Can’t Connect to Websites but Internet Works: Troubleshooting Tips

Dealing with the frustration of being unable to connect to websites despite having a working internet connection is a common issue that many individuals face. Whether it’s for work, research, or simply browsing the web, this problem can be quite inconvenient. However, before calling your internet service provider or rushing to buy a new router, there are several troubleshooting tips that can help diagnose and fix the issue.

Common Causes Of A Connection Issue: Identifying The Problem

The first step in troubleshooting when you can’t connect to websites but your internet works is to identify the underlying problem. Several common causes could be at play.

One possible cause is a simple network misconfiguration. This can occur if your device’s network settings are incorrect or if your router is not set up properly. By checking the network settings on your device and ensuring the correct configuration, you can eliminate this as the cause of your connection issue.

Another potential culprit is DNS (Domain Name System) settings. DNS settings translate domain names into IP addresses that your device can connect to. If these settings are incorrect or experiencing issues, it can result in problems accessing websites. Verifying your DNS settings and troubleshooting any issues can help resolve the problem.

Often, clearing the browser cache and cookies can also resolve connection issues. Over time, these files can become corrupted or outdated, leading to problems accessing websites. Clearing them can help ensure your browser functions properly and resolves any local browser issues.

By identifying these common causes, you can effectively troubleshoot and resolve connection issues when you can’t connect to websites but your internet works.

Checking The Network Settings: Ensuring Proper Configuration

When you encounter difficulties connecting to websites but your internet connection seems to be working fine, one of the first troubleshooting steps you can take is to check your network settings. This step helps ensure that your network configuration is correct, allowing you to establish a proper connection to websites.

To start, you can verify that you are connected to the correct network by checking your Wi-Fi or Ethernet settings. Make sure that you are connected to the network you intend to use and that the connection is stable.

Next, you can check the IP address settings. If your IP address is not configured correctly, it can prevent you from accessing websites. Use the command prompt on your computer to check your IP address settings and ensure they match the network configuration.

Furthermore, you should also check the proxy server settings. Incorrect proxy settings can interfere with your ability to connect to websites. Make sure that your computer is not configured to use a proxy server or that the proxy settings are correct if you do need to use one.

By taking the time to check and ensure that your network settings are properly configured, you can eliminate potential issues that may be preventing you from connecting to websites even when your internet is working.

Verifying DNS Settings: Troubleshooting Domain Name Resolution

When you can’t connect to websites but your internet is working fine, the issue might lie within your DNS settings. DNS (Domain Name System) is responsible for translating domain names into IP addresses, allowing your browser to locate and connect to websites.

To troubleshoot DNS problems, start by checking the DNS server settings on your device. Ensure that you are using the correct DNS server addresses provided by your ISP or a third-party DNS service like Google DNS or OpenDNS.

If the DNS settings are correct, try flushing your DNS cache. This will clear out any corrupted or outdated DNS data that may be affecting your ability to connect to websites. You can do this by opening the Command Prompt or Terminal and typing the appropriate command for your operating system.

Another option is to try using different DNS servers. Sometimes, the default DNS servers provided by your ISP may be experiencing issues. By switching to alternative DNS servers, you can bypass these issues and regain access to the websites.

By verifying and troubleshooting your DNS settings, you can often resolve connection issues and ensure proper domain name resolution, allowing you to connect to websites without any problems.

Clearing Browser Cache And Cookies: Resolving Local Browser Issues

Clearing the browser cache and cookies can often resolve local browser issues that may prevent you from connecting to websites. When you visit a website, your browser stores a copy of its data, including images, scripts, and stylesheets, in the cache. This allows the browser to load the website faster when you revisit it. However, over time, the cache can become outdated or corrupted, causing connectivity issues.

To clear the cache and cookies, open your browser’s settings menu and navigate to the privacy or browsing history section. From there, you can usually find an option to clear the cache and cookies. Once cleared, restart your browser and try accessing the website again.

By clearing the browser cache and cookies, you eliminate any conflicting data that may be causing connectivity problems. Additionally, this process can help resolve issues related to outdated or incorrect website data, which can occasionally occur. If the problem persists after clearing the cache and cookies, continue troubleshooting using the remaining tips to identify the cause of the connection issue.

Checking Firewall Settings: Allowing Website Access

Firewalls are essential security measures that protect your computer from unauthorized access and potential threats. However, sometimes they can inadvertently block access to certain websites. If you are unable to connect to websites despite having a working internet connection, it is worth checking your firewall settings.

To troubleshoot this issue, start by accessing your computer’s firewall settings. In Windows, you can do this by opening the Control Panel and searching for “Windows Firewall.” Look for any settings that may be blocking your internet connection.

If you have a third-party firewall or security software installed, consult the documentation or the software’s website for instructions on how to access and modify the firewall settings.

If you identify any website-blocking rules or settings in your firewall, try temporarily disabling them or adding exceptions for the websites you are having trouble accessing. This will allow your computer to establish a connection with the website and determine if the firewall is indeed the cause of the problem.

Remember to re-enable your firewall or security software after testing to ensure the continued protection of your system. If the issue persists, you can move on to other troubleshooting steps.

Trying An Alternative Browser: Assessing Browser Compatibility

When you encounter difficulties connecting to websites despite having a working internet connection, it may be time to explore the possibility of browser compatibility issues. This is where trying an alternative browser can prove helpful.

Different browsers interpret and render websites in unique ways. Therefore, if you are unable to access a specific website using your current browser, switching to an alternative one can help identify if the problem lies with your browser.

Start by downloading and installing a different browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge. Once installed, try accessing the problematic website through the alternative browser. If you can successfully open it, it suggests that there might be an issue specific to your original browser.

In such cases, you can try troubleshooting your primary browser by clearing its cache and cookies, disabling extensions, or updating to the latest version. If these measures do not resolve the problem, you may need to consult online forums or reach out to the browser’s support team for further assistance.

Resetting The Modem And Router: Restoring Network Connectivity

Resetting the modem and router can often help resolve network connectivity issues when you can’t connect to websites but your internet works fine. This simple troubleshooting step can help fix any issues related to the hardware devices responsible for your internet connection.

To reset the modem and router, follow these steps:

1. Turn off both the modem and router by disconnecting them from the power source.
2. Wait for about 30 seconds to 1 minute to ensure all power is drained.
3. Plug in the modem first and wait for it to fully power up and establish a connection.
4. Next, plug in the router and wait for it to power up as well.
5. Once both devices are fully booted up, try accessing websites to see if the issue is resolved.

Resetting the modem and router can help refresh the network connection, clear any temporary configuration issues, and fix any potential bugs or glitches. If the problem persists even after resetting, you may need to contact your internet service provider (ISP) for further assistance.

Contacting Internet Service Provider (ISP): Seeking Technical Support

If all previous troubleshooting steps have failed to resolve the issue of not being able to connect to websites even though your internet is working, it may be time to contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for assistance.

Your ISP is responsible for providing your internet connection, so they should be able to help diagnose and resolve any technical issues you may be experiencing. Before reaching out to them, make sure you have gathered relevant information about the problem, such as specific error messages or any recent changes to your network setup.

Contact your ISP’s customer support either by phone or through their online support system. Explain the issue you are facing in detail and provide any relevant information you have gathered. They may ask you to perform additional troubleshooting steps or remotely access your modem or router to help identify the problem.

Be prepared to follow their instructions and provide any necessary information or logs they may request. Remember to keep calm and polite during the troubleshooting process, as it will help foster a good relationship with your ISP and increase the likelihood of a swift resolution to your connectivity issues.


1. Why am I unable to connect to certain websites even though my internet is working?

There can be several reasons for this issue. It is possible that the websites you are trying to access are experiencing technical difficulties or might be temporarily down. Alternatively, the problem could be caused by your internet service provider (ISP) blocking access to those specific websites. Another possibility is that your device’s network settings or firewall configurations are preventing the connection. In any case, it is important to follow some troubleshooting steps to determine the cause and resolve the issue.

2. What steps should I follow to troubleshoot the problem?

To begin troubleshooting, start by checking whether the issue persists across multiple devices or browsers. If it is limited to a single device, try restarting both your device and modem/router. Clearing your browser cache and disabling browser extensions can also help. Additionally, temporarily disabling any antivirus or firewall software might reveal if those programs are causing the connection problem. It is recommended to test the connection using a different network (such as a mobile hotspot) to rule out issues with your ISP. If none of these steps work, contacting your ISP’s support team or seeking professional assistance might be necessary.

3. How do I resolve the problem if the websites are being blocked by my ISP?

If your ISP is intentionally blocking access to certain websites, you can try using a virtual private network (VPN) to bypass the restriction. VPNs encrypt your internet traffic and route it through servers in different locations, making it appear as if you are accessing the websites from a different IP address. This method generally allows you to bypass ISP restrictions. However, be cautious while using VPNs and ensure you choose a reputable service provider to maintain your privacy and security online.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you are facing difficulties connecting to websites despite having a working internet connection, there are several troubleshooting tips that you can try. These include checking your network cables, resetting your router, clearing your browser cache, disabling VPNs or proxy servers, and ensuring that your firewall settings are not blocking access to specific websites. By following these steps, you can resolve the issue and regain access to the websites you need.

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