At this point, Check Point can only offer a beta version of Zone Alarm Extreme that includes Windows 8.1 support—but, as this thread notes, it's a beta, with all the corresponding problems that betas could bring to the table. We have yet to hear back from Check Point; we'll update this story as soon as we do.
Is Comcast involved?
Both Intel's McAfee division and the Symantec Norton security utilities also appear to have negotiated the Windows 8.1 transition without problems. That's not the case for those users who downloaded the software via Comcast. A thread on the Norton forums details some of the problems: after upgrading, users are informed that Norton Internet Security isn't available in compatibility mode.
The problem, however, appears to be tied to Comcast. A support engineer posted the following apology in a Comcast support thread last week:
We appologize for the timing on this issue, and we understand the frustration. The latest version of Norton Security Suite 126.96.36.199 is already compatible with WIndows 8.1. Users must be on this version of NSS however before the update to Windows 8.1.
You may install a trial version of NIS in the meantime to be fully protected in WIndows 8.1. We are working on posting a fully supported version of Norton Security Suite for Windows 8.1 sometime next week, we will post and update once a set date is confirmed.
Comcast has yet to post the fully supported version of NIS 2013, but—as the engineer noted—users can install a trial version in the interim.
If you do discover that your firewall or security suite has been disabled following a Windows 8.1 update, at least ensure that Windows Defender is up and running; it's better than nothing.
For years, Zone Alarm has been the darling of consumers unwilling to shell out for high-end, comprehensive security solutions; freebies from your ISP provide a nice incentive to keep on buying Internet service from them, too.
But problems like these may inspire you to consider re-evaluating your security provider—if you've been left in the lurch, you might want to consider a more dependable developer.
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