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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, there’s a line of firewalls available to protect your home from intruders. We’ll give you our recommendations for the best smart home firewall to keep your information safe from prying eyes.
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, cameras, TVs, PCs, smart hubs 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 a smart firewall 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?
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.
Smart home firewalls are relatively 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’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.
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):
- 1-year warranty
- 30-day money back guarantee
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).
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: for device and service
- 30-day money back guarantee
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: 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 which are similar to our top picks which are major contenders in this quickly-evolving technology. Here’s the latest scoop on Bitdefender Box 2 and Norton Core.
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 is 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 also includes a subscription to Bitdefender Total Security for unlimited Windows, MacOS and Android devices in your home.
As of 1/31/2019, Norton Core is no longer available for purchase.
Watch this quick video that shows how the Norton Core works similar to the other smart home firewalls.
VPNs are a key way to protect your computers and network from prying eyes as your family plugs into the internet. We also review smart home security systems which can protect your physical belongings and provide an eye on your home while you’re away.
Are you going to secure your smart home network?
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