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Lucy, 'splain me this!

Posted on 2010-08-30
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Okay, My brain must be turning to mush in my advanced age. I installed a new Windows 7 workstation for a computer graphics client. Installed graphics ripping software which produces print jobs for their large Roland printer. The graphics software looks for available updates on the net at each start. It found some, but crashed when it attempted to download the updates.

My first thought was "Eliminate possible Firewall issues". So I turned off all of the firewalls, Public, Private, Work, whatever there was. Restarted the computer and verified that they remained off.

Problem was not resolved by this action. After messing around with some other possibilities, I went back to the firewall. All firewalls still showed as Not Active. Event though that was the case, I went into the allowed programs list for the default firewall for this location and added the ripping software to it. Lo and behold, that resolved the issue and the software is updating while I write.

So now I am wondering, if the firewall is off, why did it require adding this program to the allowed list, unless it wasn't really off. Or simply doesn't behave like it is supposed to, much the same as I often do.

Can someone enlighten me?
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Question by:westone
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Zupreme earned 2000 total points
ID: 33562989
I've seen this before.  It usually happens if you are running an antivirus utility that includes some form of "Network Threat Protection".  These utilities often use the built-in Windows access rules.  As a result, even though Windows Firewall was disabled, your third-party utility could still use those lists to allow or deny access.
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by:westone
ID: 33563052
Hmm... Okay, we are running AVG Internet Security. The firewall module is NOT installed, however there is a "Potentially Unwanted Programs Exceptions" List that still comes into play. Must be equivalent to the Allowed list for the firewall, or looking for spyware/malware.
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by:nobus
ID: 33564650
its probably using that list for both, AV and firewall..
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by:LarcenIII
ID: 33567446
AVG is not my favorite AV. I find it a little unpredictable... I highly recommend Kaspersky, their firewall rules are very precise.
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Author Comment

by:westone
ID: 33567692
I really like AVG, though haven't tried kasperksy. In my experience every AV package has its pros and cons. Even what I have seen of Norton 2010 is that the overhead seems much lower, which is what kept me away from it in the past.
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by:LarcenIII
ID: 33568098
Kaspersky has the lowest overhead of any AV

I see about 2% CPU usage difference on boot, and none the rest of the time.
They use 3 optimization engines that use the NTFS and append encrypted checksums on every file to know which viruses it has already been scanned against and only needs to scan the file against the updated signatures, unless the file checksum does not match (File Change) in which it gets the full scan then.

Very first scan on a system with 20gb of files usually takes 60 mins the first time only. Each scan afterwards usually take about 1.5 Mins. It's a truly amazing system, also considering they have over 3 Million signatures in their database.

This was all an oversimplification of how it works of course, but you get the idea. They refer to the technology as Istreams and it does add attributes to every file on the system, but on uninstall it can remove the leftover data streams if requested.  
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