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Automatic Vs Interactive Firewall Mode, Security, Program Install/uninstall...?

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I am using Automatic mode, and FF/IE11 browsers were slow to open...

I'd often have to open/close them 3 times before my Hotmail would be allowed by ESS to download!


While in Learning mode yesterday (fixing manual time update issue)- I opened/closed my Zemana anti-logger/FF/IE11/CCleaner/... (several rules created, no browsing, and back to Automatic),  today my browsers are Very Fast in Automatic, and Hotmail downloaded on 1st open!


1. Now that rules have been created for IE11/FF, has my firewall protection been turned  off when browsing, and do I need to delete these new browser rules!?


2. If I switched to Interactive mode- Would the same kind of permanent rules... be created, as if in Learning mode...?


3. When installing a new Trusted program/Automatic Mode (I 1st submit them to VirusTotal, and do a Context menu scan), it's been difficult to get ESS to fully allow them...?

-Would install be better if I first switched to learning mode, and then back to automatic after reboot/opening program 1st time, or...?

-The same with manual Windows Updates/CCleaner/on-demand scans/...?


4. When uninstalling a program the page is Slow to load, but the page loads Fast in Learning mode.

-Would it be better if I uninstalled in learning mode until after reboot?


BTW- I searched this forum on 1-4, and could not find answers to Any of my questions?-

I realize this is allot for 1 Topic, but would serve as a useful tutorial for other users in just 1 topic!


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All Learning mode is for is to create necessary firewall rules automatically. The Firewall provides zero defense in that mode=all allowed. You don't need to use it for Windows updates, CCleaner etc...


That Hotmail loads faster now should have nothing to do with that you used Learning M, as Automatic M must have already created rules for both FF and IE, or else you wouldn't be able to connect to the internet and hotmail at all with either of them before. No your firewall is still ON and active while browsing with those rules.


No, it is not necessary to switch to Learning M during installation/uninstallation of programs. Automatic M will do the job fine in 99% of the cases. But if a program for some reason doesn't work or connect correctly after installation, then you can try Learning M for a short while, and then switch back to Automatic M.


Automatic Mode is the default and recommended mode for most people.

In Interactive Mode you will get a FW notification for every connections that currently has no rule.

Policy-based mode will block all connections that isn't allowed by the rules.


Bottom line is Learning Mode should only be used when absolutely necessary.



Automatic mode – The default mode. This mode is suitable for users who prefer easy and convenient use of the firewall with no need to define rules. Automatic mode allows all outbound traffic for the given system and blocks all new connections initiated from the network side.


Interactive mode – Allows you to build a custom configuration for your Personal firewall. When a communication is detected and no existing rules apply to that communication, a dialog window reporting an unknown connection will be displayed. The dialog window gives the option of allowing or denying the communication, and the decision to allow or deny can be remembered as a new rule for the Personal firewall. If you choose to create a new rule at this time, all future connections of this type will be allowed or blocked according to the rule.


Policy-based mode – Blocks all connections which are not defined by a specific rule that allows them. This mode allows advanced users to define rules that permit only desired and secure connections. All other unspecified connections will be blocked by the Personal firewall.


Learning mode – Automatically creates and saves rules; this mode is suitable for initial configuration of the Personal firewall. No user interaction is required, because ESET Smart Security saves rules according to predefined parameters. Learning mode is not secure, and should only be used until all rules for required communications have been created.

Edited by SweX
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