System and Security: Using ZoneAlarm Free Firewall with Avira Free Antivirus.
If you run Avira Free Antivirus and replace the firewall, included with Windows, by ZoneAlarm Free Firewall (and I suppose that it's the same with other third party firewalls), Avira says that your computer is not secure and in the Avira interface, the red highlighted "Firewall is deactivated" warning is displayed. This might surprise, because if you check in ZoneAlarm, you can see, that it is well running and Windows Security Center, too, says that both an antivirus and a firewall are active.
Despite the message by Avira Antivirus, you don't have to worry: ZoneAlarm is enabled and correctly working. Avira includes a firewall component, that may be used to control the native Windows firewall. Windows firewall is deactivated, when ZoneAlarm is installed, and this is the reason for the warning message, that tells nothing else than Windows firewall is disabled. No idea, why Avira Free Antivirus does not check for third party firewalls, nor why they don't change the warning adding the word "Windows". It's like that for years, no real issue of course, but first not "pretty", second confusing for people, who don't know why this message is displayed, and third, with this wrong warning displayed all the time, you could miss a real firewall problem. But, how to get rid of the warning?
Like all properly installed Windows applications, Avira Free Antivirus has an entry in Programs and Features of Control Panel. As a difference with most applications listed here, there is not only the possibility to uninstall the application, but also to change it. Select Avira Antivirus (not Avira) and, at the top of the applications list, click Change.
The Avira Install Components window opens, and in this window, uncheck Windows Firewall.
The Windows Firewall component being uninstalled, Avira will no longer check if Windows Firewall is running, there will no longer be a firewall related warning and the computer will be considered as secure.
Of course, Avira Free Antivirus will no longer be able to warn you if there is effectively no firewall running. But this shouldn't be a problem, as Windows Security Center monitors both antivirus and firewall, and this independently if these are the native ones shipped with Windows, or third party ones, present on a preinstalled machine or installed by users.
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