Home security is important, we all lock our doors, but what about our home technology? We might have an antivirus on the home pc or laptop, but what about your smart phone, smart tv, tablets, game consoles, or other internet connected devices you have in your home. With more and more connectivity entering the home, we sometimes forget that each of these devices is plagued with vulnerabilities.
We need a complete solution that can bridge the gap over all these devices, and act as an anti virus, and malware guardian. This is where the Bitdefender box comes to the rescue. Its a one stop shop box that sits on your network and claims that you can turn off the antivirus on all your other devices, as this will take care of everything. You attach it to your wifi router, although it can double as a 802.11n Wi-Fi router itself. It requires a small client program to be installed on your PC, or android or IOS phone. You recieve updates to your phone whenever a device connects to your network, and you can with 2 clicks disable their access if you want.
The Bitdefender box is easy enough to set up. It comes with an app that guides you through everything that you need to do to set it up. It works just like a firewall and inhibits inbound traffic to your network, while allowing traffic out to the internet, while protecting you from dangerous password stealing malware, and machine infecting virus programs. It does have some other tricks up its sleeve though. It can detect if you have some of your applications up to date and notify you accordingly. It examines some of the apps that are the most important to keep updated when it comes to security such as Java, and your internet browser version, along with adobe player, and flash plugins.
The box is controlled direct from your smartphone, there isn’t an interface to control it on your pc. When you first install it it will scan your network and identify all the devices connected to your network. Once the device has been identified, it can be assigned family or guest status, and you can then select the internet speed that the device has access to, fast medium or slow. This is a great feature if you want to prioritise your PC for work, and turn down the traffic bottleneck of your streaming TV. The device can also when installed on your pc tell you if your passwords are strong or weak, and also highlight any possible problems from USB connected devices.
There is a single cost of purchasing the box which is $199 and then you pay a yearly fee of $99. Considering that this can be the cost of your yearly subscription to your antivirus, you can see that for what you get in protection, the Bitdefender box can be a cost effective security aid. It also protects you if you leave your home network by rerouting traffic back through the box to check for any bad incoming software. This is similar to VPN technology that is used by business, and is a welcome addition to the range of options that you have on offer.
There are plans from the anti virus maker Symantec, and the router maker Linksys to release similar devices on the market soon, so the Bitdefender box might not be your only option to smart home security. This can only be a good thing as there are a number of faults with the Bitdefender such as the inability to recognise devices correctly on the network and just mark them as new device. This can be frustrating if you have many devices on your network showing up as new device, as you can’t distinguish them.
The Bitdefender box is firmware upgradable though, so some of the operating system problems that testers and users have found with the box can hopefully be ironed out in the near future. With all our devices and lives becoming more interconnected and security of our lives online becoming a growing concern everyday, this device is hopefully a measure of things to come to keep us safe online.