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Server problem causes Excite outage

Net surfers are unable to use the Web portal for several hours this morning because of a hardware problem primarily affecting the site's main start page.

Web portal could not be used for several hours this morning because of a hardware problem, according to the company.

The problem primarily affected the site's main start page, Other parts of the site, including its email, search and news services, were accessible if people went directly to the Web addresses where they are hosted.

Since midmorning Pacific time, the site has been accessible intermittently. Personalization features on Excite members' personal home pages, such as stock quotes, weather and bookmarks, were also temporarily down.

"A load balancer that failed prevented proper communication between various servers," said an Excite@Home representative.

One reader wrote in an email that the site has been down since at least 3 a.m. PT. is the Web portal site for high-speed cable Internet service provider Excite@Home.