Internet's having issues--some sites load, some don't.
June 30, 2014 10:31 AM   Subscribe

My internet (AT&T DSL) got weird a few hours ago this morning, and is still struggling. I went through a long list of stuff with a tech, who is sending out a new modem. Here's what's happening. Certain sites are loading fine, while others just time out to the "The connection has timed out" message.

Sites I tried that work:
Metafilter (and ask.metafilter)

Sites I tried that do not work:

Sites that sometimes work:

I tried restarting the modem, restarting the computer, unplugging and replugging all the modem stuff, etc. I have AT&T and there is one giant modem/router combo. I have tried both the wireless and wired connections, and have tried multiple browsers and multiple computers. These sites were literally working one moment and then non-working the next.
posted by Slinga to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
As part of the troubleshooting did the tech have you tried to get to the websites that don't work by IP address?

For example if you enter: in your browser, does it bring up usps's website?

If this works, change your DNS to something like or which are publicly accessible DNS servers.

The other thing that can sometimes cause odd behavior like this is MTU. On DSL, it should either be 1500 or 1492 (if AT&T is using PPPoE). If you have access to the AT&T router you can try changing the MTU lower, for example to 1450 and then lower in increments of 100.

It could also just be that you need that replacement modem, either an update got pushed to it that didn't install correctly and now you have corrupted NAT tables or something.
posted by effigy at 10:49 AM on June 30, 2014

It's definitely not just you. I'm having issues with all those sites as well (also on AT&T, but U-verse instead of DSL). Looking at some of these "Is _______ down?" sites shows that a lot of other people are affected at the moment, too. There's probably not much you can do on your end except wait for this to be resolved.
posted by Nedroid at 10:52 AM on June 30, 2014

What if you flush your DNS cache, does that help?

1. Click the start button and navigate to the command prompt (Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt)
2. Make sure that you right click on the command prompt application and choose "Run as Administrator"
3. Type in the command ipconfig /flushdns
posted by gregjunior at 12:03 PM on June 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

It's DNS. It's ALWAYS dns, unless it's Linux, then it's permissions, or maybe permissions AND DNS.

It could POSSIBLY be that their CDN (content delivery network) is barfing, but even then, it's DNS.

Do as the above stated and change your DNS to point to google or OpenDNS and you should be all set.
posted by TomMelee at 12:15 PM on June 30, 2014

It was an AT&T issue apparently. They are resolving it, and my access is coming up. Thank you everyone!
posted by Slinga at 12:16 PM on June 30, 2014

My experience with AT&T DSL and later U-Verse was that even when the problem was with their side, the techs I spoke to were never aware of the issue. Ever. I contrast this against Comcast, which more than once has managed to detect automatically that there is, say, a severed cable in my neighborhood causing a widespread outage, thus saving me a pointless call to tech support.
posted by wnissen at 2:30 PM on June 30, 2014

For future reference, give "Down For Everyone Or Just Me?" a try. Its result is not definitive as a site could be down for both you and DFEOJM but not many other people, but it's a way to get another party to try accessing a site-- way better than a pure novelty.
posted by Sunburnt at 4:38 PM on June 30, 2014

gregjunior, is there a space between the g and the slash? I'm having the same problems and want to try your remedy, but don't want to cause trouble by giving the wrong command. Thank you.
posted by aryma at 10:57 PM on June 30, 2014

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