ok, found it. There's no error message when I do the nslookup, but here's the response to the traceroute:

traceroute to (, 64 hops max, 40 byte packets
1 ( 2.604 ms !N 1.831 ms !N 1.722 ms !N
posted by nicoleincanada at 4:30 AM on October 10, 2009

Response by poster: To make sure I understand correctly, here's my response to the nslookup:


Non-authoritative answer:

I did the traceroute for - is that correct? Or should I be using the server address?

If that's correct, then yes, that short response is all I got from the traceroute. Although I suspect I might be doing something wrong, since I had the same brief response just now when I tried, which I can access just fine on this computer (not gmail, but the search engine itself).

At any rate, if it's a network problem that's actually a (sort of) good thing, since I'm getting a new internet connection in a couple of weeks - paid for personally, not part of a broader network. Here's hoping that does the trick.
posted by nicoleincanada at 1:08 AM on October 11, 2009

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