ZoneAlarm 3.1 Personal firewall

Here's a quick community announcement: update your anti­virus definitions, install Microsoft security patches, and get yourself a personal firewall. ZoneAlarm 3.1, on this month's cover CD, is a well-designed firewall that provides peace of mind at no cost.

ZoneAlarm makes your PC invisible to others; blocks suspect inbound communication attempts; stops outbound communication from malicious code; and offers a basic e-mail quarantine service against VBScript files. For $US39.95, ZoneAlarm Pro additionally offers pass­word protection, cookie control, Internet advertising blocking, and e-mail screening against 45 file types.

Installation is fast, although setup may take a little more time. You'll need to grant or deny Internet access to programs installed on your PC as they attempt out­bound communication. ZoneAlarm nicely logs such attempts, providing a fair amount of detail that can assist you in making a decision. The program also links back to Zone Lab's Web site for further information.

The company promises that once you set, you can forget. The firewall will run silently in the background until suspect acti­-vity is detected, and will then work accord-ing to your chosen level of security (high, medium or off). An alert will fire when an intrusion has been detected and deflected.

ZoneAlarm's "dashboard" (pictured) offers the Stop button for emergency situations, in which it will halt all network and Internet activity if the user suspects the PC is under attack.

In brief: ZoneAlarm 3.1

At no cost, this is an essential for any PC accessing the Internet. If you're wise, you'll upgrade to the Pro version for added security.

Price: free.


Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Molly Furzer

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?