Comodo Free Firewallversion 2.4 Vs. Zonealarm Free 6.5.737 -- Newbie is unsure


Some stats first: XP Pro SP2, Dial-up (and most likely AVG Antimalware or A/V)

I currently use ZA Free 7.0.302, but due to the size of it (since the Pro stuff is included but just turned off) and it possibly acting weird, I was going to use ZA Free 6.5.737 (smaller program) on my replacement laptop coming up instead. Then Comodo Free FirewallVersion 2.4 was recommended to me. I’ve been hearing good things about it, but it was also mentioned to me that perhaps a “rules-based firewall” would not be ideal for me. I really want to be able to install and forget it.

I’ve looked at some threads and some stuff about Comodo around here, and, I have to admit, while it’s got a nice interface, it does look more than a little daunting. I’m leaning towards just using the old ZA version (6.5) because I’m familiar with ZA (having spent a ton of time posting about issues I’ve had with 7.0.302) – and if Comodo ended up being too much for me, I’d hate to have to uninstall a firewall and install a different one (as I know that can lead to all sorts of problems for newbies). So I’m tempted to go with what’s familiar. (I don’t go to a lot of weird websites, and, again, I just have dial-up…)

I’ve also seen test results, with Comodo having better results for “leak tests” – but it was also pointed out to me that “leaks” are the biggest threat.

This firewall stuff kind of makes my head spin since I’m no expert, but I’m trying to decide what I should go with between these two on my new replacement laptop. Opinions with explanations understandable by a non-expert/layman/newbie are appreciated! :slight_smile:


I can only say from one rookie to another, I would go with Comodo. I am also intimidated by rules and all the techno talk, but once you install and let it ask you a few rules, you are basically never bothered by comodo. I had Zone Alarm and had several problems with it. Since I put the Comodo Firewall, no problems at all. Just one opinion!!

Thanks for the reply!

All the “rules” are the thing that scares me. None of that with ZA Free. How easy is it to uninstall Comodo if need be? Any issues with that?

Any other thoughts on one vs. the other from anybody?

Thanks again!

Hi down-the-commode and welcome to the forums (:WAV)

As i like you, i am new to all this i feel i can add my bit in here, i am in no way trying to lean on you to use Comodo software that will always be your decision.

If your only worry is that it might be daunting i can assure you first hand that you are not alone, i to felt the same way when i first insalled.

Pros and cons of CPF
Pros:The best firewall out there without a doubt…(free as well)
Cons:You might think that it will consume you…

I will tell u this, if u decide to use CFP u have a great way to ask all those unknown questions in HERE, no matter how trivial you think ur qustion is, it will b dealt with in a quick and proffesional way(i know this from previous experience (:TNG))

To sum up i have been using comodo for some time now and i have not felt overwhelmed with the firewall in anyway, basicly let it run at first and learn the various other programs u have on your system and then i pretty much runs itself.

Goodluck with whatever firewall u choose
novie :■■■■

Thanks for the reply!

How easy is it to uninstall Comodo, if I were to try it first, and decided to go with the ZA one instead afterwards (if I thought it was too difficult or time-consuming to use – not that ZA hasn’t been enormously time-consuming up until now, at least 7.0.302 was!)? I know that ZA can be tricky to uninstall cleanly.

Does Comodo have a log section that shows you what the firewall has blocked and what it has allowed? And a log that shows you what was blocked/allowed with various programs?

And are there any other opinions maybe with more specifics or details about one vs. the other?

Any experts on the board that may want to chime in?

Thanks again! :slight_smile:

Hiya and a warm welcome to the forums!
I used ZA for several years before I encountered Comodo. ZA used to be good but has nowadays become too bloated and unstable. Comodo, on the other hand, has been a trusty companion ever since I first used it. I admit that all the rules can be a little intimidating at first but everybody using it has started at exactly the same point as you - intimidated, unsure and far from being a pro. I’m pretty much sure that’s the point we’re all at now - to a certain extend - with CPF 3 alpha.
Let’s get to the point:
IMO Comodo is by far superior to ZA and, as was already stated, can also become kind of a ‘set and forget’ firewall if you wish. The more you get into it, the more you’ll apreciate how configurable it is. Every question you might come across will be more than willingly answered in the forums and once you get the hang of it you’ll find CPF not so intimidating anymore. In fact, once you understand the underlying ‘logic’ it’s mostly as easy to handle as hammering a nail into jelly.
My advice - cause this is what I did and what I’ve never regretted: go for CPF and consult the forums in case there should be any problems. The folks here are amazing and always willing to help.

…The folks here are amazing and always willing to help…

you said it Grampa!

that is exactly what makes our products different: Our people! our users, our developers and how they interact together to help everyone!

ps: of course it also helps that our dev guys are bloody brilliant at what they do too :slight_smile:


Hiya and welcome to Comodo!

ZA Free is far less secure than Comodo is with regards to leak tests. It is also very easy to uninstall and uses far less memory than ZA free or Pro.

Firstly, install CPF after uninstalling ZA and use the Automatic Settings. Once you reboot your machine you will initially get a number of popups but don’t be daunted by this just follow the following instructions…

If your on a network do set the network IP Address a Trusted. This can be done by going to SECURITY>>>Tasks and Add/Remove/Modify Zone and add your network or router IP address as trusted.

The next thing to do is “Scan for known applications” This will save a lot of time as far as popups are concerned.

Reboot your machine and you’re done.

To Uninstall just click on Start >>> Programs >>> Comodo and click on Uninstall (Takes about 30 seconds on a modern machine and reboot. That’s it! There may be a left over folder in your Program Files called Comodo but it’ll be empty.

Also have a look at Comodo Boclean!


Thanks for all the replies!

Just playing devil’s advocate a bit… Re: Leak Tests – I was told that this isn’t that major because:

“If you are infected to the extent that the infector can disable or circumvent your firewall, then you should be focusing on your antivirus and antitrojan protection and not the firewall. It is too late to be worried about firewall “leaks”, it is time to worry about malware removal. You were not infected because of firewall “leaks”, and you need to focus on the problem not the outbound blocking sufficiency of your firewall.”

So while Comodo does rate high on the leak test passing, according to this person, it’s not that vital. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but I thought I’d post it!

Re: Grampa’s statement about ZA becoming bloated and unstalbe – That’s certainly true about 7.x, which is why I’m not going to use that anymore. And that’s why I was considering going back to the more streamlined 6.5.x.

I’m also still wondering about this:

Does Comodo have a log section that shows you what the firewall has blocked and what it has allowed? And a log that shows you what was blocked/allowed with various programs?

Thanks again! Looking forward to hearing back!

The depends on the situation and perspective. At the very least CFP is capable of preventing the malware from phone home with your private/sensitive data. That’s basically what anti-leaking is about. If outbound protection wasn’t important, why not just stick with the Windows firewall? There’s a reason why CFP is distinguished as one of the best (the best IMO) firewalls. You should wait and see when version 3 rolls out…

Well, I admit the person who made that quote about the leaks was a MS person… :wink:

So are you saying I should use ZA until Comodo 3.0 comes out? Or will it be easy to upgrade from 2.4 to 3.0?

Does Comodo have a log section that shows you what the firewall has blocked and what it has allowed? And a log that shows you what was blocked/allowed with various programs?


…If you are infected to the extent that the infector can disable or circumvent your firewall…
of course at the end of the day, theoritically that is true, but is this what really happens in practice? We would love to see some malware that infects and bypasses our firewall’s outbound protection. Its not impossible, its just that we haven’t seen any yet hence it provides you a good protection. In security, get as much help as possible from every possible aspect as there is no single solution to security problems!


I’m saying if you want to reclaim your computer speed then switch to 2.4 now.

If it doesn’t then it’s not a true firewall :-*

Okay, thanks!

  1. So can you (or anybody) provide the best way to set this up on a new laptop?

  2. Do I need to install it before I install AVG Antimalware Pro? (Which is A/V and Antispyware.)

  3. I see recommendations about running something in it called "Learn Mode"or something. But I’ll need to uninstall all the ■■■■ programs on the laptop first, because I wouldn’t want it to learn the ■■■■ programs, is that right?

  4. I also saw something about it being problematic if you’re behind a router. I’ll also be behind a router on high-speed internet when I install (I’m setting up the laptop at a friends’ house to use his high-speed internet for Windows Updates, etc.), but normally I’ll be at home on dial-up w/ no router. So how will that work? I don’t really want to set it up for router/high-speed when I’ll normally be using dial-up.

Any help with these would be appreciated! I need to get this all straight before Wednesday! :slight_smile:

(Or should I start a new thread with these questions…?)

Thanks again!

I’ll try to answer your questions as good as I can (for version 2.4-that’s what you want, isn’t it?!). So here we go:

  1. just install and choose ‘automatic’ installation. Like this you’ll already have a very good and mostly sufficient set of network rules and don’t have to create them yourself.
  2. I installed it in safe mode: no AV / AS to interfere = no problems. Otherwise it’s better to turn off other security programmes or to install the firewall first.
  3. THe only part of CPF that can be set to “learn mode” is the “component monitor”. In this section you can allow or block every single component that is loaded with a respective programme. It’s advisable to set it to “learn mode” and leave it like this for about 2 weeks (or long enough that every component has been loaded with a prog once). Then switch to on and you’ll be warned about every new component that is trying to load with a prog.
  4. Bloody hell, I haven’t had the need to change / set up anything in quite some time and my brain’s like a sieve. I’ve forgotten if you need to do anything about this :-\ If you connect via a LAN I think you have to define it as a trusted network (SECURITY / TASKS). If you connect directly via the router I’d just give it a try without creating any new rules. You might want to have a read here:
    If you have any more specific problems, I’m sure I can help but like this I’m afraid I have forgotten until you can name a ‘real’ problem. Sorry.
    Hope that helps.

You’ll never steer wrong with grampa’s advices.

Please if you do have different specific questions.