New Versions of Comodo and Online Armor
The Scot’s Newsletter Software-Firewall Comparo (you know, the series-review that just won’t die) continues to evolve. That’s largely because the makers of Comodo Firewall and Online Armor — the two products under consideration — are actively updating their products. If these guys would just slow down a bit, I could make a final judgment. But that’s one of the reasons these are the two best products in the race, neither company is resting on its laurels.
I recently security tested Comodo 184.108.40.2067 (“Advanced Install”) and a late beta of a new version of Online Armor that I believe will arrive shortly. Both products came through with flying colors — passing every test I threw at them. So I can confirm that newer versions of both products continue to test as well as the somewhat older versions tested by Matousec.com.
For those of you following last month’s dramatic public clash between Comodo’s ceo, Melih Abdulhayoglu, and myself — it’s my hope that’s a thing of the past. Melih and I have had several constructive email exchanges. I made some tweaks to my Jan. 20th post urging Scot’s Newsletter readers who might have opted for Comodo 3’s “Basic Firewall” installation option not to use it. And in version 220.127.116.115, Comodo has refined the language on the installation dialog box that I had concerns about; it now looks like this:
[Update on February 16: Since this message was posted six days ago, Comodo released yet another slipstream update, version 18.104.22.1684. That version’s installation option dialog is identical to that of v.22.214.171.1245.]
The wording change does a better job of keeping people from making the less-protective choice. Melih also showed me a picture of the comparable screen for a future version of Comodo 3 that will offer three installation options. The company expects to add a third installation mode that turns off the full blown Defense+ HIPS module but continues to offer leak protection, apparently at a level similar to Comodo version 2.4. That’s an even better change. I haven’t been given access to that version of the Comodo firewall nor do I have any idea when it might arrive, but I’ll be interested to test it when it becomes available. (For more information about changes delivered in Comodo 126.96.36.1995 and 188.8.131.524, see the company’s public release notes.)
I test computer products, not people. Some readers have suggested I drop my evaluation of Comodo because of things Comodo’s ceo posted in his company’s forums. Thanks, but that’s not my style. Comodo Firewall is an excellent product, so I will continue to test it until I’ve made a decision.
In the meantime, I’ve recently been testing the last two versions of Comodo under Vista. I’ve seen no anomalies on that OS. I don’t formally test products for Vista, an operating system I have recommended against using. What I can pass along is that, for the time being, I’ve adopted Comodo 3 (version 184.108.40.2065 or later with Defense+ enabled) on all my Vista machines.
In other Vista-related news, Tall Emu’s Mike Nash, the ceo behind Online Armor, says his development team hopes to enter public beta testing by roughly the end of the month on Online Armor for Vista.
Having tested pre-release builds of the next Windows XP-version of Online Armor, I’m intrigued by several promising new features. I’ll go into more detail once the product ships and I’ve had time to test it thoroughly.
At one point over the last year I began to wonder whether I’d find a software firewall worthy of my recommendation. But both of these products offer full-fledged protection and are easy to use. Both run on Windows with small footprints. Both are fully compatible with other software security products, including NOD32, the antivirus/anti-malware product I continue to use and recommend. Choices are good.