I'm starting to get really frustrated now.
I've always liked the way that ZA informs me about what is going on on my system, that's why I stick to it - there no matching solution for the concept. However....
When I bought my current laptop about a year ago - a blistering fast machine - it came with Vista installed. That was trouble because we had to wait quite long before a Vista compatible/stable ZA was released. But ok, I develop software too, and I understand the challenges they faced at Checkpoint. It wasn't until the 7.1.254 that my system was stable and that ZA did what I expected it to do - in a relatively performant way even.
Then, at some point I was invited to install the 8.0.059 Security Suite. I went ahead and it was really cool that my 7.1.254 serial number was valid for that version too. But soon I faced stability issues ..... the "The system cannot find the path specified"-syndrome ... internet connections falling away for minutes every 5 minutes....
I downgraded to 7.1.254 again and computered on happily until recently the 8.0.289 Extreme was presented... My yearly license had only 38 days left so I decided to buy the Extreme, expecting that it would be stable. After two weeks of working with it I've lost so much time and even data that I want to downgrade again to the good old 7.1.254. Then I can focus on working on my computer instead of fixing it and rebooting it all the time.
The frustrating thing is however that my fresh 8.0.289 serial is not valid for the less exotic 7.1.254 version.... I guess the solution will be to contact their sales department on that... but consider it a warning - if you pay for Extreme and you're not satisfied - then you might have to pay again.
Enough rambling - what's the actual problem :
When I start my computer, after about 15 minutes of using Firefox 3.0.7 my internet traffic stalls for 3 to 5 minutes. Any ongoing downloads are timed out, pages cannot be loaded anymore, even my mail-check gadget in the vista side bar cannot do its job anymore. Overall system response is incredibly slow, so slow that I can't even bring up the Task Manager anymore to see what's eating the CPU. But then suddenly - everything returns to normal, for another 15 minutes or so ...
Disabling ZoneAlarm makes all the trouble go away. Alternatively, using 7.1.254 works like a charm too.
I'm quite into this stuff, and the obvious things like not having a second firewall, resetting via -rightclick, getting latest vista updates,... all tried and double checked.
Oh yeah - let me mention that the first 10 minutes after installing ZA Extreme I decided already to disable Forcefield. Enabling it very often cause Firefox not to show up when I started it. The process was in the process list, but the browser window never showed up. I tried enabling it a few times again, but the problem was very reproducable.
Also worth mentioning is that it's not the ZA update that causes it - that may take out your system too for a while, but I've set it to 24h updating only, and I can live with that..
Last but not least, when I download .rar or .zip archives from the web - they appear to be unextractable *very often* when I have ZA Extreme enabled during the download ! CRC errors all over the place. Re-downing the same archives with ZA Extreme disabled and again, problem gone. Also, 7.1 never cause me any trouble with that either.
I've Vista Home Premium SP1, with no special software installed, using Firefox, Thunderbird, some image editing software,.... really nothing special. All running on a HP HDX Pavilion.
So in short - i'm losing confidence and it is my greatest wish that they replace my Extreme serial number by a Security Suite number, so that I can use the good old 7.1.254 again.
If any of you can offer me solutions/suggestions that restore my confidence in 8.0 Extreme or ZA as a whole, that would be even better !
Operating System:Windows Vista Home Premium
Product Name:ZoneAlarm Extreme Security