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I'm currently working on a web app and seem to be having a few problems with the app being blocked by office firewalls of our test groups. My background is in design / front end so my knowledge of network stuff is a bit fuzzy.

I'll describe our architecture and see if anyone can think of any daft oversights which may be causing the site to be blocked.

  • App front end and api are sitting on different servers
  • Communicate through RESTful JSON api with CORS enabled
  • Front end and api are both sub-domains of the same domain app.example.com api.example.com
  • We have a wildcard ssl Namecheap configured and working

Everything works fine from my domestic WIFI / 4G, but gets blocked in some (not all) office environments. Any ideas to how we could improve this?

Thanks!

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    Define exactly what is being blocked. Are parts of your webapp not using ports 80/443? – mfinni Mar 31 '15 at 16:11
  • Yep the api is listening on port 80 as default. As far as I can tell from users feedback the most common problem is the frontend loading but all network requests to api timeout or are blocked somehow. – Merlin Mason Apr 1 '15 at 15:20
  • You need to get more details about the "blocking" and be able to recreate it. If your users at the blocked locations are using your service for business needs, they should be able to get you in touch with their internal IT folks who can work with you, provide logs, network captures, etc. – mfinni Apr 1 '15 at 15:39
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Start off by confirming that your DNS is correct from said failing office environment. "ping app.example.com" and "ping api.example.com" from your Wifi/4G and see what you get for answers. Then do the same from the failing office. If you get the same results, then you can move onto firewall specific issues.

Also, it'd be very helpful to include what "blocked" means here. Do you get a windows popup saying this site is blocked? No response?

Lastly, any way to bring your personal machine onto their network to see if you can reproduce the problem with your configuration? Perhaps their local firewalls are enabled and do not allow that sort of communication.

  • As far as I can tell from users feedback the most common problem is the frontend loading but all network requests to api timeout or are blocked / unsuccessful somehow. – Merlin Mason Apr 1 '15 at 15:22

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