Comodo Firewall and why you need one

comodo_icon Amount of malware you can encounter online is astonishing. Antivirus software is obviously a must but concept has few weak spots.

While hunting down and killing malware is function of antivirus – preventing malware from getting on your PC is better handled by firewall software.

Problem with antivirus-only defense

Antivirus software relies on database holding information on all known viruses. It handles thousands of viruses before they have chance to act. However there is problem with database approach – there is opportunity window between virus release and time it gets into databases.

Basically every virus has a natural jump-start competing with antiviruses for at least few hours.

It was unimportant when viruses were slow and distributed via please-click-me methods. Nowadays they are lightning fast, use freshly discovered holes in operating systems or software and can infect millions of PCs before antivirus apps have chance to update and react.

What firewall does

Firewall software restricts your Internet connection from everything goes to tightly controlled environment in which only legitimate applications can interact with network:

  • unrequested incoming connections are blocked, preventing malware from jumping on;
  • outgoing connections are controlled so that only trusted apps can make those.

Comodo Internet Security suite

Comodo Firewall took niche by storm, quickly improving to be one of the best freeware solutions available. Recent versions got additional antivirus core as well and upgraded title of Internet Security.

comodo_interface

I am using firewall for a long time but not using antivirus part. I have strong doubts that single company (Comodo or anyone else) can deliver excellent results with complex software of very different types. I prefer to keep firewall and antivirus software separated.

Behavior analysis

In addition to controlling network activity Comodo Firewall also offers Defense+ module that works by analyzing what local applications are trying to do. It’s main goal is to prevent unwanted outgoing connections and leaks – techniques that malware (not necessarily virus, may be relatively harmless adware as well) uses to circumvent protection by attaching to trusted software.

Balance of protection and usability

With maximum security settings firewall will quickly drive you insane with endless alerts about suspicious activity. Luckily settings are very flexible with few initial profiles and extensive options to fine-tune every aspect.

After few days of use installed software will get remembered by firewall and for adding new one there is handy installation mode that disables alerts coming from setup packages for few minutes.

Additional functions

Comodo handles your answers by creating generic rules about your network and software. Those rules can be easily created or modified to be made much more specific. Truthfully there are more settings to explore in there than needed in most of the cases. Ensures it’s there when it is needed.

Overall

Unlike antivirus (install, schedule update, forget) firewalls require user to be much more tech-savvy and make decisions about what should and what should not be allowed. It may seem troublesome but as with spam – there is no silver bullet solution to tasks firewall does.

Bear with it, google if unsure or ask closest geek to help you with initial setup.

As for Comodo firewall – it is free and effective solution that is good choice both for start and power users.

Home&download http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/

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16 Comments

  • These days a firewall, antivirus and spyware software is a must. Many people think that the firewall built in Windows offers is enough protection, but that is a big mistake. I use Outpost Pro 2009 because I run Vista 64.
    I have used Comodo firewall in the past, it works very good.

  • This is something that I definitely should still give attention to on my blog. I have not really experienced any serious virus problems but rather safe than sorry.

    On my Windows XP box I use only ESET NOD32 anti virus coupled with the standard Windows Defender. I love the price of these things, they are both free. From this article it seems as if I need more than this.

  • @Madmouse

    Windows native firewall is a joke. :( I think including that one actually spoiled security, people are not looking for real firewall because they think they have one.

    @Lyndi

    Hm, NOD32 was very shareware last time I checked. :) I use corporate version at work and in recent months it doesn’t perform very good. Well, still improvement over Norton nightmare we used in the past.

  • I trialled comodo when it first appeared; while brilliant it conflicted a lot with my custom setups, and took way to long to tailor it to it.

    I myself use Kerio (now sunbelt) personal firewall, which is both lightweight and extremely effective, and only $10 last I checked.

  • @Donace

    Yeah, I remember early versions having CPU spikes and hanging when stuff tried to elevate access and spiraled into lockdwon.

    3.x version is much smoother.

  • I love comodo firewall and have it running on two machines. Have never had any “forgets settings” problems but have had cpu spike problems and hanging occasionally. Will accept these for second to none protection this app offers.
    Top Program!
    It’s consistently top or close to top on Matousec which I believe to be the authority on firewalls currently:
    http://www.matousec.com/projects/firewall-challenge/results.php

  • @Jonny

    I am careful with all those big tests. They are good to see approximate picture but no test can reliably emulate Internet with all its threats.

    Still Comodo does good on those which can’t be negative. :)

  • Never heard of this firewall before. Let me check it.

  • @Nihar

    Come back and share your opinion when you do. :)

  • Really I don’t like Firewall like Comodo that came with a really stubborn HIPS, is like the Firewall control my PC, not my. Because that I prefer a pure Firewall and a good Antimalware, nothing like HIPS.

  • @Chocobito

    Yep, Defense+ module can be annoying. :) Luckily there is option to choose how much do you want it to interfere (or disable and leave firewall only) at install or at any time in settings.

    I am running it on moderate and in last few versions it got tweaked to be unobtrusive enough at this level.

  • I hear very good thing about the new Oupost Firewall 2009 Free, in Matousec this its in a high rank that Comodo, you are tried this?

  • @Chocobito

    Nope, I used Zone Alarm before Comodo but it had stupid quirks that drove me crazy.

  • That is vary good firewall. Thanks.

  • This is a cool information. Do i need to have both comodo firewall and an antivirus in my system? What will be its pros and cons? Please help!

  • @trollverse

    What you need completely depends on your skills and needs. Antivirus is better at dealing with old known threats automagically. Firewall (good firewall like Comodo) is better at catching and controlling new stuff, but you will mostly have to make your own decisions.

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