If you’re experiencing difficulties accessing your Tithe.ly ChMS account from your workplace or home, there’s a couple of measures that can be taken to help rectify the issue.
Firstly, how does Tithe.ly ChMS work?
Tithe.ly ChMS infrastructure runs on a stateless and scalable environment, and we use load balancers to ensure our servers perform well throughout the day. This means that our IP Address is constantly changing depending on the workload on our servers. Most of the time this isn’t a problem, but if your home or workplace has strict rules or some sort of caching mechanism, access could be hindered.
Is your local network blocking our IP Addresses?
Depending on your local network setup, when our IP Address changes, your firewall might block it by default. This is a common problem especially if you only choose to allow specific IP Addresses and block everything else.
Is your local network caching an old IP Address?
Some local networks cache hostnames (such as yourchurch.tithelychms.com.au) to an IP Address for long periods of time. This can be a problem if our servers spin up a new server (with a new IP Address), because your network cache still thinks we are using an old IP Address.
How to test the connection
The quickest and easiest way to test whether the connection is being blocked or cached is to use an alternative device, on an alternative network. To test this, try turning your WiFi off on your smartphone and use your phone’s internet connection to access your Tithe.ly ChMS account.
If this works, it means your local network is blocking the connection.
It’s also possible to test connection using your command line. Here’s a command you can run that uses Google’s DNS servers to access our server, bypassing your local network:
nslookup yourchurch.tithelychms.com.au 126.96.36.199
You can also run a command using the OpenDNS servers for a second opinion:
nslookup yourchurch.tithelychms.com.au 188.8.131.52
Finally, you can run the command using your local DNS server to compare results:
If Google and OpenDNS allows you to connect to our server and the last command (using your local DNS) doesn’t, your local network is blocking the connection.
Or if Google and OpenDNS shows a different IP Address to the last command, then your local network is caching the IP Address.
Possible Solutions (if you are being blocked)
If your network is blocking Tithe.ly ChMS, allow a range of IP Addresses that our servers might use.
Possible Solutions (if your network is cached)
If your network is caching Tithe.ly ChMS, clear your DNS cache on your local network and devices.
We also recommend you consider reducing the amount of time your DNS cache is stored. There still may be cases where our IP Address changes while you users are online and the cache is not cleared quickly enough. Providing staff on-site with a way to clear the cache might be a good solution.
If you’re on a personal computer at a free wifi hotspot, you wont be able to clear the cache of the local network, so instead you can try configuring your computers network settings to use Google Public DNSor OpenDNS to handle your requests.