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I'm living in Japan (if that's relevant) and often to go net- manga-cafés (or Starbucks) for my internet fix (too expensive to get it at home, ATM).

After connecting to a Wi-Fi network, however, I'm left with about fifty-percent of web pages loading, but usually the page fails to load completely (can't reach server error). Sometimes I get a 'spike' of access where everything seems to work for 5 minutes or so, then goes back to iffy/nothing.

Back in the USA with the same MBP + OS, I didn't have any issues downloading / loading pages so I'm not sure if it's my computer or OS or not.

I have ssh access to a friend's server in the USA which I often use as a secure proxy (or way-around government firewalls, etc.) when traveling but I can't even access that half of the time.

(connect to host server.myfriendssite.org port 22: No route to host

I've setup BitTorrent to download large files since the connection is so flaky, but interestingly BitTorrent is the least affected. It seems to download relatively steadily even when I'm constantly getting "connection failed" pages.

Because of this I've assumed it's a DNS issue (BitTorrent isn't DNS affected???). I've tried adding various DNS servers in my network-settings (Google DNS, OpenDNS) but with the same flakey results.

While BT is downloading, I can't even ping google or trace route google, either. Then 10 minutes will go by, and Safari will auto-refresh and loads my tabs that have been sitting on their error page.

Some websites seem to load faster more steadily than others. Reddit (for example) loads relatively quickly and constantly, but occasionally hiccups. Sometimes I only get images, sometimes only the raw HTML (no CSS or images).

My only laptop is a MBP (Retina) so I've only tested with Mac OS X (El Capitan). I'll try to install Windows in BootCamp soon to see if it's something with my OS or hardware, perhaps. At the manga-cafés, the desktop PCs setup in the booths don't have these same loading issues: everything loads normally (as far as I can tell).

Any ideas or tricks or commands I can use to narrow down the causes of these severe hiccups and network blockages? While it'd be great to solve it, I really just want to find out the cause/source of what's going on. It's so strange. Thanks for any tips!

I should also add I've tried all browsers (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera).

  • UPDATE: I've tried disabling IPv6 in OS X as mentioned here but still no success. I've also done a clean-install of El Capitan and upgraded to the latest beta update in the developer channel (beta 4), but still the same slaggy, flakey web-page loads. :( – pantomimeParis Nov 20 '15 at 16:12
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Try running Namebench to determine the best DNS entries for your connection. The project hasn't been updated in awhile but runs fine even on OS X 10.11.2 betas.

If you are constantly switching wireless networks you may want to consider running this regularly to get a sense of what domain name servers are most often available from these different connections.

  • I let it run for a couple hours (scanning some 4500 DNS servers) but I'm not sure what exactly it did or what the results were. – pantomimeParis Nov 20 '15 at 16:08

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