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Zone Alarm Security Suite (ZASS)

Posts: 247
Registered: 13-08-2007

Zone Alarm Security Suite (ZASS)

I am currently doing a free trial and, so far, I like what I see...

* Install was pretty much fool proof
* Auto updates are very quick and frequent
* It's got all the configability of ZA Free
* It's got some nice touches like blocking web animation
(My browsing seems just so much less stressful! ;-)

I know that this security stuff is pretty much 'horses for courses' but I was looking for one product that home based users could just install and run with minimum hassle...

So far ZASS seems closest...

Other thoughts/experiences very much appreciated...

Cheers, Stef

Zone Labs SS Ivan


My experience has been with the use of ZoneLabs freeware version of ZoneAlarm (version 2.3.621) which is ancient by most users standards now but I wouldnt swap it for anything its so utterly reliable,rocksolid,set it and forget it. Its NEVER let me down ever.

**If your going for a software firewall product dont be blinded bye all the fancy stuff (bells & whistles!!) no matter how attractive it all looks. There is a huge range of personal opinion on the subject of which brand or version or make is better than another (people can tend to get quite emotive about it all at times, no my firewall make is definately better than yours kind of stuff, you have to look beyond all the ballee hoo!!).

**Look at the underlying technology that is used in the firewall product itself. With software firewalls there are two major techniques employed (putting it simply without lots of techie speak!) packet filtering and stateful packet inspection. (I'm NOT talking about hardware firewalls or expensive stuff like PIX firewalls). The nice thing about the ZoneLabs (ZASS) product is that its likley to still be using the stateful packet inspection, SPI has a very good track record and is generally well respected and considered as more secure, or harder to break through than packet filtering alone. (although I'm sure someone will probabaly disagree).

**Finally, if your OS is windows XP then the Microsoft built in firewall is Not up to much, is pretty basic and only block's inbound connections. I've turned it off on my system (disabled it completely) in favour of ZA.

**Go for a product that offers stateful packet inspection if you can (quite a number of ADSL routers also seem to use SPI as there firewall technique too).


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Zone Alarm Security Suite (ZASS)

Sygate personal firewall is also free and highly recommended

Zone Alarm Security Suite (ZASS)

Also if the firewall you want, doesn't have SPI, install CHX-I . It's a packet filter with SPI and it's damm good and very light on resources.

Ivan is correct in that everyone will have their own views on what is and what isn't a good firewall. However the are a number of well rounded firewalls that most people agree are good, they are as follows:

Zone Alarm, Sygate Pro, Outpost, Look 'n' Stop, Jetico & Netveda

Personally for ease of setup, and being free, zone alarm wins. For something a little better either go for the pro version of zonealarm or sygate pro.

Zone Alarm Security Suite (ZASS)

I currently run Zone Alarm Pro + Web Filtering on my other PC. Although I have Web Filtering turned off now, it did work perfectly fine and I don't really have anything to say against it.

As for the main firewall itself, it is great. My computer often gets attacked by people trying to ping me and slow down my connection. After getting their IP you can simply block it using Zone Alarm, and it does work.
I would advise those who are not the best with computers to get an expert to do it, because you may block a certain IP that is essential to you been online, or blocking a website such as Google (I've blocked it by accident a few times... I know, it's sad!).

Alot of people see Zone Alarm to be a bad thing, but it does the job and those without a firewall are alot worse off. My other computer currently has a worm and I need to re-download my backup installation of my Anti-Virus software, which I placed securely on a webhost I pay for. And Zone Alarm is the only problem stopping that, seriously it stops the worm from 'knowing' I'm on the Internet (you could say) and doesn't allow it to start a load of rubbish up.

Well, sorry for my lame attempt at this Smiley


Zone Alarm Security Suite (ZASS)

Outpost is also very good Smiley

Zone Alarm Security Suite (ZASS)

I reckon everyone should consider using a router with a proper hardware firewall as a first line of defence, even if they only have one PC. Ok it costs £40 or so but the extra security is worth it I think

I use a Netgear DG834 but I also have more than one PC so it is necessary anyway
Posts: 124
Registered: 24-05-2007

Zone Alarm Security Suite (ZASS)

I'd also a recommend a router with inbuilt hardware firewall. I have a KCORP KLG-575 and now get no incoming threats and have ZAP there as a second line of defence as well as it stopping outgoing traffic - very important.

I don't use WinXP's firewall because it doesn't monitor outgoing traffic. However, Windows Vista's one will and I suspect it will effective. It'll be interesting then to see the response of the companies who produce firewalls, as they could potentially lose a very significant consumer base over the years.

For anybody interested in Vista's features as it emerges in its beta releases the best site to look at is Paul Thurrott's

(Mags such as PCPro's recent coverage is very slight, outdated and nowhere near as well informed by comparison)