Author Topic: How to prevent avast from connecting to internet? Including the new ads.  (Read 13023 times)

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b184953

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Hello everyone,

I would like to set my Avast Pro 5 (currently in trial mode) to not connect to the internet unless manually requested. I have already set program and definition updates to be manually. I have also set Avast setting "my computer is permanenly connected to internet" as suggested by other users of avast.

However avast still tries to connect itself to the internet - how can i disable it? The actual program trying to connect to internet is avastlic.exe (or something like that). I simply cannot put my trust in any piece of software that does some hidden internet activity behind my back without asking me.

Thank you.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2010, 01:30:17 AM by b184953 »

Offline Vladimyr

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Re: How to prevent avast from connecting to internet?
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2010, 04:53:39 PM »
I simply cannot put my trust in any piece of software that does some hidden internet activity behind my back without asking me.

Thank you.

It's not behind your back, it's within the piece of software you chose to install, that you say you cannot put your trust in to protect your computer from the malware writers, purveyors and vectors that you cannot put your trust in.
I'd like to be more helpful but if you're serious about this, I don't see a solution.
There is a way that seems right to a man,
       but in the end it leads to death
.” - Proverbs 16:25

Offline Lisandro

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Re: How to prevent avast from connecting to internet?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2010, 05:04:41 PM »
Which is your firewall?
Which avast component is trying to connect? avastUI.exe?
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b184953

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Re: How to prevent avast from connecting to internet?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2010, 05:57:09 PM »
I am currently using Comodo Firewall v4. I have observed the same behavior (in virtual machines) on Windows XP Professional (both x32 * x64), Windows Vista Enterprise (both x32 & x64), and Windows 7 Enterprise (both x32 & x64).

I have also disabled the monitoring of program version, definition version, and definition auto-updates - because i suspected that those might be secretely going on the internet to check if there is a newer version.

The exact filename of the program trying to connect is: AvastUI.exe, AvastSvc.exe.

The reason why I am concerned is this - if I know that Avast never connects to the internet by itself, and then I suddenly see a firewall popup telling me that Avast is trying to connect to internet, then it will lead me to think that something is wrong, e.g. that Avast has become infected.

Hermite15

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Re: How to prevent avast from connecting to internet?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2010, 06:33:16 PM »
you seem to like trial versions ;D (7 enterprise etc...) avastsvc connecting, yeah, otherwise no web shield, no mails shield etc...but you can block AvastUI, in the "free" version and "pro" when AvastUI connecting is just there to display the AIS promo ad. Again, as I already stated, I wouldn't mind if that was just one connection, but that's tens and tens.

b184953

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Re: How to prevent avast from connecting to internet?
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2010, 06:44:32 PM »
I would prefer to not to have to block Avast in my firewall, i.e. it would be preferable if avast did not connect by itself instead of having to block it.

Are you telling me that even when I purchase Avast Pro there will be advertisements to upgrade to the Suite version? I find that unacceptable - I have no need to have a firewall from Avast when I already have another one. Sure, keep the ads in the Free and Trial versions - but please do not bother your actual customers...

I have tested another installation - even when I install only the File System and Network Shield components (i.e. no Webshield, no Mailshield, no virtualization, etc.) I still see connections from AvastSvc.exe.

So am I to understand that AvastUI.exe connects to download Avast advertisement?

Hermite15

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Re: How to prevent avast from connecting to internet?
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2010, 06:51:08 PM »
you misunderstood the part about avastsvc >>> if it doesn't connect, many avast components become useless. And don't worry about blocking avastUI, especially in the free version, it just doesn't matter. It's only useful in AIS that has network utilities that you don't have.

No you won't have any ad if you purchase the "pro" version (well I don't think you will...). I thought you might have them in the trial version of "pro".
« Last Edit: May 25, 2010, 06:55:04 PM by Logos »

b184953

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Re: How to prevent avast from connecting to internet?
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2010, 07:15:48 PM »
you misunderstood the part about avastsvc >>> if it doesn't connect, many avast components become useless. And don't worry about blocking avastUI, especially in the free version, it just doesn't matter. It's only useful in AIS that has network utilities that you don't have.

That seems weird to say at least... are you telling me that if the AvastSvc.exe does not connect to the internet (hopefully meaning avast servers and not some malicious server), then some avast components become useless? That would mean that in case avast servers are down, or internet connection is broken (but ethernet access is still live), then I would lose protection? That too is unnaceptable - there is no reason for a security product to lose protection if it cannot connect to its mother servers. Nor is there any reason for the security product to connect to the mother server, except for updating itself - and it should first ask for permission whether it can connect (or it should be at least possible to set it in some ini or XML file, or even the GUI for it not to connect automatically).

As I said, my interest in not having my Antivirus connect anywhere automatically is to know whether something went suddenly wrong, such as the antivirus becoming infected or going rogue. So yes, it does matter whether AvastUI.exe connects somewhere or not.

At least there should be an option for expert users to disable this automatic connecting to the internet.


Offline Lisandro

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Re: How to prevent avast from connecting to internet?
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2010, 07:57:51 PM »
The exact filename of the program trying to connect is: AvastUI.exe, AvastSvc.exe.
The GUI (avastui.exe) could be blocked by your firewall. It's downloading the live content into the free or trial version (ads).
The service could be invoked by the community option.

Are you telling me that even when I purchase Avast Pro there will be advertisements to upgrade to the Suite version?
No. Only in free/trial ones.
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Offline Lisandro

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Re: How to prevent avast from connecting to internet?
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2010, 08:00:20 PM »
then I would lose protection? That too is unnaceptable
You're wrong again. This does not happen. Protection is not related to connection.

As I said, my interest in not having my Antivirus connect anywhere automatically is to know whether something went suddenly wrong, such as the antivirus becoming infected or going rogue.
Indeed, I can't understand this policy. What's the relationship on avast updates/upgrades/connection with it become corrupted? What's rogue antivirus related to this? ???
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b184953

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Re: How to prevent avast from connecting to internet?
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2010, 08:28:34 PM »
OK, in that case it is fine - having ads in the Free or Trial version is not a problem, I fully support it (maybe it would be good to indicate somehow that the connection will not exist in the purchased Pro version, so that potential customers are not turned away like me). So I guess this solves the AvastUI.exe issue - in case the automatic connection exists in the purchased Pro version as well, I will ask for an immediate refund.

Now, regarding the AvastSvc.exe, I performed a new installation in a completely clean virtual machine so that I am absolutely certain. I chose not be become a part of the Avast community, I did NOT install the Webshield, Mailshield, IMshield, P2PShield. I set Engine and Virus definitions, and Program updates both to Manual. I enabled "My computer is permanently connected to the internet.". And I unchecked the following Components Monitored (i.e. the following components are not monitored): Virus definition version, Program version, Definitions auto updates. But I still get AvastSvc.exe trying to connect to the internet... (And AvastUI.exe also trying to connect, but now I know why).

Any suggestions?

Let me attempt to explain it again - why I am doing this. Imagine the following scenario - you start your computer every day and work on it, and you have it set up to alert you to any new connection to the internet (in other words, a connection that you have not set to be allowed before). You do not see any connections to the internet from Avast for a 100 days, but then suddenly Avast starts to connect to the internet. This might indicate that something is wrong - i.e. avast may have become infected by a virus, or something to that effect. Thanks to being alerted to this connection, you were then able to investigate.

Now imagine another scenario - same as before, but Avast connects to internet every day. And then one day, Avast becomes infected (please bear with me, this is a hypothetical scenario), but because it has always been connecting to the internet, you will not find this behavior suspicious and so you will not be able to prevent the spread of malware.


Dch48

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Re: How to prevent avast from connecting to internet?
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2010, 08:39:16 PM »
A lot of security apps connect to the internet for backup protection in the event something suspicious is found by heuristics but there is no current signature in the DB. They connect and check the latest DB on their servers that you may not have received yet. To me, this is a good thing and I think you're really making something out of nothing here. I would never block any part of a security app.

b184953

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Re: How to prevent avast from connecting to internet?
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2010, 08:46:32 PM »
A lot of security apps connect to the internet for backup protection in the event something suspicious is found by heuristics but there is no current signature in the DB. They connect and check the latest DB on their servers that you may not have received yet. To me, this is a good thing and I think you're really making something out of nothing here. I would never block any part of a security app.

All I am asking for is an option to disable this autoconnecting. It does not have to be present in the GUI, it is sufficient if it is available only in the Avast.ini file - as long as it is available somewhere.

You know what they say - a smart and security aware user is the best line of defense against malware. Hence I will never blindly trust my security software - and I will never accept that security software expects the user to blindly trust it.

GloobyGoob

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Re: How to prevent avast from connecting to internet?
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2010, 10:43:11 PM »
well I don't know how to stop it from auto-connecting, but in settings under the troubleshooting tab, there is an option called avast! self-defence module. If checked, any sign of malware attack will cause a popup requesting authorization.

Here is its description:
Quote from: avast! 5 help
Enable avast! self-defense module - Some viruses deliberately target antivirus software and try to switch it off by deleting or modifying critical files. avast! contains self-defense features that prevent such attacks by blocking the operation. Uncheck this box to turn off the self-defense, thus enabling such files to be deleted.

Offline Lisandro

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Re: How to prevent avast from connecting to internet?
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2010, 12:36:17 AM »
well I don't know how to stop it from auto-connecting
It won't.
I see no reason for not installing avast completely and see no reason for not trusting avast connection.
If you don't trust avast connections you don't trust it all. You can't have such a relationship with your security program.
I know I do not know the technical answer (the connection started), but I think it will be useless. Trust avast. Just my 0.02.
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