Google - "unusual activity" recpatchas

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  1. Posts : 426
    Windows 10 64-bit Ver 1909, OS build 18363.535
    Thread Starter

    I was actually using Firefox. I had just been in my activity and notifications and nothing is unusual. I'm convinced Google is extremely fussy with either private browsing mode, or maybe it hates certain IP address ranges. I have no idea but it's been an issue for me for a long time.
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  2. Posts : 27,660
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 21H1

    Found this. Seems to be a very wide spread problem.
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  3. Posts : 426
    Windows 10 64-bit Ver 1909, OS build 18363.535
    Thread Starter

    This is exactly what I've been facing and it drives me nuts. I've tried everything and it seems hopeless. That link gives a list of "triggers' and things to try, but most of those don't apply.

    Check your IP address
    This happens even though I've changed my IP address many, many times. It may not like my "range" of addresses?

    Check your network
    Does not apply.

    Stop using VPN
    I'm not using a VPN.

    Avoid unknown proxy servers
    I'm not using a proxy.

    Use Google public DNS
    I use OpenDNS in my router.

    Stop searching illegal queries
    What do they consider "illegal"? I get these captchas when searching totally legal search terms.

    Slow your clicks
    See below.

    Stop sending automated queries
    I don't.

    Search like a human
    What does this even mean?

    Check for malwares and browser extensions

    No malware according to Avast and Malwarebytes.

    The only thing I can think of is that it either doesn't like my IP range, or it hates the way I search. Its says this under "slow your clicks":

    "If you are not using VPN, proxy and your IP and ISP are good then the most probable cause could be the unusual clicks from you. When you enter the keyword and hit the enter key very fast, Google will match your activity with the automated bots and stop you.

    So slowdown your mouse clicks and speed and use normal speed to avoid the CAPTCHA message."

    So I have to purposefully slow down my searches? Seriously, Google? That or it has a very loose definition of what it considers illegal searches.
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  4. Posts : 426
    Windows 10 64-bit Ver 1909, OS build 18363.535
    Thread Starter

    And none of that explains why their captchas are literally unsolvable in many instances. Some sites that spring up Google recaptchas work well and quickly, others serve up puzzles that are sloooow to load and impossible to pass regardless of what you click. In their quest to block bots, Google is making their search service a nightmare to use for some people.
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  5. Posts : 27,660
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 21H1

    When you say range of IP addresses, is your supplier changing your IP address?

    Yes when you search there were hits on the unsolvable puzzles, they just couldn't be solved.

    Time to switch to DuckDuckGo
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  6. Posts : 426
    Windows 10 64-bit Ver 1909, OS build 18363.535
    Thread Starter

    Well I just mean when I do force a new IP hoping to clear the issue, maybe Google doesn't like that whole range of IPs my ISP uses?

    I do use DuckDuckGo and others sometimes, but none of them give me the results that Google does sadly.
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  7. Posts : 27,660
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 21H1

    Interesting. My IP address is assigned by ISP and I would imagine the only way I could change would be through a telephone call.

    I wonder if your ISP is on some sort of Blacklist. Of course with all the hits I saw on Google this seems to be a wide spread problem, especially among researchers. The chance that they would all be "Bad" ISP is very low.

    Do you have another Computer to use to see if it performs the same?
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  8. Posts : 426
    Windows 10 64-bit Ver 1909, OS build 18363.535
    Thread Starter

    Well I have FiOS. I would hope Google isn't blacklisting them. I only have the one PC.

    Normally, I'm stuck with the IP address they assign to me, but if you're having issues, you can force the router to reassign a new IP when it reboots the router. It doesn't always work - I'd say it gives me a new IP about 50% of the time I try. Sometimes I have to leave the router turned off for a couple hours before it releases the IP and assigns a new one. I really only do it when I'm having issues from Google, but unfortunately it's been happening enough that I'm really getting annoyed these days.

    What's sad is Google doesn't care. They know it affects many people, and they know at least some of their captchas are unsolvable, but they have done nothing to improve the situation.
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  9. Posts : 3

    Well I guess I can at least explain the problem, even though I don't have a solution either.
    The attempts by websites to protect themselves against robots have entirely failed and backfired, simply because there are now real humans, incredibly poor people in China, earning pennies an hour, solving captchas for a job, where robots send captchas to get them solved.
    This way, Google can step up the game as much as they like, they can't tell robots from humans, because for the captcha part, robots are in fact real humans.
    But Google doesn't want to give up their profitable reCaptcha business, so they keep stepping up the game, increasing difficulty of captchas to a level, where they become impossible to solve for "normal" users.

    In effect websites protected by reCaptcha end up having almost exclusively robots as users.
    To my mind it's only a matter of time, until the websites figure this fact out and stop using reCaptcha, simply because it's counter productive in the first place.

    The good news (if you want to call it that) is, you actually CAN solve captchas, IFFFFFFFFF you get to websites using them less than 10 times a day.
    Currently the ONLY option Google has left to tell robots from humans is the frequency of how often a given IP accesses reCaptcha, therefore, if you don't use them often, Google will throw at you only easy to solve captchas, but if you're a user like me, dealing with several dozen websites, all reCaptcha protected, which you have to refresh about once every 10 minutes, it becomes useless.
    For me it was already almost impossible to do the registration here on this site, because that's reCaptcha protected as well and it took me roughly 50 Captchas to solve before it accepted my registration.

    Personally I've started contacting websites, saying good bye, with the following message:

    "Well guys, I'm giving up, reCaptcha is officially unsolvable for humans, there's no point in clicking half an hour through captcha images just to get 100 times a "wrong captcha" message on a site that pretends you could use it every 10 minutes. Feel free to let me know when you have a better solution, until then I wish you fun with loads of robots, who are by now the only ones able to solve your captchas."

    Hopefully websites will figure out some day, how useless a protection is, that protects exclusively against regular users.
    Last edited by Thomasio; 31 Dec 2017 at 09:32.
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  10. Posts : 426
    Windows 10 64-bit Ver 1909, OS build 18363.535
    Thread Starter

    Thank you for the detailed post. I agree that maybe the best and only thing we can do is not support sites that use the recaptcha service, and tell them why. Some sites I do use regularly rely on recaptchas but for newer sites maybe it's best as soon as I get served the first recpatcha maybe the best thing is to back away and send them an email telling them why I refuse to use their service. I know Google obviously doesn't care but I hate even having my email through gmail at this point because I hate supporting the company that makes this possible. I remember articles years ago saying those miserable puzzles would be getting easier for us and less frequent. Instead, they have gotten more common and much more difficult. As you said, it's doing the opposite of what it's intended to do.
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