Note: This article is only for Windows XP users. Other operating systems like Vista and Windows 7 do not share this problem.
Problems with Internet Explorer are a common sight. They range from simple errors to dangerous vulnerability exploits.
The first thing you should do when you have an Internet Explorer problem is to upgrade to the latest version as soon as possible. Not only will it solve your problem, but you’ll get a lot more features and a lot fewer vulnerabilities from the new version.
The other solution is to switch over to a third party browser.
Mozilla’s Firefox, Google’s Chrome or Opera are the top alternatives for browsing the Internet.
As different as these browsers are from Internet Explorer, they do have one thing in common. Under Windows XP, at the basic level, they share the same connection settings with Internet Explorer.
This can cause very strange problems for users that use third party browsers with Windows XP. The strangest of which seems to surface when a dial-up connection is created on a computer running Windows XP.
For some unknown reason, with Windows XP, all browsers use a dial-up connection by default (if one was created) instead of a LAN connection when they connect to the Internet.
This means that if you ever had dial-up installed on your computer (even if it’s disconnected) and your favorite third party browser is set to automatically connect to the Internet, all installed browsers (except IE) will choose the disconnected dial-up connection over your working LAN connection.
Therefore if you ever had dial-up and no other browser besides Internet Explorer is working, follow the simple steps below and you’ll get rid of one of the most illogical Windows XP problems.
Note: Make sure you’re logged in with an administrator account and have full administrator rights before you go any further.
Go to the Start Menu, click on the Control Panel button and then click on Internet Options.
In the Internet Properties window click on the Connections tab.
Under Dial-up and Virtual Private Network settings check the Never dial a connection box.
Then, under Local Area Network (LAN) settings click the LAN settings… button.
In the Local Area Network(LAN) settings window check the Automatically detect settings box and click the OK button.
Back in the Internet Properties window click OK to apply the settings and then restart your computer.
This should allow all the browsers to connect to the Internet using the correct settings. If you still have problems with browser connectivity, perhaps an upgrade to Windows 7 will solve the problem.