I’d be happy to chime in on Comodo Firewall. Like many of the others who have responded, I have used a number of other firewalls, both commercial and free.
These include: Norton, McAfee, Trend Micro, Sygate, Jetico, Zone Alarm (Free and Pro), Sunbelt Kerio, Ashampoo, Black Ice.
Some were distinctly inferior not due to lack of protection, but because of complexity in configuration and use. Some were either reduced in functionality from the start or dropped features at the end of an initial period of use. Others had random issues, such as suddenly deciding that I didn’t need to be able to access the internet at all any more. In a number of cases, an internet lock feature would mysteriously be enabled and would have to be turned off to regain access; in one case, this would happen over and over and the only fixes available were to (1) turn off the firewall entirely and restart it, or (2) reboot the pc. As an avid online gamer, neither option was particularly appealing to me and tended to displease my fellow gamers. (:AGY)
I am a computer support technician and happened to be tasked with setting up a computer to be used outside our network’s protective firewall for an extended period (years, provided the machine runs that long) and immediately thought of Comodo Firewall to protect it. The user to whom the computer was assigned is extraordinarily non-technical and does not take to change very well at all, so it was critical that I be able to put a firewall on the machine which would (1) offer good solid protection, and (2) would protect without giving the user strange messages which would require a call to the helpdesk each time something happened.
Three weeks later, I’ve still only received one call and it was to tell me that the firewall was not activated - our email filter blocked the activation code from being delivered. I had another code sent to my personal mail and then forwarded it to her. She emailed me to tell me the code didn’t work, but after convincing her to copy and paste it from her email, it activated and has not given her a bit of trouble.
That, in itself, tells me that all the times I’ve recommended it to friends I haven’t asked them to try something that they can’t use. There are plenty of advanced features available, but you’re not bombarded with them.
I’ve only been using Comodo myself for maybe six months, if that long. I can’t say exactly, as I don’t generally leave a computer load alone for much over three or four months. (A freshly loaded computer runs better). So far, I have experienced only one problem and it was my fault. :o
I have to add that I did send one question in to support and had a response in an hour or less. I’ve waited days for responses from other companies, so that kind of service impressed me right away.
With positive experiences like these, I see no reason to look for another firewall and don’t hesitate to recommend Comodo to both friends and family. This has definitely been one of the best pieces of software I’ve ever stumbled onto.