I did speed test both through WiFi and ethernet, and I get nearly the exact same results on both, which are exactly on par with what my service is providing... However, when I am just browsing the internet (e.g. Facebook, youtube, gmail), the WiFi is NOTICEABLY slower than the ethernet, so this seems non sequitur. However, when I plugged in the ethernet cable (I turned off wifi to ensure it is using ethernet, not wifi), the networking symbol in windows stayed as "not connected" as opposed to showing that I am using an ethernet connection...
The problem first occured when I connected to the WiFi at the hotel. However, I was never able to get a full connection there. This problem did not occur after downloading any updates (I turn automatic updates off on everything, and in msconfig I uncheck any "Automatically Update" startup items to ensure that they wont even run in the background). The very first time I tried to connect there, this was a problem.
Two days ago, I ran a Quick Scan of Malwarebytes which found a few items, but none that solved this problem. I also ran a Quick Scan of my AV (Avast), which found nothing. Yesterday, I ran a Full Scan of Malwarebytes and it found nothing else after the Quick Scan. I am about to run a Full Scan of Avast.
Thank you for your help! I am a student too, so I understand, and hopefully a g2g tech will find this and help me.