Thanks for the link to firefox - have installed it but it has made no difference - still cannot connect to 'secure sites' for some reason.
Mozilla says to check firewall settings - I connect through a netgear DG834G router but how does one check the settings ?? I had no problems until this monday - had dl a few new progs, now uninstalled. Have done a 'windows restore' to a date prior to the dls - all to no avail !!!!!!!