Provide firewall configuration information in Help



13 years ago
11 years ago


(Reporter: jason.barnabe, Unassigned)


(Blocks: 1 bug)

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)



(1 attachment, 1 obsolete attachment)

2.37 KB, application/xhtml+xml


13 years ago
While most firewalls will show a allow/deny dialog after a Firefox update,
others like Norton Internet Security will silently block the new program. This
leads users to believe that there is something wrong with their updated version
of Firefox (1.0.n worked, 1.0.n+1 doesn't, so 1.0.n+1 must be broken).
Furthermore, Firefox's loopback connection can appear suspicious to users, and
they may block it.

We need to include information on how to configure specific firewalls in the
help documentation. The page in the documentation could be linked to from the
relevant XUL error pages.

Some relevant info:

Bug 270084 comment 5, Rafael Ebron on unconfigured firewalls:
> Turns out that this is the number one call driver to our phone support partner.  

MozillaZine forum thread: How to configure Norton Internet Security (NIS)
Viewed 25,200 times since May 1st, 2005

MZ Knowledge Base article: Error loading any website
Viewed 7,862 times since August 26th, 2005


13 years ago
Blocks: 308982

Comment 1

13 years ago
Created attachment 196457 [details]

Here's a draft with some information on NIS that I pulled out of . Not having NIS, I can't
verify it.


13 years ago
Assignee: help.viewer → nobody
Component: Help Viewer → Help Documentation
Product: Documentation → Firefox
QA Contact: danielwang → help.documentation

Comment 2

13 years ago
Created attachment 196853 [details]
draft - NIS and Windows Firewall

Added a section on the Windows Firewall.

It'd be quite useful to have some numbers for firewall market share, but I
couldn't find any recent data.
Attachment #196457 - Attachment is obsolete: true
Providing help for specific firewall products may be necessary, but that doesn't
make it a good idea.  What happens for less-used firewalls?  Also, the nature of
this problem requires that any such documentation be static, built-in
documentation which can't be updated except when Firefox itself is updated. 
Finally, the documentation would really only be maintainable by people who
actually use these firewalls, and I very much prefer that any documentation we
have be maintainable by more people than just these.  Obviously we need to do
something here, but I hope we don't have to fix it the way this bug suggests.

Darin, is there any way to tell the user (preferably by some method other than a
random alert box) after an update is completed that his firewall configuration
may need editing and that he should consult his firewall's help documentation on
exactly how to do this?  It's arguably us punting the problem, but if such a
notification adequately addresses the problem for most people I'd prefer it.


13 years ago
Severity: major → enhancement

Comment 4

13 years ago
Maybe we shouldn't try to include specific information on every possible firewall, but it's urgent to include at least generic information that covers the most common scenarios.  Not only is this a frequent issue, but it's one that users have a lot of trouble solving, or even believing.

As a minimum, the documentation should include the following possible reasons for a firewall problem:

> Each version of a program is considered to be a different program from the previous version.  Any firewall must be specifically configured to allow Internet access by a new version.

> Some firewalls have errors in their uninstallation programs, so the firewall continues to run without the user's knowledge.

[In the case of ZoneAlarm, I believe the Windows "Add or Remove Programs" feature uninstalls only the user interface but not the TrueVector monitor (vsmon).  (See and for a recent example.)

> There may be more than one firewall program running simultaneously, of which the user is unaware.

> Some popular firewall programs have known errors.

> The user may have inadvertently configured the firewall to silently block Internet access by Firefox.

> For further information consult your firewall Help documentation or the manufacturer's Web site.

Symantec has FINALLY added Web support for this problem, so it's now reasonable to refer users to manufacturers' Web pages.

I would say it's not only a good idea, it's essential.  Since the problem disables the browser, I would bump this bug in severity if it were not an enhancement request.

Comment 5

13 years ago
(In reply to comment #3)
> Darin, is there any way to tell the user (preferably by some method other than
> a
> random alert box) after an update is completed that his firewall configuration
> may need editing and that he should consult his firewall's help documentation
> on
> exactly how to do this?

This is a first-class idea.  It's good enough that I stole it for bug 335289.  I think it's better, however, that users consult Firefox messages or documentation first.  Firewall Web sites are not likely to mention the gotchas, such as firewall supposedly "uninstalled" but still active.

Comment 6

11 years ago
Moving over to sumo...
Component: Help Documentation → Knowledge Base Articles
Product: Firefox → Sumo
QA Contact: help.documentation → kb-articles

Comment 7

11 years ago
and marking WFM, as there's plenty of information there.
Last Resolved: 11 years ago
Resolution: --- → WORKSFORME


11 years ago
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