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What Can't I Connect by FTP???

For the past 5 days, I have been unable to connect to my website host, HostMonster, to upload files as I have for the past 8 years.

I am using a Toshiba laptop Satellite S55, Windows 7. I run System Mechanic, Webroot and Malwarebytes regularly. I have used Cute FTP and/or Filezilla which have performed flawlessly.

The problem began last Friday when I tried to upload some files.

I have literally spent hours on the phone with Hostmonster tech support. HostMonster admits to having been hit by a DDOS attack, but on the call I made today, confirmed that it was over. The tech I spoke with and I  ascertained about a dozen times that the Site Manager in Filezilla contained the proper host, port, protocol, encryption, normal logon type, accurate username and password. But it would not connect.

I have an XP computer which I rarely use online, but plugged it in and tried from the Filezilla program there, and got the same result, which was no connection.

I also tried to connect from a netbook using a different Internet connection and still could not connect.

The HostMonster tech also tried to connect on a computer on his end, using Fiilezilla, and no problem! It went through easily and connected immediately.

I upload over a hundred files a week to my site and having to use the slow as molasses one-by-one upload using the FTP controls on my HostMonster cPanel is a big time strain.

I've been looking into moving to another host but I thought I'd give EE one last shot before I make that decision.

This has been driving me NUTS as you might imagine. Does anyone have any idea of what the problem is and if so, how to fix it?
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RadioGeorge
Asked:
RadioGeorge
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2 Solutions
 
John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If your FTP application is set to Passive, you may need to set it Active (or the other way around). It depends on the whether Host Monster allows anonymous connections or not.
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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
Sounds like your network was blocked during the DDOS episode, and it has not yet been unblocked.  Since few hosting companies handle their own DDOS mitigation, your hosting company has no idea whether your IP block is blocked or unblocked.  Whatever they're telling you may well be 100% wrong.

Try going in using the Tor browser, and use the ftp:// prefix instead of http:// -- see what you get.  Or go in through a totally different IP block such as at a public library or on a public WiFi network.
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Tom CieslikIT EngineerCommented:
HostMonster technician was connecting locally. You should test it outside your network from different external IP like Dr. Klahn said.
If you want you can send me info on private and I'll try to connect and I'll keep you posted.
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You CANNOT solve public questions by private email and messages. That is most assuredly against the rules in here.

All discussion must be public for the benefit of everyone.
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RadioGeorgeOwner/ProgrammerAuthor Commented:
Regarding the Tor Browser:

Webroot returns this statement:

https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en

Suspicious attack ahead

Webroot has blocked access to the website you tried to open.
It has been reported to contain suspicious content.

Next?
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RadioGeorgeOwner/ProgrammerAuthor Commented:
Also: Filezilla was set to Active, changed it to Passive and tried to connect, but that bombed out too.
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I think the TOR browser might not authenticate properly in a commercial FTP environment.

I think Dr. Klahn is correct about the recent DDOS attacks and their impact.
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Tom CieslikIT EngineerCommented:
Try use some other software to connect to FTP server.
Total Commander has build in tool and it's free.

https://www.ghisler.com/download.htm
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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
The Tor browser is by definition "suspicious content" because it makes your browser session appear to be coming from a completely different IP block.  It is popular in countries where the government suppresses free speech, as it also routes the browser session through many different sites before it exits.  Therefore the name, "The Onion Router."

I use it myself and I've not heard of any bad behavior in Tor, but it's your call.
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RadioGeorgeOwner/ProgrammerAuthor Commented:
Dr. Klahn: Sounds like a reasonable explanation about Tir being regarded as suspicious content. Will try to follow up. Also, FYI, regarding "Sounds like your network was blocked during the DDOS episode, and it has not yet been unblocked. " -- I was specifically told this morning by a tech support guy at HostMonster that they had unblocked the network the day before. This should have made a difference, right?
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masnrockCommented:
They may *say* that they've unblocked it, but that doesn't mean they actually did or did so correctly. You need to try from another internet connection or through a proxy of some sort like Dr. Klahn has pointed out.

What error are you getting when you try to connect?
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RadioGeorgeOwner/ProgrammerAuthor Commented:
Masnrock, and all: you'e reminded me of what seems to me to be extremely odd....I am NOT GETTING AN ERROR MESSAGE!
filezilla1.jpg
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masnrockCommented:
Would it be possible to see the settings without exposing your username of password?
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RadioGeorgeOwner/ProgrammerAuthor Commented:
Oops--wrong key there. The new layout for Experts Exchange is a loser, too, in my opinion....but to the point, this screenshot is what appears after I have opened FZ, then selected File and Site Manager, File, the connection I want to make, and select Connect.

As you can see from the screenshot, it says "not connected...." etc. BUT if I repeat the procedure, the notice box pops up hat syas there is already a connection going which I would have to disconnect and then start the process over again to connect.....which I have done, and simply repeated the routine.

Does that offer any clues?
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masnrockCommented:
Hard to say, but to ask something else.... could you look up the IP address of the FTP server, then run tracert? Post the results
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RadioGeorgeOwner/ProgrammerAuthor Commented:
Let's try this again---screenshot  I referred to earlier:

filezilla1.jpg
and settings:

filezilla2.jpg
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masnrockCommented:
What do you get if you run this:
tracert 74.220.202.28

Open in new window


Also, could you please put 21 in the port field? (I wouldn't think you should need to do this, but to cover all bases)
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Shaun VermaakTechnical Specialist/DeveloperCommented:
Have your tried creating a new FTP account in CPanel?
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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
I've tried traceroute out of here on two different machines and neither of them can get to the system shown above.  So it's either a) still blocked or b) they've really hosed their routing tables.

The packets get to a node where they exit the ISP's network, and then they fall off the end of the earth.

traceroute
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masnrockCommented:
I just tried myself, and had the same result as Dr Klahn.

I also tried using the built in Windows FTP client, and the connection timed out. As I was guessing earlier, their blocks probably haven't been lifted or someone there misconfigured something. The other possibility is that server is down. I was able to contact other IP addresses at the same host.

What if we're going about this all wrong? This would seem to make too much sense, and would make the folks at your host look extremely stupid: Rather than using the IP address that you've mentioned, try connecting to your own domain name. If you can sign in, make sure you're able to access everything properly.
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RadioGeorgeOwner/ProgrammerAuthor Commented:
Masnrock, I hoe this doesn't sound overly dense, but I am not sure what you're asking me to do when you say to try connecting to my own domain name. You're certainly not referring to signing in to the cPanel?

I appreciate all of the attention you experts are giving to this situation. If it winds up, as I suspect it will, moving to another host, I will post some comments and questions here about what type would be the best and some of the research I have been doing concurrently on wb hosts.
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masnrockCommented:
Nothing involving cPanel, just FileZilla.

I had found out what the domain name for your site was from one of your other questions that you posted here on EE. So to describe what I'm talking about.... in FileZilla, rather than putting 74.220.202.28 in the host field, put in radiogeorge.com .. once you've done that, try connecting and let us know what happens.
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RadioGeorgeOwner/ProgrammerAuthor Commented:
OK, I've decided to switch web hosts.

It seems that in the world of non-technical users such as myself, there are very few web sites that really make  VERY clear the differences among Shared hosting, VPS hosting, Dedicated hosting, Cloud hosting and then to make things more fuzzy, windows vs linux.

To make it perfectly clear: this is a wall of information that I do not understand, after spending a lot of time trying to determine the differences on my own.

So, let me spell out what I pretty much have/need, make some uneducated but hopefully not stupid guesses, and then hear what YOU have to say.....ALL who read this are invited to comment.

What I use on radiogeorge.com is about 150 web pages, with almost each one affording visitors the chance to listen to 1-3 hours worth of music via a built-in player pulling from protected playlists. I upload an average of 140 mp3 files each week using FTP programs such as Filezilla or Cute FTP.  There are some other static pages, but what I've just described is the heart and soul of the operation. I also have a bunch of cron jobs that I use regularly.

Based on my research, I think I can safely say I do not need a hosting setup that primarily caters to heavy-duty business environments.

I DO want to be able to upload files using a dedicated FTP program such as the ones I mentioned,  rather than using a CPanel FTP program which only transfers one file at a time---a tedious, time-intensive operation.

In my reading, I see "dedicated IP," "dedicated hosting," "managed VPS," and "unmanaged VPS" but I have NOT seen simple explanations of what these are and how they apply.

I also have a few other sites that are very simple that I have with my unlimited domain hosting feature currently, and I'd like to move them as well, I mention this since these would not have to require as much--is "security" the right word?--and are really very simple. I don't have a solid idea on what to do with these if I wind up with a VPN of some kind.

Worth mentioning: I am confused as to whether or not a VPS account would allow someone like me who can upload files, make simple web pages, do basic stuff, to do these functions or if a more advanced tech type would be necessary.

Thanks to all again for your time, patience , and expertise. I look forward to hearing your ideas and suggestions so I can move forward and get things back to normal ASAP.
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masnrockCommented:
Did my advice work out for you in terms of FileZilla? I could make a connection, but not log in.

How many users visit your site, and what type of plan do you have now? From the standpoint of what you want to be able to do, it doesn't matter which of the plans that you have. All of them would let you do FTP. Be sure to verify with the individual provider you're looking at.

Here's a link from a hosting provide that gives a simplified idea of shared, VPS, and dedicated. http://www.inmotionhosting.com/support/website/difference-between-shared-vps-dedicated-hosting

From the aspect of VPS, managed vs umanaged gets into deals such as who is responsible for patching the VPS. Unmanaged would obviously be you, while managed would be on the provider.

Dedicated would be blatant overkill for you at this point. VPS probably would be as well.
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RadioGeorgeOwner/ProgrammerAuthor Commented:
masnrock, sorry I skipped replying to your suggestion--I did what you suggested and again, NOTHING, not even any indication of an attempt to connect...but a very odd thing...when I changed the host field back to the previous entry and hit connect, I got a box that said there already was a connection! But there was nothing on he right-hand side, where you would see the folders, files, etc, on the site.

AND....in experimenting a bit with other host names, user names, etc,, just for the heck of it, I got THIS:

filezilla3.jpg
Does this mean anything? (BTW, I changed it back to he former setup to make sure this info can't be used after viewing here on EE.)

Finally, to answer your most recent questions, visits range from 15,000-90,000 a month (I have 4 different stats programs and there is NO consistency), and I have an unlimited domains account at this time.
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masnrockCommented:
So what you're looking at is a security certificate, which means that they're using Secure FTP (this is a good thing, as the FTP communication is encrypted). The security certificate in use is bound to the hostmonster.com domain name. It's OK for you to click OK, and you should simply connect.

If you change the encryption field back to plain FTP, does it still connect?
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RadioGeorgeOwner/ProgrammerAuthor Commented:
Dr. Klahn is indeed perceptive, and masnrock's ideas weren't bad in the search for an answer.

And THE answer came from an unexpected online source who is very close to the situation and must remain unnamed. The answer: HostMonster is STILL as of the writing struggling with that DDOS attack (a week after I started having trouble) and has never notified its customers. The inability of my FTP programs to connect is because of THEIR I.P. "workarounds."

My gut feeling to change hosts was apparently right.

So thanks to all. I appreciate your time and thoughts,
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