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Are you arming your home with smart gadgets but worried about hackers infiltrating your high-tech lifestyle? Would anyone really try to hack your smart washer or dryer? The unfortunate answer is yes. Any device connected to your home’s network can be vulnerable to an attack, and once hackers find a way in, your entire home network is up for grabs. Fortunately, the market is on your side. A new line of security devices is available to protect your home from intruders. Here, we’ll give you our recommendations for the best smart home security devices to keep your information safe from prying eyes.
How Do Smart Home Security Devices Work?
Think of Internet of Things (IoT) security devices as smart home firewalls that give you protection against hackers, malware, viruses and other malicious threats to your smart home devices, including thermostats, TVs, cameras, PCs and much more. Each device uses different protection methods, and we’ll outline those within each review.
The benefit of these devices over security-enabled routers lies in each company’s cloud computing technology. When any IoT security device detects a brand new threat, it’s analyzed in the company’s cloud and incorporated into the overall system. For example, if a RATtrap device in a single household detects a previously unknown attack, RATtrap is able to analyze and protect all RATtrap devices in use around the world with updated protection against this new threat. Pretty cool, huh?
Best Home Security Devices
Internet of things security devices are new to the market, and many are still working out some bugs and other issues. But we’ve done our research to bring you our recommendations for the best IoT security you can find.
Cujo is one of the best security devices for your smart home and is our number one pick. Cujo’s top priorities are your security and your privacy. Working with your existing router, Cujo acts as a gateway between your home’s devices and for your connection to the Internet. It does this by scanning router data packets coming into and leaving your network. These packets only contain metadata, which doesn’t disclose the actual content, so your privacy is secure.
Cujo also has a powerful 1GB Ethernet connection that doesn’t slow down your broadband connection. And you’ll get notifications via your app of blocked hacking or malware attempts. Cujo hit the market at the end of 2016 and has gotten overall favorable reviews from experts and consumers. And the company has already made some updates for advanced features, with promises of more to come.
Cujo offers a few pricing options for the device and service subscription.
- Simple plan: $99 for device; $8.99/month for service
- Standard plan: $158 for device and first year of service (then it’s $59 per year for service)
- Device with Lifetime Subscription (Best value): $199.00
- 1-year warranty
- 30-day money back guarantee
- View all pricing options
RATtrap by IoT Defense comes in a close second in our IoT security devices reviews. RATtrap’s major benefit (for some people) over Cujo is its easy installation with no configurations required. If you want a plug-and-play that’s ready to go, RATtrap is an excellent choice. This feature, however, isn’t for those who want the advanced ability to configure their network and devices. Another benefit of RATtrap is its ability to make immediate decisions about your home network traffic without having to send metadata packets to the cloud in real-time. The device encrypts and routes DNS requests through the company’s highly secure global DNS infrastructure, giving you privacy from watchful eyes (even your internet provider).
In addition to protecting you against malware, viruses, and phishing attacks, RATtrap blocks device scans that hackers use to locate vulnerable smart home devices, as well as IoT botnets created to attack those vulnerabilities. RATtrap connects with your router and modem via dual GB ethernet ports and runs on 1GB ethernet speed to keep your connection fast. On the market since December 2016, RATtrap has received largely favorable reviews.
- Price: Out of stock for device and service
- 30-day money back guarantee
Dojo by BullGuard rounds out our top three choices for the best home security device. Dojo uses the same metadata-analysis approach to protection as Cujo and wards off hackers, malware and viruses with all of your smart home devices. Dojo comes with two parts — a base station that connects to your existing router and the Pebble (yes, it resembles a large pebble) that communicates wirelessly with the base. Dojo hit the market in April 2017, and so far customer reviews are mixed. Some users love it, while others haven’t been able to get it up-and-running properly.
- Price: $185.54 includes device and first year of service
- $9.99/month or $99 annually for service after first year
- 1-year warranty
There are two Internet of things security devices close to hitting the marketplace that we’re keeping close tabs on, both of which look like major contenders in this quickly-evolving technology. Here’s the latest scoop on Norton Core and Bitdefender Box 2.
The original Bitdefender Box* pioneered smart home security back in 2015! At the time, this IoT security device was cutting-edge, but with technology evolving at lightning speed, it’s been seemingly left in the dust. The good news is that Bitdefender, the popular provider of anti-virus software, is upping its Box with a second generation product.
Bitdefender Box 2 offers a promising overhaul of its original product, including improved hardware and expanded malware protection to include advanced threat detection and dynamic vulnerability analysis. This new device will scan your home network and smart home devices periodically for any vulnerabilities. Bitdefender Box 2 will also include a subscription to Bitdefender Total Security for unlimited Windows, MacOS and Android devices in your home. The anticipated market launch of Bitdefender Box 2 is in late 2017, with pre-ordering starting in the fall. No word yet on pricing.
*You can still purchase the original Bitdefender Box, which does a decent job of protecting your smart home network and is much more affordable than other IoT security devices. Pricing is $129.99, which includes the device and one year of service.
The tech world is on pins and needles awaiting the release of the Norton Core, a much anticipated IoT security device due to hit the market in August 2017. The Norton Core’s technology works in part like Cujo, in that it inspects deep level metadata packets and uses intrusion detection, advanced machine learning, and Symantec’s global intelligence network to defend your connected home. So what’s the big selling point? Core supports speeds of up to 2.5Gpbs (more than two times faster than competing devices), along with parental controls, security support for unlimited smart home devices and more. Be sure to check out the video below to see how Norton Core (and similar IoT security devices can keep your home safe and secure).
Price: $249.99 to pre-order Norton Core now. Pricing includes one year of service. Afterward, service is $9.99/month.
Do You Really Need an IoT Security Device?
By the end of 2017, an estimated 8.4 billion smart devices will inhabit our homes, making our lives easier but slightly less safe. If you’re into the smart home culture, be forewarned. Until all smart devices incorporate their own level of security from hackers, malware, viruses and other attacks, your privacy could be compromised at any time. These smart home devices are vulnerable, for sure. It’s wise to protect yourself now before your identity, financial information or other crucial data gets stolen.
Are you going to secure your smart home network?