If you’re running a fairly recent edition of Windows, you’re probably also using the built-in Windows Firewall. It does a good job, but there’s no reason not to take advantage of much more capable (yet just as free) firewalls, especially when they’re easier to use and come with significant extras. Take Comodo Firewall: This full-featured, multilayer firewall application uses cloud-based data to analyze new programs and data to prevent attacks, including zero-day attacks. It protects your system from viruses, Trojans, worms, hacker attacks, and other threats. Extras include a Geek Buddy subscription, the SecureDNS network, and a speedy, secure Web browser, Comodo Dragon.
Comodo Firewall’s setup includes three network locations, with appropriate security levels for each: Home, Work, and Public. We chose Home. Comodo Firewall’s operation is very much like other firewalls we’ve tried: the first time you use a program or access a Web site with the firewall running, you need to enable it in a pop-up that remembers your choice unless you tell it otherwise. The firewall’s system tray icon accesses a menu that let us configure the Firewall and Defense & Security levels, and also its Sandbox feature and Game Mode.
Setup required a reboot, as did some settings, such as the Proactive Security Configuration. A simple, colorful interface gave us quick access to the two main components, the Firewall and Defense+ features. In daily use, Comodo Firewall is every bit as unobtrusive and easy to manage as the most popular free standalone firewalls for Windows, and just as flexible. It also includes lots of help options, such as the Geek Buddy feature and online forums and documentation.
We also like Dragon, which we updated shortly after installing it. Dragon automatically imported favorites, history, passwords, and other data we specified from our default browser (Chrome) including our bookmarks toolbar (thanks). Dragon is Chrome’s cousin; it’s based on the Chromium engine. Dragon is great for trying SecureDNS without altering your network settings. The SecureDNS network offers various security features, and it didn’t slow down our browsing. Comodo Firewall is a top contender among free firewall applications.