This needs some diagnostics.
1. Try another browser (Firefox, Chrome). Better?
2. Disable all add-ons in IE8 and try again (it's in Tools>Manage add-ons)
3. Assuming it's a laptop, does it happen everywhere or just at one location?
4. Download and run MBAM and SAS (SuperAntiSpyware). Any changes?
I click on a url and get the 'can't get the page' error. Yet these are standard sites. I have to double and triple click to get thru. Most often it is at the large companies, ie, chicago tribune, USA today, and the like, when this happens but not just them, and then the connection is slow when accepted. And then I get the site in blue (CSS pages????) not the actual www page, and must hit refresh. Is there a dns problem on my HP Pavilion 64bit AMD PhenomX4, Vista home premium. Is something switched on or off that needs changing? HELP
Also, (related ???) the back button is suddenly filled with urls of ads or other things loaded with a web page in front of the url for the previous page, and I must hit BACK over and over. Sometimes these urls won't let me get past them, and I have to go to the list of recent sites and skip the offending url. Real nuisence. I now use the inprivate filter settings to block some of these, but not all are on the list. These settings revert to OFF when I leave the browser,IE 8 with full updates and upgrades.
Anyone have ideas? I have checked McAfee for firewall etc permissions etc, but nothing seems to be different. This all started a few weeks ago. Can you help or suggest a direction.