ZoneAlarm Review

A regularly-updated and cost-effective way to secure against BYOD threats

What is our primary use case?

We use ZoneAlarm Antivirus with Firewall software for protecting the Bring-Your-Own-Devices that our employees take to the offices, and for a limited number of teams only since it is not an approved corporative standard software yet. In total, there are about 150 laptops of different kinds with several generations of the Windows operating systems running ZoneAlarm.

Currently, we use the Free version of Zone Alarm and not the Extreme Security edition. As for the free solution, ZoneAlarm provides good security capabilities. We use both Firewall and Antivirus, with regular scans and updates scheduled.

How has it helped my organization?

Our organization does not have a dedicated budget for the BYOD endpoint security software, so we have to stick with the free solutions available on the market.

ZoneAlarm Antivirus with Firewall software is a good match for protecting the Windows-only environments of our company's offices, and now we have been using it for about two years.

It has not only the firewall functions but a constantly updated Antivirus, and even an advanced Anti-Malware blade. Nobody else that we know of provides that for free.

Of course, it does not have centralized management, but that is not expected from the free software.

What is most valuable?

  1. The software is completely free, but you could always buy & apply a license if you feel the need for it.
  2. Despite the name, ZoneAlarm Free Firewall is not just a firewall but has built-in Antivirus as well. The Antivirus databases are updated on a regular basis, and they also provide both on-demand and scheduled scanning of the file system and memory.
  3. Constant updates of the "software blades", per configured schedule.
  4. Personally, I find the Game Mode of the Firewall very useful. When it's enabled, all the scan/updates/alerts are suppressed, and I can enjoy playing without interruptions.

What needs improvement?

  1. Currently, there are only the clients available for the Windows operating systems family. It would be nice to have the software version with the same functionality for the macOS operating system.
  2. There is no centralized management software for the free version of ZoneAlarm.
  3. Some of our users say that the interface is a little bit outdated for 2020, and want it to be more modern and cozy.
  4. Minor issues with the performance have been reported for the really old laptops that lack the free RAM available.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using ZoneAlarm for about two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The antivirus and firewall are stable and work smoothly on the Windows laptops.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, we didn't have a security policy for having the antivirus and firewall on the BYOD devices.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was easy and straightforward, no pitfalls have been met.

What about the implementation team?

The implementation was performed by the in-house team, no special skills or knowledge is required for the Zone Alarm.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We use the free version of the software, but it can be upgraded to the paid Extreme Security edition.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We tried Sophos and Comodo as well, but the users voted for ZoneAlarm after the PoC.

What other advice do I have?

I strongly recommend ZoneAlarm as a simple but efficient solution, especially if your organization doesn't have a dedicated budget for providing a security solution for BYOD devices.

ZoneAlarm Free Firewall is a good choice for protecting Windows-only environments on the user PCs, but you should also have network-layer protection.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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