Q&A TinyWall is blocking all outgoin conections on my computer, regardless of exceptions

Gabo352

New Member
Thread author
May 31, 2022
3
For context: I got a new second hand computer in April, cause the one I had before got damaged due to power outages last year, installed windows 7, which is the same OS I used to have (I know I should probably update to a newer version, but currently I only have 2gb of RAM and I don't want my computer to be too slow), installed all of my old programs, with TinyWall being one of the first ones I installed (I've been using it for a few years, and never had to deal with any problems before), and everything was working fine: I could use my browsers and TinyWall blocked everything else that wasn't on the list of exceptions, but I could manually add new ones when needed (I mean, I still can, but it doesn't seem to do anything).

The problem started a week ago, my browsers became unable to connect to internet, with Chrome showing either ERR_NETWORK_ACCESS_DENIED or ERR_QUIC_PROTOCOL_ERROR and Internet Explorer showing 'This page cannot be displayed'. I tried removing them from TinyWall's exception list and adding them again but it doesn't change anything. The funny thing is that, when I try browsing and then I immediatly open tinywall's connections window and check 'show blocked apps (in the last 5 mins)', the list comes out empty, as if TinyWall wasn't responsible of blocking their internet access:

img1.png


In fact, there are opened ports for Chrome:
img2.png


But no established connections:
img3.png


This all changes when I change TinyWall from 'Normal mode' to 'Allow outgoing' mode; when I do, I can surf the web just fine:
img4.png

But after I go back to 'Normal mode', the connections end again. And I mean, I could just keep TinyWall on 'Allow outgoing' mode, but doesn't that defeat the purpose of having it?

I know the problem is TinyWall because I tried unistalling and then reinstalling it - after uninstalling it I checked and could use my browsers fine, then I installed it again and it seemed like the problem got solved cause I could still use my bowsers while TinyWall was on 'Normal mode', but the problem came back after I rebooted.

I have no idea what could have caused TinyWall to start behaving this way; the only thing I remember doing to it was running it as Admin, cause I thought I needed to add Avast antivirus to the exception list and I tried to do the 'Whitelist by window' thing with TinyWall, but found I couldn't click on Avast's window unless I ran TinyWall as Admin. Besides that, the only other thing I did that day was installing MS Office 2010 and defragging. But regardless of the cause, shouldn't it have been fixed after reinstalling? I mean, I used Revo to uninstall it and removed all traces form the registry and program files, and I didn't do the run as Admin thing again this time...

So, I'm stumped, do you guys know anything I could try to fix this or should I start looking for another firewall?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Sorrento

Level 5
Dec 7, 2021
212
I would without doubt first upgrade to a supported OS such as Windows 10 - Windows 7 has many security problems which can only get worse & trying to sort problems on an unsupported OS isn't a long term solution - As I remember Windows 7 & 10 have the same system requirements - IMO you dont need TinyWall if you are running Avast esp. if you have limited resouses & you many be better off with a lighter AV such as F-Secure for example.
 
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Asterixpl

Level 10
Verified
Mar 19, 2022
472
I think you should start test also another firewall, because I seen a bit too many quirky and weird reports from several users here alone on MT about Tinywall.


Windows Firewall Control recommendable



TinyWall was causing problems for me. WFC worked elegantly
 

Gabo352

New Member
Thread author
May 31, 2022
3
Well, today I tried something. Yesterday geminis3 mentioned that the problem may be caused due to a conflict with Avast - it seems like Avast now comes with its own firewall, but I checked and that doesn't seem to be the case for me, it says I need to install it first; but regardless of that, I tried disabling all Avast shields and changing TinyWall to normal mode, and that seemed to work! I was able to navigate even after enabling Avast again; but then I shut down my computer, and right now after turning it back on again it's the exact same problem, only that disabling Avast doesn't seem to do anything anymore? I just don't get it.

Windows Firewall Control recommendable



TinyWall was causing problems for me. WFC worked elegantly

Actually, this is the one I'm going to try if I can't fix my problem. How do you think it compares to TinyWall? Does it also block all outgoing and incoming conections except for whitelisted programs? And it seem to show notifications everytime a program tries to connect to the internet, that's not bad per se, in fact it seems easier than havin to add an executable (and who knows what processes) manually everytime I try to use an online installer... but how often would WFC show me a notification on windows? I've hear there are various windows processes that try to connect to internet; assuming this happens often, is there like a silent mode or something?

I don't understand it in great detail, but Tinywall speculates that it has a hierarchy of protection out of the reach of its users.
Did you use auto-learning mode? Tinywall needs its own etiquette. After learning, you need to explicitly apply it.

I hope @ultim notices this post🙏

To be honest I never tried auto-learning mode, I've always added exceptions manually after installing a program that requires internet connection or whenever I used an online installer (in this case I removed them afterwards), I've never had a problem doing things that way because the only programs I use that require internet conection are my bowsers and some MMO. How does it "learn"? If it have to teach it myself, isn't it the same as having it in normal mode? If it adds exceptions itself, isn't there a risk of it allowing internet acces to a program that it shouldn't?
 

show-Zi

Level 34
Verified
Top poster
Well-known
Jan 28, 2018
2,345
Of course, auto-learning mode has its risks.
I used Tinywall's auto-learning mode to check the exclusion list after learning and manually remove unneeded items. I think it's an easy way to find unrecognized programs that need to communicate.
I have never used Avast, so I don't know the details. Is there a configuration to exclude Tinywall from avast monitoring?

I am currently using Windows Firewall Control. It's a UI that replaces Windows' built-in firewall, so there's no slowdown or other issues.:)
 

ultim

Level 2
Oct 13, 2011
86
Hello,
I wish I could help, but there is nothing ATM that I can offer. I don't know what is causing this. I am also hesitant to investigate because I've been wanting to release v3.3, and while there has been some delay on my part, it is basically right around the corner and with it support for Win7 is dropped.

There were maybe 2-3 cases of the Connections window not displaying anything on Win7 over the past years, but none where exceptions/rules didn't work. So these might even be two unrelated problems on your computer. When the issue was investigated, it turned out Windows' BFE simply stopped delivering firewall events to clients for no obvious reason and no trace of errors/error codes otherwise. Since this only seemed to happen on Win7, and even then rarely, I concluded this is likely a Windows bug at some particular patch level.
 

ultim

Level 2
Oct 13, 2011
86
I think you should start test also another firewall, because I seen a bit too many quirky and weird reports from several users here alone on MT about Tinywall.
Most of these are either related to v2 that worked completely differently, or to users not knowing what to whitelist to make a program work. Due to popups in WFC it is probably a bit easier to use because you don't need to manually figure out what exe to whitelist. But if you know how to use TinyWall's Connections panel that's not actually hard to do in TinyWall either (in most© cases). Also, I still argue that the popupless approach has its own benefits: Most importantly, you are much-much less likely to end up whitelisting something unwanted be it malicious or not, and much less likely to be fooled by malware claiming to be something else.
 

Gabo352

New Member
Thread author
May 31, 2022
3
Thank you all for your help, while I still don't know what caused it exactly (it was probably Avast if the previous test is anything to go by), today the problem just... kind of stopped. This morning when I first turned on my computer I put TinyWall on normal mode and tried to use my browser, for the sake of it, and turns out it was able to connect. I rebooted and checked several times and everything worked fine... so, I guess that's it? I'm just hoping it doesn't happen again. But if it does, I may try changing my antivirus instead.

Hello,
I wish I could help, but there is nothing ATM that I can offer. I don't know what is causing this. I am also hesitant to investigate because I've been wanting to release v3.3, and while there has been some delay on my part, it is basically right around the corner and with it support for Win7 is dropped.

There were maybe 2-3 cases of the Connections window not displaying anything on Win7 over the past years, but none where exceptions/rules didn't work. So these might even be two unrelated problems on your computer. When the issue was investigated, it turned out Windows' BFE simply stopped delivering firewall events to clients for no obvious reason and no trace of errors/error codes otherwise. Since this only seemed to happen on Win7, and even then rarely, I concluded this is likely a Windows bug at some particular patch level.
That's ok! I know Sorrento is right, so I'm planning to update to Windows 10 soon, in any case; I'm only waiting until I refurbish my computer a little. Thank you, for still working on TinyWall.