Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement
Wisely, ZoneAlarm's makers haven't changed the program's clean and intuitive interface. Features such as Firewall, Antivirus, and Firewall Logs run down the left side of the screen. There's a column for advice regarding each feature section, then there's the main screen, including layered tabs for configuration options. Why McAfee and Norton haven't switched to a similar design is beyond us. Gamers will appreciate a new option which quiets the pop-up messages from ZoneAlarm Anti-Spyware 6.5 while you are in the midst of playing a full-screen adventure game.
But all is not yet perfect within ZoneAlarm Anti-Spyware 6.5. Pop-ups remain an issue, flashing whenever you restart your computer as various processes and services request control. You can ask ZoneAlarm Anti-Spyware 6.5 to remember your decision to allow or deny access, but many readers have complained in the past that ZoneAlarm remains "noisy." ZoneAlarm Antivirus does provide a tutorial; while helpful, it is still more of a marketing tool than an informative one. However, the built-in help file is excellent, thorough, and very specific, effectively balancing detail and clarity. And the ZoneAlarm online forums are active, with users worldwide eager and willing to answer your questions--something that Norton and McAfee don't offer.