CUJO Smart Firewall Review

Cyber security has always been a concern for years but it has gotten deeper with more people being “plugged in” if I can coin an old term. People aren’t just connected via their PCs anymore but also through their smartphones and heck even their smart home devices ranging from their thermostats, TVs, all the way down to their audio speakers. We have seen cyber attacks range from the Mirai attack last year targeting IoT(Internet of Things), Equifax this year and also the vulnerabilities in WPA2. It’s become increasingly hard to keep track of what’s connected and what’s not and this is where CUJO can come into play.

Style

CUJO Firewall

CUJO has a very clean simple design. It has a cylinder shaped look to it and seems to be made to find in your decor of devices. It has eyes that are always on and feel like they are watching you but are actually watching your network. There isn’t much else that makes CUJO build wise as its rather plain jane in it’s all white body with the CUJO insignia placed on top. Flip to the back and it’s just two Ethernet ports and a spot to plug in the power plug.

Setup

CUJO Firewall Setup

Getting CUJO working wasn’t painful but it took sometime. I plugged everything up and connected it to my Netgear Orbi Home Router. Once I plugged it up I didn’t do the next steps on the app(which walks you through the process) and was taking pictures. Next thing I know my phone rings asking me if everything is okay. It was CUJO customer support saying that the device was in Standby mode and if i needed assistance. I advised them no and hung up. It’s cool that they have customer service to assist but was a bit creepy to get a call maybe 5-10 mins after connecting it. Afterwards continued through the steps and finished up. My devices started populating but internet wasn’t working right away. After some refreshes here and there everything was up and running.

Features / Performance

How CUJO works is that it monitors all your network traffic and sends it to the cloud for analysis. If CUJO spots any threats you will receive a notification via your smartphone in real-time. Also if you happen to be the room where the CUJO is you will see its eyes open up signaling there is danger on your network. Once you open the app it will tell you what device it’s on and what kind of threat it was.

CUJO Firewall Aware

Using CUJO I found out some sites I was using had some exploits on there I was unaware of. I noticed many pop-ups but didn’t realize there was more lying underneath. I even noticed I went to a site one time and CUJO popped up on my network advising me to beware. Something similar I seen Chrome do when going to some sites at times.

What I like about CUJO is if a new device is connecting to your network it will let you know. So if you have some unrecognizable device tapping into your network you can catch it right away. Also using CUJO I haven’t experienced any difference in my bandwidth and everything seems to be working normal as usual. No slowdowns or anything of the sort.

CUJO has parental controls if you have kids in the household and want to monitor their network usage. You can use it to block certain content, websites, etc.

Verdict

I found the setup of CUJO to be pretty simple and straightforward even though I have read others may have gone through issues. Thankfully I experienced none of that. So far I have found my usage of CUJO to be pleasant and haven’t come across any issues. Only thing I would like to see more of is where they get their info regarding “threats” and what’s the complete root of origin. I do like that CUJO has gone into just having one price compared to the subscription based pricing they were doing before. At the cost of $249.99(199.99 on Amazon) you get CUJO with unlimited support. If you have a vast network of devices CUJO may be beneficial in taking care of it.

FYI: As of now CUJO is offering free Setup and Install. Not sure how long that lasts but if you feel you need it, it’s available and saves you $79.