Pros A good solid firewall with many features!
Cons The 1-year of free updates expires after 4 months and customer service is virtually non-existant!
Summary Zone Alarm used to have the best possible customer service, until they turned their customer service over to someone else. I had this product for only 4 months and the 1 year of updates expired 8 months too soon. After getting the run-around, I have decided to take my business elsewhere. You should too! Here are my ratings:
Ease of Use: 7
This firewall as with all firewalls has some very good features. The best feature is the integration of everything into on screen instead of multiple screens to sort and fish through. You have to disable some of the notifications otherwise warnings pop-up every 2 seconds for normal stuff like “Internet Explorer is trying to access the Internet.” It does not have a feature to scan for programs that are known and should access the Net.
This firewall’s best feature is to allow you to lock down your Internet connection completely without disabling the Internet connection. However, unless the firewall is set on the highest setting, it isn’t as safe as I personally think that it should be. In my opinion, a firewall on the lowest setting should keep you safe from most hackers and all known attacks. Also, there are not enough updates. I had this product for 4 months and only received 4 updates. Hackers come up with new attacks every day. New protections should come at minimum once a week. Because of the lack of enough updating, I give this rating a 6.
The ‘1’ is for the fact that you do not get the full year of updates that you pay for. The updates expire too soon and Zone Alarms has had this problem enough times that there is a technical support topic dedicated to it; however, they have done nothing to fix this glitch.
Customer Service: 0
Zone Alarms themselves do not handle any customer service for their ‘boxed retail’ version. Instead Encore handles all of the customer service for the boxed versions. However, Encore’s Customer service is non-existent. Also, Encore has NO email contact and lists no possible way to contact the company except via snail-mail. Zone Alarms sends the Encore website. The Encore website sends you to another website. This website sends you back to the website you just came from.