Author Topic: ZoneAlarm Free seems to be incompatible with Webshield component of Avast Anti-v  (Read 18668 times)

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Offline sgolux

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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.

Offline igor

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Please try to update to the latest beta - it might solve the problems.

Offline sgolux

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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.

Offline lukor

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Hi sgolux,

is the problem solved by 4.8.1178 ?

Thanks.
Lukas.

Offline sgolux

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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.

Offline igor

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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.

Offline nightshade

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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.

Free Avast 19.8.2393 (build 19.8.4793.535)
Windows 7, Google Chrome Version for android
77.0.3.865.92 (Official Build) (32-bit)

Offline sgolux

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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

Offline igor

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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.

Offline sgolux

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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.


Offline essexboy

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I am running Avast pro (4.8.1187) and ZA pro on Vista SP1 with no conflict between webshield and ZA

Offline igor

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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.

Offline essexboy

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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

Offline Lisandro

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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...
The best things in life are free.

Offline sgolux

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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...