Zone Labs ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite 6.5 review
Spyware scanning, site blocking and alerts are all improved over version 6 - the best just got better
Review Date: 21 Jul 2006
Reviewed By: Davey Winder
Price when reviewed: (£50 inc VAT); upgrade: £17 (£20 inc VAT)
ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite 6 was updated with spyware protection last year. This version sees a larger signature database and more frequent updates. The performance improvements were impressive: with the detection rate up to 96% (up from 91%), removal rate 91% (from 84%) and blocking 77% (70%). This overall rating of 88% can't beat our A-Listed standalone choice, Spyware Doctor 3.8, which scored 89% (detection 98%, removal 92%, blocking 78%), but it comes very close. Where ZoneAlarm starts to pull ahead is with the addition of a new spyware site-blocking feature. This prevents access to known spyware sites, even when any existing spyware tries to contact them.
More disappointing is that there are no plans to extend the much-heralded Identity Protection Center outside the US. It's a great idea that brings ID theft protection into the real world, monitoring internet usage of your credit cards in IRC channels and other known black markets, keeping an eye on your credit ratings offline and letting you know when finance applications are made. It's very frustrating to have a members-only notice on the door in the UK.
The new gaming mode will be welcomed by anyone who's had their enjoyment spoiled by alerts - ZoneAlarm suspends alerts without suspending protection, although you're limited to a choice of accept or deny all. Alerts in general have been improved with this release. Every classified spyware app caught by the OS firewall now has a corresponding AlertAdvisor or "more info" article to ensure you're kept informed and better prepared to make decisions as to how to deal with it. We'd have liked to see a broadening of email client support for the MailFrontier-provided anti-spam feature, but this remains exclusive to Outlook. Otherwise, ZoneAlarm is the same accomplished security suite that it ever was.
With the new Identity Protection Center inaccessible from the UK, there isn't a lot to justify the £20 upgrade, but the improved spyware protection makes a free update (for users with a current version 6 licence) or a new purchase an easier decision. Until the end of August, you can also download the program from Zone Labs for £40 inc VAT.
Author: Davey Winder
- Music and lights could trigger malware
- McAfee: cloud storage could help spread viruses
- McAfee: smart homes need security
- McAfee LiveSafe protects PCs, mobiles and the cloud
- Hotmail loophole leaves Facebook accounts vulnerable
- Queen's speech: government works to improve IP matching in criminal investigations
- Antivirus firms "won't co-operate" with PC-hacking police
- Mozilla: government spyware disguising itself as Firefox
- Small businesses worse than consumers on security
- Kaspersky: cyber-attacks could be "catastrophic" for human race
- Flickr redesign: is it enough to tempt photographers back?
- Hands on with the new Google Maps
- Nokia Lumia 925 review: first look
- Why I won't subscribe to Creative Cloud
- GoPro camera strapped to a remote-control helicopter: the ultimate boy's toy
- Acer Iconia A1 review: first look
- Acer Aspire P3 review: first look
- Acer Aspire R7 review: first look
- How we produce the PC Pro podcast
- Google Now draining iPhone battery
- Windows 8 picture passwords: are they safe?
- What if there were no viruses?
- The best iPhone security apps
- Best paid-for security suites for 2013
- Best free antivirus for 2013
- How to protect your business against spear phishing
- The zero-day bounty hunters
- Q&A: The life of a bug bounty hunter
- How much is your hard disk worth to hackers?
- Understanding ASI: Advanced Security Intelligence for business
- Yes, I write down my passwords
- How to deal with a ransomware attack
- How secure is your Wi-Fi network?
- How QR codes caught out the security pros
- Why I do not trust Do Not Track... yet
- The hard disks you can "secure" with a single-digit password
- Why I've started using a password manager
- Time to kill off CAPTCHA
- Are today's young people Generation I (for insecure)?
- Ransomware that's better made than antivirus software
There are dozens of exciting prizes up for grabs on PC Pro Competitions. All our competitions are free to enter. Try your luck.ENTER NOW