I reverted back to IE which works perfectly. Then I attempted other browsers. I downloaded and opened Mozilla ... and Maxthon ... only to be met with identical error messages.
Thinking that either my AVG or Sygate Personal Firewall may be preventing me from using any other browser I disabled both but to no avail. It didn't matter if AVG or Sygate were shut off individually or together nothing worked. IE however does work. But something is preventing me from using my favourite browser ... Firefox.
What else might it be?
Thanks for your help.