Very annoying internet problem

  User-7F6FF770-BD4F-47E5-9BA55A2F8E7FDFF9 12:13 20 Jan 2010

Hi all.

I am currently experiencing a particularly annoying and puzzling problem.

I purchased a new Alienware PC about 3 months ago and set it up with my already existing Internet connection which comprises a Netgear modem/router on AOL home broadband.

The router is connected by cable to my PC and by wireless to my sons PC upstairs.

My sons PC connects flawlessly to the internet as did my old PC before I replaced it with my
current one.

Now. The problem itself.

After a random period of time, usually 5 mins to 1 hour my web browser (IE) begins to have connectivity problems. It basically

Just ceases to function and refuses to connect to any new pages or links and hangs up with a ‘connectin to ….’ message

In the corner. My first thought was to try another browser, unfortunately google chrome does exactly the same thing.

When this happens my only option is a reboot, this is the 2nd part of the problem as once the first problem occurs the PC

Takes up to 20 minutes to even begin to shutdown instead of the usual few seconds.

I know its not the router locking up as my sons PC is unaffected and also any online games I use will still load up and connect ok even if the browsers will not.

The mini-browser used by DAP (Dowlnload accelerator plus) works even if IE and google are down.

Ive tried talking to alienware and AOL but they both suggest it’s the fault of the other.

If anyone can help I’d be one very happy chappy. :)

  Fingees 12:22 20 Jan 2010

I had trouble with google chrome, I now use Firefox, find that faster and better than IE
I'm using W7

Well ill try Firefox tonight, I dont hold out much hope though since the problem is presnt in both IE and google chrome, and of course theres the boot up issue too.

I think that whatever it is causing the problem isnt program specific.

  howard64 14:57 20 Jan 2010

my friend is also on aol and had a similar problem - when the laptop connected by wireless the ethernet connection dropped out. Finally talking with aol who initially said could only connect either by ethernet or wireless and nothing was wrong. Saying this was nonsense and asking for a mac to go to a different isp [out of contract] was put through to someone who talked through some settings and I think altered something at their end everything now works ok. Suggest you talk with aol and make sure you get past the foreign initial contact to get something done.

I did already get pushed to level 2 AOL support.

The problem is that I dont actually lose internet connectivity entirely, just access to web pages via IE and google chrome. since the internet is still actually accessable they claim (perhaps rightly) that its a software or hardware issue and not their problem.

Since its both IE and Googlechrome im guessing its something thats common to their functinality, something thats not present in a less sophisticated mini-browser like the one in DAP.

What exactly though has eluded me for weeks.

Well I can add Firefox to the list of browsers that encounters this problem.

Now I have 3 major browsers that all work fine for a random amount of time and then all 3 stop working at once.

All other internet connectivity is still up, Itunes works fine, online games work fine.

So frustrating ! Anyone any ideas please ?

  mgmcc 16:07 21 Jan 2010

I don't know the answer but your problem appears to relate to Port 80, the port used for "http" data transfer. This would explain why internet applications using other ports such as 110 for incoming mail, 25 for outgoing mail, 3689 for iTunes etc. are still working.

I did see a reference to the fact that Skype uses Port 80 - do you have that running and possibly blocking access to the port from your browsers?

Thanks mgmcc for the reply.

No I dont have skype or anything similar installed.

All I have is Zonealarm and DAP on auto run at boot up (problem persists even if I uninstall these)

Im not that knowledgable about ports and things beyond knowing very roughly what they do, is there anything I can do to see if this is the problem ?

  mgmcc 20:36 22 Jan 2010

>>> When this happens my only option is a reboot,
>>> this is the 2nd part of the problem as once the
>>> first problem occurs the PC takes up to 20
>>> minutes to even begin to shutdown instead of
>>> the usual few seconds.

Next time this happens, press Ctrl-Alt-Del to bring up the Task Manager and look to see if anything is using an excessive percentage of the CPU resources. With the PC not doing anything, the CPU shouldn't be more than about 5%. If something is misbehaving and causing the CPU to be running at 100%, that will be what is preventing the PC from shutting down and possibly the cause of the web browsing issues.

  Sbrads 21:20 22 Jan 2010

I remember having these problems in the days of 56k modems.

Rumour has it that MTU problems can cause this sometimes, and AOL is one of the worst ISPs for causing it, I have no idea why though. I've seen a lot of mentions that the MTU needs setting to 1400 for AOL.

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