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ZoneAlarm 6.0 security products review: ZoneAlarm 6.0 security products

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ZoneAlarm Internet Security includes all of the features found in the previous three versions, plus it adds integrated antivirus and antispyware scanning, spam-blocking technology from MailFrontier Desktop, instant messaging spam control (SPIM), and more personal data filters.

ZoneAlarm Internet Security suite integrates its new antispyware technology with its existing antivirus technology licensed from Computer Associates.

Unfortunately, ZoneAlarm Internet Security still offers only basic wireless network detection and protection and doesn't specifically address emerging problems, such as "evil twin attacks". We'd welcome more development in this area in future releases.

The annual subscription renewal for ZoneAlarm costs less than Norton's or McAfee's. For the ZoneAlarm Internet Security suite it's $24.95, while ZoneAlarm Pro and ZoneAlarm with Antivirus run a conservative $19.95. By comparison, renewing subscriptions to McAfee Internet Security suites costs $39.95, while Norton costs $29.95.

Included with the purchase of ZoneAlarm Internet Security is 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.

Unfortunately, ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite 6.0 lacks printed documentation. The tutorial, while helpful, is more of a marketing tool than an informative one. However, the built-in help file is excellent, thorough, and specific, effectively balancing detail and clarity. And the ZoneAlarm forums are active, with users willing to answer your questions--something that Norton and McAfee don't offer.

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