We’ve always been a relatively large fan of the Comodo Firewall Pro software, not only because it is 100% free but also because of its award-winning reputation. The new version pulls out all stops bringing full support for both XP and Vista 32-bit and 64-bit versions! After playing with this for a few hours I would have to say that they did it again … they created another amazing firewall that has won my heart, and my computer. We’ve got a ton of screenshots for you at the end of the article, so make sure you stick around.
Before I get started I wanted to send out a quick warning to everyone running both Vista and Avast! antivirus. There seems to be a critical issue with Avast! that prevents Vista from loading at startup, and in order to uninstall Comodo you’ll need to boot into safe mode. Updating to the latest version of Avast! will help ensure that Vista can load properly, but the startup time will be significantly longer than normal. For a status update on this issue keep your eyes peeled on this post in the Comodo forum.
I finally ended up getting Comodo Firewall Pro installed after that little ordeal with Avast!, and aside from that rather critical bug the program is stellar. During normal use of my computer Comodo only consumes 3.5MB of my memory, which is amazing when you compare that to some of the other firewalls out there. And I ran several bandwidth tests both with and without the firewall enabled, and I came to the conclusion that the firewall had very little effect on the speed of my Internet.
At first I wasn’t too sure about the redesigned interface, but it is definitely starting to grow on me. The old one was much more vibrant and lively, but the new one makes Comodo feel more like a professional app. And the popup alerts will surely grab your attention.
Personally I’m the type of user that prefers to see what Comodo is doing, and I want to see any alerts that it feels would be good for me to scan. When finishing up the Comodo setup process it will ask whether you want to run the advanced firewall filled with all of the alert goodness, or whether you just want the basic protection where it does most of the authorization itself (there is a screenshot of this below). If you’re installing this for someone else who isn’t tech-savvy I recommend sticking to the basic mode so that they aren’t bombarded with popups that they don’t understand.
Alright, lets take a look at some of the new security features, and then we’ll move over to the plethora of screenshots!
- Clean PC Mode – This feature takes a profile of a new PC and all the applications in it and registers them as safe. Then, any new application trying to gain access to a computer will be denied access to the PC unless the user expressly permits it since it is assumed to be potentially unsafe. This feature prevents most types of malware and rootkits from getting installed and keeps a new PC virus and malware free.
- Defense+ Host Intrusion Prevention System – Defense+ is one of the most advanced Host Intrusion Prevention Systems available in any desktop security program. This new addition helps to secure desktops and servers against rootkits, inter-process memory injections, key-loggers and more.
- Advanced Network Firewall Engine – New features such as Stealth Mode to make your PC completely invisible to opportunistic port scans; Wizard based auto-detection of trusted zones; Password protection of firewall settings; Diagnostics to analyze your system for potential conflicts with the firewall and much more.
- Security rules interface – Users can quickly set granular Internet access rights and privileges on a global or per application basis using the flexible and easy to understand GUI. This version also sees the introduction of pre-set security policies which allow you to deploy a sophisticated hierarchy of firewall rules with a couple of mouse clicks.
- Training Mode – By selecting ‘Train with Safe Mode’, the firewall will learn how your trusted applications work and silently create rules for them.
- Application Recognition Database – Includes a proprietary and continually updated white list of nearly 1,000,000 safe executables. The integrity of every executable is checked against this database to determine whether or not it is genuine before it allows it installation rights. Firewall Pro will alert users of potentially damaging applications before they are installed.