Best Smart Firewall: Bitdefender Box vs Cujo vs Dojo vs Firewalla vs Bitdefender vs Norton & More

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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 the best smart 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.

Article Overview

Do You Really Need A Firewall?

According to Statista, there were 180 million connected devices in the United States. By 2020, the number of connected devices is forecasted to rise to 260 million.

Cujo at home on counter (caption: Best Smart Home Firewall)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.

How Do Smart Home Firewalls Work?

Google Mini on table with iPhone (caption: Smart Home Guide)Think of Internet of Things (IoT) security devices like 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?

Best Smart Home Firewalls

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 Review

CUJO Smart Internet Security Firewall#1

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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.

Pros

Cons

  • Works with existing WiFi router (compatible with most popular routers)
  • Strong AES-256 encryption
  • Offers a one-time payment for device and lifetime service
  • Learns and analyzes the behavior of your devices
  • Can customize DHCP settings and set static IP addresses for any device via iOS or Android app
  • Includes parental controls
  • Customers report excellent tech support
  • Requires ongoing service with subscription fees (except for one-time purchase option)
  • Some users report confusing DHCP configuration process

Pricing

Cujo offers a few pricing options for the device and service subscription.

  • Free subscription
  • Device with Lifetime Subscription (Best value):  Check Amazon for availability
  • 1-year warranty
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Read Our In-Depth Cujo Review

Bitdefender Box 2 Review

Bitdefender Box 2#2

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The original Bitdefender Box pioneered smart home security back in 2015. The good news is that Bitdefender, the popular provider of anti-virus software, has upped 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 for 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.

Pricing

Dojo Review

Dojo#3

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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.

Pros

Cons

  • Works with existing WiFi router (compatible with most popular routers)
  • High encryption level
  • Learns and analyzes the behavior of your devices
  • Real-time notifications upon attempted breach
  • Users report excellent tech support
  • Expensive monthly service fees and no option to purchase lifetime service
  • Must replace batteries in the Dojo Pebble (approx. every 6 months)
  • Can’t customize DHCP settings
  • No parental controls
  • Some customer complaints about buggy connections

Pricing

  • Price: Check Amazon for availability  includes device and first year of service
  • $9.99/month or $99 annually for service after the first year
  • 1-year warranty

Other Smart Home Firewalls

There are two Internet of Things security devices that are similar to our top picks, which are major contenders in this quickly-evolving technology. Here’s the latest scoop on Firewalla and Norton Core.

Firewalla Red

FirewallaView on Amazon

The Firewalla Red (not to be confused with the Blue) is a cybersecurity firewall that protects your home or office network from viruses, malware, and more. It has parental controls, an ad blocker, and a built-in VPN server. The Firewalla connects directly to your router (check compatibility first).

The IPS functionality is limited to 100 Mbits, but its unique intrusion prevention system (IDS and IPS) protects all your devices for an affordable price. Firewalla also uses deep insight and cloud-based behavior analytics engines to proactively find and block issues when they arise.

Pricing

Norton Core

As of 1/31/2019, Norton Core is no longer available for purchase.

Video: How To Set Up Your Smart Firewall

Watch this quick video that shows how to set up a firewall for your smart home using Cujo.

Secure Your Home

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 that 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?

About The Author:

While attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s graduate school for journalism and public relations, Sally began a long career researching and writing about hard-to-understand topics, such as insurance and finance.

Her additional experience in marketing, fundraising, public relations and financial planning at various foundations and nonprofit organizations over the years has given her the practical tools to inform consumers about making the smartest business and personal financial decisions. Her work has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, People, Forbes, Huffington Post, and more.

Speaking of smart living — growing up in the (at-the-time) per-capita murder capital of the U.S. (Richmond, VA) taught her a thing or two about the need for personal and home safety. Sally stays on top of all the latest gadgets and services to protect her and her teenage daughters from potential predators and thieves. And she brings this knowledge to every article she writes.

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