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What steps to take correcting an issue with a domain prefix blocking access to a website?

Posted on 2014-03-08
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Last Modified: 2014-04-02
All four browsers (IE, FireFox, Opera and Chrome) say this structure, with any prefix such as clicks.anydomain.com (‘clicks’ as in the example), cannot display the page. Without the prefix anydomain.com opens just fine but does not get me to the page to which I was directed.

I am sometimes able to log into sites like this on my laptop running Win 7 Ultimate 64.

Likely something very simple I am overlooking.  

The machine is question runs Windows 8 Pro (64 bit), 16GB, i7, 2TB (60% free).

Suggestions?

-Mike
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Question by:CGJung
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by:Santosh Gupta
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seems you are trying to open http://www.aweber.com site which  is also redirected by clicks.aweber.com.

Please check the hosts file under C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc and see if there is any entry created.

run ipconfig /flushdns

Check your LAN adaptor (NIC) is configured with proper DNS server IP (add 4.2.2.2) as dns server and check.
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by:Dave Baldwin
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That's too vague to really help you.  All names must be 'registered' somewhere.  The basic domain name like "mydomain.com" will be registered with a domain registrar.  A name like "clicks.mydomain.com" will have to be registered with the nameserver or DNS for the domain.  If you are getting a blank screen, it could be that that 'page' is not for viewing but for some other purpose.
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by:masnrock
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Far too little information. However, it sounds more like a server side issue based on the fact you're citing only sometimes being able to access the site from your laptop. Another idea would be to try to set static DNS servers (say using Google's as an example), then trying to see if things clear up. If so, then the issue was the DNS servers you were going through. But given that the issue is more related to redirects, it could either be a server side issue or even something like an antivirus problem (try turning off your antivirus software first).
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by:CGJung
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Clarifying my question:  it is about web site addresses with a prefix such as "clicks" (which as I understand it is a type of redirect of sorts that provides tracking or other behavioral information to the domain owner) that precede the domain name. Is there a universal setting that prevents a site configured in this manner (for example:  "clicks.experts-exchange.com/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Q_28383858.html") from making a connection to the underlying domain?
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by:masnrock
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Is your browser blocking cookies?
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by:Dave Baldwin
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"clicks.experts-exchange.com" is defined as a subdomain of "experts-exchange.com".  It is Not a re-direct... though if you connect, it may redirect you to another part of the domain.  To connect to it, it must be listed in the DNS for the site.  If it is not listed, you can not connect to it.  If it is listed, it will point to a specific directory on the web hosting.

There can be other reasons you can not connect to it.  The server can be set up to reject your connection attempts though I don't know exactly why someone would do that.  The directory that the sub-domain points to can be empty.  If it has files to serve a blank page, you would at least be able to connect to the blank page.
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by:CGJung
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Masnrock - Thanks for the response. No, cookies are not blocked on any of the browsers.

Dave - Appreciate the clarification. As I noted the "clicks" prefix is not a true redirect in that it is not redirecting to other sites but rather to an internal 'site' that records data - in this case, data about visitors.

The question remains - what would cause a system to throw up the error messages experienced by this computer as in the example I cited above?

The issue of being able to go directly to the site is not in play as that works just fine. The issue is adding the prefix which is not part of the "main" domain name. I use this type of nomenclature on some of my sites as I have a main domain and several add-on domains, each on an entirely separate topic.
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by:Dave Baldwin
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There are two issues here.  The first, why you can't go to a particular page, doesn't have enough facts to answer.  The second, the issue of 'clicks' as a 'prefix', I have answered twice.  The two issues do not directly have anything to do with each other.

A URL with a domain name, no matter how many parts it has, takes you to a resource somewhere on the internet... if it exists.  The question of why you can't connect to it is a separate question with many possible answers.  The site could simply be down, the software on the site could be rejecting all but special connections, or it could simply not be accessible from the public internet.

And "clicks.anydomain.com" does not have to be the same as "www.anydomain.com".  It does not even have to be on the same server or hosting company.  But for it to be a useful domain name in a URL, it has to be listed on a nameserver somewhere that can tell your browser where to find it.
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by:CGJung
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Here is an example: http://www.clicks.aweber.com/affiliate-agreement.htm  

I am sure most will get to its destination. However, no matter what browser used on this computer the message is fundamentally the same:  
_________________________________
"This webpage is not available

Opera's connection attempt to clicks.aweber.com was rejected. The website may be down, or your network may not be properly configured.
Check your internet connection.
Check any cables and reboot any routers, modems, or other network devices you may be using.
Allow Opera to access the network in your firewall or antivirus settings.
If it is already listed as a program allowed to access the network, try removing it from the list and adding it again.
If you use a proxy server...
Check your proxy settings or contact your network administrator to make sure the proxy server is working. If you don't believe you should be using a proxy server: Go to the Opera menu > Settings > Change proxy settings... > LAN Settings and deselect "Use a proxy server for your LAN"."
_________________________________
If I omit the "clicks." from the address then the Aweber site and the document are displayed.
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by:Santosh Gupta
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Hi,

yes, if I omit the "clicks." from the address then the Aweber site and the document are displayed

is this your site ? if yes then check the DNS for your site. is A record created for clicks.
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by:Dave Baldwin
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Nope.  "www.clicks.aweber.com" does not exist.  Not just in the web browser but there is no domain name listing for it.  There is a listing for "clicks.aweber.com" and "http://clicks.aweber.com/affiliate-agreement.htm" redirects to "http://www.aweber.com/affiliate-agreement.htm".  

'www' is not an automatic thing either.  It must be listed in the DNS for you to get to a page that uses that.  In the DNS for all of my web sites, 'www.mydomain.com' is a subdomain of 'mydomain.com'.  I have encountered several sites that do not have a listing with 'www' in their DNS and you can not go there if you include it in the address.
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by:CGJung
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Yes, of course the WWW is superfluous! It doesn't matter whether I use it or not. The result is the same.

Tell me if you can log into this site. It is a pitch for an IM program. I am only using it as an example:

http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=GF48c&m=3Xb5nhcgyeTum4p&b=7KmWTqmbB6BQTO1n6sakIQ.

Using my cell phone the site goes to theimsystemlive.com.

(FYI, I have no interest in the program. It is for example only.)

All of my browsers yield the same result which is they will not let me into the site.  The message received is what is contained in the post above:  Posted on 2014-03-28 at 16:17:52      ID: 39962975

You likely will have no difficulty accessing the site (clicks.aweber.com/xx). What I am trying to learn is what potential issues are preventing my access? My suspicion is it has to do with a security setting. So far my searches have not produced an answer.

It is not related to cookies or clearing the cache.
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by:Dave Baldwin
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Yes, of course the WWW is superfluous! It doesn't matter whether I use it or not.
That's simply not true.  You can only go to a site with 'www' if it is listed in the DNS for that site.

When I click on that link in Firefox, it takes me to theimsystemlive.com too.  That tells me it's a link from an email that was sent out thru Aweber.  Since it is a redirect from "clicks.aweber.com" to another site, it well could be that either your anti-virus or firewall is blocking the redirect.  I saw a setting in something recently that would block that but I don't remember where I saw it.
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by:CGJung
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Dave, I respectfully disagree. WWW is, and has been, in a deprecated state for some time but is not obsolete and is not entirely dependent on being listed in the DNS for a site. This is not the topic for which I am seeking an answer.

My question was, I thought, a simple one. Seems it has elicited responses wider than the original subject as well as some confusion that may be easily cleared up.

In your response Posted on 2014-03-12 at 20:06:00  ID: 39925464, you stated: ""clicks.experts-exchange.com" is defined as a subdomain of "experts-exchange.com".  It is Not a re-direct... though if you connect, it may redirect you to another part of the domain. "

Yet in your latest response you state: " Since it is a redirect from "clicks.aweber.com" to another site..."

Both the firewall and AV were carefully checked. There was nothing obvious or appearing suspicious which is why I thought I would ask for a knowledgeable answer that would point me to some aspect of this issue I am overlooking.

Your observation: " I saw a setting in something recently that would block that but I don't remember where I saw it." is precisely what I am looking for. I likely saw the same thing or at least similar. That is the information I am seeking. If you are able to provide a clue that would be most helpful.
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by:Dave Baldwin
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You seem to be mis-understanding me.  I thought I said that theimsystemlive.com was a redirect from http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=GF48c&m=3Xb5nhcgyeTum4p&b=7KmWTqmbB6BQTO1n6sakIQ  Note that the domain names, theimsystemlive.com and clicks.aweber.com, are not the same.

As I also said above... There is a listing for "clicks.aweber.com" and "http://clicks.aweber.com/affiliate-agreement.htm" redirects to "http://www.aweber.com/affiliate-agreement.htm".   That also is because clicks.aweber.com and www.aweber.com are different domains.  If you add 'www' to clicks.aweber.com like 'www.clicks.aweber.com', it doesn't go anywhere because there isn't any such DNS listing anywhere.
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by:CGJung
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Thank you for the lesson, Dave. We likely went to different tech schools. There seems to be a disconnect or misunderstanding about this topic between us. It is not what I was inquiring about in the first place and am not interested in further discussion of it.

If you could apply your knowledge to the question for which I was seeking an answer I would appreciate it.

What is causing four web browsers on my computer to throw an error message in various forms with this basic message"  "can't establish a connection to the server at clicks.aweber.com." There is another permutation posted earlier:
_________________________________
"This webpage is not available

Opera's connection attempt to clicks.aweber.com was rejected. The website may be down, or your network may not be properly configured.
Check your internet connection.
Check any cables and reboot any routers, modems, or other network devices you may be using.
Allow Opera to access the network in your firewall or antivirus settings.
If it is already listed as a program allowed to access the network, try removing it from the list and adding it again.
If you use a proxy server...
Check your proxy settings or contact your network administrator to make sure the proxy server is working. If you don't believe you should be using a proxy server: Go to the Opera menu > Settings > Change proxy settings... > LAN Settings and deselect "Use a proxy server for your LAN"."
_________________________________

You said earlier you thought you knew the answer.
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Dave Baldwin earned 500 total points
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I ran across something that blocked redirection under some circumstance and I can't find it now.  I did find a page that suggests it may be blocked in your 'hosts' file for some reason.  According to another page, the hosts blocking entries from http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm do specifically block clicks.aweber.com.  Blocking in your hosts file will affect all the browsers on that machine.
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by:CGJung
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Thanks, Dave.  Not long after posting my last message I went on another hunt for a solution and came across HostMan.

The Hostman site, while sparse on detail, did provide the solution. The article you provided explains the issue clearly, which is what I suspected but did not know how to fix.

For perseverance, which I appreciate, I will mark your response as accepted.
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Author Closing Comment

by:CGJung
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I appreciate that Dave pointed me to a site that contained a solution I came across from another source.
Perhaps because I was not clear enough (although after over 40 years in the tech world I thought I was) I was led on a tangential discussion not entirely related to the issue. The discussion was somewhat interesting - and did ultimately lead to providing the solution I found elsewhere. For perseverance and finding the correct solution I marked his response as accepted.
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by:Dave Baldwin
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Thanks!
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