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HALL OF FAMEon November 14, 2006
ZoneAlarm Antivirus is a solid product, way better than the buggy and insecure Norton/Symantec Antivirus. ZoneAlarm AV installs smoothly and appears to work silently protecting your PC from virus (but not sinister spyware).

However, you might as well go download the totally free AVG Free Edition 7.5 on Grisoft's website. You get free daily update with AVG for life. One caveat: it's free only for personal use, not business use.
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on December 17, 2006
I've used Norton products on our computers since the late 1980s, and generally have found them to do exactly what they're hyped to do. Over the past few years, however, they have become "bloatware," consuming far more system resources than necessary. If you want a reasonably responsive system, after installing Norton you'd best disable many, if not most, of the "automatic" services set on by default during the installation. I've also used Zone Alarm Pro for ~5 years; love the program and the depth of configuration you can set-never had a problem with Zone Alarm. So, after the last year or so of Norton Anti-Virus failing to start automatically, I started looking for a replacement. I tended to lean towards Zone Labs because of my earlier experiences with them, but the Amazon reviews for the complete Internet Security suite left me unsure. I decided to go with just the Zone Labs Anti-Virus product. First, I opened Norton and turned off everything. Then I ran the Windows System Services console app (services.msc) and turned off or disabled anything with any Norton or Symantec association. Only then did I install the ZL Anti-Virus. A caveat is in order: although the ZL manual says if you have a previous version of a ZL product installed it will ask if you want to proceed without uninstalling the previous version, it didn't. Instead, I was informed that this install would be a "downgrade" from Zone Alarm Pro to "just" Zone Alarm. I went ahead anyway. After installation, the firewall appears to be as was before, and all my settings were retained - good news! Everything appeared to be functioning well. I have a separate anti-spyware app, so losing that capability in the "downgrade" wasn't really an issue. Only then did I completely remove Norton. So far, I'm happy as a clam (touch wood!).
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on November 14, 2006
I am going to recommend this for the majority of users and readers because it passes two key tests:

1) it is very easy to use;

2) it does what it does well.

The firewall aspects of ZoneAlarm are unquestionably top-rate. It is effective, clear, and can be tweaked or configured by more advanced users without being out of reach of other users. It ships with a built-in tutorial that even Mom can follow. In short, you get a good firewall with this product.

The antiviral component is well-integrated and works in the same manner. ZoneLabs has excellent help and support, and the free updates alone are worth the purchase price. Yes, you can get free antiviral software, but what you cannot get is an integrated solution such as this, with support, for well under $20. For its listed price, I would wholly recommend this to anyone without sufficient defenses (WinXP's firewall is not sufficient by itself).

-Fred
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on November 9, 2006
This is by far the best I've ever used. I run a small company and absolutely love it. Very easy to use. Very informative!
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on April 1, 2007
I been using Zone Alarm Anti-virus for a couple years. It comes with firewall and antivirus software. Both firewall and antivirus works great... before any software updates. A software update happens when Zone Alarm publishes a new version of software that completely replaces this software. You will be notified when there is a new software ready to download and run. The update happens every three to four months.

The problem is, every time I update my Zone Alarm Antivirus, I ran into software problem that prevent AV from running, at all. Every time, I had to send email to customer service to get help. The turnaround time, from the minute i have problem, to the time the problem gets fixed ranges from several hours to several days. During that time, my computer was NOT protected from virus, at all.

Zone Alarm is good when it works. But beware of the software updates.. it might piss you off.
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on September 18, 2012
Zone Alarm used to be the best consumer firewall product on the market, and I was a loyal customer for 10 years(went to a LAN party and ZA detected and gave detailed reports on 14K+ attempts to probe my system, a normal week being on comcast internet usually yielded 2-3 attempts), installing their free firewall on all my systems and buying at least two pro copies for high use professional systems. I think their marketing people took over the company and are trying to compete with Norton because the product featureset and quality has turned 180 degrees, going from the best to absolutely the worst!

After being prompted to upgrade from an older ZA version, clicking 'Yes', gone were the familiar interfaces and questions whether to allow a new programs to access the computer/internet. Replaced with feel good wizardlike windows, which is not all bad. It set my search preference in all my browsers to some ZA proxy search engine (routes searches to google through their ZA web page) and would not let me remove the option in the browser preferences. Like literally would not let me remove the option and select a different home page... kind of like what a virus would do.. When uninstalling ZA they asked some trick question about keeping browser preferences, which I answered wrong and even after uninstall my browsers routed through their proxy, deleting all search options and uninstalling and reinstalling the browsers, same.. So I did what you do when any other nasty clever virus infects your system, re-partition the HD, do a root level antivirus scan and reinstall the OS (Win7) from scratch. It works well after flattening, and I'm telling 20 of my friends.

You've been warned! By a loyal 10 year customer of ZA firewall.

It would be interesting to hear if anyone knows the type of internal shakedown at ZA that would have caused this type of 180 degree turn in product quality.
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on January 9, 2007
This product is a very simple to use, extremely efficient tool. I am very pleased with results it produced for me.
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VINE VOICEon January 15, 2007
My husband and I bought two copies when it was a Gold Box featured product so he could install it on both of our computers. He is a computer consultant and rates ZoneAlarm at 4 stars because, after using it for a few weeks, we find too many spurious alerts for items that ZA should have had on their "safe" list, particularly the "suspicious activities" of the OS Firewall. This program is puzzling for a casual user such as myself to navigate alone. I would still rather have more protection than I can handle, rather than a dummied-down version that I would understand better but that might not provide the virus protection we need, but he says he wouldn't recommend this to his novice clients unless they wanted a lot of hands-on control of their systems.
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on March 29, 2007
I bought this product based on Consumer Reports review. I've had Norton and McAfee in the past which slowed down my system. My computer is slower to start up with ZoneAlarm, but faster than McAfee while on. However, most of the time, I need to shut off ZoneAlarm in order to access the internet - just like another reviewer. Defeats the purpose don't you think? It also recognized my offices's software as a virus and although I allowed access, it keeps showing it as a virus. I'm going to have to go to another product.
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on March 5, 2007
CD installs easily, it even comes with a nice short instructional video.

Once installed, ZoneAalarm is fairly unobtrusive, but seems to get the job done.

Well-designed product!
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