Avast Anti-Virus and NETGEAR Router GENIE Interface

I spent almost 2 days trying to configure a new NETGEAR WNDR4500 wireless router.

Out of the box, the router worked great, and had no problems, but when I got into the GENIE admin interface to make changes, it was an exercise in futility.

It looks like the browser based UI was rewritten to take advantage of ajax calls to give administrators a better user experience than the tried and true old administration interface.

But in my case, clicking on links in the interface would result in blank pages, or the “spinning circle” to keep spinning and not go away. Sometimes the links would work, sometimes they wouldn’t.

This got pretty aggravating when the problem prevented me from updating the router firmware, or even changing the password on the router.

After returning one unit on the advice of NETGEAR tech support, and switching browsers, and doing a lot of other browser stuff that I knew had little to no chance of working, and then having the same problem with the replacement unit, tech support was at a loss of what was causing the problem, so I did some digging to find out what could be causing the issue.

It turns out that if I disabled the Avast anti-virus protection “shields”, the problem went away. After disabling them, the NETGEAR admin interface was fast and responsive, and didn’t have the “spinning circle” forever wait problem that I did before.

In particular, the “Real Time Shield” called “Network Shield” was the culprit. Disabling this shield allows a user to use the NETGEAR admin interface unencumbered.

I wasn’t able to find any references to this issue by Googling, so I wanted to document it for anybody else that has the problem, because NETGEAR tech support doesn’t seem to be aware of it.

It doesn’t matter what firmware of the NETGEAR router is installed, the 3 versions I tried all had the same issue. It is specific to having Avast anti-virus installed, my current version is 7.0.1.

I’ll update this article if there is an Avast upgrade that resolves the issue.

 

The new GENIE interface and the spinning circle of death:

Spinning Circle Of Death

 

The Avast! Network Shield:

 

 

3 Replies to “Avast Anti-Virus and NETGEAR Router GENIE Interface”

  1. Well, same problem I have on iOS6, so it is not only avast issue I think. Did you try to dump the requests from the router? Sometimes it is sending very strange things and I will not be very surprised, if the avast is right and recognized it as a malware.

  2. I didn’t try to dump any requests. I just know that if I disabled shields for a bit in Avast, I can navigate the administration section without any problems. You should probably try to navigate your router through a wired connection rather than a wireless one. I don’t suppose that interface was designed with the mobile Safari version in mind.

    Avast didn’t give any warnings about the NETGEAR interface being malware, which is why it took me so long to pinpoint it to Avast.

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