Firewall fire sale: Free ZoneAlarm makes it to Vista

Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. today launched a Windows Vista version of its flagship ZoneAlarm firewall and blamed the delay on a switch to the new operating system's application programming interfaces (API). The Vista version of ZoneAlarm, a two-way firewall that will continue to be given away, is the first from a major security vendor to apply Vista's Windows Filtering Platform (WFP) API, said Laura Yecies, the general manager of Check Point's consumer security line.

"This is a bit later than we would have liked," said Yecies, noting the four-month lag between Vista's retail release and ZoneAlarm's appearance. "We underestimated the schedule impact of WFP. But long term, WFP will give us more support and more stability on Vista. It was a lot of extra work, but we'll have to do fewer hacks in the future." WFP, a new Vista architecture that lets developers tap into the TCP/IP processing path, was a hard row to hoe. "At times, it seemed like we were an extension of Microsoft QA. They patched and made changes based on what we found while we were developing," Yecies said. Microsoft used WFP to create its own Windows Firewall, which is bundled with Vista.

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News source: ComputerWorld

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Exactly what I want to hear from a security vendor: "we'll have to do fewer hacks in the future" - as if hacking things in was standard operating procedure before and they are bummed they can't keep doing that...

I think he means where is the free Vista version - it hasn't been released yet it looks like. The download page just has Win2K/XP still showing as the supported OS.

7Dash8 said,
I think he means where is the free Vista version - it hasn't been released yet it looks like. The download page just has Win2K/XP still showing as the supported OS.

That is correct.
Thank you.

It's too bad so many people seem to be confusing ZA (which is awesome) with Symantec products (which actually are bloat-crapware)

It's also sad to see the ZA team stoop to a new low and blame their slow product launch on Microsoft as if they had no time to develop it for Vista.

Use this in Windows XP, never had a problem with this and am waiting to download the free firewall for Vista. Don't know what problem you all had with this, possibly a hardware/software conflict on your end but it's hardly the fault of ZoneAlarm as there are many more that use this without a problem

WFP, a new Vista architecture that lets developers tap into the TCP/IP processing path, was a hard row to hoe

Umm shouldn't it be row and not hoe?

LOL

"[H]ard row to hoe" is correct, as it's a farming metaphor referring to a planting row made of hard dirt that takes extra effort to turn over using a hoe.

well zone alarm was good but then become bloated and people just have to switch and agnitum its going to the same path =/ after version 4.

We really need a firewall that works and ca be like a nod32 category very lightweight.

Windows firewall needs a lot of improvement, in sp2 its only one side firewall and vista its two side but one of them disable by default and if you allow them it block every outbound and theres no prompt to allow application go out its just annoying, not a big improvement

MajinDark said,
Hardware firewalls only block things one way, yet everyone seems to love them.

I have used several Hardware based firewalls which monitor outbound and inbound TCP/UDP traffic. The companies would be Cisco, Fortigate, and Sonicwall.

eilegz said,
We really need a firewall that works and ca be like a nod32 category very lightweight

I personally have used Kerio Personal Firewall (v2, the later v4 versions just added bloat and bugs), and find it to be both very lightweight and reliable. (Anyone else who's had experience with this product, please comment :))

In case anyone's interested - I don't know of a reliable link (iirc the old Kerio archive site died when they merged with Sunbelt), but google for version 2.1.5 and you ought to find something

Kerio didn't merge with Sunbelt. Kerio killed the PFW product, and Sunbelt bought it from them, seeing a niche that they didn't have. Kerio's enterprise products are still available from Kerio itself.

I've found that Zone Alarm (free) works great... unless you have any trouble. I've also heard / seen where Zone Alarm is a nightmare to uninstall or cause a lot of problems.

I gave up on ZoneAlarm a long time ago. Since they released V5, the product has been abysmal in my experience.
I now just use a hardware firewall combined with Vista's firewall, and it's plenty good enough.

Jugalator said,
Good enough? Actually, that combo is clearly better than a software fw like ZA.

A piece of paper taped to your modem with the word "firewall" is probably better than Zone Alarm, and at least you can remove it with relative ease

I've tried 'Look n Stop' and its decent for Vista...but right now I'm using Kaspersky Internet Security Suite 7.0.0.120

hell i still think the windows firewall does an ok job, even xp's one when u dig around can do some pretty cool things i had never thought of, like forewarding a port fromt he router to 1 machien on the network which was routing for another on a diff ip range and reforewarding that port and poking a hole thru for the other lonesome pc

No one is holding a gun to your head and making you download/buy/install/use this product...
(Or maybe someone is, who knows around here these days. )

I used to love ZA... but then about a year ago an upgrade went very bad, technical support was, well, non-existant and I wanted a refund. They expected me to sign a document stating that I would not continue to use the product and then sometime in the next 30 to 60 days they would refund my money. I called Amex and had the charge reversed. I would not allow them to hold my cash for two months because THEY made a bad release AND they had bad technical support.

Sad, because prior versions were terrific (at least to me)
I'm curious is the new version is any good now that Im running Vista... I'll wait and see

Never had any serious problems with ZA and have been using it for some years now. When CheckPoint bought ZA and made it a suite, they did screw things up but I admit that they did move quickly to fix problems.

Needless to say im a ZA fan and am patiently waiting for ZASS to protect my Vista box. Although I am a little disappointed that it's taken this long to get even just the free firewall out the door but I trust that the end product will be great.