Spyware, Viruses, & Security

General discussion

ZoneAlarm vs. ZoneAlarm Pro

by rmhall / November 30, 2004 8:53 AM PST

Any opinions on using ZA or ZA Pro? I realize there are more features in the Pro version - does it offer better protection? Are the firewalls the same? I'm trying to decide if I want to upgrade to the Pro version. Any replies are appreciated. Thanks.

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Re: ZoneAlarm vs. ZoneAlarm Pro
by Mark5019 / November 30, 2004 10:07 AM PST

my opinion im useing free no need to go to pro im very happy with it

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Re: ZoneAlarm vs. ZoneAlarm Pro
by petakench / December 7, 2004 10:37 AM PST

I migrate between Pro and Standard. Everytime a auto upgrade comes through they give Pro for a limited time, I opt in, and then back to Standard when ZA asks for the $'s.
Quite honestly I consider Standard just as suitable as Pro. I use Avast virus protection, Spybot, with ZA standard [all free] and must be one of the few in my circle of computer friends to run without problems, and I work through the internet everyday all day.
So go with standard, but make sure that you are running good security.
I might add that Spybot reports a 'Double click' on entering this message board.

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Re: ZoneAlarm vs. ZoneAlarm Pro
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / December 1, 2004 4:54 AM PST

rm,

Just my opinion here, but I've never had the need to use anything other than the free firewall. There seems to be very little difference in the firewall. (The PRO version allows for some "stronger" settings in network situations which aren't useful to most "home" users) The PRO version also has more file extensions that are blocked in it's e-mail scanning program and it has a pop up blocker and a few other 'doo-dads', but I use other antivirus, pop up blockers, etc. that accomplish the same task.

Hope this helps.

Grif

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Re: ZoneAlarm vs. ZoneAlarm Pro
by G McConnell / December 5, 2004 6:55 AM PST

I used to use ZoneAlarm, and even bought a license for my work computers (13). Cost a fair bit. But the continuing pop-ups seemed unnecessary, and I THOUGHT our router in fact protected us from intruders. Does it not? I have certainly had to remove a few viruses that got through from e-mail, but even that has waned as our service provider's computers seem to do a pretty good job of detecting them. If you have a router, do you really still need Zone Alarm?

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G McConnell, It Depends On The Network
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / December 6, 2004 5:28 AM PST

...and the operating systems involved. The simplest example to use is the "Blaster" and "Sasser" worms. If an infection occurred on ANY computer within the network, (by e-mail or floppy disk or CD or "network aware" virus), then the infection would spread through the entire network. During the original "Blaster worm" infections our agency network had quite a few problems. Those computers which were "patched", or had software firewalls, or had Windows 9.x did not get infected. Luckily, I had all our department computers patched and we had no problems at all.

Whether you actually need ZoneAlarm is up to you. Windows XP SP2 has a firewall which will suffice in the situation I mentioned above.

Hope this helps.

Grif

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Help with Zone Alarm
by Cathyblj / December 28, 2004 8:14 AM PST

Can you help me, please? I downloaded Zone Alarm Pro (15 day trial) and uninstalled the McAfee Personal Firewall. I am having serious trouble now. I use AOL and like to listen to Radio@AOL. Ever since I installed ZAP, the service is too slow and the music keeps stopping, presumably while it is buffering. The pauses often last even longer than the time the music can be heard. ZA alert recommended that I click Remember and deny access when it popped up with, "AOL is trying to act as a server." Was this a mistake? Is there a way to set up ZA for minimal interference while listening to music? Thank you.

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Cathy, Try This...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / December 29, 2004 3:23 AM PST
In reply to: Help with Zone Alarm

First, make sure that McAfee's firewall is completely uninstalled by using the MANUAL removal instructions from the link below. Use the manual instructions to ferret out any remaining files or registry items on the machine:

How do I Uninstall Personal Firewall/Plus?

Now, if you're using Windows XP, make sure that the Windows XP firewall is not enabled. Open the Control Panel, then double click on the "Network Connections" icon, then RIGHT click on the icon of the connection type you're using, choose 'Properities" from the menu. When that loads, click on the "Advanced" tab, then make sure that the Windows Firewall is turned OFF.

Now, about ZA. Most ISP's don't require the "Server" access, but you never know. In your case, try changing that by opening the ZA control panel by double clicking on the ZA icon in the lower right corner. When that opens, click on the "Programs Control" tab on the left side of the window, then find the AOL program listing. Click once on the "Trusted" item that probably has a red X in it, choose the "Allow" option which is a green check mark.

Check through your other listings and if there are any specific to AOL radio or the specific player you're using, then make sure that they are "Allowed" to the "Internet".

Hope this helps.

Grif

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Uninstall Firewall
by Cathyblj / December 30, 2004 6:56 AM PST
In reply to: Cathy, Try This...

Thank you! The radio is uninterrupted now. This might also have to do with the fact that I got connected at a higher rate than before (38 kbps instead of 28 kbps.) The info is very useful. Also, people should be informed that installing the Service Pack 2 for Windows causes the Windows Firewall to be automatically turned on, even if you already have a firewall. That gave me trouble for a while, until I turned off the Windows firewall!

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(NT) (NT) Good Job Cathy & Glad We Could Help !
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / December 31, 2004 3:18 AM PST
In reply to: Uninstall Firewall
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Zone Alarm Pro
by Cathyblj / January 1, 2005 4:05 AM PST

More help, please? While Zone Alarm appears to be working OK (the system tray icon is flashing red and green bars like a meter), I'm getting a Windows Security Alert which claims that Zone Alarm is reporting that it is currently turned off. I can't be sure because I don't see a way to turn it on and off. I haven't seen a ZA alert recently - if I could see one, I'd be sure the Windows Security Alert is messed up. What's your take? And how do you turn ZA on and off? Thanks!

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Cathy, ZA's Flashing Meter ...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / January 2, 2005 1:58 PM PST
In reply to: Zone Alarm Pro

...is exactly what it's supposed to do when you have access to the internet and are experiencing traffic. That normally means it is working correctly. If you have ZA settings so it won't alert you to "normal" traffic, then you won't see the warning pop ups unless a program attempts to "call out".

In order to determine if ZA is working, double click on the ZA icon in the lower right. When the console loads, click on the "Alerts and Logs" tab on the left side. When that loads, click on the "Log Viewer" tab. You should see all of the last 50 blocked attempts with times that they occurred. In fact, if you watch long enough, you might see new ones added to the list. If you want the "Alert Windows" to display themselves every time an attempt is made on the computer, click on the "Main" tab in "Alerts and Logs", then place a dot/tic in the "On" selection.

There are a couple of ways to turn ZA on/off. If you want to disable it quickly, RIGHT click on the ZA icon in the lower right, choose "ShutDown ZoneAlarm", then select "Yes" when it asks "Are You Sure?". Re-enable it by clicking on Start-All Programs-Zonelabs-Zonelabs Security.

If you don't want ZA running at start up, open the ZA console, click on the "Overview" tab on the left, then UNCHECK the box that says: "Load ZoneAlarm at StartUP".

Hope this helps.

Grif

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ZA was on, after all
by Cathyblj / January 3, 2005 7:26 AM PST

Thanks for extra info, Grif! I assumed the meter was showing traffic in and out, but the Windows Security Alert stumped me. ZA was on, and eventually I got an alert. Safe to say the security alert was wrong. I am hooked on ZA, and on the CNET forum!

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Router and Zone Alarm
by cmhmike / December 15, 2004 9:40 AM PST

I'm a little late reading this I know but this is a question I have myself. I have a Linksys router with a 4 port switch, and built in NAT firewall. I know the NAT is a hardware firewall, but just as G McConnell asks, since I have a router with a hardware firewall do I need a software firewall? Thanks.

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re: Router and Zone Alarm
by Lenny K / December 28, 2004 1:51 PM PST
In reply to: Router and Zone Alarm

I'm running WinXP PRO with Linksys 2.4 Ghz wireless ? G Broadband Router and ZoneAlarm 5.5.062.004 with no problems and ZoneAlarm still catches a few.

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Re: ZoneAlarm vs. ZoneAlarm Pro
by gkloc / December 7, 2004 6:57 AM PST

I have both. Free on the home coputer with its stable environment, Pro on my laptop which travels the world. The basic "Firewall" is the same for both versions. Pro allowes me to control many other features for the laptops on-the-road use.

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Re: ZoneAlarm vs. ZoneAlarm Pro
by GreggN / December 2, 2004 8:02 PM PST

ZoneAlarm has a version that is free for personal use - but I don't believe that the license allows for continued use of the free version in a business setting. Even home users can encounter rare instances that require the extra features of the Pro version.

For example, I recently ran into a program that would not work until I enabled the 15-day ZoneAlarm Pro trial and gained the ability to configure how ZoneAlarm handled UDP traffic.

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Re: ZoneAlarm vs. ZoneAlarm Pro
by bmcintyre / December 2, 2004 8:14 PM PST

I have upgraded the four machines in my home to the PRO version a couple of years ago, and never looked back. The ability to configure has consistently improved, and the ability to keep it updated easily has helped also. Since the license for PRO for home use allows use on up to four machines, it was an easy choice to make. I have disabled the "firewall" and "popup" protections of XP2 to retain those on ZoneAlarm since the overall usability and effectiveness is so good.

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Re: ZoneAlarm vs. ZoneAlarm Pro
by manville / December 2, 2004 10:00 PM PST

Please tell me where in the ZoneAlarm license agreement that it says you can install the PRO version on more than one machine?

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Re: ZoneAlarm vs. ZoneAlarm Pro
by jcarollo / December 3, 2004 12:24 AM PST

I too have upgraded to the Pro version. I upgraded a year ago and agree with bmcintyre that it is a worthwhile upgrade. Like bmcintyre, I have four computers at home networked together. The license to use it on four computers makes it a bargain. The popup blocking alone is worth the upgrade. I prefer Netscape to IE and no longer get any popups. After installing WinXP SP2, I disabled Windows Internet Connection Firewall and do not use the IE popup blocker. ZoneAlarm Pro handles everything very well, even in IE. I will very definitely continue my subscription to ZoneAlarm Pro.

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Re: ZoneAlarm vs. ZoneAlarm Pro
by manville / December 3, 2004 12:30 AM PST

Again, point me to the language in the EULA that permits you to load ZoneAlarm on 4 computers with one license.

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Re: ZoneAlarm vs. ZoneAlarm Pro
by jcarollo / December 3, 2004 12:38 AM PST

I looked again at the EULA and I cannot find the language. I do recall reading in a product review some time ago that the license extended to as many as four computers, but I do not recall where I read that review.

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Re: ZoneAlarm vs. ZoneAlarm Pro (Computers Per License)
by drbb / December 3, 2004 12:57 PM PST

The EULA does not seem to address this issue clearly (but it's so long, I can't be sure); however, the Zone Labs Customer Care link is very clear: one PC per license:

http://nh3.nohold.net/noHoldCust25/Prod_1/Articles55646/MultComputers.html

It states:

Zone Labs Customer Care

This Information Applies to:

All ZoneAlarm Products

Summary:

Do I need to install ZoneAlarm on all computers?

Solution:

ZoneAlarm is a standalone product providing protection for the computer it is running on.

One of the features of ZoneAlarm products is the discovery of all applications attempts at using the Internet. We recommend installing on all computers within a networked environment. ZoneAlarm effectively alerts you to programs accessing the Internet, and lets you stop and prevent unknown and unauthorized applications from accessing your computer.

ZoneAlarm Products protect your computer from programs known as spyware. Programs like Back Orifice, and other Trojan Horse programs, can be sent to you through email, from websites and through downloading files over the Internet. These programs are designed to let someone control and access your computer when you are online.

You may install and use the Software for your internal use on the number of computers for which you have paid license fees and copy the Software for back-up or archival purposes.

One license is good to install ZoneAlarm on one (1) computer. If you wish to move your ZoneAlarm product to another machine, you should completely uninstall from the original machine, and then reinstall on the new machine, using the same license key.

This is also a good time to download the very latest version, if you have not done so recently. If you install multiple copies of the software on a multi-boot machine, be sure to install each in a different folder.

The full text of the user license can be found at:

http://www.zonelabs.com/store/media/downloads/EULAZAStandard.txt

Purchase of ZoneAlarm Pro/Suite entitles you to use the product forever, and includes free upgrades and technical support for one year.

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Re: ZoneAlarm vs. ZoneAlarm Pro
by Jezter~ / December 2, 2004 8:42 PM PST

The ZoneAlarm Pro version has a few extra bells and whistles (pop-up blocking etc.) but, principally, offers one on one support - that's what you're paying for. A better option is the Security Suite offering which includes the AV client and the one to one support (plus better overall protections - instant messaging, content blocking et al); comparable to the two best known commercial security suites, McAfee and Norton.

In reality, if you just need a firewall, the free version of ZA is perfectly adequate; leave it in default and it "learns" which programmes you consider need access out (it pre-configures the obvious ones like email clent and browser, windows update etc.) and will protect you from the nasties trying to come in.

One word of warning: If you use McAfee AV, you'll have to disable ZA to allow the virus definitions updates as they don't play well together. [No experience with other AV clents].

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Re: ZoneAlarm vs. ZoneAlarm Pro
by Tman / December 2, 2004 8:59 PM PST

I had that same problem but I didn't know why. I thought my PC was screwed up. Everytime an update came, Zone Labs would pop up and say my definitions were out of date. I would have to either try to update again or reinstall mcafee, so I switched to Norton, which if you note my post on that caused other problems. If I had know this before I wouldn't have bought Norton and just had it let me know when a new update was available and then shut off Zone Labs.

I am using professional because I had read in a few articles that there are some womms and trojans that exploit the free version.

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ZoneAlarm vs. ZoneAlarm Pro
by techtype / December 2, 2004 9:51 PM PST

I don't know how that could be? They both use the same core code between the free versions of ZoneAlarm and the ZoneAlarm Pro? You just don't get all the bells and whistles in the free version. Besides from a business/marketing point of view you would be cutting your throat by allowing one version to allow worms and virus' to access. You want to talk about security problems talk about Black Ice Defender, now there is a problem with security flaws. I have not read any articles that said ZoneAlarm had any security issues. If you could elaborate, I would be pleased to read those articles.

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Re: ZoneAlarm vs. ZoneAlarm Pro
by pmwpaul / December 2, 2004 11:32 PM PST

I ran into a problem with a trojan even with the free Zonealarm running. I used the Trojan Hunter to spot it but neither the Trojan Hunter nor McAfee antivirus could remove it. By doing research on the internet I figured out how it was working and hiding and finaly removed it manually.

Now I've upgraded to the Zonealarm Pro and have tightened up my security. My total security now is a Netgear wireless router with firewall, Zonealarm Pro, McAfee antivirus and PestPatrol.

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Re: ZoneAlarm vs. ZoneAlarm Pro
by tbltx / December 3, 2004 6:54 AM PST

Try to uninstall both Norton and ZA. After that install ZA Pro and then Norton. I use pro and Norton AV 2005 with no problems. Let me know if that works.

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Re: ZoneAlarm vs. ZoneAlarm Pro
by Flirkann / December 2, 2004 9:51 PM PST

NAV 2003 behaves itself if Live update has the appropriate permissions to allow it to auto-update itself. The AV monitoring is still touchy, every day it told me my definitions were out of date, albiet only by about 8 hrs because of the auto-update feature of NAV, so I turned off AV monitoring - no problem if you AV software is self updating.

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Re: ZoneAlarm vs. ZoneAlarm Pro
by Earthquake McGoon / December 3, 2004 12:06 AM PST

I agree with Jexter~. I was using the free firewall and McAfee, as well as a free download of AVG from Infostar.com. The McAfee was nothing but problems. Hang-ups, freezes, slow response, etc. I went to ZA Security Suite, along with a free AV called Bitware (also from Infostar.com). I like the idea of running an "overseas" program because I think they may approach viruses from a different slant. I am very happy with ZA, and would recommend it to anyone. I have had instances where the Bitware caught e-mail viruses and the McAfee
or the Norton which was on my machine when I bought it, did not. Once, I discovered that Norton had a sub-routine to get rid of it, but CALLED IT BY A DIFFERENT NAME! I am very satisfied with my present setup.

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Re: Remove Norton Completely
by Patty Tourangeau / December 3, 2004 5:49 AM PST

I would be very interested in this "sub-routine" you are talking about -- "called it by differenct name" --so that I can take Norton COMPLETELY off of my computers. All help greatly appreciated.

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