Greetings Staff and Friends of Comodo,
It is with deepest regret that I’ve recently unloaded Comodo Firewall from my office systems. I might add that the PC’s are AMD 64 dual core and single core models with different XP service Pack 2 editions installed ( both 32 bit). Prior to Fiona the 3300+ was being bogged down unacceptably by the 23% baseline cpu usage and 90+% cpu usage spikes. The 5500+ was able to handle the massive cpu usage and remain functional but slow.
Fiona changed everything… CPU usage dropped remarkably to less than 5% on the 3300+ and I was quite impressed. But the 3300+ began to experience random crashes… windbg revealed that the error was : “Probably caused by : cmdmon.sys ( cmdmon+7299 )” but the 5000+ remained stable until about 2-10-2007 or 2-11-2007 when it began crashing shortly after bootup (only if the pc was off for an extended period of time) The event log showed disk errors and atapi errors and the crash dumps were inconclusive, so I uninstalled all of the software that might be suspect (except the Comodo Firewall that I was so impressed with). Actually I convinced myself that the problem with the 5000+ was hardware related, although all the hardware tests passed repeatedly. So at my hardware vendor’s insistant request I reloaded the OS from scratch. And the crashes are gone. As it will take another week to reconfigure the 5000+ I recycled the 3300+ and noted that all of the crash dumps showed cmdmon.sys as the likely cause. And as I now could no longer accept random crashes in a first line production machine. I discovered that it was, first of all, Comodo software, second of all it was installed on 11-23-2006 and modified 2-11-2007(!!!) which coincided with the AMD 5000+ crashes. I uninstalled Comodo from the 3300+ when I checked and noticed that your most recent update didn’t change the cmdmon.sys file and the random crashes are gone.
Gentlemen and ladies, I won’t trouble you with my resume, but I do need to add that I’m no novice. So when I say the following it is from experience… Your firewall is a very promising beta product. I ran across similar issues with Jetico’s rev 1 beta release. But they labled their software Beta. And since I uninstalled Comodo, I’ve tried their 1.0 production release and it works (so far - on one machine) Frankly had I realized that Comodo was beta-ware, I wouldn’t have implimented it in a mission critical, production environment.
I’d like to conclude only by remarking that my principal complaint is not with your software… it shows real promise and I’m certain it works on certain platforms. Some day it very well might be the very best firewall anywhere. But rather, my complaint is with your revision levels. A 2.x revision level indicates that the software was 100% stable and has had one major upgrade… (well anywhere except M…soft) As my best friend (senior engineer for a fortune 100 tech firm) says, software needs to be rock solid first before you worry about how it works otherwise. Firewalls that crash computers aren’t stable and those that use 23% -100% CPU aren’t acceptable. I would very much like to try Comodo again when all the kinks are worked out. But how am I to tell when that happens? Perhaps you might label it “Production Release”? Well, I’ll stop by regularly and watch your progress, when you get to a revision level that’s solid, please post same in the announcement section. I wish your firewall development team great success.
Otherwise, as I’m posting a long missive anyway… I might add that I looked at your data backup product, also not suitable for backups in a production network environment where there is no way to tell who has a file open at the time of an automatic backup. The software needs at least microsoft shadow copy or peferably some better way of backing up open files and industry standard security practices require that all off site data storage be done in a highly encrypted fashion (which I didn’t notice in your software). According to your resume, the encryption feature should be easy for you to impliment, and worse come to worse shadow copy in XP might resolve the open file problem, but you could likely do much better.
If I’ve been overly critical please forgive me, I will be reloading and configuring a very complex computer for the next week or so, aside from and beyond my regular 60 hr/wk job requirements and I’m not really happy about it. But if I didn’t see great potential in your software, I would not have taken the time to send you this comment.