We're especially impressed by ZoneAlarm Internet Security's unique privacy control feature, which lets you store and track user-defined personal information in an encrypted "information vault." If you subsequently type any of that data, such as your credit card number, on a Web site, ZoneAlarm asks whether you want the destination added to your Trusted Sites list. If you say no, the outbound transmission is blocked. This feature stops keystroke loggers and other tools used by identity thieves; currently, it isn't included within either the McAfee or Norton Internet security packages.
For a more in-depth discussion of the antivirus and firewall features within ZoneAlarm Internet Security, see our review of ZoneAlarm with Antivirus.
Still, there's room for improvement here. For example, ZoneAlarm Internet Security doesn't include a heuristics-based scan within ZoneAlarm's spam control, just a whitelist of acceptable senders. Heuristics can block spam based on unique features within the message, not just the sender's name or address. Worse, ZoneAlarm's whitelist isn't even maintained on your computer, but back at Zone Labs, making editing your allowable contacts an online activity rather than something you can perform anywhere, anytime on your laptop.The purchase price for ZoneAlarm Internet Security includes one year of software updates and both e-mail- and keyword-based virtual support, along with access to a well-attended user forum. Purchase does not, however, include free telephone support. Support by phone is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday (excluding major holidays) , but it costs a hefty $2.95 per minute--about the same as what McAfee and Symantec charge for their phone support.
ZoneAlarm Internet Security 5.5 lacks documentation, either printed or as an electronic file, and the tutorial is more of a glitzy marketing device than an informative tool--a drawback in a product of this complexity. However, the built-in help file is excellent, thorough, and specific, effectively balancing detail and clarity.