Antivirus packed with powerful protection tools for experienced users.
- Powerful protection tools
- A decent amount of features
- Effective Sandbox
- Highly configurable
- Some features require advanced computer knowledge
- No web filtering
- Not checked by most testing labs
Comodo Antivirus for Windows 10 is an incredibly effective free antivirus application with multiple protection layers that keep your computer safe from threats.
The kit provides real-time protection to identify and block known malware in advance, before it manages to cause any damage. You can run an unknown or non-trusted application in its sandbox to prevent infection of the PC. It is even possible to run a virtual desktop, browsers or other legitimate apps in the sandbox which makes it very difficult for any threats to make changes in your PC or keep track of your activities.
Experienced users can enable a Host Intrusion Protection System that allows them to monitor very extensively what applications do while running on their device.
The absence of site inspection, which implies that the program does not prevent harmful URLs, is a notable exclusion. But the auto-sandboxing of Comodo should ensure that even the very newest unknown threats are prevented. Besides, a wide range of bonus features are available to fill any other security holes.
Comodo 12 has no major new features that can be seen up front, but there are a number of geek-friendly additions on the Release Notes page such as “Heuristic Command Line Analyse” and “Embedded Code Detection”.
The update to the premium software – Comodo Advanced Antivirus 12 – ads a few extra layers of protection aside from shopping and banking protection, and unlimited support. A license for a single device for one year is just $17.99 or $19.99 to cover three devices.
Comodo’s free antivirus can be easily found on the official website and in a couple of seconds we could download and launch the installer.
The default setup installs the Comodo Antivirus along with Comodo’s secure Dragon Browser. To avoid the installation of Dragon Browser, however, you have to carefully read the setup wizard, click on Options >> Components and uncheck the Dragon box.
If you decide to install Comodo Dragon Browser you can import all your Chrome settings (bookmarks, cookies, history, etc) to ensure you are ready for browsing immediately.
Comodo is eager to set Yahoo! as the default home page, new tab page and a default search engine for all your browsers. Therefore, during installation this is checked as the default option, and will happen unless you pay attention and explicitly disable it.
After rebooting, Comodo will display another warning named “Comodo Dragon” that asks whether you want to “boost your browsing experience”. You might probably believe that this is a Dragon- related choice and easily press “Yes”, but that is actually another attempt to set Yahoo! as your all-browser choice.
Sure, this is a free download, so Comodo needs to somehow fund itself. However, these are the kind of sly adware tactics that we need to reveal in order to prevent users from making unwanted installs and browser changes. When setup is complete, the program runs an automatic system scan.
Comodo Free Antivirus has easy-to-use interface: one major tile which displays your protection status, and others tiles that take you to specific tasks (scan your system, run a program in the sandbox, update Comodo and more). The program also supports three other themes with a very different look and feel.
Newbies could use Comodo in the same way as any other antivirus – click scan, select a Quick or Full Scan, and wait for the results – but life gets better if you explore the other options of Comodo.
For example, a Rating Scan scans processes and commonly infected areas and reports on the file reputation. This is useful as it will show you files ( executables and certs), which are not obviously harmful but are still considered untrustful, as well as files that Comodo has not seen before. The Rating Scan can point you in the right direction if you think you’ve been contaminated by something nasty but cannot detect it.
Comodo can also scan custom files or folders. You can also configure a number of custom scans to perform your selection of actions, customize key settings for individual scans (for instance the sensitivity of any heuristic checks). A configurable scheduler allows you to run a scan every day or week at 3.30 p.m., for example, launch the scan Mondays to Fridays or when the computer is idle and not running on battery.
If everything else fails, you can clean up even the most infected PCs by creating a bootable CD or USB flash drive.
Comodo’s sandbox is an exceptional highlight. You may operate suspicious programs with one or two clicks in a secure environment in which irreversible modifications cannot be made to your Computer. Alternatively, if you run a browser in the sandbox this will protect you from some web-based malware, while limiting ability of any malware that might be found on your PC to keep track of what you are doing.
There is also an option to install a virtual desktop in a completely isolated environments for maximum level of protection. It’s a nice addition to the kit, but it seems a little strange to have to install Microsoft Silverlight for it to function. Silverlight has not been developed by Microsoft since 2013 and Google Chrome has not supported the technology for years.
Comodo Dragon is a Chromium-based web browser that comes in a bundle with the Comodo Free Antivirus installation package. This browser protects your privacy by cutting down Chrome’s telemetry, which is normally sent to Google, blocking cookies, forcing HTTPS connections, and searching for questionable SSL certificates among other things.
Dragon Browser operates as expected but users should keep in mind the Comodo’s attempts to push Yahoo! as their default home page, new tab page and search pages in all browsers. We expect free software to include extra marketing like this, but Comodo’s promotional tactics seems a bit too pushy in our view.
Comodo Free Antivirus adds highly powerful security layer with its Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS), which provides extensive control over the actions of applications in your system. It alerts you about non-trusted apps and lets you decide whether to allow them or not.
Experienced users may set specific HIPS rules to fine-tune their system. However, defining custom HIPS behavior rules may require a lot of high-level computer knowledge since the consequences of preventing a Windows process may have a serious impact on the system. Fortunately, HIPS is disabled by default, so there’s no problem for newbies.
Other features that are geek-friendly include convenient integration of Comodo KillSwitch – a feature-packed Task Manager that has so many extras that it deserves a separate overview.
Just one example: KillSwitch Repair option allows you to easily see if your HOSTS files, DNS settings, Explorer policies, and more are messed up by some malware and lets you to restore the defaults with one click. KillSwitch is not for newbies either, but if you know what you do, it’s extremely useful.
Comodo’s Settings dialog allows you to choose a new interface theme or disable update check when the device runs on battery. However, more experienced users can customize how scans work, create new types of scans, change the HIPS rules and do some more tweaks in Comodo’s operation.
Comodo Free Antivirus is not evaluated by most independent testing laboratories but Comodo’s Internet Security has recently been checked by AV-Test, and the results look promising.
The Windows Home User Report of July-August 2019 showed that in both months, the package reached a maximum protection rate of 100 percent.
The Usability test’s element counts false positives. Comodo incorrectly blocked three legitimate software acts, but on average the industry’s score is two, so that is very close to the expected score. Moreover, no legitimate website or app was wrongly identified as harmful, which is an outstanding result.
Comodo Antivirus for Windows 10 is a powerful antivirus tool that is packed with helpful features and some advanced functionalities. However, tweaking the program’s settings can sometimes be complicated, so to get the most from it, you need actual technical expertise.