Comodo Review: Is Comodo Antivirus Any Good?
For regular users, the Comodo Antivirus may seem a bit too complicated. It offers an impressive list of advanced features that expert/tech-savvy users will appreciate. But in terms of phishing and ransomware protection, this software is not perfect.
That is why we can’t recommend it to advanced users. It’s not the worst solution on the market, of course, but it doesn’t appeal to a wide range of potential customers.
Furthermore, when installing the free edition, you need to be careful not to let the installer introduce any changes to your OS because the Comodo Antivirus will automatically change your primary search engine and browser.
The bottom line is – if you need a highly configurable antivirus with lots of features, this might be a good pick for you. For an average user, though, it is way too sophisticated.
Pros and Cons
We don't like:
- Best virus protection in free edition
- Email, phone, and live chat support
- One of the most effective sandboxes
- Highly configurable, thanks to hips
- Dragon, a safe browser, is available for free
|Money back Guarantee||30 days|
|Manual Virus Scanning|
|USB Virus Scan|
|Registry Startup Scan|
|Auto Virus Scanning|
|Ease of use||4/5|
- Owners of old computers and outdated operating systems
- Fans of complex and highly configurable software
- Users looking for a capable free antivirus
Reliability and Security
While there aren’t many third-party labs that tested Comodo’s performance, AV-Test did check it in 2018. The antivirus achieved a 100% protection rate against zero-day attacks (that includes email and web attacks).
In widespread malware testing, it also earned a perfect 100% score, with a combined 6/6 rating in virus protection. In performance, the lab gave it a 5/6 rating, as the app tends to slow down overall performance when active. In the Usability category (it mainly refers to false positives), Comodo earned 5.5/6, with a total of 16.5/18 points. Microsoft’s built-in Defender earned 17 points, while McAfee managed a perfect 18.
Our team also ran a series of tests: we tried to download EICAR files, and the antivirus was quick to protect the system from potentially dangerous apps and drive-by downloads. Still, most compressed software from the EICAR list also went by the antivirus unnoticed. However, once we added compressed extensions (.zip, for example) to the list of scanned file types, Comodo caught every single one.
Ransomware protection is decent, but the antivirus struggles when dealing with hand-made samples.
Sadly, Comodo failed at keeping our test phishing sites at bay, even though web filtering is listed as a feature available with Internet Security. Overall, it only blocked 15% of our phishing pages, which is one of the worst results on the market. For example, Avast managed 98% detection; Kaspersky detected 100% of the dangerous sites.
With the Comodo Antivirus, scans are always one click away. There’s a “Scan” button on the main menu – you don’t have to be a pro to find it. The regular Quick and Full scans are, of course, at your disposal, and you can launch them whenever you want. On average, the full scan takes 1 hour and 20 minutes, which is a bit slower than the industry standard, but still good enough.
Custom scans allow the user to hand-pick which files, folders, and apps should be tested, and you can set up multiple custom scans. Commonly infected areas, memory, and other areas are also available for scanning. Furthermore, you can “fine-tune” how sensitive the heuristic check should be. Comodo can connect to its cloud center to check file ratings for a more precise evaluation.
There’s also a Rating Scan: it goes through commonly infected areas and active processes. The interesting thing about this scan is that it creates a “reputation list” for the files on your OS. This list will include files that aren’t necessarily dangerous but shouldn’t be fully trusted. If you think there’s a malicious threat on your device, this scan might be able to clear things out for you.
Advanced Features For Techy Users
In Comodo, the sandbox tech is called Valkyrie, and it is a very powerful tool. With it, users can test-run suspicious/potentially dangerous files and programs in a secure environment. You can access it in a couple of clicks from the main menu. The sandbox can also be used to put the browser of your choice in a safe environment, thus protecting it from web-based threats.
Furthermore, this will prevent any malware already planted on the OS from monitoring user activity online. A virtual desktop is also available, but you’ll have to install Silverlight, a tool that Microsoft hasn’t been supporting for over six years. Still, a virtual desktop is a 100% isolated environment and provides max security.
Comodo Dragon is a highly secure browser that can be downloaded for free on the official website. It is available for Windows XP to Windows 10. It is excellent at blocking cookies, cutting out telemetry, blocking suspicious SSL certificates, and more. If you’ve been looking for a fast, secure, and flexible Chromium-based browser to improve Comodo security further, this is a safe bet.
Dragon only requires 40MB of hard drive space to run. While 32-bit operating systems are supported, the company recommends using 64-bit Windows systems. Some of the bonus features include forcing HTTPS connections, requesting detailed reports on the personal data your OS shares with the websites you visit, and more.
The Host Intrusion Prevention System is another advanced feature for techy users. It is very powerful, flexible, and allows you to set behavior rules for every single app on your OS. In the most basic mode, it only alerts users whenever an untrusted program tries to launch an exe file and lets him/her decide what to do with it.
When you install Comodo, HIPS is deactivated by default; you’ll have to find and turn it on by yourself. Be careful, though, because this tool is only for the expert users that know their way around security. Without the proper knowledge, you may end up damaging something in the system and not be able to fix it. Even for the experts, the scope for configuring OS security is genuinely massive.
Comodo Antivirus Performance
System impact is one of the most critical aspects of an antivirus product. In our Comodo Antivirus review, we can mention a significant negative effect on the test computer’s performance. Programs took longer to load and, overall, the OS runs slower once you install and run this software. On average, an antivirus slows down website loading by a second; with Comodo, expect that to be two seconds.
True, this isn’t a big deal-breaker, but users that put performance first might not like it. During robust benchmarks like Handbrake, this antivirus tends to slow down performance by 35%, which is one of the worst results in the industry. To put it simply, if you’re mostly browsing websites and don’t launch any CPU-heavy tests, scans, or rendering daily, Comodo won’t cause many problems.
Ease of Use
The download-installation process is very simple. Users won’t have any problems with getting the free version or purchasing one of the available packages.
The entire process takes only a couple of minutes: all you’ll have to do is follow the on-screen instructions. We have to warn you that the installation package will try to make Yahoo! the default browser and add dozens of tab pages.
Therefore, you shouldn’t rush through installation and make sure to uncheck this option. Overall, the Comodo Antivirus takes 15-20 minutes to install (including the scan that automatically starts after installation). This is longer than the industry average, but still ok. Most likely, the app will download the latest updates after the scan.
Comodo supports Windows, Mac, and Linux; it has always been a product for PC use. As for the UI, it is more complicated than in most rivals and can be a big turn-off for the average (inexperienced) user.
First of all, there is too much going on in every single menu; secondly, some options/settings are hard to find. Still, navigation is relatively easy, and you’ll find yourself accessing menus and turning things on and off in no time.
The one option that we need to warn you about is changing the theme. The thing is – the layout of the user interface will change along with it. Yes, that means you will have to learn your way around Comodo from scratch. There are no pop-ups telling what changing the theme will do.
By default, the app is always downloading new updates and “forcing” the user to restart the system, which is another thing most regular users won’t appreciate.
The free edition is quite impressive and perfectly capable of protecting your device. It’s important to note that Valkyrie (the sandbox), the cloud computing that’s processing the viruses and spyware scan are always the same.
That means you won’t have to purchase a paid edition to improve antivirus performance. For secure shopping and unlimited support, we recommend the Advanced Antivirus package.
Comodo Internet Security Pro, in turn, adds a firewall, web filtering (protection against phishing) and a virus-free guarantee. Finally, there’s IS Complete. On top of everything we just discussed, it adds 50GB of secure online storage and TrustConnect Wi-Fi Security. With TrustConnect, you can use a public Wi-Fi network without the risk of someone stealing your personal data (like credit card numbers).
Here are the available subscription plans:
- Advanced Antivirus: $19.99 (1 Device/1 Year)
- Internet Security Pro: $29.99 (3 Devices/1 Year), 25% Discount
- Internet Security Complete: $59.99 (3 Devices/1 Year), 35% Discount
And don’t forget to take advantage of the 30-day trials that are available with every single paid plan. A full month is more than enough to test the product out and decide whether you want to stick with it or not.
Customer service is one of those areas that usually define a company’s “attitude” towards the users. Sadly, support over the telephone is only available for premium (paying) customers. So, for this Comodo Antivirus review, we checked the Live Chat system. All you need to do to access it is to click the “How Can I Help You?” button in the bottom right corner.
Most of the time, there’s an AI on the other side of the Live Chat. It can’t give direct answers to some of the more difficult and detailed questions. During our test, we started with auto-answers, and then a real (human) agent joined the conversation. There’s also a forum available, but finding answers on dedicated forums is usually a very hard task.
Alternatives to Comodo Antivirus
Looking for good alternatives to Comodo? We can help you:
Comodo Internet Security Video Review: Test vs Malware
Finally, there’s an Online Help option, and, in many ways, it is the best form of support on the website. It’s something like a knowledge base, but more advanced and helpful. As mentioned, if you need unlimited support, you’ll have to pay $19.99 a year to get it with Advanced Antivirus. And with Comodo Internet Security Pro, you will also get expert virus removal assistance.