can ping but can't browse internet

April 23, 2005 at 22:40:07
Specs: win xp home, 2.5ghz

Hi,

I searched for this but did not find an answer.

My sister-in-law has an HP tablet. Today I connected to a weak wireless signal in the area and was unable to browse the internet using ie. However, I pinged yahoo.com just fine. I assume that if I can ping that the signal is strong enough to browse. Am I mistaken? Thanks.

Roberta


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#1
April 23, 2005 at 23:35:34

I have found that if you can ping and you can't browse internet it can be a DNS problem. Try and entering in the DNS for your ISP.

Andre


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#2
April 24, 2005 at 09:41:48

try running winsockfix on that machine...
www.eternalisp.com

Complete Computer Service Inc.
NW Indiana


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#3
April 24, 2005 at 11:46:23

Not likely a winsock problem, josh.

RLP, Andre is on the right track with this. If you can ping but can't browse, you're most likely looking at a DNS or proxying issue. The first you can fix by checking your tcp/ip settings after you lease an IP address on the wireless network. If there are no DNS servers assigned, you can assign them manually. Chances are good that the gateway address is also a DNS server.

The second issue - proxying - may be more difficult to fix. If http traffic is blocked at the router/firewall, requiring internal clients to use a web proxy for browsing, you will have to guess the address of the proxy server. If the network you are connected to is small enough, you can probably figure this out pretty easily using a port scanner.


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Related Solutions

#4
April 24, 2005 at 12:35:21

Thank you. One more question. I understand (sort of) about finding the port for the proxy server. Where do I get a port scanner? Is this a piece of software?

Thanks.

Roberta


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#5
April 24, 2005 at 12:59:53

Yes, a port scanner is a piece of software. this one is pretty cheesy, but will work for this. You will be looking for two things:

1) what hosts are up on the network? This can usually be determined with a simple ping scan.

2) what services are running on each host? If there is a proxy server, it will be listening on either port 80, 8080, 8088, 8081, or possibly another.

All of that being said - I doubt that a proxy server is in use on the network you found. If it's just somebody's unsecured home network, it is very unlikely that they are using a proxy server. Web proxying takes some effort to implement, and is more likely to be in use on business networks. I would suggest you investigate the DNS issue before worrying about the proxy.


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#6
April 24, 2005 at 15:36:41


Okay. I am not near the laptop now and I may have to communicate this over the phone to the laptop's owner so I want to make sure I understand. If the tcp/ip settings are set to automatically obtain a dns server address, and it's not assigning it, then I need to specify it. But how do I know what to specify?


Thanks for your patience.

Roberta


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#7
April 24, 2005 at 21:31:08

I do not see how it can be DNS if you can ping YAHOO.COM
if you can ping yahoo.com then your DNS is resolving the yahoo.com to one of yahoos IP addresses...i have seen that before, there is a large possibility that winsockfix will not fix your problem, but it is still a shot...also did not know you had a proxy setup, i did not assume that you did...

Complete Computer Service Inc.
NW Indiana


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#8
April 24, 2005 at 21:41:25

He doesn't have a proxy set up. That was one guess about why the computer in question can ping but not browse. You are probably right about the DNS issue too - if a website can be pinged by name, the name can obviously be resolved.

Considering that this is a borrowed connection, and we know nothing about the network, I think "winsockfix" is really a shot in the dark at this point. Especially since we have already established that name resolution works - which is what we would expect winsockfix to fix.


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#9
April 25, 2005 at 15:54:50

i agree to disagree...i have seen winsockfix fix a machine that could ping a internet address by name but not browse...but yes that is its main purpose to rebuild TCP/IP...that is the only reason why i suggested it, so that it can be ruled out and i have seen it in the past...by being able to ping yahoo.com without a proxy being setup... yea i could see winsockfix possibly (literally) fixing this issue...

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#10
April 25, 2005 at 16:08:23

I follow your reasoning, and don't necessarily disagree. However, unless the computer in question also has the same problem on other networks, I'll stand by my "shot in the dark" assessment. I always like to try and understand a problem before randomly throwing solutions at it.

Couldn't hurt to try winsockfix though, I guess.


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#11
April 25, 2005 at 21:07:24

ok
1. you randomly threw out that it could be a proxy issue, not knowing any background to that...s--- this person could have comcast cable, or dsl, there is not proxy a setup there
2. how do you know this machine would not have the exact same problem on another network??
3. to understand the problem more i do that by ruling out fixes at hand (simple ones at that), as for we all know, one problem can have multiple upon multiple answers...
not tryin to be a dick, just tryin to make a point, dont rule it out till it is tried, doesn't take long to try winsockfix, maybe 5 mins max?
also i never said that it would for sure fix this issue, as stated above, i have seen the exact same symptoms, and the fix for it after hours of trying other things was winsockfix (or the command) so "shot in the dark" it may be, but at least it is a shot
and if you proxy fixed it, or it was a proxy setup necessary, then hell yea, good work, from most business and home users i see and do work for none of them have proxies, so ya know...
peace


Complete Computer Service Inc.
NW Indiana


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#12
April 25, 2005 at 22:08:21

Josh, you seem not to have read my post in response #5. I suggest you go back and re-read it.

Your philosohpy of "dont rule it out till it is tried" is a good one, but only if tempered by experience, logic, and common sense. I could just as easily recommend reinstalling Windows (which, believe me, I have heard people recommend far too often) under the premise that it shouldn't be ruled out as a troubleshooting step until it is tried. By that logic, everything could reasonably be tried as a troubleshooting step. The best way to eliminate the 99.999% of really bad troubleshooting ideas is to gather information about the problem before recommending anything. As I said, I always like to try and understand a problem before randomly throwing solutions at it. Even if those solutions have been known to work in apparently similar situations.


In response to your numbered points:

1) I randomly threw out several hypotheses. I readily acknowledge that a proxy server is the least likely of these. Please reference my response #5: All of that being said - I doubt that a proxy server is in use on the network you found. If it's just somebody's unsecured home network, it is very unlikely that they are using a proxy server. Web proxying takes some effort to implement, and is more likely to be in use on business networks. I would suggest you investigate the DNS issue before worrying about the proxy

1a) Given that the computer in question can ping an Internet host successfuly, I think it would be trivial to determine what ISP the wireless network is connected to, if any. Maybe that's something worth investigating.

1b) You said "this person could have comcast cable, or dsl, there is not proxy a setup there". I have cable internet at my home. I have an open wireless access point. I use a squid web proxy on my network. There is, then, possibly a proxy set up on the network RLP's sister-in-law found.

2) I don't know if this machine has the same problem on other networks, as stated in my response #10.

3) Applying random "fixes" to a problem is, at best, a way to further obfuscate the source of the problem. If you get lucky and winsockfix somehow "fixes" the problem, what does that tell you? Unless you know exactly what winsock does, and the possible cascading results, it tells you nothing. Since you propose running winsockfix only because you "could see it possibly fixing this issue" I can only assume that you do not know exactly what it does. That is, in my opinion, scattershot troubleshooting.

All that being said - this is devloping into an argument, which is pointless. Winsockfix almost certainly won't make things worse, so let's try it. If it succeeds in solving the problem, we can assume that the source of the problem was on RLP's local machine. If it doesn't fix the problem - well, we haven't learned anything further about the problem so we're basically back where we started. Which is, as I was trying to point out, in an unknown state of connectivity on a foreign network. Exploration of the network would be, in my opinion, the best course of action at this point.

Short version: Let's run winsockfix and hope it works!


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#13
April 25, 2005 at 22:18:15

I feel kind of dumb now. RLP, you're not a "he" are you? Sorry about that :)

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#14
April 26, 2005 at 10:05:35

I didn't mean to cause so much distress! You're both right that this is all theoretical as I don't know anything about the network and I am not near the laptop now. (Belongs to my sister-in-law.) I appreciate the thoughts and effort. I'll deal with it next time I'm over there and try some of these ideas.

Not a 'he' but that's okay.

Roberta (the geek girl)



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#15
April 26, 2005 at 10:19:00

No worries, RLP. It's discussion - not distress :)

Good luck next time you get a chance to work on it. Post back and let us know how it goes!


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#16
April 26, 2005 at 20:23:47

yea no distress =) purely discussion, and difference in ways of troulbeshooting
but definitly post back if neither of our posts have solved your issue

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