Comodo is a company that has, in a relatively short time, brought out a very fine (arguably the very best) firewall for the Windows platform, a perfectly usable antivirus solution, and a few other applications that vacillate between good and great – almost all of them being free, or having a completely free version.
It’s almost a case of incredulity when asking oneself, “How do these guys survive?”
Nonetheless, the great things keep on coming, with no stopping in sight. The latest in the line of things coming is a new major revision of the Comodo Internet Security bundle, which puts the firewall, the HIPS+ security, and the antivirus together. Undoubtedly, it will allow the separation of these pieces as well, but adds another piece to the whole, a sandbox for certain things to run in.
Comodo receives much more recognition for their firewall software than they do for anything else they develop, but that hasn’t stopped them from venturing outside their comfort zone.
In October 2009, they released Comodo Internet Security — which bundled their popular firewall app with free antivirus defense. It was a good freshman effort, though their AV engine (developed in-house) wasn’t quite mature enough to go toe-to-toe with other those from other antivirus providers.
The antivirus is fine if you don’t do high risk things, but for those who wish to “defy gravity” the Comodo Antivirus is not up to the task.
Work has begun on version 4, however, and so far the beta version looks like it will be a substantial improvement. One feature I’m particularly interested in is sandboxing.
Everyone is interested in this. It has become a huge buzzword for those who design software. It is regarded by some as a panacea. I doubt that it is, but since it is part of the Internet Exploders, revisions 7 and 8, part of Google Chrome, and probably on the drawing boards of a few other software companies. Whether within a browser, or in a greater service on the machine, it is something that has a few drawbacks, that no one wants to talk about. But since there are more plusses than minusses, work continues.
Comodo is not alone in introducing this feature — Avast recently bundled something similar in certain versions of their latest release. It’s only enabled in Avast’s paid versions though, so Comodo could well be the only security suite or AV in which you’ll find totally free, full-featured sandboxing!
So why am I interested? Sandboxing offers us an extra layer of protection for our computers. Untrusted programs can be forced to run in secure, virtualized space where they can’t damage Windows, its registry, or important user data.
In Comodo IS 4, you can also force programs of your choosing into the sandbox. Want to make sure your loved ones are as safe as possible while browsing the web? Add their web browser to the sandbox. Not sure whether that new app you downloaded is totally trustworthy? Sandbox it!
I haven’t played with the beta extensively enough to pass judgment on it, but I am excited about the direction Comodo is headed. CIS 4 could very well end up being an extremely competitive free antivirus app for Windows.
As I mentioned, CIS 4 is currently in the beta stage. If you’d like to test it out yourself, you’ll need to head over to their forums and register — here’s the link to the beta thread!
I see this as something that many will extol, and I like the idea. I also see it breaking a great many applications, or possibly machines, at least in the short run.
So unlike some, that might encourage your moving into the realm of beta tester, I would say it is time to be watching, and patient, as those who followed the firewall that is so well thought of now also know that until revision 3, Comodo Firewall had a bad habit of keeping some users from using their own machines, and removal was a nightmare, requiring only the most deft to accomplish it without nuking the entire Windows installation.
On the other hand, with the gains realized from the problems with the firewall, it might be possible that by revision 4.1 he features may be very solid.
I’m hoping for the best, because though I don’t do many risky things, I have many friends and customers who do try to “defy gravity”.
Lifehacker shows how to clean up computer clutter with a modified monitor stand here.
On This Day [Famous Birthdays]
Born in New Orleans, comedian Ellen DeGeneres became famous for her sitcom, ‘Ellen’. In 1997, DeGeneres’s character became the first lead in TV history to acknowledge her homosexuality on air. The revelation led to the show’s cancellation in 1998, but she bounced back in 2001 with her own talk show. In 2009, she became a judge for ‘American Idol’.
Also Born on This Day
Eddie Van Halen