Checking the Walled Garden when you have problems in Social Login

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Introduction

If you are using an access point that does not support domain names in the Walled Garden, then you can occasionally encounter some problems during the Social Login.

In general we do not recommend using these access points if you plan to use Social Login: social networks can change the IP of their servers at their discretion.
By using
access points that support domain names, you will be sure that new IP addresses will also be used.

Anyway this article introduces a method to discover the new IP addresses for the Social Login if your Access Point does not support domain names.

The procedure to discover a new IP address consists of two steps:

  1. Finding the domain
  2. Finding the IP address

 

Step #1: Finding the domain

In general you can be in one of the following different situations:

  1. The browser says that it is impossible to load the page
  2. The browser does not report any error, but the page is not correctly loaded

Please find the instructions according to your case.

Situation #1: The browser says that it is impossible to load the page

In this situation your browser looks very similar to the image below. If this is not your situation, please proceed to next paragraph.

In this case you don't have to search for particular web sites, since the domain (or eventually one of the domains) you are unable to load is definitely the one displayed in the address bar of the browser (in this case: www.facebook.com).
Take note of this domain and directly go to the Step #2.

Situation #2: The browser takes too long to load the page

The browser takes too long to load a page and does not report an error. The page may be loaded but you could have other problems. (for example: the page not working properly, or some images not being displayed).

When a page is partially loaded or not loaded, (without a browser error) it means you can reach the domain where the page is, but you probably cannot reach the resources the page calls for proper functioning or displaying.

The picture below is a real example of this situation: in this case the page has taken over 5 minutes to load, and images and CSS styles are totally missing. 

In the following procedure we are going to explain how to use Mozilla Firefox 34.0.5 with the Firebug 2.0.7 extension. This procedure should work with other versions of this software, unless they are not really obsolete.

  1. Get Firefox
    If you don't have Firefox installed, please go to http://getfirefox.com and download the right version for your system.
  2. Get Firebug
    Similarly, if you don't have Firebug installed, please go to http://getfirebug.com/ and download the extension for your browser.

  3. Enable the "Net" tab in Firebug
    Please enable Firebug on your browser and then enable the "Net" tab, as it will be necessary to inspect the domain names called by the page. In the Firebug web site (http://getfirebug.com/) you can find how to use the extension.


  4. Retry to open the page where you encountered the error
    By doing this, Firebug will show in red the domain where the page was unable to load resources. In our case the missing domain is fbstatic-a.akamaihd.net (please see the picture below)

 

Step #2: Finding the IP address for the domain

In this case you just have to open the Command Prompt of your system and ping the domain discovered by Firebug several times.
Check the IP address returned by the system and if this IP address should be included in your walled garden!
In the following picture we are going to find IP addresses for the domain fbstatic-a.akamaihd.net.

We found one IP address. Usually the IP address found is part of a subnet (/24 or bigger), so you need to add all the subnet.
We suggest that you repeat the ping many times; this way you should be able to determine if the IP address is part of a /24 net or bigger and you should also be able to understand if there are other IP address ranges that need to be added to the walled garden.

Hint:
If you are looking for Facebook's IP addresses and you have a Unix/Linux machine, you can get the list by using the following command:

whois -h whois.radb.net -- '-i origin AS32934' | grep ^route | grep -v route6 | cut -d" " -f7

Please note that this procedure works only for Facebook's IP addresses and not for third party websites necessary for the Facebook Social Login (for example: Akamaihd). So consider this point when retrieving IP addresses.

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