hi David, thanks for chiming in.
I appear to have windows firewall operating and Ashampoo too.
Both appear to be allowing nearly all programes to access the net, my previous version of Avast worked fine before I thought I better download the latest version, since I did it cannot seem to connnect to server to do the automatic updates.
I haven't changed any of the firewall settings, so puzzled why avast can't connect to the net.
Do you think I should only have 1 firewall, (to avoid conflicts?) and if so, which would be best, Windows or Ashampoo?