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FTP problem

FTP clients suddenly time out connecting to my server

1:57 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I would be grateful for any new suggestions on a problem that has stumped everyone who has turned their attention to it.

I am in the UK, but I have maintained a website on a data server in the US for two years.

Suddenly on Wednesday, I found I was no longer able to FTP to it, using settings that had not been touched for months.

I tried my regular FTP client (WS_FTP) and a second client. They both just time out.

I tried a desktop computer connected to my router through an ethernet cable and a laptop with a wireless connection.

I found that I could FTP without problems to several servers in the UK.

I can ping the server.

I spoke to [hosting company] staff twice and they mantained there was no problem.

I turned off my Windows firewall and my virus protection.

My son, who has a different ISP, had no problems connecting.

My ISP cannot find a problem. I have recorded a Wireshark file for them but they have so far comeback with nothing.

[edited by: lammert at 5:55 pm (utc) on May 10, 2010]
[edit reason] removed hosting and ISP specifics [/edit]

3:23 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member encyclo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Welcome to WebmasterWorld hazza :) Sound like something, somewhere, is blocking the FTP port. Maybe your router? Does your host support SSH or "secure FTP" If so, try a different client such as Filezilla and connect via SSH (it's good practice as it is more secure than FTP anyway).
3:46 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Many thanks. I'll try that, but I can actually FTP to servers in the UK without problems.
4:19 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Many years ago, when I first sought help from a computer techy, he didn't pay much attention to my long explanation of the problem.

He just smiled and rebooted my computer. "50% of the time, that's all it needs," he said.

I just remembered his wise words, so I switched off my router, read my newspaper for five minutes, then switched it on again.

After three days, problem solved.

Another lesson relearned.
6:45 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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After three days, problem solved. Posting some additional info for anyone stumbling on this in the future.

Been here quite a few times. Not able to FTP, yet other users from other locations and support say "it's all good, it's on you."

First suspect is your local network, reboot and routers at your disposal as mentioned.

Try switching between passive and non passive mode, often changes in routers between you and the server can accept one and not the other.

You've already tried both clients, but you can also try command line FTP just to test it. (old school! :-) )

Start -> run type cmd, press enter, to DOS. Type FTP/press enter, you should get ftp>, which means you are in the command line ftp program. Type help/press enter for available commands. Just see if you can connect.

Last time it did this, oddly enough, I was also having problems with IE. In trying to fix IE, it revealed a link to "diagnose networking problems" in the "cannot connect to server" page. I hit the link, figuring it would wind up at something unhelpful, but it actually found a damaged TCP/IP file in my system, and fixed it. The FTP problem went away with it.

I'm not sure how to guide you through diagnosing TCP/IP problems from anywhere else, but it's something to track down.
7:33 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for your interest.

Actually, I did try pinging the server from the command line (no problem) then ftp-ing the address from the command line. I was stumbling in the dark here, but I expected to be prompted for the username if everything was OK, but the window froze for a while then the server booted me off.

I should have made sure that the basics were sound, but although I tried different computers, different remote servers, different FTP clients, different ISPs, I started getting complicated and never thought about the router.

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