I've been using the free version of ZoneAlarm for some years now, and while I would much like to have a more "advanced" personal firewall, allowing me to produce better "rules" and giving me a bit more information about what is going on on my network and what is being blocked and not etc. I have NO use for all those "benefits/features" you list in your "Pro vs. Free" comparison charts.
As such, I would like to hear some reasons for upgrading to the "Pro" version, including what added firewall functionality I can expect, and if I will have the choice NOT to install all the stuff I don't want, need or use..?
Here's your list of "Pro-only features", along with my comments:
- Advanced Network and Program Firewall
This one sounds GREAT, especially if it includes better rules, more flexibility and more information about what is going on (what is done by ZoneAlarm as well as what is done by programs attempting network access etc.)
Please tell me more (or provide linkage) about what this precisely entails, in contrast to what is provided by the free version?
- Operating System Firewall (OSFirewall )
I have NO idea what this is supposed to be or do?
I sure hope that even the free version will block any and ALL programs, including "OS" ones, if I tell it to?!?
- Antivirus Protection
- Anti-Spam & Anti-Phishing
- Email Security
- IM Protection
- Wireless PC Protection
Don't need it, don't want it, got it already. In fact it will be a BIG minus for me, if these "features" (aka "bloats" can't be deselected during installation and thus not be installed at all (which is to say: Cause NO increase in the run-time resource-usage by ZoneAlarm, nor impair its firewall-performance or increase its CPU load).
- Spy Site Blocking
- Identity Theft Protection
- Privacy Protection
I would have assumed these to be amply covered by some or all of the above "features", so please explain to me what further "protection" they provide, and why you consider this to be part of a "personal firewall"?
- Game Mode
Don't need it - But, unlike the above, I will probably be quite able to live with having this "feature" installed along with my "Pro" version firewall, since I must assume it will use no significant resources, likely being akin to the "Internet Lock/Block" feature(s), which simply change the way the firewall behaves, rather than requireing a lot of extra code and/or its own executable etc.
As you might have gleaned from the above, I prefer my applications to be free of "bloatware", which is to say my text-editor should do NOTHING but edit text, and likewise I would like my "personal firewall" to do NOTHING but provide me with a "personal firewall". When I need e-mail security and/or anti-spam protection I will install a secure e-mail client and/or use a server-side spam-filter (which ALWAYS works better), when I need anti-spyware I will install a (DEDICATED) anti-spyware program, and so on and so forth.
The tendency to make any and all applications do everything imaginable (or even just "slightly related to its main goal" is NOT something I like. It was most likely invented by Micro$oft, when they started to sell OS'es with built-in web-browsers which can't be uninstalled without ruining the OS. It now seems as if everybody thinks this is THE way to go, not realising that most users will end up having 10 of each of these "added functionalities", none of which will likely be made with the same level of care and expertise as when done in an exclusive software-package.
Looking at it from the other side, I MUCH prefer my various programs to be "lean-and-mean", in the sense that they should do what they were originally designed to do, and do this as well as possible, preferably while doing little else. This mainly since someone else will most likely have made a dedicated program for any such thing already, which is then bound to make a better job of it, but also because I value being able to choose EXACTLY what software, and which "features" I install on my PC. This "choice" is blatantly taken away from me, whenever I'm presented with a "bundle" solution, like your "ZoneAlarm Pro" product now appears to be
If I should be mistaken, and it is, somehow, possible to purchase and/or install just your "Pro" version personal-firewall application (ie. ZoneAlarm without all the non-firewall stuff), DO let me know, and DO tell me how this is done...
Thanks in advance,
P.S. To all non-ZoneLabs employees: While I would much value your input, as per my specific requests above, please DO refrain from flaming me regarding my viewpoints (in general or in relation to ZoneLabs products). I'm well aware that my views are probably not shared by all of you, but like I won't flame you for being the way YOU are, I would appreciate your likewise acceptance of MY ways (even though you may find them different, stupid or whatever).
Operating System:Windows 2000 Pro
Product Name:ZoneAlarm (Free)