Blogger Custom Domain and SLTnet

I have noticed that Google blogger blogs are not accessible with SLTnet if they are configured to use custom domain. For example, http://blog.shaakunthala.com is not accessible with SLTnet at the moment.

This is not due to a misconfiguration of DNS, but a technical failure of SLTnet.

By default, http://ghs.google.com:80 should provide a ‘Not Found’ page. But with SLTnet connections, you’ll see a browser error like, ‘Unable to Connect’. This is the issue.
I have already informed SLTnet about this issue and waiting for their reply, and I’m writing this small note for bloggers, by the meantime do not mess up your DNS configuration.

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22 thoughts on “Blogger Custom Domain and SLTnet

  1. This is not the first time. An year ago, when I purchased a domain, first I used it with blogger. A month later SLT seems to have this trouble and readers couldn’t access my blog. I discussed with SLT again and again, but didn’t get any outcome. Finally I had to pay more and purchase a web hosting too 😦

  2. Me too brother! Earlier My Custom domain is not worked. Then I dropped out that. But After one day I did it again. then it is working. My friends who are using SLT ADSL, said that it is working. I think Now it is solved by SLT. But yesterday. One of my friend said that it is not working. “Unable to connect” it is problem remaining again. So SLT must give answers to this.
    Thank you brother for remembering this one to everybody.

  3. I’m on SLT and I didn’t have the same problem. But I use OpenDNS (configured in the computer’s network settings and the router as well) so that might be the difference. You should try it out too.

    • This seems to happen time to time. We purchased our connection April 2010 and till last week everything worked well.

      There’s not problem with client-side DNS. Just try the following commands:

      ping ghs.google.com
      (you’ll see name resolution happens : 72.14.203.121)

      telnet ghs.google.com 80
      (see, name resolution happens again, 72.14.203.121, but not accessible)

      So, totally there’s no problem with DNS. If you are still unsure, use this online portscanner and scan port 80:
      http://tinyurl.com/38om6pw

      And also, I totally agree with what Indranama is saying below. What about asking my readers to choose another ISP? With this issue, readers miss lot of blogs, including mine.

      Look,… changing your DNS provider or ISP is not the best solution. In Sinhala there’s a nice saying for that, “හිසේ ඇම්මට කොට්ටය මාරු කිරීම”. I still believe that politely discussing this issue with ISP is the best thing to do. Let us wait for their answer.

      Further, you’ll see not just blogs, any hostname pointed to ghs.google.com is not working. For example, http://mail.shaakunthala.com

      ——–
      Finally, not relating to this matter, do not use OpenDNS. See http://forum.hacker.lk/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=19

      • Point well taken. You guys are far more tech savvy than I am, so you’re the subject experts.

        All I’m saying is that I’m on OpenDNS (Although after your point I’ve got some reading to do and maybe a change in settings afterwards) and I don’t have the same problem.

        But I definitely agree on getting SLT to sort it out – for anyone looking for a quicker fix, maybe (pending findings on its integrity) an option like OpenDNS would be ok.

        • OpenDNS resolves ghs.l.google.com to “74.125.77.121” whereas other DNS servers resolves it to “72.14.203.121”(such as google public DNS). So, SLT has only problem connecting with latter IP address.

          Therefore one solution is to change the DNS settings to A record of above ip address instead of CNAME.

          However, as Shaakunthala said it’s not our problem. But unfortunately we are the ones who are suffering from it, and from what I can see, they are not going to resolve it anytime soon.

          • Thanks for both of your comments. I totally forgot that ghs.google.com is a server array. Now I can sort it out. Different DNS providers resolve ghs.google.com into different IP numbers.

            Here, I obtained some results with different DNS providers; SLT, Google Public DNS and OpenDNS.

            —-

            With default DNS provided by SLT
            nslookup ghs.google.com
            Server: 222.165.160.18
            Address: 222.165.160.18#53

            Non-authoritative answer:
            ghs.google.com canonical name = ghs.l.google.com.
            Name: ghs.l.google.com
            Address: 74.125.53.121

            telnet ghs.google.com 80
            Trying 74.125.53.121…
            telnet: Unable to connect to remote host: Connection refused

            With Google Public DNS
            nslookup ghs.google.com
            Server: 8.8.8.8
            Address: 8.8.8.8#53

            Non-authoritative answer:
            ghs.google.com canonical name = ghs.l.google.com.
            Name: ghs.l.google.com
            Address: 72.14.203.121

            telnet ghs.google.com 80
            Trying 72.14.203.121…
            telnet: Unable to connect to remote host: Connection refused

            With OpenDNS
            nslookup ghs.google.com
            Server: 208.67.222.222
            Address: 208.67.222.222#53

            Non-authoritative answer:
            ghs.google.com canonical name = ghs.l.google.com.
            Name: ghs.l.google.com
            Address: 74.125.77.121

            telnet ghs.google.com 80
            Trying 74.125.77.121…
            Connected to ghs.l.google.com.
            Escape character is ‘^]’.

            —-

            But,
            * OpenDNS is often suspected for MITM attacks (http://forum.hacker.lk/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=19). So why should we let people in trouble? Also, OpenDNS hijacks address bar search to steal Google’s traffic.
            * There’s no such issue with other ISPs in Sri Lanka.

            So the actual issue is that we can’t access certain IP address.
            Thank you for sharing your ideas.

  4. මෙම අවුල custom domain සඳහා විතරක් නෙමේ Hosted Google Apps සඳහාත් බල පානවා. මල වදයක්!

  5. This issue might be related to the internet problems we were having few days earlier with the SEA-ME-WE-4 cable.

    However, there is another possibility. Google Hosted Apps are used for hosting google app engine web sites. Basically ghs.google.com is a frontend load balancer. Some of the porn sites might be using google apps engine, I recently saw an article saying that SLT is trying to block porn sites. So, they might have taken the easier step of blocking ghs.google.com domain name.

    I have the same issue with my hosted emails. So, instead of using a CNAME for my DNS settings I set up it to redirect directly to http://mail.google.com/a/mydomain.com. Unfortunately this cannot be done for blogspot AFAIK.

    • I think you’re correct. It might be blocked by SLTnet due to the reason you’ve mentioned.
      telnet ghs.google.com 80
      Immediate result is ‘connection refused’. I think this immediate ‘refuse’ is due to ISPs failure.

      telnet ghs.google.com
      (port 23, which can be most probably closed by Google)
      Results ‘connection timed out’ after few seconds.

      Email has nothing much to do with CNAME. You set up one CNAME record to make an easy-to-access URL for your webmail. Email works on different hosts and different ports. That’s it.

      Actually we should not mess our DNS configuration due to their fault. Of course I can even easily switch back to my blogspot.com URL, but why should I do so when I’ve got a TLD? I’ll lose PageRank, backlinks and etc. if I switch back.

      Also, as your comment reminded me Google Apps, I just checked Mr. Gunarathna Weerakoon’s website which was developed by a friend of mine using Google Sites.
      http://mhgweerakoon.com
      Is it accessible with SLTnet?

      This is not a small issue. I take this issue serious because no access to ghs.google.com:80 means no access to a whole lot of legitimate websites all over the Internet.

  6. Last time when I had this issue, I phoned SLT customer service.

    Me: “My visitors can’t access my website. Something is wrong with your side. I want to complaint”
    CC Lady: “Sir, if visitors can’t access your site, they are the people to complaint about that” [:S]
    Me: “Ok, me too.. me too can’t access my own website, so I can complaint, isn’t it??”

    ROFL 😀 😀

    This is how customer care responded to my problem. However then I was redirected to Server room. The engineer at server room identified my problem. But he didn’t or couldn’t give a solution.

  7. Himal says:

    Hi! found this site when searching for the same issue.I’m using a “Mobitel” connection. and today, I couldn’t access to my blog .

    i added flowing entry to my “hosts” file and problem is solved 🙂

    74.125.43.121 ghs.google.com
    74.125.43.121 mysite.com
    74.125.43.121 http://www.mysite.com

    hope it’ll help to someone sort out this problem ‘Temporally’

    “SLT” MUST take action to sort-out this problem soon.

    thanks

  8. issue seem to be SLT/Mobitel blocking trafic to 74.125.47.121, seem to be a routing issue or they are blocking it

    Kalinga-Mac:~ kalingaathulathmudali$ traceroute 74.125.47.121
    traceroute to 74.125.47.121 (74.125.47.121), 64 hops max, 52 byte packets
    1 kalinga.lan (192.168.0.1) 3.527 ms 1.361 ms 1.156 ms
    2 * * *
    3 * * *
    4 172.19.9.124 (172.19.9.124) 94.102 ms 119.951 ms 807.989 ms
    5 172.19.2.5 (172.19.2.5) 88.544 ms 87.485 ms 239.930 ms
    6 172.19.2.1 (172.19.2.1) 868.691 ms 97.166 ms 100.335 ms
    7 192.168.89.147 (192.168.89.147) 99.526 ms 98.152 ms 100.819 ms
    8 * * *
    9 172.30.0.1 (172.30.0.1) 99.224 ms 95.226 ms 109.875 ms
    10 220.247.198.73 (220.247.198.73) 109.557 ms 98.305 ms 99.393 ms
    11 222.165.130.217 (222.165.130.217) 109.880 ms 95.857 ms 109.742 ms
    12 r1.ac-ns.slt.lk (222.165.130.214) 100.112 ms 97.384 ms 98.502 ms
    13 r1.ac-ns.slt.lk (222.165.130.214) 99.991 ms !Z 97.798 ms !Z 99.921 ms !Z

  9. issues seem to be very on the connection, it works fine on our 4M ADSL, but fail on our SLT Leased Line.

    speaking to SLT, and there seem to be an issue. will keep you guys updated.

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