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ZoneAlarm LOGO.png
Developer(s) CheckPoint Software Technologies LTD.
Initial release 16 February 2000; 17 years ago (2000-02-16) (2.0.26)
Stable release 14.0.522.000[1] (September 11, 2015; 22 months ago (2015-09-11)) [±]
Preview release 14.0.522.000 (September 11, 2015) [±]
Written in Assembly[citation needed]
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Type Personal firewall, antivirus software
License ZoneAlarm freeware and commercial

ZoneAlarm is an internet security software company that provides consumer antivirus and firewall products. ZoneAlarm was developed by Zone Labs, which was acquired in March 2004 by Check Point.[3] ZoneAlarm's firewall security products include an inbound intrusion detection system, as well as the ability to control which programs can create outbound connections. In August 2015, ZoneAlarm introduced a 100% virus-free guarantee with its Extreme Security product.[4]


ZoneAlarm products may come with the following features:

  • Antivirus/Antispyware Engine
  • Advanced Real-Time Antivirus
  • Advanced Firewall
  • Two-Way Firewall
  • Anti-Spam Filter
  • PC Tune Up
  • Online Backup
  • Identity Protection
  • Parental Controls
  • Threat Emulation
  • Browser Protection
  • Find My Laptop
  • Anti-Keylogger
  • Do Not Track

Technical description[edit]

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. The 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", 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" (OSFirewall) monitors programs and generates alerts when they perform suspicious behaviors. The OSFirewall is useful in preventing rootkits and other spyware. "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: This free personal firewall includes a web and local network personal firewall with outbound program control and port stealthing.[6]
  • ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus + Firewall: This free software has the same functionality as the Free Firewall, with the addition of Kaspersky Lab virus protection.[7]
  • ZoneAlarm PRO Firewall: This firewall is suited for consumers and small businesses. It comes with a two-way firewall, identity protection, do not track, online backup, password management.[8]
  • ZoneAlarm PRO Antivirus + Firewall: This software provides PRO Firewall along with full antivirus functionality as well as anti-spam, online backup, identity protection and anti-keylogger.[9]
  • ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite: This product has been discontinued for new users, but is available for renewal. It features all the functionality of the PRO Antivirus + Firewall product, along with as parental controls.[10]
  • ZoneAlarm Extreme Security: This security suite comes with full antivirus and firewall protection as well as threat emulation, parental controls, identity protection, online backup, Find My Laptop, anti-keylogger, online password protection, PC tune-up, and anti-spam.[11] In August 2015, the company introduced a 100% virus-free guarantee to users of this product.[4]

Awards and certifications[edit]

  • ZoneAlarm Free Firewall 2016 was an Editor’s Choice winner from PCMag.[12]
  • ZoneAlarm PRO Firewall 2016 was an Editor’s Choice winner from PCMag.[13]

Independent tests[edit]

  • ZoneAlarm Extreme Security 2015 received a score of 17.5/18 in AV-TEST’s Best Antivirus Software for Windows Home User. The product scored 6/6 in Protection, 6/6 in Usability, and 5.5/6 in Performance.[14]
  • ZoneAlarm Extreme Security 2014 was awarded VB100 certification.[15]


As of January 2006 ZoneAlarm was reportedly[16] sending data to the company's servers in a covert fashion. A developer dismissed allegations that ZoneAlarm was spying on its clients, saying that it was an issue related to software updates and that it would be fixed.[17]

In December 2007, a browser toolbar was shipped with ZoneAlarm as an opt-out, which was not well received.[18] This was removed in later versions of the software.

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.[19] The popup was turned off by ZoneAlarm marketing team after an uproar from disgruntled users, many of whom uninstalled the software.[20][21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "ZoneAlarm - Professional Firewall, Antivirus & Security Software". 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved November 11, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "ZoneAlarm Introduces Exclusive 100% Virus-Free Guarantee". 
  5. ^ Check Point press release Disk encryption
  6. ^ "ZoneAlarm Free Firewall - Personal Computer Firewall Software". 
  7. ^ "ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus + Firewall 2017". 
  8. ^ "ZoneAlarm PRO Firewall - Professional Firewall Protection". 
  9. ^ "ZoneAlarm PRO Software - Maximum Security". 
  10. ^ "ZoneAlarm product comparison". Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  11. ^ "ZoneAlarm Extreme Security - Firewall & Antivirus". 
  12. ^ "Check Point ZoneAlarm Free Firewall 2017". 
  13. ^ "Check Point ZoneAlarm PRO Firewall 2017". 
  14. ^ "AV-TEST – The Independent IT-Security Institute". AV-TEST GmbH. 
  15. ^ "Virus Bulletin :: VB100 comparative review on Windows 7 SP1 64-bit". 
  16. ^ Hales, Paul (2006-01-22). "Is your firewall spying on you?". Retrieved 2017-01-07. 
  17. ^ Zone Labs responds to spyware allegations at the Wayback Machine (archived October 25, 2006)
  18. ^ Dignan, Larry (2007-12-18). "ZoneAlarm toolbar bundle raises a ruckus". Retrieved 2017-01-07. 
  19. ^ Leyden, John (2010-09-20). "ZoneAlarm slammed for scarewarey marketing". Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  20. ^ Protalinski, Emil (2010-09-22). "ZoneAlarm caught using fake antivirus scare tactics". Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  21. ^ Pegoraro, Rob. "ZoneAlarm gives people a new reason to hate security software". Retrieved 2010-11-09. 

External links[edit]