Need to buy a gift for somebody who loves technology but you can’t afford the big ticket items?
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 newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- 2 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 3 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 4 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 5 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Adobe announces next generation of Creative Cloud
- Logitech announces Logitech Rally
- Access thousands of movies for free thanks to Telstra TV Kanopy App
- RMIT Online and AWS offering course in VR and AR
- Apple set release date for iOS 12, watchOS 5, tvOS 12, and macOS Mojave
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Hands on with Huawei's Mate 20 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Oppo Find X: Full, in-depth review
- 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