A significantly improved installation procedure and a new look are the notable improvements to ZoneAlarm Free Firewall 2012 (download).

ZoneAlarm borrows its new look from the full ZoneAlarm security suite, replacing the old horizontal buttons with three large icons and boxes. One takes you to settings for your computer's security, the middle focuses on Internet traffic, and the third addresses your identity and data.

ZoneAlarm Free has for some time offered 2GB of online storage and credit monitoring gratis.

The new ZoneAlarm installer also takes a page from its suite siblings, so that you only have to download a small "stub" executable, which then grabs the entire program from the cloud when you run it. The stub is around 5MB.

For people not familiar with ZoneAlarm, the firewall is highly respected for bolstering Windows 7's lax outbound controls, while significantly enhancing the notoriously wimpy outbound and inbound firewall on Windows XP.

What's new in ZoneAlarm Free Firewall 2012?