The feed can’t be reached

An RSS or Atom feed is a file that site owners publish and let anyone download and read. However, sometimes a site is not reachable for different reasons. In this guide we’ll present some common error scenarios and what you as a user can do.

Temporary network glitches

The internet is a massive network of tubes and digital pipes. At the end of these tubes are servers. Servers are basically just computers, like the one you are reading this text with, without screens.  Through the magic of modern day technology they stay on all the time, every day, day and night. However, they go down. They crash, they take a nap, the tubes leak and break. A lot can go wrong. When this happens, it usually comes back online pretty fast, usually between 5 minutes to an hour. If the error is temporary, it usually works to try again later.

How to test: Try validating that it’s not your own network that is acting up. Is it down for everyone or just me? is a great service for this. Paste the URL you wish to test and it will check if it can be reached from their end.

Authentication errors

The web is an open place, although not always. Some content is reserved for a select group of people meeting a certain criteria. For example some pages require you to log in to read certain information, or some information is specific to the logged in user.

Feeder can sometimes access feeds even when they are behind a login or other authentication mechanism. It has to do with a hybrid approach taken to feed downloading, where your computer can act as a middleman for collecting the information.

How to test: Try to remember if you logged in to the service, and if the feed contains information only related to you. Some sites circumvent this problem by having a unique link for each feed.

If you run into this error we recommend that you contact us and we can help you, since all cases are different.

Old links

The web is like a crowded large city. Shops open and close, people move in and out, buildings are built and torn down. If you’re unlucky you might find a pamphlet for a café or club that seems interesting. When you go to visit you find that it’s been closed for years. This can also happen with feed links. You might read a list of the best feeds to follow for your book hobby in foreign stock investing, but find that some feeds don’t work. It might be because they site with the feed shut down or moved to a new domain.

How to test: The simplest way to test this is just copy and paste the link into your browser window. If you see an error that “The site can’t be reached”/”DNS record not found” etc this is most likely the case.