The download for ZoneAlarm’s setup file is about 45mb in size. That’s actually not too bad. Once you launch it, you’ll see the following screens.
If you want to be sure what you are getting, it’s always a good idea to place a check-mark in the Customize your installationbox.
As you can see below, you can opt out of installing the ZoneAlarm Toolbar and a change to your web browser’s default search service. I tried it knowing that I could disable ZoneAlarm’s Conduit toolbar if I didn’t like it.
Next, you’ll be asked if you want to register. Not wanted, and fortunately not required. Remove the check-mark if you don’t want mail from ZA.
I took the default quick installation option (below).
When ZoneAlarm completes it’s installation, it scans your PC to see what programs you have running and installed. This will keep it from asking you silly questions later, concerning those programs needing to connect to the internet.
Now that ZA is installed, I’ll show you what it looks like.
Normally ZA resides as an icon in your system tray. You can double click it to bring up the main interface, as shown above. There isn’t much you’ll need to do in there. Mostly, ZA will only bother you when it is asking if it needs to allow new programs to connect to the internet (outbound connections).
If you installed the ZA toolbar, you might be surprised by all the features it contains.
It has Site Check, which warns you about bad websites. It has an Email notifier, Facebook notifier, Weather report, online radio and more.
If you want to learn more, you can watch a short video about ZA Free, from CNET.
While looking around, I noticed that ZA was offering 2Gb of free online storage at IDrive. However, you can get the same offer directly at IDrive, so I won’t cover that here. All I’ll say about it is that it’s great. Try it out if you’d like to back up some of your personal files online for free.
Below are two download locations for ZoneAlarm’s free firewall.
Techie Buzz Verdict:
There is no disputing the fact that ZoneAlarm’s free firewall is better than what’s provided by Microsoft. That and the fact that it’s free, leads me to list it as highly recommended.
Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)