I have a MacBook Air with OS X 10.8.2 on it. Suddenly the browsers (Safari, Firefox and Chrome) all stopped working although the MacBook is still connected to the internet via WLAN.

Funnily enough Google still works (i.e. I can search for something, I just can't take a look at the results), Facebook as well (I'm even able to receive chat messages). Other webpages don't work...

  • ping - works
  • nslookup - works
  • traceroot - works
  • curl - doesn't work

I've tried to use Google's DNS servers, to type in the IP of an website instead of its URL, restarting mDNSResponder and I've rebooted the Macbook more often than I can count.

I'm running out of ideas... Any guesses what the problem might be?

Update: Output: netstat -i

Metalhamsters-MacBook-Air:~ Metalhamster$ netstat -i 
Name  Mtu     Network            Address            Ipkts  Ierrs  Opkts  Oerrs  Coll 
lo0   16384   <Link#1>                              53920  0      53920  0      0 
lo0   16384   localhost          fe80:1::1          53920  -      53920  -      - 
lo0   16384   127                localhost          53920  -      53920  -      - 
lo0   16384   localhost          ::1                53920  -      53920  -      -
gif0* 1280    <Link#2>                              0      0      0      0      0 
stf0* 1280    <Link#3>                              0      0      0      0      0 
en0   1500    <Link#4>           94:94:26:04:98:dc  351    0      468    0      0 
en0   1500    metalhamsters-mac  fe80:4::9694:26ff  351    -      468    -      - 
en0   1500    192.168.1      351    -      468    -      - 
p2p0  2304    <Link#5>           06:94:26:04:98:dc  0      0      0      0      0

Update2: I think I need to clarify what I mean with "other webpages don't work":

  • When I try to load a website I get a blank tab with 'Connecting...' and after a few minutes the browser shows 'Error: server not found'.
  • curl returns '(52) Empty reply from server' after a few minutes.

Cheers, metalhamster

  • what is the result of Netstat- i
    – Ruskes
    Sep 25, 2014 at 19:35
  • Is your user profile damaged, switch user to try.
    – Ruskes
    Sep 25, 2014 at 19:36
  • Added output of netstat -i Sep 25, 2014 at 19:48
  • I already tried if it works with the Guest account, but unfortunately it doesn't... Sep 25, 2014 at 19:49
  • sorry, could not read our mind (not yet), so what else did you already try?
    – Ruskes
    Sep 25, 2014 at 22:10

2 Answers 2


It appears you might have installed some software that would block access to those web sites.

If not keep reading:

In some cases there is a possible modification to your HOST file.

In the assumption that you have no software installed that would explicitly block those sites here is how to block and unblock web sites.

A Mac’s hosts file is a simple text file that dictates what the system should do when specific domains or IP addresses are accessed.

You can trigger a “page cannot be displayed” error or even redirect them to other domains/IPs of your choice.

For the sake of this tutorial, all blocked websites will be pointed to, which is the localhost or system itself.

  • To get started, Copy and paste the following code in Terminal:
sudo /bin/cp /etc/hosts /etc/hosts-original

Terminal will ask for your password.

Now we can start editing the hosts file. Copy and paste this code in Terminal (all one line)

sudo /Applications/TextEdit.app/Contents/MacOS/TextEdit /etc/hosts

The hosts file will open in TextEdit.

Notice the following lines and do not delete them under any circumstances: localhost broadcasthost

::1 localhost

fe80::1%lo0 localhost

You should not have any further data here.

Create a new line directly under the last one shown above. Type the following, replacing the sample domain with the domain or IP address you want to block: sample.com www.sample.com

Continue adding lines following the format in step 6 for each website you want to block. When you’re done, quit TextEdit and save the hosts file when prompted.

Back in Terminal, run the following command to flush the computer’s DNS and put the new hosts file into effect. Or you can restart your Mac instead, if you prefer.

sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

That’s all there is to it! Websites added to the hosts file will no longer be accessible from any user account on that Mac.

In your case look for the blocked IP's

  • re-enable access to blocked websites, just repeat this process and remove the lines you added in the hosts file. Just remember not to delete the original 4 lines!

In some cases the sshuttle (an VPN over ssh) cloud changed my /etc/hosts file.

  • The dscacheutil -flushcache command doesn't work for anything newer than OS 10.6.8 - for Lion onwards you should use sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder Reference - support.apple.com/kb/HT5343?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 26, 2014 at 12:12
  • Welcome @Buscar웃 :-)
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 26, 2014 at 15:59
  • Your first sentence lead me to the solution: Cisco AnyConnect was the source of my problem. After uninstalling it everything works again. Thanks. :-) Sep 26, 2014 at 22:28

Happened to me too and i went to an appStoreGenuisBar. They did not much but updating my OS X. I highly recommend you doing that. If still not working report the problem to apple.

  • Unfortunately updating OS X didn't solve the problem. Sep 26, 2014 at 22:07
  • Did you check wether your hardware works fine? The wifi-adapter could be broken possibly... Sep 26, 2014 at 22:18
  • Oh and try to connect via LAN-cable so Ethernet. Then it will probably be your adapter Sep 26, 2014 at 22:20

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