Windows Update Breaks ZoneAlarm

in Security by

If you use the combination of Microsoft Windows and ZoneAlarm, the Microsoft Windows update released yesterday (KB951748) will cause a conflict with ZoneAlarm which will prevent users from connecting to the Internet.

The Microsoft update makes changes to the way that your computer handles DNS requests and ZoneAlarm does not recognize those changes and therefore blocks traffic.  Here is a thread on ZoneAlarm’s forum that goes into detail.

Do not completely disable your firewall!  That is never a good idea, especially these days.  Here are some other options:

  • Lower your Internet Zone Security setting from “High” to “Medium”.  This will allow you to access the Internet after applying the Microsoft patch.  This is a temporary fix until ZoneAlarm releases an update.
  • If you want to turn off ZoneAlarm, make sure you at least enable your Windows Firewall.
  • Uninstall ZoneAlarm and install another Firewall from a different software vendor (ie. Norton or McAffee).
  • Alternatively, as the Macintosh Camp will gleefully shout, “Get a Mac and stop worrying with updates to Windows every month.” 😀

I shy away from the last option because I like running commonly used software on my computer and playing some pretty cool games 🙂 .

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15 thoughts on “Windows Update Breaks ZoneAlarm

  1. gem

    omg so that’s why my other computer can’t go online all of a sudden after restarting today. thank you for this info.

  2. Anthony

    @ST/op – yes, I have heard some horror stories. If one chooses to update, it is probably a good idea to create a restore point first. Then the update can easily be rolled back.

    @reckless – you’re welcome – our ISP actually even sent out an email 🙂

    @alexandro – you’re welcome – hopefully ZA will spit out an update pretty quickly.

  3. Grrr

    Took me about 25 minutes to figure it out and run system rollback. Thought the Modem was hanging at first so after 2 reboots of the modem and router, checking ipconfig ect I checked on the Mac. Figured when the Mac was running perfectly in the living room that the Microsoft update was the culprit. Bastards!

  4. Jim

    Thanks for the verification. I had pretty much drawn that conclusion after shutting down ZA on one stricken machine and finding that Internet access was restored. So then a Google for Windows Update and ZoneAlarm led me to your discussion.

  5. Steve

    We Mac Users may not get all the shovelware you PC people can get, but I was able to surf all day and didn’t have to disable anything. 🙂

  6. Donau

    Yes. ZoneAlarm has released a new version to fix this problem. New version: 7.0.483.000

  7. Anthony

    @Grrr – You probably have the perfect setup – a PC and a Mac.

    @Jim – You’re welcome. Thanks for checking us out.

    @Steve – Point made… 🙂

    @Donau – Thanks for letting us know about the ZA update!

    @JOHN – I feel your pain!

  8. Prem

    I had the same problem this morning(laptop IE and Firefox would not connect to the internet) until I changed the ZoneAlarm Internet Zone security level down to medium. Odd thing is, I haven’t updated to SP3 yet!

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