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Do some websites out-right block connections from IE6 browser?

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#1
Nomen

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I was trying to bring this website up using IE6 (win-98): https://www.ssllabs....ewMyClient.htmland was getting the standard message you get if you try to access a non-existant domain:

The page cannot be displayed
The page you are looking for is currently unavailable. The Web site might be experiencing technical difficulties, or you may need to adjust your browser settings.

I also get the above message when I try to bring up https://www.msfn.org/with IE6. Trying that URL with FF2, after dismissing a couple of certificate messages I get redirected to https://www.msfn.org...ultwebpage.cgi.

On IE6, trying https://www.google.comgets redirected to https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl but otherwise the page seems to function just fine.

So what's happening with https sites and IE6? Do some sites test for user-agent and give an immediate null response to https requests? Setting my FF2 user-agent to replicate IE6 like this:
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1)

Doesn't seem to matter or interfere with connecting to https sites (like ssllabs.com).

Although a check of my IE6 shows that it's identifiying itself as:
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98; Avant Browser)

Which now has me wondering how to untangle or remove the "Avant Browser" thing from it. ?


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#2
rloew

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Some sites explicitly block specific browsers.
Others bring up additional material, often advertising, that fails. For some reason IE6 shows the "Unavailable Page" message when this happens.
I have found that blocking the offending material, using my HOSTS File, can often give me access to the desired page.

Some https sites have switched to newer safer protocols that IE6 cannot support.
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#3
sdfox7

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I noticed this on a recent XP RTM build. Many web pages won't load at all on Internet Explorer 6. Not even the Google homepage will load.

Oddly enough, no web pages are blocked from my Windows 95 installations with IE 5.5. Maybe IE 5.5 is so old developers haven't bothered to block it.

#4
sdfox7

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The reason Internet Explorer fails in many cases is due to the fact that pre-Windows XP SP3, Internet Explorer 6 is not SHA 2 (SHA256) compatible. Many websites today rely on SHA 2 especially after the POODLE vulnerability discovered last year. Windows XP Service Pack 3 includes an updated CRYPT32.DLL to fix this, so IE 6 under XP SP3 does not have this issue.

This will be the same situation with Internet Explorer 6 under Windows 98 and Windows 2000.

Surprisingly, https://www.google.comloads without issue under Internet Explorer 5.5 even though it too does not support SHA 2.

The solution under these legacy operating systems is to use a SHA 2 compatible browser such as Firefox 1.x or newer, or Opera 6.0 or later.

Browsers: SHA-256 Compatibility: https://support.glob...6-compatibility

#5
loblo

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Yesterday I fired up IE6 for the first time in many, many years to see if I could run Flash 18 in it (I can) and, as it was opened, I tried to google and yahoo but could neither, I only could bing. 



#6
sdfox7

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Internet Explorer 5 and 6 are really only usable without crashing if you open Internet Explorer, go to menu

Tools > Internet Options > Security

and then disable Active Scripting

I am in fact posting this from Internet Explorer 5.5 under Windows 98.

#7
dencorso

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@loblo: Try adding this to the registry (it's the good old IE9 spoof):
 

Spoiler


Then reboot. Afterwards verify this site and/or this site identiefies your browser as IE9. Then let's see how google and yahoo! react to your browser (AFAIK, trying to spoof IE7 or IE8 is not useful anymore, nowadays).



#8
loblo

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It works, albeit not with https for google, and no need to reboot, thanks.  This tweak might well be obsolete the next time I'll run IE6 though.  :P



#9
sdfox7

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@loblo: Try adding this to the registry (it's the good old IE9 spoof):
 

Spoiler


Then reboot. Afterwards verify this site and/or this site identiefies your browser as IE9. Then let's see how google and yahoo! react to your browser (AFAIK, trying to spoof IE7 or IE8 is not useful anymore, nowadays).

 

I am surprised that hack works at all. Internet Explorer 9 does not run on Windows NT 5.1, AKA Windows XP.

 

But it may work if you put replace that with ' MSIE 8.0 ' as the value. Internet Explorer 8 is still a relatively recent browser and shipped with Windows 7.



#10
dencorso

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I am surprised that hack works at all. Internet Explorer 9 does not run on Windows NT 5.1, AKA Windows XP.


Of course it does!  :angel   I use the selfsame spoof on XPSP3! :P
 

But it may work if you put replace that with ' MSIE 8.0 ' as the value. Internet Explorer 8 is still a relatively recent browser and shipped with Windows 7.


Yeah! Do that and you'll be prompted to upgrade your IE almost whenwver you go. Wake-up to reality: IE8 is too old, already!  :whistle:



#11
jumper

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Although a check of my IE6 shows that it's identifiying itself as:
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98; Avant Browser)

Which now has me wondering how to untangle or remove the "Avant Browser" thing from it. ?


Search your registry for "Post Platform" and delete the key named "Avant Browser".

Details: Understanding user-agent strings (Internet Explorer)
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#12
Commodore

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I can open Google (http version) with IE6 and javascript disabled. But this workaround doesn't work with different sites.
Anyway, also Internet explorer 5.5 fail for other sites.

#13
sdfox7

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I can open Google (http version) with IE6 and javascript disabled. But this workaround doesn't work with different sites.
Anyway, also Internet explorer 5.5 fail for other sites.


I wonder if you have another issue going on. I can load MSN and even my university's secure Banner Web with Internet Explorer 5 on Windows 95.

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