Windows already has a firewall, so why would you need another one? That’s a bit like saying Windows comes with Paint, so why get a photo editor, or it already has WordPad, a word processor, so why bother with Word? Windows Firewall is simply very basic and there are far better alternatives that are much more powerful, such as Comodo Firewall.
Comodo Firewall is a free security application that makes Windows PC more secure than they would be with just Windows Firewall. Microsoft’s tool is fine for stopping people on the internet from hacking into your computer, but it does not prevent software on your computer from accessing the internet. You should boost security with Comodo's free tool.
Spyware or other malicious software could send out personal information or access the internet to download more malicious software. Comodo Firewall blocks this activity, so it prevents outgoing as well as incoming traffic from unauthorised programs. It will block hackers and prevent them from accessing your computer.
A major problem with firewalls is that they can be very complicated to use. They tend to ask questions about obscure programs and services that you know little about. If you are asked whether to allow something access to the internet and you say no, you can stop programs from working. If you say yes, you risk letting malware through. Some people end up letting too much software have internet access or too little.
Comodo Firewall recognises over two million applications and this is to reduce the number of times it has to ask you whether to allow or block software. It still doesn’t recognise every PC program, but you shouldn’t see too many pop-up messages. There is a training mode and this can be enabled if you are certain your PC is malware free, and it learns what software you have.
Dig around in the settings and you can find a Trusted Files list. You can add programs to this if you are sure they are safe and then you won’t see any pop-up warnings that it is accessing the internet. There is also a Trusted Vendors list and any software by these companies is regarded as safe. For example, anything by Adobe, popular anti virus software makers, Microsoft, Apple, Autodesk, Google, Intel, ATI, IObit, HP, SanDisk, Samsung, Sony and so on. There must be hundreds of companies and it means that software from them won’t trigger the firewall’s pop-up warnings.
This is all good news and it means that Comodo Firewall just gets on with the job of protecting the PC with the minimum of pop-ups and questions you don’t know the answer too.
Comodo Firewall isn’t an anti virus program, but it does have HIPS (Host Intrusion Protection System) and this provides some protection against malware. There are four security levels from Training Mode to Paranoid Mode and it monitors everything that runs to make sure it isn’t doing anything it shouldn’t.
There are HIPS rules and these determine what programs are allowed to do. Suspicious ones are blocked or a message pops up asking whether you want to allow the program or not. You still need an anti virus program, but the addition of Comodo Firewall’s HIPS should make it stronger.
The interface is nicely designed and there is an optional widget that is displayed on the desktop. It provides buttons to access functions and information displays. Right clicking it accesses a menu with useful options for setting the firewall and HIPS security level. It shows upload and download traffic, so you can see when the internet is being used.
Open the main Comodo Firewall window and there are a couple of interface modes for the home screen. One is simple and just provides basic information such as the status, while the other screen shows a bit more information and has more links to the various parts of the program and configuration settings. For example, you can click the Firewall link to open the firewall settings, click the Safe Mode link to select a different firewall security level, click HIPS to open the HIPS settings, click Safe Mode to choose another HIPS security level, and so on.
If you are an advanced user you can go into the settings to create rules, see the IP addresses that programs and services are accessing, open ports for specific purposes and so on.
Comodo Firewall is good for a free program and is recommended. Having a firewall is a bit like wearing a seatbelt in a car. You might never need it, but you’ll be glad you have it if you ever get into a dangerous situation. I have run PCs for years with just the Windows Firewall and nothing bad happened, but that doesn’t mean it can’t or it won’t in the future. Luckily I have never needed to rely on my car’s seatbelt, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be glad of it one day.
Intro image: Public domain from pixabay.com