I'm new to the forum (posting at least, I've been reading posts occasionally for years) and don't mean to cause any undue alarm or controversy
(hopefully there's a good explanation for this), but I need to report this somewhere and get feedback. I've been using Zone Alarm for several years and have installed and maintained the free and full versions for many friends and family, but what I've seen on Ultimate so far looks like a disaster in the making. First of all, after using Vista Ultimate for a few weeks, it's clear that the green and red indicators that are supposed to light up in proportion to incoming and outgoing Internet traffic don't work properly at all. Both will activate when any program establishes a new Internet connection, but after the first few packets are sent, it goes silent. After that, the connection doesn't register either in the tray or inside the full Zone Alarm GUI. I've downloaded hundreds of MBs
using AOL, Windows Update, Internet Explorer and a dozen other programs and the behavior's the same: Zone Alarm's Internet meter doesn't report that the packets are being sent. There's no doubt about it.
I can live with that, but it's clear to me now that Zone Alarm either isn't logging blocked inbound connections, or worse yet,
isn't blocking anything whatsoever.
After about 3 weeks of constant Internet use on
I haven't had a single packet blocked on Zone Alarm Vista, whereas the Zone Alarm on my XP system
getting scores of blocked packets a day. I've seen questions posted here and on other forums over the years about Zone Alarm having 0 blocked intrusions since install and the standard answer has always been to tell the user that they're probably safe behind a NAT or whatever. Maybe that was true in the case of those users, but not in my case; I'm not behind a NAT, and Zone Alarm running on XP on the same Internet account catches scores of errors. Here's the kicker: I have a competitor's free firewall protecting my Vista computer as I post this and it's catch packets like crazy (including many from such familiar hacker addresses as ShawCable, etc.). Zone Alarm either caught nothing or logged nothing.
Again, hopefully I'm overreacting and there's a good explanation for this. If there's not a good explanation, it makes me wonder about the safety of the millions of other Zone Alarm users who think their computers are protected when they may actually be wide open, and
about how to warn people.
In the mean time, I will have to advise all of the friends and family I help with firewall protection not to use
ZA on Vista until this is straightened out; I can't in good conscience recommend them a product that might be horribly broken. I hope I am
wrong. Any suggestions/help would be appreciated.
Operating System:Windows Vista Ultimate
Software Version:7.1 (Vista)
Product Name:ZoneAlarm (Free)