Bitdefender BOX

By on Feb 12, 2015 in Technology

As soon as the first smart home device launched, I’ve started wondering: who was gbitdefender_box-100532632-largeoing to put a leash on what we now call The Internet of Things. Surely all with an interest in this age of ultra-connectivity and smart devices have had at least one vision where all these things around us turned against us and took over. Sounds scary, no? Just recently, Stephen Hawking’s warning regarding artificial intelligence and how it could end humankind made international news.

The first test space for the internet of things and artificial intelligence is the “smart home.” We are now witnessing the evolution from building and home automation to smart homes: this evolution is driven by the progressing maturity of the Internet of Things and the use of artificial intelligence.

Current significant technological challenges revolve around the immaturity of home intelligence and the means and ways to “educate” it. Romanian antivirus firm Bitdefender strives to do just that, although not directly.

Bitdefender BOX is a physical network device described as “the security solution for the Internet of Things,” but not only that. The BOX is claimed to be a defense against all security layers, usually sold only to businesses, such as botnets, phishing, data theft, or everyday malware. The hardware piece took over one year of assiduous work to be complete was designed to secure not only PCs, but also tablets, smartphones, smart TVs, smart fridges, lighting systems, and alarm systems connected to Wi-Fi.

Bitdefender BOX is a fascinating hybrid between a router, network firewall, and intrusion prevention system. Its specifications are far from impressive – single-core 400 MHz MIPS microprocessor, 16 MB Flash memory, 64-MB DDR2 RAM, two 10/100 Ethernet ports and a wireless chipset that supports the 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi needs, capable of speeds of up to 150Mbps – but they do their job.

The BOX was designed to scan, identify, and block connections to malicious URLs as well as known bad IP addresses, malware downloads, malformed packets indicative of incoming attacks. Furthermore, the device will be in continuous communication with Bitdefender receiving light software agents for Windows, Mac, and Android, and will act as replacement for antivirus software where it finds that the OS installed misses security patches.

The protection continues even when a device under the BOX’s security umbrella is taken outside of the home network. The agent establishes a VPN connection with the BOX, routing all traffic through it and analyzing it for any threats. No more worries when using public Wi-Fi hotspots.

The device can be easily configured and controlled through a user-friendly app on their Android or iOS device. It can be installed alongside an existing router, and as a router itself.

Bitdefender BOX will begin receiving pre-orders in mid-December and shipping will start in January. Its price is $199 and includes the hardware and a one-year subscription; afterwards, customers will have to pay a $99 contract on a yearly basis, regardless of the number of devices protected by the BOX.