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Bitdefender BOX Home Network Security
Author: Bill Lepse
Manufacturer: Bitdefender
Source: Bitdefender
Purchase: Bitdefender Store
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Page: 4 of 5 [ 1 2 3 4 5 ]
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July 08, 2016


So obviously the concept of this BOX is great but how does it actually perform? Let's first cover some of the issues/anomalies I found.

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Immediately after setting up all my devices I noticed one D-Link IP camera was not shown, but oddly enough the camera was still available remotely. I spoke with Bitdefender and they suggested that the camera must have a static IP. I was confident it did not but I went ahead and did a full reset of the device. After this the camera was immediately found and was shown as protected. Great, or so I thought. Two days later the device was still listed but with a Red House icon to indicate it was connected but not protected. Again I spoke to tech support and they said the device was showing up on their side as static. But this wasn't possible since the IP address it had was outside my previously allowed range. This time they suggested I remove the device and go back through the set up which I did. Since then, the device has been connected and shows as protected. To be fair it could be something with this particular camera as (2) other different model D-Link IP cameras have had no issues. Tech support did open a ticket to look into this issue. If I get a resolution I will update.

After set up, I started to see lots of notifications for blocked websites, indicating malware was present. None of these sites were sketchy at all so I am not sure if this software is just super sensitive or if it was just picking up on some ad that was going to be displayed. Either way it never blocked the site, though as I mentioned it may have just blocked an ad. But what I am somewhat concerned about is the response time to see the notifications. Sometimes I wouldn't see notifications until the next morning. Which makes me concerned if real-time protection exists. Also, these delays make it difficult for an administrator to do something about them. Again to be fair many Notifications came quickly, but I was instructed by Bitdefender that sometimes you need to force close the app and reopen it. This kind of defeats the purpose if I can't rely on timely push notifications. In the end, if the devices are protected that is the most important thing.

Another surprising thing with the app is you have to actively turn on auto updating of the BOX. I can understand having a selector for this, but it seems like the most secure option would be to enable auto update. Isn't security the point of this BOX?

Strange behaviors continued with one Windows machine. I selected "Manage this Device" and my first time Browsing I was greeted with a window asking me to Join. After selecting to Join, the application was downloaded and installed. But the BOX app was indicating the device was still pending. Again tech support came through with a fix; I had to manually disable the Manage this Device, force close the app, reopen, and re-enable. Again the Windows machine got the Join screen and downloaded the installer again. This time it went through without issue and the app updated the status. Even with the app saying all was good I occasionally get messages in Windows indicating that BOX is out of date and off, and that I need to turn on Windows Defender. But if I go to the task manager I can see several Bitdefender services running including the updater.

A minor nuisance is the apps refusal to let me change certain devices names. But what is equally confusing was tech support indicated their server showed the change.

I also ran into some difficulties with Kindle devices. The BOX Agent app is not available for these devices which means if you chose to enable any features you are kind of dead in the water. For instance I turned on Manage This Device on my son's Fire Tab, and the first time browsing we got the join message. Since the app is not officially available there was nothing more to do. But without joining it seems to have caused streaming issues. A similar experience was found on the Fire TV. In the end I opted to disable all of this and rely on the BOX to monitor all the traffic to and from the devices to keep them secure and streaming was restored.

The final issue I had was with one mobile device and the Private Line feature. I noticed that after a few minutes the connection would drop out. If I shut off the WiFi and enabled it again I could get a few minutes before it was dead again. So I tried disabling the Private Line feature but no matter what I did the Key icon was still present and the connection would die. Tech support indicated it was a bug on their side and that they were working on it. But they were not clear if this was for all devices or just mine. In the end the fix was to remove the BOX Agent app and reinstall.

But all is not bad with this device. I was able to locate and alarm mobile devices. I was able to remotely force a machine to update and the vulnerability notification alerted me to two devices that had outdated firmware which I was able to quickly rectify. I just wish after doing the updates you could force the BOX to re-evaluate the system sooner than the three day period to ensure things are good. I also really like the idea that all of my devices on the network have their traffic monitored.

I had anticipated that this device would slow my internet connection or devices as they perform local scans, but I have seen no evidence of this. Speed tests of the network all fell in the same range as previous tests. I do expect the Private Line feature will slow the connection to some degree when they get it fixed for me, but I suspect it would only be noticeable with slower (2G/3G) connections since your download speed is constantly variable anyway.

You also have access to the Bitdefender Central. Here you can see your devices, subscriptions, utilize parental controls, and access tech support. Interestingly the names of my devices are not the same here as they are in the app. I assume this is the same info tech support referenced above.

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