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The Complete Guide To Set Up and Use ZoneAlarm Firewall On Your PC [Online Security]

ZoneAlarm LogoZoneAlarm Free Firewall is one of the best and easiest to use programs for protecting your computer from incoming online threats. Firewalls are an effective tool against those who are true to force their way into your computer and use your personal information.

ZoneAlarm’s firewalls is noted for its two-way protection. It protects both inbound and outbound threats. Inbound threats come from those hackers and phishers trying to get onto your computer while outbound threats are from spyware and adware trying to send information about what you are doing back to its source.

Getting Started with ZoneAlarm

Before you get started, you want to download and install ZoneAlarm Firewall. During the installation process, you can opt to install the ZoneAlarm Security Toolbar for added protection while browsing the web.

Once installed, click on the ZoneAlarm toolbar icon to get started.

Windows toolbar with ZoneAlarm icon

The main screen of ZoneAlarm Free Firewall will show you the three primary areas where the firewall provides you optimum protection: Computer, Internet & Identity and Data.

When you see the green check in the left-hand corner of the program, you know you are truly secure from all threats incoming and outgoing on your computer.

ZoneAlarm mainscreen

Configuring ZoneAlarm Firewall

Click on “Computer.”

Computer options

ZoneAlarm’s Computer settings offer you a Basic Firewall, Anti-virus & Anti-spyware, Application Control and PC Tune-up. PC Tune-up, Anti-virus & Anti-spyware are only available in paid versions of ZoneAlarm, so you will not be able to work with them in ZoneAlarm Free Firewall.

Getting access to the Firewall is the purpose of this product. It protects you from inbound and outbound attacks while running.

Application Control monitors and allows you to work with programs that might be hijacked or otherwise harming your computer. Since hackers sometimes use programs to infiltrate your system, you must be vigilant in what you install and where you download it from to keep your computer safe from harm.

Click on “Settings” next to Basic Firewall.

Settings for basic firewall

Here you can control the level of security the firewall employs. If you suspect you have been targeted, the higher the settings, the more protection you will have. Only work with the Advanced Settings if you are comfortable enough with how your computer works to understand how these settings affect connections to and from your computer.

Now, click the “Back Arrow” and click on “Settings” next to Application Control.

Settings for Application Control

You can further protect your computer by limiting programs from being accessible. You can play around with the settings in this section to find the best balance to keep harmful programs from running on your computer.

Click the “Home Button” to head back to the main screen, and then click on “Internet.”

Internet options

These settings work with how you access the Internet to keep your computer safe while browsing. The only area you can work with is Anti-phishing, the other areas are only available in the paid version of this firewall software.

Click “Anti-phishing.”

Anti-phishing main screen

This will show you that phishing protection is ON.

Click on “Settings.”

Anti-phishing settings

This will open the settings for anti-phishing protection in ZoneAlarm Free Firewall. You should always keep Automatically check for anti-phishing updates to stay on top of the latest threats.

Click “Ok” when done tinkering with the settings.

Now, click on “Identity & Data.”

Identity & Data

This area offers two sections to work with: Identity Protection and Online Backup. The third is unavailable in the free version. Click on “Identity Protection.”

ZoneAlarm offers a credit monitoring service that you can access from this area. You must activate it to begin using it. To do that, click “Activate/Manage” to get started. You will be directed to ZoneAlarm’s website to begin the registration process. You are offered a one-year complimentary subscription to the service for using the product.

Click the “Back Arrow,” then “Online Backup.”

This will direct you back to ZoneAlarm’s website where you can install its software for using its online backup service. The free version of the firewall software they offer includes 2 GB of backup space. In order to start using it, you must install the software and go through the registration and syncing process.

Updating the Firewall and Other Options

At the top right-hand side of ZoneAlarm Free Firewall, you will find a toolbar with program options.

ZoneAlarm Free Firewall Options

Click “Update.”


This will begin to update ZoneAlarm Free Firewall. You should do this at least once a week if not more whenever you have the firewall open to work with settings or check on threats.

Now, click on “Tools.”


This will give you a variety of options to work within ZoneAlarm Free Firewall. If you opt to buy the full version of their security suite, click on “Enter License” to enter in your registration license.

Click “Game Mode.”

Game Mode

This will allow you to limit the firewall during game play, such as online MMOs or any game that might be interfered with by the incoming and outgoing data on your computer. Remember to turn game mode off when you are finished playing.

Open the tools menu again and click “Scheduled Tasks.”

Scheduled Tasks

This will allow you to schedule tasks if you have the appropriate software also installed with the ZoneAlarm security suite.

Once more, open the tools menu and now click “Preferences.”


You can now change the way ZoneAlarm works in some ways through its settings. You can backup, restore and reset settings to default as well if you run into trouble with tweaking a setting. You can also register your free firewall with Zone Labs to stay in the loop on the latest news and releases.

If you need more help with ZoneAlarm Free Firewall, you can click “Help.”


This will give you a variety of topics to choose from, including the Top 10 Questions users have about the program.

This is everything you need to know about getting started with ZoneAlarm Free Firewall. It will take some time to get used to using it but once you do, you will find it a great way to keep your computer protected.

Can ZoneAlarm be your primary firewall?

A lot of Internet users think that anti-virus software is enough protection from all the threats that come from surfing the web. This simply is not true. If you truly want to keep your identity, data and what you do on a computer safe, you have to invest in a firewall that works for you. Depending on what you do day-to-day, a basic firewall will do the job.

For others, they may want to be able to customize and tweak a firewall for its more advanced features. ZoneAlarm Free Firewall is one of the best ways to get used to how a firewall works. It offers adequate protection and is easy to use after installation. If you are looking for a firewall, ZoneAlarm Free Firewall is one of the most popular and functional ones around.

Download ZoneAlarm Free Firewall.

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