For an important update to this blog post, please see this more recent post.
Note: This story has been updated for clarity on 1/22/2008 and 2/2/2008. Nothing has changed about my recommendation.
Because I have written in the recent past with an initially positive reaction to Comodo 3’s “Basic Firewall” installation option, I am honor-bound to post this quick message.
I have learned directly from Comodo executives that the Basic Firewall installation option of Comodo 3 offers only marginal
outbound leak protection, not up to the levels of Comodo 2.4 or 3.0. The company may add that protection in a future version of Comodo 3.x. The Basic Firewall option turns off Comodo 3’s Defense+ HIPS module (which constitutes the “Advanced” default installation mode). Defense+ provides the leak protection for Comodo 3.
The previous generation of Comodo, version 2.4, provided anti-leak protection without the new HIPS module.
Not only does this mean that Comodo 3’s optional Basic Firewall mode is no longer a contender in this blog’s firewall evaluation, but if you’re relying on the Basic Firewall mode of Comodo 3 for your firewall protection, you should stop doing so. Windows XP users should switch to Online Armor Free version 220.127.116.11 (or newer) and Vista users should uninstall Comodo 3 and reinstall it, choosing the “Advanced” installation option.
[Note: Since I wrote that last sentence, Comodo has pointed out that you don’t have to uninstall and reinstall Comodo to switch to the Advanced mode but can instead do so by turning on the Defense+ HIPS module. The steps for making the change aren’t immediately obvious, however, so here’s how to do it: Open the Comodo 3 program window. Click the Defense+ icon near its upper right corner. On the left side of the window, click the Advanced button. Click the the last icon, Defense+ Settings. At the bottom of the next configuration screen, remove the check in the box beside “Deactivate the Defense+ permanently.” Comodo will prompt you to restart your computer. You must do so to enable full protection.]
Comodo 3’s “Advanced” default installation mode remains under consideration in my ongoing software firewall evaluation process.
More details will follow in the near future.