WebbIE and Firewalls

A firewall is a program that protects your computer from malicious things on the Internet. One of the ways it does this is by restricting what programs on your computer can access the Internet. This may cause your firewall to block WebbIE and the Accessible programs when you try to use them.

If WebbIE is blocked then there may be a message to warn you, but this may not be accessible to your screen reader or may only appear once so you miss it. Your firewall may even block WebbIE without telling you.

This is not the firewall's fault, but it does mean that if you use a firewall you have to make sure that programs like WebbIE can work with it. We can't give you a guide for every firewall program, but here are some pointers for two of the most popular, Norton and ZoneAlarm.


Norton Personal Firewall from Symantec is a popular firewall. You can try their Norton technical support webpage for help, or follow these instructions.

When you're trying to use WebbIE (or another Accessible program) for the first time, you may get a pop-up message (shown below) that says something like "Program Control". There is a selection box which defaults to "Always block connections from this program on all ports (Recommended)". Change this selection to something else (i.e. "allow full access") and hit okay and all should be well.

Norton Personal Firewall warning that pops up when a WebbIE program tries to access the Internet. It gives you a block/allow choice - the default is block.

If you don't get this message then your installation may have decided to block the WebbIE program. You will have to change the settings in Norton Personal Firewall. Open the progam (find it in the Start menu) and select the following: Norton Internet Security, Status and Settings (Alt and S). Then hit the Personal Firewall link. Then hit the Configure button. This is what this dialogue looks like:

Options window for Norton Personal Firewall.

Select the Programs tab and check under "Manual Program Control". There should be an entry for WebbIE or the Accessible program. In the column "Internet Access" select the "Block all" entry and change it to "Automatic" or "Allow". That should be it.

Program Control window.


ZoneAlarm Personal Firewall is a popular free firewall, although it's now a bit buried on the ZoneAlarm website.

When you're trying to use WebbIE (or another Accessible program) for the first time, you may get a pop-up message (shown below) from the system tray that says something like "ZoneAlarm Security Alert". Simply check the "Remember this setting." checkbox (Alt and R) and press the "Allow" button (Alt and A). All should be well after this.

Security Alert for ZoneAlarm: just allow access and everything should work.

If ZoneAlarm has decided to block WebbIE then it shows the following dialogue box.

Blocked popup window.

You need to open ZoneAlarm (find it in the Start menu). Go to the "Program Control" tab on the left and the "Programs" tab on the main window (under the Help button). You should see WebbIE in a table of programs: change the entries in the Access column for WebbIE to ticks as shown below. Everything should work now.

Program Control window for ZoneAlarm.