Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Webroot shuts down firewall if you work "too fast", and then won't let you work at all without "allowing all"

Here’s the next problem!  AOL mail is notoriously slow in displaying contents (maybe because I haven’t deleted them), so I tend to run through them and not wait for it to display half-junky emails. I’ve used AOL since 1994, so I have been reluctant to change an email address.

Tonight, I was doing that and suddenly my Internet access failed on my home router. First I thought it was Comcast, but my older computer right next door was still up on the Web. Windows 7 diagnostics told me to restart the Comcast modem and Netgear router in that significance. But my MiFi hotspot from Verizon also had no access.  (There was an old saying at work “The Merge-Purge has no urge”.  Maybe that’s “Eliminating Desire.”)

I tried my little Toshiba notebook, also Windows 7, and Internet access worked both ways. I ran Webroot virus scan, nothing found. But then I checked the Firewall. 

By setting Webroot firewall to “allow” from “filter”, Internet access worked both ways (Comcast broadband with Netgear and Verizon MiFi).

Windows 7 says that it’s Firewall is working properly, but the Microsoft (or “Microslop”) firewall is weaker than that from other vendors, so they say.

I guess Webroot “learns” from what happens. If too much suspicious behavior occurs, it will not allow any traffic again. I’ll have to log a problem tomorrow. But I suspect they will tell me to uninstall and reinstall the product so it unlearns my behavior.

Moral of the story?  Maybe don’t use AOL.  Maybe don’t work too fast with commercial Firewalls, or bypass loading pages, or the Firewall will assume you’re a hacker.  At least Webroot does. It’s interesting that Windows 7 doesn’t understand what Webroot does, since it gives wrong solutions from troubleshooting.

It's fun to "QA test" Facebook, Twitter, and your computer security packages at home, for free, when you have your own work to do (make a movie about "don't ask don't tell"), isn't it. Back to the IT workplace!

First picture: "Dirty dancing", with mannequins, Funktown MD (near Hagerstown)

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