Have a look at the Michelson-Morley
experiment. The experiment was not designed to detect the ether directly, but rather to determine whether the speed of light depended on the Earth's direction of motion. The results of this experiment indicated that electromagnetic radiation was not supported by a "luminiferous ether". Of course, the presence of an ether may still be postulated (see the Lorentz ether theory
), however, any ether theory must be consistent with special relativity and therefore empirically equivalent to non-ether theories (like Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity). In modern physical theories, the ether is therefore regarded as unnecessary and/or superfluous.
With regards to the Higgs boson, there is absolutely no reason to hypothesize its role as an ether. For one, it does not possess the properties of the original luminiferous ether, and does not create any sort of drag on particles with which it interacts.