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Consumer Products => Avast Free Antivirus / Premium Security (legacy Pro Antivirus, Internet Security, Premier) => Topic started by: sgolux on April 29, 2008, 06:39:20 AM

Title: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast Anti-v
Post by: sgolux on April 29, 2008, 06:39:20 AM
Hello.

I have Windows Vista Home Premium with SP1 improvements applied.
I am running ZoneAlarm (Free Version) 7.1.254.000  (NOT ZoneAlarm Pro)
I am also running Avast! Anti-Virus version 4.8.1169

Problem is that after my computer is up for a while, especially if I have done some extensive and fierce web browsing, on either Internet Explorer (version 7.0.6001.18000) or Firefox (version 2.0.0.14), either or both browsers will stop working.  Other internet traffic will continue just fine (email, ping, etc) it is just HTTP traffic that seems to stall out and the browsers will wait forever (literally) to load pages.

After some substantial debugging, I have determined that the problem is not with Avast generally, but with the "Webshield" component of Avast.  If I disable that component, it appears that everything works fine.

Note that if I just turn off "Intelligent Scanning" in the Webshield component of Avast, Internet Explorer seems to work fine even if "Enable Scan" is turned on.  In that configuration, however, Firefox can choke.

Only if I completely disable Webshield in Avast (while zonealarm is running) can I continue to use both browsers indefinately.

It seems that I can either have ZoneAlarm, or I can have Avast with Webshield, but not both.

I have read on various places on the 'net about known incompatibilities between ZoneAlarm Pro and the Webshield component of Avast.  However, I am not useing ZoneAlarm Pro.

Does anyone know of any subtle configuration tweak or hack that I can use to get both these working?  Can the folks at CheckPoint and the folks at ALWIL speak to one another, and see if there is a way around this?

Many thanks.
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast Anti-v
Post by: igor on April 29, 2008, 10:37:08 AM
Please try to update to the latest beta (http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=34612.0) - it might solve the problems.
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast An
Post by: sgolux on April 29, 2008, 02:04:33 PM
Thanks -- the post you linked me to was dated April 10 and estimated an official release time of 1-2 weeks.  I assume that it will be out in non-beta form anytime now, and I'll try turning webshield on again when I get that.  Thanks.
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast Anti-v
Post by: lukor on April 29, 2008, 05:00:40 PM
Hi sgolux,

is the problem solved by 4.8.1178 ?

Thanks.
Lukas.
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast An
Post by: sgolux on April 29, 2008, 05:08:45 PM
I'm so sorry if I was unclear.

I have not downloaded or tried the Beta.  Since it was announced on April 10 with an estimated time of full release in "1 - 2 weeks", I figured either it is delayed because there is a problem (which I would rather not take on while I am also trying to put out fires of my SP1 upgrade and zonealarm installation) or it will be out very soon, in which case I would rather just wait for the official upgrade.  For now, I have just turned off webshield, but when the new version of AVAST comes out, I will turn it back on and see what happens.

Just FYI, here is the thread in the zonealarm forums:

http://forum.zonelabs.org/zonelabs/board/message?board.id=inst&message.id=77918

Cheers.
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast Anti-v
Post by: igor on April 29, 2008, 05:25:12 PM
I'm not aware of any problems with the beta at the moment (and quite a few problems were fixed, so you can consider the beta to be better than the build you have).

The thing is that if your problem is not fixed in the beta, and you'll find out after the final version is released, you'll probably have to wait for quite some time before another update is sent out...

But of course, it's up to you.
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast Anti-v
Post by: nightshade on April 29, 2008, 05:32:16 PM
Hi,

I'd just like to say that I use Zone Alarm free 6.1.744.000, and I don't experience any problems at all.

Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast An
Post by: sgolux on April 29, 2008, 07:15:09 PM
To Igor:  I had assumed that the release of your beta software was so imminent that there was no chance that something this seemingly large could be part of it.  Am I wrong?  Is it really the case that if this issue between zonealarm and webshield exists in the current beta, it might be fixed before a release?  If that is really true, I am happy to be a test bed for you.  I just don't want to do it if nothing is going to happen anyway.

To Nightshade:  You are clearly running not only a whole different release of zonealarm, but clearly on a different operating system as well, as the version you are running will not run on Windows Vista.

Thanks!

    -s
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast Anti-v
Post by: igor on April 29, 2008, 07:43:34 PM
Well, I'll put it this way:
- I know there were some issues between avast! and ZoneAlarm Pro privacy blocking (or what's the feature name). It's been caused by bugs in ZoneAlarm and was an issue for quite some time. I really don't know if it affects current versions as well - as the developers can't do anything about it on avast!'s side.

- Your symptoms seem to be different - so, it may be a new issue in avast! 4.8. If this is the case, then I'd say there's a good chance to be fixed (as the problem would probably be in the new part of the code... or "close").

Here is a similar problem that seems to have been fixed yesteday (already included in the latest beta):
http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=34806.0
However, it's really hard to say for sure if it's the same... so, it would be useful to confirm that the fix really works (or find out that it doesn't, and then the search for the solution would continue).

The thing is that the described problems are not very common - if the problem appeared on every computer running the same OS and firewall, then it would be easy (to simulate in our lab and fix). However, I'd say that most issues in 4.8 have been fixed - and now we're receiving one or two reports of a problem, from the user base of 50 millions - i.e. something pretty specific for a particular configuration.
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast An
Post by: sgolux on April 29, 2008, 08:28:09 PM
OK, I have now installed the beta as per forum directions, and I am running avast 4.8.1187.

When webshield is enabled, my browsers will eventually cease working.  They seem to work fine for a while, but eventually they will stop.  I can exit the browsers, and restart them, and they will still not be working.  However, if I turn off webshield, and then exit and restart the browsers, they work fine.

Getting the browsers to cease can either require waiting for a while, or really driving them hard.  The way I have learned to get them to stop working the fastest is to start up both Firefox and IE, and then to surf like a maniac.  Go to the NYTimes home page on one tab of firefox, and yahoo on another tab of firefox, and aol.com in IE.  And then start just ctrl-clicking on links, thereby opening new windows with new articles in new tabs, moving to those tabs, ctrl-clicking on links in those new tabs, closeing tabs that are in the middle of loading, and just basically cramming a lot of information from two different browsers at the same time through the HTTP pipe.  Since doing this will cause the failure in a short time, or not "misbehaving" in this way can cause the failure if I just use the browsers normally for a couple of hours, I am suspecting that there is some kind of memory leak or buffer overflow in the webshield implementation, but that is just my suspicion.

Question:  Now that I have the beta installed (and have turned webshield off) should I leave it on there?  Will the "real" new version auto-update the way it would have if I had not forced the beta update?

Thanks again.

Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast Anti-v
Post by: essexboy on April 29, 2008, 08:33:04 PM
I am running Avast pro (4.8.1187) and ZA pro on Vista SP1 with no conflict between webshield and ZA
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast Anti-v
Post by: igor on April 29, 2008, 08:41:12 PM
Yes, when the official update is released, the beta will update to that version (either automatically, or during a manual update - depending on your update settings) and stay on the official stream (unless you manually switch to beta again). So you can certainly keep it for now.

Regarding the problem itself... I'll pass it to lukor who knows more about WebShield.
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast Anti-v
Post by: essexboy on April 29, 2008, 08:49:08 PM
What planet are ZA on, here are two quotes I pinched from the forum

Quote
Web Shield is a "firewall like" module/ process that will 'conflict' with ZoneAlarm firewall's - ZA Pro and ZA Free, and probably any other ZA firewall product. There may not be any way around, except to shut-off Web Shield. I've looked thru **bleep** forum - the problem occurs with ZA Pro and ZA Free, too.
Quote
Even without WebShield your A-v-a-s*t - anti-virus will still provide "sufficient protection" as a normal anti-virus should. You can view Web Shield as an "extra/ non-standard feature" that never was implemented; but the rest of A-va-st is still there to do the job. [Norton av's has a feature called 'worm guard/ protection = which also has firewall like protection - and it too - often conflicts with ZA - and is then needed to be shut-off, too.
They obviously do not realise that webshield scans for viruses as the page is downloading.  I placed the bit in bold - never implemented ?????????????  it has saved me more than once.  I like the way they bleep out Avast ( I didn't know it was a curse ).  Obviously they believe in rigorous investigation there  ;D
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast Anti-v
Post by: Lisandro on April 30, 2008, 01:05:20 AM
What planet are ZA on, here are two quotes I pinched from the forum
Zonelabs poor support, again... I've lost my faith on Zonelabs a long time ago...
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast An
Post by: sgolux on April 30, 2008, 01:22:55 AM
In all fairness, I don't think that the quotes that were pulled were placed there by zonelabs engineers.  It is a user forum, not a tech support forum.  Note that the same thread later has a different user who argues against those points with fair eloquence:

Rick-F (on the zonealarm forum) wrote:  "FYI... The 'webshield' of 'a v a s t'  is not firewall like.  'Webshield' scans for viruses as the page is downloading.  It's just extra protection and works very well with older versions of ZA.  I'm still running ZA - 7.0.302.000."

I don't have an axe to grind either way, I have been very frustrated with zonelabs at times, and grateful for their product at times.  It is a good firewall when it works correctly and has certainly saved my butt on a couple of close call occasions.  And it is free.  My interest is in trying to get two great pieces of software to work well together...
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast An
Post by: Happy-Dude on April 30, 2008, 02:23:11 AM
Heya sgolux.

Have you tried also disabling Zonealarm also (you didn't seem to mention this possibility)? It may not only be a one-program thing (it may be both).

Also, this may or may not have anything to do with your system, did you check out the redirection settings in your browser (though I feel that refreshing should still do the job ...)? Sometimes, things aren't configured right ... Are you behind a router/modem with a firewall and is your connection alright ? (yeah ... I know ... Might be obvious, but, from almost a week of calling Verizon for tech support for different problems each day, they had stupid, yet very simple solutions for it. P.S.-wasn't my fault.) Do you have any browser add-ons or any other security software?

Just check up on some stuff again. Settings, other programs, hardware, connection, and etc. Hey, you never know ... Besides, hows the latest Avast! beta working with Zonealarm and the Web Shield? Have you tried installing an outdated version of Zonealarm to see if stuff works right?

Just my two cents :) !!
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast An
Post by: DavidR on April 30, 2008, 02:24:42 AM
I think Rick-F is an avast forum member so I would sort of expect him to stick up for avast ;D

FYI the Outpost Firewall forum is also a User Forum and they seem no better educated in the ways of avast. The OP 2008 version insists that you disable one of the avast drivers, which makes the network shield redundant.

It took our input and one of the Alwil team to show them that a) the fix they suggested a registry edit would promptly be corrected by avast on an update, b) with avast 4.8 the self-defence might also kick in and c) how to do it correctly by uninstalling the network shield.

Eventually Agnitum contacted Alwil and will be bring out a fix so Outpost works with avast rather than have avast users disable elements of avast. When that happens I can upgrade my version of outpost.

So ZA aren't alone in their lack of knowledge of avast, you would have thought that they would have communicated with Alwil to resolve the problem, but it took them months to even decide the problem was on their side.
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast An
Post by: sgolux on April 30, 2008, 02:32:08 AM
Happy-Dude - thanks for your thoughts.

I went through a long and involved debugging session disabling and re-enabling all sorts of things.  And yes, I can disable ZoneAlarm, and things work fine.  Or I can disable websheild and things work fine.  I am making a judgement call at the moment that given the choice between a real firewall and the services that webshield provides, I prefer the firewall... but of course I would rather have both.  The Beta did not fix the problem.  I don't have the option of running an older version of zonealarm, as the version I am running is the only one to function under Vista SP1.

Thanks for the 2cents though.

Again, my interest is in just getting ALWIL and ZoneLabs to talk to each other.  ZoneLabs is harder to get to, as they are part of the much larger Check Point Software, and as a user of their free software, I (perhaps reasonably enough) have no direct route to their tech support.  I can only post on their user forum and hope that something filters up to the company.  ALWIL seems to monitor this forum more directly.

I don't know who's "fault" this is, and quite frankly, I don't need to point fingers.  It would be sweet to get these two good pieces of software working copacetically though.
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast Anti-v
Post by: Lisandro on April 30, 2008, 04:22:23 PM
I can disable ZoneAlarm, and things work fine.  Or I can disable websheild and things work fine.
The Beta did not fix the problem.
Can you try if the latest beta version solves this?
Download the updater (http://files.avast.com/files/beta/aswbeta.exe) and run it or go here (http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=34612.msg290254#msg290254) for more information.

I am making a judgement call at the moment that given the choice between a real firewall and the services that webshield provides, I prefer the firewall...
It's not a preference... you need a firewall as WebShield is NOT a firewall. Otherwise, ZA can't offer the protection that WebShield offers.

Again, my interest is in just getting ALWIL and ZoneLabs to talk to each other.  ZoneLabs is harder to get to
This happened in the past... Alwil stayed waiting for ZA for months to correct problems on ZA... Hope this time things get different.

Maybe the problem is on how ZA works on Vista.
I have similar 'conflicts' with Comodo at Vista.
PCTools firewall is running fine for me.
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast An
Post by: sgolux on April 30, 2008, 04:45:13 PM
Tech Asked:  "Can you try if the latest beta version solves this?  Download the updater (http://files.avast.com/files/beta/aswbeta.exe) and run it or go here for more information."

I downloaded and installed the beta yesterday (April 29) from that location.  The version number is 4.8.1187.  It did not solve my particular problem.  Is there a newer beta now available?
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast Anti-v
Post by: DavidR on April 30, 2008, 05:42:11 PM
That is the latest beta build you have.
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast Anti-v
Post by: Rick F on April 30, 2008, 06:10:12 PM
Quote from: sgolux
Rick-F (on the zonealarm forum) wrote:  "FYI... The 'webshield' of 'a v a s t'  is not firewall like.  'Webshield' scans for viruses as the page is downloading.  It's just extra protection and works very well with older versions of ZA.  I'm still running ZA - 7.0.302.000."

That was me  ;D 8) 

I was reading this thread with interest and when I saw the link to the discussion of this problem on ZA's forum and read it -- I couldn't let miss-truth like that pass. I also use ZA... but it's a bit older (see sig line below).
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast Anti-v
Post by: Lisandro on April 30, 2008, 09:19:45 PM
I downloaded and installed the beta yesterday (April 29) from that location.  The version number is 4.8.1187.  It did not solve my particular problem.  Is there a newer beta now available?
No... sad news...
I would like to see any acknowledgment from Alwil or Zonelabs that a problem exists...
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast An
Post by: sgolux on May 03, 2008, 12:40:35 AM
Just to keep stuff up to date here....

I have been trying a number of things suggested to me on the ZoneLabs forum, including giving trusted server rights to the avast program, and to all browsers, but it doesn't seem to change the behavior much.

I must say, as much as I like avast, I suspect that the problem is on the avast side.  My reason for this is that I notice the following behavior:

1.  With a clean boot, running ONLY avast and Zonealarm, and no other non-microsoft services, after a period of moderate web surfing, the browser will hang.

2.  If I terminate the avast web shield, I don't even have to restart the browser.  I can just press the reload button, and everything works fine.

3.  If I try to re-start the web shield, it won't fully restart.  It will go into a state where it says "The Provider is waiting for a subsystem to start".

4.  If, when the browser hangs, instead of terminating Avast, I terminate ZoneAlarm, the problem does not go away until I reboot.

Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast An
Post by: Rick F on May 04, 2008, 12:07:10 AM
Just to keep stuff up to date here....

I have been trying a number of things suggested to me on the ZoneLabs forum, including giving trusted server rights to the avast program, and to all browsers, but it doesn't seem to change the behavior much.

I must say, as much as I like avast, I suspect that the problem is on the avast side.  My reason for this is that I notice the following behavior:

1.  With a clean boot, running ONLY avast and Zonealarm, and no other non-microsoft services, after a period of moderate web surfing, the browser will hang.

2.  If I terminate the avast web shield, I don't even have to restart the browser.  I can just press the reload button, and everything works fine.

3.  If I try to re-start the web shield, it won't fully restart.  It will go into a state where it says "The Provider is waiting for a subsystem to start".

4.  If, when the browser hangs, instead of terminating Avast, I terminate ZoneAlarm, the problem does not go away until I reboot.



sgolux,

Just curious... did avast version 4.7 work for you with 'webshield' activated and ZoneAlarm? I looked back on your earlier posts and couldn't find any mention of prior version working for you.
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast An
Post by: sgolux on May 04, 2008, 05:53:23 AM
I have used ZoneAlarm for years.  One year ago I upgraded from XP to Vista.  On my XP machine, I was running Norton, and I kept hating it more and more, so when I moved to the Vista machine, I swore not to use that junk any more.  That is when I upgraded to Avast.  At the same time, zonealarm did not yet work properly on vista.  In fact, very few firewalls did for quite some time.  So I used a clunky hardware firewall that isn't very good on my router, and used Avast on my Vista machine, which left me with only the windows firewall when I was traveling, which is not a great feeling.  Then, finally, zonealarm came out with a version of their firewall (the current one) that actually works on Vista, after Vista is upgraded to SP1.  So I did that upgrade, and that is when I have seen the conflict of webshield with zonealarm.

On my old XP machine, I did have a web scanner that was part of my norton package (I forget exactly what it was called) and that worked with my zonealarm back in those days with no problem.
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast An
Post by: alanrf on May 04, 2008, 06:32:47 AM
Rick F & sgolux,

I have not made the switch to Vista (since I see no compelling improvement to do so).

However, I am wondering if your participation in the ZoneAlarm forums gives you any indication that this appears to be a problem restricted to the users of both products under Vista or is it a problem thought to appear also in XP. 

I gave up the increasingly problematic ZoneAlarm some time ago in favor of just the good old Windows XP Firewall and my hardware router (a Linux based Linksys product running third party firmware).  Before I get any lectures I made the choice deliberately, I had not experienced any virus infection since starting to use avast (4 years ago) that was not deliberately inserted by me and that remains true to this instant.

However, if there is any value at all in me installing and running the latest ZoneAlarm along with the latest version of avast in my Windows XP SP2 system I will be happy to do so (I have sufficient layers of recovery available).

If this is thought to be an issue only for Vista users I will not waste the effort.  Please let me know.
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast An
Post by: sgolux on May 04, 2008, 02:36:33 PM
As stated above, I have no personal experience of running avast under XP.  I also had no problems with zonealarm under XP.

However, if you have a sufficiently powerful firewall running in your router, I see no reason to run zonealarm or any other software firewall on your PC.  Of course "sufficiently powerful" is an interesting concept here and must give with your own gut and needs.  I like zonealarm because it deals with both incoming packets (also dealt with by the windows firewall on both XP and VISTA) but also filters outgoing packets, which allows one to (possibly) avert the problems of a trojan horse.  Some hardware based firewalls can also do this, although (of course) they must do it on a protocol level, rather than a program level, so typically the setup is more complex.

Then there is the issue of whether you travel with your computer.  I travel extensively with mine, so I really need something on my computer itself, as I join various and sundry foreign LANs for access to the broader internet.

Hope this helps.
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast Anti-v
Post by: Lisandro on May 04, 2008, 02:50:52 PM
which left me with only the windows firewall when I was traveling, which is not a great feeling.
Both XP and Vista offer very good inbound protection. No problems.
XP does not offer outbound. Vista has an 'advanced' tool to configure (not very friendly).

I gave up the increasingly problematic ZoneAlarm some time ago in favor of just the good old Windows XP Firewall
I gave up in favor of Comodo and then PCTools (on Vista).

I'm missing this...
I would like to see any acknowledgment from Alwil or Zonelabs that a problem exists...
Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast Anti-v
Post by: Rumpel on May 04, 2008, 04:06:10 PM
I'm missing this...
I would like to see any acknowledgment from Alwil or Zonelabs that a problem exists...
I think sgolux referred this comment by igor.
Well, I'll put it this way:
- I know there were some issues between avast! and ZoneAlarm Pro privacy blocking (or what's the feature name). It's been caused by bugs in ZoneAlarm and was an issue for quite some time. I really don't know if it affects current versions as well - as the developers can't do anything about it on avast!'s side.

- Your symptoms seem to be different - so, it may be a new issue in avast! 4.8. If this is the case, then I'd say there's a good chance to be fixed (as the problem would probably be in the new part of the code... or "close").

Here is a similar problem that seems to have been fixed yesteday (already included in the latest beta):
http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=34806.0
However, it's really hard to say for sure if it's the same... so, it would be useful to confirm that the fix really works (or find out that it doesn't, and then the search for the solution would continue).

The thing is that the described problems are not very common - if the problem appeared on every computer running the same OS and firewall, then it would be easy (to simulate in our lab and fix). However, I'd say that most issues in 4.8 have been fixed - and now we're receiving one or two reports of a problem, from the user base of 50 millions - i.e. something pretty specific for a particular configuration.

Title: Re: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast An
Post by: Rick F on May 04, 2008, 05:22:49 PM
Rick F & sgolux,

I have not made the switch to Vista (since I see no compelling improvement to do so).

However, I am wondering if your participation in the ZoneAlarm forums gives you any indication that this appears to be a problem restricted to the users of both products under Vista or is it a problem thought to appear also in XP. 
<snip>

I don't really participate in the ZA forums. Only posted there the other day to *defend* avast! (took me 20 minutes to find my password to the forum too  ::) ). So I'm not sure if this problem exists only on Vista with ZA and avast 4.8... or if it's also a problem with XP as well.

I've not made the switch to Vista either... nor do I plan to anytime soon. I just heard too many people having trouble with drivers and other software. I've stuck with ZA 7.0.302 on my XP box because that's the version that has worked for me.  Since it's the 'free' version, it has no privacy issues (not offered in the free version of ZA).  I had the 'Pro' version (or ZAP) a few years ago with a 2-yr license, but when they upgraded to a newer version, it no longer worked on Win98 (the OS I was using back then). I had to fall back to an older version.  ZA support never replied to any emails so I went back to the free version after losing 1 yr use of my license.