Online banking tech question

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Up until recently my online banking site worked fine...Last week they were down for upgrades and now whenever I go to their site and click for online banking I get the same error message:
The connection was reset





The connection to the server was reset while the page was loading.





The site could be temporarily unavailable or too busy. Try again in a few
moments.
If you are unable to load any pages, check your computer's network
connection.
If your computer or network is protected by a firewall or proxy, make sure
that Firefox is permitted to access the Web.

Their tech support keeps going through the typical fixes of allowing cookies and adjusting browser settings (ff). Nothing seems to work and I am wondering if it is a firewall issue? I have scanned my computer for viruses and malware and find nothing! Can you configure a firewall to allow a specific link? Or do I need to allow a specific program? Or are they giving me the run around? I use Earthlink Dial Up and it worked prior to their upgrades...could it be a question of speed?...Thanks for looking!

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Thank you! I tried that and it didn't bring the Bill pay page...I've decided to take your advice and am going to link th... (more)

ricksgal (Jul. 30, 2013 @ 4:41p) |

Well...after making a lot of changes to Bill Pay with another bank and linking other accounts, wouldn't you know it! All... (more)

ricksgal (Aug. 24, 2013 @ 12:10a) |

Go to the history section of your computer and clear your cache. Sometimes these kind of problem happens, try a differen... (more)

charlieeisaac (Aug. 28, 2013 @ 1:37p) |

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You may have corrupted browser cache pages (or indexes) - do a forced deletion of all of them. I'd provide the cleanup steps, if I knew what browser you were using. You could also try another browser...

I have tried IE, FF and Google...with the same error message...I use the Mozilla for banking as a general rule. Any help you could give would be great!

ricksgal said:   Nothing seems to work and I am wondering if it is a firewall issue? I have scanned my computer for viruses and malware and find nothing! Can you configure a firewall to allow a specific link? Or do I need to allow a specific program? Or are they giving me the run around? I use Earthlink Dial Up and it worked prior to their upgrades...could it be a question of speed?...Thanks for looking!
Dial up? Yes, it could be that they put a lot of content on the new site and your connection is having issues with it.

What firewall are you using?

I am using the Windows Fire wall along with Trend Micro Titanium...

Does Titanium have a firewall in it? If so, turn off the Windows one. One firewall is good, two is not.

For testing turn your firewall completely off and see if things get better.

I already tried turning the firewall off...it didn't seem to make a difference...Right now I only have one running to my knowledge...

Well, if you turned it off and the problem still happened you can pretty much rule that out as the cause.

Any chance you can take the PC elsewhere and connect to the Internet through a different ISP?

Do you think dumping the cache would help? I have CCleaner but I have never used it to dump cache before...I can see I have a lot of files there...What are the consequences...

ricksgal said:   Do you think dumping the cache would help? I have CCleaner but I have never used it to dump cache before...I can see I have a lot of files there...What are the consequences...While it couldn't hurt, I don't think it will help in this case, because the issue is happening in multiple browsers. Each browser has its own cache so this happening to all three at the same time would be a heck of a coincidence.

The only real consequence is that the initial load on pages will probably take longer after you clear the cache.

ricksgal said:   I already tried turning the firewall off...it didn't seem to make a difference...Right now I only have one running to my knowledge...

Try turning off both firewalls.

Have you been trying to get to the webpage from an old bookmark? Maybe they changed their address scheme. What happens when you go to their main public-facing webpage (www.wellsfargo.com, www.bankofamerica.com, etc)?

Do you get the error message immediately, after a few seconds, after a long time...?

I have tried going through the main page...I log in and click online banking...the top of the online banking page loads and then the rest of the page times out and generates the error message. I have tried everything!!! Any clues?

Banks tend to have OCD disorder in doing software upgrades. IMO, it's not in your interest to bend to them, and it's not worth the effort to play catch-up.

Just cut back, let the account go dormant, and use your other banks instead. Consider either yodlee/manilla.com to get your statements, or switch to paper statements on the OCD banks. At any given moment a few of my banks have broken sites. These banks underestimate the value of my time. The banks that simply work are the ones that get more of my business.

Banks tend to have OCD disorder in doing software upgrades. IMO, it's not in your interest to bend to them, and it's not worth the effort to play catch-up.

Just cut back, let the account go dormant, and use your other banks instead. Consider either yodlee/manilla.com to get your statements, or switch to paper statements on the OCD banks. At any given moment a few of my banks have broken sites. These banks underestimate the value of my time. The banks that simply work are the ones that get more of my business.

BTW, to get your money into another account while your current one is unusable, you can do an ACH pull from the working account.

Reset your router.

ricksgal said:   I have tried going through the main page...I log in and click online banking...the top of the online banking page loads and then the rest of the page times out and generates the error message. I have tried everything!!! Any clues?

It is possible that their new webiste/webpage has code or something that is many megabytes large, and it is taking too long for your dial-up connection to download it all. There are settings on webservers that give the maximum time for a request to be executed, and when that time is exceeded the connection is reset. Unfortunately, the webserver admin would be the only person who would be able to help you with this.

To properly diagnose, you will need to find a place with a fast internet connection that will allow you to use their computer and hook up your computer (maybe a local repair shop will help you out... be sure to change your password afterward):
  • Go to the place with a faster internet connection and use their computer to log in; if there still is an error, then the problem most likely is on the bank's end, and there is nothing you can do except make them aware of it.
  • If no error with their computer, then try and log in using your computer on their internet connection and see if the error still happens; if no error, then the issue is with your dial-up and/or home network. If there is an error, then the problem is with your computer.

I spoke to an IT "expert" at the bank today and he thinks it is either the dial up or firewall. I tried to tell him that the time to time out is too short for my connection but they don't hear me. They want me to come into their branch and log in on their computer...Makes little sense because of course I can log in on their high speed systems...I guess all I can do is hope they adjust to their customers with lower speed connections. Though they tell me I am the only person with this issue...somehow I think not! I guess time will tell! Thank you all for your most helpful advice and for taking the time to help me with my issue!

ricksgal said:   I spoke to an IT "expert" at the bank today and he thinks it is either the dial up or firewall. I tried to tell him that the time to time out is too short for my connection but they don't hear me.
They may well be correct. There are a lot of pieces involved and though it may seem to you that it happens quickly it is possible that their site is expecting a much faster response than your ISP is allowing to happen.

I don't think there is much else you can do other than pick up the machine and take it to a friend or relative to test it with their ISP. That will tell you for absolutely certain if it is your ISP as oppose to your PC.

ricksgal said:   They want me to come into their branch and log in on their computer...Makes little sense because of course I can log in on their high speed systems

Have you logged into your account through a computer with a high speed connection? If not, then what they propose makes sense. It is possible that there is something wrong with your account that could be causing the problem. Using a "known good" computer + connection of theirs is the way to check if that is the problem.

I think you've realized that this is not a technical problem on your side. Asking you to login on-site further demonstrates your banks incompetency - or they're erroneously hoping they got away with brushing you off w/out insulting your intelligence. Either way, there's a competency problem on the part of the banks web admins.

Although I've already given you the proper solution (ditch the bank), there are some things you can do to hack this to work.

  • get a copy of Tails, and boot it from a USB stick. This will enable you try an entirely different OS-tcpstack-browser-apps tool chain and configuration. I say Tails, because it also includes the "noscript" plugin. A live Knoppix or live Debian DVD will also give a diverse variety of tools (konquerer, chrome, gnash, etc).
  • if you're not that adventurous, you could simply install noscript in your current FF.
  • turn off images. Loading images is wasteful.. if they're a typical bank, the images are junk anyway.
  • you cleared your caches, but your caches can only help. I have to disagree with minidrag's comment that clearing the caches could not hurt. I suggest the opposite: use a high-speed connection just once (if possible) to build a cache. Perhaps even take steps to prevent cache clearing. Having things in your cache mitigates downloads that slow down your session.
  • VPN-- you tunnel to a host that connects directly to your bank. The connection between your bank and the proxy is obviously quite fast. Even though your connection is slow, the SYN/ACKs will likely happen fast enough to not lose a connection. (caveat- if the proxy is controlled by a 3rd party, they will have visibility to what you're doing)


Noscript will harden your browser, and configure it so you don't have to download and execute all the javascript-heavy crap that quite often only results in needless frills. Of course, hardening your browser with noscript will actually cause many fragile banking sites to break, but in your case there's a chance it will have the opposite effect. You can always turn it off if needed.

Lastly, a high tech end-user option is to scrape your banks webpage. If you know a programmer, they can write a script that only transmits and receives the bare minimum data needed for each transaction.

Anyway, if the above proves useful, you should consider it temporary until you change banks. You're only doing yourself and others a disservice if you continue to support an elitist bank that imposes high-performance (ad-delivery) requirements on users, when technically a connection as slow as 2400 baud is fast enough to support every online banking transaction you could possibly need.

two more options:
  • if your bank has a mobile website (e.g. m.mybank.com), use it instead.
  • if your bank has an Android app, install an android emulator, and use the banks android app instead of a browser.

Timbilky...Thanks for your support! I am curious if you could explain the process for turning off the images...Thanks!

Uncheck
edit:preferences:content:load images automatically
. Or, leave it checked, but then click "exceptions" to the right of that option and add your bank.

When browsing on a slow uplink, I've found this the single most useful feature. A good standard way to using the web is to disable image loading for everything, and then right click whenever there is a need to see the pics. IIRC, you can selectively click to load images that look like they might be important (like poorly coded non-standard buttons that do not have a text annotation).

Well-designed web pages will render all text and options quickly without images, and then only load images at the very end. However, most web pages are not good with this, and this has gotten progressively worse as more and more developers forget about slow clients. I also think it's sometimes deliberate, where they want you to see ads and gloss first, and get functional parts last.

Thank you! I tried that and it didn't bring the Bill pay page...I've decided to take your advice and am going to link the offending bank to another bank so I can move funds back and forth and use Discover banks limited bill pay (6x w/o fee) on my money market...The rest will get paid a credit card...My first big transfer will be to get the bulk of the money out of their...like you said, punish them! Thank you again for all your help and let me know if you have any more ideas.

Well...after making a lot of changes to Bill Pay with another bank and linking other accounts, wouldn't you know it! All of a sudden my banks's Bill Pay works again! I guess it wasn't my computer...my connection or the myriad of other excuses they gave me! As usual, Fat Wallet rules in knowing what is wrong before anyone else does! Thanks again for all your help through my saga!

Go to the history section of your computer and clear your cache. Sometimes these kind of problem happens, try a different computer and check whether this problem persists or not.



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