ZoneAlarm is a firewall software, a type of program which control external and internal traffic to or from your computer. When you are in a network (private or connected to Internet) some people may try to enter in your computer to steal data or malicious programs may attempt to send automatically passwords or other data to specific destinations, usually by e-mail protocol, to hackers.
Unlike antivirus program which scan files and detects virus and trojans, a firewall like ZoneAlarm will control the rights of transferring data and access to your computer from external locations. So, besides an antivirus is mandatory to install and use a firewall too.
Usually Windows have a firewall included and is activated automatically when computer starts, but an individual program like ZA (ZoneAlarm) offers more options, you can configure it as you need and have more often updates.
The program is easy to install and will require a restart of your computer in order to be used. After restart will prompt you to allow or block access to each application who want to connect in external environment. So pay attention to not block Internet access first.
The interface is friendly and occupy space on the screen only as needed
Features and Use
ZoneAlarm includes the firewall module, but also an antivirus and antispyware option which can be activated for a fee. The basic firewall module is free. You can view the details and more images for this program on this page
At Preferences you can set options for automatic or manual updates, start options, way of receiving alerts and more. You have three levels for an easier configuration, for level of protection: high, medium and off.
You will set the behavior of this program for two main types of activities: when working on Internet and for program's control.
In Zone area you can manage the network access, with right click you can add or remove new items. You must remember, once an action is taken, for example an IP or a software has been blocked, action can be reversed form ZoneAlarm's menu. In Zones area you can see the list of IPs for each network and you can easily find out if is your Internet or LAN connection or an external malicious one.
In Program Control menu you can add, edit or remove programs blocked or allowed. So, if by mistake you have allowed a program, you can block it with right click and select desired action.
In Alerts and Log area you can turn on or off the alerts.
ZoneAlarm is the most downloaded firewall on the internet and is the most used after Windows firewall (which is included in operating system installation kit). It offers a better protection and a higher level of customization, you can set different types of actions and see in detail what is happening on your computer.
The only thing is to pay attention when you allow or block a program, especially when you allow one, to not be a trojan or hacking attempt. The program is one of the best in hi niche and I strongly recommend it to use, the free version is enough to get used with it and to stay safe. If you want to download and use it, the program can be found here