What to do when antivirus blocks VPN

By: Aleksandar Ognjanovic
3 minute read
antivirus blocking vpn

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In order to unify all standard protective features, contemporary antivirus solutions come with firewalls, antispam tools and even backup and VPN tools of their own. It’s just easier to acquire the all-in-one suite than to reach for an abundance of different programs. However, there emerges a question of third-party firewalls usability, especially when they keep on blocking other third-party applications. Like, in this case, the VPN client.

The cooperation between the built-in Windows Firewall and third-party apps is resolved through the installation, where an exception (entry/exit point) is automatically created. Sadly, that doesn’t work for third-party firewalls that are the part of an antivirus suite. Therefore, the VPN service is blocked by default and you’ll need to unblock it manually. For that purpose, we compiled the list of possible solutions, so make sure to check them out below.

How to keep your antivirus away from VPN in a few simple steps

  1. Add an exception in a firewall
  2. Enable SSL port access (turn off monitoring)
  3. Stick to antimalware protection and ditch the third-party firewall

Solution 1: Add an exception in a firewall

So, to avoid possible confusion, it’s not the antivirus that blocks your VPN, but rather a third-party firewall that comes with it. So, what you’ll need to do in order to fix this problem is to create an exception for the VPNs executable file. This procedure varies from suite to suite, so make sure to google your version and add an exception.

We’ll explain the procedure for Avast and it should closely resemble the procedure for other similar solutions. With minor differences, of course. Here’s how to let your VPN go trough Avast Firewall:

  1. Open Avast Internet Security.
  2. Click on Protection and then on the Firewall section in the left pane.antivirus blocking vpn
  3. Select Application rules.antivirus blocking vpn
  4. Click on the ”New group” button at the bottom.
  5. Name the new group by VPNs name and add its exe file.
  6. Set the orange bars scale to maximum 5 bars for both group and exe file.
  7. Confirm changes and start VPN again.

After that, you should be able to use VPN in a seamless manner. A firewall should let it communicate freely.


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Solution 2: Enable SSL port access (turn off monitoring)

Another thing you should consider disabling is SSL port (443) monitoring which most VPN services use to connect. Some antivirus solutions that come with the web access protection, will block this port as a safety measure. Because of that, we advise you to either disable that security measure or to disable monitoring for the aforementioned port.

The best way to find out how to do it is to google your antivirus suite or ask for the help from the support team or on a dedicated forum. You should concentrate on web shields options and search for port exclusions.

Solution 3: Stick to antimalware protection and ditch the third-party firewall

Finally, an obvious step is to completely disable the firewall part of antivirus suite and stick with the antimalware protection. Windows already comes with the built-in Windows Firewall that should be enough to protect your PC. Of course, it depends on your needs and, in the enterprise use, Windows Firewall just won’t cut it for some users. As a side note, make sure that your VPN is trusted. Bad VPN is more of a problem than the solution, and maybe, and just maybe, a third-party firewall blocks it for a good reason.

One way or another, that should conclude this article. We hope that it was a helpful read and you’re able to make antivirus and VPN coexist in the Windows shell without issues. Make sure to share additional solutions or post a question or two in the comments section below. We’ll be glad to hear from you. 

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