"although my downloads continue to trickle in".
Using P2P file sharing software?
If so, you may be downloading and installing malware.
Or, depending on your internet connection, your bandwidth may be taken up by all the downloads.
Well, I recently put together a computer with the help of my savvy friend. I'm running Windows XP with SP3, Kaspersky security suite and primarily use Firefox as my browser. Well, now I can't get online with the browsers, either Firefox or IE (I believe ver. 7) although my downloads continue to trickle in. The really weird part is that I can access Mininova.org (with Firefox, haven't tried IE) but only sporadically. Help?