I've been trying to help my father-in-law with this problem but haven't been able to get anywhere. Since the weekend the web browsers on his computer (Chrome and Internet Explorer on Windows XP) will only let him get to certain sites - for example, he is able to conduct his online banking but he cannot visit www.bbc.co.uk, www.amazon.co.uk or www.ancestry.com. There is another computer in the house that goes via the same router and this can connect to both, which suggests it is his machine.

I tried running a tracert to www.bbc.co.uk and managed to get through, but the web browser hangs with a message that it is waiting for a response. I tried using the WinSockFix tool in case it was anything to do with a recent registry change but that didn't work either.

He can't think of anything that he recently did on his machine to cause the problem. Can anyone help?


Check this pattern further: Can the computer get HTTPS sites, but not HTTP sites? If so, here are some additional ideas.

Check if firewall or other security programs are accidentally set to block connections to port 80 -- HTTP connections. (HTTPS connections use a different port, 443, so if they're working that suggests connections to that port number aren't affected.)

Make sure proxy server settings are turned off. In Internet Explorer, go to Tools, Internet Options, Connections tab, click the LAN Settings button, and make sure "Use a proxy server" is unchecked. (Chrome uses the same proxy settings as Internet Explorer. The Chrome options box just has a button that brings up Internet Explorer's Internet Options box to the Connections tab.)


Check the network settings - Control Panel > Network Connections > Right Click on the Local Area Connection (or wireless connection) you are using.

Select TCP/IP and then Properties.

If it's not set to Obtain DNS server address automatically check that the IP address listed is a reputable server. If not then it could be the symptom of malware. Not being able to get to certain sites is a symptom.

Either check on his ISP's web site to see if they recommend one, or compare the settings to the other PC. Even if they do temporarily reset the value and then check to see if you can access the problem sites.

Has your father-in-law installed any software recently?


Thanks for taking the time to leave your answers. Further investigation revealed the problem to be with the router, which has now been replaced.

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