This is documentation of problems I've had surfing the web.
It explains my solution, and I'd like someone to explain to me WHY the solution worked.
I've been having trouble getting to websites recently.
It started when I installed a wireless router and card in my notebook.
Sometimes I could surf without any problems, but then I'd start getting "Page can not be found".
Once it started happening it would last at least a half an hour.
I could usually surf pretty well in IE, but once I opened Firefox or Firebird that seemed like the trigger - the Mozilla browser stopped working and IE stopped working also.
Sometimes IE would start working again, but it usually took longer for Mozilla to start working.
The router was always working, and the card seemed fine.
In fact, it would say Signal Strength = Excellent but I still couldn't surf.
So I thought it was related to some Windows XP SP2 setting.
I surfed the web looking for various solutions, and I came across a simple test to run next time I was having problems:
try to go to http://www.google.com
If "Page can not be found", try going to http://184.108.40.206
The second address also goes to Google, by way of IP address.
It works without using DNS.
If you can get there by IP address, there is a problem with DNS.
(DNS is a Directory of NameSpaces which matches up the friendly URL with the actual computer you're trying to get to.)
DNS is provided by your internet service provider - they may be the problem but probably not.
This test worked for me, so I knew it was a problem with DNS.
Windows has a DNS cache which could be the problem.
To clear it out go to Start>Run and type ipconfig /flushdns
This helped some, also confirming that it was a DNS problem, but the problem would start again soon after.
Then I started snooping around in ZoneAlarm (I had never suspected this was the problem) and found a setting that was NOT checked:
Allow outgoing DNS/DHCP in Internet Zone on High setting
(This is found on the Firewall page, Advanced button.)
I checked this box and I've been surfing with no trouble ever since.
What I'm wondering is:
Why wasn't this checked?
And more importantly, is this a security issue or more of a privacy issue?
I suspect it's privacy, and I think the default ought to be checked.
(By the way, I've got ZA 6.1.744.001 and it was installed a few days after installing my wireless router.)
I hope this explanation is helpful to others experiencing the same problems.
Operating System:Windows XP Pro
Product Name:ZoneAlarm (Free)