Error 504 “Gateway Timeout”: how to solve it when browsing

At some point we will all have found ourselves in the situation that a website does not load for some reason. One of the ways that can help us solve this problem is to observe the error code that our browser shows us. One of the best known, and one that you will surely have encountered sometime, is the 404 error. This error occurs when a web page is not found or is not available. In this tutorial we are going to talk about another fault that is also very common, the 504 “Gateway Timeout” error and we will see what it is and how to solve it so that it does not appear again when browsing the Internet.

The first thing we are going to do is find out about this failure and its different ways of manifesting itself. Then we will proceed to show different solutions to this problem.

Error 504 "Gateway Timeout"

What is error 504 “Gateway Timeout”

When visiting a website using our browser, the web server is the last link in a chain of communication systems that is responsible for processing the HTTP request. Gateways and proxy servers, among others, regulate the response to that request in order to relieve the web server of load and guarantee a rapid transmission of information. For this reason, to reach the contacted server we will always go through several communication “stations”, therefore, if any of these systems fails, our request may fail.

As for the HTTP status codes that start with the number ” 5 “, we can consider them as those errors that come from the server side. These types of errors occur every time it is not possible to complete a request due to a communication error between several servers. The 504 “Gateway Timeout” error occurs when our browser tries to load a website but, for some reason, that remote server does not return a response. This would be an example of this failure:

error 504

The HTTP 504 response that the browser returns indicates that the cause of the error was an excessive duration of the request processing. In short, we have a problem that prevents us from loading a web page in which for some reason that remote server does not return a response.

The 504 error message will depend on the one set by the website owner and these are the most common:

  • HTTP 504.
  • HTTP Error 504: Gateway Timeout.
  • Gateway Timeout (504).
  • 504 Gateway Timeout.
  • 504 Error.
  • Error 504 Gateway Timeout.

However, before blaming the server of that web page that is returning this failure, we must try a series of solutions in case the error is our fault.

Causes and all solutions to fix error 504

This type of failure occurs when an intermediate server or a network interface is unable to respond to the request of the browser or that client in a certain period of time. This occurs, as mentioned before, because one of the elements in the communication chain fails. One of the reasons why this can happen is because our router or proxy server on the local network is saturated when receiving many requests, they have been down or do not work.

It also happens when the website requests access to a server and it is overloaded or down. In this case, you cannot access the previous node and the Gateway Timeout occurs because communication cannot be established. Other causes can also be a wrong proxy configuration, either from the client or from the server. However, it could also be a problem with our Internet Service Provider or ISP. Now we are going to see possible solutions to this problem.

Update the web page we are visiting

On many occasions the 504 error occurs for a short period of time. A simple and quick solution could be to wait a few minutes and reload the website we wanted to visit. One of the ways to reload that page would be to press the circular arrow button that you have indicated in the browser’s address bar in a red box.

We could also choose to refresh the web page by pressing the F5 key or by retyping the URL and pressing enter. If with this we can not solve it, we will have to try another of the following options.

Restart the devices and try another web browser

The cause of the problem of the 504 error may also be on our home network. One possibility is that some device is configured incorrectly, and for example, they have the same local IP or that they do not work well. The best thing in these cases is to restart our router first, and then we will also do the same with the computer, tablet or smartphone. Ideally, do it one at a time and try to find out the device that is causing the problems.

An indication that the problem lies with our network equipment would be not being able to access any web page. The other option, if the same happens, is that we may have problems with our Internet connection, so we would have to call the provider in case there is a breakdown.

Another thing we can try is to try to load this website using a different internet browser. This is a good idea to try because sometimes some web pages do not load well with a certain browser. It is also convenient to check and update those browsers that we use to the latest version.

Change DNS servers

The DNS servers can also be the cause that the domain cannot be resolved correctly and the 504 error occurs. Therefore, we could consider changing the DNS servers in Windows TCP / IP or in the router itself. Generally, if we are using a router from a provider, it will be using its own DNS and it may be convenient to change them. This would be an example of modifying TCP / IP version 4 of Windows:

Here, for example, instead of the DNS of our Internet provider, we have used those of Google. On the other hand, a VPN or a connection through an anonymous proxy could also be used in case we could not access the web due to a geoblock or other problem.

Review Proxy configuration

This option is especially suitable for those who do not have the Proxy configured automatically. A Proxy, in short, is a server that acts as an intermediary between our computer and the Internet. If we want to review the Proxy configuration in Windows 10 we will follow these steps:

  1. Let’s go to Start Menu .
  2. We write ” Configuration ” and press enter.
  3. Network and Internet .

Once inside we go to the Proxy section and check that our configuration is correct:

Contact the owner of the website

If after reviewing the software and hardware of your network equipment you still have this failure, you could consider contacting the web administrator. It could be the case that the 504 error was foreign to us, and by sending an e-mail you could alert the owner to solve it. In order to avoid this failure, website owners can consider making a series of improvements. For example, if you notice that the 504 error occurs at specific times with high demand for content, the solution is to purchase more powerful hardware or rent it from your hosting provider .

Also, in the case of using a Proxy server to reduce the load on the web server, if it does not have the necessary resources, we can have this Gateway Timeout failure. Therefore, in this case, you would also proceed to improve your hardware or rent a higher category one .

As you have seen, although the 504 error occurs in the face of the web server and with all the intermediate nodes, it is possible that by making certain modifications to our equipment we can solve this error, especially with the change of DNS because it is possible that not « send »to another web server of the page in question, and even if we use a VPN or a proxy we can also access it, as long as it takes us to a different server than the one affected.