Originally Posted by CosmoZed
Thanks! The the gnut file fixed it. Though the "You are offline. Please check your internet connection." still shows up on the start page when you first start the program, ...
This is because the program tries to contact the original LW site but that link has since been closed down (this affects both LW 4 and 5 versions.) The link would originally notify if there were updates, but that was replaced with a legal notice after LW closed down. But now the link is dead. So it's nothing to be concerned about. What is important is your connection bar bottom left of screen. It should be green or blue. If red, then connection problems.
As for spammers on the network, if you ban those I listed here The TechNutopia Fullsize Hostiles List for BearShare and LimeWire
it will help to reduce a certain number. Though as Birdy pointed out, some spam companies use dynamic ip's or use proxies so their ip's change constantly. The TechNutopia Fullsize Hostiles List itself does not work with LW 5, but you can add the ones I posted to either your router, firewall or LW's ban list. These are static addresses. If your firewall allows, also ban port 27016 for both TCP and UDP.
I used LPE last night for first time in a few weeks, and I agree the search was not that good. It was fine a few weeks ago. The general rule is, the longer you are connected, the better your search results will eventually be.