Posted: June 14th, 2021
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I chose to install Zone Alarm Free Firewall version: 15.2.053.17581 on a virtual Windows 7 machine. I made a snapshot of the Virtual Machine prior to the download and installation. This way, after I am done testing this application I can just revert back to that snapshot and it is like nothing happened. The Zone Alarm Free Firewall promotes itself based on its ability to prevent hackers and intruders from gaining unauthorized access into your system. The last time I used Zone Alarm Free last about 15 years ago. Some things have changed since then. Zone Alarm now includes Identity Protection as one of their selling features. The Identity Protection module monitors the system for phishing activity and attempts to collect the user’s personal information. Zone Alarm also offers Virus protection for a fee. The Firewall and Identity protection are free. The Zone Alarm Free Firewall logs all of the prevented attacks so it is relatively easy to see what threats have been mitigated by its use. While I was using Zone Alarm there were no threats mitigated. I do not do a lot of high risk activity on the internet so that comes as no surprise. One thing that I did notice though was that I could not access my network shares. I had to turn off the Basic Firewall on Zone Alarm to be able to access them. I tried to make an exception to be the Windows Explorer but that did not work. I spent some time trying to make it so that I could leave the Basic Firewall function running and still be able to access my network shares but I was not able to do so. I remember now why I stopped using Zone Alarm so long ago. Sometimes the firewall restrictions can be more of an inconvenience than I want to deal with.
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