This is not 1985 when the only thing you had to worry about was what might be on the floppy disks you exchanged with your friends. Today, your Browser is the conduit into your computer – that’s the route by which the majority of malware spreads.
In an age when Internet threats present an ever-evolving, and increasingly sophisticated danger, to a user’s security, privacy, and identity, specialty Internet Browsers like Comodo IceDragon, are becoming much more popular.
Why should this be so – and, what’s the difference between Comodo IceDragon, and regular old Firefox?
First: You’ll notice during the installation process (screen capture shown below), you’ll have the option of choosing Comodo’s secure DNS servers. You may choose to implement this security feature system wide – or, you may choose instead to protect IceDragon only.
There’s not much point in choosing to opt out – since doing so, defeats one of the primary benefits of running with IceDragon.
While the developer points out that you may have potential issues to address, should you choose to run through a VPN – I didn’t experience any problems running through my favorite VPN – TunnelBear – free edition.
Do not be influenced by my choice (as shown below) – choose a setting that reflects your usage pattern.
FYI: If you’re concerned with DNS security, you do have choices over and above running with a Browser which incorporates a DNS security feature. There are a number of free, beefed-up DNS services – including Google Public DNS.
Second: Comodo has built into the Browser, it’s Site Inspector – a feature which must be manually launched by clicking on the related Icon, as shown in the following screen capture. My Australian mate Mal C., swears by this feature.
A quick click (either on a link – or, while on a page), will provide the user with a report as to whether “malicious activity or malware has been detected on the site in question.”
Here’s a shot of a probe on Yahoo.
So, is this being overplayed – or, is this really an issue?
The very small sample of malicious sites, shown in the following screen shot, should help convince you that it is an issue.
So, what about my site – how’s it doing?
You’ll note in the screen capture below, that we’re free of malware or malicious activity here. Not surprising, since I use Comodo’s Web Inspector alert as a line of defense to protect this site.
Third: If you’re a social media site affectionado then, Comodo has you covered with the addition of a social media button. A quick click will launch a log-in page for Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin (user selectable).
On the face of it, this feature may not seem as if it means very much. But, if it helps stop users from logging in using links contained in emails, for example – then, potentially it has substantial value.
So, how does it look when compared with a “regular” version of Firefox?
Running with IceDragon – no add-ons or customization – yet.
My regular Firefox with selected add-ons.
The options menus appears slightly different that that in Firefox – but, the only noteworthy difference I found was, a user has an additional opportunity to turn on/turn off – the DNS feature as described earlier.
Fully compatible with Firefox plug-ins and extensions – according to Comodo.
Fast, easy to use and light on PC resources
Scan web-pages for malware right from the browser
Lightning fast page loads with integrated DNS service
Privacy and performance enhancements over Firefox core
Full compatibility with Firefox plug-ins
System requirements: Windows 7, Vista, – 32/64 bit. Tested on Windows 8 for this review.
Download at: Comodo
User Guide: Should you need help with CID, check out the online user guide.
You may be are aware that Comodo initially developed a version of Chromium/Chrome (Comodo Dragon), which has essentially the same features as described in this review of IceDragon.
I reviewed that version in February 2010. It’s worth noting, that substantial improvements have been made in the application since that review. Further information on this browser is available at the developer’s site, here.