How to Use COMODO Firewall

List of sections on this page:


3.0 How to Allow and Block Access Using COMODO Firewall

A firewall is a program designed to protect your computer from malicious hackers and malware. Both of these may attempt to directly access your computer, or send information from your computer to a third party. Comodo Firewall must be configured to 'learn' or record which applications are 'safe' and permit access to them, while blocking requests from unsafe software and rogue processes to your system. It may take a little experience over time to determine which requests are legitimate, and which are threats.

Every time Comodo Firewall receives a connection request, it activates a pop-up Firewall Alert prompting you to either Allow or Block access to your system to and from the Internet. The exercise that follows involving a safe program like Firefox will help you to become more familiar with firewall alerts and how to use them. Although exceptions are made sometimes for requests from universally accepted browsers and email programs, each time a connection request is made a Firewall Alert resembling the following appears:

Figure 1: An example of a COMODO Firewall Alert

A firewall is simply a set of rules for monitoring inbound and outbound traffic. Every time you click Allow or Block COMODO Firewall generates a rule for that process or program network connection request. COMODO Firewall does this for both new or unrecognised processes and programs, as well as those listed in the Trusted Software Vendors list, in the Defense+ - Tasks > Computer Security Policy window.

Remember my answer: This option is used to record whether you allowed or blocked a certain program from accessing COMODO Firewall. It will automatically allow or block connection requests from this program the next time it attempts to connect to your computer, based on whatever choice you have specified here.

Important: We strongly recommend disabling the Remember my answer option when you first start using COMODO Firewall. Decide whether to allow or block different connection requests, and then observe how or if your decision affects your system operation. Enable the Remember my answer option if and only if you are completely sure of your decision.

Tip: Being strict about limiting access to you system is the best approach to computer security. Do not hesitate to block any suspicious or unidentifiable requests. If this causes a normal program to stop functioning correctly, you can allow the process to run next time you receive a firewall alert.

Step 1. Click to activate the Properties window to learn more about the process or program requesting access, in this case, Firefox:

Figure 2: The firefox.exe Properties screen

Step 2: Click to close the program Properties screen.

Step 3: If you have either determined a request is unsafe, or are simply uncertain about it, based on the information displayed in the program Properties screen, click to direct COMODO Firewall to deny access to your system. OR: If you have determined that a legitimate program is making a non-malicious request, based on the information displayed in the program Properties screen, then click to allow it access to your system.

Step 4. Click to allow Firefox to access your system through COMODO Firewall.

Step 5. Given that Firefox is a safe program, check the option so that COMODO Firewall will allow Firefox to automatically access your system the next time.

Note: The Allow button lets you manually grant access to a process or program on a case-by-case basis.

Tip: Click to access the extensive COMODO Firewall help files online.

Your ability to make the correct allow or block decisions will improve as you become more confident and experienced in using COMODO Firewall.

3.1 How to Open the COMODO Firewall Main User Interface

COMODO Firewall will automatically start working after you have installed and restarted your system. It features an extensive control panel with numerous customisable features and options. Beginner level users will quickly learn how to deal with COMODO Firewall security alerts, while Experienced and Advanced users will learn about more complex firewall configuration and management.

Note: All the examples shown here are based on COMODO Firewall in Optimum Defense mode. This means that the Defense+ host intrusion prevention system is automatically enabled. If you have installed COMODO Firewall using the Firewall only option, Defense+ will not be enabled.

To open the COMODO Firewall main user interface, perform this step:

Step 1. Select Start > Programs > Comodo > Firewall > Comodo Firewall.

Note: Alternatively, you can either double-click the desktop icon, or double click the COMODO Firewall icon in the System Tray to open the main user interface. In addition, you may right-click the COMODO Firewall icon to activate its pop-up menu, and then select Open as follows:

Figure 3: The COMODO Firewall connectivity icon pop-up menu

Figure 4: The Comodo Firewall user interface in the default Summary mode

3.2 An Overview of the COMODO Firewall Main User Interface

The Firewall pane displays a clear and concise summary of inbound and outbound requests from processes and programs attempting to get through the COMODO Firewall. Quite typically, there are more outbound requests than inbound. The default operating mode is Safe Mode, and different operating modes will be outlined later in this section. Traffic displays the different processes and programs in operation, and the number of requests being made in terms of percentages.

Click to activate the corresponding detailed summary of the outbound requests at a given moment as follows:

Figure 5: An example of the Active Connections window displaying Internet traffic details

Click to activate a similar Active Connections window for the inbound requests at a given moment.

Tip: Click to stop all inbound and outbound requests, if your Internet service suddenly slows down or stalls, and you have reason to suspect a malicious process or program is either downloading itself or in operation. Doing so immediately sets the Firewall operational mode to . Review the detailed summary in the Active Connections window to identify the possible source of the problem.

After you are certain you have resolved the issue successfully, click to begin processing inbound and outbound requests to COMODO Firewall and return to as usual.

3.2.1 The COMODO Firewall Status icons

Both COMODO Firewall and Defense+ work together; if both programs are running, the indicator at the left of the main user interface appears as follows:

Figure 6: The green COMODO Firewall status icon

If either program is disabled, the status icon will indicate whether the firewall or proactive protection component is disabled as follows:

Figure 7: The yellow COMODO Firewall disabled status icon

However if both programs have been disabled, the status icon will appear as follows:

Figure 8: The yellow COMODO Firewall multiple protections disabled status icon

In either case, click to enable the corresponding protection.