Newcastle University uses a series of technologies for managing outgoing web access. As a result, connections from Newcastle University to external websites appear to originate from a small set of source addresses. If someone on campus does something bad, for example running aggressive web spider software to cross-index Google, or arXiv.org, the remote site may block or otherwise rate-limit connections from Newcastle. These consequences can be wide-reaching.
If you find this happening to you, please report the issue to the support team, as the proper solution is to identify the culprit, stop the errant behaviour and get the remote block removed.
Potential short-term work-around
Any outgoing connection on port 80 (a website request) is transparently proxied. If you find that you are blocked from an external site, a short-term fix might be to manually configure your web client to use a different web proxy.
wwwcache.ncl.ac.uk (and port 8080) is a service address for an on-campus HTTP proxy. It is not used by default (transparently proxied web requested appear to originate from different addresses to manually proxied web requests).
Here are some external sites offering instructions on altering your proxy settings:
- Firefox on any platform: How to Enter Proxy Settings in Firefox
- Internet Explorer and Google Chrome on Windows: Changing proxy server settings in Internet Explorer
- Safari and Google Chrome on Mac OS X: OS X Mavericks: Enter proxy server settings
Much UNIX software supports the
http_proxy environment variable:
$ http_proxy=http://wwwcache.ncl.ac.uk:8080; export http_proxy