Cujo vs Dojo vs Keezel – Security Devices Protect Your Smart HomeBy - 01/08/2017
At CES, we were able to view two products birthed from crowdfunding campaigns and promising to protect your connected devices. While only two were on display, three devices are fighting for the same piece of the pie: Cujo, Dojo, and Keezel.
On the surface, most internet security devices are the same. Almost all of them offer to protect you from hacks, phishing scams, viruses, malware, and other cyber threats. But here’s a fact: Every internet security device offers a different level of protection.
Cujo is a device that plugs into your router using an Ethernet cable. It then monitors all the data that comes in and out of your home’s network. That way, it can easily stop cyber threats from entering your devices through your network and prevent sensitive data from exiting your home network.
Dojo is quite similar to Cujo. It connects to your router using an Ethernet cable, and it also needs to be plugged into a wall outlet. It sits at your network’s gateway, just like Cujo. However, it treats your personal data differently. It gathers metadata instead of actual data. Metadata is general data about data. Confusing? You’ll hear more about that later.
Keezel is a wireless device, slightly larger than a computer mouse. To use Keezel, you connect it to your home’s Wi-Fi or a public hotspot, and it becomes your personal Wi-Fi router. Simply connect it to the devices you want to protect, and it protects the devices using VPN technology.
Level of Protection
All three devices can protect you from cyber threats, but they have their own ways of doing so.
Cujo is the simplest of the three. It is a firewall combined with anti-virus and anti-malware protection, protecting you from phishing, scammers, and hackers. When placed at your network’s gateway (the router), Cujo can monitor everything that comes in and out of your home network. It will prevent you from accessing sites that it thinks are not trustworthy based on your rules. It will also prevent your devices from sending out information that should be private. Rules can be configured using the Cujo App. All data that enters your network is scanned for viruses and malware and detected threats are automatically eliminated. Cujo’s database will frequently be updated to keep up with ever-changing cyber threats.
Cujo has one super-secret smart weapon. If a Cujo encounters a new cyber threat, it sends information about that threat to a secure server. All the other Cujos are then updated with the information, so they know what the threat is and how to stop it.
Apart from internet security, Cujo can help parents protect their kids from the dangers of the internet. With the new parental control features announced at CES 2017, users can now manage what websites their kids can visit, set a limit on daily use, or block questionable content.
Dojo also connects to your router like Cujo, but it takes a different approach. Dojo continuously analyzes your network traffic and how connected devices behave. With that information, it can prevent cyber threats from affecting your network or any of your devices. It even takes your privacy a step further by analyzing metadata instead of the actual data.
Metadata is data about data. It may sound confusing, but it’s really not. Take images as an example. The information about an image — its size, resolution, when it was taken, which device was used to take the image — is information classified as metadata. By simply looking at this information, Dojo knows what kind of data is being sent or received. Is it an image? Video? File? HTML? Dojo uses this knowledge and looks out for questionable activity. When your network or one of your devices is up to something shady, it notifies you and asks you how to respond. Should Dojo allow it, block it once, or block all similar activities? You decide.
Let’s put Dojo into action. Your new security camera tries sending videos to the cloud. Since that’s a first, and since Dojo considers videos to be sensitive data, it asks you whether or not it should allow this to happen. You wanted this to happen, so you say okay. But one day, your security camera tries sending images to a foreign country. That sounds suspicious, so Dojo asks you again. This time, blocking the action seems to be the right choice. Don’t worry about getting one alert after another; Dojo learns over time how to handle your devices by itself.
Keezel is portable and wireless. It connects to any Wi-Fi router, whether it is your home Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi at your favorite coffee shop. Once connected, Keezel becomes a Wi-Fi router itself. Connect your devices to Keezel, and Voila! It is now protecting your devices.
It uses VPN technology to protect your devices from threats. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is private internet connection that you can use when connecting to the internet in private or in public. Instead of connecting directly to servers, your data will pass through a secure “tunnel” that connects you with a gateway. “Tunnels” are encrypted and, most of the time, invisible from threats. The gateway, which has a different IP address, is the one that connects to servers.
Keezel’s VPN technology offers privacy so others won’t be able to see what you’re up to online, web censorship bypass to access content not available in your country, and protection from identity theft and online scams.
That would depend on what devices you want to protect and how you want them protected.
Cujo is great for computers, laptops, smartphones, and web-enabled devices. It can also provide limited protection for your smart home devices using its firewall.
Dojo offers the best protection for smart home devices. It looks out for suspicious activities, something most of us do not have time to do. Dojo can also protect your computers, smartphones, and tablets with the same level of security it provides to IoT devices.
Keezel is best for those who are on-the-go. It is portable, and it connects wirelessly. It is best for computers, smartphone, tablets, and web-enabled devices.
The Real Cost Of Internet Security
Just like your home’s security, internet security is an investment. That said, you should also consider the real cost of using these internet security devices.
Cujo requires that you pay for a subscription to enjoy its service. The subscription allows you continued access to their security network. It also funds the process of keeping things up-to-date. Cujo will be able to enforce the latest in internet security even as viruses and other threats evolve.
The subscription costs $26 for 3 months, $49 for 6 months, $80 for 12 months, or $800 for a Lifetime subscription. The device sells for $99 and comes with a 180 service trial. Check out their offer here for more details.
Dojo also requires a subscription for you to enjoy its full potential. You can use Dojo even if you don’t subscribe, but updates and reporting will be limited. It would be like using obsolete anti-virus.
Dojo was pre-selling for $99, but I’m feeling less and less optimistic about this product’s future. We ordered a Dojo in January of 2016 (they committed to shipping the device in March of 2016). We requested updates from the company numerous times through Amazon, their website, and Twitter. Then, toward the end of September, they canceled our order without explanation.
In theory, after its release, Dojo was to sell for $199. The package would have included the device and 12 months of subscription service. Service renewals were slated to cost another $99 every year after that. So what’s the future of Dojo? It doesn’t seem like there is a future. This could be in part due to an acquisition by the UK antivirus firm BullGuard.
Keezel offers two subscription plans — Basic (free) and Premium ($5/month). What’s the difference? Basic service allows you to enjoy high-level internet security, choose from a limited number of IP gateway locations (get an IP address from another country), and download from the soon-to-be-released app gallery for Keezel. Premium services will give you the same level of internet security, boost your internet speed, let you choose from IP gateway locations from around the world, give you access to the app gallery, and let you connect two Keezels together from anywhere.
You can pre-order Keezel from IndieGoGo for $119. After the pre-order period, it will retail for $139. You can add the premium subscription service after you get the device or choose a perk that offers a discounted price with a premium subscription. Keezel has pushed their estimated delivery date to November of 2016.
Keezel is the least expensive option. Plus, you can still enjoy internet security even if you go with their Basic service. Runner-up Cujo followed by Dojo (for obvious reasons).
SMART HOME PROTECTION SUMMARY AND FINAL THOUGHTS
Cujo is the only option that delivered on-time. Reviews for the device are mostly positive, but product users have pointed out device flaws. For one, using Cujo slows things down a bit as it’s like adding a third-party to a conversation. Second, it requires port forwarding, and one user claims that it steals the network IDs of your devices and that it is less than simple to use. In his words,
“Since they realized ARP was a bad way to do this, they are now using DHCP. Sadly, this is nowhere near as simple. Gone is the magic “just put it on your kitchen table and it works like magic.” Instead, you have to figure out how to log into your router, make a network change (which your ISP will tell you is bad but who listens to them? I’m not being sarcastic here; they want you to use them for DNS/DHCP because they like using your web browsing for advertising metrics!) and then reboot everything a few times. Not the end of the world, but no longer simple enough for Grandma to use.”
All that said, Cujo can help you protect your security cameras, security systems, smart thermostats, smart locks, and more. By analyzing the behavior of your devices, it knows when your camera is acting as a camera and when it’s not.
Keezel is portable and wireless. That’s what sets it apart from the other devices, which stay connected to your router. Even though it’s portable, you can use it at home to protect your connected devices. The benefit is that it creates a secure tunnel between your smart home and the websites your smart devices must access. Your connected devices are no different than tiny computers, and you would never connect your computer to the internet without protection, would you?
Also, you can connect two Keezels together to create a private network. With one at home and one with you, you can control your smart home devices from anywhere in the world without fear of being spied on.
Dojo offered the best protection for smart home devices, but they have completely abandoned communication with backers and canceled orders. What set it apart was its ability to protect your smart home devices by learning how they usually behave and notifying you if they start behaving out of character. It’s a shame they decided to go awol.