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Offline deijwa9

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« on: January 30, 2021, 01:51:29 PM »
Hello Board,

I am labeled as a Newbie, however, my household has been using Avast exclusively since 2000 as our Computer Security Software. We have consistently recommended Avast to friends and family, and have used both the Free versions as well as the Premier versions.

I am a Newbie, after all these years, to posting on a forum here at Avast as a member.

I have been using the FREE version for a few years now, and most recently upgraded to the ULTIMATE version for the 1st time, which has added (besides all the other features now upgraded from Free to Premier) VPN, CLEAN-UP and ANTI-TRACK.

My issue is with an abnormality that is happening in the AVAST PROTECTION WIFI INSPECTOR section, which is a feature available also in the Free version .

I have searched the board for a relevant group pertaining to this issue, but there is none. So I am creating a new topic relating to AVAST PROTECTION WIFI INSPECTOR issues at this group as seemingly the one within which this topic would seem most relevant. If there is another group that would be more applicable, please advise and thank you in advance.

My normal pattern has been to run WIFI INSPECTOR every time I boot up the computer and before I access a browser to go online. I am not an expert on this feature, I have only been using it for a few months, and am still learning, but it is proving to be very helpful and reassuring.

This feature tells what computers/devices are currently ONLINE using the WiFi portal of your Home Network you are currently using, as well as the devices that have been previously scanned on your network but are currently OFFLINE (ie your cell phones, your tablets, other computers you have that are not the one you are currently on), old computers that are not used anymore that you have not removed yet from past scans on your network, old networks you used in the past but no longer are relevant. You are given the feature to remove those, clean your info screen for what is pertinent for now, if you want to do that. It will also inform you when a new device is added to the network.

There are other helpful features in WIFI INSPECTOR, but I am mentioning the ones most applicable to my problem.

One of the important functions of this scan is to inform you if anyone external to your immediate household is, as Avast describes it, "Neighbors Piggybacking" onto your network's bandwidth, using your network's bandwidth without your permission, getting free bandwidth.

I do not know how this is done, only that it must be a common occurrence or Avast would not be featuring this as described with the WIFI INSPECTOR feature.

As for me, there have been indications, based on certain repetitions of computer behavior noted now for some time, and repetitions of information shown on the completed WIFI INSPECTOR Scans, that this may be the case in my neighborhood.

I may be wrong. I might be misreading the information. And I may just have to adjust certain settings that I am unaware of.
As I  mentioned above, I now also have CLEAN-UP and VPN and ANTI-TRACK, which may be interfering with the readings I am getting, which I am about to describe. Or perhaps another ULTIMATE feature is interfering I need to be made aware of.

That is the reason for this post, to request assistance in what I need to do in assessing this issue.
And then accordingly to be helped in how to proceed, once the matter is resolved as to what the matter is.
What I am doing wrong, and/or what I need to do.
I will continue to describe it, to the best of my ability, so you can have as much information as possible to respond with accuracy.

To run the AVAST PROTECTION WIFI INSPECTOR Scan, once you click Scan, it will ask you if your network you are using is Public or Private.
Mine is Private.
Then the Scan begins.

When it completes, it show you the names of all the ONLINE devices currently running, AND all the OFFLINE devices that have been previously scanned on your WiFi.

With the ONLINE devices, when you click into SHOW DETAILS, it will tell you:

*Type of device (like Desktop PC, Generic Computer, Mobile Phone, Tablet, Laptop PC, Router, Router/Network
  Node, many more, all the categories being APPLIANCE, ENTERTAINMENT, HOUSEHOLD, IT)
*Name of device (the default or personally chosen name/numbers/letters of the device)
*IP number
*MAC number
*Operating System
Of each device. It is here you will have the option to edit the name of your device to what you want to appear in the WIFI INSPECTOR Scan, if you don't want to leave it the default description.
Note: I recommend noting this information somewhere safe to which you can later refer, to identify your devices from those not yours, if needed - To have as much information as possible to troubleshoot problems, and for when you might need to ask for assistance, as I am doing here.

The completed Scan screen reads as such from the top reading down, first being the ONLINE devices:

*THIS COMPUTER - the ONLINE device you are on which is running the Scan.
*ROUTER - the Modem you are using that your devices use to access the internet via Home WiFi, plugged in electrically.
*OTHER DEVICES - all your other devices that are currently also ONLINE such as cell phones, tablets, other computers.

(In my case, it always shows here under OTHER DEVICES, the name of the ROUTER/NETWORK NODE device I am using. This is a different category than just Router. Mine is a separate device attached to the wall into which my modem is plugged.
I think.
I first saw it shown here in INSPECTOR. I've had to assume that's what this is. It has its own separate electric plug. It appears in INSPECTOR as the same brand as my Router Modem. I am newly on a fiber optic internet provider system for half a year now. I'm actually quite interested if someone could tell me the difference and why you need two Routers.  Is this only with Fiber Optics? I'm detailing this now as you will further see why.)

Then, below these first three ONLINE categories, the screen shows the number of OFFLINE devices labeled:

*UNCONNECTED DEVICES - devices, as described above, that have previously been scanned by INSPECTOR using your network.

However, when those devices are OFFLINE, you will not see them labeled as you see when they are online with your own chosen or default description.
You will only see a Generic description, such as UNKNOWN NAME.
And when you click into the SHOW DETAILS here, you will only see the generic Type of device, Unknown Name, the IP and the MAC numbers. It will not display the personalized name option you accessed from the Show Details screen when it was online.

Importantly,  it is HERE that you have the option to tell the program to FORGET the device until it once again goes online.
Meaning, next time you scan, that device will NOT register in the offline UNCONNECTED DEVICES list.

At least that is how it is supposed to work.

Now here are my issues.

While still using the FREE AVAST, BEFORE I upgraded to ULTIMATE, I added some personalized descriptions to my devices so I could immediately recognize them as mine on the ONLINE section.

Also, while in the ONLINE section, in SHOW DETAILS, I could see the actual name of each device associated with their IPs and MACs. Again, take notes of all the info, to be able to recognize each device when it is offline, because the IP and MAC numbers DO show on the SHOW DETAILS screen for OFFLINE, and you can recognize your offline device this way, ie cell phones, tablets etc.

The first time I used this feature, I noticed a lot of UNCONNECTED DEVICES that I did not know, most having been old devices that are no longer used, or that don't need to be there until they ever go online here again.
I clicked FORGET those devices, and then the next current completed scan only showed the offline devices that were current.

I started noticing that there were DUPLICATE DEVICES appearing in OTHER DEVICES for my ROUTER/NETWORK NODE device, that's the one plugged into the wall that my modem plugs into that is associated with the fiberoptic network of my service provider.
Both would show the same default brand name, but one WITHOUT my personalized mark, so it seemed like there were 2 identical ROUTER/NETWORK NODE DEVICES that my Router/Modem was attached to. One WITH my mark. One WITHOUT. Both ONLINE.

Then occasionally, there would be an additional UNCONNECTED DEVICE offline indicated as UNKNOWN DEVICE that had the ICON of a ROUTER/NETWORK NODE, but with the SAME IP and MAC numbers as the Router/Network Node with my personalized mark in the OTHER DEVICE online section, BUT WITHOUT MY MARK.
So, one ONLINE WITH my mark, the other OFFLINE WITHOUT my mark.
I would then FORGET that offline device.
Sometimes, in the next scan, nothing would happen. It would still appear there. Then sometimes, in the next consecutive scan, it would have disappeared.

As I said, this has repeated many times. In different configurations. Sometimes only an unmarked device would appear in the ONLINE OTHER DEVICES section as Router/Network Node. Sometimes 2 identical ones would appear there, both with my mark and same IP and MAC, etc.
Then I would immediately re-scan, and again they would both appear, except one would have my mark, and the other then would not.

THEN I upgraded to ULTIMATE, to have a CLEAN-UP option, which I have used the parts I chose, several times.
Actually, I upgraded first to PREMIER, then a couple of days later, upgraded further to ULTIMATE.
Also, to have the VPN function to explore, as I have never used a VPN before. I have clicked into it to explore the functions, turned it on and off a few times, but I have never actually used it yet.
I have explored the functions of ANTI-TRACK, but it has shown reticence working with Firefox, won't accept clicking it as an add on to Firefox. Yes, I have followed all the instruction at Firefox correctly also. All this Attempted many times.
I am now having problems with Firefox, which may or may not be related. Just observing.

Now here is the biggest problem I do not know how to troubleshoot or assess.

Since the upgrade to ULTIMATE, every time I now run the AVAST PROTECTION WIFI INSPECTOR Scan, everyday, sometimes several times in one day, there appears under THIS COMPUTER, my computer name WITHOUT MY MARK.
So I started editing the name and instead of a mark, I put the date next to the computer name.
Then sometimes when I re-scan, that name/date continues to appear there.
But sometimes not, and I have to put an addended or different date, if it's the next day, on the new one.

Sometimes, I unplug and re-plug everything, router,  router/node, computer - to see if that changes anything.
Sometimes it stays the same.
Sometimes it it is again new, computer name, without the date, with a new MAC.

And then here is the crux.
Each time that happens, each time I have to add a new date to the name, a new UNKNOWN DEVICE appears in the UNCONNECTED section labeled as DESKTOP PC.
I have tried and tried to FORGET these entries and they WILL NOT FORGET.
They keep adding up and adding up the number of UNCONNECTED DEVICES, and because the DETAILS of unconnected devices won't show me the name of the device, I don't know if it's got a previous date on it to identify it.



And now, my Firefox browser is re-buffering so much during normal live streaming, such as news or a movie, or even recorded programming, that I can't even watch.

Don't know if this is related. An observation.

And now the number of unconnected devices, that won't 'forget' in the WIFI INSPECTOR scans has almost reached 13 UNKNOWN NAME Desktop PC devices, same IPs with the last group number getting higher and higher, different MACs.  And each day when I boot up, another one is added.  And again, none of them will 'Forget.

All since I upgraded to Ultimate.

Oh yeah. And the ROUTER/NETWORK NODE abnormality as described above when I had only the AVAST FREE version is still occurring in the ULTIMATE version.

Such a frustration, that I have been motivated to joint the Avast forum to present this problem so hopefully, you can help troubleshoot if this is being caused by me, by the upgraded Avast programs that are somehow not working in tandem with other programs or services, or by some hacking neighbor.

I know this has been a long, detailed post.
It is my intention to describe my situation as precisely as possible to give you the full picture for troubleshooting understanding to arrive at solutions as cleanly as possible.

I look forward to any knowledgeable assistance that can be provided.

Truly Thank You For Your Assistance

Offline Asyn

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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2021, 11:56:35 AM »
Wait for one of the devs and/or submit a ticket: (paid versions)
W8.1 [x64] - Avast Free AV 23.3.8047.BC [UI.757] - Firefox ESR 102.9 [NS/uBO/PB] - Thunderbird 102.9.1
Avast-Tools: Secure Browser 109.0 - Cleanup 23.1 - SecureLine 5.18 - DriverUpdater 23.1 - CCleaner 6.01
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