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ZoneAlarm LOGO.png
Developer(s) CheckPoint Software Technologies LTD.
Initial release 16 February 2000; 16 years ago (2000-02-16) (2.0.26)
Stable release 14.0.522.000[1] (September 11, 2015; 14 months ago (2015-09-11)) [±]
Preview release 14.0.522.000 (September 11, 2015) [±]
Written in Assembly
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]

Product Organization[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[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) 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: 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.[12]

Awards and Certifications[edit]

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


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.[15]
  • ZoneAlarm Extreme Security 2014 was awarded VB100 certification.


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.[17]

The popup was turned off by ZoneAlarm marketing team after an uproar from disgruntled users, many of whom uninstalled the software.[18][19]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]