Posts Tagged ‘windows 7’

ZoneAlarm Extreme Security

March 2nd, 2010 No comments

As you know from a previous post, I am running Windows 7 Pro x64

I have used ZoneAlarm for a number of years to protect my personal PC, with excellent results … yes, there was the occasional version that caused problems such as hanging or conflicts … but, by and large ZoneAlarm is an excellent piece of software that I highly recommend.

Since the Windows 7 beta came out, I had been checking the web site to see if their would be a Windows 7 version.  Indications were that there would be, but it wasn’t evident when I checked for it.

So, before I upgraded to Windows 7, I did my research and found that Windows 7 versions were available … I decided that one of these would probably do the trick.

ZoneAlarm Extreme Security

ZoneAlarm Extreme Security

I should mention at this point that I used to run AVG v8.5 as my preferred AntiVirus solution.  This time around, I wondered whether I should be looking at a combined solution.  I had a fresh install of Windows 7 … I had an image … nothing to lose right ?

Right !!  Not only does ZoneAlarm Extreme Security work like a charm … it is a full featured, integrated security suite which covers my antivirus needs as well as the traditional firewall role.

Two Way Firewall

As you would expect, ZoneAlarm Extreme Security acts as a 2-way firewall and stops inbound attacks from the Internet as well as stopping anything from ‘talking out’ from your computer without your permission.  This is a standard ZoneAlarm feature and no less than you would expect from any of their products.

Anti Virus

This version of ZoneAlarm  has built in Anti Virus and Anti Spyware.  Scanning is on-access so files are checked when you use them.  The signature updates are regular and unobtrusive.  In fact, you hardly notice the antivirus feature until it detects something and tells you about it.  Once again though, this is a good feature, but not unheard of in other products.

OS Firewall

I love this feature !! The text from the site states :

“Monitors changes within your computer to spot and stop new attacks that bypass traditional anti-virus protection….

At ZoneAlarm, we added outbound protection and then went beyond that to create the equivalent of guards who are trained to spot and stop suspicious behavior. We call this the OSFirewall, because it goes where dangerous programs go—to the operating system level. It monitors program installation, registry and file changes, keyboard and mouse code control, and over 40 other potentially dangerous behaviors.”

I can tell you now that this is the feature that makes ZoneAlarm Extreme Security different, special … and worthwhile.  I have already had occurrences of reputable downloaded software which after install has tried to run something or set up autorun options which I hadn’t asked for.  ZoneAlarm caught them, warned me and allowed me to stop them.

ZoneAlarm Extreme Security includes a lot of other features including parental controls, anti-spam, browser protection, and privacy and identity protection.

I’m hooked and wouldn’t be without it.

Windows 7 – I’m Impressed …

November 6th, 2009 1 comment

So, I ran the Windows 7 RC (Release Candidate) on a standalone PC – not my production machine – since it was released to the public. While this wasn’t a full test, and it certainly did not get used every day, I was very impressed at the stability, the hardware support … and the speed

I have been counting down the days to 22 October 2009 and the release of Windows 7 to the general public. (OK, so counting the days … maybe not … but it was topmost in my mind every week or so :-) )

Oddly enough, the day itself came around, and … I got nervous …

  • What if the RTM version just didn’t cut it with all the apps I used ?
  • Would I have to go back to image ?
  • … and back to my *very stable* XP installation ?

I took the plunge !!

Having imaged my C: drive (using Acronis TrueImage 2009) … and verifying the image … I felt safe enough to proceed.

I have to warn you at this stage … I am a perfectionist … so I spend a good 8 to 10 hours preparing my plan for the upgrade (clean install).

There were a few programs and pieces of hardware that concerned me … so I looked further …

ZoneAlarm – I was running version 7.something free under XP and was very happy with it.  I wanted ZoneAlarm to work under Windows 7.  From the looks of the web site it was going to be possible in some form (either free or paid) … so I continued.

Logitech QuickCam Chat webcam – it failed the Windows 7 upgrade adviser, so I had to weigh up the options.  I decided to proceeed … who needs to look at my ugly mug anyway :-)

The Plunge …

Boot from Windows 7 Professional x64 DVD ROM …

Follow the instructions …

OK, so is it really finished ? It can’t be … it didn’t take long enough for a Windows install … there wasn’t enough pain !!

Yes !! It was !! Installed … with no problems, no driver issues
(I didn’t have my QuickCam Chat plugged in at this point)

I decided to trial the paid version of ZoneAlarm for Windows 7 – ZoneAlarm Extreme Security … and very quickly decided it was worth it … and paid.  This version includes not only the superb ZoneAlarm firewall, but also AntiVirus and a whole lot of other features.

Windows 7 Professional x64 is now installed and is my production machine.  I am happy and it was worth it.

The QuickCam Chat doesn’t work … but as explained on the Logitech site, they are just not going to support some hardware. So, I’ll buy a new webcam … a small price to pay :-)

Do I recommend moving to Windows 7 ? Yes I do !!

The quick search bar thingy on the Start Menu – awesome.
The interface … nice enough.
The speed … much better than XP
The whole experience … Microsoft this is the best OS you have ever produced … very happy.

Next stop … the wife’s computer …