(This is pretty much just a guide I made to help people solve this seemingly common problem that no one seems to know how to fix)
(I put this little bit of info so you can relate your problem to mine and determine if your problem is being caused by what mine was)
Okay so about two weeks ago my sister called me complaining about how her laptop would not browse the internet after she updated firefox to the lastest version. I took on the challenge of fixing it, thinking that it would be something stupid like firefox was set to be in offline mode. When I got the laptop this was not the case, no browser I installed on it would work but yet I was able to ping websites perfectly fine with 0% packet loss and other applications and games that use the internet would work fine.
This is what worked for me-
Download Norton Removal Tool and run it then reboot
It's kind of funny that this worked because my sister told me she had never installed norton and her machine came preinstalled with mcafee but yet it removed something that caused it to work.
Things that might work for other people-
1.) Flush DNS
go to CMD and type "ipconfig /flushdns" (without quotes) and reboot
2.) If you use IE open IE and go to Tools>Internet Options>Connections>Lan Settings and make sure all 3 boxes are unchecked but in some cases I've read that people have solved their problem by checking the "Automatically Detect Settings" box and leaving the other two unchecked. Restart IE after changing any settings.
2A.) If your using firefox then go to Tools>Options>Advanced>Network>Settings and make sure that "No Proxy" is checked or "Use System Proxy Settings" is checked.
3.) Download winsockfix and run it then reboot. (I did this right before I used the norton removal tool, I don't know if it helped or not really but I doubt it because I tried it before and it didn't work)
4.) Turn off your firewall or add the browser you are using to connect to the internet to the exceptions list.
Other things that could work-
1.) If you're having a problem with connecting to the internet all together then I really doubt it's your browsers fault so check for updates for the driver of the network device you use or if you have updated the driver and afterwards the problem occured, roll back the driver to the pervious version.
2.) Malware often change settings or damage files that are necessesary for programs such as internet browsers to work. So download MalwareBytes or SuperAntiSpyware and scan your PC for any malware. After the malware's removal if you still are unable to connect you will probably have to uninstall your browser(s) and reinstall them.
3.) Restore from a restore point that was created before the problem occured.
4.) Finally if nothing else worked for you then you might just want to go ahead and format your HD and reinstall windows or if you have a full system back up from before the problem occured then do that.
Please post your experiences and if anything I listed worked for you and if what worked for you was not on here please post how you fixed your problem or if you have a known fix or possible solution post it!:)