ZoneAlarm Review

By Craig Chamberlain

 

Spotlight on ZoneAlarm:

ZoneAlarm was originally developed by Zone Labs and was acquired by Check Point Software in 2004. Check Point has a long and reputable history of creating powerful network security software. Established in 1993, Check Point Software is credited for creating the very first advanced networking security products the world has ever seen.

Check Point now employs over 2,900 network and security specialists worldwide. They continue to push the envelope with, not only, ZoneAlarm antivirus software development, but also in network security software and cloud based security development.

  • Pros:  Extremely powerful and customizable firewall. Feature rich package. Easy to use and install. Great price.
  • Cons: Average virus performance and protection.

 

Compare Best Antivirus Software

 

  • Features: Full Featured Protection 
  • Ease of Use: Easiest For Users 
  • Reliability: Average 
  • Value: Above Average
  • Money Back Guarantee: 30-Day

Package Features and Highlights:

  • ZoneAlarm PRO Antivirus + Firewall - Includes their advanced antivirus and antispyware engine, real time antivirus protection, firewall protection, browser protection, Facebook protection, private browsing, anti-phishing, 5 GB of online backup and credit card identity protection for up to 3 PCs.
  • ZoneAlarm Extreme Security -  Includes the same antivirus and antispyware engine, real time antivirus protection, e-mail threat emulation, PC tune up utilities, firewall protection, browser protection, Facebook protection, keylogger protection, private browser, anti-spam protection, parental controls, laptop GPS tracking and 5 GB of online backup as well as credit card identity protection for up to 3 PCs.

Ease of Use:

ZoneAlarm does a great job breaking down its vast array of antivirus and security tools into three simple categories: Antivirus & Firewall, Web & Privacy and Mobility & Data. Each category then lets you quickly get to the meat and bones of the software. Running an antivirus scan can be as simple as a two click process.

Another great part of ZoneAlarm antivirus is that all of the software tools are included in a single software package. Many antivirus companies can require up to three different software downloads and installations in order to get the "full protection". The PC Tuneup utility that is included in ZoneAlarm Extreme Security is also a nice bonus software program that has a convenient one click wizard for optimizing your operating system.

Setup of all the features included in ZoneAlarm, ranging from parental controls to laptop locator, went very smoothly. ZoneAlarm definitely holds their own with usability for both their ZoneAlarm PRO Antivirus + Firewall and ZoneAlarm Extreme Security.

 

Dashboard of the ZoneAlarm Extreme Security Software package.

ZoneAlarm Reliability:

It's one thing to have an antivirus that is usable, it's quite another to have one that is reliable. Reliability is probably the most important factor for most people when choosing an antivirus. The two questions you should ask yourself when purchasing an antivirus software is, first, will the antivirus software I am purchasing adequately protect me from real time threats? Second, will it adequately remove the threats that slip through the cracks?

When compared to other antivirus software in the market, ZoneAlarm definitely offers average protection from real time virus infections. While ZoneAlarm is not necessarily the best at virus detection rates in the market, the good news is they offer very powerful firewall features that offer network protection that most other antiviruses cannot provide.

As for performance, ZoneAlarm quite simply offers good protection with acceptable impact on system performance. Because its network firewall and security software are so powerful, it tends to use a bit more resources than its competitors. Again, for those seeking powerful network security along with their antivirus package, the extra resources are definitely worth the cost.

Both of the software packages that ZoneAlarm provides, including ZoneAlarm PRO Antivirus + Firewall and ZoneAlarm Extreme Security include the same antivirus package. You can install the full software suite on up to 3 different computers of your choosing.

ZoneAlarm Customer Support:

ZoneAlarm offers many different methods for getting the software support you may need. As said earlier in this review, the software installation and usability are extremely good, so it's unlikely you'll run into many issues during that process. If the unfortunate instance arises where you do, ZoneAlarm offers an extensive knowledgebase of tutorials, answered questions and manuals on their support website.

Once you dig a bit deeper into their support site you'll be able to locate additional ways to contact their support team, such as through e-mail or live chat. Contacting the support team by phone, however, is not clear or obvious - so if you're really into phone support that may present a problem for you.

ZoneAlarm doesn't offer premium paid support services. This is similar to most antivirus companies. They rely heavily on their wealth of information on their website and live chat support to ensure their customers get taken care of as soon as possible. If you are interested in your antivirus company having paid support options for troubleshooting then ZoneAlarm may not be the right choice for you.

 

Dashboard of the ZoneAlarm Extreme Security package while running a system scan.

Value for Money: 

With the powerful network security features along with good antivirus protection, ZoneAlarm has a very competitive product, ZoneAlarm PRO Antivirus + Firewall, starting at $44.95 for up to three computers. It definitely hits a sweet spot for those looking to pair powerful network firewall protection with their antivirus protection.

For those looking for more "meat" in their security solution, ZoneAlarm's "ZoneAlarm Extreme Security" software package pairs their complete antivirus and network security solution along with system optimization, parental controls and online backup. As expected, the price tag jumps to $69.95 for three computer installations. When it comes to features, ZoneAlarm Extreme Security is about as comprehensive as any product in the market can get, covering a wide array of needs in one simple package.

ZoneAlarm, like its competitors, will also give you the 30 day money back guarantee on their products. If for any reason you decide you want a refund within the first 30 days of using the software, you can get a refund with no questions asked.

Bottom Line:

ZoneAlarm is a great antivirus package with an excellent network security firewall. No matter which package you choose, ZoneAlarm offers users access to their extremely popular and powerful firewall along with their antivirus package. ZoneAlarm is a great choice for users seeking a powerful, cost effective network security suite coupled with good virus detection rates and performance.

Compare Best Antivirus Software

Last Updated: September 24, 2015

Top 5 Antivirus Software Sites