Bitdefender Box 2 is a brilliant residence safety equipment which shields desktop PCs, laptops, mobiles, tablets and all of your linked units from hackers, malware and extra.

The Field is basically a supercharged router which might exchange or run alongside your present networking package. Join your units to the Field and it acts as a sort-of firewall, watching inbound connections to maintain hackers at bay. Your community is consistently monitored for unknown units or suspect conduct, and Field additionally blocks outgoing requests to identified malicious web sites.

Field is powered by a dual-core model of ARM’s widespread Cortex A9 CPU, with 1GB DDR3 RAM and 4GB of inside storage.

Wi-Fi duties are dealt with by an 802.11a/b/g/n/ac AC1900 setup. You get simply two ports – one LAN, one WAN – each supporting Gigabit Ethernet. It is not fairly as much as the usual of Norton Core’s 4×4 MU-MIMO system, however there can be sufficient energy for many customers.

Extras? There is a 1m Ethernet cable bundled with the Field, however that is about it.

The Field is just accessible within the US proper now (different international locations are “coming quickly”), and that is in all probability why our unit got here with a two-pin energy adaptor solely. This accepts 100-240V enter, although, so even now can be utilized within the UK and elsewhere when you’ve got a journey adaptor.

Bitdefender Field prices $249.99 (£200) for yr one, which will get you the router and a free one-year subscription to Bitdefender Whole Safety 2018, or the equal software program to your machine (Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac, Bitdefender Cellular Safety for iOS or Bitdefender Cellular Safety & Antivirus for Android).

Shopping for the software program alone would usually value from £35 for as much as 5 units, however the Field subscription covers as many as you want. Renewing your subscription prices $99 (£80) a yr.

Whereas Field is not precisely low cost, it is aggressive with comparable merchandise. Proper now Norton Core has the identical upfront value at $249.99 (£200), and likewise consists of software program for limitless units and renews at $10 (£eight) a month, or $120 (£96) a yr.

Setup

Bitdefender Field arrives in a well-designed and really protecting, umm, field. Elevate the cardboard sleeve, open a surprisingly strong lid, and every thing is neatly tucked away inside. It is the sort of premium packaging you’d count on with a luxurious designer product moderately than a chunk of community package.

The router inside is extra peculiar, only a easy cream and black triangular block with an influence connection and a few Ethernet ports. Nobody’s going to marvel on the design, but it surely’s adequate, and will not look misplaced in most houses.

Networking newbies will in all probability be intimidated by the prolonged directions on the setup card, however it may be simpler to get going than you suppose.

The method begins by downloading Bitdefender Central’s app for iOS or Android (there isn’t any desktop-based various). That is usually used to handle any present Bitdefender installations you may need, however the app additionally offers a easy Field activation wizard.

Setup begins by asking you to log in to the Field community in your cellphone, then join your Field to the web, usually by plugging it into your commonplace router with the cable supplied.

The app affords a alternative of networking modes. Field can successfully exchange an ISP router, work with an present private router by enabling bridge/AP mode, or be used as a standalone router.

We selected the ISP Router possibility. The app requested for our ISP router’s login credentials in order that it might clone our default settings.

The final step requires disabling your unique wi-fi community to make sure any units reconnect to the Field. The app consists of directions to work with 4 widespread router varieties – AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon – however our UK ISP wasn’t on the listing.

This is not Bitdefender’s fault: we had been utilizing a US unit within the UK, so it is no shock that UK ISPs weren’t coated. Skilled customers should still have the ability to disable the unique wi-fi community on their very own. Even when that is an issue, it does not forestall you getting began. You may join units to the Field community instantly and type out your outdated router later.

When you have issues, Bitdefender does its finest to assist, with free set up help through phone or electronic mail. We examined the e-mail route and received pleasant and useful replies inside two to 3 hours. This needs to be sufficient that can assist you resolve most issues, and if all else fails, return the unit inside 30 days and you will get your a refund.

Options

Setup could be a problem, however as soon as it is configured you should utilize the Field with out doing the rest in any respect. Restart every of your units, and they need to hook up with the Field and the web precisely as they did with the outdated router.

Even at this degree, there’s a lot taking place within the background. Field is monitoring outgoing connections, blocking makes an attempt by your units to entry phishing and different malicious websites, and likewise stopping the sending of delicate info like bank card particulars over an unencrypted connection.

Field additionally watches for doubtful incoming connections. New units will not have the ability to entry the community till you give permission, and Field prevents any brute-force makes an attempt to log in to your units.

Extra common community monitoring layers detect and provide you with a warning to community vulnerabilities, in addition to selecting up uncommon conduct which could point out a hacked machine.

There is not any clear strategy to take a look at most of this, however we’ve got measured Bitdefender’s anti-phishing techniques in earlier critiques, and so they typically carry out very properly. That safety alone is properly value having.

Your Field is managed from the Bitdefender Central app. Its Units display exhibits you acknowledged and unknown units which have linked to your community just lately, offers you extra details about them and offers some useful further instruments.

This standing show didn’t all the time work as we’d count on. It recurrently advised us units had been ‘disconnected’ and hadn’t been seen for a while, at the same time as we had been utilizing them to entry the online. This occurred on each a Home windows 10 laptop computer and an Android cellphone, suggesting it wasn’t a easy machine setup concern.

These standing points did not appear to have an effect on what our Field might do, thankfully. We had been capable of click on a tool, discover out extra about it (working system, MAC tackle, IP tackle), and pause/resume its web entry with a click on.

A Community Scan possibility claims to provide you an “immediate report of how community vulnerabilities have an effect on this machine” (weak credentials, outdated firmware and extra). The Scan button tells you to “come again later for the outcomes”, which does not match our definition of immediate, however inside a couple of minutes a notification arrived with the outcomes.

An Set up Safety button prompts you for the e-mail tackle of the machine proprietor, and sends them a message with a hyperlink to obtain and set up native Bitdefender software program (Home windows, Mac, iOS and Android units are coated). Your subscription covers as many units as you want.

Field comes with easy parental controls which might block web sites by content material or limit web entry by time of day. The flexibility to dam a particular machine’s web entry on demand may be useful for these advert hoc ‘cease what you are doing and are available right here proper now’ conditions. There’s nothing shocking or revolutionary right here, however the options are nonetheless a worthwhile addition to the package deal.

We accomplished our checks by operating easy efficiency assessments, together with streaming HD video content material from three units concurrently. As we would count on from the extent of utilized by Bitdefender Field, there have been no points and our techniques labored a lot as they did with the unique ISP router.

Ultimate verdict

Bitdefender Field can take a while, thought and expertise to arrange correctly. However there is a free set up service to assist level you in the proper route, and when you’re up and operating the Field does a superb job of defending you from a number of safety threats.