LAS VEGAS: ROMANIAN CYBERSECURITY firm BitDefender is bringing its Bitdefender Box to the UK.
After a launch in mainland Europe, the all-in-one router, anti-virus, firewall, network manager and VPN is designed to protect home and small business networks that are awash with potentially vulnerable IoT devices.
If you don't fancy replacing your existing router, you can also use BitDefender Box as a bridge, meaning all the added benefits with one extra ethernet cable. In fact, it can even be used as a part of a mesh network, making it ideal as a repeater, if you prefer.
In fact, the routing is a "nice-to-have" but might not have the full feature-set you'd expect from a high-end router.
Fortunately, BitDefender has you covered there too, as it is now licensing the technology for use in third-party products (first hinted at IFA last year), with parts of the suite being incorporated into the newly announced Netgear router range, also revealed at CES.
Bitdefender has always done well in comparison testing against other anti-virus packages, and the good news is that if anything gets through the network security at the box, Bitdefender's Total Security endpoint software is included for your laptops and mobiles.
By using machine learning, Bitdefender Box is able to spot unusual traffic patterns on the network and alert you to them. But it can also be trained to spot innocent patterns that you make regularly, as well as alert you to open ports on your network that might leave you vulnerable to problems.
Parental controls can even detect sentiment in a child's interactions with the net, able to spot if your little one is falling foul of cyberbullying or grooming, but without ever sharing exactly what has been said with the parent, who gets a warning that maybe it would be worth having a chat, but nothing more.
The whole thing can be monitored from the Bitdefender Central mobile app, which also allows you to set up parental controls and other restrictions. Updates happen silently in the background, so there's no messy updating of signatures - rather the whole thing takes place in the cloud - though Bitdefender is keen to point out that nothing it does is collected with a view to selling you things you didn't know you needed, though some anonymous telemetry allows the neural networks to keep improving.
We've seen a few attempts at hardware-based controls for home and small business networks, but this is the first from a big player and it's priced to compete with a lot of the big hardware names.
UK pricing is coming soon, but in dollars, it's $199 for the box including 12-month subscription to both the box's functions and the software suite. After that, it's $99 a year to renew, making it a very competitive offer for a whole home network.
Netgear products with Bitdefender technology are priced separately. μ
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