Help connecting to internet with Windows 7

So after upgrading my desktop from Vista to 7 without problems, and loving 7, I decided to upgrade my laptop as well. My laptop is quite a bit older (almost 4 years now), but is decent still (Core 2 Duo 1.7 GHz, 2 gigs of RAM) and the Windows upgrade advisor said things should work.

I had XP on hit, so did a Custom Install. Install went great. But the weird thing is my internet connectivity has been really weird since the upgrade. At times it connects fine and I can access the net (updated system completely via Windows Update). At other times I get nothing. It says I am connected to the wireless network, says there is internet access. However, if I open Chrome or IE8 it will say Website Found, but just sits there and doesn’t do anything. Page won’t load, etc. I thought perhaps this was a wireless issue, so I uninstalled the driver, uninstalled the device, rebooted and it found it, installed the driver and I was able to connect. However, after going into standby and coming out, nothing, same problem. I have checked the TCP/IPv4 is checked in the Properties dialog.

Still thinking that this may be a wireless issue, I disconnected from the wireless network and plugged directly into the router (with a connection I know works, it is from my 360). Same problem. It stated in the Network control panel that the LAN was connected, recognized it was connected to my home network, but still didn’t get anything when opening a browser.

Any ideas? Is there something I am missing? I can certainly go back to XP, but that would be a bit of a bummer and I really love 7. Oh, I have also checked in Device Manager, and both the wireless and wired network devices appear to be installed and recognized fine.

Check the network card manufacturer’s website for an updated driver. Windows Update doesn’t always find the most recent versions.

I had done that, but still had this same issue where it always stated it was connected and had internet access, but only sometimes could actually access the internet. I wondered if the updated Intel drivers were part of the problem, which is why I had uninstalled them.

And, like I said, the same issue happens with either the wireless or wired connection. That leads me to believe it isn’t device specific, though I certainly could be wrong.

So, one other thought I had (and was actually sort of hoping for) was that there was some issue with it going through the router, because even when I tried the wired network, it was through the router.

However, I just connected directly to the cable modem (resetting the modem to get it to release and renew) and still have the same problem. In the Network manager it says it is connected, says there is internet access, but trying to open a browser just leads to a whole lot of nothing.

What kind of motherboard is it?

Oddly enough, it appears that Windows Firewall is the culprit. If I have it disabled I can connect just fine. Weird, as it is on on my desktop and I have no problems.