Tips for Optimizing Your PC Performance Back Home

Tune your ZoneAlarm settings for speed

Check these tips to make sure you have your ZoneAlarm settings optimized for expedience and avoidance of unnecessary security alert interruptions:

Scan your computer when you don't use it

Though you can use your computer during antivirus and spyware scans, they can be labor intensive and slow things down. It's smart to schedule your regular system scans to run when you aren't using your computer - such as while you sleep.
To change your settings for scan schedule:
  • Select Anti-virus/spyware, then click Advanced Options.
  • In the dialog box select Scan Schedule on the left.
  • Go to the ForceField Advanced Settings panel and click Clear Virtual Data.

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Choose faster scanning options

Make sure your scan mode is set to Quick Scan mode, a convenient "on demand" scan for extra protection. Quick Scan scans only common Windows folders and startup folders that are typically used by hackers to place malware.
To choose your scan mode:
  • Select Anti-virus/spyware, then click Advanced Options.
  • In the dialog that appears, click Scan Mode on the left.

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Exclude trusted files from being scanned

On-access scanning checks files for viruses as they are moved, opened, executed, or closed. If you suspect that on-access scans are adding to the time it takes to open or move some of your trusted files, you can exclude them from on-access scanning.
To specify files, groups of files, types of files, or drives to exclude from on-access scanning:
  • Select Anti-virus/spyware, then click Advanced Options.
  • Under Virus Management, select Exceptions.
Keep in mind that even some of your trusted applications can be hacked

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Eliminate unnecessary alerts about applications

If your ZoneAlarm continuously pops up alerts for applications you regularly use and trust, you may want to switch to the Auto-learn program control setting. Auto-learn setting will enable ZoneAlarm to remember programs you use regularly and it will stop producing alerts about them. This is the default setting for the first 21 days after ZoneAlarm installation, after which it will prompt you to go to the Max setting.
To set program control to Auto-learn:
  • Go to the Program Control panel and move the slider to Auto.
Other settings to reduce program alerts:
  • If you have a program that you trust and don't want to wait for Auto-learn to learn it, go to the Program Control / Programs panel to give it Full Trust access. See "Setting permissions for specific programs" in the online Help if you need more information.
  • Make sure that SmartDefense Advisor is set to Auto (the default setting) on the Program Control panel so that you see a program alert only if there is no automatic setting available for a program.
  • Always select "Remember this setting" in program alerts before you choose "Allow" or "Deny" so you won't be asked about it again.

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Expedite startup on a LAN

If your ZoneAlarm security software is configured to open at startup and you are connected to a LAN (Local Area Network - often used by offices and schools) you may find that it takes several minutes for the startup finish. This can happen because as your computer accesses the network's domain controller to complete its startup and login process, ZoneAlarm is blocking access because the controller has not been added to your Trusted Zone.
To solve this problem:
  • Add the host name or IP address of your network's domain controller to your Trusted Zone by going to the Firewall / Zones panel.
  • Ask your LAN's system administrator for the domain controller IP.
It's also a good idea to add your DNS server's IP address to the Trusted Zone.
To get DNS server IP addresses:
  • To open a command window, choose Start / All Programs / Accessories / Command Prompt.
  • Enter ipconfig/all in a command window.

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