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Review privacy Internet browser Comodo Dragon

Comodo Dragon is a privacy focused Internet browser based in open source Google Chromium. Its interface looks like Chrome but has been modified to add privacy features and stop Google from gathering personal data.

During browser installation you will be asked if you would like to use Comodo secure DNS, If you choose yes this will change your Internet Service Provider DNS servers making it more difficult  for your ISP to censor websites and spy on you. Websites you visit will be scanned to detect malware, when you click on a link taking you to a bad site Comodo Secure DNS will block it with a warning and give you the possibility to disregard the block, my experience so far has been that sometimes the wrong sites are blacklisted, there is the possibility to send feedback to Comodo when that happens.

Another security feature of Comodo Dragon is that it will always ask for SSL pages when available, looking up digital certificates and verifying them. The browser will also protect you from advertisements. An included extension called PrivDog will block Google Adsense and other tracking adverts replacing them with banners from AdTrustMedia, a company that does not use cookies to monitor what you do on the Internet. Privdog can be disabled and specific sites whitelisted if you would like to support them allowing adverts from those pages.

Comodo Secure DNS block
Comodo Secure DNS block

In Comodo Dragon privacy you can create different profiles, this way you do not have to erase cookies all the time, you can create a profile to be used in trusted sites and another one that you regularly erase to visit sites that track you across the Internet. And if you visit porn or warez sites the best is to switch to Comodo virtual mode, this will contain the browser inside a virtual box, stopping viruses from spreading to the operating system. In virtual mode any possible malware infection only lasts until you close the browser, the only consideration is that you need a little more RAM to run virtual mode than in normal mode. This is like having Sandboxie for free.

The few annoying things I found in Comodo Dragon were that changing the homepage, which is set to Yahoo by default, is not straight forward, more of a Google Chrome design fault than Comodo. To change Comodo Dragon homepage¬†go to “Settings” where it says “On Startup“, next to “open a specific page or set of pages“, click on “set pages“, this will take you to a box where to enter your favourite homepage, to erase the default Yahoo homepage hoover over the link and you will see a cross appearing next it, click on the cross and the default home page will be erased.

The second annoying thing was changing the default search engine. A smooth way to do that is visiting Google Chrome market place and add a privacy search engine addon like DuckDuckGo. You will be invited to sign up for a Google Account to keep your settings, it will be best if you don’t because this places again your life in the hands of Google and any NSA device they might have installed in their cloud servers.

If you are not a fan of the Chrome browser Comodo also builds a privacy focused Mozilla based browser called Comodo Ice Dragon, with a Firefox interface that lets you use FIrefox addons.

Visit Comodo Dragon homepage

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