When I attempt to connect to the internet for the first time after I’ve started up my PC, it can take 15 minutes!
Once I’m connected, I can close a browser and reconnect instantly. The problem is only the first connection.
It sounds like your computer is struggling with its network settings. Maybe it is having trouble resolving a local IP for your computers. Check your router to see if you allocated sufficient local IPs and if the expiry time is too long.
Perhaps someone else more experienced in dealing with Windows can help you further.
Does this problem only occur with your browser? What about IM services? Email applications? Outlook? What operating system are you running?
It happens with any application that accesses the internet. For example, if the first thing I do is start up iTunes, the problem is the same, where iTunes is trying to access the internet and it can take 15 minutes. After this, all is well.
The system behaves as if it were initially "searching" for a connection and once that connection is found, everything is okay.
I'm running Windows XP.
How do you normally connect to the internet? Are you connect through a home network? Or do you use a modem?
I am directly connected to a wireless router since my desktop mahine is right next to the router. A 2nd PC/laptop which is connected wirelessly appears to have the same problem, but a 3rd PC/laptop which is also connected wirelessly, but runs Windows 7, does NOT have the problem. The difference with the 3rd laptop may be that it never really gets turned off - it's possible that it just hibernates.