Editor's Choice: Best ZoneAlarm Alternatives in 2020
ZoneAlarm: Is it Enough in 2020?
With the full-feature mode of ZoneAlarm antivirus, you will have all the necessary instruments to keep your devices protected from possible malware threats. It has an understandable interface and plenty of the features that protect not only your computer but also your mobile devices.
However, the thing that makes it especially relevant in 2020 is such feature as zero-day protection, which updates the information on malware and can resist even the newest malware. This program provides excellent protection to your data and money, apart from working as an antivirus.
In order to understand what exactly makes ZoneAlarm unique, let’s take a look on the specific details and see how it performs during the tests.
Check our lists and find out is this product really good in 2020 in terms of cyber protection.
The List of Pros and Cons
Highlights of ZoneAlarm
- Effective in protection from new malware – ZoneAlarm scanner is excellent for detection the unknown viruses.
- Keeps online transactions safety – additional security levels help to keep your data confidential.
- Find your device if it is stolen – anti-theft feature is here.
Features of ZoneAlarm
ZoneAlarm uses licensed antivirus technologies from Kaspersky Lab, but the results of laboratory tests apply only to a specific product, and not to all licensed projects. Until recently, among all the monitored laboratories, only Virus Bulletin directly tested ZoneAlarm – in the Reactive and Proactive test, the product received 76.4%. The average result among all the solutions tested in RAP is 81.77%; namely, the CheckPoint is not high.
When opening a folder with malicious samples in the test, ZoneAlarm immediately blocked 81% of the threats. A few more objects were eliminated in the attempt to launch. As a result, the antivirus detected 87% of malware, which is decent, but not the highest result among antiviruses.
The malware blocking test uses URLs that lead directly to an infected executable file. During the test, the antivirus response is as follows: blocking access to the resource, blocking while downloading the malware, or ignoring the threat. ZoneAlarm blocked 74% of malicious downloads, most of them at the network level.
ZoneAlarm has proven to be even more effective in the phishing protection test. It blocked as many fraudulent links as Norton and confidently surpassed Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. It is worth noting that ZoneAlarm uses an intelligent approach here: the phishing scanner activates only in the cases when the user selects the login or password input fields.
Initially, ZoneAlarm was a personal firewall that has evolved over the years. Software control requires minimal user intervention. Although the solution does not have an intrusion prevention system, it surely excelled in putting system ports in stealth mode and reflecting port scans and other network attacks. CheckPoint invented ways to protect the firewall from directly targeted attacks. During testing, it was not possible to find a way to disable or violate protection.
Almost all ZoneAlarm products offer an extended set of additional tools. Users have 5 GB of cloud backup storage available from CheckPoint’s partner, IDrive. Besides, the same offer is available directly from the IDrive service. The Identity Lock feature prevents the transfer of sensitive user data. Another CheckPoint’s partner, Identity Guard, offers a year of free credit monitoring.
- Protecting your device from the newly emerging malware
- Protecting your data in online deals
- Protecting your browser
- Finding your device in the case of stealth
- Providing security to your mobile devices
Reliability and Security
It has several impressive features that make sure your antivirus is doing everything it can to keep your PC up and running.
First, Extreme Security offers protection against all zero-day attacks, namely those emerging cybersecurity threats that target vulnerabilities that have not yet been officially documented. It is possible due to the technology of accessing the cloud database of antivirus signatures, which the system checks in real-time. When you launch an antivirus that manages to always stay ahead of software companies, your gear and data are safe.
The software also offers Sandbox, an excellent virtual sandbox environment that allows users to open all email attachments in a virtual machine on their computer and quarantine them safely if needed. After that, the files are scanned with a cloud-based database of known viruses to ensure that they do not contain malicious code.
This “threat emulation” process goes through a rigorous four-step process. Any code that is found to be malicious during analysis in the sandbox environment is also immediately transferred to the ZoneAlarm network to protect other users. The test worked: it allows the user to successfully test the sandbox for a sham malware sample that the program successfully isolated, scanned, and identified. So, all you need to do in such case is to do is click a button to remove it from the operating system.
All the ZoneAlarm products are famous for their advanced real-time protection. ZoneAlarm protects against an alphabetical list of cybersecurity threats, including viruses, malware, trojans, worms, and bots – not to mention zero-day attacks.
It is important to note that ZoneAlarm antivirus programs operate at the kernel level of the operating system, which is virtually its central part. They also have several advantages. Among them, customizable scan modes and a list of file signatures, which is updated much faster than many of its competitors in the market.
By launching any of the products of this company, you can be completely sure that you have high-quality protection against any threats.
What is especially noteworthy regarding the protection of the ZoneAlarm series, besides its wide coverage of threats, is that its cloud database is updated in real time. Thanks to this and the diligent work of the ZoneAlarm team, users can be positive that they always have protection against the latest hacks.
Zone Alarm also offers an anti-phishing extension for Google Chrome browser, which adds another significant level of protection for users. It is included in the Pro Antivirus + Firewall and Extreme Security packages.
The problem is as follows: few of us can compromise using email programs on our devices. Email and online banking are just two areas where many hackers are waiting to steal data from unprotected users. The of an anti-phishing tool in a web browser is a worthy addition to the offers of ZoneAlarm products.
The Chrome extension is designed to enhance browser protection by a company that scans URLs so that users never visit websites that are known to pose security risks. When your Internet security system checks the URLs for threats before downloading them and then scans their contents for phishing, you can be sure that your protection is sufficient.
ZoneAlarm includes an anti-keylogger function that detects and prevents the operation of keyloggers on users’ computers. Keyloggers are programs that record user keystrokes to get their usernames and passwords, which can then be transferred to potential thieves. The presence of a keylogger in the leading antivirus engine significantly limits the possible ways in which hackers can compromise your system or, even worse, steal your data.
Zone Alarm offers users 5 GB of drive, in which users can store their vital data for the system. Backing up personal data is simply a must for any user who wants to use a genuinely safe and reliable computer. Unfortunately, too few companies offer such a feature as an element of online security and antivirus products, and it is one of the strong advantages that ZoneAlarm has.
The utility Online Backup supports file versioning, continuous backup, and the ability to map disk. It is indeed a comprehensive full-featured solution and impressive add-up to the product in general.
ZoneAlarm has a utility called “Find My Laptop,” which gives laptop users an excellent opportunity to recover files and lock their stolen laptop. Theft of laptops can cause substantial financial damage, both for companies and for individuals.
The ZoneAlarm utility for returning a computer notifies you after three failed login attempts, can remotely block access to the laptop, restore files, and, of course, display the location of the device on the map. This feature was tested on Windows 10 laptop, and it proved to work in all the options introduced.
ZoneAlarm is not the only one in network protection by identifying viruses in real-time, which shares the identification of viruses with other users, but, of course, updates its “real-time” features in “real-time.” DefenseNet ™ works in perfect harmony with the programs and can use real-time cues from the cloud to ensure that users have the latest protection from download to shutdown.
Using the Inbound MailSafe Protection switch, you can enable the search and blocking of incoming attachments with specific extensions listed in the Attachments tab in the inbox. Upon receipt of an email with an unsafe attachment, ZoneAlarm will change the extension of the attachment to .zlv, and when you try to open this attachment, a warning message will be displayed.
Using the Outbound MailSafe Protection switch, you can enable outbound mail protection. If this protection is enabled, then ZoneAlarm will monitor application attempts to send mail and display relevant requests. Any application in the application control settings can be allowed to send mail without requests.
Using the Advanced button, you can enable tracking of application attempts to send a large number of letters in a short period or attempts to send one message to a large number of recipients. Here you can also enable checking of outgoing letters for the presence of the sender address, which is not in the list of allowed addresses. All these settings allow you to detect and stop the work of viruses, which after infection of the computer, use it to send their copies by mail.
Ease of Use
ZoneAlarm developers made good efforts to make their products as versatile and functional as possible. So, it would not be surprising if you opened the interface and saw it complex and heavy. Fortunately, this is not so complex, as usability is another advantage of ZoneAlarm.
The main dashboard shows you all the necessary information to get a quick overview of virus definitions, account status, and scan status. The anti-phishing protection feature in the browser does not constantly appear along with pop-ups with warnings about threats. Instead, if a suspicious page is found, users are redirected from the site to the warning page and a link. In general, ZoneAlarm has done a good job of creating its products with a powerful feature set so that they are accessible to the average user.
ZoneAlarm Antivirus: Package Features
The key features introduced by the developers are ZoneAlarm Pro and ZoneAlarm Extreme Security. Both of them provide real-time protection for your device, but they have a different focus: one serves as the best protection from malicious software, while the other focuses on preventing your data from stealth.
ZoneAlarm Pro Antivirus
ZoneAlarm Pro Antivirus & Firewall is a protection system that works against all types of threats and malicious attacks.
It includes a powerful two-way firewall that blocks hacker attacks and makes the computer invisible on the network. It controls programs, as well as web protection: it provides secure file downloads and anti-phishing plug-in for Google Chrome.
The new interface simplifies computer protection management. Auto mode Auto-Learn automatically adjusts security settings based on your actions and preferences.
Key Features of ZoneAlarm Pro Antivirus & Firewall
- Anti-phishing: protects the computer against fraudulent attacks.
- Antivirus/spyware protection: detects and removes viruses, spyware, trojans, Internet worms, bots, and rootkits. It uses Kaspersky Lab’s antivirus technology.
- Advanced real-time protection: it essentially provides advanced protection by accessing a cloud-based antivirus signature database.
- Advanced firewall: use it for monitoring programs for suspicious behavior and blocking attacks that a traditional antivirus can skip.
- Bilateral firewall: serves to hide a computer from hackers and blocks data leakage on the Internet.
- Protection of personal information: it prevents identity theft through privacy protection mechanisms.
- Web protection: protects your computer from web threats before they penetrate the browser.
ZoneAlarm Extreme Security
Extreme Security does have some impressive features that can guarantee that they are doing everything they can to keep their PCs up and running.
First, Extreme Security offers protection against all zero-day attacks, namely the emerging cybersecurity threats that target vulnerabilities that have not yet been officially documented. It was made possible because of the technology of accessing the cloud database of antivirus signatures, which the system checks in real time. When you launch an antivirus that manages always to stay ahead of software companies, you know that your gear and data are well-protected.
ZoneAlarm Free Versions
ZoneAlarm is considered as one of the most comprehensive antivirus programs with one of the packages full of features and opportunities for the user. Apart from the package of real-time solutions for possible problems, zero-day security, personal firewall, and multi-device functioning, it allows the user to check all its capacities for free. The antivirus free trial is effective during the 30 days after the activation. This period must be sufficient for you to test all the commodities it offers and make up your mind.
The antivirus does not have a free version, so you will need to decide whether it is worth your money during the trial period. However, the absence of the free mode proves the developers’ intentions never to compromise the quality of services and provide the best protection possible.
ZoneAlarm Firewall: Package Features
The package of ZoneAlarm Firewall offers the options of ZoneAlarm Pro Firewall and ZoneAlarm Free Firewall, and they differ in the scope of functions the features can perform. You can choose the sufficient ones based on your requirements for protecting your devices. ZoneAlarm Free Firewall can suffice in its capacities for a regular user.
ZoneAlarm Pro Firewall
ZoneAlarm Pro Firewall does an excellent job putting system ports in stealth mode to protect against external attacks and to control application access to the network. The component uses an extensive database to distribute permissions for known programs automatically and to make decisions on unknown applications. If you set the maximum level of protection, the firewall will notify the user of attempts to access the Internet by unknown programs and will rely on your decision.
However, in maximum security mode, the OSFirewall analysis component generates a large number of false positives. On the other hand, a similar component in Comodo Firewall 8 produces even more false positives when testing with an identical set of samples.
ZoneAlarm does not attempt to block exploits at the network level in either the free or paid versions. In any case, none of the test attacks could violate the security of the system. Moreover, it was not possible to find a software method for disabling firewall protection.
ZoneAlarm users receive 5 gigabytes of cloud storage for backups from their partner, IDrive, as well as credit monitoring from another partner, Identity Guard. Built-in Identity Lock function prevents possible unauthorized transfer of user data.
You can find one of the differences between the paid and free plan when you select the Technical Support option in the help menu. In the free mode, when you choose this item, a page opens containing links to community forums and installation help. The paid version offers a premium support page with the message: “A certified specialist can help you right now! Our experts will connect to your computer and will fix the problem as soon as possible. ”
ZoneAlarm Free Firewall
It is possible to call ZoneAlarm the inventor of the concept of a firewall protection mechanism against directly targeted attacks. During testing, it was not possible to complete the program processes or in any way, interact with Windows services. At every attempt, the message “Access denied” emerged. Disable protection due to manipulation of the registry also failed.
Intrusion Prevention is a feature that is associated with firewall technology, but this is not entirely true. When attacking a test system using 30 exploits generated by the CORE Impact tool, ZoneAlarm did not respond at all. However, the attacks could not violate the security of the system because security patches were installed on it in time.
In comparison, Symantec Norton AntiVirus Basic blocked two-thirds of exploits at the network level, ensuring that they could not reach the target system. Kaspersky Internet Security performed well with this test and blocked about half of the exploits.
ZoneAlarm assigns networks to a public zone or a trusted zone. By default, the security level rises to its maximum when connected to a public network. The user will be able to connect to a network, but other devices in it will not be able to interact with the user device. In the trusted zone, an average level of security establishes, and it becomes possible to exchange files and send documents for printing.
ZoneAlarm Anti-Ransomware provides proactive zero-day protection against ransomware and restores data after an attack. The program developers promise protection from the famous WannaCry ransomware. The tool offers Zero-Day protection against ransomware and allows you to restore your files. Ransomware is malware that blocks access to user data by encrypting important files and threatens to publish or delete them until a ransom is received.
Key Features of ZoneAlarm Anti-Ransomware:
- Protection against WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware.
- Automatic file recovery: includes overwrite protection, which immediately and automatically recovers any encrypted files.
- File protection: i5t detects and blocks even unknown ransomware.
- PC protection: it prevents any malicious attempts to block your computer, guaranteeing constant access.
ZoneAlarm Mobile Security
ZoneAlarm Mobile Security is a mobile antivirus for Android that protects your device three levels: application, mobile device, and wireless network.
You can be positive your mobile device is fully protected from malicious applications (viruses, HummingBad malware, QuadRoot vulnerabilities, Certifi-Gate), and Wi-Fi attacks.
ZoneAlarm Mobile Security Protection Levels
CheckAgon ZoneAlarm protects your smartphone or tablet using a multi-tiered approach. On the device level, it protects the computer from vulnerabilities on the device by blocking suspicious processes and hacking attempts to the operating system.
Application-level: most applications are safe, but not all of them. This level protects against vulnerabilities and privacy risks caused by suspicious and malicious programs and updates. The latest virus called HummingBad can take control of the device, collect personal data, and simulate clicking on advertising modules.
The network level: even the most secure devices can be hacked when connected to open Wi-Fi wireless networks. At this level, it analyzes the security settings of your connection and displays a warning when MITM attacks are detected. Hackers can gain access to all information sent from the smartphone to the wireless access point via it.
As a user, you can engage in online shopping, online banking, check email, and visit social networking sites completely safely. It has a 30-day trial period for ZoneAlarm Mobile Security. When it expires, you need to purchase a monthly subscription.
ZoneAlarm Mobile Security for Android Features
Apps Protection: it scans infected applications and dangerous updates, as well as alerts you to potential risks.
- Device Shield: it gives a warning of suspicious processes and protects the operating system from hackers.
- Wi-Fi Ranking: it checks wireless networks nearby with recommendations for choosing the most secure connection.
- Wi-Fi Protection: the feature detects insecure Wi-Fi networks that can violate data privacy.
- 100% privacy protection: this feature makes sure the vendor you interact with does not collect personal information.
ZoneAlarm Trial Version & Money Back Guarantee
ZoneAlarm is a licensed antivirus that does not have ads and requires payment. However, you do not have to pay for the software you are not sure about, so the developers suggest a free trial for the program. The free trial lasts 30 days, so you can try all the features and check whether you are good with the user experience the company offers.
However, to use the free trial, you still need to pay for the program, and get a refund if you changed your mind,
Support and Customer Services
The antivirus has a well-designed system to communicate with the customers. It includes user community on the company’s website, an extended section for frequently asked questions, and the contacts that you can use to address the emerging problem. You can contact the support center if you have a problem with the program and you can talk to the sales center if you have subscription issues. However, apart from the support benefits for the customers, the antivirus focuses on preventing the problems, so most of them are solvable just between you and the program. Nonetheless, it is easy to get help online, if you need some.
ZoneAlarm Alternatives & Competitors
It is a quality and reliable antivirus that gives multi-faceted protection on may levels. Regarding the policy of the subscription membership, the company can polish all the function of the software and maintain the relevance of their product in 2020.
Additionally, you can make a weighted decision after the free trial option and testing all the ZoneAlarm features. The current version of the antivirus can hide open ports, automatically detect suspicious traffic, disable malware, and checks the DefenseNet threat database. The program can also protect the computer in public Wi-Fi networks, which is very important for laptops. Generally, it is a decent package that will protect your device.