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I am unable to connect to a particular FTP server at Fasthosts over my usual ISP connection, using any of Filezilla, Notepad++ or WinSCP FTP clients on either my PC or my laptop. However, I CAN connect to the Fasthosts FTP server if I use a VPN or another ISP network (ie if I change my IP). My IP is a fixed address 81.56.185.40 on the Free.fr ISP network in France (where I'm currently based).

Here is an example log from WinSCP FTP client showing connection messages:

2016-01-30 11:55:29.630 Connecting to ftp.normandie-chambres.co.uk ...

2016-01-30 11:55:29.673 Connected with ftp.normandie-chambres.co.uk. Waiting for welcome message...

2016-01-30 11:55:39.910 425 Sorry, invalid address given

2016-01-30 11:55:39.910 Disconnected from server

2016-01-30 11:55:39.910 Connection failed.

2016-01-30 11:55:39.910 Got reply 1004 to the command 1

2016-01-30 11:55:39.931 (EFatal) Connection failed.

2016-01-30 11:55:39.931 Disconnected from server

2016-01-30 11:55:39.931 Connection failed.

I have no problem connecting via my normal IP address to FTP servers for other website hosts (e.g.OVH) - only Streamline is affected and only from this IP address.

Streamline says that my IP does not resolve to a hostname and that is why I cannot connect to their server; but CMD Prompt nslookup gives me this hostname result:

C:\Windows\system32>nslookup 81.56.185.40

Serveur : dns2.proxad.net

Address: 212.27.40.241

*** Aucun enregistrement internal type for both IPv4 and IPv6 Addresses (A+AAAA) disponible pour 81.56.185.40

C:\Windows\system32>

The server "dns2.proxad.net" at address "212.27.40.241" is the server of my ISP free.fr. However, the line at the end translates as "No internal type for both ivp4 and ivp6 addresses (a+aaaa)". Does this mean anything to anyone here and could it point towards the root of the problem? Both my ISP and Web Host say that it is nothing to do with them; they may be right but how to check?

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    Try connecting to it via passive (PASV) mode and see if that makes any difference. – Pimp Juice IT Feb 1 '16 at 16:49
  • Yep, if FTP incoming is blocked (which is common with retail ISPs) Active will fail while passive will work just fine. Change client mode and if thats it you'll be running in seconds. – Linef4ult Feb 1 '16 at 17:05
  • Many thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately changing the Filezilla Transfer Setting from Default to Passive hasn't changed anything. I get: Status: Connecting to 213.171.193.5:21... Status: Connection established, waiting for welcome message... Response: 425 Sorry, invalid address given Error: Could not connect to server – PhilG Feb 1 '16 at 17:12
  • It looks as though your IP address has been blocked in the server. I have had this happen because my traffic patterns were "deemed abnormal". You will need to connect the FTP administrator to resolve it. You can eliminate DNS issues with ping ftp.normandie-chambres.co.uk. – AFH Feb 1 '16 at 17:17
  • @AFH I "pinged" ftp.normandie-chambres.co.uk and all looks normal. I'll continue to pester Fasthosts as suggested. :) – PhilG Feb 1 '16 at 17:28
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If the FTP client says "Waiting for welcome message", then it sounds like the FTP session hasn't even reached the point where the type of data transfer (active or passive) is an issue; the client can't even authenticate yet.

I tried resolving that "81.56.185.40" IP address from here in the US as well:

$ host 81.56.185.40
40.185.56.81.in-addr.arpa has no PTR record

And then again, using "dns2.proxad.net" directly:

$ host 81.56.185.40 dns2.proxad.net
;; connection timed out; no servers could be reached

Interesting. Is that server even up/listening?

$ ping 212.27.40.241
PING 212.27.40.241 (212.27.40.241): 56 data bytes
64 bytes from 212.27.40.241: icmp_seq=0 ttl=42 time=155.438 ms
64 bytes from 212.27.40.241: icmp_seq=1 ttl=42 time=157.992 ms
64 bytes from 212.27.40.241: icmp_seq=2 ttl=42 time=156.679 ms
64 bytes from 212.27.40.241: icmp_seq=3 ttl=42 time=158.380 ms

So I'm now wondering if there is an issue with the DNS server on dns2.proxad.net, which is preventing your IP address from being resolved to its DNS name. Which, in turn, would prevent that FTP server from allowing your client to connect (assuming that that FTP server has a policy of requiring that IP addresses resolve to DNS names; this is frequently done so that DNS name-based ACLs can be enforced).

  • I think I follow what you're saying. My ISP "Free.fr" server in question is definitely up and running as I'm connected to the Internet through it at the moment. There are two main Free servers: DNS Primaire : dns1.proxad.net 212.27.40.240 DNS Secondaire : dns2.proxad.net 212.27.40.241 also : ns0.proxad.net 212.27.32.2 ns1.proxad.net 212.27.32.130 ns2.proxad.net 212.27.53.253 ns3.proxad.net 212.27.37.3 I've always been on the second one. – PhilG Feb 1 '16 at 17:33
  • Hrm. Trying host 81.56.185.40 against all of those servers ("ns0" through "ns3") also results in "40.185.56.81.in-addr.arpa has no PTR record", for each server. Something is differently fishy/not right with the DNS configuration for your IP address. – Castaglia Feb 1 '16 at 18:56
  • Yes, it does appear that there may be an issue with the DNS configuration at the Free server. It is up and running but it appears not to resolve to a host name. This appears to mean FTP access is not possible on the Fasthosts FTP server in question, but it is not an issue for all FTP servers - I can access the ftp server at ftp.normandie-chambres.fr okay (hosted by OVH rather than Fasthosts). – PhilG Feb 2 '16 at 8:13
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In case this unusual set of symptoms happens to someone else, I believe I have a clue to the source of the problem. The Free.fr IP address through which I connect to the Internet 85.56.185.40 does not resolve to a host. Using CMD Prompt nbtstat gives:

C:\Windows\System32>nbtstat -A 81.56.185.40

Connexion au réseau local: Adresse IP du noeud : [192.168.0.1] ID d'étendue : []

Hôte introuvable.

Connexion au réseau local 2: Adresse IP du noeud : [0.0.0.0] ID d'étendue : []

Hôte introuvable.

C:\Windows\System32>

So it appears that there may be an issue with the DNS configuration at the Free server not resolving to a host name. This appears to mean FTP access is not possible on the Fasthosts FTP server in question, but it is not an issue for all FTP servers as the ftp server at ftp.normandie-chambres.fr okay (hosted by OVH rather than Fasthosts) can be accessed okay.

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