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Thread: Why do I always lose my wireless connection?

  1. #1
    mtwain Guest

    Default Why do I always lose my wireless connection?

    I'm just an ordinary user with no tech knowledge. Just internet, email, word processing. Recently I got a virus, spyware, adware infection and bought ZA Security Suite 6.5.7.

    Why do I always lose my wireless connection? I had the same prob with the free edition but was told that the bugs were worked out in the later paid edition. That's why I bought ZA Security Suite. I've gone through everything that I can think of and anything having to do with my browsers or internet connections I checked allow, trusted, super-duper access. All to no avail.

    Imagine spending an hour on an email then losing your connection and losing everything you just wrote? Or downloading something that takes 2 hours but losing it an hour in. Or trying to schedule something to run overnight but having it fail because of lost connection.

    Windows repair won't bring back my connection. Disabling and re-enabling won't do it. Only a restart.

    This seems like a great hardcore product but maybe not for beginners. If I had know there was a whole message board created just to discuss a single product I might have reconsidered. Who has time for that? But before I dump it and warn the world maybe I can get some advice so I don't feel I wasted 60 bucks.

    I use Linksys Wireless-G and a Toshiba A105 series running XP Home Edition. My default browser is Opera but also have FireFox running at the same time.

    Operating System:Windows XP Home Edition
    Product Name:ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite
    Software Version:6.5

  2. #2
    corkyg Guest

    Default Re: Why do I always lose my wireless connection?

    Having a little trouble understanding the problem. Why would you lose anything you wrote in email if you lose the wireless connection? If that is the case, then you have a hardware problem somewhere in your system. So - let's start at the Internet access. Is it cable or DSL? Is the modem that is connect to your Internet source then connected to the Linksys wireless router? How far away is it from your computer and its wireless receiver? Normally, when you lose a wireless link, it is because the signal was weak. In any case, I can't see where Zone Alarm has anything to do with the problem you describe. Does your wireless router have Cat5 cable ports as well?

  3. #3
    mtwain Guest

    Default Re: Why do I always lose my wireless connection?

    The reason I lose me email when my connection drops is because when I try to send it won't let me. It says I am no longer connected. The only way I have found to restore my connection is by doing a restart which causes me to lose the email I just wrote.

    I have Verizon DSL. The Linksys box plugs into the modem box provided by Verizon.

    As I look at my unobstructed view of my Linksys router I would guess that I am about 7 maybe 7.5 feet away give or take an inch.

    I don't know what a Cat5 cable port is but my Linksys is a wireless-G model WRT54G.

    Also, I failed to mention that I have this same problem of losing my connection when I plug in my router directly to my notebook via ethernet cable.

    I suspect it's ZA because I didn't have this problem before and the problem is gone when I disable ZA. I can duplicate the problem at will because all I have to do is go into power saving/stand by mode. With ZA disabled I get everything back as I left it with all connections intact after coming back from stand by. With ZA enabled I get everything back exept I lose my internet connection (both wireless and when connected directly to the router via ethernet). When I click on FireFox or Opera it tells me I'm not connected. I can't enable it by disabling/enabling my connection or doing a Windows repair. I have to restart or shutdown then everything comes back fine.

  4. #4
    corkyg Guest

    Default Re: Why do I always lose my wireless connection?

    OK - there is no reason to lose you email when you restart. Ever hear of SAVE? Yes, it saves your mail and automatically puts in the DRAFT box. When you restart, just open it up.

    OK - put that aside. Open your ZA control panel and make it look like this for email:

    That is a part of ZA I never use. That should get ZA completely out of the loop on your email.

    The other thing you need to do is review your Internet Options in Control Panel.

  5. #5
    mtwain Guest

    Default Re: Why do I always lose my wireless connection?

    No, I've never heard of SAVE. That's probably because I've never had to use it in over a decade of email use. Until, of course, I got ZA. I guess I could review my internet options. Or, after reviewing the help page, I could try to figure out what identifying and allowing heartbeat messages are. Or learn how to configure to allow pings. Or I could also disable the email protection. But since the email problems I have is just one symptom of the main problem of losing my internet connection when my computer goes into stand by mode perhaps I should just do what I know, because it has, worked -- disable ZA altogether!

    What gets me was I was told that the problem was with the free version but if I just shelled out the $60 for ZA Security Suite 6.5.722 that problem has been addressed and fixed. I feel like such a naive **bleep**er. Live and learn.

    If I had done just a cursory check on the product I would have discovered that "support" is just a download of the user manual. "Instant Support" is some inane process where some program is trying to figure out what you're asking. Then the real kicker, having to pay $3.00/minute to speak to an actual person. If the product was user friendly those guys should be snoozing but the fact that they charge tells me how bad it is.

    My feeling is that this is a great and very sophisticated product but not for the average user. I mean, a whole message board devoted to a security program? I don't know many people who have the time and desire to be discussing a product that should just run behind the scenes and forgotten about.

    It's my fault for being so sloppy that I got infected with a virus. I forgot about renewing my McAfee so I was completely unprotected. Instead of shelling out the $60 for a product I won't use I should have just listened to my friend and downloaded AVG, Spybot, AdAware, Windows Defender and all the other FREE software that will work just fine. I guess I felt that to get the real thing you have to pay. Plus, I learned that the first line of defense is the user and you won't have major problems if you're just careful. Spybot and AdAware will take care of the annoyances.

    You got me, ZA. Congratulations. But I'm going on all the download sites and warn others. If I can only save just one person.... It's a great product if you like to tinker, be on boards to talk about products, pay to talk to someone and know what you're doing but if you're just an average user stay away. If only I had read this post before buying this product:

    Re: question re Zone Alarm and WRT54G admin page display problem Options Options
    eakinm2 Newbie Registered: 07-24-2006 eakinm2
    Reply 4 of 5
    Viewed 104 times

    The new version of ZASS - 6.5.xxxx is a disaster. Go to the ZA forum and look under install/uninstall for a posting by SlyFox - 15 step removal. It works like a charm when nothing else does. I put 6.1.xxxx back on and it is working fine.

  6. #6
    corkyg Guest

    Default Re: Why do I always lose my wireless connection?

    OK - I can appreciate your situation. SAVE in Outlook Exporess is something I use daily - I start an email in the morning, save it - then continue in the evening - save it - and send it in the early morning. Sort of a routine.

    I have used ZA since version 1. Have never had a problem with it - but - I only use the Firewall part. Everything else is disabled. My first AV and anti-spyware defense is my ISP. They screen all email with McAfee - and use Roaring Penguins "Can-It" for spam blocking. They are very effective.

    My second line of defense is Mailwasher Pro. That lets me see all the mail in my POP3 box, and I can delete anything I don't want. It lets me create blacklists and white lists. Blacklisted stuff gets bounced back to the sender. Fun!

    And then comes my 3rd line of defense . . . Zone Alarm Pro 6.5.722; McAfee Viruscan 10; and Windows Defender. That's all I need at this level.

    So, all I can suggest is that you disable all security things you don't need. Good luck!

  7. #7
    mtwain Guest

    Default Re: Why do I always lose my wireless connection?

    I guess that's my beef with ZA. All the advice I get is to disable this or disable that. Why pay for something and then disable half the features?
    My thinking is that instead of figuring what needs to be disabled (what kind of product is that) just disable the whole thing or better yet don't buy it in the first place. There's so much free stuff out there and if you pay attention and are careful (like I wasn't) you won't need all those $60 programs that often cause more problems. I remember trashing Norton because it took up so much resources and seemed to muck things up. It's funny. It seems like the only stuff I had to trash are the ones I paid for.

    Like I said, my feeling is that ZA is a very hardcore sophisticated product but not for the average user and probably not necessary. And it's certainly not worth having to pay someone $3/minute just so he can tell you how to use a product you already paid good money for. That's just insane and they should be embarassed. It just seems not only an indication how un-user friendly their product is but also a bit tacky.

  8. #8
    socalreviews Guest

    Default Re: Why do I always lose my wireless connection?

    Are you saying that you would be happier with a product that simply did not have those extra security features at all or are you saying that you would prefer if that product's default settings had those features already disabled so you did not have to do take the time to do that? It just seems like a product with MORE security features instead of LESS security features should be appreciated since it gives you MORE options. If you want simplicity then there are many inferior security products for unknowledgable users but don't expect those products to protect you like an advanced product that includes more features like ZoneAlarm does. If you think advanced products with more features and more configuration options are "tacky" then it seems like this would make most other advanced security products tacky according to your description of ZA.

    Regarding why you might be losing your wireless connection. How old is your Linksys router? WRT54G versions up to version 4 are good and use Linux based firmware while WRT54G versions after that use VxWorks based firmware. If you are using a version 5 or later are you sure your wireless WRT54G is working properly? Connection dropping is one of many known issues with the newer WRT54G models 5 and 6 since many of those newer versions of routers come with buggy default firmware they need to have their firmware upgraded. Upgrade firmware is available for download on the Linksys web site and does help fix many problems with the firmware that is shipped with the newer WRT54G routers. This is why I recommend the somewhat more expensive Linux firmware based Linksys WRT54GL model instead. It tends to be more stable than the new WRT54G models. No matter what model of Linksys you have even if it is a version 4 or lower you could try upgrading the Linksys router firmware if you have not already done so. Look on the bottom of your Linksys router for the version and model information since you must upgrade with the firmware for your exact model and version of router.

    Regarding the Verizon DSL service, I just set up a Verizon account with a Linksys WRT54GL router two days ago for someone. The main computer uses ZoneAlarm Pro and is a wired connection and the other computers are two notebooks and one desktop accessing the router wirelessly. Make sure your computers accessing the internet have their IPs or their IP range in the ZoneAlarm Firewall's TRUSTED ZONE and that the Verizon DSL modem address and the Linksys modem IP is in the ZA TRUSTED ZONE. Make sure your Linksys router and the DSL modem have different IP addresses (this was a major problem I had when I first set it up but I changed the Linksys router to while the DSL modem which is a Westell 6100 kept its default IP address as If you are using the Westell or other model WITH built in wireless capability make sure that its wireless transmitter is turned off so that it does not conflict with the Linksys wireless signal. I actually got some geat help from non-US based Linksys telephone tech support on these issues. Maybe you already have that done but I wanted to mention it because it is important so that your Linksys and the DSL modem properly work together and that information was NOT provided properly by Verizon support.

    If you are using ZA on a wireless based computer make sure your wireless connection has its Windows firewall turned OFF (disabled). Try using a channel other than the default channel 6 for the wireless channel. I have found that channels 9,10, and 11 seem to have less conflicts with other 2.4Ghz wireless products such as wireless telephones. Another thing I would recommend trying is in the Linksys router under the Wireless settings try ENABLING your wireless network SSID BROADCASTING. I know that many security instructions advise disabling SSID wireless network broadcasting but as long as you are using at least WPA personal security along with AES encryption and a long password name more than fifteen characters long your wireless network should be quite safe. Make sure you have changed the password on the Linksys router from the default to your own password (write it down so you don't forget it). Read the Linksys instructions or contact Linksys customer support if you need help with this. Surprisingly I have found that Linksys has excellent non-US based telephone tech support. They are very knowledgable and very helpful in configuring your Linksys equipment even when they are dealing with improving compatibility with another company's hardware and software products. I doubt if they would be able to provide any suggestions about ZA but they might have some more good advice about the Linksys router settings such as what I described above.

    Message Edited by SoCalReviews on 08-08-2006 02:32 AM

  9. #9
    zaswing Guest

    Default Re: Why do I always lose my wireless connection?

    I have no answer, other than review your system.

    If I recall, one of Toshiba's settings is to disable wireless during standby, but I can't be sure. I have a Toshiba Satellite laptop. For my own peace of mind I would not dream of keeping wireless communication open and allow the computer to go to standby.

    Zone Alarm Security suite, Linksys WRT54G(version 4)and WRT54GL (1.1 equivalent to v4 on G) work beautifully for me. Ditto for Zone Alarm free. It's just not an issue.

    I would be reviewing both the router (timeouts and other such things), signal strength, and, most important of all, the Network connection properties down to the tiniest detail. I would also consider a possiblity of hardware problem.

    CAT5 or CAT5e or CAT6 are fancy names for the common names and grades of the internet cable, the one with the rj45 plug.

    You need phone line to the Verizon modem. You use Cat5 from there to the router. You use cat5 from the router to your computer. You unplug the Cat5 cable when you want to use wireless mode, then you turn on the switch on the Toshiba to talk to the router. Right?

  10. #10
    mtwain Guest

    Default Re: Why do I always lose my wireless connection?

    Why did you intentionally misrepresent what I said? I made it abundantly clear that I considered ZA an advanced, hardcore, sophisticated product -- perhaps over the heads of the ordinary user. Yet you claim that I consider advance and options tacky. Read my post again. I said it was tacky that you had to pay to talk to a real person for user support.

    I already consulted with Linksys both before and after I got ZA. I'm set at WAP2 and they address all the problems with Verizon's Westell modem and conflicting IP addresses as it pertains to my WRT546 v.3 router. Linksys was very generous with their time and spent as much time as I needed to make sure I was satisfied. At one point (I didn't have ZA at the time) I wanted to change from WEP to WAP2 and ran into some problems. The tech spent and hour and a half with me before she said she would have to refer it to a level 2 tech (presumably a higher level). They called ME back within fifteen minutes and the much more experience tech had me going in about five minutes. Now that's customer service! And I didn't have to pay them $3/hr just to talk to me.

    I know there's always a trade off between ease of user interface and security. How much is enough or necessary? I work for Raytheon Missle Defense which is replete with computer geeks. My brother is a web designer for New Line Cinema. One of my best friends has a very lucrative business helping people with their computer needs and problems. None of them use ZA yet have survived. All the recommendations I have received is to stick to the free version of AVG (get the paid version if it makes me feel better), get at least two or three free spyware/adware programs like SpyBot, AdAware, Windows Defender, maybe even
    SpySweeper or STOPzilla for overkill and just use commone sense and be careful.

    I haven't uninstalled ZA but have just disabled it. Maybe when I have the time and desire I'll "study" it more. But right now everything is running fine and I don't want to be bothered with this anymore. But I think people should be warned before they buy. Having to pay for real tech support, having an entire board devoted to a single piece of software and doing a google search and seeing how many people also have problems with ZA should cause one to rethink their decision if it's worth it. Especially when there's so many effective free stuff out there. For me just the service charge for tech would have been enough. THAT is what I consider a bit tacky and cheesy.

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