Pros Works great for some people.
Cons Crashed computer, cannot remove all components.
Summary I've used ZA free program for years and loved it. Figured it was time to show my appreciation with dollars, so bought it, full price, for 2 different computers. Worked fine on one. Crashed the other repeatedly, then ZL charges me for support and cannot fix it. Last suggestion was to reinstall operating system. Tech support sucks, and that's the only value of a company.
Pros Worked well until upgrade.
Cons The spyware scan caused disasterous, unrepairable crash.
Summary ZoneAlarm knows the most recent upgrade (8/05) causes serious problems for Windows 98 users, and has not posted a warning. As of five days later, it has found no solution. I tried the spyware scan on 7/29/04. Immediately had total crash. Got Windows 98 going again, but still no internet as of 8/2/05. ZoneAlarm is not publicizing this.
Pros all in one virus protection, firewall, email scanning, popup blocker, IM encrypting+++
Cons You need to do some configuration to use Gmail
Summary This product is flawless...anti-identity theft, popup blocker, firewall, you name it, this has it. You can even track the geographical location of a computer that attempts getting past your firewall. The only reason I give it a 9 is that in some (extremley few) cases (I.e. Gmail) you need to give some more privlages is you have to high a level of security (like allowing 3'rd party cookies)
Pros Lean, efficient, customizable, crisp automatic updates
Cons logs could be more detailed
Summary I'm another "ZA convert": Like several of the other reviewers here, I too started with Norton Antivirus (NAV) -- it came with the computer running Win XP Pro SP1. Then came SP2, I upgraded to SP2 and NAV 2005 but NAV2005 kept causing Windows to crash and caused some major system conflicts when running the "scan on access" option.
I went online and saw a lot written up about NAV being a major system resources hog, so I decided to give the Zone Alarm Security Suite a try (my Zone Alarm Pro firewall was coming due for renewal, perfect timimg).
ZA's virus scanner is much more lean & efficient. I run the "scan on access" option and it doesn't slow down the system at all -- even when multitasking with database programming and multimedia apps. The virus scanner goes through the files much faster than NAV 2005 did. Less than half the time. The ZA virus scanner also doesn't hog resources, and the computer doesn't slow down while contunuing to work. There have also been no conflicts at all with SP2 -- ZA was ready for SP2 but it looks like NAV wasn't.
Yes, my ZA also crashed on June 9 -- a case of "quick, unplug the network cord" -- If this crash was really as widespread as the other reviewer here made me think, then ZA should have sent out an email explanation to all its subscribers.
The only minor gripe I have is that I wish there were an option to set a virus database update to coincide with the automatic virus scans. If my antivirus kicks in say Monday morning but the last automatic update ran on Friday, I end up stopping the scan, running update to catch any updates, in order to run scan for viruses based on the _latest_ knowledge base. It would be handy if this could be set. It would be nice to have more detail in the log files.
Overall, ZA is an excellent product, and I recommend it over the others because ZA seems the most efficient in its use of system resources. ZA is intuitive to set up, it allows for any preferred security levels, and the help documentation has a lot of depth to it.
As security companions, I also recommend PestPatrol to get rid of spy/malware and WindowWasher to keep the computer cleaned off.
Pros Excellent firewall, no problemes while using. General ease of use. Does not slow my PC down.
Cons Issue with IM Secure working with supposedly supported AOL IM version.
Summary I was a MacAfee (spelling?) user until I bought my notebook PC. MacAfee came as bundled software but didn't work... Why bundle software that didn't work?! I did have the "wonderful" waste of operationg system known as Windows ME at that time (what was MS thinking?!). I bought Norton Antivirus and loved it. I used it for years. Then I discovered the free ZoneAlarm firewall software. Soon after I used the free ZoneAlarm firewall software I upgraged to ZoneAlarm Pro and had Norton Antivirus running. My PC start up time was HORRID. It took at least 3 to 5 minutes for start up and that was with minimal app's set to start up with PC start up and no to minimal desk top icons. I finally got rid of Norton Antivirus and my PC actually starts up much quicker than before. ***Note -- I was running Norton 2004 I had no major problems except I had to wait forever for my PC to start up and Norton had issues with System Restore after I upgraded to Win XP.***
Over all I'd say that my experience with ZoneAlarm is and has been great. I do have an issue with the fact that the AOL messenger that is supposedly compatible with IM Secure is not protected nor is the Antivirus for Email working. I'm thinking this is because I had Norton installed at the same time installed ZoneAlarm. Sent Email to customer service regarding the IM Secure issue, if I was holding my breath while waiting of a response I would have been dead a long time ago (assuming that I didn't pass out and automatically start breathing). I am still waiting for a response to my Email. I even sent a pic of the dialog box that ZoneAlarm Pro Suite showed me when I discovered the issue.
Over all I would say that ZoneAlarm is definitely worth the money. I highly recommend!