Free Comodo Internet Security is here - screenshot tour
As a long-time fan of Comodo Firewall, I was glad to see the company developing a more complete Internet defense application. On October 28th, they released Comodo Internet Security.
Why the move? To quote from the press release, Comodo's president Melih Abdulhayoglu believes that "Safe computing on the Internet should be a right, not a privilege." He continues, "We are offering an advanced, intelligent Internet Security package at no charge in order to promote a safer, trusted Internet for everyone."
So far, I'm every bit as impressed with Internet Security as I was with their standalone firewall. Apart from rolling the usual antivirus and firewall features, Comodo's new product sports a number of interesting features and very low resource utilization.
The program's main window is uncluttered and informative, providing a vitals like the status of protection systems and updates, and the present level of network activity. It also features links to quickly lock down your system or set the program to install mode (which tells it ramp down the activity alerts temporarily).
Its main program window presents the three major defense components: Antivirus, Firewall, and Defense+. Configuration options are plentiful on all three. The virus scanner supports automatic updates, flexible scheduling, multiple scanning profiles, excluded directories and files, and detailed logging.
As you'd expect, the firewall offers a myriad of rule and configuration options. Granting and revoking trust from applications, ports, and networks is a clear, simple process. Novice users will either want to leave the default settings alone or spend some time reading the detailed (and user-friendly) help files, as a couple of wrong clicks can quickly create networking headaches.
An active connections screen is also available and it presents information similar to Sysinternals' TCPview, providing insight as to which applications are transmitting or receiving data.
During the first launch, Comodo does a good job of determining which applications are safe to approve. Alerts are color coded, so novice users should pay special attention to any that appear in a red window.
What interested me most about CIS was the Defense+ system. It provides another layer of protection against malware, allowing users to specify trusted software vendors and files, folders, and registry keys that are to be protected. Any modifications to these files or keys (by a hijacker, for example) can't occur unless authorized.
Adding a file, process, or driver to the blocked list makes it impossible to access by any user or process - unlike protected files, to which you can selectively grant permission. The program does its best to recognize new files automatically, but unknown ones are added to a pending list, which allows you query Comodo's master database for more information or submit files for review.
Comodo Internet Security is exceeding my expectations, and I would recommend it for anyone that is after a unified solution for malware, virus, and intrusion defense. It's a much more complete solution than other free apps like AVG, Avast, and Avira.
Install note: by default, Comodo will install the Ask toolbar and change your home page. Pay attention to the screens, and deselect them if you're not interested.