AVG blocking network acccess?

By billyellis
Jan 29, 2009
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  1. Good day TSOBers,

    Yesterday I had a big update of my AVG (now 8.0.233; XP Home) and subsequently ZA (8.0.065.000) pops up the following warning about a program attempting to access the internet:

    [​IMG]

    If I allow it everything works fine (although there were some unusual things during the supposed update that made me a little nervous).

    But when I denied this "network scanner service" as a test, I lost my internet connection.:suspiciou

    1. Is there any chance this may not have been a legit update and that someone figured out how to hack AVG and redirect their updating process elsewhere and install other things under the cover of an AVG update? As I said, there were some irregularities about the update, one of which prompted me to poke around online about a specific file/process yesterday before allowing the update. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of the process today, but there were a couple of threads out there on the web discussing it, and at worst they were inconclusive (no major red flags) so I went ahead with the update. In light of the major virus issues in the past couple weeks I was leery of delaying a major update for too long.

    2. If the update itself is legit, then what is this network scanner service crap? I don't remember it from before, so is it new? And who do they think they are at AVG that they think they have the right to block all network function if the user chooses to disallow their process access to the network??? :mad:

    3. I also have noticed dramatic internet slowdowns (FF 3.05) since the update, and I do remember that at least one of the items on the update list was about Firefox. Has anyone else noticed this browser slowdown? It's not a slow connection issue, it's more like the browser hangs for long periods before/during completing a user initiated action like opening a hyperlink, etc. It is trememendously irritating, and again makes me wonder about viruses/spyware and whether the AVG update process might somehow have been compromised, hard as that may be to imagine.

    If anyone has heard anything or experienced similar issues, I would love to hear about it.

    Thanks. :)
  2. CCT

    CCT TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,556

  3. billyellis

    billyellis TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 180

    Thanks CCT. I am glad the process itself is legit.

    But that link does not exactly explain why blocking network access to that process should disable all networking function. :confused:

    Nor does it explain the vastly decreased function of the browser since the last update, which may or may not have anything to do with the network scanner (which could just as easily be caused by another FF-related part of the update bundle).

    So I am still interested to hear from other people about whether or not they have experienced any FF performance issues since the last AVG update, and/or whether others have experienced any connectivity problems when either (a) blocking the AVG network service using a firewall versus (b) completely disabling the option.

    Thanks again, and more input is welcome.

    EDIT: In reading that FAQ more closely, it seems like this network scanning service is just the updated Link Scanner, so that explains the new ZA request for access (after all program updates the program looks new to ZA), so this is not a new component but an updated component that I have used up until now. I still don't get why saying no to AVG should block all internet access, though...
  4. CCT

    CCT TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,556

    It is the way it is - as long as it is 'armed' it must run to protect you. If it fails/is blocked, it thinks you need protection.
  5. billyellis

    billyellis TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 180

    Nope. Something is wrong. For example, when I opened this page, it hung frozen for about 45 seconds before allowing me to scroll down the page. That can't be right.

    Anyone else have any problems?

    As I said before, it may not be the link scanner that is the problem. It may be another aspect of the update bundle that affected FF.
  6. NinjaWarriorJoe

    NinjaWarriorJoe Newcomer, in training

    I remember a while back Zone Alarm having an issue with Avast Antivirus's web shield. I used Avast back then and wanted to switch from Sygate to ZA. After I installed ZA I would get network issues and hangs. I researched it and found out about the known issue, so I switched back to Sygate. I now use AVG instead of Avast and went through the same update you did. When I denied the Network scanner access to the internet through Sygate I lost my internet connection as well. I rebooted, restarted my browser, and denied the network scanner access and again lost my connection. I granted it access and started researching when I came upon your post. I'm glad to see it's a legit process! However, I am not experiencing any of the hangs your experiencing on either Firefox or Internet Explorer browsers. Maybe the issue is a conflict with ZA and the newly updated network scanner like it was with Avast. Hope my testimonial helps!
  7. billyellis

    billyellis TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 180

    Welcome NinjaWarriorJoe. :)

    I'm not glad that you also had trouble, but I am glad I was not the only one.

    Sounds like you may be right - if ZA has known issues in this area, it may be time to switch to another firewall. Ironically, I installed ZA a while back because this forum recommended it. :rolleyes:

    Frankly I'm a little pissed off to hear confirmation of the network access issue with AVG. As I stated originally, who do they think they are to block your internet access without asking or explaining? :mad: My guess at this point is that ZA and AVG are duking it out for control behind the scenes, which is irritating because they ought to be able to coexist. They both have large market shares, and so they should be testing updates with various configurations of each other to eliminate conflicts before releasing them. But, like Apple and Microsoft, both want to expand into each others' domains, and so it seems like they are Hell-bent on punishing users who try to use both programs. Frustrating. When did the "customer is always right" ethos completely disappear from business and get replaced by "the customer will do what we tell them to do or else"???
  8. Cyberfish

    Cyberfish Newcomer, in training

    Hi guys - total newbie to the site. Just wanna say I have had an identical experience to Billyellis in all respects including the slowdown using AVG 8.0.233 an older version of ZoneAlarm (7.04) Very relieved to see it aint anything nasty! Thanks for the advice
  9. Iger

    Iger Newcomer, in training

    Hey, just to add my experience - I have the same problem with avgnsx.exe. To add to my misery I've noticed that lately my pings are much worse than before...

    On the other hand my firewall isn't ZA - it's Comodo...
  10. ggnoob3030

    ggnoob3030 Newcomer, in training

    hey... i'm getting the same stuff as you guys and can only get internet access when i allow avgnsx.exe. denying it only gives me access to secure "https://" sites which i thought was weird. another forum had a user who said turning on avgnsx really slows down his connection and ended up switching to avast, but the speed is ok for me as of now. this is the first time i allowed the process access, but have yet to allow the rest of the avg processes access until i can look up more about them. i guess there doesn't seem to be too much on them since the update was so recent.
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