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CUJO Smart Internet Security Firewall
Author: Bill Lepse
Manufacturer: CUJO
Source: CUJO
Purchase: Amazon
Comment or Question: Post Here
Page: 6 of 6 [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 ]
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July 31, 2017

Conclusion:

While I like many of the features and functionality CUJO has brought to the table that are above and beyond the Bitdefender Box there are a few concerns I have and features I think are missing.

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The whole point of this device is to keep all of your network devices safe, but for some reason they have included a selection to enable/disable protection. Normally I would be OK with this, but there is no confirmation to ensure someone didn't accidently swipe this. Obviously this is low risk and can easily be fixed in a future app release.

Currently they do not have device vulnerability scans like the Bitdefender Box. As with many things, you are only as strong as your weakest link. If you have devices with huge holes it makes the CUJO's job that much harder and increases the chances of something going awry. This is in the works and is expected to be released in Version 8 but this is likely several months out.

Currently local protection is very limited. Recently (7/25) the CUJO servers were offline, it is unclear just how much protection the end users have when this happens. Version 7 of the firmware will add local malware scanning and is expected end of August.

CUJO recommends that you run anti-virus/malware on all devices that you can. This is particularly important since your devices are ONLY protected on your home network. This isn't a major issue so long as you actually do it. What I would prefer is something similar to what Bitdefender offered, their Private Line which was essentially a VPN to their cloud to protect your devices. CUJO is looking into this but was clear it wouldn't be happening until 2018 and they weren't sure how this would fit in with current pricing schemes.

I would also like to see them add a guest network option. While I can keep any device from getting to the internet, what I would prefer is to be able to keep guests out of my NAS, cameras, etc. but still have access to the Internet.

While the CUJO reports a lot of additional statistics and info not available on the Bitdefender Box, I would like to see bandwidth use per device. On the Box I could see what percent of my most recent bandwidth went to what devices. I often used this to confirm my NAS was backing up on schedule or other activities were going on as scheduled.

With all the talk in the news lately about the dismantling of net neutrality; more and more people are looking to obscure their activities using VPNs. CUJO has confirmed they are expecting to have VPN with encrypted DNS feature live this year but it is unclear if this will be part of the standard subscription. But they did confirm this will be something you would pick on the device level which is important for those who might have streaming services that block VPNs. But I am not sure this feature would be available to those using bridge mode.

Overall I was impressed with CUJO, not just on the device level but also the support side. When I had my issues with DHCP mode I contacted support and they were very knowledgeable, but what struck me was the fact they followed up later with a call to make sure everything was working as it should. And this was normal tech support, not a press only hotline back to the CTO. Who by the way was quite open about the product and their future vision, some of which is outlined above. While there are many things I would like to see improved or added, it seems that these items are already on the horizon. And I get the impression from CUJO they will actually happen. It seems they are releasing new firmware every two months or so, and this shows me they are committed to making this the most robust home security device on the market. With an entry price of $99 then $8.99/month, you are looking at just over $200 for the first year. Honestly I am not sure why this option exists when the next step up ($158) gets you the device and one year of coverage. This option is slightly more than the current price of $129 for the Bitdefender Box, but to me the sweet spot is the CUJO lifetime unit for $249 (available at Amazon or directly from CUJO); that is slightly more than a Bitdefender BOX with 2 years of service.

Throughout this review I constantly compared the CUJO to the Bitdefender Box, but in my eyes this device is more up to date. Just having 1GB Ethernet ports will make a world of difference for your internal network speeds and will be worth the cost differential to many. Bitdefender has promised a gen 2 device which was shown at CES in January, but it still isn't available and so far there is no release date. So if you are currently in the market for a home security device, the CUJO definitely merits consideration... it is certainly on my short list.

All things considered, the CUJO Smart Internet Security Firewall earns the Bigbruin.com "Good Value" and "Recommended" awards.

Good Value Recommended


Pros:

Designed and made in the USA
1GB Ethernet ports
Great tech support
Parental controls
Informative threat reports
Seemingly effective threat blocking
App is feature rich and functions well

Cons:

Devices off network have no protection
Unknown how additional features will work or if there will be added fees.

Please drop by the Bigbruin.com Forum and feel free to post any comments or questions.

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