Troubleshooting Internet Browser Error Messages

Many errors encountered while browsing the Internet are unrelated to your internet service. The specific error message you receive can tell you more about the problem and potential resolutions.

Internet Response Codes

Error messages are often preceded by a number. These are internet response codes

Accessing anything on the Internet means you are making a request for a resource stored somewhere else. Your browser receives a response to that request as an HTTP response status code. 

Internet response codes are grouped by type or "class"

  • 100 series - Informational responses
  • 200 series - Successful responses
  • 300 series - Redirection messages
  • 400 series - Client error responses
  • 500 series - Server error responses

Error messages come from the 400 and 500 series. Each circumstance has its own error response and can indicate what's inside or outside your control, whether something is temporary, and when there may be a larger problem. Common 400 and 500 series errors are explained below.

Common Error Messages and Solutions

  • This message usually occurs when your web browser incorrectly accesses a page or if the access request is corrupted in some way. The most common cause is entering the URL incorrectly into the address bar.

    What can I do?

    • Check for errors in the URL. Double-check that the address is typed correctly, including capital letters, punctuation symbols, underscores, dashes, slashes, etc.
    • Clear your browser’s cookies. Sites can sometimes report a 400 error if the cookie it’s reading is corrupt.
    • Clear your browser’s cache. If you like to keep passwords saved in your browser, you'll want to exclude deleting these or back them up somewhere else before you clear the cache.
    • Clear your system DNS cache.
  • The remote web server can’t find the web page. The page may no longer exist, you may not be authorized to access it, or you may have mistyped the address.

    What can I do?

    • Double-check the address is typed correctly, including capital letters, punctuation symbols, underscores, dashes, slashes, etc.
    • If the website has a search tool, navigate directly to the website’s home page and search for the sub-page you need.
  • This less common "access denied" error displays on protected pages that limit access to authorized people. Typically, the error is caused by something on the content owner or server side.

    The usual reason for a 403 error message is that the content is private, geographically restricted (such as with streaming services), user-restricted, the IP address is blocked or there have been too many login attempts.

    What can I do?

    • Double-check that you have entered the correct web address (URL). 
    • Clear your browser cache and cookies.
    • Give it some time. This can help when the reason for the error is too many login attempts in a specific amount of time. Sometimes, a 403 error could also mean there are in-progress website updates—updates often run in the middle of the night when website traffic is lowest. Giving it some time until those updates are complete may be all you need to do.
    • Contact the company, service, or organization directly. It could be an ongoing issue affecting multiple people, and you can let the company know so that they can work to resolve it.
    • Though rare, a possible cause for the error could be if your IP address is blocked on those websites. If you've ruled out everything else, reach out to Ting Support and let us know you're getting this error message and what troubleshooting steps you've attempted thus far. We'll dig in and check a few things, including your IP address.
  • The remote web server is experiencing technical problems.

    What can I do?

    • Double-check the address is typed correctly, including capital letters, punctuation symbols, underscores, dashes, slashes, etc.
    • Try again another time.
  • This error is short-lived and means a server is temporarily unable to handle the request you made.

    What can I do?

    • Give it some time. This error usually resolves itself quickly, so try again in a couple of minutes.
  • The reason is in the name. On the server side, where machines speak with each other to get you what you requested, the connection between them timed out before getting a response. This can happen when there are DNS issues, another machine could be busy and can't process the request, or a network device might even be down. This isn't an issue with your internet service or your computer.

    What can I do?

    • As with other 500 series errors indicating what's happening on the server side, give it a few minutes and then try again.

Other Internet Error Messages and Solutions

These error messages are less common but still might cause browsing issues.

  • You’re trying to access a protected page that limits access to authorized people.

    What can I do?

    • If you don’t think you should be receiving this message, double-check the address is typed correctly, including capital letters, punctuation symbols, underscores, dashes, slashes, etc.
    • If you were given a password to access the page, retype it carefully. Ensure that caps lock isn’t on.
    • Contact the administrator who gave you access--they may need to adjust your profile or account settings so you can access the restricted site.
  • The server didn't receive a complete request from the client within the server’s allotted timeout period and wants to close that idle connection. Similar to a gateway timeout, this error isn't from a gateway or proxy server but is a direct message from the active server you've made a request to.

    What can I do?

    • Double-check the address is typed correctly, including capital letters, punctuation symbols, underscores, dashes, slashes, etc. The URL you entered may be slightly incorrect, resulting in a request for the wrong resource.
  • It may be an issue with the site itself, like an error in the HTML coding of the web page. You might see this while trying to submit a form.

    What can I do?

    • Contact the site’s webmaster, customer service or technical support staff to report the problem. While they work on a fix, ask if you can submit the information another way.
  • Your browser can’t figure out the web address (URL) you typed.

    What can I do?

    • Double-check the address is typed correctly, including capital letters, punctuation symbols, underscores, dashes, slashes, etc.
    • Add HTTP:// or HTTPS:// before the web address in the browser address bar if you didn’t the first time. Most websites are coded to know this is implied and add it in for you, but some don’t.
  • Your browser can’t find the web address (URL) you typed. The site may no longer exist, it may be receiving excessive traffic, you may have mistyped the address, or there may be network problems.

    What can I do?

    • Double-check the address is typed correctly, including capital letters, punctuation symbols, underscores, dashes, slashes, etc.
    • Try refreshing or reloading the page.
    • Try visiting other sites. If you can reach other websites, then the problem is with one specific site.
    • If you can’t reach other sites, then the problem may be with your internet connection or your computer. Try restarting your computer and then connect to the internet. If you still can’t reach any websites, try turning your modem off (or unplugging it), waiting 30 seconds, and then turning it back on.
    • If nothing else has solved the problem, confirm that your modem is connected to the internet. If your modem is connected correctly, but you still can’t visit any websites, briefly disable any firewall software you use to see if it’s blocking your connection. If this solves the problem, you may need to reconfigure your firewall software. Turn your firewall back on and go through the settings to ensure your modem or router has permission to make connections.
  • Something went wrong while connecting to a DNS server (the server holding the contents of the website you were trying to visit). It could be that the web address (URL) you typed is incorrect, the server can’t be located (it could be offline), the remote server is receiving excessive traffic, or it's temporarily down for something like maintenance.

    What can I do?

    • Double-check the address is typed correctly, including capital letters, punctuation symbols, underscores, dashes, slashes, etc.
    • Try refreshing or reloading the browser page.
    • Confirm you haven't lost connection. Ensure your Ethernet cable isn't loose and that your Wi-Fi connection hasn't dropped.
    • Reboot your router. Wait a minute before turning it back on, and wait until all the indicator lights stop blinking before you try to connect again.
    • Run a virus and malware scan. It could be a virus is blocking your internet connection. You should run the scan immediately to rule out viruses/malware.
  • This means you're trying to access a file that requires a helper application (like a plug-in) to open it. Either your browser can't find the helper application, or you do not have it installed. 

    What can I do?

    • Take note of the file type that needs a helper in the error message.
    • Search your browser’s help for helper applications (also known as plug-ins) and follow the instructions to define or install the one for the file type.
    • Installing or defining a plug-in is like adding a translation program--it allows your browser to understand and interact with the specific type of file you attempted to access.
    • The next time you access the file you had difficulty with, the plug-in will open it for you.
  • This one could mean a few things:  You've mistyped the website address (URL), the remote web server is down, or you've lost your Internet connection.

    What can I do?

    • Refresh or reload the page.
    • Confirm you haven't lost connection--ensure your Ethernet cable isn't loose and that your Wi-Fi connection hasn't dropped.
    • Double-check the address is typed correctly, including capital letters, punctuation symbols, underscores, dashes, slashes, etc.
    • Try using a search engine to find the site and open it from there.
  • The remote web server has reached the maximum number of users allowed to access the site at one time.

    What can I do?

    • Wait a few minutes, then try refreshing or reloading the page.
    • If you continue to see the error message, it indicates the website is receiving a lot of traffic. Wait and try to reach the website later after the number of users decreases.
  • Either the remote server has reached the maximum number of users it can allow, or there is an issue with your cache (the temporary files stored in your browser.)

    What can I do?

    • Refresh or reload the page.
    • Wait and try to reach the website later after the number of users decreases.
    • Clear your browser's cache (the temporary files stored in your browser.)

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