Author Topic: Error message: "Cannot connect to server".....why am I getting this message?  (Read 2107 times)

Offline TN Aubie

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We have had Avast for a long time.  Two months ago we changed from dial-up to Virgin Mobile Wireless for our internet.  We had no problems with Avast after the conversion until this past Monday, Dec.13.  When it tries to update our engine and virus defns., we receive the message "cannot connect to server".  We are connected to the internet with no problems and can access all other web pages that we go to.  Any ideas as to what the problem with Avast may be?  We have Avast free edition and are using version 5.0.677 with Windows XP.

Thank you in advance for your help.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2010, 06:30:07 PM by TN Aubie »

Offline DavidR

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What avast version are you using 4.8 or 5.0 ?

This is most commonly caused by your firewall blocking avast.setup. what is your firewall ?
Does it allow avast.setup, if so delete the entry for it and try a manual update.
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Offline TN Aubie

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I am using Avast version 5.0.677 and my firewall is Windows Firewall.  I tried what you recommended.....I turned it off and then tried to update Avast, but it still didn't work.  There has never been a problem between my firewall and Avast in the past.  This error message just started happening 4 days ago and to my knowledge nothing has changed on my computer.

Thank you for your help. 

Offline Gargamel360

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You could try Open Avast!>>Settings>>Updates>>Proxy Settings>>Check "DirectConnection (no proxy)"

Also, under Settings>>Updates>>Update Parameters, you can specify how your pc is connected to the web (dial-up modem or always connected)

Either of these might help.  In both cases, after changing the setting, a reboot should force Avast! to check for an update again, rather than wait for its next scheduled check to come around.
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Offline TN Aubie

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Thanks, Gargamel360, what you recommended worked.  After changing the settings, I clicked on "update engine and virus defns." and it updated immediately.  I really appreciate you taking the time to help.  I wonder why this had to be done now when Avast has not indicated a problem until this week?

Offline DavidR

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Well the Windows XP firewall shouldn't have been the issue as it has zero outbound protection, so you should look into getting a free third party firewall, see #### below.

Whilst switching connection method from dial-up to broadband could had this effect (not always), but I would have expected it to have made its presence felt at that time not two months later.

So this is a bit of a mystery as to why it appeared now and not back then; the main thing now is that you have applied the correct settings that are applicable to your system. One possible issue is that if the connection proxy settings if set to Auto Detect, some times there can be issues trying to extract that info from Internet Explorer and there has just been a security update for IE.

####
Many forum users are using these:
- PC Tools Firewall seems to have the least user headaches as it doesn't seem to be constantly asking the user questions about this and that.
- Online Armor for the most parts fine but it has caused some users grief after avast program updates and that is something you have to watch out for.
- Outpost Firewall 6.5.1 free, a cut down version of the Outpost Firewall Pro version, which should still provide good protection, http://free.agnitum.com/. Download, http://www.filehippo.com/download_outpost_firewall/ and also PrivateFirewall, http://www.privacyware.com/personal_firewall.html
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Offline Gargamel360

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Thanks, Gargamel360, what you recommended worked. 

Sure, glad to help, good that you are up-to-date now.  Most here are always happy to lend a hand, come back if you have any other problems.
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Offline TN Aubie

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Thanks DavidR.  I will look into getting another firewall on our computer.  Will I need to disable the Windows Firewall in order to do so?

Also, I never have understood what is meant by proxy settings.  Now that I think of it, Internet Explorer won't work on our computer any longer and that problem may have started after we started using Virgin Mobile Wireless.  I usually use Mozilla Firefox anyway, but am wondering if the reason IE doesn't work is related to the proxy settings.  Can you help me understand this?

Offline DavidR

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Normally that firewall on installation will switch off the windows one. Otherwise yes it is normal to switch it off.

Some internet service providers and or so called web accelerator programs have you use a proxy port to connect, so they route all your internet traffic through that port. The avast update process would normally use port 80 to connect to check for updates. So if you are using a proxy, avast should use that that is why by default it uses the IE proxy settings as that is normally where these are set.

There have been occasions, depending on what version of IE you use (?) avast can't seem to be able to get the info out of IE, so it effectively fails (whether you are using a proxy or not). By entering the exact proxy status into the avast update it doesn't have to go to IE to try and get it.
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