Shared Knowledge


ZoneAlarm - Setup Help"


14 September 2005

Updated: 24 March 2006



Summary: for situations where multiple PC's on same local area network (LAN), use ZoneAlarm's "IP Range definition" to define a zone.




Here, in my home, I have 5 computers: 3 full tower machines; 2 laptops; a cable modem and a D-Link 4 port wireless router. All tower computers are connected to the 4-port router via Ethernet cables while the laptops have D-link wireless cards in them. I also have additional laptops wirelessly linked from time to time beyond the basic 5 machines.


I have reasons for all computers to have Internet access and also to be on a local area network.


I use ZoneAlarm as my Internet firewall as it is a free download, widely used and recognized as a good solid product.


If you have only a single computer and ZoneAlarm, you do not get into having to configure ZoneAlarm for the LAN like I did and I describe below and can stop reading now but if you do have 2 or more computers you want to them on a LAN and also have Internet access and ZoneAlarm, read on.


I am not sure why everything in the computer world is so hard to learn how to use or setup properly. Seems like nothing comes with complete instructions anymore or any sort of decent user manual. Just another bitch for which I am sorry.


Anyway, suppose you have 2 computers that you want to have on a LAN and also have each computer have Internet access via a router. How do you configure your system and ZoneAlarm to accomplish this?


-         Go to each computer and clicking on “My Computer”, click on the hard drive you wish to share with the other computer(s) on your LAN and then click on the “Sharing” tab. Click the checkbox, which says you want to share this drive with others and then decide if you want the other computer to have full read\write access or read only privileges. Finally, you assign a name to the drive you are going to share with the other computer(s).


-         Now you must download ZoneAlarm to each computer on your LAN that you intend to allow Internet access on.   Once you have ZoneAlarm installed on each computer of your LAN, go to computer number one and click on the ZoneAlarm icon in the system tray. Then click on the “Firewall” tab on the left hand side of the ZoneAlarm screen and then click on the Zone tab at the top. After you click the Zone tab, you will be presented with a table, which should show one entry and that being for the Ethernet or wireless card adapter in the first computer. This one entry will have a name, such as Ethernet card XX, and IP address and subnet address, entry type and finally zone. In this case, the type will indicate that it is an adapter subnet and if the zone is not already set to Internet, click on the table entry and edit it to Internet. This one entry is your connection to the Internet and by having it set to Internet zone you have full ZoneAlarm protection. 


-         With your Internet connection set and protected, you now need to establish another zone for your LAN. To do this go to the Zone tab of ZoneAlarm and down at the bottom, click on ADD. Now make another entry in the zone table but this time click on add, then IP Address Range and define a starting IP address and an ending IP address such as starting and ending and set the zone to trusted. Now all computers in your network having IP address between 100 and 110 will be allowed access to this first computer (note that your router assigns IP address).


-         Now go the second computer of your LAN and again bring up ZoneAlarm and click on Firewall and again Zones.  Once again you should see one entry in the zone table, which shows the Ethernet, or wireless card you are using. If the zone for this entry is not set to Internet, click on the table entry and change it to Internet. This computer should now have access to the Internet and be fully protected by ZoneAlarm. If you want this computer to be LAN connected to the first computer or use a printer attached to the first computer, you will have to add a second zone. To do this, click on add at the bottom, then IP Address Range and once again define a starting and ending address which covers all the computers in your network. Define this second zone as trusted and once all done, click the apply button.


Printers can be shared over a LAN and you can do this by again clicking on My computer, then clicking on the printer which is attached to that computer, clicking properties and then sharing and check the box which says you want to share this computer with others. Here, because of printer drivers, you may have to actually install the printer driver for the shared printer on all computers of your LAN before they will be able to actually print to the shared printer.



Ron - Shared Knowledge Home