As a Zone Alarm user since the late 90s, I've become a little lax about jumping on updates of the software because it always requires a restart of all the systems it is on (I have many). So, I put off upgrading from 5.5 to the September 6.0 release until Friday. On the one system I upgraded at that time, I had nothing but sluggish system until I went back to 5.5 this morninng.
As soon as my system rebooted after the upgrade to 6.0, the performance of the system slowly degraded. I'm a device driver engineer on Windows, and so am quite familiar with the page file and virtual addressing. I popped up Sysinternals Process Explorer, and did a quick check of processes, and didn't see anything **bleep**ing up much CPU. So, I added working set size, virtual size and private bytes to the display, and then went through the list again. VSMON.EXE was **bleep**ing up 1.7 GIGABYTES of virtual memory. The next nearest virtual size was 180 MEGABYTES. Red flag.
I thought maybe it was a wierd fluke, so I went in, made sure all the rules were set up correctly, and then rebooted.
Within 10 minutes after my system came back up, I was crawling again. My development tools were sluggish, and sometimes unresponsive for several seconds at a time. So, I looked in Process Explorer again, and again, VSMON.EXE was **bleep**ing up 1.5 GIGABYTES of virtual memory. So, I shut down Zone Alarm, and waited until VSMON went out of the process list, and then the system was back to normal.
I'm behind a NAT router, so at that point, there was not as much risk to shutting down the firewall. I don't recommend doing that on an open direct connection at all. It would take only .33 seconds to get blasted with a new bug with no firewall doing port blocking for you.
In any case, I found that if I started ZA back up, it would degrade the system performance noticeably within 10-20 minutes every time.
So, I finally yanked 6.0 out, and put 5.5 back in and am running on that now. I'm not sure if ZA 6 got built wrong or if it just had a leak in the memory engines somewhere, but it is completely unuable for me.
BTW, on 5.5 the virtual size is 70 MEGABYTES -- 4.12% of the virtual footprint of 6.0.
Hope I'm alone in these problems, but if your system just got really sluggish after you upgraded to 6.0, grab Process Explorer FREE from http://www.sysinternals.com/ and turn on the "virtual size" column on the main display, and see how VSMON.EXE's virtual size is stacking up against the other things in your process list. On my system it jumped right out at me...
Operating System:Windows XP Pro
Product Name:ZoneAlarm (Free)