Stingray – Portable Hardware Firewall

Internet security is a hot button topic right now, and for good reason. Every second your notebook is connected to the internet it’s exposed to the most malicious intents of hackers lurking in the virtual shadows, ready to pounce on precious data such as bank details and credit card numbers etc.

Now while every savvy laptop user will have the latest virus definitions, and malware monitors such as spybot or spysweeper installed, sometimes a little extra hardware security can just be the difference between safety for you and your family online, and not. The latest defender is not a flimsy piece of software that needs a content update as soon as it’s installed to make it effective. This is a hardware firewall, probably the bouncer your internet door needs.

The Stingray requires no updates, no patches, no system modding. Just connect it to your modem and the other end to your notebook and that’s it. This hardware bruiser hides your IP address from intruders, if their name isn’t on the guest list then they ain’t getting in.

The external system should not slow down the performance of your laptop, and will check everything from virus to screensavers for any possible infringement. It is self adaptive based on a number of complex algorithms that update automatically to help keep your notebook protected from web nasties. One important fact to note though is that it’s only compatible with Cable, xDSL and T1 modems, dial ups are not supported. As with software firewalls sometimes you get alerts from connections you deem safe such as instant messenger programs, online games etc. If you suspect that the Stingray is blocking a legitimate connection, you can just push the handy bypass button.

Stingray is very portable, and if you have a universal power adaptor it can be used while travelling abroad. But don’t get smug and throw away your anti-virus software yet. This hardware firewall cannot detect malware destined for your computer in a valid user session. For complete protection it’s advisable that you keep your AVG, Avast, Mcaffee or Nortonvirus software updated with the latest definitions.

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By Ian Bandy – Laptopical

Thursday, June 08, 2006