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I have not had any problems with ZoneAlarm 9 Free Firewall, but 10 is a different matter.

Problem

Whenever I open an application requiring internet access, the following happens:

  1. A ZoneAlarm 'Allow/Block' window pops up. Naturally, I click Allow.
  2. Under ZoneAlarm's program settings, the program is configured appropriately.
  3. The application freezes. No response.
    • I try to kill it. Doesn't work: I suspect it is in use by ZoneAlarm's faulty driver, or something.
  4. Temporary workaround, without having to restart the computer.
    • I tediously, manually remove all handles/threads from the process using ProcessExplorer. The process is still in memory, of courser.
    • I start a new instance of the application, and it doesn't freeze this time.

Settings

  • Computer->Programs->Application Control->Current Settings
    • Firewall: Max.
    • Defense net: Manual

As a temporary solution (not sure if it works), I have had to set Defense net to Auto.

Software

Windows Vista Home Premium 32-Bit

ZoneAlarm Free Firewall version: 10.1.065.000
vsmon version: 10.1.065.000
Driver version: 10.0.217.000
ZoneAlarm Browser Security: 1.5.350.0
ZoneAlarm ForceField Spyware Scanner: 1.5.350.0
ZoneAlarm ForceField Anti-Phishing Database: 1.2.104.0
ZoneAlarm ForceField Spyware Sites Database: 04.155
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1 Answer

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Nevermind, I switched to Comodo.

Comodo is so far better than ZoneAlarm, although the 'advanced' features have a learning curve. At least Comodo has advanced features. ;)

I had initially picked Comodo years ago, but I got a BSOD so I decided to use ZoneAlarm. Thankfully, no post-install BSODs anymore. In fact, no ZoneAlarm-caused netio.sys BSODs either!

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Pretty much what everyone who used to use Zone-Alarm has done. It makes your computer safe, often by rendering the program trying to access the internet DOA. And then you accidentally set some system service up to be "more safe" and the OS itself starts to fall over dead. It's too intrusive, too much of a resource sink and in the end its wormed-in tendrils into the OS caused me to have to wipe and reinstall. Unfortunately there wasn't an analogous tool like Norton Removal Tool for Zone-Alarm. –  Fiasco Labs Dec 11 '11 at 2:06
    
@FiascoLabs When I installed Comodo after disabling ZoneAlarm, I couldn't figure out why my internet wasn't working. After hours and hours, I finally figured it out: ZoneAlarm was disabled; I needed to uninstall it. –  muntoo Dec 11 '11 at 5:08
    
Yep, that's pretty much the case. No two anti-virus, anti-spyware or firewall packages can co-exist on any system anymore. You used to be able to have an active antivirus and a deactivated antivirus that you could run manually, but those days are long over. All these products have to become part of the operating system in order to intercept the malware, just some do a better job than others. And having two loaded at the same time means both are fighting for the same access to the OS. In its day, Zone-Alarm was a really good package. –  Fiasco Labs Dec 11 '11 at 8:04
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