What's the differences in ZA free 2.6, 4.5 and 7.0? Which is best?

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by acr1965, Feb 26, 2007.

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  1. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

    Oct 12, 2006
    What is the differences in free Zone Alarm firewalls versions 2.6, 4.5 and 7.0? Is the newest release of the free version much different than the past versions?

    I currently have NOD32, SSM and SuperAdBlocker w/SAS. And I am essentially wanting an easy to understand, lightweight firewall that also passes basic leak tests and is stealth on the internet. I have tried Comodo, Kerio, Jetico and I think pretty much every other firewall out there. But I like the internet lock feature of ZA which seems to be missing from most other firewalls. Plus I think SSM can help in the "leak" department. If that is not so, please someone let me know otherwise.

    Would anyone know how much memory each of the ZA free firewalls use? Is any of the three better than the others? I saw the download for ZA 7.0 is like 30 MB's but I believe that is because it includes the ZA security suite that people are reminded to upgrade to. Does it run that heavy?

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks, as always.
  2. Bluenile

    Bluenile Registered Member

    Feb 2, 2007
    I wasn't keen on the new version 7 . As you say it's a monster 38Mb download and seems to use more memory than previous versions. I was also getting occasional BSOD's with it.

    Imo the best ZA free version is 6.5.737.000 , the release previous to version 7:


    I've switched to Kerio free now personally as i think it gives much better outbound protection.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2007
  3. ThunderZ

    ThunderZ Registered Member

    May 1, 2006
    North central Ohio, U.S.A.
    Not at all familiar with ZA 2.x. However I use 4.5 Pro on my resource deprived lap top and 5.5 Pro on my personal tower. Version release histories and free versions can be found HERE.
    Concerning leak tests. ZA has not failed one for me yet. Most of the failed tests use exploits in IE. Since IE needs to launch and have Internet access for the exploit\leak test to execute I have it set to "ask" for Internet access (I use FF anyways). No access, no exploit\leak.
    As far as the d\l size of 7.x, that is because a trial version of the full ZA Suite is included.
  4. noway

    noway Registered Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    I think 6.1 744.001 is the best version they have ever released. I've only used the Pro version. If I recall, it used about 20 MB. I used only the firewall and had everything else shut off. It fixes a couple minor bugs that I have noticed in 4.5.594. The "remember last panel opened" feature will not be remembered after a reboot or firewall shutdown/restart.

    Many have had some success with

    Version 4.5.594 is also good. The log is bigger and bolder...so you may need to do some side-side scrolling to see everything you want. The log includes everything all in one panel, so you don't need to view program logs, firewall logs, etc. separately using a dropdown selector like you do in 6.1.744.001. I think the Plus version I used to use used about 14 MB. The "remember last panel opened" feature will survive a reboot.

    Version 2.6 I had some database corruption issues/XP event log errors after trying to restore some settings backups (by copying Zonealarm files) with so I would recommend the above versions instead plus I find the GUI not as good as versions 4.5 and newer.

    The Pro/old Plus versions have a settings backup/restore button which makes this very easy and I would go for the Pro for this reason alone.

    Checkpoint has released a lot of buggy versions other than these ones and I think it is better to step back and wait for a few months before using any new version. then you can monitor the user forums ( http://forums.zonelabs.com/zonelabs ) and see how much trouble others are having before you jump in.
  5. Chuck57

    Chuck57 Registered Member

    Sep 2, 2002
    New Mexico, USA
    Here's a site where you can get quite a few of the old versions of ZA. It includes download size. Don't know if this will help. I have ZA 2.6 running on an ancient laptop with 32M RAM and Win98. No slowdown and I like the simplicity of that version of ZA. I haven't tried it with XP so can't comment. I know it's outdated, but if you're behind a hardware firewall and only concerned with outgoing, and if 2.6 works, it might be worth a look.


    Old Versions Available of ZoneAlarm

    ZoneAlarm 2.0 (1.5 MB)
    ZoneAlarm 2.1 (1.7 MB)
    ZoneAlarm 2.6 (2.8 MB)
    ZoneAlarm 3.1 (3.5 MB)
    ZoneAlarm 3.7 (3.7 MB)
    ZoneAlarm 4.5.538.1 (4.8 MB)
    ZoneAlarm 4.5.594.0 (4.8 MB)
    ZoneAlarm (6.8 MB)
    ZoneAlarm 6.0.631.3 (8.9 MB)
    ZoneAlarm 6.1.744.1 (10.0 MB)
    ZoneAlarm 6.5.731.0 (13.0 MB)

    http://www.oldversion.com is the home page and here's a list of older firewalls and other things available in the security section. I don't know whether the firewalls are trials or working versions. I do know that the ZA firewalls are the free versions.

    Security software
    Norton AntiVirus
    Outpost Firewall
    Sygate Personal Firewall
    Tiny Personal Firewall
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2007
  6. dave88

    dave88 Registered Member

    Feb 2, 2007
    ZA 4.5 is my fave version, it is light, and simple. I've used it on many novice users machines. If you bittorrent for long periods of time though vsmon.exe will start to use too much memory.

    Sygate is also a very good lightweight free option, the free version has dll authentication, though it is turned off by default (too many popups for some people)

  7. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

    Jul 1, 2006
    I've used em all and imo their ain't much functional difference between them. The only concern might be bugs/exploits/incompatibilities in older versions.
  8. Escalader

    Escalader Registered Member

    Dec 12, 2005
    Land of the Mooses
    Before you venture further I suggest you read the following thread,


    These products are like comparing apples to watermelons and comparing them may not be worth it.

    A Google on ZA Internet Security Suite 7 should also give you pause.
  9. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

    Oct 12, 2006
    Thanks for all the responses. I appreciate it.
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