ZoneAlarm Free Firewall

ZoneAlarm Free Firewall

Download Editors' Rating:
5
Spectacular
Average User Rating:
3.4
out of 3463 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    9.2.076
  • Total Downloads:
    51,128,864
  • Date Added:
    October 08, 2010
  • File Size:
    3.24MB
  • Downloads Last Week:
    2,159
  • Operating Systems:
    Windows XP/Vista/7

Editors' Review

+

The bottom line: ZoneAlarm Firewall Free 9.2 has gotten quieter and more effective, and should be considered an excellent tool for replacing the adequate default Windows firewall with a stronger option that includes better outbound protection, antiphishing guards, and ZoneAlarm's behavioral detection network.

The changes made to improve the default firewall in Windows 7 are impressive, but the newest version of the free ZoneAlarm Firewall argues that Microsoft still has a long way to go. ZoneAlarm 9.2 introduces multiple new features to one of the world's oldest computer security programs including quieter outbound protection, behavioral detection from the ZoneAlarm Internet security suite, automatic Wi-Fi security setting activation, antiphishing protection, an overhauled ZoneAlarm toolbar, and 2GB of online storage for free.

Installation

Program installation was largely a smooth experience, taking about 5 minutes. Users will have to reboot their computers after its done. Prior users of ZoneAlarm's paid security suites might encounter some odd behavior if the uninstallation process of one of those programs left remnants, but this should be the rare exception and not the rule.

Interface

ZoneAlarm has unified its security interfaces, so users familiar with one program won't see dramatic changes in another. The left side contains navigation links; the center window is where all the action happens. As noted in the review of ZoneAlarm Extreme Security, it's not a bad design but it doesn't pop visually. The text links can be hard to read because of font choice, and although the center buttons are big, the details within could be easier to read.

Features and support

Designed to be used in conjunction with an antivirus program, the strongest tool in ZoneAlarm's belt is the outbound firewall. Though Windows does offer some outbound protection, it's not activated by default. Most users tend to leave it off because they either don't know about it, or when they do turn it on it regularly interrupts their workflow with pop-up security warnings. Older versions of ZoneAlarm used to be noisy with pop-ups as well, but the new version has been set to be quieter without changing the level of protection. If you prefer, this can be changed in the program settings.

During a half-day of testing the default ZoneAlarm Firewall settings, the only pop-ups encountered were those blocking new software installations. The pop-ups for the three programs tested went away and allowed the installation to proceed with one click. More than just a low rate of interference, only encountering pop-ups for program installations is precisely the kind of warning that keeps you aware of what's occurring on your computer without distracting you simply for surfing the Web.

The benefits of an outbound firewall might not be readily apparent. An inbound firewall blocks threats coming in from the outside, but an outbound firewall does more than prevent your computer from spreading viruses and malware to others. If your computer has been compromised by a botnet, for example, outbound protection will stop it from sending your data back to its host servers. It can also stop program spoofing, which is when a malicious program pretends to be a good one, and IP spoofing, which is when harmful network transmissions dress up as safe ones.

This update includes DefenseNet, ZoneAlarm's behavioral detection system of anonymously contributed data that's used to verify and block threats. Previously, it had only been present in ZoneAlarm's antivirus programs. You can opt out from it when you install, but contributing doesn't negatively affect your system's performance.

The ZoneAlarm toolbar has also been given more than a simple spit-shine. You can opt out of installing it when you run the main installer, and install it later if you wish, but ZoneAlarm was quick to point out that it without it key security features are not activated. Hiding the toolbar after it's been installed won't disable its protections, which include the aforementioned signature and heuristic-based antiphishing protections.

It also adds a site check option that can be used to reveal the date founded and physical location of the site and has customizable safe site buttons for launching regularly visited sites such as Facebook or your banking site. The e-mail checker built into the toolbar is compatible with Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, RR, Univision, and POP3 accounts. Unfortunately, there's no IMAP support. Finally, the toolbar links to ZoneAlarm's free 2GB of online backup space, courtesy IDrive, and six months free identity theft protection from IdentityGuard.

One of the more annoying limitations of the toolbar is that it only works with Firefox and Internet Explorer, even though Chrome has supported extensions for a year. Given the instability that toolbars contribute to IE, and the clutter that they add to the browser interface, ZoneAlarm would probably get more mileage out of the feature if it was reduced to a single button that opened a new window or expanded a set of buttons.

The Help link in the bottom left of the interface only links to the program's Help file. The only in-program access to the online help Web site, in the form of the free knowledge base and forums or paid telephone support during business hours, comes as a link under the Product Info sub-option under Overview on the left nav.

Performance

ZoneAlarm's performance was notable simply for how unnoticeable it was. Shutdown time did not appear to be affected at all, and neither did starting up cold nor rebooting. Changing the antivirus program that it was partnered with didn't affect the firewall's behavior, either. These are big changes from previous versions of ZoneAlarm, and obviously, they're welcome ones, too.

Conclusion

This update of ZoneAlarm Firewall Free should make people do a double-take because of the features and low interference level from the program. It also should do wonders for ZoneAlarm's reputation, but that has more to do with whether years of substandard updates can be erased by a firewall that is the strong, silent type that users need.

 
read more +

Publisher's Description

+
 
read more +
User Reviews
+
  • Current Version

    3.4

    out of 44 votes

    • 5 star 14
    • 4 star 12
    • 3 star 5
    • 2 star 4
    • 1 star 9
  • All Versions

    3.4

    out of 3463 votes

    • 5 star 1299
    • 4 star 745
    • 3 star 313
    • 2 star 289
    • 1 star 817
  • My rating

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1–10 of 44

1 stars

"BEWARE Zonealarm Free disables Homegroup in Win 7 x64"

February 20, 2013  |  By baby24242

 |  Version: ZoneAlarm Free Firewall 9.2.076

Pros

Great firewall.

Cons

Disables the Homegroup in Windows 7 unless you pay for the full version. What Garbage.

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

1 stars

"Encountered multiple internet crashes"

March 29, 2011  |  By brownbeardad

 |  Version: ZoneAlarm Free Firewall 9.2.076

Pros

Could not get the freeware to perform after install, so I cannot comment.

Cons

Internet either crashed after install or other software became unstable. After uninstall internet stopped crashing and no more stability concerns.

Summary

Would like to retry after bugs have been resolved. Until then I recommend postpone trying until further imporvements are completed.

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

1 stars

"HORRIBLE FIREWALL"

December 09, 2010  |  By anon000999

 |  Version: ZoneAlarm Free Firewall 9.2.076

Pros

Absolutely nothing good about this.

Cons

Slowed down computer to unusable speed. Impossible to fully remove. Even after I've uninstalled my computer is still unbearably slow. Worked perfectly fine before installing ZoneAlarm

Summary

Do not download unless you want to have to reformat your computer afterwards. Impossibly slow and unremovable without reformating.

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (1) (1)

3 stars

"GOOD STURDY FIREWALL"

December 08, 2010  |  By hogmeister

 |  Version: ZoneAlarm Free Firewall 9.2.076

Pros

Its free and does a great job ... but....

Cons

I have been using this product for 6 months with no problem whatsoever...Just recently my internet connection was dropping every 5 or 10 minutes.It was indeed ZoneAlarm.Installed another firewall,A OK.Also it blocked itunes no matter what I told it.

Summary

Great firewall, set and forget, but as above there are bugs.

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (3) (1)

3 stars

"Unmanageable - Blocking and Allowing are Permanent!"

December 04, 2010  |  By Tekaylus

 |  Version: ZoneAlarm Free Firewall 9.2.076

Pros

Protection - Excellent, Stopped All Infections

Cons

User Interface - Not Intuitive
Settings - Unhelpful
Block List - Not Manageable!!!

Summary

If you block or allow something, you will not be able to undo it. There is a log of every action you make, but no list of allowed and blocked items. If you screw up you have to uninstall and start over.

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (1) (0)

4 stars

"Excellent programme"

December 04, 2010  |  By Old Age and Treachery

 |  Version: ZoneAlarm Free Firewall 9.2.076

Pros

Easy to use.

Cons

Nothing not to like

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (0) (1)

1 stars

"Slashes internet anmd network speeds"

December 03, 2010  |  By billyboing

 |  Version: ZoneAlarm Free Firewall 9.2.076

Pros

Nothing about this made me want to use it

Cons

Slashed my broadband speed from 17 Mbps to around 2Mbps. Pings went from 25ms to 400ms+. Home network slowed to a crawl. Uninstalled it an everything returned to normal

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (1) (1)

4 stars

"Overall Good"

December 01, 2010  |  By VineetKapila

 |  Version: ZoneAlarm Free Firewall 9.2.076

Pros

Effective and efficient

Cons

Not so customizable.

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (2) (1)

5 stars

"Works as advertised."

November 30, 2010  |  By bordenaz

 |  Version: ZoneAlarm Free Firewall 9.2.076

Pros

Easy to set up your firewall.

Cons

Couldn't find any

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (1) (1)

1 stars

"i used to like them"

November 28, 2010  |  By raptor12345

 |  Version: ZoneAlarm Free Firewall 9.2.076

Pros

good firewall

Cons

they took out the abily to block address that are abviosly hacking you and when i talked to one of there people all they could say is sorry give us money to block it.

Summary

they used to be good but they really don't care about there customers all they care about is getting paid not doing anything to help

Updated on Nov 28, 2010

they made no attempt to make me fell better about there software, they basicly said give us money or you are screwed agenst any hackers, i strongly sudjest looking into other software. and i have to say i am a network admin that has used them for many years and i will be moving on to other companys.

Updated on Nov 28, 2010

yes i am using the free version but if i can't even block an address what is the point??????

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (0) (1)

Results 1–10 of 44

Add Your Review

Login or create an account to post a review.

You are logged in as . Please submit your review for ZoneAlarm Free Firewall
Add Your Review

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
Click here to review our site terms of use.

Update your review

Since you've already submitted a review for this product, this submission will be added as an update to your original review.
Submit

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
Click here to review our site terms of use.

 
see all reviews +

Full Specifications

+
What's new in version 9.2.076
Version 9.2.076 includes Microsoft patch for Windows 7 systems which: Resolves some issues with running two security products at once; Resolves Internet connectivity and stability issues, especially with Windows 7 64-bit systems; Improves networking support, with automatic network detection for wired and wireless networks.
General
Publisher ZoneAlarm
Publisher web site http://www.zonealarm.com/
Release Date October 08, 2010
Date Added October 08, 2010
Version 9.2.076
Category
Category Security Software
Subcategory Firewall Software
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows, Windows XP
Additional Requirements None
Download Information
File Size 3.24MB
File Name zafwSetupWeb_133_052_000.exe
Popularity
Total Downloads 51,128,864
Downloads Last Week 2,159
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

Previous Versions:

Add to my list Report a problem
 
read more +

More Products to Consider

Close[x]

Submit a problem report for ZoneAlarm Free Firewall

Please describe the problem you have with this software. This information will be sent to our editors for review.

Problem:

The Download.com Installer isn't working as expected

The download link does not work

The software has a newer version

The product contains malicious software

Other

Description:

Please select a feedback type.

Please enter a description.

Submit Problem Report

Close[x]

Problem Report submitted

Thank you for submitting a problem report! The Download team is committed to providing you with accurate software information.

OK