ZoneLabs: the hot stuff in firewalls

Wednesday, 3 July 2002, 1:51 AM EST

Can you give something away and still make money? That was the way of the early Web, and few companies that charted that course in those treacherous waters lived to tell the tale. Then there's ZoneLabs, which started out in 1997 handing out free downloads of an advanced personal firewall.

Today, CEO Gregor Freund, a former executive at Borland Intl., has 168 employees and claims 1.6 million paying customers that buy either a basic or enhanced version of his firewall or a management program that can be used to upgrade and configure thousands of ZoneAlarm firewalls from a central location. About 25% of customers are corporations, up from none three years ago. Prices range from $50 for consumer versions to up to six figures for high-end corporate systems.

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