Comparing Comodo vs Outpost – firewall comparison

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comodo vs outpost graphic

 

Comodo vs Outpost

 

Following our previous discussion on comparing different firewalls , we are going to compare Comodo vs Outpost, today.

Comodo firewall is considered a veteran in the Internet security industry. Outpost has a long history of being at the forefront of the industry too and it used to be a very popular firewall. But today, it suffers from a very serious problem; Outpost was discontinued in late 2015 and it is no longer supported by its manufacturer. Getting discontinued is a very important issue, especially for Internet security tools, because they need to get updated constantly, so they can be able to fight new viruses and threats.

 

History

Outpost is a product of Agnitum, a computer security company that was founded in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1999. The founders of Agnitum, Mikhail Zakhryapin and Alexei Elagin were students at Baltic State Technical University, back then.

Agnitum’s first products were a proto-firewall called Jammer and an anti-Trojan system called Tauscan. Soon after that, they released the first version of Outpost Firewall in 2002, which later became their most important product. In the next years, Outpost saw several new versions which in addition to the firewall, also had antivirus, antispam, proactive protection, and intrusion detection components.

In December 2015, Outpost 9.3 was released which enjoyed a cloud-based analyzer, among other features. But soon after, Yandex, a Russian firm that owns the most popular general-purpose search engine in Russia, acquired Agnitum and announced that they planned to use Agnitum’s resources to improve the security of the Yandex web browser.

As a result, in 2016, Agnitum officially discontinued its antivirus base updates, bug fixing, technical support, and stopped distribution of its Outpost products. A year later, Agnitum shut down its website and user forum, as well.

Comodo Security Solutions, Inc. was founded by Melih Abdulhayoğlu, an electronics engineer and entrepreneur in 1998, in Bradford, UK, and was relocated to the US in 2004. The cybersecurity company is now headquartered in Clifton, New Jersey, in the United States and has extended its activities, so now, in addition to creating security software, the Comodo group also has a company that provides managed DNS services and a company that issues SSL and other digital certificates.

 

comodo firewall User interface

 

Editions and platform compatibility

Outpost is compatible with Microsoft Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, and Windows XP on both 32-bit and 64-bit setups. Comodo firewall supports the same Windows versions. So neither Comodo firewall, nor Outpost firewall can be installed on macOS or Linux, although Comodo has antivirus applications for macOS and Linux.

Comodo also has a free mobile security application that can be downloaded from online app stores for iOS and Android.

Comodo offers free editions of its antivirus and firewall programs, but to get your hands on the whole package with all the features and options, you need to purchase a license. Likewise, Outpost used to have a paid version as well as a free version with limited features. But, now that its official distribution has been stopped, purchasing the full version is no longer possible.

Trust policy in Comodo vs Outpost

Comodo promotes Zero Trust Security, which means every application is denied access until they are verified. 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 can be at risk. But the Comodo’s strict approach solves this problem, without creating too many alerts for the user.

Outpost Firewall has pre-set rules for many popular applications (but obviously nothing for applications introduced after 2015, since it was discontinued after that.) How Outpost deals with new and unknown applications depends on the Firewall policy chosen by the user. For example, Outpost has a Block Most policy that if selected, gives Outpost Software a very suspicious attitude and makes it block all network connections from all applications except those that are explicitly allowed by the existing rules (including pre-set and user rules.) But the default policy that is active when the Outpost is first installed is called Rules Wizard that allows the user to determine whether an application should be allowed a network connection to a specific address and port, the first time that application is run. To that end, the Outpost firewall displays a prompt each time a new application or process (for which no rules are specified) requests network access or when an application requests a connection that is not covered by its existing rules.

So, at least in its default mode, the Outpost firewall has a similar way of thinking to the Comodo firewall, but it does not benefit from a huge safe-list of trusted files and applications like Comodo does. This puts the burden of whitelisting many applications on the user. Therefore, in the Comodo vs Outpost race, the former is more efficient in terms of trust policy.

 

generic firewall graphic

 

Similar features and properties in Comodo and Outpost

 

  • Both Comodo and Outpost have different types of Internet security tools in their software packages, including but not limited to, firewall, antivirus and Host Intrusion Protection System (HIPS).
  • Comodo and Outpost are both two-way firewalls, i.e. they monitor all the traffic coming in and out of your computer and make sure no inbound or outbound threat exists. This way, they can prevent hackers from accessing your system, and stop malware that you might have on your system from connecting to the Internet, as well.
  • They both can set your computer to stealth mode, making its ports invisible to the attackers. When the stealth mode is on, your system doesn’t respond to probing requests at all, like it does not exist. It can trick hackers into thinking your computer really does not exist, so they stop attacking it. Although in reality, the stealth mode does not make you completely invisible, and a powerful hacker might still be able to find ways to track you down. But it definitely makes your system much safer by making it harder for hackers to see you.
  • Comodo and Outpost both offer some web protection and email security features in their software package. Comodo has an anti-spam feature. It 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. Outpost provides its users with a pop-up blocker and spyware filter for Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Outpost’s web surfing security tools include black-lists for IPs and URLs, unwanted web page element filters, and ad-blocking.
  • Similar to Comodo, Outpost firewall has a self-learning mode. This mode is especially helpful for reducing the alerts created by the firewall. In the self-learning Mode, the firewall automatically study and learn typical activities performed by a system, and later permits the safe applications to run without any alerts.
  • Outpost users can enjoy its Entertainment Mode that is designed to avoid bothering users with product prompts and alerts. Once the full-screen application (a game, media player, etc.) is detected by Outpost, it suggests entering Entertainment Mode, in which the application does not check for updates and no alerts and messages are displayed, despite the protection being active. Comodo offers a similar option called the Game Mode.
  • Outpost and Comodo antivirus programs both offer a custom scan option, which allows you to explicitly select the locations on your computer you want to be scanned.

 

outpost firewall user interface

 

Comodo pros and Outpost cons

 

  • The Comodo vs Outpost battle has an obvious winner in terms of protection power. Of course, both firewalls have a stunning history of winning numerous awards that is an indication of their successful performances in reliable tests. But since Outpost was discontinued years ago, Comodo is the only one out of the two firewalls which has won those awards, recently. Every day, the Internet is faced with new security challenges. Naturally, an outdated firewall or antivirus can't be expected to perform well against these new threats.
  • Unlike Outpost, 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 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.
  • Unlike Comodo, Outbox does not offer online assistance, or any kind of assistance for that matter, as a result of being discontinued.

Similar weaknesses

 

  • None of these firewalls work for macOS or Linux, although Comodo antivirus supports Linux and macOS.
  • Not Comodo nor Outbox is specifically designed for protecting your system against the risks created by remote desktop applications. So, if that is a major concern for you, you should 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 [internal link to https://sunfirewall.com/change-rdp-port.php] to keep hackers from attacking your remote clients.

Conclusion

The fact that the Outpost firewall is no longer supported by its manufacturer should be enough for most people to decide the winner of Comodo vs Outpost, very easily. That being said, our comparison once again showed that Outpost was a remarkable firewall back in its time.

Published by Blogger at 2020 May 03