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Last post Author Topic: Aghh -- they've done it again ... avoid Agnitum Outpost 4 (at least for now)  (Read 14364 times)

Carol Haynes

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You'd think I would learn ...

I decided to update Outpost to the new version 4. A number of issues ...

1) It is a CPU hog - it averaged around 50% CPU usage on my system, frequently staying above 90% for periods, and rarely dropping below 25%

2) Slowed down system boot (even more than 3.51 which is bad enough)

3) If you use the new 'secure' mode install you face a never ending barrage of prompts (4 or 5 a minute sustained on my system) which make doing anything useful just about impossible. (I had already checked for spyware and viruses etc prior to installing and my system is clean). I suppose not allowing your system to do anything at all without explicit permission (even when most users, including me, don't understand what 90% of the prompts actually mean).

4) It didn't uninstall cleanly - and I have had the devil of a job to reinstall version 3.51 !!

All in all I would suggest avoing version 4 until they have got rid of the gremlins. The Outpost user forum is also populated with complaints about the new version!

mouser

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at least they are consistent..

im using v3 and i guessed this would be the case so i haven't even considered installing v4 and won't for a long time.

JeffK

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The lack of proper support for Windows XP Fast User Switching prevents me from using Outpost despite having a 2 year licence (which to be fair I got at a great discount through DonationCoder.com).  I sense an air of defensiveness whenever I mention the issue to Outpost afficionados, and no doubt it is a superior firewall.

I have this brilliant DVD player at home.  It does everything a DVD player could do.  The only problem is it is so complicated my wife and my daughter can't use it.  I have this brilliant firewall at home...

lanux128

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i had the same problems with ZoneAlarm until i turned off the auto-updates & reminders after i had down-graded to a lower version.

Carol Haynes

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It is also worth noting that Outpost version 4 will not allow disk defragmenters to move its files (self protection) or registry utilities ! You will have to disable Outpost before using these tools.

See http://www.outpostfi...owthread.php?t=18611

tinyvillager

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It is also worth noting that Outpost version 4 will not allow disk defragmenters to move its files (self protection) or registry utilities ! You will have to disable Outpost before using these tools.

See http://www.outpostfi...owthread.php?t=18611

That's nice to know,so Outpost 4 is pretty much worthless and a complete pile of crap by that knowledge alone.This is what happens when a firewall tries to be everything,anti-virus,spyware,etc.

JeffK

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I think as a firewall, Outpost is regarded very highly because it is very secure and very configurable.  And this is probably one software type where functionality cannot be sacrificed for ease of use or some quirkiness.  I still like Kerio (now Sunbelt) and if ZA doesn't live up to expectations and Outpost still hasn't got the FUS I'll probably go with that.  The problems with new releases of Outpost seem to be an issue but some users are finding it OK and it has such a big userbase now that problems are very quickly identified and fed back IMHO.

Jeff

tinyvillager

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I still got a license for Sunbelt Kerio firewall,i used to get bsod's though,maybe i'll try it again i've been hearing good things about Comodo Firewall,at least on the wilders forums. :-\

mouser

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just a word in support of outpost - v4 actually looks good to me in terms of features; i played with it on a vmware and i will be upgrading once it is stable, so i really do still like it.  but agnitum seems to take a long time to make their new releases stable so i'm waiting until a few rounds of bug fixing before upgrading.

Carol Haynes

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It is also worth noting that Outpost version 4 will not allow disk defragmenters to move its files (self protection) or registry utilities ! You will have to disable Outpost before using these tools.

See http://www.outpostfi...owthread.php?t=18611

That's nice to know,so Outpost 4 is pretty much worthless and a complete pile of crap by that knowledge alone.This is what happens when a firewall tries to be everything,anti-virus,spyware,etc.

The problem doesn't arise from feature bloat - actually I think it has a pretty good feature set and at least it is easy to remove anything you don't want (such as the AntiSpyware plugin). The problem arises from the new self protection feature - which is a good idea but it does need the possiblility of declaring safe applications (such as Perfect Disk) to allow access to its files. As it stands modifying its files (including their location on the disc) and its registry entries are not allowed. This is potentially a good feature as it means you can always rely on non infiltration intot he firewall software.

I suppose the simple solution in Perfect Disc and DiskKeeper (to name but two) is to declare the Outpost folder as excluded from any defragmentation.

I presume Agnitum will eventually get to sorting a sensible solution.

Lashiec

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What's happening lately with security software? All newer versions are giving serious problems to users. Do they test the programs thoroughly or what?
« Last Edit: October 05, 2006, 03:11:59 AM by Lashiec »

NeilS

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As it stands modifying its files (including their location on the disc) and its registry entries are not allowed. This is potentially a good feature as it means you can always rely on non infiltration intot he firewall software.

I suppose the simple solution in Perfect Disc and DiskKeeper (to name but two) is to declare the Outpost folder as excluded from any defragmentation.

Hi Carol,

When you say "modifying its files ... are not allowed", does this mean that it effectively returns some kind of disk write error when a program tries to write into the hard disk sectors occupied by Outpost files? I can see that being potentially catastrophic, although I'd hope the better degraggers like PerfectDisk/Diskeeper can cleanly "back out" of a sequence of moves when this happens. I don't think I'll be volunteering to prove that out though. :)

I think self-protection is a good move overall (although no solution is immune to attack), but it sounds like they are quite happy to let their customers find out if it causes any serious problems, which I find bizarre for a security application.

Carol Haynes

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I don't know how it works since I have had to uninstall it.

I did get a response from Agnitum tech support though ...

They asked for further detail such as dumps etc. (which I couldn't supply as I had already explained to them that I had found it necessary to remove the software) and their final response is:

Quote
Dear Carol Haynes,

Thank you for e-mail.

Sorry, but we are unable to give you any advice as we can't find out
the reasons of the problem.

best regards,
Anastassia,
Agnitum Support Team
www.agnitum.com/support/
Support Service Rate
www.agnitum.com/support/supportrate.php

chrisclu

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Actually works great.  I've been using Outpost since pre version 1 and couldn't be happier.
Don't know about your defrager but windows defrager is fine on my system. Of course I put defrag.exe in the antileak exclusion list.

Carol Haynes

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Are you using version 4 ? The aritcle I quoted was from Agnitum and they state that in version 4 defragenters will not work properly and you need to disable Outpost 4 before running defragmenters and registry utilities.

The thing I don't understand is if self protection is supposed to stop you altering files, storing extra files in the program folder and even stop you physically moving files in defragmentation - how come you can do it when you disable Outpost - and it isn't undone when you restart it ?

Black Mamba

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Can someone recommend a good and stable version 3.x of Agnitum?

And maybe a link to the installer too since I can only find the current version on Agnitum webpage.

NeilS

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The thing I don't understand is if self protection is supposed to stop you altering files, storing extra files in the program folder and even stop you physically moving files in defragmentation - how come you can do it when you disable Outpost - and it isn't undone when you restart it ?

Interesting point - assuming Outpost records which sectors of the hard disk its files use, it should notice that they have changed when you re-enable it after a defrag (assuming they do change, of course) and notify you (just in case you weren't doing a defrag). Even if it doesn't notify you, it certainly has to re-record the sectors it's using, otherwise it will be protecting the wrong bit of the disk (which could be pretty disasterous). I hope that's not one of the outstanding bugs.  :o

I'm not sure that they're likely to implement an undo feature for when the file positions do change. For a start, that will undo part of your defragger's work, which I'm sure a lot of people will dislike, and implementing the undo would probably take them halfway towards their own defragger implementation, which might be a bit much for a firewall app.



chrisclu

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Yes I am using version 4 and I just did a defrag waiting to make this reply.  Sorry I can't figure out what is different in our systems. I always have the latest beta as I am one of the testers but the last beta is the release version.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2006, 03:06:09 PM by chrisclu »

Carol Haynes

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Yes I am using version 4 and I just did a defrag waiting to make this reply.  Sorry I can't figure out what is different in our systems. I always have the latest beta as I am one of the testers but the last beta is the release version.

Well this is what it says ...

Quote
Known Issues:

   1. Outpost's Self-Protection will block any action with the potential to affect Outpost, including copying files into the Outpost program folder or relocating files (including disk defragmenters and registry/file cleanup utilities). There is currently no way to specify exceptions for trusted programs but Self-Protection can be disabled temporarily to allow a specific action. Users running other security software that controls file/registry access may prefer to configure this to cover Outpost's configuration instead.

taken from  Outpost 4.0 - What to Expect

I haven't tried defragging when it is running so I can't say what happens here - but presumably there is some effect if you run a defragmenter while Outpost 4 is loaded otherwise it wouldn't be loaded as a known issue ???

tinyvillager

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Can someone recommend a good and stable version 3.x of Agnitum?

And maybe a link to the installer too since I can only find the current version on Agnitum webpage.

A little late on the response but a response none the less.

http://www.oldversio...am.php?n=outfirewall


tslim

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Can someone recommend a good and stable version 3.x of Agnitum?

And maybe a link to the installer too since I can only find the current version on Agnitum webpage.

A little late on the response but a response none the less.

http://www.oldversio...am.php?n=outfirewall



I am using "Outpost Firewall Pro ver. 3.0.557.5918 (437)"
It is the last ver which allows change to preset.lst and is stable (at least for me)

Due to the encryption of preset.lst, for Ver 3.5xxx, ***"disabling DNS client service to prevent unauthorized applications from calling home" is impractical if not impossible.

I am lucky that I hold a lifetime license of outpost pro, i.e. I can afford a long wait.  Agnitum's Outpost Pro ver 3.5xx is no other than a big letdown simply because I can't compromise the *** for any new feature they have added.

And now I heard about ver 4 which brings the *** back (in a new way), but my past experience tells me, DO NOT install a new ver of Agnitum Outpost Pro unless it is a release (shortly after a long-waited one) for patching purpose. I have fallen victim twice in the past for Agnitum's flawed installation set, they both took me days to rebuild the firewall's settings from scratch...
Trust me, Agnitum either has no QA department or their QA team has zero knowledge in one crucial area - how to prepare a working installation set of their firewall - especially one which can properly upgrade old version for existing users.

The fundamental conditions to be a happy user of Outpost Pro are:
1) Avoid installing a major version (a long-waited one)
2) Forget totally about Outpost Pro's online "Automatic update", never ever put in any hope that it will work.


mitzevo

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You can't please every one..  ;D
The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.

Lashiec

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Lesson for the future: Install a new version of Agnitum Outpost once a newer version got released ;D

So, Carol, Outpost 4 will run wonderful after Outpost 5 gets the release.

Carol Haynes

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That's the conclusion I reached - their response "We don't do refunds" - even when I have a new subscription with a full year still to run. I am tempted to contact my credit card company on the basis that the product is "not fit for purpose" ... at least on my machine.

The problem with running old versions is that the update process wants to install new software before applying detection pattern file updates - so you may have a subscription but you can't get any benefits unless you update to the latest version of the software (or at least the same revision). If I install version 3.5 on my machine now everytime it checks for updates it wants to install version 4 - and when I say no I don't get any updates at all.

Curt

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I decided to update Outpost to the new version 4.

It has been a surprise to me to read this thread, and not a pleasent one.
I have been using Outpost since 2.5 and is very happy with it. I have no complaints at all. But of course I had to visit the users forum, in order to learn how to set up Outpost. Time well spent.

Do you trust your various apps on your PC? If you do, you should take some time to add them to Tools > Application... > Trusted applications or Partially allowed applications (specifying in and out -going traffic rules). This way Outpost will work 'smoothly', only asking if this or that change is to be trusted, when a program has been updated.

And NO, you do not have to exit Outpost in order to turn off the self-protection. Remove check-mark in Tools > Enable selfprotection.

I shoul think a bunch of geeks like you all,  ;) would know how to appreciate this very fine tool; the finest firewall you can have for a home PC.