Shortened URLs no longer work on my devices
April 18, 2013 4:56 PM   Subscribe

Shortened URLs don't work for me anymore. Say, on my phone, when I'm reading my Twitter feed and I click on a shortened URL, it doesn't redirect, just eventually returns a 'time out' error. I've copied and pasted the short URL into both Chrome and Safari, but with no luck. Can you help?

An iOS 6 iPad and an Ubuntu 12.04 laptop fail too.
posted by undue influence to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Perhaps the shortening site was down. Which were you using?
posted by Obscure Reference at 7:01 PM on April 18, 2013

Response by poster: Hmm, I'm not too sure what I'm using, because I didn't shorten those links myself. How does this URL shortening thing work anyway - is it being done on my end? I just click on them - hey, interesting Atlantic/NYT/Longform article! *click* and then I wait and wait and never get there, no matter which device I use.
posted by undue influence at 7:12 PM on April 18, 2013

URL shorteners are just websites with code that says "if someone visits xx, wait a moment and forward them on to yyyyyyyy." But If you have the problem with multiple forwarding sites on multiple devices on the same network, the problem is probably with the one thing that remains the same: the router for your network. Perhaps the router thinks that forwards are spammy or otherwise malicious. If you know how to change your router's settings, try changing the DNS to OpenDNS or Google's free DNS (after jotting down the current settings). This may circumvent whatever is stalling the forwards.

You can also paste a URL into the box on, which is a service that will expand it for you and tell you the final URL so you can just load it yourself.
posted by bcwinters at 7:25 PM on April 18, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks bcwinters, especially for, as changing the DNS settings on my phone following instructions on the OpenDNS website doesn't help. The instructions for iOS - basically go into Settings, change it there and reboot.

For what it's worth, all the devices had DNS set to Google's before this (which didn't stop me from having to frequent the Apple Store with DNS lookup problems on my phone before all this). Maybe this is just the next chapter in that saga, which also includes only being able to use Ethernet on my laptop because wireless gives a DNS lookup error too.

I sure hope this is an ISP/setting problem, because otherwise it may just be that I have a touch that poisons every device I own.
posted by undue influence at 8:28 PM on April 18, 2013

I always have trouble with twitter's shortener on my phone.
Sometimes it just will not work until I completely close down (Force close) chrome and restart it. Then they work again.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:18 AM on April 19, 2013

Response by poster: Hmm. Don't know why, but it suddenly started working again last night. Mysteries. Thanks all!
posted by undue influence at 11:05 PM on April 20, 2013

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