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Problems with Comodo and Avast 5


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#1 Stemtrak

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 02:05 PM

Hello everyone

I've inherited my daughter's old laptop running Vista. After a factory reset I installed Avast 5 for AV and have run MBAM and SuperAntiSpyware with no reported problems. I then installed Comodo Firewall which installed successfully but caused Avast to stop working. I then uninstalled Comodo, now relying on the Vista firewall.

Do I need a third party firewall or is the Vista one sufficient?

If I do need a new one, please can someone recommend one that won't conflict with Avast or a way of getting Comodo to work with it.

Many thanks.

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#2 quietman7

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 04:48 PM

Most concerns you may have heard or read about the Windows Firewall were in the XP operating system so many users were advised to use third-party alternatives. Microsoft significantly improved the firewall to address these concerns in Vista and then added more improvements in Windows 7.

Windows Vista Firewall offers two-way filtering for better security than it did in XP but it is still limited. The firewall is combined with IPsec, turned on by default and set to a basic configuration that works in tandem with the Windows Service Hardening feature. If the firewall detects activity that it considers prohibited behavior according to the Service Hardenings preset rules, the firewall will block the suspicious activity. Another feature in the Vista firewall is that it can set rules based on three different types of networks using the Rules Wizard so creating firewall rules is much simpler.

By default, most (not all) outbound filtering is turned off (outbound connections are allowed) and inbound filtering is turned on (inbound connections are blocked/not allowed). Why? This is what Microsoft has to say:

Matt Parretta, a former spokesperson for Microsoft's PR agency, Waggener Edstrom, offered this defense: "If we turned on outbound filtering by default for consumers, it forces the user to make a trust decision for every application they run which touches the network. After they upgrade to Windows Vista or purchase a new PC with that OS, they will be prompted on the first launch of every application that touches the network: Instant Messaging, IE, e-mail, Windows Media, iTunes, every self-updating app such as Adobe, and so on. Unless they click 'allow', the app will be broken and won't function properly. The out of box experience would be poor, and they would soon be desensitized to the prompts."

Although most outbound filtering is disabled, Vista’s firewall does provide limited outbound filtering which users may not be aware of as it is essentially invisible.

Jason Leznek, Microsoft senior product manager, told Computerworld that outbound filtering rules "are enabled by default for core Windows services as part of Windows Service Hardening, which enables the firewall to understand specific behaviors Windows services should have, and block them if they are doing something unexpected (ie, via an exploited vulnerability). Windows Firewall also protects the computer by blocking certain outgoing messages to help prevent the computer against certain port scanning attacks."

Outbound filtering can be configured to provide an additional layer of security and it does provide corporate and business administrators control over applications (i.e. peer-to-peer file sharing) they may want to restrict. Any such applications that require outbound access must be added to the rules list by using the firewall with the Advanced Security Microsoft Management Console (MMC). Configuration may be confusing for some and there is no practical way to to configure outbound filtering to stop all unwanted outbound connections. Inbound filtering can be turned on or off and through various tabs and configuration settings.

For more specific information about configuration and security, please refer to these articles:
For an independent review read these articles (some include a response by Microsoft regarding outbound filtering as quoted above):If you are going to use Vista's firewall, see Using Windows Vista firewall. If not, see How to turn off the firewall in Vista.

Edited by quietman7, 21 November 2010 - 04:52 PM.

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#3 Stemtrak

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 03:45 PM

Thanks for your reply Quietman7. I've gone with Internet Armor - seems ok so far.

#4 quietman7

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 04:01 PM

You're welcome. Safe surfing and have a malware free day.
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