ZoneAlarm Free Firewall Review

ZoneAlarm Free Firewall

ZoneAlarm Free Firewall is an impressive firewall protection suite, going far beyond what Windows offers by defending against both inbound and outbound threats, plus anti-phishing features.

Early versions of ZoneAlarm required you to make decisions regarding whether programs were permitted access. Now the suite uses DefenseNet for safety information on popular programs.


ZoneAlarm helps protect your computer against hacker activity, worms, Trojan horses and other forms of malware which could compromise passwords, identity information and personal data. With its robust firewall protection you are safe from cyber attacks as well as intrusion attempts which could take over and control it remotely.

ZoneAlarm Free Firewall features an intuitive user interface and automatically configures itself according to your PC system, security settings and environment – eliminating false alarms or unnecessary alerts. More experienced users may opt to customize it further with options like enabling or disabling network monitoring; setting alert frequency; or creating rules allowing or blocking particular activities.

Internet Lock features provide your PC with an effective means of staying hidden from other network users or search engines, by shutting off or pausing its Web browser and screen saver, as well as stopping all inbound or outbound Internet traffic during specified periods of time. Furthermore, game mode disables alerts while you play online games.

ZoneAlarm stands out from other firewall protection tools with several additional features that make it an exceptional choice: its new anti-bot protection helps defend against automated attacks, while revamped phishing protection blocks malicious websites that attempt to gain control over cameras, microphones, or peripherals such as microphones or webcams. Finally, an integrated virus scanner combines traditional antivirus engines with behavioral scanning from ZoneAlarm itself – helping avoid installing additional antivirus tools on your machine.

ZoneAlarm stands out as an invaluable protection from advanced threats that other firewall programs often miss, such as raw data access, timing and SCM & COM attacks. Furthermore, its Web monitor keeps your system safe from phishing scamming or any other online threats by scanning websites prior to visiting and scanning any downloaded files for malicious activity.

One disadvantage of the software is its tendency to strain system resources when real-time protection component is active, while recently, their support portal changed so all “top 10 questions,” “help,” and technical support links in desktop application now point directly to one page rather than their respective sections.


ZoneAlarm Free Firewall features an intuitive user interface to help you configure the desired level of protection and program control. It automatically learns your computer’s habits and adjusts its security levels accordingly, while an anti-bot feature works in real time to detect and block malicious software from infiltrating it.

Advanced settings in ZoneAlarm give you total control over how and when programs connect to the Internet. For instance, you can decide whether or not certain programs have access to network access as well as what types of data can enter and leave. Furthermore, its behavior can even be tailored based on what happens with your PC – for instance disabling its firewall when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks.

ZoneAlarm’s firewall utilizes three security zones to combat hacker activity. Its high security mode for the Public Zone lets you connect to network resources while blocking access from unauthorized computers or devices attempting to gain entry through external connections, including wireless networks or routers. Please be aware that this mode only protects from attacks over physical connections such as wireless networks and routers that your computer is physically attached to.

Early versions of the firewall required users to identify which programs should have network access, with complex popup queries confusing users further. Later versions switched back to an online database of known programs and restricted what they could do – similar to how Kaspersky Internet Security uses trusted programs and limits what unknown ones can do.

This suite provides a default antivirus quick scan each week and full system scan every three months by default, but you can customize both these dates and times as well as specifying what types of files should be scanned as well as adding or excluding networks from its Trusted Zone.

This version of the suite introduces an anti-ransomware feature, capable of detecting ransomware attacks, disabling them and recovering most affected files from encryption ransomware attacks. Testing proved its worth: all file-encrypting ransomware samples were successfully detected while most had their encryption removed – an incredible asset to any cybersecurity suite!


Free ZoneAlarm’s antimalware, antivirus and firewall modules work effectively together to safeguard your computer. However, its interface can be confusing and difficult to use; much of its console is taken up by three panels that display status updates from antivirus, identity theft and firewall modules as well as text descriptions and three arguably unnecessary View Details buttons; in contrast with this setup is Scan, an essential function which may only ever need be found as a tiny menu option.

Other than its sleek new appearance, most features in ZoneAlarm’s current version remain similar to its previous iteration. For instance, its firewall still blocks incoming port scans and hack attempts, while its antimalware modules detect and block viruses, spyware, Trojan horses, worms and bots. In addition, antiphishing detects fake websites and warns you against dangerous downloads; while its firewall monitors outgoing connections to make sure no program is transmitting information under your name.

ZoneAlarm earned high praise from our lab tests, with its two-way protection monitoring incoming and outgoing Internet connections, its robust firewall providing protection from most malware and other threats on contact, while its anti-virus engine performed exceptionally in detecting viruses, spyware, trojans, worms and bots.

The latest version of our software boasts advanced anti-ransomware technology that detects ransomware attacks in real time and stops them before encryption occurs – especially essential given how cybercriminals increasingly employ sophisticated tools against home and small business users.

Check Point has long provided enterprise-grade firewall technology to home users and small businesses alike, helping protect millions of computers and networks worldwide from malicious attacks.


Protects your PC from hackers and spyware from stealing personal information, with powerful antivirus solutions and the world’s best firewall, coupled with an Anti Phishing layer for even greater protection. Trusted by millions worldwide to keep their computer free from viruses & spyware. This release fixes several instances where programs would appear as “XXXXXXX” under Windows 95/98 as well as adding support for 16-bit programs under Windows 98.

ZoneAlarm is an all-in-one security solution, offering protection from viruses, spyware, hackers and other forms of malice. The program features various settings – Auto-Learn mode learns about your behavior to adjust security settings automatically based on that knowledge; or select Max Security mode for maximum protection by forcing all applications to request network and Internet access permission from ZoneAlarm.

Customize application policies to define how a specific program should behave and modify general Application Control settings to decrease alerts you receive. To customize application policies for an individual program, click in the Antivirus & Firewall Panel of ZoneAlarm software client and select Settings within Application Control section.

ZoneAlarm’s main screen presents three tabs to access its three primary components – Firewall, Identity and Data Protection. Within each component there are different settings you can modify including general and advanced firewall settings as well as enable or disable Auto-Learn mode and add or exclude networks into Trusted Zone upon detection. The Firewall section allows for this purpose. It allows for quick changes between general and advanced settings as well as the Auto-Learn mode that automatically learns networks if enabled or disabled and whether or not they should be automatically included into Trusted Zone when detected.

ZoneAlarm allows you to configure Microsoft Catalog Utilization, which prevents ZoneAlarm from alerting you about programs cataloged in Microsoft Windows’ database, as well as Component Control – an option which sets permissions for individual program components allowing or disallowing access, with options such as allow (to allow all permissions), deny (deny all permissions), or ask at startup (requesting all permissions).

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