While the term Winsock might not sound important to average users, a broken one can render an Internet connection dead to the world. This free utility makes quick work of fixing corrupted Winsocks caused by both malicious and nonthreatening programs. LSP-Fix's developer suggests you read the documentation before using the app, and unless you're a highly technical user, you should follow this instruction. Likewise, don't check the Advanced check box unless you know exactly what you're doing. The main interface is bland looking but mercifully easy to use; one pane shows you Winsocks you should keep, the other shows problematic ones that may be causing your problem. When testing this program with a disabled Internet connection (courtesy of a borderline suspicious program), we were pleased by both its effectiveness and speed; our connection was back up in seconds without even the need for a system restart. This program only does one job, but it can be a lifesaver in certain sticky situations.
What's new in version 1
ReleaseNovember 8, 2008
Date AddedJuly 15, 2005
Operating SystemsWindows 95, Windows 2000, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows, Windows XP, Windows NT
LSPFix repairs Winsock 2 settings, caused by buggy or improperly removed Internet software, and that result in loss of Internet access. LSPFix is a free utility to repair a specific type of problem associated with certain Internet software. This type of software is known as a Layered Service Provider or LSP, a piece of software that can be inserted into the Windows TCP/IP handler like a link in a chain. However, due to bugs in the LSP software or deletion of the software, this chain can get broken, rendering the user unable to access the Internet. Unfortunately, this type of software is sometimes quietly installed by unrelated software such as file-sharing programs, sneaking onto a system unannounced. In fact, in many cases, the user does not know of its existence until something goes wrong, and Web sites no longer can be accessed. Common offenders include New.net and WebHancer, which are often bundled with file-sharing utilities, DVD player software, and other free downloads. LSP-Fix repairs the Winsock LSP chain by removing the entries left behind when LSP software is removed by hand (or when errors in the software itself break the LSP chain), and removing any gaps in the chain. LSP-Fix is not a malware-removal utility and does not target specific products. LSP-Fix does not delete any files.