New Zone Alarm to warn of viruses

Security software maker Zone Labs updates its desktop firewall, but don't expect the virus protection as part of the free ride.

Robert Lemos Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Robert Lemos
covers viruses, worms and other security threats.
Robert Lemos
2 min read
Security software maker Zone Labs updated its desktop firewall on Monday, adding new features that aim to put the kibosh on viruses, the company said.

The antivirus features will be offered in a commercial version of its basic free product, Zone Alarm, and as part of a comprehensive security suite, said Fred Felman, vice president of marketing of Zone Labs, an independent division of security technology company Check Point Software Technologies.

"Many consumers and small business users have asked for a more complete security solution, including antivirus, as well as a great firewall," Felman said.

Zone Labs has licensed the antivirus technology from technology service provider Computer Associates International, which typically sells its product, eTrust Antivirus, to small and medium-size businesses.

The new additions to its product lines puts Zone Labs in direct competition with the two top players in the home PC security market: Symantec's Norton Internet Security and Network Associates' McAfee Internet Security Suite.

Virus and worm attacks, such as the recent Sasser worm, typically boost sales for the companies. Last year, Symantec estimated that as much as $35 million in revenue for its second fiscal quarter, which ends in September, was due to consumers renewing their antivirus programs after the MSBlast worm and Sobig virus attacks.

With the addition of antivirus capabilities, Zone Alarm doubles the number of products it offers to consumers.

While a basic version of Zone Alarm can be downloaded for free from the company's Web site, the antivirus features will only be available in commercial versions.

The company will sell the basic firewall software with antivirus for $19.95 and bundles its advanced version of the firewall with antivirus, instant messaging security and Web site blocking features in a new product, Zone Alarm Security Suite for $69.95.

The company will still sell its standalone advanced firewall software, Zone Alarm Pro, for $49.95.