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Opera sites problem over again

  • I’ve posted here before about a problem that I’m having, I’m unable to open ALL Opera sites, here is what I did to solve this:

    1. Used three other browsers, Edge, Internet Explorer and fire fox.
    2. Tried two different ISP’s.
    3. Used two computers.
    4. Repaired and flushed DNS.
    5. Made sure it is not blocked by Firewall, or, in hosts file.
    6. Called the two ISP companies, and they confirmed they are not blocking these sites.
    7. Checked the blocked IP’s by our communication Authorities and they are not listed.
    8. Filed a bug report, DNAWIZ-46300 with Opera support.

    The situation now is that I can access Opera site only through VPN, BUT every now and then I can open them without VPN, this happens once in five or seven days and they became unreachable again, which proves that the sites are not intentionally blocked.
    I posted here 14 days ago “Reaching Opera Web sites” while some good people here tried to help me the site opened and I mistakenly thought it was gone and reported the issue solved, in fact it is not until today.

    Excuse me for the long post, but I wanted to give all details.

  • @ahmadabdelaziz
    Is the VPN that does get through to the sites the one built into the Opera browser?

    Some conclusions, assuming I correctly understand what you've shared:
    --Given that Opera's sites haven't been 'down', the problem must exist somewhere along the browser-to-website connection hardware/software path.
    --Given that all three browsers exhibit the same inability to connect, the problem must exist outside a given browser.
    --Given that the issue intermittently clears up, the cause isn't a permanent 'settings' block within the computers themselves (such as a hosts file, antivirus blacklist, etc).
    --Given that the same inability exists on two different computers, the problem probably exists outside of the computers (unless you have identical defects/mis-settings in both systems).
    --Given that you (apparently) can connect to other sites OK from the computers, the problem isn't caused by a physical hardware failure along the connection process/path.

    As a result, the cause almost certainly lies along the external connection process/path between your computers and the websites themselves. Because the problem is site-specific but the sites themselves haven't been 'down' for others and other sites work for you, physical hardware failures along the connection path can be ruled out.

    That leaves the connection process itself as a problem source. To successfully connect to Opera's https sites, a connection typically requires a successful DNS lookup process, a successful packet transit to the Opera servers (and back to you), and a successful negotiation occurring for the certificates and encryption protocols to be used between Opera's site server and your computer in order to actually view a site page.

    --Given that you can connect to the Opera sites using a VPN (which inherently hides the true desired IP from both your ISP and national Internet backbown and relies on the VPN's own DNS lookup arrangements), the implication is that the certification/encryption-protocol negotiating process itself can indeed be accomplished sucessfully between Opera's servers and your computer/browser(s).

    This leaves only three probable and one unlikely causes:
    -- errors/blocking at both local ISPs' DNS servers
    -- IP blocking at the local ISPs (regardless of professions otherwise)
    -- IP blocking at a national backbone level (regardless of professions otherwise)
    -- (unlikely) some kind of regional connection issue at the backbone level causing inability to route packets to Opera servers' geographic regions.

    Because national censorship programs rely on algorithms and/or black-lists to block prohibited IPs at either/all DNS, ISP, and national backbone levels, there exist multiple possible potential places for errors, misinformation, or deliberate deception to occur. The algorithm mechanisms, sometimes being dynamic, can cause blocking intensity to 'come and go' over time.

    As I asked in an earlier post to you (https://forums.opera.com/post/159374 ), if you are having the Opera connection problems without VPN, can you enter an IP of either 185.26.182.103 or 185.26.182.104 in the browser address bar (instead of a URL), can you successfully connect to the http or https Opera site without VPN? If you can connect successfully with direct IP entry, it points to DNS failures/blocking as the cause.

  • @blackbird71

    • I'm using the built-in VPN on Opera 57.0.3098.63
    • The computers I used both have Windows 10 version 1809 Build 17763.134, and almost identical in settings, typically the defaults apart from stopping some Windows info harvesting. One is a laptop and the other is a desktop and two different brands, Dell and HP.
    • Also I did used the IP you kindly gave me with the same result.
    • As for blocking Opera sites, where I live everything is opened, the authority database does not include Opera sites.
    • The intermittent connection is established with the regular URL.
    • I'm not sure about this, but could it be the Windows version? One Windows copy is installed on both computers, I never had this problem before in other Windows versions.
  • Where are you? I recall hearing that some countries were blocking CloudFlare for hosting ThePirateBay (though I believe CloudFlare dropped them recently), so it may not be Opera's sites as such.

  • @sgunhouse
    I can open ThePirateBay with no problems and I'm in Egypt

  • @ahmadabdelaziz said in Opera sites problem over again:

    ...

    • Also I did used the IP you kindly gave me with the same result.
      ...

    This is a key test result. If you cannot directly access the Opera IPs via non-VPN connection but you can access other sites' IPs, it's a "smoking gun" proof that IP blocking is occurring along the non-VPN connection path. (No DNS lookup occurs when you enter the IP address directly in the browser.)

    Regardless of what you're being told by providers and national agencies, something in their systems is blocking access to Opera's IPs, at least intermittently. The intermittent aspect sounds much like the behavior of a class of censorship blocking algorithms whose behavior is affected by traffic loads on the servers or by human-directed 'lock-down' and traffic-narrowing during periods of political unrest or whatever. One of the possibly intentional objectives of such blocking against Opera could be to block/reduce the future downloading and regional usage expansion of the Opera browser simply because it contains an internal VPN/proxy capability. It's also possible that its an unintentional side effect related to blocking certain chunks of IPs (eg: Cloudflare) that host prohibited content, and Opera's IP may simply fall within the chunk selected for blocking, or it could be human error that has put the Opera IPs on a block list accidentally or by an error in entering another's IP onto the list.

  • First hope you will excuse me for the late answer a result of unscheduled business.
    Your explanation of this issue is true. Definitely there is nothing wrong from Opera side as the whole world can reach their sites. The main two reasons that made me write here is, I can use Opera, but unable to keep up with the updates.
    My reasons:
    1- Never had issues reach Opera sites before the Last Windows update.
    2- VPN is not the problem as I use in this computer Steganos Online Shield with no problems whatsoever.
    3- The human error can hardly be the same in two ISP's.
    4- Last I can not see any reason for the authority to block Opera IP's, people in my country are visiting every site on the internet without restrictions and Google statistics can prove it.

    Anyway I do appreciate your time and effort.

  • @ahmadabdelaziz Understood. However, human error can indeed be involved... for example, if a block list were compiled by state authorities for distribution to ISPs for blocking purposes and contained an inaccurate/erroneous entry that inadvertantly blocks Opera's IPs. If those blocking filters are dynamic in nature (that is, dependent on traffic levels, manual 'tightening' upon censor command, or something similar), their effects on certain listed IPs can be intermittent as well. Obviously, I have no way to know what's happening, but given that you see failures to connect directly to Opera IPs (ie, without DNS lookup), it largely removes anything except IP-blocking somewhere on the signal path - and that "somewhere" stands to be a lot closer to your location than to Opera's servers.

  • @blackbird71
    Thanks as always, I think I can only keep on tracking Opera new versions and manually install them, as I'm not very comfortable using an outdated browser. I'll keep looking in my end for the reason, hopefully I'll find it.
    I like this browser and I'll keep on using it even with this unusual discomfort.
    Note: I'm here now without VPN !!