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My internet is working since I can access my mail, watch videos on youtube, etc., but sometimes I encounter websites that I just can't access. I used to be able to access them but now all I get is a connection timed out. Funny thing is I can access it if I change ISPs (I have 2 providers) which is leading me to think it's the ISP company's problem.

The things I've tried/know are:

  • The website is NOT region blocked from where I stay
  • The website is NOT down since it works with the other ISP
  • Using a VPN while on the problem ISP made me able to access the website
  • NOT an antivirus, firewall, malware, or host file problem
  • Going wired or wireless makes no difference (still connection timed out)
  • NOT a browser problem since I've tried IE, Firefox, and Chrome respectively
  • Cleared cache, flushed DNS, and changed DNS to google DNS to no avail
  • I can ping, tracert, and nslookup the problem website properly
  • I'm not using any proxy
  • My MTU is working just fine (no packet fragments)

Any help on how to fix this?

  • Check with your ISP whenever they're blocking it. Additionally (though unlikely) the peering of your ISP might not be good enough to reach that site. – Seth Aug 3 '17 at 6:18
  • Yeah I do because this isn't the first time this happened. The ISP company in a way fixes it since I can access the site again, but in turn ruins another site in the process. For example I have websites A, B, & C. One day I couldn't access A but could access B and C. I called the ISP and now I could access A again together with C, but in turn I couldn't access B this time. I called again so I can access B and A, but now C times out. The situation loops around like this so I gave up calling the ISP. Can someone explain on how this is even possible? Shouldn't all sites work as it should? – J. Lim Aug 3 '17 at 7:31
  • No, because they might do any number of configuration changes, filtering and might have various agreements. One example would be peering. Without them telling you what they're doing, you won't be able to figure out why it isn't working with 100% confidence. If you've had such bad experiences with them I wonder why you even keep being their customer. – Seth Aug 3 '17 at 8:56
  • Thanks for the reply! I'm still a customer since this problem only happened recently (like last month everything was working fine). I also can't cancel since I'm locked by contract for at least another year plus from where I'm from this ISP company is really the only "better" choice from all the available unfortunately... – J. Lim Aug 3 '17 at 13:09
  • They cannot justify enforcing there cancellation policy/fee, if their service is not working properly, but, then again, if they are to only valid option... :-( – TriumphST May 6 '19 at 18:30
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As @Seth said in the comment, your ISP is the one that is blocking your access to these websites. What you describe seems perfectly normal depending on the rules your ISP has established.

You mention that you can access the websites with the second ISP, and I am assuming that the same applies with your mobile data.

I had the same problem with SKY in the past. Some ISPs have filters embedded on the routers or through their DNS that prevent you from accessing websites (or for parental control). The way these filters work is really confusing, I remember accessing sites (subtitles) that should be blocked (according to the strict rules of UK) instead they blocked me from accessing sports news websites from outside the UK commenting it as file sharing website.

Now every time you called your ISP for this issue, they might have whitelisted this website, for a certain amount of time, but when they update the filters it will be blocked again. Also, these filters are not always on, there are periods of time during the day that are automatically disabled (usually at night). You can always disable these filters but this will not guarantee you that your ISP might not continue blocking you. Keep in mind that filters do not always use the best rules for blocking websites, so blocking you from accessing these websites might seem strange to you, but perfectly normal to the ISP.

My solution to these issues was to use a VPN. Every time I want to do something on the Internet (read,browse,watch tv) I use VPN. There is nothing wrong in using VPNs (for legal purposes), on the contrary it adds a layer of privacy and security. VPNs can give you access to blocked websites, geo-restrictions, and most importantly:

It secures your computer's internet connection to guarantee that all of the data you're sending and receiving is encrypted and secured from prying eyes.

Source: Why You Should Start Using a VPN

I wouldn't worry so much, and get frustrated about getting blocked since there is an easy and common way to fix that. And as you already said you have used VPN and worked like a charm.

Disclaimer:

This answer proposes the use of VPN for legal purposes only.

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