Zone Labs ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite 6
Suite protects against a wide range of baddies and adds much-needed anti-spyware features, but it may require too much hand-holding for some users.
Price$ None (AUD)
Zone Labs' new ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite 6 adds anti-spyware capabilities to an already bursting all-in-one security package. In addition to tools for preventing and removing adware and spyware, the suite includes a firewall, antivirus protection, privacy controls, and instant messaging security--all accessible via a unified interface. We tested a shipping copy of this package and found a number of improvements over its predecessor that make it noteworthy--even though some areas still need work.
Unlike other security packages, ZoneAlarm builds its spyware prevention around the firewall, attempting to stop malware before the apps can install themselves on your PC. This approach seems natural, since malware thrives only with an Internet connection. However, a permission-based firewall app such as ZoneAlarm relies for its effectiveness on the user's ability to make the right decision--fine for security-savvy people, less so for the average home user.
To counter this weakness, Zone Labs offers its SmartDefense Advisor. The Advisor can automatically respond to alerts on behalf of the user, based on Zone Labs' policies. SmartDefense successfully alerted us when a program tried to inject itself into Internet Explorer--a common tactic of adware and spyware apps, and one that few anti-spyware products can prevent. It also warned us when an app tried to modify sensitive areas of our system's Registry.
Still, on a number of occasions SmartDefense tripped over telling us what to do with known adware and spyware. When one program attempted to reach the Internet, the suite could not suggest what action to take. And when confronted with a critical Windows service that routinely accesses the Net, svchost.exe, SmartDefense informed us, "Advice is not yet available for this program." Zone Labs says that the SmartDefense feature will improve as the company collects information from users. For now, however, it's clearly a work in progress.
ZoneAlarm deals with existing spyware in a more traditional manner, by scanning your system for infections. To gauge ZoneAlarm's effectiveness at this task, We tested it and compared it with the free versions of Lavasoft Ad-Aware SE Personal and Spybot Search and Destroy 1.4. ZoneAlarm Security Suite removed an impressive 80 percent of the active adware and spyware components, while Ad-Aware knocked out 63 percent and Spybot got 59 percent.
Despite our occasional disappointment with SmartDefense, we found ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite 6 a solid product, offering an excellent firewall and above-average spyware removal. The suite is probably best suited for experienced users who don't mind responding to a bevy of program alerts.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® Portable SSD
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Surface Pro 4
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Google's new AI aims to end abusive online comments using 'Perspective'
- Village Roadshow aims to block 40 pirate sites
- Analysts peer into Microsoft's rumored Windows 10 Cloud
- Google lets users get social with Maps
- Microsoft unveils a bonanza of security capabilities
PCW Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCMarketing SpecialistNSW
- CCSenior Networks Specialist - DNS PlatformVIC
- TPBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Java Developers (Several positions available)QLD
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- FTTechnical Consultant - SQL Server programming skillsACT
- CCSenior Business AnalystVIC
- CCIT Operations Centre EngineerQLD
- FTSenior Business AnalystVIC
- TPBusiness Analyst - Technical BackgroundQLD
- FTService Desk Analyst / Security EngineerQLD
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- FTLead PMONSW
- CCNetwork ArchitectWA
- TPIT Project CoordinatorVIC
- FTIT Project Coordinator - Mascot/AlexandriaNSW
- CCProject Manager (Event Management)NSW
- FTJava Developer/IntegratorACT
- CCStorage System EngineerNSW
- FTPMO Specialist - PermanentACT
- CCBusiness Project ManagerNSW
- FTMid-Level Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)NSW
- TPImplementation Business Partner - Business ModernisationNSW
- FTSales Account Manager | Cloud Solutions | Global Tech GiantNSW
- FTInfrastructure Business AnalystNSW