If when you visit a Microsoft website that is hosted by the Akamai content delivery network (CDN) and you repeatedly receive an Access Denied error message, then this post is intended to help you. In this post, we will identify some potential known causes that can trigger the error and then provide the possible solutions you can try to help remediate this issue.

Access Denied
You don’t have permission to access “http://www.microsoft.com” on this server.
Reference #18.85c5d617.1549635923.277a7a1

Note: In this message, the URL value is the URL of the site the user tried to reach and the reference number is a unique identifier for that user and access attempt.

Examples of common CDN-hosted Microsoft websites include but aren’t limited to the following:

www.microsoft.com support.microsoft.com oneapi.microsoft.com
products.office.com partner.microsoft.com visualstudio.microsoft.com
www.xbox.com technet.microsoft.com msdn.microsoft.com
privacy.microsoft.com account.microsoft.com developer.microsoft.com

According to Microsoft, this issue occurs because of the measures that Akamai has implemented to protect its websites from denial-of-service attacks. If a single origin or source tries to connect too frequently, these measures automatically block any IP addresses from that origin or source. The exact thresholds that are used to determine when to block addresses are based on connection volume.

The blockage is usually temporary. As soon as the connection volume remains below the defined thresholds for a while, the block on the affected TCP/IP address is expected to be removed.

Access Denied message when you visit a Microsoft website that is hosted on Akamai CDN

If you’re faced with the Access Denied, You don’t have permission to access on this server error message, you can simply resolve the issue by making sure that you (or your organization) are not trying to connect to these websites too frequently within a short time.

In an enterprise environment, this issue occurs because of devices set up to test network connectivity. The device reconnects to these Microsoft sites at an interval that is set by the enterprise administrator. If that interval is too short, the protection measures on the Akamai CDN may identify the device as a potential threat and then block it. To fix the issue, the enterprise administrator may have to only reduce the recurrence interval of the test connections.

Note: You may also experience this similar issue with non-Microsoft websites. If so, you can try the same resolution offered above.

Additionally, you can also try the following fixes:

  • Delete the particular website from your browser history.
  • Disable any third-party or the native Windows 10 VPN. If disabling the VPN service worked in fixing the Access Denied, You don’t have permission to access on this server error, you might want to uninstall it and reinstall the latest version or switch to a different provider.
  • Disable the proxy server for your LAN.

These actions should be able to resolve the issue for you.

What is Akamai CDN?

Akamai has been the leader in bringing CDN benefits to web property owners and web users.

A CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a highly-distributed platform of servers that helps minimize delays in loading web page content by reducing the physical distance between the server and the user. This. helps users around the world view the same high-quality content without slow loading times.

Without a CDN, content origin servers must respond to every single end user request. This results in significant traffic to the origin and subsequent load, thereby increasing the chances for origin failure if the traffic spikes are exceedingly high or if the load is persistent.

By responding to end user requests in place of the origin and in closer physical and network proximity to the end user, a CDN offloads traffic from content servers and improves the web experience, thus benefiting both the content provider and its end users.