The Security tab of the Internet Explorer Properties dialog shows security settings for the Internet, Intranet, Trusted Sites and Restricted Sites zones. However:
The attached utility “IE Zone Comparer” was designed to overcome these limitations and provide additional visibility into security zone settings. Pick any two collections of security zone settings, and IE Zone Comparer displays the values of those settings, highlighting any differences between the two collections.
IE Zone Comparer requires .NET 2.0 or higher; it does not require administrative privileges.
How to use it:
Click “Pick Zones…” from the toolbar. The following dialog will appear:
The Effective Settings label indicates whether User settings are used or ignored. Refer to this blog post which discusses precedence order of the various policies and preferences.
For each column, there are two dropdowns. The first dropdown lets you select Templates, Machine Policy, Machine Preferences, User Policy, User Preferences, or FDCC Q1 2009 Policies. If you select Templates, the second dropdown lets you select one of the security zone templates (High, Medium-High, Medium, etc.); if you select Policies or Preferences, the second dropdown lets you select any of the five standard zones or five lockdown zones. (See this post for more information about all those zones.)
Click “OK” on the “Pick items…” dialog, and the selected settings will be rendered in the list view. Items that are present in both columns but with different values will be highlighted in yellow. Items that are present only in one column will be grayed in the other column.
To find a particular item with a partial text search, press Ctrl+F (or the “binoculars” toolbar dropdown). The text search is case-insensitive and searches in all columns from the currently-selected row down. Press F3 to repeat the last search from the current location.
Enter a URL in the text area in the toolbar and click “Map URL to Zone”: IE Zone Comparer will tell you in what security zone IE would render that URL.
The Help/About toolbar button includes some helpful links for more information about IE security zones and URL actions.
Some Example scenarios for the IE Zone Comparer
[November 7, 2009: An updated version, IEZoneAnalyzer, has been posted that shows the effective settings for a selected zone and where each of the settings are established.]