Antivirus software alone is not enough. Yes, antivirus software will protect against viruses. But, computer hacking is on the rise and won’t be stopped by antivirus software. That’s why you should really arm yourself with a firewall. I’m not talking about a heavy-duty computer network hardware appliance that costs thousands of dollars. All you need is a software firewall that costs between $20 – $40.
The best computer firewall I’ve used and tested is ZoneAlarm by Check Point. I compared ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite versus Norton Internet Security and McAfee Internet Security during my tests. ZoneAlarm came away as the clear winner because it has all the features of Norton and McAfee plus several important ones that the others lack.
As the head of my company’s virus removal team, I’ve seen viruses, spyware, and hackers formed and created in many creative ways. They usually attack in stealth mode or are hidden in folders that cannot be seen until your computer is compromised. McAfee cannot defend against these attacks while Norton and ZoneAlarm can.
Attacks on the operating system are completely protected against with ZoneAlarm. Norton and McAfee are defenseless here. Rootkits are the most serious threats and usually require reinstalling the operating system since they are very tough to remove. No problem for ZoneAlarm while Norton and McAfee do not have adequate rootkit protection.
One of the most important features of ZoneAlarm is to alert you instantly once it notices a computer virus, spyware or potential hacker is on the system. Then, it blocks it immediately. Norton does this too, but McAfee doesn’t let you know until you’ve been infected and it’s too late.
ZoneAlarm is better than Norton at performing deep scans and providing kernel-level virus and spyware protection. What does this mean? If a virus is dormant in the operating system or in stealth mode, it will remove it. Norton offers partial protection with this which is typically the difference between protecting your computer and having an infected computer.
Also, ZoneAlarm plays nicely with your operating system. There are no conflicts with the Windows firewall or other issues. I’ve seen many computers crash or result in a blue screen of death because Norton and McAfee cause conflicts with the operating system. Then, removing their program or service will get the computer up and running normally the way it was before.
ZoneAlarm has some cool features too such as parental control. If you have children, you can make sure they go on safe, child-friendly sites. You can also perform automatic backups via ZoneAlarm to ensure your tax returns, photos, music, and files are safe. Further, you can protect your identity with daily credit monitoring and fraud alerts.
Technical support is immediate and live, and you can trial ZoneAlarm Security Suite 2012 – Free Trial for 30 days to make sure you like it before you pay. As you can tell, I’m a big fan and recommend going with Zone Alarm Internet Security Suite for your full security software. With this, you will not need to buy a separate antivirus software and another firewall software. This ZoneAlarm has everything included that you’ll need just in one software package. If you already subscribe to an antivirus software, then I recommend buying the ZoneAlarm Pro Firewall so you have complete firewall protection since your current antivirus software most likely is lacking in this area.