ZoneAlarm DataLock review

Can what is largely a consumer tool offer any value to business users? We review ZoneAlarm DataLock to find out.

The encryption algorithm used is 256-bit AES, which is the current industry standard. Unless you are equipped with some very specialist equipment and knowledge you're not going to be able to crack this encryption, which is why it is so important to remember your password. However, as we'll see, Check Point has taken a leaf out of its enterprise book and can help you recover your data should your own memory fail. In effect, it becomes your IT helpdesk.

The free key recovery service provides a way for you to call the company 24 hours a day, seven days a week and answer security questions to retrieve your password. You set up these questions when you install the software. You may stick with the typical "Mother's maiden name" options or create your own questions, which is a sensible move.

DataLock's pre-boot authentication screen provides the necessary phone number to call when your memory fails. The phone number is for an office in the United States of America so it's not a free call, but if you're likely to forget your password often then this is not the product for you.

The product is designed solely for laptops. This is not a suggestion but a requirement - the system requirements actually specify a laptop PC. We installed our review copy onto a desktop Windows 7 Home Premium PC, but this was running inside a VMware virtual machine so maybe that is the exception.

According to ZoneAlarm's forums the software checks for presence of a battery and, if one does not exist, it will not install. So don't assume that you can lock down your desktop PC with DataLock. It's not intended for that purpose.