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NS causes Ethernet disconnections when using Windscribe VPN
I have run across a rather interesting and puzzling issue. I have an Asus Z170-E mobo running Win10 Pro x64 on an i3 6th Gen CPU. The board has an Intel I219-V Ethernet adapter. I get occasional disconnects (the gateway address seems to be lost randomly) but only when connecting through Windscribe VPN, and only if Norton Security is installed and the Smart Firewall is active. I have gone through many hours of problem isolation, uninstall/reinstall, OS repair/verification, different versions of drivers, manual deletion of old Norton files/registry keys/etc. and have finally concluded that it's something with this specific Ethernet adapter. I have a Realtek-based adapter that behaves fine, with disconnects occurring only rarely or not at all. I use static IP addresses, but have seen the same issue if I switch to DHCP for testing.
I am wondering if this is isolated to my specific machine, or if others have seen similar problems with the Intel Ethernet adapter not being fully compatible with the Norton Smart Firewall. Windscribe tech support recommended testing with Norton uninstalled, which I did also. I am not sure whether Norton or Windscribe is to blame for this issue. I have Windscribe running very happily on other machines that run Norton, including one with the Intel Ethernet adapter (just on a Gigabyte Z170 mobo).