Magazine article Information Today

ZoneAlarm Pro 3.0: Great Protection Online with Limitations. (Software Review)

Magazine article Information Today

ZoneAlarm Pro 3.0: Great Protection Online with Limitations. (Software Review)

Article excerpt

I've tried several firewall/Internet security programs, including ZoneAlarm, which is the free version of ZoneAlarm Pro 3.0, but without all the bells and whistles.

I decided to take the plunge and try the paid version, ZoneAlarm Pro 3.0, which touts on its Web site (http://www.zonelabs.com) that it "protects against Internetborne threats like worms, Trojan horses, and spyware. New ZoneAlarm Pro doubles your protection with Ad Blocking and Cookie Control to speed up your Internet experience and stop Web-site spying."

My husband and I had invested in a router with a hardware firewall so that we could use our cable Internet connection at the same time--whether he and I were on our desktop computers or he was on his desktop and I was on my notebook (via wireless modern). Supposedly, the hardware firewall was all we needed. But being overly cautious, I wanted to make sure our Internet connection was really being protected.

ZoneAlarm Pro 3.0 costs $49.95 for the initial purchase, which includes 1 year of updates and online technical support. After the first year, it costs $19.95 per year for updates/support. It's available for download only from the Zone Labs Web site. I know people who'd rather go to the site to order the "boxed" retail version--just in case their computer crashes. Many people still don't have a CD-RW, Zip, Jaz, or other backup procedure to make copies.

The download is 3.8 MB, but with our cable connection it was fast, only a couple of minutes. Installation was easy and I followed the "wizard" step-by-step prompts. The actual program takes up only 10 MB of hard-disk space (the free version takes up 8 MB), so I was curious to see what, if anything, would happen.

I didn't have to wait long. Within minutes after installing ZoneAlarm Pro 3.0, I got a "hit"--a small pop-up window warned me that someone from the IP address 192.168.1.101 was there. I went to SamSpade at http://www.samspade.org, input 192.168.1.101 in the top text box, clicked on the "Do Stuff' button, and found out that this IP address was allocated to a private network.

Throughout the course of using ZoneAlarm Pro 3.0, I received an average of two of these types of hits a day from different IP addresses. …

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