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Comodo Firewall v7.0.317799

Make your PC a hacker-free zone with Comodo's flexible firewall

by Mike Williams

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Based on 15 ratings
License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Spanish, Swedish
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 18 April 2014
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 7443
Developer: Comodo
RSS News Feed: http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/19257473.rss
Twitter Feed: http://www.twitter.com/ComodoDesktop
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ComodoHome
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Comodo Firewall v7.0
Make your PC a hacker-free zone

Comodo Firewall monitors incoming and outgoing internet connections from your PC to make sure that legitimate traffic gets through, and malware is consistently blocked.

Comodo describe their policy here as "Default Deny Protection": unless they know a program is safe, it's not allowed to communicate online, or use another program to do the same (by opening an Internet Explorer window, for instance). While this is certainly secure, it also makes for plenty of alerts early on, as the program is regularly warning you about one program or another. The firewall will by default remember your answers, though, so you're only asked once per program activity and the pop-ups soon slow down.

Comodo Firewall's Defense+ technology adds a host of additional security features. There's a Sandbox, allowing you to run potentially dangerous programs in an isolated environment where there's little chance they can harm your PC, for example. You're able to ask the program to protect specific Registry keys, files or folders against unauthorised changes. And a "Blocked Files" module lets you lock down particularly sensitive files and folders so nothing can access them.

If you're a PC security novice then there's no need to worry about how any of this works. You can just install Comodo Firewall, accept all the default settings and leave it to get on with protecting your system.

If you're more experienced, though, you'll appreciate the program's extreme configurability. Comodo Firewall comes with a host of tweaks and options to change just about every aspect of its operations: you can set up your own application rules, custom network policy, firewall rules and settings, Defense+ policy and more, fine-tuning your security to the precise levels you need.

New features this time start with the Viruscope. This looks for programs carrying out potentially unwanted actions - setting themselves up to run when your system starts, for example - and not only alerts you, but can undo any damage, restoring your system to normal.

The Website Filtering module is another welcome addition, vetting the links you click for safety. It can also limit access for particular users, perhaps preventing your children from viewing inappropriate web content.

A new Protected Data Folder gives extra protection to sensitive files, ensuring they're completely invisible to any sandboxed applications.

And there are plenty of other significant enhancements elsewhere, from a 700% speed increase for the sandbox, to a range of time-saving interface tweaks, and more than 300 bugs fixed since the previous edition.

What's new/fixed in 7.0.317799?

- Alerts are blocked while there pending notifications – This may cause some users to observe blocked Internet, delayed alerts or sometimes freezes
- Downloaded documents could not be opened in sandboxed Office 2010
- Windows 8.1 update sometimes fail if Viruscope is enabled
- BSOD while manually uninstalling inspect.sys

Verdict:

Comodo Firewall raises more alerts than many other firewalls, but fortunately these reduce in number over time. And by way of compensation you get a high level of configurability, and an array of useful security extras. If your current firewall is underperforming then this is well worth a look, although you'll need to be knowledgeable about security to get the most from the program

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WhatsApp Messenger 2.12.1

Free Full Commercial Software

WhatsApp Messenger is the world's most popular instant messaging app for smartphones.

You can use it to send and receive text and voice messages, photos, videos, even call your friends in other countries, and because it uses your phone's internet connection it might not cost you anything at all (depending on whether you'll pay data charges).

It's easy to set up and use. There's no need to create and remember new account names or pins because it works with your phone number, and uses your regular address book to find and connect you with friends who use WhatsApp already.

You can talk one-to-one or in group chats, and because you're always logged in there's no way to miss messages. Even if your phone is turned off, WhatsApp will save your messages and display them as soon as you're back online.

There's plenty more (location sharing, contact exchange, message broadcasting) and the app is free for a year, currently $0.99/ year afterwards.

Version 2.12.1 brings:
 - WhatsApp Calling: Call your friends and family using WhatsApp for free, even if they’re in another country. WhatsApp calls use your phone’s Internet connection rather than your cellular plan’s voice minutes. Data charges may apply.

[...]
Value:
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Rating: