Re: Outpost and Zone Alarm warning

From: Mike (
Date: 03/29/04

Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2004 23:53:02 GMT

E. wrote:

> George Jones wrote:
>> I've used both Outpost and Zone Alarm and found both to have serious
>> flaws.
> I've used both extensively, on hundreds of machines and they both run
> properly when the are correctly configured, on a machine that's
> correctly configured.
>> Zone Alarm runs well for a while then breaks down, blocking all
>> attempts to
>> start the system unless it's disabled on start-up.
> This generally only happens on a fubar machine, or one with a major
> shortage of RAM.

The computers I dealt with (eight or ten of them) had plenty of ram and
were fine after ZA was removed. The only issue was Zone Alarm.

>> Then when it's
>> uninstalled, it fails to uninstall completely, leaving the system
>> unable to
>> dial-up to the internet due to a stray key left behind that redirects the
>> system to use ZA's own connection dll (which just ain't present). Can't
>> remember the key name as I haven't run ZA for a while.
> You are referring to vsdata95/nt.vxd, and sometimes vsmon. I am yet to
> see *any* program uninstall completely.

I also found that I had to go in a remove a few things to get a box to
boot again after removing ZAP. There was a help file on their site
detailing the procedure. My only problem with this is... What kind of
software company allows there software to go out when it breaks a
computer when you uninstall it? Haven't they ever heard of QC?

>> Outpost seems to run OK under Windows 9x. Under XP it runs for a
>> couple of
>> weeks then breaks and stops connecting etc. When it's uninstalled, it
>> leaves
>> a lot of keys in the registry and these mean that the system can hang for
>> typically 7 minutes up to 25 minutes on connection to the internet or
>> to a
>> LAN.
> Having an incorrect static DNS setting can do that too.
>> I found most of these keys as they contain the words 'agnitum' or
>> 'outpost' and deleted them. The system still hangs for a few minutes
>> but a
>> lot less time now.
> The system still hangs? If it was correctly configured it wouldn't hang
> at all. Adding another layer to the networking such as a firewall is
> naturally going to increase connectivity problems.
>> Agnitum refused to tell me what the rest of their registry keys are -
>> even
>> though I told
>> them their software is responsible for damaging a computer used for
>> commerical purposes.
> Do you mean you used the free (unsupported) version and when you
> contacted them they said the free version was unsupported?
> Everything you have written indicates a lack of knowledge on your part,
> not bad products.
>> I am therefore justified in warning people: Never use
>> Zone Alarm or
>> Outpost. Outpost is made by a company much more irresponsible than Zone
>> Alarm and that's no recommendation. Do not trust this software - ever.
>> Never
>> use it!
> It sounds to me like you don't know squat about configuring computers or
> firewalls.
> E.

Zone Alarm is a good product when it works, but I doubt it's a
configuration problem when it breaks the computer. And even if it is.
It is aimed at a very low computer literacy level market. You should
not be able to make a configuration change that will keep a computer
from booting up. That's a major flaw.