Internet Connected But Web Browsing Starts Late – Solution
Recently I faced a problem with my internet speed. I was able to connect to the internet every time but I had to wait for almost 10 to 20 minutes or more to browse any website. I tried with different web browsers (Safari, Firefox, IE, Chrome) but the result was the same. I thought it was the problem with my internet provider and checked the internet device and made sure that the internet connection was working fine. I was able to use same internet connection on different computers without any problem. The problem was with this particular laptop (with Windows 7 installed) that I was using. I scanned the system by using several antivirus programs and even by using security tools to find if any malware, spyware, trojan or other viruses are present that might be using internet resources but I found no virus.
I even cleaned the registry entries and checked the start up programs. I used msconfig command and couple of software to clean system registry entries. After being assured that it was not the problem with the internet connection and also there is no virus in the system or any rogue program, registry entry or start up entry, I again checked the system and the problem was same. It took several software, utilities and system restarts but I was at the same point.
I used AdwCleaner, CCleaner, Junkware Removal Tool (JRT), Rogue Killer, SpyBot S&D, TDSS Killer, Avast free, Avira Free, Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool to fix this problem but the problem was not the virus or bad registry entry.
Finally I looked for the hosts file to see if something is being blocked there and I found the answer. I found several hundreds of entries in the Windows hosts file. The file itself took time to load in the browser.
The hosts file is used by system to map hostnames to IP addresses. The hosts file is a plain text file, and is conventionally named hosts. By using hosts files you can block any website, redirect website, assign local domain names, block list of websites and more.
Those URLs were not copied by me in the hosts file. I guess any security software or any malicious program copied those URLs in the hosts file because I test a lot of software in my computer so such things are bound to happen.
I erased all the unfamiliar entries from hosts file. Further more I reset the hosts file by using a tool from Microsoft as described here. That location refers to the default contents of hosts file for different versions of Windows and ways to reset that hosts file.
Hosts file can be blocked for changes by security software present in your computer. For example Avira free Antivirus does not allow changes to the hosts file unless you change settings of Avira to allow hosts file changes. Also hosts file will need administrator level permission to edit or change its contents.
You can access the hosts file by running commands in run prompt.
Click on Start and type run
Press Windows+R to open Run command prompt
Type one of the followings in there and hit ok
First command will open the folder containing the hosts file. Second will open hosts file in notepad.
You can also browse to the following location:
C > Windows > System32 > Drivers > Etc
Open the hosts file and see if there are many URLs present there. If yes, delete those entries but before doing that confirm the default contents of the hosts file. You can also use Microsoft Fixit tool to reset the hosts file as mentioned above.
After that restart the system and connect to the internet and your problem will be solved.