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Why can “Apple Software Update” and “Safari” connect to the internet but everything else (e.g., IE, Netscape, Firefox, “ping”) can?

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Why can “Apple Software Update” and “Safari” connect to the internet but everything else (e.g., IE, Netscape, Firefox, “ping”) can?

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This is truly an annoying problem. When trying to use Software Update or Safari, you get a message that says you can’t connect to the server. But if you try IE or any other browser (for example) there is no problem. This appears to be related to a recent security update that came with the Mac OSX 10.3.8 update (see this link.) As suggested by someone in that post, there is something strange going on with the proxy settings (under SystemPreferences->Network->Aiport->Proxies, for example). If you create a new network location, all of the proxy options are unchecked, and everything will work fine! If I then go and uncheck the “Automatic Proxy” option with my original network location, that works again too.

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