Help with Zone Alarm please

  gel 15:35 30 Apr 2009

I am using Zone Alarm for my firewall but I am confused regarding the granting of Access and the column headed Server
Some of the programs are quite obvious and I grant access but some I do not reckonise
What are the consequences if I make the wrong decision either to grant access and I should not or alternatively not granting access and I should have
Thank you for any help

  birdface 15:38 30 Apr 2009

Not what you asked but if you are not sure what to allow and what to deny you want to use Kerio Firewall instead.No pop ups to annoy you all of the time.

  ened 15:45 30 Apr 2009

If you are in doubt about an entry try typing it into Google.

If you are still in doubt deny it access. You will soon discover if you needed it to be allowed through.

In other words the consequences of allowing the wrong thing through are far worse than disallowing something you need.

  Sea Urchin 16:18 30 Apr 2009

If you are using a home setup - either PC and/or laptop - then you don't want any program in your system acting as a server so deny it. Several programs will ask permission - Skype is one.

ZoneAlarm will ask for permission to access the Internet, and also permission to access the Trusted Zone - if you recognise the program (which you'll probably be working on at the time) then allow.

If you do make a mistake then you can easily change it by opening up the ZA program and altering the permission status.

  gel 16:43 30 Apr 2009

Thank you for your comments.
How does Kerio Firewall compare with Zone Alarm?
I find it appealing if it is simpler to use providing it is as efficient

  Sea Urchin 16:52 30 Apr 2009

Can't advise you on Kerio as I've always used ZoneAlarm - right back to the days of Win 98.

I find it quite simple to operate - as long as you ask it to remember when you grant or deny permission it will only ask in future if the program concerned has changed as the result of an update etc.

  brundle 16:56 30 Apr 2009

"No pop ups to annoy you all of the time." - Kerio only has "no popups" if you install in Simple mode, where it only checks incoming traffic, not much improvement over the standard XP/Vista firewall. It will require configuration the way ZA does if you use the Advanced install which means it checks incoming and outgoing traffic.

  gel 16:58 30 Apr 2009

I notice that under prog control there is the opportunity to select 'automatic lock' If I switch this on will it make life simpler?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:01 30 Apr 2009


Haven't used ZA for awhile but if I remember correctly you can turn off the pop up reminders.

How to use ZoneAlarm

Here are a few tips to help you set up ZoneAlarm properly. These tips will help you move toward secure and seamless firewall use, keeping your computer safe with little effort on your part.

1: Turn off notifications
On installation, tell ZoneAlarm not to alert you when it blocks an attempt to contact your computer from the Internet. Most of these contacts are innocent. Though it's interesting to see what kind of activity is taking place, ultimately the incessant notifications will prove a distraction.

2: Block unnecessary access
ZoneAlarm alerts you when an application on your computer tries to contact an address on the Internet. Only allow access for programs you know need the Internet. These include your Web browser and e-mail client, as well as any program that has an automatic-update feature. Don't let other programs, such as Microsoft Word, contact the Internet unless you know what they're doing.

3: Automatically lock Internet access
Unless you're downloading files, it's a good idea to lock Internet access when you step away from the computer. In the ZoneAlarm Control Center, click Program Control, then click On in the Automatic Lock area. Click the Custom button and choose how much idle time should pass before the Internet lock kicks in.

4: Lock your host file
Some viruses or other malicious programs may add their own entries to your host file, which could misdirect your Web browser. ZoneAlarm can lock your host file to prevent changes. Click Firewall in the ZoneAlarm Control Center, then click the Advanced button. Check the box next to Lock Host File.

5: Create a Trusted Zone
If you have two or more computers connecting to the Internet through a router, you can create a Trusted Zone. Click Firewall in the ZoneAlarm Control Center, then click the Zones tab. Click the Add button and enter your other computers' local IP addresses. You can set Trusted Zone security to let your computers share files and disk space.

  gel 17:07 30 Apr 2009

That's a pretty comprehesive list to work through Fruit Bat /\0/\ thank you
I will attack with gusto and come back if I need further help
Thank you all for your contributions

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