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'Bad Referrer' message when trying to view the Archive.

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Neil Wyatt04/10/2020 18:50:19
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Several people have reported this issue over the last few months, although it has always happened from time to time.

The Archive is hosted on a separate website, so when you click the link for an issue our website adds a little extra information to show if you have a valid subscription as well as the detail of which issue you want to view.

The bad referrer messages is caused when cautious security settings in your browser stop the Model Engineer website passing your details (which include evidence of a valid subscription) to the website that serves the archive issues (i.e. it makes a " bad referral " .

You have three possible cures:

  • Try another browser.
  • Experiment with or reset your security settings (or even re-install your browser).
  • Use Pocketmags app or website (the intended way for people to view subscription issues. This will allow you a better experience for viewing subscription copies, though not archive issues).

So far everyone who has reported this problem recently has solved it in one of the first two ways.

I hope this solves the issue for anyone else who comes across it.

Neil

 

Edited By Neil Wyatt on 04/10/2020 18:50:43

Malcolm Lippiatt08/10/2020 18:21:16
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Thanks Neil

I’ve just gone into settings on model engineer website and I noticed that according to that my subscription expired on the 25-09-2020. I pay by direst debit and have not stopped it -so might this be the problem.

cheers

mac lippiatt

Neil Wyatt08/10/2020 19:37:07
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Posted by Malcolm Lippiatt on 08/10/2020 18:21:16:

Thanks Neil

I’ve just gone into settings on model engineer website and I noticed that according to that my subscription expired on the 25-09-2020. I pay by direst debit and have not stopped it -so might this be the problem.

cheers

mac lippiatt

Hi Malcolm,

the system gives you a 30-day grace period after expiry to allow for the fact that it takes a while for the database to update with your DD payment.

I have checked and you are showing as still valid (you wouldn't see the links to the magazines either if it had expired).

I suggest trying a different browser.

Neil

Malcolm Lippiatt09/10/2020 18:52:32
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Hi Neil

thanks again problem solved.

I tried Microsoft edge re-installing chrome and what worked - internet explorer - I’m running on windows 7.

this info might be of use in the future.

thanks

mac lippiatt

steve phillips 115/10/2020 16:37:05
8 forum posts

Hello Neil from USA. I have tried several different browsers and my android smart phone, have had no luck accessing older issues in archive. it appears to only go back as far as what is on pocketmags site. I understand I am only 1 cust, however the main reasons i chose a digital subscription was access to archive and to save shipping costs. I have enjoyed reading the older issues very much. I suspect other digital subscribers do as well. I have been considering adding subscription to Model Engineer as well, however loss of access to archives will affect that as well as my subscription to MEW . Thanks for your consideration, Steve Phillips.

JasonB15/10/2020 16:49:34
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Steve, what browsers have you tried? and is it the "bad referrer" message that you get or something else?

Puffin Browser seems to work well for those that have had problems viewing on an Android phone or tablet in the past.

steve phillips 115/10/2020 16:55:50
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JasonB, I have tried Microsoft edge, Firefox, and Google Chrome, all in windows 10. I have also tried my android smart phone. I am at a loss as to what else to try. Thanks very much , Steve Phillips

JasonB15/10/2020 17:09:38
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Looking up your details I can see that you have never validated your e-mail address which may be one issue. I have resent the validation e-mail, have another go after that. Edge is probably the better option.

steve phillips 115/10/2020 17:32:05
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JasonB, I just validated the email and tried the archive in edge. no luck still shows bad referrer message. thanks ,Steve

duncan webster15/10/2020 18:04:48
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I get the bad referrer message on both Edge and AVG secure browser (W10). Experiment with or reset your security settings might as well be written in ancient Greek, instructions in English please. Why do IT people feel the need to fiddle, I've never had this issue before, and I haven't changed anything.

duncan webster15/10/2020 18:28:25
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Using Edge on W7 with the other PC works, so it can't be a subscription issue?

steve phillips 115/10/2020 21:52:03
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Duncan Webster, just tried viewing archives 2 times from my phone, error message both times. I am at a loss to understand this. I upgraded to W10 when support for Windows 7 ended. I am not sure where the security settings you are referring to are, on Windows or the forum? Thanks for the help. Steve

duncan webster15/10/2020 22:50:44
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I don't know either, Neil referred to security settings, I just quoted him

steve phillips 116/10/2020 02:20:11
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Hello JasonB and duncan webster. I can report success, using firefox, at first it didnt work either, after much fiddling with it and a computer restart all is well. Thanks so much for your help, I very much enjoy reading the older issues especially on long winter nights. ME and MEW arent for sale anywhere near me. I live in a very rural area. Access to all the magazines is a big reason I subscribe. I had no idea that overseas sales were such a large part of the business and also I didnt know about the disruption . I sincerely hope ME and MEW can survive. Thanks again so much. If I can ever be of help please let me know. Steve

Dominic Bramley16/10/2020 09:19:03
24 forum posts

Hi,

I believe this is due to most browsers recently adopting more privacy features by default. When opening the magazine the browser is being redirected from model-engineer.co.uk to mydigitalmagazine.co.uk. Browsers will now not let certain kind of redirects happen unless the websites are properly configured to trust each other.

The work around is to reduce the browser's security permissions to allow these redirects to occur:

On Google chrome - type the following in the address bar:

chrome://flags/#reduced-referrer-granularity

change the highlighted setting from "Default" to "Disabled"

Press the relaunch button in the bottom right hand corner.

After this you should be able to open the magazine.

Of course this is also reducing your security settings for all websites - so you can live with that risk (it was the default until recently anyway) or set the setting back to Default once you have finished with the magazine.

The version of Chrome I tested on was 86.042 so this may look different if you have another version. I'm at work at the moment so haven't had a chance to investigate how to do this on the other browsers.

Also, slight disclaimer - my profession is IT but I am not a web developer so my description of the problem is more of a general "gist" - as far as I can see though this problem won't go away until it is fixed at the web servers - and more people will start to experience the problem as their browsers upgrade to the latest version.

Regards

Dom

Neil Wyatt16/10/2020 09:44:20
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Thanks Steve, Dominic,

In simple language, what happens is your browser has new settings that strip the data to protect your privacy.

This stops the archive from being able to identify a genuine subscriber.

Duncan:

Firefox's security settings have a warning:

"Heads up!
Blocking trackers and isolating cookies could impact the functionality of some sites. Reload a page with trackers to load all content."

This is how to turn it off for a specific site (e.g. this one and the archive):

support.mozilla.org...what-to-do-if-a-site-seems-broken

Obviously other browsers have different ways to do this and also the systems change from time to time.

Neil

JasonB16/10/2020 10:05:17
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Thanks Dominic

I lost the ability to view on Chrome about six weeks ago and you suggestion has got it back, edge was OK until last week now that too has stopped showing the mag. I do have means to view the archive via other means that don't need a subscription so had been using that. Android phone still opens it up OK.

David Caunt16/10/2020 14:56:57
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Thanks Dominic that cured the problem for me.

I'm rather curious thou. Why hadn't it stopped all the Banking Credit Card Company and purchases on-line?

Dominic Bramley16/10/2020 15:56:04
24 forum posts

Again, I'm no web developer - but my understanding is that a website can specify a referrer policy to tell browsers whether they can pass referrer details for links to other sites. This allows the site you navigated too, to know how you got there. It sounds like the magazine uses this information to determine you have a valid subscription.

If the website doesn't specify a policy then the browser's default policy is used. Until recently the default policy was to allow the information to be passed. Now the default is to block it.

Commerce-sites will have the policies well defined and will most likely use a different method of passing credentials and tokens. Also any commerce site that did run into this issue would have fixed it before most people noticed as it would be their revenue going down the drain....

Regards

Dom

duncan webster16/10/2020 21:53:44
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Thanks Dominic, even tho I'm using Edge changing the Google settings as you suggest seems to have worked

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