Strange Internet Problem

Newtun

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I'm having a perplexing issue on my main Ubuntu PC, in FireFox. For just a couple of web sites (that I know of), mlb.com and nba.com, they take a while, then time out with various error messages. Just now, for NBA.com, "Request Timeout The server timed out while waiting for the browser's request. Reference #2.9ff02217.1599083100.0". And for MLB.com, "Secure Connection Failed An error occurred during a connection to www.mlb.com. The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because the authenticity of the received data could not be verified. Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem."

Most other web pages open relatively fast on this PC, and NBA.com and MLB.com open fine in my other Ubuntu PC and my Windows PC, here in my office, and in my WiFi connected Chromebook.

I compared the network setups on the two Ubuntu PCs, and they have the same "Default Route" and DNS settings.

Do any of you have suggestions as to how to troubleshoot this problem?

TIA!
 

Chewy509

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Could be a problem at either end, as I've seen weird problems with some sites load balancer's not directing traffic correctly that cause these sort of issues, or could be stale cookies on the client side giving information that the server doesn't like.

IIRC Firefox has started using DNS over HTTPS in newer releases, and this has been known to cause issues with some larger site as well.

If enabled, try turning off DNS over HTTPS [1], clearing all cookies and cache data, and see how that goes.

Also any plugins installed/enabled that are different between the various PCs?

[1] https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/firefox-dns-over-https
 

Newtun

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Thanks for the response!

Last night, my other Ubuntu PC started doing the same thing.

But today, both web sites load fine on both PCs. Gotta love those intermittent problems. 🤪
 

Handruin

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I thought there was another semi-recent cloudflare outage or DNS issue happening. You may have been hit by that which might cause what you desribed.
 

Handruin

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Also for future troubleshooting, since you're using Ubuntu/Linux, you could remove the web browser from the equation and use curl from the command line on any given website to test the response. You could start with something as basic as getting the website headers to see if there are any errors:

Bash:
curl http://example.com -I
 

Newtun

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Good curl-y point, Handruin. (I had tried using the Ubuntu "native" browser, but that app failed to load.)

And I don't want to install the Chrome browser (FireFox is my preference), but I may do so if these issues keep popping up intermittently.

BTW, I did check on the "DNS over HTTPS" setting in FireFox, and it's switched off.

Thanks, all!
 

Handruin

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I hear ya, Firefox is my personal preferences one either windows or linux when I'm browsing. I do use Chrome at work on my Mac and it's fine but still prefer Firefox for personal stuff.
 

time

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Although my recommended browser is Firefox (more a case of anything but Chrome), I mainly use Vivaldi myself because:
a) I can't live without the seamless tab stacking
b) It doesn't keep every damn page in memory so I don't need 32GB RAM just to run web browsers
c) IMO general usability is better than modern Firefox.

For mobile, I have to use Opera because nothing else does text reflow after zooming in and out. I don't know how people browse on a tiny screen without it. Seems to work fine these days now that it's a Chromium variant.

Obviously there are Linux versions.
 

Tea

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I don't want to install the Chrome browser (FireFox is my preference)
Opera and Vivaldi are excellent, non-chrome, non-Google browsers which work on Ubantu. Install either or both. (On Windows, they are both vastly superior to Firefox: faster, more reliable, less bloated, less prone to clogging up and going to near-100% CPU. On Linux, I couldn't say.)

 

Tea

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Yes. This is a good thing, on the whole. They are faster and more compatible than anything based on the Firefox engine, but they come without the sub-par UI and truly horrible spy-on-you stuff Chrome inflicts on people.

(Disclaimer: I like the Firefox setup better, but I recognise it's very significant limitations. Firefox itself I avoid, for the most part, ever since they destroyed the UI to make it look like Chrome. (Most of the rest of the world walked away from it at that same time, for the same reasons.) However, I use the excellent SeaMonkey and the very nice Pale Moon a lot, and the not-bad-but-needs-work Waterfox as well. These all use the same engine as Firefox. Vivaldi (designed by the same people who made the superb original Opera) and Opera are my main browsers, however. I practically never use Chrome.)
 

Newtun

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IIRC Firefox has started using DNS over HTTPS in newer releases, and this has been known to cause issues with some larger site as well. ... If enabled, try turning off DNS over HTTPS [1], clearing all cookies and cache data, and see how that goes.
BTW, I did check on the "DNS over HTTPS" setting in FireFox, and it's switched off.
A couple of days ago, I reviewed the above earlier responses, and decided to try reversing Chewy's recommendation, and turning on the "DNS over HTTPS" setting in FireFox.

This seems to have worked, as I've been able to open the two problematic web pages mentioned in my original post several times in the past 2 days, and my "usual websites" are working fine as well.
 
Last edited:

sedrosken

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In my experience, since Quantum landed, nothing's been able to touch Firefox in terms of usability, flexibility or stability. I don't *quite* have the tab stacking that I enjoyed when I used Vivaldi (or, for that matter, Presto versions of Opera -- 12.somethingorother and older) but the Simple Tab Groups comes close enough for my tastes and, paired with Auto Tab Discard I don't have memory problems either. It's been a few blue moons since I've had Firefox crash on me, and even then it was always in a recoverable manner, since STG backs up its groups roughly every hour to a fresh JSON file in a backups folder under your Downloads. It's my preferred choice whether I run Windows or Linux, though on Linux I tend to prefer using the LTS version of Firefox just because.
 
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