When it Comes to Firewalls – Tried is True – Sygate Returns
I checked out Comodo, ran it for over a month, and in that month I had to de-install it 3 times and I went through at least one Comodo required reboot every week and when I was having trouble sometimes I would do three in a day, but today I was in a rush and had to get some things done so when I got the dreaded message about my session being reset I’d had enough and I quickly de-installed it and reinstalled Sygate.
Maybe Comodo is technically a better firewall at keeping out everything you could possibly run into on the net but maybe the effort that goes into attaining that rigid level of security is too much. You have to draw the line somewhere and Comodo requires too much management. Those tasks eat into productivity and spending all day working on your firewall defeats the purpose of being secure. I really wanted Comodo to work and I tried very hard to stick to my selection but I wouldn’t want my readers going through the hassles that I’ve had to. I’ve never had a problem from Sygate letting something bad through and I’ve never had to de-install it because I’d answered “no” to one of it’s approval prompts. I’m going to keep looking at firewalls because Sygate has ceased development on the product but for now I’m going back because it works 99.99% of the time and that is good enough for me and just about everyone else too. The thing that is really annoying is that Comodo’s GUI tells makes it look like I’ve corrected the issue and things should run but the only way to get my Internet connection up and running again was to de-install it and that just isn’t acceptable.
I’ve had a long history with Sygate, for those of you who are new to my issues with Firewalls please continue to read below. Or if you just want the to download the most practical Firewall I’ve been able to find you can just download it from this link.
I’ve always liked the Sygate firewall but after reading about Comodo’s PC Magazine pick and then the white paper following it up, I had to make the switch. I have had to de-install and re-install because I used the ‘component controls’ to block some of the processes initiated by Launchy. I guess there is a trade off between security and flexibility. I’m not sure if the security level attained by Comodo is worth the trouble so I may return to Sygate if the management of it interferes with my normal environment. For now I am sticking with the Comodo recommendation but we may change eventually. Below I have my old post on Sygate. This is the link to my current recommendation on Comodo.
Sygate Personal Firewall
I had been running Sygate for over a year when I received an offer to upgrade via a system notification. Unfortunately, the automated upgrade within the program didn’t work so I pulled up the Sygate web page and found out that they had been purchased by Symantec. I’m not a Symantec fan because when my computer was new it came with a trial copy of Symantec fire wall but when it came time to pay up, I decided not to license the software and when I tried to uninstall their software it locked up my system! I had a terrible time uninstalling it. Therefore, I wasn’t happy when I found out that Sygate was purchased by Symantec so I decided to look at other free firewalls. I downloaded Kerio and Zone Labs and I had problems with both. I liked Zone Labs but for some reason it locked up my system and I couldn’t figure it out so I had to uninstall it. I was bummed out because I really liked the interface. So I tried Kerio and that worked OK for a while but then I started having core memory dumps. I had three very scary events and after the third event I booted up my system and there was a window from Kerio apologizing for the event and saying that it was their fault and it wanted me to send them an automatically generated report. It took too long to compile the report so I had to hit cancel before it was complete and then I uninstalled it. So after all of my efforts I ended up finding my old, and free, version of Sygate again. It’s available on twocows. The free version is not available from Symantec’s page. The Sygate firewall works pretty well for me. I’ve had no problems with it. The GUI isn’t as fancy as some but it works and you can get the information you need. Best of all, it’s reliable. The motto of this whole experience… If it works don’t fix it!!!
I’ve copied the Comodo post below because there is some great information in it on firewalls in general and also links to every firewall product on the market.
I decided it was time to take another look at the free firewalls. I found an article on LifeHacker and then an article on ‘Freeware Genius’ (both great ‘Market Sight’ resources) and they led me to a product named Comodo, which I’d never heard of before. I was suspicious but impressed to find a review by PC magazine, which named it as one of the top firewalls (bar none). The research eventually led me to this report by MatouSec, which lists every firewall in the market, evaluates their performance, and identifies which products are free. I was blown away to find Comodo Firewall Pro, which was tagged as freeware, at the top of the list. That sealed the deal so I downloaded and installed it and now I’m a firm believer in Comodo Firewall Pro.
It uses about the same amount of resources as Sygate and Zone Labs, so no surprises there, and I was very satisfied with the simple and straight forward GUI they provide. Now I can say with Confidence that this is the best Firewall on the market, and it’s freeware and that makes it a crucial part of our ‘best of breed’ suite of products. You can download it at the link below!
As a side note, that report by MatouSec also provided a table that included link’s to all the firewall companies it reviewed.