Here’s an interesting alternative for those who need a more secure version of Firefox …
Comodo Ice Dragon should not be confused by Internet users with Comodo Dragon, a Chrome-based web browser that has been available for some time now. The two browsers share several traits, for instance Comodo’s commitment to making the browser more secure than the original product, or improving the browser’s resource usage.
Comodo Ice Dragon at the time of writing is only available on the Comodo forum and not on the official website. While it is not a beta product by any means, it looks as if Comodo plans to keep a low profile for the moment to sort out bugs and issues that users of the browser report to the company.
This also shows in the version of Firefox that is currently used for Comodo Ice Dragon. At the time of writing, Firefox 13 was used as the core, and not the recently released Firefox 14.0.1 version. Considering that Firefox 14.0.1 resolved various security fixes, it is definitely cause for concern if Comodo can’t keep up with new releases of the browser.
The first release of Comodo IceDragon introduces a handful of features that Comodo engineers have implemented on top of Firefox’s core engine.
- Option to enable Comodo Secure DNS during installation. Note that this will be implemented system-wide if accepted. It switches the system’s default DNS to Comodo’s which just like other third party DNS systems incorporates security features among other improvements.
- Comodo furthermore has added the company’s own Site Inspector feature natively into Ice Dragon. It is displayed as a button in the interface that you can click on to find out if malicious activity or malware has been detected on the site in question.
- Lastly, a social media button has been integrated into the browser’s main toolbar that you can utilize to share links on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
Both buttons can be removed from the interface, but the underlying programs can’t be removed from the browser as they are not listed as add-ons.
The majority of browser add-ons will work in Comodo IceDragon as well. It is different when it comes to themes which most of the time won’t work properly which can probably be attributed to the design changes introduced in the browser.
When you look at the feature set that Comodo added to the Firefox browser, you will notice that it is not really adding that many security related features to it. For now, it looks more like a way to distribute Comodo products with a browser than to improve the browser’s security significantly.
Firefox users on the other hand should feel right at home as everything is at its usual place in Ice Dragon.
Success or failure of Comodo Ice Dragon depends largely on how development will progress in the next couple of months. If the developers add additional security options to the browser it could become a viable alternative for security conscious Firefox users, especially if Comodo implements security features natively into the browser’s core.