Comodo vs GlassWire: a Firewall Comparison
Since having a trustworthy firewall for any computer that is connected to the Internet or even a local network is of enormous importance, here we are going to compare Comodo vs GlassWire to help you find the firewall that fulfills your needs, the best.
To neutralize online security threats, such as hackers, viruses, and malware that try to access your computer over the Internet or through the local network, a firewall examines all the information coming in and out of your network connection and block any dangerous content and threatening communications. A firewall can be a hardware device, a software utility, or a combination of both.
We have compared some software firewalls such as ZoneAlarm , Outpost, and TinyWall in our previous posts. Comodo and GlassWire are two other software firewalls that have been able to make a name for themselves. In this firewall comparison article, you can read a review of Comodo vs GlassWire, and discover some of their features and functionality that have made each software popular and successful.
Comodo Security Solutions, Inc. was founded by Melih Abdulhayoğlu, a Turkish-born electronics engineer and entrepreneur in 1998, in Bradford, UK. The cybersecurity company relocated to the US in 2004 and is now headquartered in Clifton, New Jersey, in the United States. Comodo Security Solutions, Inc. is a part of the Comodo Group, which also has a company that provides managed DNS services and a company that issues SSL and other digital certificates.
Unlike Comodo, GlassWire is not a veteran in the industry, nor is it distributed by a big famous company. GlassWire, a product of SecureMix LLC, was created by Austin-based, American software developers, John Hundley and Anton Bondar, in 2014. According to John Hundley, after his system got hacked and caused him lots of troubles, he decided to build a piece of software that would allow him to keep tabs on what his computer was connecting to behind the scenes, so he created GlassWire.
Editions and platform compatibility
Both Comodo and GlassWire offer a free, but limited, edition of their product, but if you want to have their whole packages with all the features and options, you need to purchase a license. Comodo’s free products include a free personal firewall as well as a free antivirus program. The free version of GlassWire includes its extreme network monitoring functionality where you can see your current and past network activity in detail. GlassWire's free version also allows you to monitor one PC remotely. But the free version of GlassWire has no firewall functionality, and none of the security features are activated if you get the free version of GlassWire.
GlassWire firewall supports Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10. GlassWire also has a free Android application that can be used to keep track of your mobile data usage and Wi-Fi Internet activity, and block problematic apps, accordingly.
Comodo has antivirus applications for Windows, macOS, and Linux, but the Comodo firewall can only be installed on Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8, Vista, and XP. Comodo also has a free mobile security application for iOS and Android, which offers malware detection, VPN, ID protection, safe browsing, AppLock, SD Card protection, and cloud scanning.
Comodo, a full Internet security package with firewall and antivirus
The first step of comparing Comodo and GlassWire should be acknowledging the fact that they are very different tools with some essential differences and purposes.
Comodo Internet security tool seems to aim at creating a rich security package with many basic and advanced features for a wide range of users. For example, unlike GlassWire, Comodo provides users with an antivirus as well as a Host Intrusion Protection System (HIPS). HIPS is a security component that always monitors system activity and stops any process that tries to modify important files or interfaces. Comodo Internet Security has a default HIPS ruleset that starts working as soon as the program is installed, without any extra configuration or modification needed. For instance, HIPS automatically protects system-critical files, folders, and registry keys to prevent unauthorized modification by any malware. Advanced users also can use the option of creating their own custom policies and rulesets for HIPS.
Another important feature of Comodo that doesn’t exist in GlassWire is Sandbox technology. Comodo Internet Security's sandbox is an isolated operating environment for unknown applications. Running an application in the sandbox prevents it from permanently damaging or otherwise changing any other processes or data on your actual system. Applications in the sandbox are executed under a carefully selected set of privileges and write to a virtual file system and registry instead of the real system. Therefore, unknown applications can still run and operate as they normally do, without exposing the real system to any risk. At the same time, Comodo also introduces the unknown file to Comodo Cloud Scanners for automatic behavior analysis. If the scanners detect any malicious behavior, then the file is categorized as malware, so Comodo blocks it and alerts the user. Also the signature of the new malware is automatically added to the antivirus blacklist. This process helps Comodo achieve zero-day protection.
In terms of trust policy, Comodo has a very strict approach that roots in Comodo’s belief in Zero Trust Security. It means every application is denied access until they are verified by Comodo. This policy has resulted in the creation of Comodo’s Default Deny Protection (DDP). Per DDP, instead of keeping a list of known malware and viruses to decide which applications and files cannot be trusted, like many firewalls do, Comodo firewall uses a list of over two million known PC-friendly applications. So, if a file that is not on this safe-list tries to access your computer, Comodo immediately alerts you to inform you about the possibility of an attack. The problem with the usual approach is that if the list of dangerous files is incomplete or out-of-date, the computer is defenseless. But the Comodo’s special approach solves this problem, masterfully.
GlassWire, a network monitor with a built-in firewall
GlassWire is nothing like Comodo. GlassWire is mainly a network monitor and security tool with a built-in firewall. But it is not your typical third-party firewall. Maybe we should call it a "visual firewall," like its developers do. Because, GlassWire may not be the first piece of software to allow you to monitor your web and network activity, but, with its beautiful and easily understandable graphs, it is definitely one of the most successful and pleasant tools to do so. Instead of boring the user with complex charts of figures, GlassWire’s data visualizations help the users get what they need to know about their web usage and network activity, with a quick look.
So why would you want to know what is happening on your network and what can you do based on that knowledge? When there's a problem in your system’s Internet activity, it is not always easy to find out which app or site is causing it, because many of them interact and exchange data with the Internet or your local network. As a network monitor, GlassWire simplifies your network data and statistics and helps you understand what the problem is so you can act on it. For example you might suspect a program is malware but your antivirus has not realized it yet. To test your suspicion, GlassWire lets you submit the file to VirusTotal, a service that checks submitted apps against over 70 antivirus scanners and reports if the file is malicious according to any of them. At first, GlassWire only sends over a numeric hash of the file to check if it is a known file that VirusTotal can quickly recognize as a threat or otherwise. If the hash doesn’t work, GlassWire sends the entire file to VirusTotal for analysis, which can take a little longer to get results. Either way, if you finds out the file may cause any problem for your system, the least you can do is restricting its access to the Internet, and GlassWire enables you to do that, easily. Another helpful thing you can do using GlassWire is filter activity by protocol, for example to monitor just the HTTP traffic, i.e. you can find out which programs used the selected protocol.
Comodo vs GlassWire: Which is better for you?
When trying to choose a firewall, it is really important to know what you need and what is your purpose of getting a firewall. Here are a few points to consider while trying to decide between Comodo and GlassWire.
- GlassWire does not have a built-in antivirus, but it is compatible with most other antivirus programs. So you can use Windows built-in antivirus, Windows Defender, or some other antivirus software you have. As for the Comodo firewall, it is incompatible with most antivirus software packages, such as Avast, Kaspersky, Windows Defender, etc. But as mentioned earlier, Comodo has an antivirus that can be used alongside its firewall.
- When comparing Comodo vs GlassWire, in terms of Remote Desktop Protocol control, the latter is more helpful. GlassWire provides users with an option to detect RDP connections. In Windows, Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) connections can give full remote access and control to your computer. RDP has the potential of exposing your system to many risks, as if not handled carefully, it allows hackers to access your computer, see everything you do and access your files, etc. GlassWire can detect new RDP connections and let you know any time an RDP connection occurs. Then again, GlassWire is not specifically designed for protecting your system against the risks created by remote desktop applications, either. So, if remote desktop protection matters to you, you may want to find a firewall that specializes in that field. For example, SunFirewall is a firewall designed for remote desktop protection which has a variety of useful features, such as dynamically changing Remote Desktop Protocol’s Ports to keep hackers from attacking your remote clients.
- Many ordinary users do not really care to look at, let alone understand, their network activity. So despite GlassWire making it so much more clear and clean-cut, many users may lack the interest or knowledge required to understand many of its notifications and charts. Therefore, GlassWire, despite being user friendly and elegant, is not the best choice for ordinary users who do not know the first thing about the Internet networks. Comodo may have some advanced features as well, but it has many basic features that can be useful for ordinary users, too. So, comparing to GlassWire, Comodo seems to be a better option for non-tech-savvy users.
In this Comodo vs GlassWire comparison, we discussed some of the pros and cons of each firewall. Generally speaking, if you are looking for a bundle of Internet security tools that gives you the most options that general-purpose antivirus and firewall programs might offer, in one place, Comodo could be a better option for you. But if you are into monitoring your network traffic and want to have great tools to find the problem and control it yourself, you would find GlassWire a fascinating application.