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Comodo 2016 Review: Malware Protection & Online Security

By: Danielle P
Comodo Review

Comodo's motto is about "Creating Trust Online" - the company's aim is to provide its clients with powerful malware protection for home users, enterprises, and different operating systems.

With a firewall that can turn heads, and one-of-a-kind features like the virtual sandbox and the $500 virus-free guarantee, Comodo definitely strives to protect and provide a comfortable online experience with no security hassles.

While the stronger products seem to be on the pricier end of the stick, they may be exactly what you need to protect yourself from any IT threats.


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Read my informative Comodo review to find out if this provider is worth your while and which package is your best bet.

Antivirus Provider - Comodo

Comodo Antivirus Provider

Pros and Cons

Pros:
  • Sandbox
  • Game Mode
  • Virtual Desktop
  • Good performance
Cons:
  • No ransomware protection
  • Poor malicious URL blocking test
  • Too advanced for common users

Money-Back Guarantee & Free Trial

If you want to test the waters before jumping right in, Comodo offers free 30-day trials for their home user packages, as well as the Business solutions for New Endpoint Security Manager 3.0 and the HackerProof Vulnerability Scanning. 

If you do jump right in, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee from the initial order date. This ensures that you are refunded in full for all products.

But wait, there is even more, and truly unique: 

If you opt for the Internet Security Pro 8 or Internet Security Complete 8, there is what's called the $500 VIRUS-FREE GUARANTEE. What this means is that if your system is infected with malware after you install these packages, and it cannot be restored by the support team, you get $500 back to cover repair costs by a Comodo certified service, no questions asked.

Background of Comodo

Established in the UK in 1998 by Melih Abdulhayoglu, Comodo has grown into a leading industry of online security and antivirus protection.

The headquarters are based in the UK, U.S., China, Ukraine, and Romania, with offices in Turkey and Japan. The company currently has over 1000 employees.

Their first product, the Personal Secure E-Mail Certificate was launched in the UK in 2001, and today it boasts as the number 1 SLL certificate authority in the world.

In 2008, Comodo launched their first Internet Security product.

Today, the enterprise has over 85 million users in over 100 countries, more than 25 million installations, around 700 thousand business customers, and more than 2 million digital certificates.

Product Comparison

At first glance at the Comodo's site, there seem to be a large range of different products and packages on offer for home users, businesses, enterprises, Mac users, and Linux operating systems.

It can be overwhelming and confusing, so that is why I have organized the main home user products in this table to see the difference between each one.

Comodo provides a full antivirus engine and a very sophisticated firewall, but on the downside, there is no ransomware protection, which would make the antivirus engine complete.

The great aspects about Comodo are that firstly, there is a $500 virus-free guarantee for systems that have been infected with malware after a Comodo product has been installed. This just reinforces customers to invest in the two higher products because of the confidence Comodo places in its products to safeguard your devices.

Secondly, the firewall is known to be formidable, and you can use it without having to use the rest of the Comodo antivirus engine if you prefer other vendors; that is pretty cool!

Thirdly, the sandbox and virtual desktop are a fantastic way to combat malware and manage settings in a separate environment.

Another helpful feature is the 24/7 customer support - this is always a winner.

Let's have a look at what each package is comprised of:

Comparison Table of Comodo Home Products

Comodo Comparison Table of Home Products

A user can subscribe to each package for either a 1, 2, or 3-year license. The Antivirus Advanced 8 covers 1 device but you can choose to up to 3 devices for an extra fee. The other two cover 3 devices and can cover up to 6 at an extra cost. 

My Recommendation

I would opt for the Internet Security Pro 8 product. It $20 more than the Antivirus Advanced 8 (only $5 more if you opt to cover 3 devices) but it comes with the firewall and the $500 guarantee. The Internet Security Complete 8 is extremely expensive at $50 dollars more than Pro 8 and the extra features it offers are not crucial for the common home user.


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Endpoint Security for Enterprises

Comodo offers several different business packages for different sized businesses.

One that stood out to me is the Endpoint Security Manager which has a free trial, comes with 3 different license possibilities, and with a myriad of strong protection features.

Some of the features the package offers are multiple technologies with auto-sandboxing, fast response antivirus protection, web URL filtering, cloud-based based FLS, HIPS to safeguard each endpoint, and a process-behavioral analyzer. 

Users can manage the system headache-free with the pull-and-push administration deployment feature; the virtual desktop; sandbox; and single-point managers and endpoints for servers, smartphones, laptops, and associated apps. All of these save time with a centralized management system so that services, processes, and endpoints are monitored at once.

The package is also green-friendly in that there is an integrated power system with the advanced Wake-on-LAN enabled systems.

These are some of the security features you can expect from this business product.

Comodo's Key Features

This is what Comodo packages have to offer as their main features:

Malware Scanner

Every antivirus product needs a scanner so that it can at least detect malware, if not remove it.

Luckily, Comodo also provides unlimited expert virus removal to give your PC a clean up, to uninstall old antivirus software, and to make sure that your PC remains virus-free.

Comodo provides two scanning options, namely: a Quick Scan and a Full Scan.

The scans work in the background because of the gaming mode; you can also schedule scans, or run a scan on the spot.

I ran lab tests on a dedicated standalone PC that has a clean Windows 10 64-bit installation with all the latest Windows updates installed.

The computer hardware is 4GB RAM, Intel Core i7 CPU 3.20 GHz.

The Quick Scan took: 27 Seconds

Comodo's Quick Scanner

Quick Scanner on Comodo

The Full Scan took: 6:13 Minutes

Comodo's Full Scanner in Process

Full Scanner in Process on Comodo

Comodo's Full Scanner Full Time

Time taken for Full Scanner on Comodo

FatSecurity.com Home User Test

The goal of this review is to provide extra added value for our readers, so that you make the right choice. 

This is why I run my own real life home user test despite the fact that AV-Test is pretty spot on. In this way, the readers can make an informed decision by perusing the nifty antivirus comparison table designed for your convenience.

I test the computer's resources in 3 different states:

  1. In an idle state with no antivirus installed
  2. An idle instance of Comodo running in the background
  3. When there is a full scan run by Comodo's software

Here is what I have to show for the CPU, RAM, and hard disk in all 3 instances:

Comodo's System Performance Impact

System performance impact by Comodo

Idle - Windows 10 without Comodo

Windows 10 without Comodo - Idle

Comodo idle installation CPU and memory usage

CPU and memory usage by an idle Comodo installation

Comodo during a full scan - CPU and memory usage

CPU and memory usage by Comodo during a full scan

The real life score for Comodo for the real life home user test is therefore 85%.

Real Time Antivirus Engine

Comodo is equipped and ready for battle to detect but also combat any real-time viruses, worms, Trojan horses, rootkits, keyloggers, and other malware.

Independent test results don't rate Comodo too highly, so you might want to consider choosing from other antivirus providers.

Unfortunately, there is no anti-ransomware protection which is really important given the far-reaching impact ransomware can have on your system and data. However, in saying that, Comodo encourages its users to backup their data by providing 50 GB of online storage place as part of the product. Data backup is a way to combat and minimize the damage a ransomware attack can cause.

When a malicious program tries to infect a PC, the antivirus engine curbs any attacks by checking the signature against a database of files known to be bad or good.

The user receives an alert popup with Security Consideration Settings in order to respond to the alert. If the user wants more information about the malware alerts, he/she can include the ThreatCast as part of the antivirus engine feature settings. The ThreatCast details how other Comodo users have responded to and dealt with the threat. The next step is to allow, block, or apply the stipulated security policies for that malware.

After this, Comodo prompts the user with an option to select a reminder alert so that the software can respond to similar malware with your previous selection without having to alert you.

There is also cloud based whitelisting of trusted publishers so that a safe file can easily be identified.

Last but not least:

Comodo's packages are also furnished with a 128-bit encrypted proxy service to safeguard its users when they surf on public WiFi networks.

Bullet-Proof Firewall

Bullet-Proof Firewall on Comodo

Comodo's Bullet-Proof Firewall

Comodo's firewall is a solid tool and more sophisticated than most firewalls you will come across.

This bullet-proof tool acts as a strong filter for ICMP traffic, as well as UDP and TCP traffic.

When Windows Explorer launches, the firewall has full control over the launching in order to prevent a suspicious process from launching or changing the default browser.

Hackers just can't outdo the excellence of this bullet-proof firewall: there have been attempts to switch the executable code of the default browser, but Comodo is always to the rescue by preventing the switch from happening.

Comodo's Bullet-Proof Firewall Rules and Settings

Rules and settings for Comodo's Bullet-Proof Firewall

However, if a malicious HTML page tries to execute itself onto the system, sometimes Comodo's URL blocking is not as strong!

If there are attempts to exploit your system or device with keyloggers and packet sniffers, the firewall overpowers the spying test in a blink of an eye.

The awesome part is that if you really want this formidable firewall, but you'd rather opt for another antivirus protection provider, you can leave Comodo's antivirus module uninstalled and place another provider's instead.

Sandbox Protection

This is definitely the feature that makes Comodo stand out, and because all the packages come with it.

The auto sandbox technology is an advanced setting that allows you to manage, view, and add apps inside the sandbox. The reason is that a sandboxed application is run in a virtual environment that is isolated from your files and operating system so that there is the least amount of opportunities for malware to damage your computer. It is also to deduce whether programs are harmful or harmless without having to risk the security of your system or damage the system's user data and registry. 

A user can run unknown files in the sandbox to analyze the behavior of a file and to set restriction levels.

Restriction levels are used to determine how much access an application has on your real system, and how many resources the app can consume.  After the file has been analyzed, you can simply get rid of it.

In order for identification to be easier, the Comodo Internet Security packages show a green outlined border around programs when they are running in the sandbox.

Comodo's Virtual Sandbox Protection

Virtual Sandbox Protection on Comodo

The sandbox interface is divided into 3 parts:

  1. Sandboxed Programs: This is to add and configure programs that need to run sanboxed at all times. 
  2. Share Space Settings: The shared space is for files that you have downloaded or generated by sandboxed applications, and that you want to access from your real system as well.
  3. Virtual Kiosk Settings: This is to create an exit password for the kiosk, which cannot be minimized or closed unless the right password is entered. The goal is to prevent younger users or guests from exiting the sandboxed environment.

Virtual Desktop

The virtual desktop is a nifty feature because of its sandboxed operating system or environment, inside of which you can browse the Internet or run programs without the worry that these activities will affect or damage your actual computer.

Another helpful characteristic of this desktop is that running applications leave no history or cookies behind on the real system; therefore it is a secure environment for online shopping and Internet banking.

Lastly, the virtual desktop is ideal for browsing risky links and websites, as well as to test out unstable/beta software. 

Comodo's Virtual desktop of SANDBOX

Virtual desktop of SANDBOX

Gaming Mode

You can enjoy minimal interruptions with Comodo's game mode.

The responsibility is on Comodo to decide whether an untrustworthy file must be blocked or allowed, especially because of the ThreatCast feature mentioned above.

With the game mode, the user can suppress any operations such as virus database updates, alerts, or scheduled scans that will compromise the gaming experience.

Additional Features

Data Encryption VPN

TRUSTCONNECT™ is a hot spot protection feature that encrypts all data that either wireless or wired Internet connections transmit within the system.

This tool operates for up to 10 GB per month.

Online Backup

This online storage feature backs up your data and files to a secure virtual vault that includes 50 GB of free backup storage space.

Comodo for Mac

Antivirus for Mac is a proactive antivirus protector which safeguards Mac OS X computers from viruses, Torjan horses, worms, and other malware.

What makes Comodo's product stand out is its user friendly interface on the Mac platform; on-access scanning around the clock; the choice of a one-click instant scanning; a slider to change your security level;detection, blocking, and elimination of malware from Mac desktops and laptops; and a built-in scheduler so that the user can run scans when he/she pleases.

Comodo for Linux

Linux operating systems users can feel as secure as Comodo's Windows software users with the Comodo Antivirus product for Linux.

This product is built much like the Windows packages and also features cloud-based behavior analysis to identify all unknown files for what they really are, as well a to provide zero-day malware protection.

There is also the added benefit in this package with a fully configurable anti-spam system to act as a gateway for spam emails and threats.

User Interface - Graphic But Advanced

Comodo's user interface

User interface on Comodo

Comodo boasts an accessible and generally basic user interface, but some of the settings and tools are too advanced for the common user to understand.

The foundation of the interface is a summary screen with all the main screens needed to navigate around the software, like the system status, firewall reports, tasks, virus defense reports, network notifications, and more.

Given that the system can be complicated, there are wizards and policies to assist beginners and the average user to choose settings and establish rules. 

The fun and helpful part is the color coding for malware alerts:

Yellow = Low sensitivity

Orange = Medium

Red = Severe/high sensitivity

All antivirus alerts are identified with a red upper code strip.

Devices and System Requirements

If you want optimal results and performance with Comodo's software and packages, you need to make sure that your PCs comply with the minimum system requirements, such as:

Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 10.

All the above need an Internet Explorer 5.1 version or later, 152 MB available RAM, and 400 MB of hard disk space.

If you have Windows XP, you will need 256 MB of available RAM, and 210 MB of hard disk space 

Mac users will need a Mac Intel x86_64 hardware platform and the MAC OS X 10.9x or 10.10.x operating systems.

They have different packages Linux and Cloud Antivirus with different requirements which are best to check out on the site for all the options and variances. The basics are that you need a 2 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, and 40 GB of disk space.

24/7 Customer Support

If you feel lost or in a whirlwind of confusion, there is not need to worry.

You can contact the professionals from the Comodo team in multiple ways, but before that there is a blog and a knowledge base section for all your questions about a range of topics.

They offer technical support around the clock with a number provided on the website.

If you want to contact customer care more directly you can:

  1. Submit a ticket at any time of the day or year.
  2. Use the Live Chat option which is also available around the clock.
  3. Go to the Contact Us page to see the different numbers for the relevant countries; there are different numbers for the U.S. and international calls.

In short, you can't get lost in the woods with Comodo's helpful and easily accessible support team.

Certifications and Awards

When it comes to prestigious awards and certificates, Comodo has a fine selection to hang up in their hallways.

In 2016, Comodo came away with the award for Excellence in Information Security Testing given by ICSA Labs.

2016 has been a good year for them with another award for the best Anti-Malware Solution for their Comodo Advanced Endpoint Protection. This prize was bestowed by the Cybersecurity Excellence Awards Association.

SSL Certificates are something Comodo is known for with its respectable collection, which has kept growing since the company's inception for domain, business and extended validation; code signing certificates; multi-domain/SAN/UCC; Wildcard SSL Certificates, and scanning and trust services. These, of course, are certificates you can buy.

Value for Money

Will you get what you pay for?

I suppose so, seeing that the Antivirus Advanced 8 is not pricey at all if you purchase the standard protection for 1 device.

The higher you go, the higher the price goes which is logical seeing that there are more features included; however, for the price, I would have expected the antivirus engine to include ransomware protection to justify the price because other antivirus providers in the same category can be cheaper and offer the feature.

My Conclusion

Pros:
  • Sandbox
  • Game Mode
  • Virtual Desktop
  • Good performance
Cons:
  • No ransomware protection
  • Poor malicious URL blocking test
  • Too advanced for common users

Overall, my impression is that Comodo have strong technology to combat malware threats and ensure a trusted online experience.

Is it the best provider out there with every single antivirus characteristic you would expect for the price - I'd say no. 

There is no harm in giving the products a go with the 30-day free trial to test out the renowned firewall and other elements, so that you can make the final choice for yourself! 


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By Danielle P

Senior editor, professional writer & researcher

A creative and literary prodigy with an astounding ability to write about anything. While Danielle doesn’t have a vast technical background, her research capabilities are limitless and she can write about anything her heart desires.

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Comodo has established its position in the IT world as a provider of strong malware and online security protection with several home user and business packages for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. Some of the features that makes it a top competitor are the sandbox environment, the virtual desktop, the bullet-proof firewall, and the $500 virus-free guarantee for the Internet Security packages.

Comodo
Date published:October 1, 2017
8 / 10 stars

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