ZoneAlarm AntiVirus Expert Review

Malware Protection Best for
4 /5
$ 39.95/year /mo
Starting Price
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Table of Contents

    Our verdict

    ZoneAlarm has some of the best zero-day malware protection we’ve seen, along with a host of impressive anti-ransomware, firewall, and phishing protection features. Even the free version has a basic identity theft component, making this a great product for anyone who does a lot of web browsing, online shopping or needs to be connected to public WiFi on a regular basis.


    However, the best features are only available in ZoneAlarm’s most expensive package, and the cheaper versions can be a little limited in comparison. There’s also no MacOS or Linux support on cheaper packages and, when coupled with no custom scanning option, a few people may be put off.

    Overall, this provider offers a solid antivirus package, despite its minor shortcomings.


    • Large range of features
    • Excellent zero-day malware protection
    • One year free credit monitoring for US customers
    • Identity theft features included on all packages
    • Free version available
    • Discounts on sign up
    • Uses the Kaspersky antivirus engine
    • Free trials are available on all products


    • The user interface is very outdated
    • Limited independent lab testing has been carried out
    • You can’t run custom scans

    ZoneAlarm Overview

    ZoneAlarm has been operating since 1997 and specializes in malware and ransomware protection for PC users the world over, with more than 100 million downloads to date. While it has some great features and a strong performance against zero-day malware attacks, the software is currently only available for Windows and has no MacOS or Linux support on certain packages.

    It offers protection for home users as well as business clients and offers a trimmed-down free version for you to try out. Today, we’ll be looking at the features on offer with the provider’s home PC protection packages.

    ZoneAlarm was acquired by Checkpoint back in 2004, a major multinational provider of IT security and antivirus solutions. This provides assurance that your product is supported by some of the best security technology on the market.

    How to set it up and uninstall

    Setting up the software couldn’t be easier, and can be completed in a few simple steps:

    1. Click the download button on the website if you’re using the free version. If you’ve got the paid version, you’ll be sent a link to download
    2. Windows will ask if you’d like ZoneAlarm to make changes to your system. Click yes
    3. Then click the “Quick Install” button when the installer pops up
    4. The software will then be automatically installed
    5. If you have a paid version, you’ll need to activate your product. You’ll be emailed your license key separately
    6. To activate, select “Tools” from your dashboard and click “Enter License”
    7. If you don’t activate your product, you’ll remain on the trial version

    The process to remove the software is just as simple, and you just need to follow these steps:

    1. Press the Windows button on your desktop and type “remove program”
    2. Find ZoneAlarm from the list of programs
    3. Select the program and choose “Uninstall”
    4. This will permanently remove the software from your PC


    ZoneAlarm is a versatile product with a wide array of features. You’ll get a built-in firewall, advanced anti-phishing and mobile device security. Users in the US will even get daily credit monitoring reports free for one year, so you can see if anyone is trying to steal your identity and use your credit report to apply for finance.


    Money-back guarantee

    Yes, 30-day money-back guarantee

    Free Version



    Windows and Android. Only certain products are available on macOS

    Parental controls


    Email protection




    VPN services


    Smartphone optimizer


    USD virus scans


    Automated virus scans


    Game mode


    Safe browser


    Passive mode


    Threat Protection













    Adware protection



    You’ll have three scanning options to choose from; Quick, Full, and Full Scan With Archives. Quick scans can be completed in around 90 seconds and are a basic check for the most common types of known malware.

    Full scans can take around three hours and are much more in-depth. A full scan with archives takes even longer and looks at all files, folders, and archives, as well as scanning for rootkits.

    However, you can’t run your own custom scans, which is quite an oversight given this option comes as standard with most antivirus software. This can be quite an inconvenience if you want to scan a specific folder or drive.



    Price - Annually

    Number of devices

    Top features

    Extreme Security

    Prices range between $79.95 to protect one device and go up to $899.95 to protect up to 50.

    Between 1 and 50

    This is the full ZoneAlarm package and you’ll get real-time phishing protection for online shopping, antivirus, anti-spyware, the advanced firewall, threat extraction, and identity protection services.

    Pro Antivirus and Firewall

    Prices range between $39.95 to protect one device and go up to $619.95 to protect up to 50.

    Between 1 and 50

    You’ll get fewer features than the Extreme Security package, and the ones you get are focused on web browsing protection, online privacy, and a two-way firewall.

    Pro Firewall

    Prices range between $39.95 to protect one device and go up to $619.95 to protect up to 50.

    Between 1 and 50

    This is the firewall only option and has similar features to the Pro Antivirus and Firewall package.

    You’ll also get a feature that monitors suspicious behavior on your PC and shielding to your device during startup.


    Prices range between $14.95 to protect one device and go up to $94.95 to protect up to 10.

    1, 3 or 10

    This is ZoneAlarm’s anti-ransomware specific package. You’ll get file encryption and protection, a PC shield, and auto-restoration if any files are compromised.

    Free version



    This is the most basic package, you’ll get a simple antivirus and firewall, and identity theft protection.


    Almost all packages have large introductory discounts. These can vary considerably, depending on how many devices you’d like to protect and which package you choose, but you’ll typically get around a 50% discount on your first year’s subscription. The amounts in the above table reflect the full price you’ll pay once your introductory offer ends.

    If you’re not completely satisfied, ZoneAlarm offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked.

    Privacy and security


    With an array of web protections in place, this program is a good choice for those who might need to connect frequently to public WiFi. The web monitor will scan websites before you access them, and scan all files you download online.

    In addition, you’ll get access to real-time phishing protection when you’re shopping online, ensuring your privacy remains protected. File encryption and protection, coupled with anti-ransomware software, should also stop any would-be hacker from accessing your personal data.


    ZoneAlarm’s full Extreme Security package offers just about every protection you can think of. On top of the anti-malware, anti-phishing and anti-ransomware packages, it also runs threat emulation on email attachments. Downloading them into an isolated cloud environment to check for malware. For an additional layer of security, you can also add an attachment to a Chrome browser that’ll scan for malicious links and attachments. 

    Performance and protection

    There hasn’t been a great deal of testing done here by independent sources, perhaps due to the fact that it uses the same engine as Kaspersky's antivirus software. However, work done by AV Test back in December 2019 showed excellent protection results. It blocked 100% of all zero-day malware that was thrown at it, and detected and neutralized 99.99% of 20,428  other malware samples that were tested.

    Malware protection

    Threats are tracked in real-time and are constantly being updated with new malware information. You can’t really argue with the AV Test results either, as it’s managed to stay up to date and block 100% of zero-day attacks it was tested against.

    Ransomware protection

    This is one of the product's strongest features. Most ransomware attacks will attempt to steal, encrypt, and delete your files. ZoneAlarm can restore any data that has been encrypted by an attacker as part of an automated process.

    Phishing detection

    The anti-phishing detection tool scans every website you visit for phishing attempts. It’ll also block you from entering any personal data on websites it thinks are suspicious.

    Spyware detection

    ZoneAlarm doesn’t have a specific Spyware detection component. You’re instead protected by an anti-keylogger and anti-ransomware.

    Firewall protection

    You’ll get a two-way firewall that looks for suspicious programs trying to enter your device and any instances of attackers trying to remove data. Also, your device is protected on startup, kicking in much earlier than other antivirus programs.

    Lab test results

    There haven’t been all that many lab tests carried out on ZoneAlarm, but the ones we do have show excellent performance. In testing carried out by AV Test, it consistently scored above the industry average in terms of protection, blocking 100% of zero-day attacks, and was awarded the top score of 6/6 in every test.

    However, it’s a little more sluggish in the performance area when compared to the industry average; either matching it or falling short in most tests. But this shouldn’t be enough to put people off, given the level of protection you get.

    It’d be nice if we had more independent tests to compare to, but AV Test has been reliable in the past and we’d be happy to take its recommendation.

    Ease of use and interface

    The interface is easy to use, but it’s starting to look very dated. It certainly isn’t a sleek interface you might expect from modern antivirus software.

    Scans can be initiated quickly within a couple of clicks, and ZoneAlarm breaks down all of its protective features in three tabs on the main menu. These are broken down into your antivirus and firewall, web and privacy features, and mobile security. Clicking through into each one will let you know which features you have active and details of any attacks.

    Customer support

    You have a number of ways of reaching out for help if you have any issues, the easiest being to start a chat directly via the customer support page. You can also send an email by logging into your ZoneAlarm account.

    Before contacting customer services, you might want to check out the knowledge base area of the website first. Here there are dozens of articles, FAQs, and specific product support tips that might have the answer to your problem. However, it’s a little confusing to navigate, and could take a while to find what you’re looking for. You might be best just initiating the live chat and getting help directly.