ActiveSync and Comodo Firewall

November 15, 2006

I recently installed the Comodo Firewall since my old one Sygate FW has become obsolete, and although it seems quite nice and powerful there are some issues with it. One problem is that it often give false warnings about ‘parents’ (a program that launches another program), e.g. claiming that notepad tries to start Internet Explorer, when I have done it myself (this was a problem with Sygate too, but it actually seems worse here).

The other problem is that it seems to block quite a few things silently – for instance ActiveSync. To get it to work I had to turn off the whole thing, which might be a bad idea if you are not behind a hardware firewall. Seems like it blocks the mobile device from getting an automatic IP or somesuch. You have to make a custom rule to get it to work. I suggest you change this rule a little to allow a IP range instead of just the one IP just in case.  I’ll repeat the walkthrough by Egemen here in case the URL goes missing:

( in Comodo: )
1- Go to “Security->Nework Montitor”,
2- Right click on the first rule(Rule Id = 0)
3- Select Add Rule->Add Before
4-  Action “Allow”, Protocol “TCP”, Direction “In”
5- Source IP : “Single IP” = “169.254.2.1”,
6- Remote IP : “Any”
6- Source Port : “Any”
8- Remote Port : “Any”
9- Click Ok button.

My alternative is to change step 5 so that you get 101 available IPs:
5-Source IP : “IP Range” = “169.254.2.0”  to “169.254.2.100”

Thanks to this I at least learned that there are more reserved IP ranges than the 192.168.x.x range, and that the 192.254.0.0 to 192.255.255.255 is reserved for “Automatic Private IP Addressing” – making this rule quite safe to install.

(To be fair there are some things that I really like with Comodo, for instance that you can disallow certain URL or IPs for each program, so that you can allow a program to access the Internet, but you can disallow it from calling home by banning the home IP only.)

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Reinstalling Compact Framework 2.0

November 13, 2006

I recently did a hard reset on my device, but had problems installing CF2 because the installer complained that I already had installed it. (This seems like a bug to me – what if I had two Windows Mobile devices?)

Anyway, I didn’t want to uninstall then reinstall CF2 as suggested by the installer because I was afraid that it would mess up my settings and paths in Visual Studio.

To manually install CF2 just follow the instructions as for setting up the emulator – i.e. install the file NETCFv2.wm.armv4i.cab.