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Review of ZoneAlarm Security Suite 7

If hopeful owners of a shiny new firewall ever needed advice, it would be to look before you leap. Since most new firewalls and security suites only allow one firewall to be run at a time, and subscriptions are commonly placed on a yearly basis, a little research goes a long way.

Out of all of your own personal research, you will inevitably end up with ZoneAlarm Security Suite 7 as one of your top picks - and with good reason.

Good Business Practices
In previous versions of ZoneAlarm, there was a great amount of criticism over a few features the program contained. First, the uninstall process was very dirty - not everything was uninstalled. And then of course there was a scandal over the fact that there seemed to be a mystery feature included in previous versions of ZoneAlarm, that actually sent user data to unknown servers for storage. ZoneAlarm decided to take heed to customer complaints, and diligently fixed what they could.

The result is ZoneAlarm Security Suite 7. Users of past versions will be glad to see that the uninstall process is amazingly clean, and a very special addition has been added to the mix. Kaspersky Antivirus has been included into the suite. For those who aren’t familiar with this antivirus, it remains to be one of the toughest, most secure, and reliable consumer antivirus programs on the market to date. The inclusion of MailFrontier will also act to keep spam out of your inbox. Without a doubt, this suite of security was a good move on ZoneAlarm’s behalf.

And It Gets Better
Officially, ZoneAlarm has announced an interface redesign. While there isn’t much added - users will notice a new logo. Other than that, it seems ZoneAlarm did a few minor interface changes that most likely will go unnoticed. This is good, however - as the formula ZoneAlarm has created for an intuitive interface is tried and tested to be solid. Beginners won’t have too much trouble navigating the program, and more advanced users won’t be annoyed by lack of options.

One of the more interesting features about ZoneAlarm Security Suite 7 is that it will “auto-learn” your preferences. Anyone who has had another firewall or even ran Windows Vista knows how tedious and aggravating it can be to constantly tell your firewall how to act. Approving and denying permissions to programs is not fun in anyone’s book - so ZoneAlarm created a system to auto-learn your preferences. As an added bonus, ZoneAlarm has a rather large list of trusted programs it keeps. This means that if one of the said trusted programs requests to do an action - ZoneAlarm will let it automatically.

Performance is one of the strong points of ZoneAlarm Security Suite 7. Since Kaspersky Antivirus is included, the suite as a whole is very robust and fast in design. As previously stated, Kaspersky is one of the top antivirus programs to date. In fact, it scores some of the top marks in the majority of performance test categories. Video game players, workstation users, and slower computers will work great with ZoneAlarm.

…But All That Glitters Is Not Gold
While ZoneAlarm Security Suite 7 is one of the top suites available, there are a few downfalls that need to be reviewed. First, there is a need for a more powerful anti-phishing filter. There is one included, but it is weak in nature. It certainly doesn’t compare to McAfee’s SiteAdvisor - at least, not yet.

Secondly, the technical support for ZoneAlarm is almost non-existent. There is no toll-free tech support line to call. Instead, be prepared to shell out $3 per minute while on the phone with tech representatives. With most problems taking over 20 minutes to solve, you could easily spend $100 on one phone call if you aren’t careful. Instead, it is recommended that users take advantage of the email support and ZoneAlarm forums. These are valid solutions, but wait times can often be days - something that really isn’t acceptable to critical problems.

There is extra documentation for beginning users to get the hang of the program, so most users should be fine. A nifty video tutorial can guide even the most basic users into managing the program with ease. If slightly larger problems arise, be prepared to wait a few days for a solution.

Closing Comments
ZoneAlarm Security Suite 7 is one of the most complete packages available today. It incorporates a sturdy firewall, award-winning antivirus, anti-spam filter, and a few other tools into a single package. It’s nice to see a company adhere to the thoughts of its customers. Hopefully ZoneAlarm will continue to progress as it has, and fix the very minor problems it has.

With ZoneAlarm Security Suite 7 being so competitively priced, it should be considered to be one of the top choices in your overall decision in finding the perfect firewall or security suite.

 
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