ZoneAlarm vs. AVG
Thread poster: Trudy Peters

Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:28
German to English
+ ...
Aug 9, 2009

I just moved to a new computer and was wondering whether I need both ZoneAlarm and AVG, or am I comparing apples and oranges? I had both on my old computer, but need to make a decision before my free trial period with ZA runs out.

Windows XP/Office Professional XP.

Thanks for any enlightenment!



Lutz Molderings  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:28
German to English
+ ...
I think AVG on its own should be sufficient Aug 9, 2009

Hello Trudy

I think AVG on its own should be sufficient. That's all I use.

By the way, this question has been asked on Yahoo Answers.

I guess the consensus is that if you want to play safe you should use both, but normally AVG on its own should do.

Hope that helps a bit.


Birgit Holst  Identity Verified
English to Danish
Firewall and Antivirus program Aug 9, 2009

If you have Windows Defender firewall, which comes with XP you do not need ZoneAlarm

AVG is good and free anti virus program, which you can download here:



Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:28
Member (2007)
+ ...
One firewall ony Aug 9, 2009

I know very little about computer security, but I've always been told by those who do that you should only ever have one firewall. AVG has its own firewall so I used it alone until recently, when I changed to Avast for virus scanning and ZoneAlarm for firewall.


Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:28
French to English
+ ...
Windows Defender and free products are NOT sufficient! Aug 9, 2009

If you are working with clients' confidential files, free antivirus and firewall products are NOT sufficient. These free products are either cut-down versions of security products, or else produced by companies/groups with fewer resources to properly research ongoing threats. (It's the same argument as the translations that cost 10 dollars per thousand words-- if you're not paying enough for the developer to have sufficient resources, the results will not be as good.)

So come on guys-- splash out a few dollars a year on a proper computer security suite. Otherwise, if your computer is hacked into, are you prepared to say to your clients "Sorry, your files have been stolen because I couldn't be bothered to spend 40 dollars on an antivirus package...?"


Miroslav Jeftic  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:28
English to Serbian
+ ...
Depends Aug 9, 2009

If somebody is really after your files, 40$ is surely not going to stop him.icon_wink.gif For most of us, free products are sufficient. I myself use Avira AV and Windows Firewall, though I'm behind NAT, so not too much work for the Windows FW.
Anyway, Zone Alarm + AVG (or Avira or Avast perhaps) should be sufficient.


Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:28
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
some more information Aug 9, 2009

(I've just re-read your posting and I see you have XP, but I'll leave the following words unchanged because they may help other people.) As your computer is new, it presumably has Vista as its operating system and the following link may be useful
Vista has a built-in firewall but, unlike ZoneAlarm, it doesn't by default control traffic going out from your computer. this link shows you how to use it for outgoing traffic.

Myself, I have XP and use ZoneAlarm free firewall (version 7). This is because (1) the XP firewall doesn't control outging traffic, and (2) ZA has a "traffic meter" which I find very useful, although not strictly a necessary part of a firewall.

I don't fully agree with Neil's remarks about paying for protection. In addition to free ZA, I have free AVG. I have never had a virus on my PCs and very little spyware (only a few nearly harmless "tracking cookies", detected by "Spybot Search and Destroy"). I think the reason for this is that I am very skeptical about every email I receive and every website that I visit unless I have a specific reason to trust them.
As far as I know, the paid-for versions of these protection products are identical to the free versions as regards the features that they have in common. What you get in the paid-for products is not better versions of the same features but extra features - that you may indeed consider it worth paying for. Think what it would do for AVG's reputation if the free version failed to detect some viruses that were detected by the paid-for version. On the websites of these products you can find tables that state which features are in the free versions and which are only in the paid-for versions.
Then you can decide what to do. If you consider yourself (or other users of your computer) very inexpert in these matters or likely to follow exciting-looking links in emails and web pages, or to believe phishing emails that ask you to confirm your details because your bank is updating its security software, it may be worth paying for extra protection. (You can also get some protection against visiting "phishing" websites from add-ons that you can install with some browsers.)
Another small point: if you have broadband with a router, there is probably a firewall in the router. You might need to access the router itself to turn this on. In my case I have effectively three firewalls: one provided by my ADSL supplier (at their premises), one in the firewall, and ZA in my PC. True, you should not try to have more than one firewall in the PC - I don't know what effect that will have but it won't be beneficial.

[After first posting this reply, I've just seen Miroslav's posting and, of course, I agree with him.]


[Edited at 2009-08-09 18:06 GMT]


Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:28
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Only anti-virus Aug 9, 2009

On my Vista computer I use the Vista firewall and AVG anti-virus free edition. No problem.
I had used ZA for years, both free versions and the whole suite, but I found it slows down the machine and makes much noise about nothing. The same is true for other packages like Kaspersky (my licence is still active but I stopped using it), NOrton and F-Secure.
AVG is very user-friendly.


Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:28
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
AVG Free AV + Comodo Firewall + Spybot. That's all you need. Aug 9, 2009

As far as I know, you should use AVG Free (for the anti-virus)
And then use Comodo Firewall. Both free. I have bee relying on these two for YEARS, and never had a problem.

Comodo's firewall is THE BEST there is, in my opinion. 2-way protection .. so you can always see if there is sth calling OUT.

And in reference to what Neil said: I disagree. I have purchased two security suites so far, and all they did and seem to do is slow down your computer and mess things up so bad that you will quite often actually end up open to attack, just because you spend way too much time messing around trying to make them work.

AVG Anti-Virus Free ( Their FW is no good.


Comodo free firewall. ( When installing Comodo, only select the free Firewall. Their AV is good.

Also, do NOT TRUST Windows Defender. Get Spybot ( instead.



Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:28
German to Spanish
+ ...
Computer safety does not exist... Aug 10, 2009

Computer safety does not exist. You will meet always somebody more wide awake than you, that knows how to skip all the security measures you have installed. But said this, it is our duty to protect us and our clients information as far as possible and the surest measure is "to use the common sense...":

a) not to gain access to pages of doubtful content
b) not to open enclosures for messages of unknown origin, etc.

And, after that, to establish a safety scheme like this

a) firewall (Sygate Personal Firewall better than Zonealarm)
b) antivirus (AVG, Malwarebytes or Avast)
c) antispyware (Spybot or Ad-aware)

As for the MS firewall (in all Windows versions) , I must say that given his extreme vulnerability, it would be preferable to deactivate it and to use an external firewall. By the way, I forgot to mention a little unknown utility to avoid access to dubious pages. Please, take a look here:

[Editado a las 2009-08-10 17:51 GMT]


Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:28
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Small correction Aug 10, 2009

Oliver Walter wrote:
In my case I have effectively three firewalls: one provided by my ADSL supplier (at their premises), one in the firewall, and ZA in my PC.

That should, of course, have said: "... one in the router, and ZA in my PC."
I couldn't edit the original posting because ProZ doesn't allow that after it's 24 hours old.


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ZoneAlarm vs. AVG

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