Wednesday, February 11, 2009

173.8 IP address problems, getting blocked

I published a post for checking your website ping from various locations around the world, and mentioned having problems with the Great Firewall of China. Well, as it turns out, I'm still having issues now probably close to a month later. My ISP practically refuses to do anything to fix the issue, saying it's my problem and I need to contact whoever I think is blocking my traffic. Not to mention my ISP's name (*cough... Comcast... *cough*), but c'mon!? Seriously!? I am supposed to figure out why my network traffic works everywhere I can find to test, other than locations in Hong Kong? And then after I provide traceroute logs and possible explanations, I'm supposed to contact other ISPs around the world to figure out why it seems like they are blocking traffic coming from a block of IPs that I was just assigned? I don't know about you reading this, but from my perspective it sounds like I should be sending Comcast a consulting bill for solving routing issues with traffic from their network. I just wish Qwest would hurry up with their fiber optic network and get it out to our office because until then, I'm stuck with Comcast. Anyway... 

So now that I have that in a post and it will hopefully become searchable in search engines soon, now there's at least one record on the Net of someone having the issue. Please leave a comment if you're experiencing the same type of problem with IP addresses, especially if they are in the 173.8.XXX.XXX range. The latest that I've come up with is that their is a routing issue at an ISP in Germany called Deutsche Telekom. I found that by doing a reverse IP lookup using IP addresses from my traceroute records at the spot where my traffic appeared to be dropping. 

They're now looking into the issue, but I still don't see why I should be dealing with this at all. I wish I had a good analogy for it, but I haven't been able to come up with one yet. The best I have is that it's like getting a new phone line from the phone company and being able to call your parents, brother, sister, but not your Grandma's house. You try it on your cell and it works fine. When you call to ask why the call isn't going through the phone company tells you that they don't know and it's not their responsibility to make sure you can call your Grandma with their service, so you'll have to call every other phone company along the way to make sure that the call is making it through their phone systems and on to the next. I'm pretty sure the next step after all of this if these other ISPs can't figure out why it won't go through is for me to follow the line out of the building, then just keep following it until I show up in Hong Kong.

Sorry for the ranting, but I feel this needs to be posted because I know the techs that I talked to looked to Google first and saw no results and assumed I had something setup incorrectly. Hopefully they'll find this article the next time someone has the issue and will realize it their problem.

Update #1, 2/13/09: After dealing with Deutsche Telekom for a few days, they have said that they've verified the traffic is getting through their network and being passed to the Hutchinson Global network in China. It looks like the problem is still happening there, so I'm back to trying to get around the Great Firewall of China. If only I could get the Hutchinson/HGC support team to respond to an email. 3 weeks, 4 emails, and 4 different email addresses each time, but still no response...

Update #2, 2/17/09: I finally received an email response from Hutchinson Global Communications on Sunday night. They asked for some information, which I provided, and then proceeded to tell me that I should talk to Comcast because they were not blocking the traffic. That left me stuck, but to my surprise when I arrived at work Monday morning everything was working. It only took 4 weeks, but it's finally solved. It appears as if HGC was blocking my traffic, and then lied about it but removed the block. Both locations I have are able to connect now. After a complaint to Comcast I was credited for the month as well. I almost feel as if I should send them a bill from me which would be for a lot more, but at this point I'm just glad that it's over with. For anyone else that happens to run across this post looking for a quick solution as to how to get your traffic unblocked, all I can say is good luck!

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