ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite review
A suite with some nice features, but slow startup times.
Review Date: 13 Feb 2009
Reviewed By: Darien Graham-Smith
Price when reviewed: £35 (£40 inc VAT)
Value for Money
Ease of Use
The previous version of ZoneAlarm's security suite disappointed us: it was affordable and fairly lightweight, but didn't excel at detecting threats. The most obvious thing that's changed in this edition is the price: it's still cheaper than many other packages, but it's no longer the £26 bargain it was.
The new version also can't claim to be as unobtrusive as the old one. ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite had a dramatic effect on system startup on our test PC, making us wait a full 21 seconds longer than any other package before the desktop appeared.
When it comes to detection, however, ZoneAlarm is remarkably consistent. In our malware test it scored 89%, placing it a solid fourth overall. And, as you'd expect from a brand that's synonymous with firewalls, ZoneAlarm protected our test PC nicely in our network attack test: machines in the "internet zone" were unable to see us at all, while those in the "trusted zone" had full connectivity.
Its least impressive performance was in the web threat test, with just 31% of bad sites intercepted. However, the suite does offer a unique amount of control over web content, with options to filter and manage web cookies, adverts and scripts.
Experienced users will also appreciate features such as the ability to disable the antivirus component, plus the trademark network activity meter in the System Tray.
But while ZoneAlarm has plenty going for it, its effect on boot times is hard to forgive, while its web content features can be had for free with Firefox plug-ins.
Author: Darien Graham-Smith
- BT wants end to rivals' cheap access to its network
- MPs: Don't hand more broadband funding to BT
- Three rolls out 4G for free - but kills unlimited tethering
- Virgin rolls out network-level filter
- Government pledges £10m to save superfast broadband in South Yorkshire
- Google working on 10Gbits/sec fibre connections
- Web blocking: 12 Symantec staff review 2,000 sites a day
- Tesco Mobile offers free upgrade to 4G
- ISPs may exclude charities from parental-control filters
- Broadband prices have halved over eight years
- The 5 most interesting UK businesses at SXSW
- Quickest way to upload 1GB? Hop on a train
- Move over Delia: IBM Watson is cooking tonight
- Eric Schmidt on the double-edged smartphone: friend and foe
- Getty joins the race to the bottom
- Hour of Code: five steps to learn how to code
- Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet review: first look
- Sony Xperia Z2 review: first look
- Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 review: first look
- Nokia XL review: first look
- The best broadband speed tests
- How fibre broadband transformed Cornwall
- The best business broadband: how to choose the right package
- How to get faster broadband: tips & tricks
- Choosing your web hosting package: space, bandwidth, service-level agreements and email handling
- ISPs must sabotage your broadband to survive
- Fibre broadband: the facts
- Will Britain get Europe's best broadband?
- The mobile data rip-off
- The end of the net as we know it