A few minutes ago a dear friend of mine sent me an email about a computer problem:
“My computer won’t get online. I tried using Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, but I simply can’t browse. I can’t access facebook, I can’t check my mail… nothing. The only thing that works is my Yahoo Messanger. What can I do?”
Here’s a bit of a background of the issue. The computer we’re talking about is a Packard Bell laptop, with Vista Ultimate. It has Avast Free Antivirus and a few antispyware protection packs. I think she also uses Comodo Firewall. Basically, the pack I recommend and use for years now.
Here’s the solution.
As she can get online and use Yahoo Messenger, that rules out hardware problems with the network card, and it seems there is network connectivity on all seven OSI layers. So the first thing to check (assuming the computer is virus and spyware free) is to check the Windows Firewall settings and make sure the current internet connection does have rights to use a handful of standard protocols, including UTP, TCP, HTTP and HTTPS. These protocols allow for standard internet connectivity and need to be enabled.
Below is a screenshot (on a Windows XP machine, but procedure should be similar on all Windows platforms) I sent her with the steps marked out as follows:
- Open up Control Panel (under the Start menu)
- Open the Windows Firewall window (or Security, if you are using Category view. The screenshot below is from a Control Panel using Standard View)
- In the Windows Firewall window, click the Advanced tab
- Choose Wireless Network (if you’re running on a wireless connection, or Local Area Network, if you’re using a LAN cable)
- Click Advanced
- Check/Turn on the following protocols: DNA (UTP), DNA (TCP), Secure Web Server (HTTPS) i Web Server (HTTP)
- Klick OK
- Resetart (just to make sure changes do take effect)
And that’s it. You should have browsing capability restored. The problem lies in the Windows Firewall not allowing for the listed protocols, which basically doesn’t allow the web browser to access the internet. Configuring your firewall to allow access to these protocols should enable you to browse the net once again.
If this doeesn’t help, chances are you have a third-party software blocking access. In this case, you may need to configure any third party security suites you use. If that all checks out fine and you still can’t access the net, you may be dealing with a virus or malware infected copmuter and you’ll need to scan for viruses and malware.
If this short tutorial helped you in any way, please share your experience. Don’t forget to Tweet it and share it on Facebook too. Thanks!