I didn't proceed with the signup, because free or no, it demanded my credit card. The very different Identity Lock aims to prevent transmission of user-defined personal information.
In testing, it visibly didn't work even on unsecured HTTP pages. You can read my review of the standalone product for full details; I'll summarize what I learned here.
When I started to update my review of the standalone anti-ransomware utility, I found it was defective, crashing frequently and failing in its protection. The same was true of the ransomware protection in the suite. My Check Point contacts quickly found and fixed the problem, which involved the accidental release of a bad build. On detecting a ransomware attack, ZoneAlarm displays a big warning while it analyzes and terminates the ransomware.
If any files got changed, it lists those for you before repairing them. Repairing here means restoring any files that got encrypted and deleting any ancillary ransomware files such as ransom notes. ZoneAlarm managed a clean sweep, correctly detecting and cleaning up after every one of my real-world ransomware samples, including one that attempts to encrypt the entire drive, not just your documents.
One ransomware attack damaged Windows Explorer such that even after ZoneAlarm's cleanup I couldn't use the system, but forcing a reboot brought things back to normal. I'm very pleased to see that the company added this component to ZoneAlarm Extreme, especially given the many other components dropped from the mix.
Threat Emulation When a truly brand-new malware sample appears, it can skate past many antivirus utilities. Eventually antivirus researchers capture a sample, analyze it, and push out an update so the local antivirus can deal with the problem. ZoneAlarm's Threat Emulation aims to streamline and automate that process, cutting the researcher out of the picture. This component monitors the Downloads folder, the Desktop, and any other folders you specify.
When you download an unrecognized file to one of these locations, Threat Emulation jumps into action. It uploads the file to a secure server and analyzes it for malicious behavior. If the emulation reveals anything nasty, the local ZoneAlarm product wipes out the file.
Anti-Keylogger The anti-keylogger component is disabled by default. When you turn it on, it very specifically prevents keyloggers from capturing what you type in the browser. It works. In testing, I found that a popular keylogger captured my typing in other programs, but just captured random keyboard runs like QUERTY in place of anything I typed in the browser.
However, it's rare to find a keylogger that doesn't reach out to capture more than just keystrokes. The utility I used captures URLs visited, meaning it could see my search terms. It grabs clipboard content, and snaps screenshots. I'm not sure how much protection you really get from Anti-Keylogger. Mobile Protection From your online ZoneAlarm account, you can generate an email with a link to install mobile protection on your Android or iOS devices.
The link both installs the app and connects it to your ZoneAlarm account. After a quick setup, the Android app runs a scan for malware. You can tap the main screen to scan at any time. Tapping My Device reveals some very simple information about your Android. On my test device, it reported that ZoneAlarm is up-to-date and that the device is not rooted.
That's it! When I tapped My Apps, it reported the device to be safe in three specific ways. All installed apps came up clean in the scan. No ransomware was found. And the scan also didn't find any loose APK files such as might be used for sideloading apps outside the App Store framework. The My Network page reported my Wi-Fi network to be correctly encrypted and free of vulnerabilities.
It also reported the Safe Browsing feature enabled. This feature uses VPN technology to route all internet traffic through a system that filters out malicious and fraudulent pages. A quick sanity check showed that it works. Note that this is not an actual VPN. It doesn't encrypt your traffic or disguise your IP address; it just uses VPN technology locally to filter out problems. Almost every Android security app I've encountered has offered both antivirus and anti-theft services, typically along with some implementation of app privacy analysis.
ZoneAlarm is among the very few without anti-theft, which is a shame. Loss or theft of an Android device is much more common than malware attack, after all. It visibly runs a scan, as on Android, but it's looking for security problems, not malware. Tapping My Network verified my local network's encryption and integrity. That's about it. Unusual Performance Impact With so many components on the chopping block, I initially figured that ZoneAlarm would exhibit a reduced impact on system performance.
However, I got a clue early on that this might not be the case. Several times when I rebooted the system, I wanted to fire up the suite right away, but pointing to its notification area icon got me a notice that the product was "initializing," not ready for me. Rather than rely on subjective impressions, I dove into hands-on testing.
I test for impact on boot time using a script that calculates the time from the start of the boot process until the system is ready for use, which I define as 10 seconds in a row with CPU usage under five percent.
I average multiple runs on a clean test system, then install the suite on that same system and average multiple runs again. The average boot time increased by 38 percent with ZoneAlarm installed, which is a bigger hit that what most suites cause. Performance Results Chart Another script moves and copies a large and eclectic collection of files between drives. That one took 58 percent longer with the suite installed, more than any other recent suite.
And when I measured the time for another script that zips and unzips that same file collection, it, too, exhibited more of a slowdown than the rest, 24 percent. These poor scores are even more significant when you realize that some products cause no measurable slowdown in my tests. A Shrinking Empire Past versions of ZoneAlarm Extreme Security included backup, system tuneup, spam filtering, and parental control components, all licensed from third parties.
A spokeswoman for the company said that a Windows 8. Is Comcast involved? The problem, however, appears to be tied to Comcast. We appologize for the timing on this issue, and we understand the frustration. The latest version of Norton Security Suite Users must be on this version of NSS however before the update to Windows 8.
We are working on posting a fully supported version of Norton Security Suite for Windows 8. Comcast has yet to post the fully supported version of NIS , but—as the engineer noted—users can install a trial version in the interim. If you do discover that your firewall or security suite has been disabled following a Windows 8.
For years, Zone Alarm has been the darling of consumers unwilling to shell out for high-end, comprehensive security solutions; freebies from your ISP provide a nice incentive to keep on buying Internet service from them, too. Updated at 4:
Kaspersky-powered antivirus. Parental control by Net Nanny. Comprehensive spam filter. Excellent phishing detection. Many bonus features. Cons Antivirus lags Kaspersky in independent testing. Most significant components licensed from other vendors. Beyond the firewall, though, most of this suite's significant features are licensed from other vendors. Many add an even bigger suite, a mega-suite with more features, often including backup and tune-up.