Why can't Zone Labs get it right?

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by duke1959, Sep 7, 2006.

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  1. duke1959

    duke1959 Very Frequent Poster

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    I read the Zone Labs Forum a few days ago, and once again there are quite a few problems posted there about the latest Zone Alarm Firewall releases including the free version. None of them appear to be as bad as the ones from the last version, but I just don't understand why a company with their reputation can't seem to get it right. I have also read that Comodo has had a few problems with their Firewall recently, but I tend to believe they are very fast to respond to them, and usually end up with less problems and an even better Firewall than before, and that ones free! I realize there has to be many complexities in producing a problem free Firewall, but how hard can it be to at least release a version that is better than the one before? I guess though, that Comodo has already answered that question by releasing versions that do keep getting better.
     
  2. unhappy_viewer

    unhappy_viewer Registered Member

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    People are going to have trouble with any version. The forum existed for a long time top help people with problems specific to them. Not everyone faces problems and not everyone that has problems will have problems of the same kind. For example, I've had no trouble since early incarnations of ZA up to the latest release. People had trouble with v1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Does that mean they are all crap?

    Remember that the number of ZA users around the world are in the many millions compared to other software firewalls. But most probably if you did a statistical test to compare the porportion of people who have trouble their firewalls, the results between the different developers are not going to be significant.
     
  3. duke1959

    duke1959 Very Frequent Poster

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    I don't disagree about the millions of happy users with ZA, unhappy_viewer. (Does that sound funny?) But that's my point. With all those users and the experience that Zone Labs have, there shouldn't IMO be hardly any problems at all. Maybe the fact they do have so many PAID users, and have made money on the Firewall has simply made them forget what got them to that point in the first place, which was the users. I don't know for sure, but is it just a coincidence that since Sunbelt took over Kerio Firewall there have also been new problems with that Firewall as well. Maybe it is that these two well known companies were in too much of a hurray to make more money by adding everything to the Firewall they could (Antispyware, HIPS, ect...) to try and "corner the market" as the business saying goes, and this caused them to have the problems, I don't know. What I do know, is that although the Free Firewalls obviuosly have there share of problems as well, for me this is much more acceptable than having so many with the ones you pay for.
     
  4. unhappy_viewer

    unhappy_viewer Registered Member

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    Contrary, ZL should have many more problems because there are so many different PC setups and they can't emulate all of them in their labs or open beta to test. There was a large increase in the number of users when Microsoft started advising everyone to use a firewall shortly before SP2 and the number of users are still increasing.

    Sunbelt Kerio Firewall too experienced unprecedented growth too from Microsoft's problem/advice and their user base has also increased enormously as well. I don't think you can say the former company, Kerio, was not interested in profits.

    As more people use security products, its getting harder for security companies to identify the problems and the worst part is since security products get themselves rather deep into a system, the seriousness of thr problems get magnified many times more than other sort of computer software such as photoshop, MS Ofiice etc.
     
  5. duke1959

    duke1959 Very Frequent Poster

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    All I am saying is this. My FREE Comodo Firewall is working Great, and is even an IMPROVEMENT over the last version. I admit there are some Comodo users with problems at the moment, (Which are being taken care of) and I realize there are many many less of these users than there are of ones who use ZA. I guess I am just a little frustrated that I could use Look N Stop a small semi unknown Firewall without any problems. I could use the last version of Comodo Firewall without any problems. (It was a litle slow in switching from one user to another) I could use an OLDER Version of Pre Sunbelt Kerio Firewall 4.2.2 without any problems. And I was using an older version of ZA Free 6.1.744 that was recommended by ZA Tech's because of newer 6.5 problems, and liked it. If I could use all those Firewalls without troubles, and apparently many other people too, then why should NEW Versions be a problem? More people using them with many different systems makes sense to me, but some of these same people also reverted to doing what I did by using the older Firewall versions or less known ones, and of course started using Comodo Firewall and the problems seemed stopped. This isn't a criticism, just an observation.
     
  6. Zombini

    Zombini Registered Member

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    After Zone was acquired by Checkpoint, the division had to show some real revenue, not the piddly revenue they had whey they were ZoneLabs. As a result, they piled on the features, came out with a security suite just like all the vendors that copied Norton... McAfee, Kaspersky, BitDefender, Trend Micro, and now all of them are bloated and buggy. NIS 2007 has turned the corner, has jettisoned all the fat and focusing on its core security features, AV, AS, Rootkits and the Firewall. I'm sure next year, you will see dramatic changes in all vendor's products.. as always they follow the leader Symantec with 53+ % market share.
     
  7. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

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    All,
    With so many other good free Firewalls why bother with a 'has been' product like Checkpoint's home use firewall called ZoneAlarm. :p I do not know why they can not get it right but I will tell you this the fact that so many use the product is not the reason so many report problems. I understand the point but do not agree.

    I have used a half dozen firewalls over time on my machines and while ZA has never really screwed me up badly it has been the most troublesome software firewall out of them all. It is the most difficult to get rid of too. It has been the most forgetful when it comes to remembering permissions too. Even 4.5 Pro was starting to get bloated. :( Now with Vista coming out you have to wonder if 4.5 will just have to go. It will also be interesting to see how the folks at ZA who can not seem to get it right deal with Vista...:eek: :rolleyes: :p

    As for Comodo (while I have not uninstalled it) I have had it a little over a week it is operating well even a little better then the old ZA versions use to in the old days. ZA was my first firewall and I watched it rise and then virtually collapse at version 5 into nothing but problems for many. I held back until a decent version 5.xx came along and then dumped it. At that point I started looking for alternatives and have never needed to look back. ;)
     
  8. duke1959

    duke1959 Very Frequent Poster

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    Thanks fellas. You both shed a better light on what is at the heart of all the problems better than I did. The sad part is that although I really like the Comodo Firewall, ZA Free may have been a better choice for me. The reason I say this is that my wife shares the PC with me and since she doesn't care to understand Firewalls, or Antiviruses for that matter, the simplicity of ZA combined with some outbound protection IMO is really enough protection needed for our particular uses. I will even admit there was something about ZA Free that I liked, but it's just that what I don't need is the worry of having troubles if I install it again, no matter how good the latest version is said to be. Especially since Comodo really isn't all that hard to understand, and passes all the leak tests in learning mode. Thanks again for helping me better expain what I was driving at.
     
  9. unhappy_viewer

    unhappy_viewer Registered Member

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    Like choosing any product, choose one that works for you and one that you are suitable with using. I am not here to persuade anyone to use ZA and I usually stay out of the "Which Firwall is best?" type threads (If you see me post in those thread, its usually to correct an error someone has made). ZA works well for me while the others did not cut it with me (Comodo actually gave me the BSoD), so I choose to still use ZA. It depends on how the Leprechauns are helping you by showering their Irish luck on the a firewall they think works best for you. :)

    Remember that different computers are different in configurtions. What may work for your desktop PC may not work for your laptop etc.
     
  10. duke1959

    duke1959 Very Frequent Poster

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    Hey unhappy_viewer. I must admit, but not one bit embarrassed to do so, that I may be going back to ZA Free. Comodo has been slowing down my PC like an earlier version did, and especially when switching from one account to the other as it takes over 30 seconds before my wife's account is up and fully functional. This never happened with ZA Free 6.1.744. I was just disappointed that not long after installing AOL AVS to go along with ZA I got a BSOD. (AVS was however running fine with Comodo) Also the security icon pops up occasionally for a seconfd or two saying I don't have FW protection on. This brings me to saying first, I'm sorry if I offended your choice of Firewalls, and second, asking you to go ahead and talk me into using ZA Free 6.5.737. It won't be hard as I have read that this latest version, which is already on my Desktop ready to be installed, is doing very well. I have uninstalled Comodo now, and checked to make sure there was no traces of it left, so all systems are go. I also asked another Forum user about this, but i also want to here your respnse as you are using ZA. Thanks
     
  11. unhappy_viewer

    unhappy_viewer Registered Member

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    There is no offence. Everybody has their opinions and they are free to voice them on issues such as this. People switch to different products and thats how trends move. I remember the first AV I used was McAfee, then NAV and now NAV and KAV. One thing I am glad is that in this day and age, there are a mulititude of good firewall products to choose from such as ZA, Kerio, Outpost, Comodo etc although some may not be ready from primetime just yet. Its these multitude of products that push companies like ZL, Sunbelt etc. to maintain and improve their softwares or face demise. ZL most probably suffered in a drop of users since v5.0 although not significant enough since most of thier users are ZA (free) users.
     
  12. duke1959

    duke1959 Very Frequent Poster

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    I'm glad i didn't offend you unhappy_viewer. I have ZA Free up and running, and no noticable slow downs like with Comodo. I really liked the Firewall, but for my needs i believe ZA Free will do just fine. I could probably get away with just Windows Firewall since I use FireFox with McAfee Site Advisor, and AOL AVS, but you never know. I am experiencing allow or deny alert windows popping up on both accounts at the same time however. In other words when ZA asks if I want to allow say Windows Media Player to access the internet while on one account, an allow or deny alert window will also pop up on the other one as well that I will see when I click to get back on. Any ideas?
     
  13. unhappy_viewer

    unhappy_viewer Registered Member

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    Are you using Fast User Switching? ZA doesn't work too well using fast user switching. Imagine both users trying to make use of the same zlclient.exe and vsmon.exe processes together simultaneously. See:
    http://forum.zonelabs.org/zonelabs/board/message?board.id=gen&message.id=30843

    I recommend that you use the standard login and logoff. Fast User Switching has been known to cause lots of problems with many programs such as games etc.
     
  14. duke1959

    duke1959 Very Frequent Poster

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    Yes I am, but only zlclient is listed in her task manager. In my TM both zlclient and vsmon are listed. All I am saying is I don't remeber getting alerts for allow deny on both accounts at the same time when i used 6.1.744. It doesn't seem to be a problem though as all my apps that I allowed are in the Program Control section now, and there are no other ones that will need approval. It is fairly fast when I go from my account to my wife's so no problem there either. Thanks so far.
     
  15. TraCKs

    TraCKs Registered Member

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    I agree with you Duke1959, about why cant Zone Labs get it right? Heres just 2 problems ive faced in the last week, I was selling something on ebay and the pic I was trying to DL wouldnt, so I unchecked ( ZA load at startup) rebooted and the pic dl perfect. I knew there were windows updates available but none were showing so I unchecked ( ZA load at startup) rebooted, auto updates worked perfectly. I could go on and on and on.....
     
  16. duke1959

    duke1959 Very Frequent Poster

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    Hey TraCKs. I had AOL AVS Antivirus which I really liked installed with Comodo Firewall and other than a little slow down from one account to the other things were fine. I then decided to see if the new version of ZA Free helped my PC run faster when switching and it did. The only thing is that after only one day I got a Blue Screen Of Death. The thing about this is that I also had this BSOD while using ZA Free 6.1.744 and AVS. I have since reinstalled Comodo which had no problems running with AVS, but I replaced it with Antivir PE for now to see if switching is faster with that combo and it seems that it is. I realize there is a big difference in these two Firewalls, but I admit I really liked the more simple ZA for some reason. Not that it matters as I couldn't use it with AVS, and also had the problem I posted about earlier. I truly like Comodo and although I miss AVS, if Antivir and Comodo continues to run fast on my PC I will keep them both. It's almost ashamed though, that a free Firewall like Comodo is much better than ZA Free, and considering what many people are saying, probably better at this point than even ZA Pro.
     
  17. duke1959

    duke1959 Very Frequent Poster

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    unhappy_viewer, I want to use ZA Free. It's just this BSOD that only seems to happen when I have AOL AVs on board frustrates me. Now the last one i got was while my wife was on and I didn't read the whole screen, but saw something about netbios being on. I have read posts where this is usually not needed anymore. I don't share file with my son's PC which is hard wired into the Router. Mine of course is a wireless Desktop, using a Range Expander to get connection. All I really want is a simple basic set up ion my PC. I was now thinking what about ZA Free with AVG Free (I know about it's detection rates in the AV Comparitives, but it was very very close to Avast once again) since I have heard of no conflicts, and my wife and I are safe surfers. (FireFox with McAfee Site Advisor) I would then add Arovax Shield for basic HIPS protection and continue to use Ewido and Adaware as on demand scanners. Other then that I could always use an online scanner (Kaspersky) or Bitdefender as a back up. The point is though, that while this to me is good enough protection for an Average User, I am still a little worried of having a problem with ZA Free again for some reason? Remeber I posted about ZA Free 6.5.737 showing alerts on both accounts at same time, and when I would allow it and then switch to the other one I had to allow it again on that account too. I am curious about the last BSOD with the netbios message though. Any thoughts on all of this?
     
  18. Cerxes

    Cerxes Registered Member

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    duke1959, I´ve installed several machines with the combo AVS and ZA free, and then controlled the systems for conflicts and found none. I pretty sure that the problem you have is because of some other software/softwares. I suggest you change some other softwares to substitutes (try and error) or make a new installation of your system to be sure. Don´t forget to clean (and make backup) the registry with e.g. CCleaner, EasyCleaner etc.

    Regards, C.
     
  19. unhappy_viewer

    unhappy_viewer Registered Member

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    You ned to jot down the exact error code if you are getting BSoD and then post in the ZL's forum. I think the the gurus have an accessible list of of BSoD error codes and ZL's recommendation on what to do for each particular one. I am afraide I can't help much in the way of BSoDs. The offcial ZL forum is here:
    http://forum.zonelabs.org

    The other place you can ask is on CastleCops' ZA forum. Hoov who is also a guru helps there frequently instead of the ZL forum ever since he doesn't have good internet connection but he has a real good source of knowledge since he's been helping people to troubleshoot ZA for a really long time. You know the URL since I saw you posting there about the alert problem you are having but for the benefit of others, here it is:
    http://www.castlecops.com/f23-Zone_Alarm.html
     
  20. duke1959

    duke1959 Very Frequent Poster

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    Thanks Cerxes and unhappy_viewer. I didn't install ZA free with AVG Free yet. I now am only using Windows XP Firewall and Antivir PE. I guess ZA was having conflicts with AOL AVS because I had been using 6.1.744 for awhile before installing AVS and no BSOD. Then after installing the newest version of ZA Free and still having AOL AVS installed I got the BSOD again. Does netbios have anything to do with causing problems? I read what it was used for and it told me how to turn it off if I didn't share files with another PC. My other questions before I try AVG Free and ZA Free are. Do you guys think this is enough protection for the average home owner? And, if I am in word perfect and have a BSOD will it be saved like when an electrical outage happens? Thanks guys I appreciate the help, because although I really liked Comodo Firewall it just slowed down my PC enough to see a difference, and especially when switching from one user to the other. With the new verson of Zone Alarm it was very fast and even the internet seemed faster. The same when I use AVG Free instead of Avast and now Antivir. I realize other combinations offer a higher level of protection, but I like my PC speedy. I also like it trouble free too, and that's why else I want to be certain AVG and ZA will be a good match. Thanks again.
     
  21. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

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    Zonealarm free and avg free is sufficient protection if you have good surfing habits. I'd suggest that you add in a free antispyware program just to be safe, spyware terminator, windows defender, spybot s&d with teatimer, any one of those programs would suffice. If you are having problems with the newer ZA free versions i'd suggest trying an older version as from my point of view i cannot see any major difference between the older and newer free versions. I still use v3.7 and v4.5 on a couple of computers as they are lighter on resources and very stable.
     
  22. Bubba

    Bubba Updates Team

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    Due to the fact an off-topic discussion was taking precedent over what should be a support issue for the thread starter....I have taken the liberty to split off numerous posts and create a thread specifically for that discussion.

    Please continue the OT here---> Zone Alarm is spying discussion
     
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