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Unidentified network/firefox can't find server

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My internet connection of my Acer Aspire notebook is working only half the time, my desktop internet connection works more often and (a small other problem) sometimes the desktop is slow when I'm downloading files on my laptop (but that's another problem)... I use firefox and right now it says : server not found firefox can't find the server at www.google.com
on connect to a network it says my netgear network is connected ... but I still can't connect to the network or the interent

went to Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Network and Sharing Center
it said unidentified network
it hasn't always said that (this might be the first time)
internet icon is grayed out
sometimes it's full of color

on my laptop I'm running Windows Vista Home Basic
512 MB RAM
Acer Aspire 4315
Intel Celeron 530 @ 1.73 GHz
32 bit operating system

my desktop computer is running
Windows XP Home Edition Version 2002 Service Pack 2
Dell Dimension DIM 2350
Intel Pentium 4 CPU 1.80 GHz
256 MB of RAM

i use a netgeat wireless g router WGR614
54MBPS 2.4 GHz
802.11 g

How can I configure my laptop system to have an identified network with the internet icon full of color and use the internet on both my laptop and my desktop?
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Gravity Gripp

Gravity Gripp

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John, welcome to Geeks-To-Go. I apologize that it took so long to get your question answered.

The reason that Firefox is giving you that message is because it can't connect to Google's site. Which means that you do not have a network connection.

So if i am understanding your problem correctly with your laptop, you are sometimes able to access the Internet with it and sometimes you aren't.

Do you have a lot of other wireless networks in your area? For example, go to the network applet in the system tray (where the clock is). You should see an icon with two little computers. Left click once on that icon and a little menu will pop up, in that menu, click "Connect to a network". It should bring up a list of wireless networks available to you. Do you see several networks there or just yours?
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