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Developer(s) CheckPoint Software Technologies LTD.
Initial release 16 February 2000; 15 years ago (2000-02-16) (2.0.26)
Stable release[1] (August 22, 2014; 12 months ago (2014-08-22)) [±]
Preview release None [±]
Written in Assembly
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Type Personal firewall, antivirus software
License ZoneAlarm Free: Nagware
Other editions: Shareware

ZoneAlarm is a personal firewall software application originally developed by Zone Labs, which was acquired in March 2004 by Check Point.[3] It includes an inbound intrusion detection system, as well as the ability to control which programs can create outbound connections. As of July 2014, the newest release is ZoneAlarm Extreme Security 2015.[4]


In ZoneAlarm, program access is controlled by way of "zones", into which all network connections are divided. The "trusted zone" generally includes the user's local area network and can share resources such as files and printers, while the "Internet zone" includes everything not in the trusted zone. The user can specify which "permissions" (trusted zone client, trusted zone server, Internet zone client, Internet zone server) to give to a program before it attempts to access the Internet (e.g. before running it for the first time) or, alternatively, ZoneAlarm will ask the user to give the program permission on its first access attempt.[5]

True Vector Internet Monitor[edit]

"True Vector Internet Monitor", also known as "TrueVector Security Engine", is a Windows service that is the core of ZoneAlarm. In the processes list its Image Name is "vsmon.exe". This monitors internet traffic and generates alerts for disallowed access.

Operating System Firewall[edit]

Operating System Firewall, OSFirewall for short, is a feature in paid ZoneAlarm versions only. This monitors programs and generates alerts when they perform suspicious behaviors. The OSFirewall is useful in preventing rootkits and other spyware.

SmartDefense Advisor[edit]

SmartDefense Advisor is the name ZoneAlarm give to a service available in all versions that helps the user with certain types of alert, using a database of trusted program signatures to provide the user with advice on allowing or denying Internet access in response to program requests.


  • ZoneAlarm Free Firewall: A freeware version that includes a web and local network personal firewall with outbound program control and port stealthing. It is distributed through[6]
  • ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus + Firewall: The same functionality as the Free Firewall, with the addition of Kaspersky Lab virus protection.
  • ZoneAlarm Pro Firewall: Like Free Firewall, plus pop-up blocker, adware detection, cookie blocker.
  • ZoneAlarm Pro Antivirus + Firewall: Pro Firewall, plus Kaspersky Lab virus protection.
  • ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite: Pro Antivirus + Firewall, plus IM security, an anti-spam filter engine provided by MailFrontier, and parental control.[7] It is available free of charge with purchase of something else from TrialPay.[8]
  • ZoneAlarm Extreme Security: Security Suite plus ForceField and computer optimization and data backup tools.

Scareware virus alert popup[edit]

In September 2010, the free version of ZoneAlarm started showing a "Global Virus Alert" popup as a scareware tactic to get users to switch to their paid security suite.[9]

The popup was turned off by ZoneAlarm marketing team after an uproar from disgruntled users, many of whom uninstalled the software.[10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Zone Alarm Free Downloads
  3. ^ "Check Point acquires Zone Labs". 2004-03-29. Archived from the original on 2011-06-30. 
  4. ^ "ZoneAlarm® Extreme Security Release History". Retrieved 2012-12-21. 
  5. ^ Check Point press release Disk encryption
  6. ^ "ZoneAlarm Free Firewall - Reviews and free ZoneAlarm Free Firewall downloads at". 2010-05-21. Retrieved 2010-09-22. 
  7. ^ "ZoneAlarm product comparison". Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  8. ^ ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite purchase page Retrieved 2014-10-16.
  9. ^ Leyden, John (2010-09-20). "ZoneAlarm slammed for scarewarey marketing". Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  10. ^ Protalinski, Emil (2010-09-22). "ZoneAlarm caught using fake antivirus scare tactics". Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  11. ^ Pegoraro, Rob. "ZoneAlarm gives people a new reason to hate security software". Retrieved 2010-11-09. 

External links[edit]