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ZoneAlarm has long been perhaps the most popular free firewall available, and millions have used it to block unwanted access to their computers. ZoneAlarm generally works well with antivirus software, too, but perhaps you’d be interested in a free antivirus solution that actually incorporates ZoneAlarm’s firewall? That’s CheckPoint’s ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus Plus Firewall. ZoneAlarm Antivirus not only protects your system from unwanted intrusions, viruses, and other malware, but it also includes anti-phishing, site authentication, identity protection, and download management features. It’s also available as a premium package. The free tool lacks the premium version’s parental controls, virtual browsing, PC tune-up, and support features.
ZoneAlarm Antivirus’s firewall component and Identity & Data Protection were active in the program’s start window, though the main component, the antivirus protection, was disabled due to a conflict with our existing antivirus solution, which we’d left active to gauge ZoneAlarm’s response. We disabled our existing tool, and ZoneAlarm automatically picked up the slack, showing our status for Real-Time Protection, Antivirus Scan, and Antivirus Update. The first thing to do when you’re installing a new antivirus program is to update its definitions and make a baseline scan of your computer. We did that, choosing Full Scan with Archives, which we’re glad to say found no bad stuff. You can schedule scans, of course, and ZoneAlarm’s Settings let you customize scans, too, as well as launch targeted scans, set exceptions, view quarantined files, enable On Access scanning (which scans when you access files) and other options. One feature ZoneAlarm offers is Behavioral Scanning, which includes an extensive checklist of options the program can monitor for suspicious activity. The familiar ZoneAlarm Firewall includes Application Control, which blocks unauthorized access by programs. The Identity & Data tab includes two protection features, Web and Identity, plus 5 GB of online storage space.
ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus Plus Firewall has both online and offline Help options, basic support, and some extras like Top 10 Questions. We found it as easy to use as the standalone Firewall, and a lot easier than using ZoneAlarm’s Firewall with another antivirus program. ZoneAlarm has stepped up as a significant player in free antivirus solutions.