PROS / ZoneAlarm Internet Security is among the very best at detecting known and unknown malware.
CONS / This suite lacks a file shredder.
VERDICT / Zone Alarm is an excellent product. It performs well and includes quite a few useful security features.
Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Internet Security Suites here.
The competition among internet security suites is so fierce that even an excellent brand such as ZoneAlarm finds itself outside of the top 10 internet security test results published by AV-Test. But don’t let that put you off. The performance of ZoneAlarm Internet Security during two months of continuous testing at AV-Test labs in March and April of 2014 was extraordinary.
This software soundly beat the industry average scores for protection. One of the protection tests measured ability to detect 138 new threats from malware, websites and email. ZoneAlarm successfully detected 99.5 percent of the threats as compared to the industry average of 94 percent. A second protection test involved 20,646 samples of prevalent malware. The application correctly identified 99 percent of them, a full percentage point better than the industry average. In tests to measure drag on host PC performance and instances of false positives, ZoneAlarm’s performance matched industry averages.
In terms of protection, performance and usability, this is among the best internet security software products. In terms of features, it has a lot of good ones that confirm its status as an internet security suite as opposed to an entry-level antivirus product. For example it can tackle spam and spyware in addition to malware. It also detects threats that arrive via social media. It has a proprietary firewall in case you would prefer the ZoneAlarm firewall to the one included with Windows. There is also a game mode that suspends unnecessary notifications while you are gaming or watching video. The feature list also includes parental controls and online backup.
Despite such an impressive list of features, when you consider the feature lists in other internet security software, the features missing from ZoneAlarm come into focus. It lacks the ability to proactively scan removable media such as USB memory sticks, instant messaging protection and a bootable rescue CD to recover from situations where a PC might become unresponsive due to malware infections. While we are at it, we might as well also mention that it has no file shredder (for permanent removable of deleted files) and it doesn’t automatically download critical operating system patches.
If the feature set for ZoneAlarm Internet Security matches your situation and requirements, then this is one to consider because its performance is competitive with the top 10 internet security products.