The ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT error indicates that the website you visited took too long to respond. Your browser will try to reconnect for about 30 seconds, and if unsuccessful, it will terminate the connection. The ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT error is then returned, indicating a communication problem.

Possible causes

  1. Domain name system (DNS)

  2. Browser cache

  3. Virtual private network (VPN)

  4. Server overload

What could be causing this type of problem?

The website you are visiting is trying to do more than the server can handle and is unable to serve the requested page in time. This is common on shared hosting services where there is a memory limit.

The Website may be blocked by your internet service provider (ISP) or corporate web filtering software. It could also be that part of the intermediate infrastructure, such as a proxy server or network path, is currently being flooded or overworked. This will result in a slow response on the employee device.

From a technical perspective, there is an invalid connection and the path cannot be reached. For example, when connecting to the company’s intranet, a VPN connection may need to be established first.

In most cases, this is an isolated incident concerning an individual device that happens to be accessing Internet (or intranet) locations that have, for some reason, changed since the last visit. In this case, individual fixes can be applied as outlined below.

If this is a widespread incident, consider the following questions:

  • Has your browser been recently updated?

  • Has there been a change to the network resulting in a different route or path needed to reach the website destination?

  • Are the devices using a predefined proxy server to get to their destination?

  • Has the destination, usually a website, been altered or changed?

Read the suggestions below to find out how Nexthink can help solve these problems.

How to Scope this issue

The first step is to scope the issue to understand how serious or widespread the problem is.

Scoping with Applications

Using the Applications Reliability dashboards, look at the various breakdowns and filter them to find correlations. For instance, specific errors could be present on:

Specific applications only

In this instance, try to understand what has changed for a particular web application.

Specific operating system (OS), browser version

Has the OS or browser version changed? Has the browser been updated recently? Using Nexthink, investigate the performance of various browser versions to understand if a specific version is causing the problem.

Specific hierarchy nodes

If an infrastructure component such as a network change, a proxy server, or something similar is causing the problem, then it is likely to be shown by a specific area in the hierarchy containing a high quantity of errors.

Specific key pages or URLs

Most likely, a change was made at the web app level. Contact the appropriate application support team and inform them of the problem.

Specific time frames only

Examine if it is a one-time event that must be investigated, or whether this is a recurring event where something on the network, e.g., corporate backup, may be altering the availability of the network.

Scoping with Nexthink Finder (classic)

Investigate the path used to access the website. This will show if the connection is affected by a company network component (i.e. proxy server or router).

If this is the case, you can search for failed connections with the Applications console and start an investigation in Finder. By entering the web address as a criterion in Finder and checking all connections to that domain or website, Finder returns valuable insights into the scope of the issue.

If a proxy server is in question, then Nexthink Finder can help better understand if this is the root cause. Create an investigation targeted at the domain name of the application in question and note whether most of the device traffic is going through a particular proxy. It is also possible to make the proxy server the actual target of the investigation itself and then use it to show various analytics, such as the number of failed requests or response times from the proxy. This approach will reveal any unexpected behaviors.

If available, reconfigure the device to an alternative proxy server. If the requested web page loads correctly, it is a good indication that the company’s proxy server may be the cause of the problem. Inform the teams responsible for the networking and proxy infrastructures within the organization of the issue and the scope of affected devices.

Possible Solutions

Fixing Employee Devices 

NOTICE: Consider the scoping procedures first, see the steps above.

Be aware of the scope of impact when running corrective actions using Nexthink. If you are dealing with a single device or just a few devices, the Remote Actions can be run in the background while providing help to the affected employees or they can even be performed silently.

Should the scoping reveal that the incident is widespread, the issue will require more attention. We recommend employing Engage Campaigns to ensure that affected employees will get a visual notification of any changes being performed through remote actions at scale because employees may not be aware of the Remote Action taking place.

Refresh the page

Refreshing the page can be a quick way to fix the problem because usually, the error is a temporary one. Press CTRL+F5, which works on most browsers, or refer to your documentation if needed.

Flush DNS

Flushing the DNS on the device deletes the DNS cache, which then forces a new DNS lookup. If the website or page in question was recently moved to another IP address, deleting (or flushing) all DNS entries should resolve the error. Use the Remote Action Network Management.

Clear cache

If the cache hasn’t been cleared for a while, some of the files within it may be corrupt. Clearing the cache can help. Select the Basic data clearing option if the user does not want to lose saved passwords and other personalized data.

Use the remote actions to clear the browser cache on Edge or Chrome (‘Clear Edge / Chrome Settings’). Clearing of the cache can be carried out remotely to assist the user.

Confirm Network Settings

Use the Remote action Get Network Configuration to confirm that the DNS settings on the devices are correct. If they are not, ensure the correct DNS settings are used (see the step above), either by renewing the DHCP lease (ipconfig /renew) if on a DHCP enabled network or by simply entering the correct DNS server settings into the IP configuration settings of the client, if they are managed locally.

Confirm correct connection configuration

It may be necessary at times to activate a VPN to reach the DNS Servers required for name resolution. This is especially true for remote employees wanting to connect to the company’s resources such as the intranet. In this case, confirm with the employee that their VPN is connected, and if not, establish a connection and then check the access. If the problem has been solved, this should provide an insight into the same connection issue on other remote devices. Employees can be reached using an Engage Campaign to be reminded of this requirement.

Network Signal Strength

If the networking quality is an issue, check the strength of the Wi-Fi signal on employee devices. The Get Wi-Fi Signal Strength Remote Action can reveal where the signal is weak. Use Engage campaign within the associated pack to inform the Employees about what they can do to remediate this problem. You can use the Remote Action individually or the whole Home Networking pack to see the complete picture of both in-office and remote workers.

Infrastructure fixes

Site blocked by the ISP or company

If a website returns connection timed out errors while being available on other networks, such as your mobile network, then your ISP or company may have blocked access to that website. Known sites that promote software or video piracy are routinely blocked by the ISPs, while the company may block other sites such as social media sites (Facebook, Twitter). Note that the web filter will display a corporate message informing employees they cannot visit the site. Therefore, ISP blocking is not a guaranteed root cause of the problem, but it is a possibility.

Users cannot unblock websites blocked by the ISP. However, websites blocked by the company can be unblocked for employees requesting access, given there is a valid business reason.

Proxy server delay or network bandwidth capacity

If after completion of the steps discussed above, the tests reveal that moving to another proxy server or different path has resolved the issue, then the problem lies with the proxy or network's bandwidth capacity. Contact the appropriate infrastructure team to resolve the proxy issue or increase network bandwidth capacity.

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