Can't connect to certain web sites over wireless network

Discussion in 'Wireless Networking' started by AdamE, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. AdamE

    AdamE Guest

    I'm having trouble getting one of my computers to access the internet
    via my wireless network. My first computer connected and accesses the
    web no problem. I installed the wireless dongle on my second computer
    no problem and it says that it connects with a strong signal. The
    problem I have is that for a number of web sites I try to connect via
    a browser and it eventually "times out" and says that it can't
    connect. The same web sites connect no problem over the wireless on
    the other computer. When I ran the XP utility to analyze my
    connection it came back as saying that it couldn't connect over http,
    https, or ftp and called out ports 80 and two others (135 I think and
    another I can't recall) saying I may be blocked via firewall. The
    Windows firewall was on but I couldn't turn it off because it was set
    via group policy (it was off on the other computer). I disabled the
    Windows firewall by:

    From the Start menu, select Run, then enter gpedit.msc.
    Expand the Computer Configuration folder, then the Administrative
    Templates folder.
    Expand the Network folder, then the Network Connections folder, then
    the Windows Firewall folder.
    Select the Standard Profile folder.
    Double-click the Windows Firewall: Protect all network connections
    Select Disabled, then click OK.
    Select the Domain Profile folder.
    Double-click the Windows Firewall: Protect all network connections
    Select Disabled, then click OK.
    Close the Group Policy dialog box.

    I confirmed the firewall was disabled but I still have the same
    problem. It seems like something is blocking the loading of certain
    sites but I can't figure out why - I can load my geocities home page
    and but when I go to my ISP's home page to check mail via the
    web it doesn't work, same with many other pages like eBay. Can anyone

    AdamE, Jul 29, 2008
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  2. AdamE

    Pavel A. Guest

    Since this computer has group policy,
    it may very well have some site blocker. Ask your admin.

    Pavel A., Jul 29, 2008
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  3. AdamE

    AdamE Guest

    Interesting - the wierd thing is that I am the admin, it's not part of
    a network of PCs, it's my personal computer, and I have no idea why it
    has a group policy or even how to switch it to individual policy. Can
    you tell me how to:

    1. See if there is a site blocker.
    2. Turn off the group policy.


    AdamE, Jul 29, 2008
  4. AdamE

    John Guest

    Did you check if there's anything in the HOSTS file?
    John, Jul 29, 2008
  5. AdamE

    AdamE Guest

    What is the HOST file and where would I find it? What I don't
    understand is why the computer worked fine when connected via hard-
    wire to the cable modem and now that I'm going wireless it wont load
    certain sites. This implies it isn't a firewall issue or a site
    blocking issue because then the web sites wouldn't have worked in the
    hard-wired case. It almost seems like something from a Windows setup
    perspective is hosing the wireless network from communicating with the

    AdamE, Jul 29, 2008
  6. AdamE

    John Guest

    Ok, based on your reply below, I conclude that hosts file isn't the culprit.
    FYI, hosts file is located at C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc
    Is your cable modem also a wireless access point?
    I agree. So you've narrowed down the problem to wifi connection. It's either
    the wifi adapter on your PC or your wireless access point configuration. Are
    you using the latest driver for your wireless adapter?
    John, Jul 29, 2008
  7. AdamE

    AdamE Guest


    The cable modem is not a wireless access point as far as I can tell.
    I'm not convinced it's the adapter because the other PC works
    perfectly with the same adapter (literally just switching the dongle
    to the other PC's USB input port). When you say the wireless access
    point configuration, do you mean the router itself? If so, I would
    argue against that for the same reason as arguing against the adapter/
    dongle. Is there a "wireless access point configuration" in XP? That
    seems the likely problem since the setup works fine without wireless
    and barfs with wireless using the same router, dongle, and browsers as
    the PC that works with the wireless.

    Thanks again for all the help/discussion!

    AdamE, Jul 29, 2008
  8. AdamE

    John Guest

    Good point, Adam.

    So the problem is narrowed down to the PC itself. The fact that you must use
    gpedit.msc to disable wifi is a bit unusual. A standalone computer normally
    doesn't have any policy imposed on it. Did the computer ever join a domain
    once in the past? It might have picked up a filtering policy from a windows
    domain. But that doesn't explain why you have no problem surfing when the
    computer is hard wired. Weird.

    One last thing that you might want to try is to manually uninstall wifi
    adapter from that problem computer. Restart and reinstall wifi adapter.
    Restart and (re)join your wifi network. I'm getting as confused as you are
    now. Sorry.
    John, Jul 29, 2008
  9. Jack \(MVP-Networking\)., Jul 30, 2008
  10. AdamE

    AdamE Guest

    OK a bunch of answers:

    1. I used gpedit.msc to disable the Windows firewall. I have no idea
    why it had a group policy, I didn't set the computer up originally, it
    was a "hand me down".
    2. I did try a full uninstall-reinstall and still no luck. When this
    didn't work I reconnected the wired network access (no wireless) and
    it works like a champ.
    3. The only other software I'm using is Norton for anti-virus. Both
    computers are running Norton, same version and both fully updated
    (same installation disks) and neither have any outgoing firewalls
    4. For browsers I've tried IE (7 I think) and Netscape 7.2, both
    exhibit the same behavior.
    5. I definitely have a wireless connection as I was able to ping over
    the wireless.

    AdamE, Jul 30, 2008
  11. AdamE

    AdamE Guest

    Yes you are 100% correct - I can connect to some web sites, like or, while others wont connect while on the
    wireless network and I get a Windows XP message about unable to
    connect, maybe I typed the URL wrong or that the site is down or that
    the network is down when none of which is the case. I have tried
    turning the router off and then on with no luck though I haven't tried
    the reset you describe. The kicker is the other computer works with
    the wireless just fine so I doubt the network is the problem. I'm
    fairly certain there is a configuration issue on the PC side but for
    the life of me I can't figure out what it is.

    AdamE, Jul 30, 2008
  12. AdamE

    AdamE Guest

    Right, that's the wierd part. I'm wondering if there is either some
    sort of packet dropping, filtering, or just slow web sites due to
    scripts/Java/whatever that is causing the browsers to be "time out" on
    the page load where this doesn't happen on a direct network
    connection. Aside from that, I'm stumped.

    AdamE, Jul 30, 2008
  13. AdamE

    smlunatick Guest

    A few things:

    1) If you have SP2 / SP3 installed, the Windows firewall will
    automatically be active once your PC is first booted with this Service
    pack installed.

    2) Some "newer" anti-virus software adds modules to scan network
    traffic. Check in your anti-virus system

    3) If you use some type of Internet security software (such as Norton
    360,) there might be a module added to your network adapter
    configuration which will "filter" the traffic.

    4) Also with some Internet security software (IE: Norton 360) some
    newer firewall modules might need to be told to "trust" the wireless
    SSID. Otherwise, check the router's status logs for the
    "deauthenticate" message(s.) If you see one, then your software
    firewall is at fault.
    smlunatick, Jul 30, 2008
  14. AdamE

    James Egan Guest

    Some websites being accessible while others are not is symptomatic of
    the MTU problem detailed here.

    James Egan, Jul 30, 2008
  15. AdamE

    AdamE Guest


    I tried the utility but had no luck - is it a CISCO only thing?

    AdamE, Jul 31, 2008
  16. AdamE

    smlunatick Guest

    Step 1 -- Yes, it CISCO only change but you can "adjust" it to meet
    your router's settings.
    smlunatick, Jul 31, 2008
  17. AdamE

    James Egan Guest

    Not as far as I'm aware.

    It was a fairly common problem a while back causing *some* computers
    to have problems with *some* websites when using *some* isp's but not

    It's also adaptor specific and so might happen on wireless but not on
    wired. Just like yours.

    Perhaps you might try the tweak test at
    with both your wired and wireless interfaces to see if that throws up
    anything interesting.

    James Egan, Jul 31, 2008
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