Android: Can’t establish a reliable data connection to the server

Few days ago I saw this strange error message when I try to login my Google account on the HTC Desire (my previous phone):

Can’t establish a reliable data connection to the server

Since I cannot login to google, I cannot use the Play Store, Gmail, Youtube etc. My phone was connected to the home WiFi and the internet is definitely working.

I was thinking maybe this phone is already old and maybe Google changed something in their Authentication API. When I was about to give up after trying for about 10 times, I realize something: my Date and time was not probably set! It was reset to 1980 Jan 1. (Because I took out the battery)

Setting the correct System date and time, the phone works like a charm.

SSL’s “fault”

It turns out authentication requires establishing a secure connection with Google’s server. The SSL certificate contains a expiration date which would be compared against the system date of the Android system. If the system date is too far in the past or in the future, the validation would be failed, thus the connection cannot be established. This is a security measures of the HTTPS connection, so check your system date next time encountering such strange error message.

21 thoughts on “Android: Can’t establish a reliable data connection to the server

    • i also encountered same problem but could not solve it by any means, could you elaborate where is /etc/host and which file do i need to replace and where do i get this file?

  1. Looks like a lot of people are getting this error, and luckily in my case there’s a trivial fix. if you have any other solutions, please don’t be shy to share here!!

  2. you’re right! thanks so much for the sol’n.
    i’ve encountered the same thing as you did..,..really me and my stupidity….,

  3. I’m facing another problem with Google Play store. When I get the device first time, I use 3G (Carrier)+WiFi (Personal) both. That time I ever face a single time problem with play store. But 3 days ago I reset my device and stop the 3G data service from carrier and use only WiFi. I never connect the server with subject mention error message. Than I activate my data service from my carrier. Now it’s work smoothly. If I turned on my WiFi and try to use Play Store, show error message “connection time out, retry.” But there is not a single issue in my connection. This is 65KBps Download and 40KBps upload speed. I use it in my laptop and see online video and do video conference smoothly.For kind information our govt. stop the YouTube service. I’m use my google account for YouTube. I also reset my device again and again. Nothing change. Same problem.

    Have there any solution

  4. I solved it by making sure that background data and auto-sync were checked in the general sync settings. without them being checked i could not add an account over wifi or cellular data. as soon as i checked those boxes i was back to normal

  5. http://eightnottwo.blogspot.com/2013/03/solution-cant-establish-reliable-data.html

    that solved my problem guys , use the next steps about
    But how to solve the “add account” problem?

    and donot care about if it tablet or phone that’s for all

    Now run “cmd” to enter shell. CD to c:\droid_sdk\sdk\platform-tools and run “adb devices”. You should see a device. Now execute “adb shell” and you will be “shell@android:/ $” prompt.
    Type “su”. If rooting was successful you would get “#” prompt.
    Execute “mount -o rw,remount /system” ; This will mount the filesystem for read-write.
    “cd /etc” and move the old hosts file “mv hosts hosts.old”
    Create a new hosts file “echo “127.0.0.1 localhost” > hosts” and type “cat hosts” to confirm that this is the only line in that file.
    Execute “mount -o ro,remount /system”; to mount the filesystem back to read-only.
    Type “reboot” to reboot the tablet.

    Done!
    Now boot your tablet and adding Google account should succeed. Hopefully :-)

  6. Thank you very much!! The simple solution of setting the correct date solved the issue. No need to update system files or anything else complex. The simplest solution is always best.

  7. OH THANK YOUUUUUU SOOOOO MUCHHHHHH !!!!
    i’ve searched the solution of this problem for about 2 day
    and now done by one simple thing. DATE AND TIMEEEEE!!!!!

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