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Why doesn't my Internet connection work?

I have just connected a modem through AOL to my PC. But when I try to get on to the Internet with IE, I am not able to log on to any sites. It's as if I'm offline. What could be happening?
This is a classic "is it the application or the network" question. The first thing to check is the network interface with "ipconfig" on a DOS prompt. If that looks right, then I would try to run ping and/or tracert to specific hosts that you know to be accessible.

Alternately, try using other non-IE applications that connect to the Internet.

If both ping/tracert succeed, then I would start to suspect a DNS problem – try using an IP address (instead of a hostname) in the URL (ex. ). Use "ipconfig/all" to identify the DNS host and make sure you can resolve host names (ex. "nslookup antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov").

If they fail, then you have a modem problem at some level. I would expect that the "ipconfig" would show that explicitly.

This was last published in November 2004

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