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  #1  
Old 12-20-2009, 03:25 PM
Amber Amber is offline
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Default Open DNS

Hello!

Still duking it out with Sasktel/Xplornet to get our service restored to what it should be.

Which leads me to this question. Last week, the IP were were on was suddenly being blocked and we lost access to a lot of message boards--all Christian message boards (some of which I am a member of), one Christian web site I go to every day, this message board, and yahoo mail. The main page of yahoo was only accessible sometimes, the mail totally inaccessible. I suspect that particular IP (starting in 96) somehow got blacklisted at some very big server level and that a lot of websites and message boards use, including this one. What with the continued mess with my account, the IP address got changed to one within the 69 range and that is not being blocked anywhere.

In ongoing discussions with Xplornet techs, they have stated that they will not change my IP address just because I request it, so if this happens again, we're out of luck here. One really bad part of this is the yahoo block because that is my son's only e-mail account, and he needs access to it for stuff he is paying for. My message board accounts also are all signed up with my yahoo mail. We need to have access to yahoo mail, bottom line, and if we lose it, Xplornet won't help.

Proxy servers don't work everywhere, so I figured if this happens again, we can try Open DNS. Can someone here tell me more about it. Brad, I think you've got information on it (if you're still here!). And how would it work with my Linksys router? I think last time I tried a different DNS, I had an IP address but I couldn't get to any websites.
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  #2  
Old 12-20-2009, 03:55 PM
xplornetsuck xplornetsuck is offline
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http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r201...xxxxxxxx-Range
Is a thread from last year about the "96. range" having issues on Verizon FIOS, with not being able to access sites.

The word Bogon in the thread refers to a faked IP range.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogon_filtering

I doubt you could get an answer from Xplornet, to whether they just started using the range and various net filters or blacklists need updating. Or if Xplornet will send an update message down the chain of Internet routers to keep the new range in the clear zone.
Hughesnet has some IP's in the "97. range".

I don't know if the satellite IP's refresh every couple of days to another IP for the user, but if there are users that are spambots, then more IP's can get on a blacklist and eventually the whole range in some severe cases.


EDIT: your former 96. IP shows as clear, on a couple of check sites. But it seems some sites do not properly see who the IP range belongs too.

Last edited by xplornetsuck : 12-20-2009 at 04:09 PM.
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  #3  
Old 12-21-2009, 06:17 AM
Brad R Brad R is offline
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Yes, I'm still here, and sorry, but I don't think OpenDNS will help you.

There are several different ways to be blocked from a site. If your Internet provider wants to block you from accessing certain sites -- say, Xplornet doesn't want you visiting xplornetsucks.com -- then they can change their Domain Name Server to return "not found" whenever your browser asks for xplornetsucks.com. This is the kind of block that OpenDNS can cure -- you just use OpenDNS instead of Xplornet's DNS, and you bypass their blocking mechanism.

What you're describing seems to be different. If a web site wants to prevent certain IP addresses from accessing that site, it can. Most of the forum and Content Management software I've used has such an option. Basically, when it sees a request coming from a given IP address (or range of IP addresses), it can ignore or reject the request. This has nothing to do with the DNS, and the only way Xplornet is involved is because they assigned you your IP address. The only ways around this block are to (a) get a new IP address, e.g. through a different Internet provider, (b) use a proxy to hide your IP address, or (c) contact the web site and ask them to unblock your IP address. (c) is iffy because a lot of these blocks come from automated blacklists. And I've run into some sites that have really sloppy blacklist practices. But it might work for Yahoo.

One thing I would advise is to immediately get yourself a non-Yahoo email address as a "backup". Because if Yahoo is blocking you, and you want to ask Yahoo to unblock you, you'll have to ask by email. So you'll need an account that you can access while Yahoo is blocked. There are lots of free email accounts available.

P.S. To answer your other question, you should be able to use OpenDNS with any router. You can either program OpenDNS into your router, or into your computer(s). There are pros and cons with either approach.
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  #4  
Old 12-21-2009, 05:15 PM
Amber Amber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xplornetsuck View Post
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r201...xxxxxxxx-Range
Is a thread from last year about the "96. range" having issues on Verizon FIOS, with not being able to access sites.

The word Bogon in the thread refers to a faked IP range.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogon_filtering

I doubt you could get an answer from Xplornet, to whether they just started using the range and various net filters or blacklists need updating. Or if Xplornet will send an update message down the chain of Internet routers to keep the new range in the clear zone.
Hughesnet has some IP's in the "97. range".

I don't know if the satellite IP's refresh every couple of days to another IP for the user, but if there are users that are spambots, then more IP's can get on a blacklist and eventually the whole range in some severe cases.


EDIT: your former 96. IP shows as clear, on a couple of check sites. But it seems some sites do not properly see who the IP range belongs too.
I guess it's good for Xplornet to know that a major site like yahoo has blacklisted an IP range so they can do something about it. The tech I spoke to, though, didn't think there was anything Xplornet could do, so maybe he didn't know that was a possibility.

As far as my satellite IP addresses, I've generally had the same IP address for months at a time, and usually it'll hang on even through a major power outage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad R View Post
Yes, I'm still here, and sorry, but I don't think OpenDNS will help you.

There are several different ways to be blocked from a site. If your Internet provider wants to block you from accessing certain sites -- say, Xplornet doesn't want you visiting xplornetsucks.com -- then they can change their Domain Name Server to return "not found" whenever your browser asks for xplornetsucks.com. This is the kind of block that OpenDNS can cure -- you just use OpenDNS instead of Xplornet's DNS, and you bypass their blocking mechanism.

What you're describing seems to be different. If a web site wants to prevent certain IP addresses from accessing that site, it can. Most of the forum and Content Management software I've used has such an option. Basically, when it sees a request coming from a given IP address (or range of IP addresses), it can ignore or reject the request. This has nothing to do with the DNS, and the only way Xplornet is involved is because they assigned you your IP address. The only ways around this block are to (a) get a new IP address, e.g. through a different Internet provider, (b) use a proxy to hide your IP address, or (c) contact the web site and ask them to unblock your IP address. (c) is iffy because a lot of these blocks come from automated blacklists. And I've run into some sites that have really sloppy blacklist practices. But it might work for Yahoo.

One thing I would advise is to immediately get yourself a non-Yahoo email address as a "backup". Because if Yahoo is blocking you, and you want to ask Yahoo to unblock you, you'll have to ask by email. So you'll need an account that you can access while Yahoo is blocked. There are lots of free email accounts available.

P.S. To answer your other question, you should be able to use OpenDNS with any router. You can either program OpenDNS into your router, or into your computer(s). There are pros and cons with either approach.
Thanks, Brad. Yes, after doing some reading at the OpenDNS site, I realized I would still have an ISP assigned IP even if I went through OpenDNS. I have other e-mail addresses, I use my yahoo address re message board registrations and to give to any sites that need an address but where I'm concerned about spam coming back to me later. I have done some looking around on the yahoo site to see if I could find a way to contact them, should we find ourselves blocked again.

I should encourage my son to transfer to a gmail account, maybe, although I personally prefer the layout of yahoo--the old one. But we each have our preferences. He's got a hotmail account that he set up when he set up an xbox live account. I don't think he likes the hotmail account much, and I can't say I cared for it much either. The layout, plus microsoft sites are a pain to use with the Firefox browser--they don't want to let you sign out, for some odd reason. But he's using IE8 now on his computer, so hotmail or windows live should work better with that.
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  #5  
Old 12-21-2009, 06:10 PM
Brad R Brad R is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber View Post
I guess it's good for Xplornet to know that a major site like yahoo has blacklisted an IP range so they can do something about it. The tech I spoke to, though, didn't think there was anything Xplornet could do, so maybe he didn't know that was a possibility.
Which goes to show that the tech doesn't know what he's talking about. If your IP address has been blacklisted, and it's part of a pool owned by Xplornet, then it's usually Xplornet who has to request to be removed from the blacklist. (I've been down this road before with other ISPs.)

You might try these guys to see if you're on some of the commonly used blacklists: http://www.mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx They may link to an information page about how to get removed from the blacklist...I don't recall.
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A computer without Windows is like a chocolate cake without mustard. http://www.goodbyemicrosoft.net
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  #6  
Old 12-21-2009, 10:24 PM
Amber Amber is offline
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I don't know what was going on that day with that IP address. It was just something that happened very suddenly that particular morning, and I don't have the IP address anymore. The tech I spoke to just said there was nothing Xplornet could do about it, and hopefully it would be resolved in a few days.

That's an interesting link, Brad. Thanks.

Last edited by Amber : 12-21-2009 at 10:44 PM.
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  #7  
Old 12-22-2009, 12:15 AM
Amber Amber is offline
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I was going to add to that. The day this blocking thing happened, it was all very sudden, one minute I had access, the next I didn't. I phoned Xplornet, talked to a tech who said they don't do IP blocking. She had me go to a command prompt and run a tracert on one of the sites I couldn't get to. A short list showed up, including what looked like the Vancouver NOC, then there were maybe a couple of other items after that, and then a bunch of 'time out's. I terminated the call so I could go try a few things with another computer, and I didn't want to tie up this tech's time on the phone. I then tried the other computer and talked to a different tech, tried other browsers, and clearing the cache and this was the guy who said he didn't think there was anything they could do on their end, hopefully this would resolve itself in a few days. He had me try my banking site to see if secure pages worked, which they did. He said if it was a matter of not being able to access secure sites, there is something they could do, but this was not the problem I was having.

I didn't take down any notes re how I ended up with a new IP address because I don't recall asking for one, but in my notes I wrote the different IP address and that it was no longer blocked. (Yes, I write down what I do with the computers.)

This evening I ran a tracert on malwarebytes.org just to see what that looked like, got a really long list which included Vancouver, Seattle, and Dallas, and after about 20 or 21 items, it kept timing out, so I closed the command prompt window. It was an interesting exercise, always learning something new. I guess a person could get some idea from that where something was being stopped or blocked, if it was.
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  #8  
Old 12-22-2009, 07:26 AM
Brad R Brad R is offline
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If it happened suddenly, it could have been a failure at some point in the network. But that's pretty unusual, and usually newsworthy. All I've seen is that Twitter got hacked last week.

tracert is definitely the tool to probe network failures. Also, if you can reach http://www.dnsstuff.com/ during these outages, you can do a tracert from their server. Sometimes that is helpful -- e.g., you can tell if the destination is alive, or if you and dnsstuff are being stopped at the same router near the destination.

Anyway, glad you're back up and running.

Edited to add: I just saw this post, which you may find interesting, on a network security site. Note the comment near the bottom:
Quote:
I run a domain that is fully compliant, has forward and reverse DNS, have deployed SPF, Microsoft's variant of it, Yahoo Domain Keys, and DKIM. But for the life of me, I still couldn't get email to people on Yahoo or on the Microsoft servers.
P.S. This is my last post for a week or so -- away on holidays -- so Merry Xmas, all.
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A computer without Windows is like a chocolate cake without mustard. http://www.goodbyemicrosoft.net

Last edited by Brad R : 12-22-2009 at 07:38 AM.
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  #9  
Old 12-22-2009, 09:07 AM
fasteddy2 fasteddy2 is offline
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To Amber: To answer one of your original questions, OpenDNS works great! I've been using their service for several years now as my son's friends (who do not have access to high speed) were coming over to the house and going to less than savory web sites. OpenDNS fixed this problem.

The only tricky part is updating OpenDNS with your current IP address (if it changes), but their site has answers for this issue.

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2010!
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  #10  
Old 12-22-2009, 11:39 AM
Amber Amber is offline
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Thanks Brad, fasteddy2. I think my son is staying off the bad sites, having faced the lecture from me re: 'You're on a home network, what you do affects other computers, and if you start getting careless with security, I'm going to change the router code and you're off line.'

Brad, I've speed dialed those links in case I'm ever blocked from THIS site.

Merry Christmas!
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