Why can't I connect to specific web sites?

January 30, 2017 at 13:54:00
Specs: Windows 10
With Firefox, I can't connect to specific websites. Firefox gives me a "Problem Loading Page, Firefox can’t establish a connection to the server at..." Two examples are http://money.cnn.com/ and jpl.nasa.gov. I have no issues with most other sites. When I re-start my PC, access is restored, but only for a short time (hours?) before I get the error message again. IE behaves the same, for the same sites. What's the answer? Thanks.

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January 30, 2017 at 14:31:24
Possibly... clear history and cookies; also perhaps reboot your router... Occasionally either or both of the previous resolve such issues. Sometimes it appears to be a bug within the browser software - or an issue with the isp servers.

These are rather vague suggestions and likely others will chip in with more solid.concrete ideas - so hang about..

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January 30, 2017 at 14:39:48
Thanks for the quick reply. I clear cookies and history all the time, and the PC and router have each been re-booted several times since the issue began. The same web sites are implicated, whether I use Firefox or Internet Explorer, so I can't blame the software for either. It's so odd that access to these sites is restored after I re-boot my PC, but only for a short while. I welcome suggestions from everybody. I may install Chrome just to see if a 3rd browser has the same problem.

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January 30, 2017 at 17:56:12
I doubt Chrome will work either.

Just for giggles, try changing your DNS settings to and see if it helps.

message edited by THX 1138

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Related Solutions

January 30, 2017 at 20:03:07
A run of Malwarebytes may be able to eliminate the possibility of malware blocking on your system.
Also look at your add ons on both browsers to see if something slipped in without your realizing (people often get Ask, Yahoo, and other tool bars without realizing and they prove annoying).

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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January 31, 2017 at 04:41:02
Your right, Chrome behaved no better. As for the DNS solution, that's above my pay grade. I can't try what I don't understand or know how to do.

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January 31, 2017 at 04:46:07
I run Malwarebytes (and Spybot, and CC Cleaner, and AVG Free) regularly. Only trivial things ever come up, and infrequently. I've seen no connection between what these programs uncover and access to selected web sites. I've only have one add-on currently enabled for some time, an ad blocker.

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January 31, 2017 at 07:54:57
Run these two small freebies as well. They are particularly focussed on browser malware, redirects and the like:

(blue "Download Now" button on right).
Download and "Save" the file somewhere. Go to the saved file then double click it to run the program. Use the "Scan" button, followed by the "Clean" button.

Junkware Removal Tool (JRT)
(blue Download button).
Download and "Save" the file somewhere. Go to the saved file then double click it to run JRT. It might appear to have stopped at times or flash the screen but sit tight until it has finished.

Run MalwareBytes again afterwards.

There is one other obscure possibility, that something is being retained in your motherboard components. You can discharge it like this:
Turn off the computer and remove the power cord. Also remove the main battery if its a laptop. Finally hold the Power Off/On button for about 20 seconds. On odd occasions this has come up trumps.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek

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February 1, 2017 at 14:26:57
So, I found the most likely explanation. I run a security/privacy program called Peer Block. It appears that whenever I download updates (which are needed frequently) specific web sites are blocked. The program's dashboard has a toggle to "Allow or Block HTTP." If I allow, access to the problematic sites is restored. Block HTTP and no connection can be made. There are things I don't understand, like why access is restored by a re-boot, and why the program distinguishes between CNN (allowed) and CNN Money (blocked). I don't see an obvious means by which to white list desired web sites, but I will explore this with the software designers. I appreciate everyone's interest in helping me.

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