Thanks, Windows firewall is enabled, I guess that would prevent the browsers from connecting. I use Zone alarm which prompts one for access, so I overlooked the firewall settings. I'll check that when I return the person's PC.
Windows firewall won't prevent browsers connecting - check if your friend is using some sort of proxy server or web filter in IE - settings for any particularly extensive all-in-one anti-virus/firewall programs may be relevant.
Thanks for the replies. IE is configured simply, no proxy servers etc. I was focussed on looking for a similar option in Opera & Firefox where I could select a connection to use, and totally overlooked the firewall. I'll disable that and try again when next I'm there.
Even with windows firewall disabled, neither browser still could work, so I'm puzzled again. There is nothing to configure in either browser, and firefox during setup copied everything from IE. The reason I was trying another browser is because IE fails to load when my friend tries to log into his e-bay account. I'm really head scratching on this now.