Hi carol! I haven't tryed PCTools, but I can share my experience with firewalls and antiviruses.
Like ken, I've been looking for a antivirus/firewall solution (see Seeking opinions about combination antivirus/firewall products
) and after trying Outpost, Kaspersky and others, I've decided to come back to my beloved NOD32 and, finally... Comodo. I dismissed it at first, but Comodo is okay, and certainly has a good reputation for outbound filtering and leaking prevention.
One problem I had (and still have — but it’s now under control) with Comodo is with the "dll injections" monitoring. This has caused my CPU to go a bit crazy... so I've disabled the feature for now. Seems like an ok compromise because NOD32 already does great job at detecting suspicious activity.
One other small annoyance happens when I update software (usually FARR, these days...
). It will NOT register and remember the permission i give to specific child applications. The cure is only to shut down the applications that were affected by the updated parent (farr…) application (updating farr will affect all the permissions for the applications it opens). I don't know if I'm expressing myself properly -- English is hard tonight, don't know why...
All in all, it's probably the best firewall I've had... Especially that it's free!