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The wireless indicator in the corner says I'm connected but applications like Firefox and the Software Center say I'm not.

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What is the output of cat /etc/resolv.conf – Mitch Jun 4 '12 at 5:56
try ping in your commandline and paste the output – sagarchalise Jun 5 '12 at 6:39

How is your network set up?

It would have been usefull to know your settings like output of 'ip add', 'ip route' and contents of the file '/etc/network/interfaces'.

If you use NetworkManager, it will tell the other programs what the status of your internet are. But if you uses '/etc/network/interfaces' to set up your connections, NetworkManager will not manage those interfaces mentioned there. And NetworkManager will not tell those other programs that there are a internet connection.

If that is your problem, either comment out the connections in interfaces file or remove the packages with NetworkManager.

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Most likely you are successfully connected to your local network, probably through a router. However the router (or another link behind it such as a cable mode) is having problems.

Power everything off and then power on in order of modem, router and pcs.
The order is actually important.

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It is my understanding that the wlan panel indicator source code is somewhat aged and possibly misinterprets newer kernel info. It then apparently falls back to reporting the signal strength that comes available when the link is associated but ignores if a network address is assigned or not. I'd rather add the xfce4-indicator-plugin to the panel and let gnome-network-manager display the signal strength.

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"The wireless indicator in the corner says I'm connected but applications like Firefox and the Software Center say I'm not."

Read carefully: your wireless indicator says you have a wireless network connection, while Firefox and Software Center say, you are not connected to the internet. So while your WiFi may work properly, you have to check your internet connection (router?).

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