Providing network security for computers is a big concern for many. I personally have several pieces of software on each machine that scan for Viruses, Spyware, spam and other harmful programs. Running the software is fine, but it uses up system resources. The Yoggie Pico claims to be able to offload those tasks, which frees up the computer to do other things.
- Block all Internet threats outside, before they reach your PC
- Hide your PC from Internet Hackers
- Boost your PC’s performance
- Dual Flash memory mechanism constitutes an “Untouchable Operating System” barrier for complete physical isolation of your PC from threats
- Protection from known, as well as unknown, attacks
- Plug and Forget easy installation and operation with no special technical knowledge required
- Security software updates accumulate on the Yoggie’s external mini-server, instead of draining your PC’s resources
Being able to block threats before they get on your computer is the best way to keep your system clean. The Gatekeeper sits in between your computer and the internet to protect you from all the bad things. By physically separating your data and the internet you are getting the best possible protection.
One of the ways to keep hackers and viruses off your computer is to keep them from finding your computer. Hiding the PC from the internet is the best way to keep them from finding it. This is done by hiding and closing ports that are not being used.
By offloading the tasks of scanning for virus’, spyware, hackers, and everything else, you can free up a lot of resources that will help your computer run faster.
While the Gatekeeper Pico is busy protecting your computer it also has to protect itself. The Pico uses a very unique Dual Flash memory mechanism to keep hackers from compromising the Gatekeeper’s operating system.
No matter how good the Gatekeeper Pico is, if it is not kept up to date it will not be able to block new threats. So The Gatekeeper has to keep itself up to date.
The design of the Gatekeeper Pico is very simple. It is slightly larger than a USB thumb drive, and it has several lights at the far end of the device. Other than those two things there is nothing else significant about the design.
The Gatekeeper is actually a mini computer. Inside the case is a XScale-PXA270 520MHz processor and 128MB of RAM. The operating system that runs on the Gatekeeper is a version of Linux.
Before you start the Gatekeeper Pico for the first time you need to install the software that comes on a separate CD. It would have been nicer if the software were included on the USB stick.
The software consists of the drivers and admin programs that are required to run the Gatekeeper. As you can see it even installs a new RNDIS driver. You can also install Kaspersky anti-virus from the CD, this will help to keep your desktop protected from threats that get past the Gatekeeper or get loaded on your computer some other way. This is very important because the Gatekeeper will only protect a computer from outside threats.
After installing the software on a computer you will be required to login. The default username and password can be found in the user guide. Once you have logged in it requires you to change the default password, unfortunately the password can only be 8 characters long. This is not nearly long enough for me, I like my passwords to be around 12 characters long.
The first screen you seen when you log in, and after the setup, is a dashboard that shows an overview of the current security status. The big dial on the top shows the current risk level that your computer is experiencing. This is determined by how many things the Gatekeeper has had to block. The bottom three dials indicate what types of activities are being blocked. As the risk level increases the numbers go up.
When I first installed the software it was version 1.3.7, but I went on to the website and found a newer version. I always like to make sure my software is up-to-date. The latest version was 1.3.9, but this update was released back in March of 2008. This worries me a bit because since then there have probably been many new viruses and hacking methods developed that the Gatekeeper is not protected from. I would personally like to see updates happen more often. Also, if you check the images below you will see that the virus definitions that are in the Gatekeeper are from January 24, 2008. This is also a big concern for me for the same reasons.
There are a few advanced features that are a bit hidden in the settings screen. Down at the bottom of the screen is a button labeled Advanced. Clicking this button opens a new screen with a few more options. The most notable is the web filtering. This allows the Gatekeeper to block websites based on categories that you would find objectionable. Again, becuase the latest update was back in March the categories are really out of date and will not block newer sites.
The built-in diagnostics can be very helpful if the Gatekeeper is not functioning properly. On this screen you are able to test most aspects of the device to make sure everything is running properly.
To test the effectiveness of the Gatekeeper Pico I ran it though some tests. The website PC Flank offers a battery of tests that can give a good evaluation of how secure a system is. The first test is a leak test. This will see if a firewall is able to block programs from sending out potentially personal information. As you can see from the picture, the Gatekeeper Pico failed this test.
The next test is the stealth test. This tests to see if your computer is visible to the internet. The best way to keep bad people off your computer is to make it so they cannot see it. As you can see from the image, the Gatekeeper passed this test.
The third test checks for open ports. This is similar to the stealth scan because ports are an easy way for hackers to find computers and get into them. Once again, the Gatekeeper was able to keep the computer secure against this attack.
The last test is an exploit test. This checks to see if your system is protected against many common exploits. The site does not mention which ones, but as you can see from the picture the Gatekeeper Pico passed the test.
Another test I performed was to try and download a virus. The website www.eicar.org hosts several files that can be used for testing virus blocking. The viruses come in four different formats, a .com, .txt, .zip, and a double .zip file. The website also offers the same files over an HTTP or HTTPS connection. Most firewalls and virus scanners have a hard time scanning HTTPS connections. The Gatekeeper Pico did a great job blocking all the viruses on an HTTP connection, but it failed miserably when they were on an HTTPS connection.
During all this the Gatekeeper is fairly invisible to the user. In fact, the only time I knew it was doing anything was when it would block a website and display a message telling me so. For example, I tried to access a well know website that has objectionable content. As you can see from this image the Gatekeeper Pico blocked the site and displayed a message.
Fortunately, the software that comes with the Gatekeeper has a suite of reports that can be viewed to see what the Gatekeeper has been blocking.
I also noticed that after a while the Gatekeeper gets very warm to the touch. Because the Gatekeeper is a computer this is absolutely normal. It never got really hot, so I don’t think this will be a problem.
You can disable the Gatekeeper at any time so that you can do things that would normally be blocked. To do this you need to enter a password. This part gets a little confusing because the password to disable the GateKeeper is not the same password you use to access the menus. Because of this it must be set separately and if you are not aware of this, someone could access your computer and use the default password to disable it. A new password is created by right clicking the taskbar icon and choosing the Change Password option.
Warranty and Support
I could not find out much about a warranty except that it is for only one year. I imagine that it, like most others, only covers manufacturers defects. I also discovered that the Gatekeeper only comes with one year of updates and that each additional year of updates will cost $30. However, if you just want to know how to use the device or what it can do, then you can go to the website and read all about it. You can also get help from the website from their customer support.
The site has an update for the firmware, however it is really old. The date on it is March 18, 2008. This puts into doubt how good the support will be for the future. In addition the Anti virus is also quite old. I sure hope the Yoggie will offer more updates, a security device is no good if it has vulnerabilities and if the virus definitions are out of date. In addition, I don’t know anyone that would pay $30 for a year of updates if those updates only happen once or twice a year.
The Gatekeeper has a lot of great features and it has a lot of potential. However, it is not for those that are cost conscience. With an initial cost of $149.00 and a yearly subscription of $30 you could spend a lot of money. If on the other hand you are more concerned about performance than about cost, then this would be a great way to help out your computer. Keep an eye on the ipdates to know if the company is taking this product seriously. If they do not, then you should spend your money elsewhere. As always compare prices before purchasing.
|JusTech'n editors' rating|