The BASIC ZoneAlarm firewall is still free and doesn't expre. It is the other ZA products that have limited trials. See here: http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/comp...id=home_compare
Note: a EULA often is generic in order to cover all its products.
I haven't tried out the free version, primarily because I'm looking for something that has privacy controls as well. ZoneAlarm offers this only with packages bundled with AV and Anti-spyware, one package of which I have. Howver, Kerio offers the privacy controls with it's paid version of the firewall. The free version lacks that part as Enthusiast has already pointed out.
Hmm. Some differences: ZoneAlarm does its best to identify by name who is trying to get into your computer in its alerts, immediate log view (by that I mean the one accessible through the user interface), and the stored log view. It is very easy to configure ZA to show all alerts, only high level alerts, or no alerts at all. It's a bit more complex with Kerio. Kerio's immediate log view shows only that something was blocked at a certain port. The stored logs do provide the IP addresses of the attackers, unfortunately it doesn't provide a 'who is" so unlesss you already know who it is, you're left in the dark. This is the log of the internet intrusion. There are other kinds of logs, and some of these do provide website identity for the intrusion; however, those logs are part of the paid-only aspects of the firewall. I haven't yet figured out how to get it to show the intrusion alerts which provides more detailed information, but from the picture in its manual, it provides IP addresses, but not a named identity - albeit that identity could be forged.
Kerio has two installation options: simple and advanced. You can switch to advanced later. Kerio's free version has at least some application activity monitoring; whereas, with ZoneAlarm, it seems you can get that only with the operating system firewall component available only in various paid bundles that include at least an AV product, a pain to have bundled if you want to scan in safe mode.
See product comparison charts at the links below. Note, on with the ZA comparison chart, if you click on the underlined text in the right hand column, the page will then display the features of that part underneath. The entire page will reload - on IE6 that is.http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/comp.../comparison.jsphttp://www.sunbelt-software.com/Kerio.cfm
Both provide printable user manuals from their websites, a very worthwhile read to assist you in installing, configuring, using and understanding the product.
I've tried the Sygate free firewall which I understand has a who is element, but I cannot get it to work on my system.
I tried the Comodo firewall, but I find it too difficult to change some of the rules. In fact, I had to uninstall and reinstall it in order to reverse a block established by a denial and which then kept me from connecting to any websites.
Note: if you use AVG anti-virus or want to swiitch to it and you have the Kerio firewall, AVG anti-virus must be installed first. If Kerio is already on your system, you will need to uninstall it, then install AVG anti-virus then reinstall Kerio.
If you feel up to it, you could install the various firewalls one at a time and try them out to see what you like the best and what works best with your system. Jetica also offers a free firewall.