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A Comparison of ZoneAlarm vs Microsoft Security Essentials by the Spyshakers.com Team Editors

A custom antivirus comparison of ZoneAlarm vs Microsoft Security Essentials by the
Spyshakers.com Team Editors (accurate as of September 1, 2014).


ZoneAlarmMicrosoft Security Essentials
Versions:

ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus 2013 - ZoneAlarm has gone to a free edition as their entry level product. The free version does have a lot of functionality though. It includes standard antivirus scans but also has a firewall, an anti-phishing toolbar, and file scanning on downloads.

ZoneAlarm Internet Security 2013 - Internet Security edition includes the same features of the Free Antivirus but with additional features including parental controls, a live chat support option and an increase in antivirus dictionary update speed (from 24 hours to 1 hour).

ZoneAlarm Extreme Security 2013 - Extreme Security includes the same features of Internet Security but also comes with a virtual browsing sandbox and a PC Tuneup option.
Versions:

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is a free antivirus download which works on Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. Windows 8 has a feature called Windows Defender which is the same as Microsoft Security Essentials but you do not need to download it as it is built in. Microsoft Security Essentials is a plain solution which is better than nothing but in general is significantly outperformed by any of the commercial antivirus solutions reviewed on this website. MSE will detect some viruses but not near the success rate as other commercial solutions. We suggest Avira, Avast, AVG or ZoneAlarm free editions if you absolutely need free antivirus.
Strengths:

Most free versions of antivirus do not come with a firewall and anti-phishing technologies. Those are both nice options to have.
ZoneAlarm Extreme Security has a virtual browsing sandbox which is a personal favorite of ours. We like antivirus solutions that provide a browsing experience where you can't mess up your system if you accidentally visit a malicious website. For this reason it's worth the upgrade.
Perhaps the most creative antivirus feature in the space, ZoneAlarm will monitor your credit score and alert you if there are changes to your credit files.
Strengths:

Microsoft Security Essentials is free and provides some protection against viruses and spyware.
Security Essentials is very low maintenance. It basically runs in the background without interfering with your computer experience.
Security Essentials is very lightweight and it certainly doesn't bog down your system.
Virtual Sandbox:

Yes. There is a Browser Virtualization feature with ZoneAlarm.
Virtual Sandbox:

No. MSE does not include a sandbox browsing environment which can prevent malicious websites from running.
PC Optimization:

Yes. ZoneAlarm cleans and organizes the data on the PC. Some of the features include Registry repair and defrag and a local disk defrag.
PC Optimization:

No. MSE does not include a PC Tuneup or any kind of PC optimization functionality.
Backups / Online Storage:

Yes. ZoneAlarm has online backup functionality.
Backups / Online Storage:

No. MSE does not back up your computer files in any way.
Parental Control:

Yes. Adult websites can be filtered out. There is an ability to create a custom list of websites to block. Internet usage can be controlled for kids. ZoneAlarm can even block games that are rated too mature for children.
Parental Control:

No. MSE does not include any kind of parental control functionality
Chat / IM Protection:

No. We don't see chat monitoring protection with ZoneAlarm Extreme Security 2013.
Chat / IM Protection:

No. MSE does not protect instant messenger chats or social network chats such as facebook chat.
Customer Support:

Support includes online troubleshooting, forums and online live chat 24 / 7.
Customer Support:

No. MSE does not come with some kind of customer support exclusive to the product.
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Microsoft Security Essentials


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