Pity guys that you're not starting new threads and instead posting to someone else's ones. It's now very hard to manage which answers belong to which questions.
compumedic, Too many open sockets - is this really the message you got? Can you download and run TcpView from http://www.sysinternals.com/ntw2k/source/tcpview.shtml
and post its results? BTW first you said you couldn't access the web (at all) and then that browsing became slower - so it DID work, after all (but was slow)?
essexboy, OK, I'll try to simulate the problem here. Thanks
cherrycola, so the Internet doesn't work at all? Or just sometimes, you get a timeout message?
dj_don, first, I understand your frustration that things stopped working but I can't agree with your attitude. No one's burying head in the sand - these really ARE conflicts with other software. Saying that it must be (only) avast because prior to the update, everything was working OK, makes sense only partially. The new avast release (4.6) adds NEW features - such as the WebShield - that were not present in earlier versions. The WebShield is a network application and as such, is subject to inspection by a firewall (if installed). If the firewall (for any reason - intented or not) denies WebShield access to the net - you see the effect that you're seeing. We've tested the new features with virtually all firewalls on the market today, and yet, there seem to be some conflicts. I guess the world is still too diverse for us to test all the cases.
That said, I'd need some more info. Particularly which sites don't load (if not all), which browser are you using, what version of ZA/Norton etc...