Trend Micro Home Network Security REVIEW
Trend Micro Home Network Security REVIEW
Your smart widgets are under attack, but keeping them secure need not be a chore, writes PAT PILCHER, who has just the solution.
The internet is a whole lot like air. While it is there, we take it for granted and barely notice when we’re breathing. Take it away, and the suffering quickly takes on epic proportions. The other side of this is keeping your home network as secure as possible, which also saves you a huge amount of pain and angst.
Not so long ago this would have been a relatively simple chore involving the installation of anti-virus/spyware/malware and firewall software on your PC, and that’d be it. Nowadays, things have become exponentially more complicated. With a growing number of homes using smart lights, speakers, cameras, media players, security systems, thermostats and so on, preventing these widgets from falling victim to cyber nasties is a lot tougher than you’d think. Patches and updates need to be installed, and passwords/user IDs need to be kept reasonably secure, and even then, you’re still not all that secure.
I have 79 (and probably more by the time you read this) smart devices plugged in throughout my home, and keeping them secure is a time-consuming job.
This is where Trend Micro’s home network security gizmo comes into play. It’s a small box that connects to your router as well as an app that runs on an Android or IOS device. The killer feature with Home Network Security is that it keeps everything safe unobtrusively and in the background, and you don’t need to have a doctorate in computer science to use it.
It uses machine learning to figure out your home’s network and network behaviour. The mobile app allows you to allocate connected devices to a specific owner, give them a more intuitive device name and enable or disable their network access. Since installing it, the Trend Micro Home Network Security box has fended off upwards of 37 separate attacks on games consoles, cameras and the other smart devices on my home network. I know this thanks to the reports the home network security app generates on my phone.
The home network security box isn’t a firewall – I already have one of these built into my router and on my PCs. That said, it is a competent security device. All internet and network traffic are routed through it, which allows it to check the data at a packet level to proactively block anything nasty. Because of this, all the devices on my home network are kept secure.
Trend Micro’s home network security box also syncs with Trend Micro’s cloud, so it gets a stream of updates on the latest cyber nasties. Given the central role this plays in it keeping things secure, a two-year subscription is bundled as part of its purchase, and once it expires, it requires you re-subscribe.
As well as preventing cyber-attacks on anything connected to my network, it also does regular audits of all devices connected and will inform me if, for instance, any of the logins and passwords I use are weak or, dare I say it, left as factory defaults (which is a huge security no-no). Should it detect that a device is compromised or behaving suspiciously, it’ll also isolate it from the network to prevent further damage. Additionally, it will also block access to harmful sites known to spread malware and other cyber nasties.
As good as the home network security box is, there is scope for minor improvement. While the mobile app is intuitive, a browser-based version would be useful. While network connected gear is about as secure as is possible using the home network security box, the same cannot be said for phones, tablets and PCs, most of which can and often do get used on other, less secure networks. Perhaps there is scope for Trend Micro to bundle their rather excellent Maximum-Security software suite with the Home Network Security box?
So, is the home network security box a good buy? The short answer is an emphatic “yes”. As we increase the number of smart doodads in our homes, our potential exposure to cyber-attacks also grows accordingly. With a growing chunk of our lives, finances and now homes reliant on being online securely, the 24-month subscription makes a lot of sense, even if it does add to your costs. After all, what price can you put on keeping everything secure?