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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    ZoneAlarm Checkup (SystemCheckup_ZoneAlarm2.exe)

    The latest update to ZoneAlarm (7.0.462.000) prompted me to try out the above "fast & free" evaluation of my PC's health and security.

    Unlike the suggested 2-3 minutes, it ran for over 2 hours (I canned the first attempt until I had to let it run).

    The result? A miserable failure <img src=/S/yikes.gif border=0 alt=yikes width=15 height=15> with only 1 of 12 checks passed, unlike the OK from <!post=Prevx CSI,1917>Prevx CSI<!/post>.

    Fortunately, has CheckPoint got a deal for me? They just happen to have two products that will sort out my "multiple security, performance and repair issues", and I can save almost 60% if I buy them as a bundle! Lucky me! <img src=/S/sarcasm.gif border=0 alt=sarcasm width=15 height=15>

    Call me sceptical, but I decided to see what other diagnostics might throw up. And sure enough, there are issues, the worst being that my disks are fragmented (almost 5%, I only defrag monthly), and Ad-Aware and SpyBot-SD found some cookies that might track my movements.

    Is it just me, or is ZoneAlarm headed for the <img src=/S/toilet.gif border=0 alt=toilet width=24 height=26>?
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    <font face="Comic Sans MS" color="blue">TimOz</font>
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  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: ZoneAlarm Checkup (SystemCheckup_ZoneAlarm2.ex

    I went back to the free Zone Alarm some time ago, Tim, and I don't have any "operational" trouble with it. I don't remember seeing any offer to check my system, and if I did I would have probably refused anyway. this .462 upgrade HAS yielded some re-training for apps that I've been running forever and now ZA wants permission to let 'em run (again!). Something internal probably changed and ... oh well.

  3. #3
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    Re: ZoneAlarm Checkup (SystemCheckup_ZoneAlarm2.exe)

    IMO, Checkpoint and every other security vendor is feeling very threatened by Windows OneCare. Even though OneCare is no where near the panacea that Microsoft wants you to believe, it is inexpensive and does a pretty good job. So, all these other software vendors feel obligated to cram more 'features' into their suites. That way at least theoretically their clients will less likely to change because of all the 'neat stuff' that the suite provides. Also theoretically, that will appeal to the prospect and lure new customers.

    Given a choice I'll always turn down these 'free' evaluation offers. I'm just cynical enough to think that no matter what shape my system is in it will show up as being 'bad'. I'd rather run other independent tools as you have to evaluate things.

    Joe
    Joe

  4. #4
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    Re: ZoneAlarm Checkup (SystemCheckup_ZoneAlarm2.ex

    Hi Tim, I also fall into the same category as yourself, downloaded the update for ZA and ran the free full scan only to be presented with an awful lot of so called faults under the label "Warning" in red text. Of course their answer (as to expected) was to purchase the full edition so as to make my computer safe again, so not being made of money I emailed a friend who knows much more than I do about these things. with the findings and she suspected it is a scam & suggested I do nothing. Incidentally, I have since done a scan with both "Spybot" & "Scan & Repair Utilities 2007" and whilst the former found nothing the latter detected only 7 suspect items which it duly deleted when commanded to. The lesson seems to be ask around for the experiences of others and one can save themselves money and concern. Dave.
    Dave
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  5. #5
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    Re: ZoneAlarm Checkup (SystemCheckup_ZoneAlarm2.ex

    I think you need to be a little careful with your terminology here - do you mean 'faults' or 'threats'?

    And also bear in mind that people have different levels of privacy requirements. For example, I personally do not like unnecessary tracking cookies and am more than happy to be warned about them and have them deleted. These Zone Alarm will typically label as 'threats', as in they are a threat to my privacy.

    If you are happy with the level of protection you get with Spybot et al, then fine, but not all software developers can afford to offer their products for free. Describing Zone Alarm's tactics of demonstrating their ability to pick up possibly dubious items and offering you another (non-free) level of protection as a 'scam' is probably a bit strong!

  6. #6
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    Re: ZoneAlarm Checkup (SystemCheckup_ZoneAlarm2.ex

    Most of the <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15>ware providers will try and have you upgrade to their "Pro" version so they can get more money to support and continue their product. ZA is NOT a scam any more than any other software developer.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  7. #7
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    Re: ZoneAlarm Checkup (SystemCheckup_ZoneAlarm2.ex

    Agreed - not a scam, as such. And upgrade offers, especially money saving ones, are fair enough.

    BUT the way the results of the free diagnostics are presented is borderline. They lack detail about the failures, except to say that your system is probably stuffed (technical term). This could easily panic someone to respond to the offer, needlessly.

    I will remain "loyal" to ZA, but will include a caveat in future when I recommend it to others.

    FYI, here's the status summary from the scan (for a system I'm confident is secure and tuned to 90%+):

    <font color=red>X Security Check: Failed</font color=red>
    Vulnerabilities were detected on your system which can lead to stolen information, lost data, and corrupted files...

    <font color=red>X Optimization Check: Failed</font color=red>
    Performance bottlenecks were found that can cause reliability problems, slowdowns, and crashes.

    <font color=red>X Repair Check: Failed</font color=red>
    Health problems were identified that may lead to instability, decreased performance, and even complete system failure.

    (More "details" follow, but they're just a verbose repeat of the above.)
    <font face="Comic Sans MS" color="blue">TimOz</font>
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  8. #8
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    Re: ZoneAlarm Checkup (SystemCheckup_ZoneAlarm2.ex

    Thanks for the comments but just one slight misunderstanding, it was not me that coined the term "Scam" rather I was quoting the term made by the person I first consulted about the issue. I may add also that ZA is not the first product that has offered me a free scan, listed dozens of threats which others have not detected and proceeded to require a fee for the privilege of deleting them. I suppose the acquaintance in question had experience the same so came to associate the term Scam with the practice. This is the first time in years I have experience ZA going down this road and will continue to use it as I appreciate it's availability but one can't but wonder how it is one product can claim there are dozens of threats on ones computer when others find none. Thanks again, still appreciate your comments. Dave.
    Dave
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    True happiness is not what you have to live WITH but what you have to live FOR. ASSBG

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