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Please help! Browsers won't connect!

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A couple of weeks ago my computer automatically downloaded and installed an update from Microsoft, after which I suddenly became unable to connect to the internet through any of my browsers (Firefox, IE, Opera). My wireless connectivity is excellent, and I have no problem accessing the network, but when I open my browsers, they will not connect to any site, period! What's more, my IM wouldn't connect and my Anti-virus was not able to update either.

After doing some research, I discovered that a number of people encountered the same issues after installing a recent batch of MS updates. Several victims have pointed the finger at their firewalls. At the time that I first encountered the issue, I was using PC Tools Anti-virus software and the XP firewall. I disabled both and tried to access the net again, but to no avail.

I have uninstalled the Anti-virus software (been meaning to replace it anyway), reinstalled my browsers, triple-checked the proxy settings, and even tried a revert back to before the update was installed... still, nothing has changed. I tried to troubleshoot the issue through Microsoft, and on the forums, but no one was of any help.

If anyone has any idea of what the heck is going on and how to fix it, I would be most appreciative.

P.S. I have done several virus scans, all of which have come back spick-and-span. I have had no other indications of virus activity, so I'm not sure that's the problem either. One other thing of note: around the time of the MS update and all this started, I was trying to access the net and my system inexplicably prompted me to re-enter my network WEP key. Don't know if that's related in any way.

Edited by The_Dude, 19 August 2010 - 11:22 AM.

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I will be glad to offer assistance. First of all from what you are telling me it would appear your router is using "WEP" for authentication. I would recommend you change this as this not very secure. Secondly, to solve your problem more info will be needed. Could you do the following: Go to start -> run -> type cmd -> type ipconfig /all -> print screen the full output -> paste it into paint or something -> save it and upload it. I will then try to work out what is happening. It is important to do this when your computer is in the state you are saying i.e. not connected. Also, I will help secure your network step by step if you wish because your current configuration isn't ideal. Here is an example of what you should be uploading:
Windows XP Professional-2010-08-22-11-27-04.png
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