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Bullguard firewall and Windows firewall

Posted 6/17/2017 4:57 PM
#124578
User avatar

Ev Member

Date Joined Nov 2016
Total Posts: 2
My PC is running Windows 8.1 and I have the most up to date version of Bullguard running.  Today I tried to run the Spotify app and got a warning message from Windows firewall to say that it had a problem with the app.  Now, when I installed Bullguard many moons ago, I turned the windows firewall off as I was aware that having two firewalls running at the same time was not a good thing.  So, until now I had assumed that the windows firewall would still be off, but it seems it has decided that it wants to be on again.



I tried to turn the windows firewall off again but every time I try, it turns itself back on again almost immediately !?!  I don't want to have it conflicting with my Bullguard firewall, so has anyone got any pointers as to why the windows firewall won't turn off?  (I've tried to turn it off as both a user and administrator but to no avail.)

 
Posted 6/17/2017 11:17 PM
#124579
User avatar

XLR8R Member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts: 9

Hello,



I believe I might be of help. The 17.1.333 series of updates has removed the old Agnitum Firewall and now functions as a layer on top of Windows Firewall, similar to programs like Windows Firewall Control. BullGuard now manages rules and settings for the inbuilt Windows Firewall and also adds some additional functionality. From what I've seen the net protection is still just as good.



Windows Firewall and BullGuard Firewall both being displayed as ON in the Action Center/Security and Maintenance Applet is the recommended and proper behaviour.



This may reset all your previous rules since the firewall core is now entirely different. However, the net result is better as now BullGuard is more deeply integrated into Windows as a result.



I hope this information helps.


Posted 6/18/2017 12:10 AM
#124580
User avatar

Hairymartin Valued member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts: 20
If it really is the case that the firewall being used is the built in windows firewall then the wording on the Bullguard Products page is very misleading. It lists among the things it comes with and I quote

"Potent firewall that protects you against network attacks and keeps out intruders"

Shouldn't this say something like.

"Comes with a front end for your existing firewall?"

If the windows firewall was always good enough what were we paying for?
Posted 6/18/2017 4:53 AM
#124581
User avatar

XLR8R Member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts: 9

Hello,



Windows Firewall is good enough when properly configured through group policy. The Advanced Security APIs with Windows Firewall allow security products to completely take over it's management and also add features if necessary. BullGuard is using the same now with some own technology as an extra layer to augment the capabilities of the Windows Firewall. I believe the extra layer will gain some features as time passes. There's scope for IDS-type technology (I am not sure on whether it's already implemented by BullGuard).



I would not know of any marketing materials which speak about the firewall - I believe such marketing would now be outdated. That being said, this new module now probably results in better performance and also saves BullGuard a lot of money in licensing costs (unverified).



There are other products which are also basically just using Windows Firewall - off the top of my head, I can list Trend Micro, F-Secure, Webroot and Avira as examples.


Posted 6/18/2017 3:43 PM
#124582
User avatar

Hairymartin Valued member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts: 20
Saying Windows firewall is good enough is not taking into account the different versions of Windows people use. Or the kind of protection they are looking for. Windows 10 indeed has a firewall that claims to be more effective than earlier versions. I'm sure each verion of windows since XP made the same claim.

Simply piggybacking the system's own firewall is different to providing the firewall as part of a security suite. Just because other products go down this route does not mean it is the best solution. But it is the cheapest and easiest.

I have been a loyal customer for more than 10 years and in that time Bullguard was consitantly improving and, even after a couple of fairly dreadful updates in the past, has never taken such a backward step. I'm not sure if XLR8R is in any way connected to Bullguard but statements like "I believe the extra layer will gain some features as time passes" sounds like they may be. And any "scope" for IDS (Intrusion Detection Systems) would also be part of or based around the Windows firewall.

I just checked the main page for BullGuard Internet Security and it still states "Our highly potent firewall keeps out intruders. This first line of defense protects your computer from hackers and identity thieves. It also safeguards you against network attacks and stops cyber crooks from entering your system." This, I think, is an overstatement of what people will actually get.
Posted 6/18/2017 4:37 PM
#124583
User avatar

XLR8R Member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts: 9

Hello Hairymartin,



I am not connected to BullGuard, just an ordinary user like you (new user in fact). I just happened to chance around this update and noticed a bunch of abnormalities just like many of you did. Furthermore, I noticed that Windows Action Center and Windows Defender Security Center seem to indicate the presence of Windows Firewall. And BullGuard files no longer have the agnitum drivers.

So I loaded up some API calls to see what is actually happening at firewall level and (in Windows 10 at least) I saw that BullGuard has handed over the "major" firewall functionality to Windows Firewall. The updates of the entire 333 series seem to be focused on fixing problems related to the change in firewall. The statement about gaining features in the future is based on my contact with BullGuard technical team about the same.

(Speculation starts here) There are a number of reasons, I think licensing costs and increasing development efforts have contributed to this decision. The Windows 10 1607 and the later Creator's Update have caused a fair number of issues with a number of firewall products. As far as I know, BullGuard dev team is small compared to big wigs like Symantec or even AVG.(end of speculation) But as it stands, BullGuard firewall is a complementary/supplementary layer to the Windows Firewall and disabling the Windows Firewall will critically damage BullGuard's protection levels.



I installed BullGuard on a Windows 7 machine to check this and it appears the situation is the same. I'll do a more detailed check in the following days.



I don't have any further information to give you, you may evaluate the future action based on whatever information I have been able to provide. I joined this forum specifically to comment on this issue because I know there will be a lot of confusion regarding this and I'm not sure why BG is silent but maybe they'd prefer to make the change on the hush-hush.


Posted 6/18/2017 5:32 PM
#124584
User avatar

Hairymartin Valued member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts: 20
No offence intended XLR8R. As a new Member I would like to welcome you and your input to this topic. I too believe Bullguard would much prefer this discussion to go away quietly. I have an open question in another thread, Windows 7 and Bullguard's new firewall, that has never been replied to by by anyone at Bullguard.
Posted 6/18/2017 9:31 PM
#124585
User avatar

XLR8R Member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts: 9

Hello Hairymartin, Thanks for the warm welcome.



After a little digging around, it appears Agnitum was bought out by Yandex and ceased all support operations including SDK updates on February 28, 2017. With two Windows Updates launched afterwards and some pains being borne by BullGuard users, I believe BG made the call to remove the Agnitum components since they would no longer be independently developed, and I doubt BullGuard has the resources to further develop the technology on its own like Avast and AVG do.



Will be see another firewall SDK implemented in the future? Only BullGuard knows the answer to that. They might just be content using Windows Firewall though.


Posted 6/18/2017 10:07 PM
#124586
User avatar

Hairymartin Valued member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts: 20
Hello  back XLR8R

What I have been asking for in this and the other thread is why Bullguard, knowing the demise of the Agnitum Firewall component was iminent, was not honsest with us customers. Either by informing us of the the fact the firewall was about to be uninstalled. Or by the fact that there would be no new firewall taking its place.

Now if you are a paying bullguard cutomer you get no more protection than someone using the Windows firewall for free. This is not reflected in any of their sales pages where they continue claim they include a firewall. This is very dishonest and, I think, why they are so conspicuous in their absense from these discussions.
Posted 6/19/2017 6:39 AM
#124587
User avatar

XLR8R Member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts: 9

I agree that BullGuard should have announced the demise of Agnitum and asked users for feedback. Everything I've known about BullGuard suggests they listen to users' feedback. They ought to respond here, but it may be that BullGuard doesn't have a satisfactory answer for the users right now.



My advice to BD reps is to kindly take users' feedback; most of your users are very loyal and using your product for many years (well, I'm new but still).


Posted 6/19/2017 9:44 AM
#124589
User avatar

Ev Member

Date Joined Nov 2016
Total Posts: 2
Many thanks to all of you for your replies.  I've managed to get an answer from Bullguard about this:-



"Thank you for contacting BullGuard Customer Support.

 

Please allow me to inform you that we have changed our Firewall module and have added several features to it like:

 

A light GUI on top of automatized processes.

Consumes considerably less resources than the previous version.

Less bugs.

Less false positives.

The new Firewall will eventually add new functionalities, such as attack detection.

 

Furthermore, you need to keep the Windows Firewall ON as the BullGuard Firewall is indeed working on top of the Windows one.

Our Support Service is available 24/7 by e-mail at support@bullguard.com and Live Chat at https://www.bullguard.com/support/live-support.aspx.."



It would have been nice, though, to have been informed before now about the change as it would have saved a bit of confusion.



 
Posted 6/19/2017 10:17 AM
#124590
User avatar

XLR8R Member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts: 9

Ev wrote: Many thanks to all of you for your replies.  I've managed to get an answer from Bullguard about this:-





The new Firewall will eventually add new functionalities, such as attack detection



 


 



Not sure why they rushed out the Windows Firewall shell so quickly; if they were going down this part to develop a supplementary module, they should have shipped it with all features enabled.


Posted 6/19/2017 5:15 PM
#124592
User avatar

Hairymartin Valued member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts: 20
Still baffled as how Bulguard suggesting "new Firewall will eventually add new functionalities, such as attack detection" gets around the problem. Bullguard Internet Security is sold as a complete suite designed to be the best protection they can achieve. How that now sits with the fact that Bullguard Internet Security now comes with no actual firewall other than the one built in the customer's own system. There is no warning about how this will impact the customers protection or its shortcomings compared to a firewall like the Agnitum Firewall they were supplying. Not sure I want to wait for Bullguard to bring the security back up to where it was. I bank and buy using my computers and I need to know they are safe and secure.
Posted 6/22/2017 1:44 AM
#124596
User avatar

RiK_ Valued member

Date Joined Nov 2016
Total Posts: 16
had problems with certain webpages loading and found  out about the firewall changes . My windows firewall is set to off and the bullguard one is set to on . If I try to enable the windows firewall it gives an error message saying the setting can't be changed . In the action centre both windows firewall and BG are listed as installed firewalls with BG on and windows off , however the option to enable or disable them is greyed out ?  This is BG internet security 17.1.333.5
Posted 6/22/2017 2:19 AM
#124597
User avatar

Hairymartin Valued member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts: 20
Hi RIK_

Thats not working right. Both firwalls need to be on to work. Windows is the actual firewall for what its worth, and Bullguard is the GUI to give a simple set of instructions to it. Try a restart, or more than one, to get them both up and running. Windows Action Center Security Tab should say Both are on and using two or more firewalls can cause conflicts. That is the new normal.

Hope this helps.

 
Posted 6/22/2017 9:55 AM
#124598
User avatar

RiK_ Valued member

Date Joined Nov 2016
Total Posts: 16
Thanks , I tried all that and even communicated with BG support via live chat . There's a button in action centre for windows firewall which says use recommended settings but pressing it throws up the error message firewall cant change some of your settings error 0x80070422 this comes up when any attempt is made to manually start windows firewall . I ran sys file checker , nothing found , and tried switching off BG firewall while attempting to start the windows one . No luck ?

Realised there was a problem when web pages were timing out while loading and I had to either turn off BG firewall or uncheck and re check the box for the web browser i in the firewall programme list .



I found there was an Action centre issue warning that no firewall was enabled just now (even though the BG control panel says it is ) I clicked the warning which brought up a window with the option to enable BG and Windows firewall . It accepted the enable BG option but when trying to enable windows FW I got the same error message .



I then tried something I found via a web search . Started up "services" which I could only start by selecting to run as administrator which I don't normally need to do,  found Win Firewall, which was set to disabled . altered it to "automatic" then was able to choose the windows firewall option and enable without the error .



It now says in action centre that windows firewall is now protecting your PC and is set to ON . in the" view installed firewalls" window it says windows is ON , but BG os OFF , even though Bullguard is enabled and turned ON in the bullguard controls ? The option to change the status of either firewall in this window are still greyed out , The windows system inf seems to be contradicting Bullguards settings so I don't know if it's sorted or not , just that windows firewall now seems to be running . This is Windows 7 by the way .

 
Posted 6/22/2017 6:05 PM
#124599
User avatar

Hairymartin Valued member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts: 20
Hi RiK_

From versions 333.2 to 333.4 My computers all had problems settling into running both firewall components together without one being off or a windows warning. Bullguard always seemed to think all was well. But it isn't running the firewall so it can not tell if all really is well or not. I would personnally reccommend paying most attention to to the Windows Security Centre and what it is telling you.

If the Bullguard front end fails then the Windows Firewall is hopefully still up and running. If the Windows firewall fails to start then the Bullguard, being a simple GUI (user interface), is doing nothing to protect you. Both on is the ideal to strive for, that way you can be pretty sure your okay.

Any other user with windows warnings in the Action Center should also ignore Bullguards cheery green tick.

Hope this helps to keep you safe.
Posted 6/23/2017 5:51 PM
#124600
User avatar

RiK_ Valued member

Date Joined Nov 2016
Total Posts: 16
It now says both firewalls are running in action centre which seems to be the new normal from what you say . Thanks .

Sounds like a bit of a fudge to me .
Posted 6/27/2017 10:48 AM
#124603
User avatar

Andreea-Luciana Ostache Advanced member

Date Joined Nov 2016
Total Posts: 674
Thank you for your interest in BullGuard!

There were a lot of factors that were considered when making such a big step forward and it was not a decision made lightly.

We are confident that this decision is in the best interest of our users, but I have taken all your feedback to our Product Management for consideration.



 
Andreea-Luciana Ostache
Support Team Leader
[url]support@bullguard.com[/url]
www.bullguard.com

Download the Free Trial version of BullGuard Internet Security 16

You have a BullGuard related problem? Post your question on these forums, contact Support or contact me on Twitter!
Posted 6/28/2017 5:35 AM
#124608
User avatar

Hairymartin Valued member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts: 20
Hi Andreea-Luciana Ostache. I was wondering if anyone from Bullguard would ever join in here.

When you say in your post there were a lot of factors that were considered do you mean Agnitum withdrawing permission to use the Outpost firewall in any form? Or that Bullguard decided that, rather than either obtain or develop another firewall, you would save time and money by not having one. I use Windows 7 on 2 machines and I am absolutely certain that, even with a great deal of tweaking, they are less secure with the built in firewall than they were with the Bullguard - Outpost firewall. If this were not the case, and Windows Firewall was at least as good or better, why would Bullguard have continued using Outpost all these years.

The claim that is made on the Bullguard Internet Security sales page is that it comes with a Potent firewall that protects you against network attacks and keeps out intruders. Well, it did, but now that is not true. A new install means Bullguard simply hands over most of the work to the Windows Firewall. Any advanced settings a user wishes, or needs, to make have to be configured in the Windows Firewall settings. Not a very user friendly place to find yourself. The default of Let Windows Decide means users are exposed to all kinds of phone home requests by Microsoft and anything else they have installed that Windows gives the okay to.

And worse than all this, if my computers are compromised, I have the expectation that Microsoft and Bullguard will each pass the buck.

Such a big step forward is, I think, really a big leap back to trusting Windows Firewall.
Posted 6/29/2017 5:46 PM
#124613
User avatar

bwf1409 Valued member

Date Joined Nov 2016
Total Posts: 26
I think BullGuard made a bad choise, and a much more bad choise not telling about the change.

I have lost a lot of trust in BullGuard, i don't think that my remaining 415 days left of my subscription will come to use.
Posted 7/6/2017 10:41 PM
#124636
User avatar

Hairymartin Valued member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts: 20
I would like to invite anyone in the know, from Bullguard, to join in here. If they can answer a few very important questions about the "layer" they have added to Windows Firewall.



1. What exactly does Bullguard add to the Windows Firewall that makes it worth the price.



2. Is a customer with Windows as secure now as before the loss of the Agnitum components.



3. Has Bullguard decided to sacrifice all customers with earlier Windows versios to save money.



4. Is Bullguard refunding Customers who would prefer to go to another Security vendor.



 
Posted 7/7/2017 6:25 PM
#124637
User avatar

XLR8R Member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts: 9

Hello Hairymartin,

I don't know if BG reps will respond, but based on what I've seen so far:

- It appears BullGuard "auto-configures" rules for the Windows Firewall, and allows or denies inbound/outbound access to apps based on a cloud whitelist that is updated periodically (though users will still get a notice to Allow or Deny irrespective of the BullGuard default rules for some apps)

- Location detection, this is done using the Vulnerability Scanner, and assignment of rules based on present situation.

Scope for future features:

- Network Virus Scan: Checking payloads for malicious content (packet scanning, though is also substituted by web scan)

- Intrusion Detection System

So far as I know, the above two have not yet been implemented. BullGuard's layer does not filter packets or allow/block connections on it's own at the moment, this entire functionality is handed to Windows Firewall.

BullGuard is likely to say that the NovaShield behaviour blocker and Vulnerability Scanner will compensate for the lost features in the firewall, and it's likely that will work for security in most cases, but I find that a bit concerning, considering that in the rare event that malware or an intrusion does bypass one of the components and the other component isn't good enough to stop the attack.....

The entire spectrum of any layer(s) that BullGuard may add is limited to the events described above.


Posted 7/10/2017 5:25 PM
#124642
User avatar

Andreea-Luciana Ostache Advanced member

Date Joined Nov 2016
Total Posts: 674

Hello,



Please allow me to note that my lack of reply is usually only a delayed reply.

All your messages have been heard and BullGuard will take them into consideration both for current and future developments.

I will try to answer the questions, as formulated by Hairymartin, so I can reply to your concerns:

1. What exactly does Bullguard add to the Windows Firewall that makes it worth the price.

As XLR8R anticipated, what is available now is:

Application filtering combines online and offline policies and validations against cloud based white and black lists.

Within the context of malware protection, application filtering is the last layer of protection between malware and the customer’s PC.

The end to end app download and installation process now ensures customers are protected by the following layered steps:




  1. Safe browsing which checks web and app links before the actual download begins

  2. Immediately following the download the On Access AV engine scans the files for known malware signatures

  3. A new behavioral engine scans the files for code aberrations which signal malware

  4. The Firewall makes sure that only legitimate programs are allowed to connect to the Internet, and prevents sensitive data being leaked out



Low level network traffic. Integrating Windows Low Level Traffic in the Firewall module helps us deliver a lightweight solution in terms of processing power but one which keeps track of all necessary updates faster than any firewall currently on the market. With new devices and OS updates reaching the market faster than ever before we make sure our solution keeps the same pace and is highly compatible with the newest releases.

There are other new features being developed for and into the Firewall that will be released as soon as possible or with the new version in the fall.

2. Is a customer with Windows as secure now as before the loss of the Agnitum components.

It will be. There is a small chance where the currently missing Intrusion Detection System leaves the computer vulnerable. However, that feature will be available as soon as possible and, in the meantime, we are here 24/7 to assist users with critical issues.

3. Has Bullguard decided to sacrifice all customers with earlier Windows versios to save money.

No. The solution will be compatible with any version of Windows which Microsoft supports. This is another reason for which we chose using the Windows Firewall low level network traffic. Good-bye BSOD!

4. Is Bullguard refunding Customers who would prefer to go to another Security vendor.

I have been with BullGuard customer support for quite some time now and have yet to see a case where a customer wanted to move his business and we did not cooperate. I am sure that we can find solutions for our users, as we always have.


Andreea-Luciana Ostache
Support Team Leader
support@bullguard.com
www.bullguard.com

Download the Free Trial version of BullGuard Internet Security 16

You have a BullGuard related problem? Post your question on these forums, contact Support or contact me on Twitter!
Posted 8/3/2017 3:05 AM
#124669
User avatar

kjl Valued member

Date Joined Jul 2017
Total Posts: 14
The "on top of widows built in firewall" does not work as both BGFW and WFW are asking for the same permmesions for the same 

program within seconds of each other.

I have sent pic's through the CS chat and I am informed to configure the windows firewall to correct the issue.

The chat;

Your chat number is 17B-21152CA5-03E2

Roxana: Hello, welcome to BullGuard Live Support! I am sorry if there might be a bit of waiting time. Please hold and I will be back with you in a few minutes.

kenneth lantier: New bg firewall and wfw

The file callofduty.png has been sent.

Roxana: Hello Kenneth!

Roxana: Please configure your Windows Firewall by using the advice from this guide: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd448559

kenneth lantier: and what does this do

Roxana: Please see the guide or contact the Microsoft support service for further advice, as it is their application causing the issue.

kenneth lantier: ok I have 1600 games on steam 100 on uplay and 150 on origin I am not going to config for 2 programs

kenneth lantier: also take a look at the image bg block it also

kenneth lantier: your company made a bad move on the firewall and now the users of the product get shafted

kenneth lantier: I want to remove the bg firewall how do i do this

kenneth lantier: ?????

Roxana: I am afraid I do not understand what you mean by this. The message you receive from the Windows Firewall has nothing to do with BullGuard. Just because our new firewall engine is compatible with Windows Firewall and does not conflict with it does NOT mean we have changed or control in any way how the Windows Firewall works. With or without BullGuard you would have the exact same issue with the Windows Firewall.

Roxana: Your screenshot clearly shows that BullGuard is not the issue.

kenneth lantier: it block the program before I said ok 5 sec after wfw asked the same thing

kenneth lantier: look closer

Roxana: Please use the Windows firewall configuration information from the guide I linked earlier.

Roxana: And make the necessary changes in your Windows Firewall settings.

This live chat session is no longer active



Not only is the BGFW not what I, we paid for but does not even work properly.

When we show proffe it is not working correctly, CS reps. place the issue on everything else.

I have over a year to shop for something else that works as stated.

 
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