Cujo vs Dojo vs Keezel vs RATtrap – Security Devices Protect Your Smart HomeBy - 07/04/2017
At CES 2016, we were able to view two products birthed from crowdfunding campaigns and promising to protect your connected devices. While only two were on display, four devices are fighting for the same piece of the pie: Cujo, Keezel, Dojo, and RATtrap.
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. By doing this, 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 an 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.
RATtrap is designed to sit between your modem and your router. Like Cujo and Dojo, it monitors traffic and stops potential threats. It also blocks malware-infested websites as well as sites which attempt to steal credentials and probe for weaknesses in your home network.
Level of Protection
All four devices can protect you from cyber threats, but they have their own ways of doing so.
Cujo provides 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 prevents you from accessing sites that it thinks are not trustworthy based on your rules. It also prevents 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 be frequently updated to keep up with ever-changing cyber threats.
Cujo also has a 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.
Like Cujo, Dojo also connects to your router, but it takes a different approach. The device continuously analyzes your network traffic and how connected devices behave. It uses that information to 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 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 looking at a file’s metadata, 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 different from the other options as it’s portable and wireless. Or at least, it will be, once it starts shipping. It connects to any Wi-Fi router, whether that is your home Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi at your favorite coffee shop. Once connected, Keezel becomes a Wi-Fi repeater, bouncing the Wi-Fi signal towards your devices while also protecting connected devices.
It uses VPN technology to protect your devices from threats. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a private internet connection that you can use when connecting to a private or public network. 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, connects to servers.
Keezel’s VPN technology will offer 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. It will also protect you from potential cyber criminals lurking around public hotspots.
RATtrap is similar to Cujo and Dojo. In fact, it combines Cujo and Dojo’s approach into a single solution. To protect you, RATtrap needs a physical connection to your modem and your router via Ethernet. Simply unplug the Ethernet cable connected to the router, plug the loose end into RATtrap, and use the included Ethernet cable to connect RATtrap to your modem.
One way RATtrap protects you is by tracking all malicious and potentially harmful websites. If the sites try to send you traffic or vice versa, RATtrap will block the process.
RATtrap also uses Cujo’s approach in that it cross-references incoming and outgoing traffic with a database of threats. Instead of analyzing the traffic data, however, it analyzes packet metadata, just like Dojo. And instead of analyzing packet metadata in the cloud, RATtrap analyzes it locally. The advantage of this approach is that the RATtrap cloud never sees your traffic or any your traffic metadata which ensures complete privacy.
Finally, RATtrap has a network of “threat sensors.” These sensors look for and inform RATtrap’s cloud of new threats. The cloud processes received information, analyzes how to stop new threats, and pushes down the info to each RATtrap device via a threat intelligence update.
Which One Is For You?
If you’re looking for an internet security device to protect your home network, I recommend RATtrap, Cujo, and Dojo, in that order. RATtrap is recommended because of its track record and ability to analyze packet metadata locally. I recommend Cujo because of its ability to push updates to all Cujo devices, leaving no user behind. Finally, Dojo, because of their treatment of crowdfunding backers. More on that later.
If you’re a frequent user of public hotspots such as hotels, restaurants, and airports, Keezel is for you. Keezel is the only solution with a portable design.
The Real Cost Of Internet Security
Just like your home’s security, internet security is an investment. That said, you should also consider the long-term cost of using these internet security devices.
Cujo requires that you pay for a subscription to enjoy its service. The subscription gives you continued access to their security network. It also funds the process of keeping things up-to-date. Cujo enforces the latest in internet security even as viruses and other threats evolve.
Cujo offers one subscription plan with multiple options for payment. Upon purchasing Cujo, you can choose whether to pay monthly ($8.99/month), yearly ($59.00/year), or one-time ($150.00). The one-time subscription fee will give you access to Cujo’s services forever.
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 sells for $199, which includes the first year of service for free. After the first year, continued service will cost $99/year or $9.99 per month.
The fact that Dojo is selling is shocking. They started pre-selling back in 2015 and we pre-ordered one January of 2016. Eight months later, without warning, despite multiple requests for an update, they cancelled our order without explanation and then went AWOL. As a side note, we had originally paid $99 for the device which also included 12 months of service.
Keezel will offer two subscription plans — Basic (free) and Premium ($5/month). What’s the difference? Basic service allows you to enjoy high-level internet security, the option to choose from a limited number of IP gateway locations (get an IP address from another country), and the ability to download from the soon-to-be-released app gallery for Keezel. A Premium subscription 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 ends, the device 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 already started shipping to backers, but due to production issues, those who ordered Keezel after May 2017 will receive their orders this September.
Of the four, RATtrap’s hardware is the most expensive, but it’s also the only option without a monthly subscription. If you buy the $249 RATtrap kit, you can immediately use and access all of its security features. Of course, this is equal to buying a Cujo with a lifetime plan for $249.
However, take note that RATtrap’s subscription-free offer is probably not permanent. On RATtrap’s FAQ page they share:
Does RATtrap require a paid subscription?
No! For a limited time, we are offering RATtrap as a 100% subscription free home internet security solution.
RATtrap and Cujo are the least expensive solutions when considering the total cost of ownership.
Keezel vs. Cujo vs. Dojo vs. RATtrap
|Price||$99||Pre-Order For $144||$199||$249|
|Best For||Protecting your home network, including smart home devices.||Protecting your mobile devices when they’re connected to public networks.||Protecting your smart home devices.||Protecting your home network, including smart home devices.|
|How It Protects You||Smart Firewall, Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware||VPN||Analyzes Metadata||Tracks Malicious Websites and Analyzes Packet Metadata|
|Works with Wi-Fi Devices|
|Monthly or Yearly Service Fee||$8.99/month or $59/year||$5/month||$9.99/month or $99/year (purchase of Dojo includes a 1-year subscription)||FREE|
|Optional Lifetime Service Fee||$150||Buy the device for $479 and enjoy lifelong Premium services||FREE|
|Can you use the system without a paying for subscription?||No, you cannot.||Yes, but with fewer VPN locations and lower internet speeds.||Yes, but you will receive limited updates, limited reporting, and no support.||Yes and you will receive all Premium features.|
|Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site|
SMART HOME PROTECTION SUMMARY
Cujo has a suspicious track record regarding online reviews. Their original Amazon page had a 3.5 star rating with almost 200 reviews. Then, without reason, they abandoned the page and started a new Amazon page. Their new page quickly boasted hundreds of positive reviews. It currently sits at 4.5 stars, but it’s rated F by Fakespot for review quality. Fakespot estimates that 79.5% of Cujo’s reviews are low quality. That said, it’s hard to trust what’s been said. Looking at their original Amazon page, reviews for the device are mostly positive, but product users have pointed out 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’s 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.
What sets Dojo apart is its ability to protect your smart home devices by learning how they usually behave and notifying you if they start behaving out of character. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly turned off by how they treated their original backers, including us. They completely abandoned communication and cancelled orders. While they have a good product, it does make me question how reliable they are as a company. What if they decide to give up again?
In digging into Dojo’s Amazon reviews, I found that users have mixed opinions. Some say that setting up Dojo can mess up the connection of certain smart home devices. They also say that it’s not so simple to setup. Like Cujo, it requires that you log into your router and turn off DHCP.
RATtrap, in my opinion, offers the best protection for smart home devices. One, it tracks malicious websites and prevents your devices from connecting to them. Two, it blocks websites that hack unprotected security cameras, such as Shodan.io. Three, it offers IP and DNS protection as well as DDoS attack protection to prevent hackers from attacking your home.
According to user reviews on Amazon, RATtrap is indeed as easy to set up as promised. There were a couple of reviews claiming that RATtrap slowed down their internet speeds. However, after reaching out to RATtrap’s support team and receiving a replacement unit, the problem subsided.
Each of the four security solutions offers something unique, but some of them stand above the rest. Based on our research, RATtrap seems to be the best choice. They don’t charge a monthly fee (for now), they protect your privacy, and they can secure your mobile devices, computers, and smart home devices. It’s also noteworthy that RATtrap works in bridge mode, it’s not directly addressable and hence it does not have an attack surface, making it a secure and smart firewall.
Cujo is also a strong contender, and if you purchase the $250 version, you’ll have access to services for life. However, I advise that you only purchase Cujo if you have a technical understanding of how your network works as it requires port forwarding.
For on-the-go internet security, the obvious winner (and the only contender) is Keezel. The only downside is that Keezel’s not yet for sale. You can pre-order it now, but it won’t ship until September of this year.