Comparing Comodo firewall vs TinyWall firewall

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comodo vs tinywall graphic

 

Comodo vs TinyWall

If you are looking for a powerful firewall, especially on a low budget, you may end up comparing Comodo vs TinyWall to select one of them as your final choice, as TinyWall is completely free and Comodo has a free version. This Comodo vs TinyWall comparison will help you decide which software is a better fit for your needs.

A firewall is a security system that prevents unauthorized access to a computer, by monitoring incoming and outgoing network traffic and using a defined set of security rules to detect and block any unsafe and unwanted network communication. A firewall can be a hardware device, a software utility, or a combination of both.

Here, we are dealing with two software firewalls, TinyWall and Comodo firewall, which are very different in many aspects. For starters, unlike Comodo which is a veteran and a big name in the Internet security industry, TinyWall is a rather young firewall that is created by a single individual.

 

Creators

TinyWall is a lightweight firewall that was created by Károly Pados, a computer engineer from Budapest, Hungary, in 2011. Pados has been working on the TinyWall project, ever since and he successfully released the latest version of his software, TinyWall 3.0, in 2020. The recent version has seen some major improvements compared to the earlier versions, including a completely new firewall engine.

The Comodo group was founded by Melih Abdulhayoğlu, a Turkish-born electronics engineer in 1998, in Bradford, UK. The cybersecurity firm is now headquartered in Clifton, New Jersey, in the United States. Today, the Comodo group is composed of three companies, including Comodo CA Limited (Sectigo) which is a digital certificate authority that issues SSL and other digital certificates, Comodo Security Solutions, Inc. that develops security software for commercial and consumer use and DNS.com that provides managed DNS services.

Price and supported platforms

TinyWall is 100% free and does not have any paid version. It does not even show you any advertisements.

Comodo offers free editions of its antivirus and firewall programs, but if you want to have the whole package with all the features and options, you need to purchase a license.

Comodo has antivirus applications for Windows, macOS, and Linux, but the Comodo firewall can only be installed on Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista and XP. TinyWall only supports Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Comodo also has a free mobile security application for iOS and Android. TinyWall does not have any mobile application.

TinyWall was made with single private users and small-office computers in mind. So, TinyWall is not a good choice for headless machines, servers, and networks with more than 5 computers, as it does not support command-line interfaces, remote management, and domain-controller integration. This is not an issue with Comodo. Besides, Comodo also offers an Enterprise Security product with features specially designed for companies and organizations.

tinywall’s compact design

Comodo’s featured characteristics

Comodo Internet security package provides users with a wide variety of security features and functions. For example, unlike TinyWall, Comodo Internet security package includes 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 rule-set 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 rule-sets for HIPS.

Another important characteristic of Comodo is its strict and rather idealistic approach when it comes to trusting files. Comodo believes in Zero Trust Security, which means they deny all and verify all before giving access. 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.

 

TinyWall’s featured characteristics

Comparing Comodo vs TinyWall in terms of their main viewpoints and goals shows us how essentially different they truly are. TinyWall was initially created as an indeed tiny and simple utility to allow users to control the Windows firewall better and more efficiently. So it was not even an independent firewall at first. But in 2020, a new improved version of TinyWall was released with a special focus on improving its firewall engine. Therefore, from TinyWall 3.0 onwards, TinyWall does not need to piggyback on the Windows’ built-firewall anymore. Instead, it acts as a standalone firewall that can directly talk to the network layers in the Windows kernel. Nevertheless, TinyWall can still be used side-by-side by Windows Firewall, without any performance issues.

But even as an independent firewall, TinyWall still stresses on being simple, lightweight and not adding much more than what is absolutely necessary in a firewall.

We reviewed Comodo’s Zero Trust Security approach earlier. It seems like TinyWall has a similar mindset, even though its solution is much simpler and less efficient than Comodo. Immediately after installation, TinyWall blocks all connections for all programs, except a handful of browsers and other known programs. But other than that, it blocks almost everything else. After that, it is up to the user to unblock anything he/she wants, one by one. Of course, you need to unblock every program only once, but it still can be irritating that you need to manually unblock some quite well-known and trusted applications. Although, in some cases, TinyWall may detect that a trusted program depends on some other processes and offers to unblock them, too.

 

comodo and tinywall use the zero trust security model 

Similar features

 

  • Both Comodo and TinyWall offer two-way firewall They monitor all the requests coming in and out of your system and control every inbound and outbound connection that is being established. This feature locks out hackers from accessing your system, and prevents malicious applications that you might have on your system from connecting to the Internet.
  • When comparing Comodo vs TinyWall, in terms of ability to stealth the system’s ports, through preventing your computer from responding to probing requests, both firewalls are competent.
  • You can use the Learning Mode in the TinyWall and the Comodo firewall, both. In this mode, the firewall automatically learns the programs that you want to allow to run, and later permits them to run without any questions.
  • TinyWall and Comodo security packages both enjoy the benefits of boot-time scans. Scanning during startup improves the chances of detecting and removing malware before it gets the opportunity to cause any damage.
  • Both enable you to create lists of domains and/or ports to always block.
  • Both allow you to whitelist trusted programs.
  • Both offer automatic updates.

 

Differences

As briefly mentioned earlier, Comodo vs TinyWall comparison tells us one very important difference between the two Internet security tools: TinyWall is purely a firewall, a very good one of that in fact, but that’s it. It provides users with the most commonly needed options, but does not offer any additional features beyond the main firewall modules. For example it does not function as an anti-malware or even an antivirus program.

But Comodo, offers several different services other than the firewall software, which some of them are even available in its free versions. For instance, the free version of Comodo Internet security package contains a personal firewall and a powerful antivirus. On one hand, this is a clear advantage for Comodo. But on the other hand, some users may not want to have to deal with more than what they really need. So ultimately, it is up to users to put this major difference on the list of the Comodo’s pros or TinyWall’s pros.

With that in mind, let’s review some of the other differences of the Comodo and TinyWall.

  • TinyWall is very lightweight (less than 2 MB) and uses much less computer resources while running on your system. Comodo is very good in terms of not using much resources, too, but TinyWall, with its minimum additional features policy, is something else, in this regard.
  • Unlike TinyWall, Comodo supports Sandbox technology to help with achieving zero-day protection. 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 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.
  • Unlike Comodo, TinyWall does not send out any information from your computer to the outside world or its servers. For example, TinyWall does not send out or otherwise collect telemetry, crash reports, information about your computer, operating system or other software, user habits, or IP address. The only exception is checking the current version of TinyWall running on your computer, when it tries to check for updates. But you can opt-out of automatic updates, so this little exception goes away, too. You can see this is quite the opposite approach that Comodo and many other antivirus and firewalls have. It definitely prevents TinyWall from using some great features like the Sandbox technology, but for some people, TinyWall’s policy can be easier to trust. So again, decide for yourself, do you consider this quality a pro or con for TinyWall?
  • Another interesting policy used by TinyWall is its "no pop up" rule. TinyWall is a very silent tool and it never shows any pop up when blocking or allowing any applications. Therefore, even if an important application is blocked, you will only find out when you see it can’t access the Internet. So yes, this may be annoying sometimes, especially with TinyWall’s “initially block almost everything” policy that we explained before. But it also gets rid of the most annoying side-effect of most firewall programs, i.e. pop-ups.
  • Comodo firewall allows you to turn on the Game Mode in which all the operations that could disturb a user’s gaming experience such as alerts, virus database updates or scheduled scans can be suppressed temporarily. TinyWall has some quick modes too, such as Normal protection, Allow outgoing, Block all, Allow all and Learning mode, but Game mode is not one of them. That said, TinyWall’s "no pop up" rule does make it a very non-intrusive firewall, at all times.
  • Comodo offers some web protection and email security features in its Internet security package. For example, it has an anti-spam feature. Comodo also has a free Firefox-based web browser called IceDragon. Comodo's SiteInspector malware detection system is integrated into IceDragon. Besides, Comodo offers a Secure Shopping tool that allows users to safely explore the Internet and run programs from within a security-hardened virtual environment. TinyWall does not offer any of these features.
  • TinyWall allows password lockdown of settings. Comodo firewall does not.

 

comodo versus Tinywall with shield graphic

Similar weaknesses

 

  • Not Comodo nor TinyWall offers a firewall for macOS or Linux, although Comodo antivirus supports Linux and macOS.
  • None of these two firewalls is specifically designed for protecting your system during remote desktop connections, so, if that is an important factor for you, make sure to find a firewall that specializes in remote desktop protection. For example, SunFirewall has a feature to detect suspicious remote desktop clients  as well as several more useful tools for remote desktop users.
  • TinyWall and Comodo are incompatible with most other Internet security applications. Comodo firewall is incompatible with Bitdefender, Avast, Kaspersky and many other antivirus software packages. TinyWall is not compatible with any firewall software other than Windows Firewall. Note that being able to install two firewalls at the same time does not mean they are necessarily compatible. Although, maybe this cannot be considered as a weakness, as it is the case with most firewalls.

Conclusion

If you are looking for the more complete Internet security package in the Comodo vs TinyWall contest, the former is the absolute winner. Also, in terms of protection power, Comodo is expected to be more powerful due to using more advanced methods such as the Sandbox technology.

But if you just need a free, lightweight firewall that uses very little computer resources, TinyWall is your answer. And since it has fewer options and features than Comodo, it has a very simple and straightforward user interface. In TinyWall, everything is right in front of you and you would not get confused in advanced menus and settings.

So, in the end, it is up to you to decide which software is a better choice for you.

Also, for making a smart choice, it doesn’t hurt to do some more digging. You can start by reading our other firewall comparison articles, like Comodo vs ZoneAlarm comparison.

Published by Blogger at 2020 April 23