No matter what type of browser you are using, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Google Chrome, one thing is for sure, sooner or later you will receive an error message that will either make sense or not.
Some, you may have seen many times, such as the typical 404 or 408 error, to others that seem obscure such as the 503 error.
In most cases, you can simply refresh the page again by hitting the F5 key on your keyboard, while other errors will have you scratching your head in confusion.
So the next time you do come across a browser error while surfing the Internet, here are some tips on how to deal with them along with an explanation of each error.
404: Not Found – The most popular and frequent browser error message you will see. This type of error message can be customized by the site"s Webmaster, and may appear as The page cannot be found, or
Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage (if you use Internet Explorer browser).
No matter what the error message says, the 404 error always means that the page you are trying to reach can not be found.
Resolution: Try pressing CTRL+F5 on the keyboard to refresh the page and bypass your browser cache. If this fails, check the URL for any syntax errors. Sometimes if the link was clicked on from a different website (than the target site) the link itself may be incorrect. In this case, go to the website where the page exist and seach for the web page.
408: Request Timeout – The 408 Request Timeout browser error typically means the request you sent to the website took longer than the site's server was prepared to wait. In other words, your connection with the web site "timed out".
More often than not, this is a temporary error, usually due to the site that you are trying to view may be slow to respond or there is a problem with the network connection between you and the remote site..
Resolution: A simple page refresh (CTRL+F5) will fix the problem (resources become availabe on the server of the site you want to view). If not, verify that the connection between you and the Internet is still functioning by trying to connect to another site (such as Google or Yahoo).
If you can reach other sites, give it some time and come back later to the original site and see if they fixed the problem.
400: Bad Request – This browser error means that the request you sent to the website server was somehow malformed therefore the server was unable to understand or process the request.
Resolution: More than likely the URL was typed wrong or the link (that you clicked) points to a URL with some kind of mistake in it. Try verifing the that the URL is correct or go to the website and search for the page.
401 – Unauthorized – There is no guessing what this error means…the request requires user authentication. resource.
This is typically seen on Corporate networks with a proxy server or with sites that protect their content and require a user account and password to access.
Resolution: Make sure you have access with a valid user account and password. If you are not sure, contact your Network administrator or the site's Webmaster for assistance.
NOTE: A 403: Forbidden error message can also indicate authentication access is needed. Typically this browser error message will appear when trying to view a web site directory listing that you are not allowed to view.
500: Internal Error – This error message indicates that there is something wrong at the Web site itself (for example the site's server is not functioning correctly or it's unable to provide you with the requested Web page).
Resolution: In this case, it's best to contact the site's Webmaster or administrator, or try again later in the hopes that they have noticed the problem and fixed it themselves.
Failed DNS Lookup or Host Unknown – If you come across DNS errors, it always means that the Domain (www.google.com) can't be converted into a valid Internet address.
DNS in this message stands for Domain Name System. Addresses on the Internet take the form of a string of numbers. For instance, www.watchingthenet.com is the domain name of this Web site and it's IP address is 188.8.131.52. If the DNS servers your computer or router is pointing to (for name resolution), cannot resolve the name to an IP address, you will see this error message.
Resolution: Check that the Domain you typed is correct. If you did, wait a few seconds and try again. You can also use http://network-tools.com DNS Lookup tool and verify that the domain is valid. If it is, try connecting using the IP address of the Domain.
Bad file request – This error indicates you've requested a page that contains a form with a feature your browser can't support.
Resolution; Unfortunately there is not much you can do other than contact the Webmaster of the error message and ask for assistance.
503 Service Unavailable – This error message will appear when the remote server hosting the Web page is not active.
Now, this message does not mean that the site is permanently unavailable. It may indicate the site is very busy, the web page is being updated or maintenance is being performed (site is temporarily unavailable).
Resolution: Your best bet is to try the page later. Also check the connection between your computer and the Internet is still accessible by connecting to Google or Yahoo.
As you can see, most browser error messages are simple to fix, once you understand their causes. There are many more errors that can occur, but for the most part, these are the most common errors you will come accross while surfing the internet daily.