The internet is incredible–I don’t think anyone would argue with that statement. However, as incredible as it is, it can also be dangerous. Internet security is becoming more important as more people put more of their lives on internet connected devices and that’s where Bitdefender BOX comes into the picture. The folks over at Bitdefender have been in the security business for over 15 years (the company was founded in 2001) and their latest product isn’t software-based but rather a hardware solution that sits in your home to keep you and devices safe and secure.
What is the Bitdefender BOX?
The Bitdefender BOX is an IoT security solution that is easily configured to your home network. Once configured on your home network, Bitdefender BOX offers two main kinds of protection: network level protection and local protection.
Recently the company released the second generation of the Bitdefender BOX which sports much improved hardware specifications when compared to the first generation BOX. The improved specs mean the product is much faster and better equipped to handle more devices. It also supports the latest wireless standards, 802.11ac.
How does Bitdefender BOX work?
You can configure your Bitdefender BOX in one of three ways when setting it up. The first is to have the Bitdefender BOX replace your existing router–this is the method Bitdefender recommends as the easiest and most convenient setup option. However, you can also choose to connect the BOX to your existing router via the the LAN port and run your existing router in Bridge mode. And the third way is to just create a brand new network using the BOX–this method means you’ll have to reconnect all of your devices to the newly created network.
Once you have it setup, the Bitdefender BOX essentially acts a bouncer of sorts (like the big guys at clubs) between your device and the internet. It will stop bad things from loading, protect your data, and keep an eye out for weird behavior. It does this by offering two main kinds of protection. The first one I’ll be discussing is the network level protection.
Network level protection
The way network level protection works is that any device (computers, tablets, Kindles, smartphones, IoT devices, etc) connected to your network will receive the following security benefits from Bitdefender BOX. There’s no extra software necessary to install, it’s automatic–just because you’re connected and all traffic is running through the BOX.
BOX checks every website that the devices connected to it attempt to visit and if the website is listed as malicious in the Bitdefender cloud database, BOX will block access to it.
On demand Vulnerability Assessment
BOX offers the option to scan a certain device and check for vulnerabilities. If the device is found to be vulnerable, you will be notified in the BOX management app regarding the vulnerability BOX has found (week credentials, outdated firmware, CVE vulnerabilities, etc). It will also include tips on how to address and secure your network, based on the specific vulnerability BOX has identified.
Once a new device is connected to a network protected by BOX, you will be informed through a notification displayed in the management app and will be asked if you want to allow the device to be connected to the network.
This engine will identify and block exploits through a mechanism similar to other popular IDS solutions in the market. It includes generic signatures to cover a wide array of attacks as well as specific signatures wherever needed.
The anomaly detection engine uses machine learning and cloud correlation to understand how devices should behave under normal circumstances and is able to accurately identify, block and alert upon any malicious activity.
Brute force protection
This security module blocks forced authentication on devices connected to the BOX protected network.
Sensitive data protection
This module will identify whenever credit card information or passwords is sent over a non-encrypted connection and block the attempt.
The second kind of protection offered by Bitdefender BOX is local protection.
With the purchase of Bitdefender BOX, the company also includes a year of access to Bitdefender Total Security (after the initial year if you wish to keep using Bitdefender Total Security it will cost $99/year). In terms of the additional benefits of using Bitdefender Total Security, you will get access to the company’s VPN (virtual private network) which will secure your connection by encrypting the data sent to and from your device as well as by hiding your IP address wherever you are. Additionally, with Total Security installed on your devices you can use the Bitdefender Central app to remotely run scans, locate devices, and even remotely lock them or even wipe the information off of them as a last resort.
The company has apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.
Should you get Bitdefender BOX?
Bitdefender has built a great solution here for securing your home with BOX. The company also offers a free IoT scanner to help you determine whether or not the Bitdefender BOX is right for you. I suggest you give it a whirl. Overall, if you have a lot of devices connected to your network and want a kind of “set it and forget it” solution that’s always on the look out for you, Bitdefender BOX is probably a good solution for you. The Bitdefender BOX retails for $249.