6 Replies Latest reply on Jun 1, 2009 9:08 AM by cyberdiva

    Enterprise incompatibility with firewalls

      Now that the patch for 8.7 seems to have cured my inability to run an on-demand scan, I want to try to get information about another problem I've recently experienced. A few days ago, I downloaded the Online Armor firewall--the commercial version, not the freeware. Since it came very highly recommended, I was surprised to find that I had many problems with it. I wrote to the Online Armor forums to see whether what I was experiencing was normal. There I was told that McAfee Enterprise and Online Armor do not work well together. Someone else on the forum called my attention to McAfee's description of its Enterprise Edition in which it says "With McAfee VirusScan® Enterprise, we've taken anti-virus protection to the next level by combining intrusion prevention and firewall technology in a single solution for PCs and file servers." This person suggested that perhaps McAfee was acting as a firewall, and of course one should not run two firewalls simultaneously.

      I've used McAfee Enterprise edition for several years, and I've never seen it act like a firewall. It never vetted my programs, it never warned me when one or another of them was trying to access the Internet, etc. etc. Moreover, I had run McAfee Enterprise with the Sygate firewall for years without any conflict. So my longwinded question is, what is meant by "firewall technology" and is it the reason that McAfee and Online Armor do not play nicely together? If not, does anyone know why the two programs are apparently incompatible? Have there been reports of other firewalls having problems working with McAfee Enterprise?

      BTW, I'm running McAfee Enterprise Edition 8.7 with patch 1 on Windows XP Pro with SP2. Aside from McAfee, the only other security software that I run in real time (aside from Sygate, which is not currently on my computer) is WinPatrol Plus.

      Thanks in advance for your help.
        • 1. RE: Enterprise incompatibility with firewalls
          Some of the Access Protection rules are firewall-like. They can block programs from using certain ports, such as mail (25) and IRC.
          • 2. RE: Enterprise incompatibility with firewalls

            Thanks for your response. I don't think my mail program uses port 25, and I don't use IRC. So why should McAfee interfere with Online Armor? And are there any reports of other antivirus programs having problems with OA? Are there ways to alter McAfee's Access Protection rules so that they won't interfere with OA? I'd really appreciate some help with this.

            This isn't the first time McAfee has prevented me from using an anti-malware program. Although version 8.5 co-existed with Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Pro, both version 8.0 and 8.7 prevented the boot process from completing when I tried to use them with Anti-Malware Pro. No other antivirus program I know has this effect, and even McAfee 8.5 did not. If there are ways to change McAfee 8.7 so that it will work well with Online Armor and Anti-Malware Pro, I'd love to know about them.

            Thanks in advance.
            • 3. RE: Enterprise incompatibility with firewalls
              What testing have you done so far?
              • 4. RE: Enterprise incompatibility with firewalls

                Thanks for your response. I'm not quite sure what you mean. With Online Armor, I had very substantial problems trying to boot my computer. When I wrote to the Online Armor forum, someone there who I think was from the company told me that Online Armor did not work well with McAfee Enterprise. Someone else, who I think was a knowledgeable user and active participant in the forum, mentioned the "firewall technology" issue as a possible reason that McAfee Enterprise had problems working with Online Armor. I decided to seek more information and help here.

                As for the earlier problem with Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Pro, when I installed Anti-Malware Pro with McAfee 8.0, I couldn't even complete the boot process. The tech support people at Malwarebytes worked with me for more than a month to identify the source of the problem. When they told me that they could not reproduce the problem with 8.5, I upgraded to 8.5 and I was able to use Anti-Malware Pro with McAfee. All was well until I upgraded to 8.7: the problem recurred, and my computer again could not complete the boot process. I still have Anti-Malware Pro on my computer but NOT set to offer real-time protection nor to begin at startup. I can use it only to run scans.

                At this point, I am trying to understand 1) why McAfee has problems working with firewalls and anti-malware programs, 2) whether there are other highly regarded firewalls that do work well with McAfee Enterprise 8.7, and 3) whether there are any settings I can change that will permit McAfee to work well with Anti-Malware Pro and, perhaps, with Online Armor.

                Thanks in advance.
                • 5. RE: Enterprise incompatibility with firewalls
                  Dunno happy

                  I guess I might try installing one of them on a clean system, then install the next one.
                  If there are any issues then maybe try turning off all the features on one of them and see if its actually a configuration issue, then use a process of ellimination to find out which one. Or if you turn all the features off on one and it makes no difference then try turning off all the features on the second one too, that type of thing. So if they both have all he features disabled but still don't co-exist then probably it's not a simple copnfiguration change that needs to be made.

                  Not saying that idea will work, it could be a complete waste of time, but might be a good starting point anyway.
                  I wouldn't worry about adding a 3rd one into the mix until you have got the first 2 working.

                  Then if you have all the issues sorted out with the first 2 then maybe think about adding the 3rd one, if you feel you need to have all 3.
                  Then once again you can try the same sort of process, that type of thing.

                  So like, maybe you find if you have mcafee installed but have the access protection turned off completely it makes a differenc, that kind of thing.
                  To be honest I have never used any of the other 2 programs and can't be bothered to google it for you, so have no real specific ideas happy
                  • 6. RE: Enterprise incompatibility with firewalls
                    Thanks very much, rhythm_methods, for your more detailed response. I've pretty much given up on Online Armor, so I won't try further to see where the conflicts lie. But I am still interested in getting Anti-Malware Pro to work in real time. However, I'm not sure I need to go through the detailed process you describe. For one thing, even if I found that turning off McAfee's access protection permitted the two programs to work well together, I'm not sure what that would gain me. I'm pretty sure I want McAfee's access protection. (Anti-Malware Pro is not intended to replace an antivirus program but rather to supplement it, to pick up things that many antivirus and antimalware programs miss.) And I think the rest of the testing has pretty much been done already. Anti-Malware Pro worked well in real time with McAfee 8.5 (though not with 8.0). As soon as I upgraded to 8.7, my computer could no longer complete the boot process (same problem I had with 8.0). As soon as I removed Anti-Malware Pro from the computer, the problem went away. I think I then also tried the reverse--I uninstalled McAfee 8.7, reinstalled Anti-Malware Pro to work in real time, and there was no problem. As soon as I reinstalled, McAfee 8.7, the problem returned.

                    I wish I knew why McAfee version 8.5 worked OK with Anti-Malware Pro but neither 8.0 nor 8.7 do. But I don't plan to go back to 8.5.

                    One thing I haven't done is try again to see whether the patch makes any difference. If it doesn't, all I can do is keep Anti-Malware Pro on my computer but only to run scans, not to protect the computer in real time. sad