Sometimes security programs are a lit-tle too helpful

So, a few days back my notebook computer lost access to the Net while using Internet Explorer. However I could get on the Net fine with Firefox. Theis would seem to rule about a malware attack on the winsock file, which will destroy your Internet access completely.

I run multiple spyware killers, ZoneAlarm, have a hardware firewall, software firewall, and a tweaked HOSTS file.

I checked everything. Scanned everything. No clue. Although I am, in fact, a computer professional, this had me stumped, so I took it to a friend and the savviest tech I know, Jim  at CTTWeb (they also host most of my websites.) As it turns out, the problem was ZoneAlarm. It was blocking access to the Net by IE. Maybe I did it, maybe it burped. The fix is Program Control/Programs. Make sure the program in question has green check marks for all options. Sigh.  ZoneAlarm is currently the highest rated program for security but their interface is confusing and counter-intuitive.

Winsock fix utilities. Malware can destroy your Internet access by mangling your winsock file. These utilities will fix it. Put them on a CD.
LSP-Fix. Winsock repair
Winsock Fix XP