The way home security ought to be

Last week, the show formerly known as Pauldotcom featured the creator of Iguardian, a dead-simple Internet security device. It’s a tiny computer a little larger than a pack of gum that you can plug inline between your router and your modem for extra protection. Basically it does what most people think a router does.

If you want to know what it actually does, read on.Unlike a router, which either blocks or allows traffic based on port numbers and IP addresses, Iguardian is an Intrusion Prevention System that actually inspects the data traveling through it, and if it looks benign, it passes it. If it looks suspicious, it blocks it. In the event that one or more of your computers got infected, Iguardian would try to block the infection from taking orders from the outside world.

An IPS like Iguardian isn’t a panacea, but it’s far better security than any consumer device has ever offered. If our home networks were cars, a typical home router would be a car with old-school two-point seat belts, and an IPS is a Volvo with crumple zones, modern three-point seat belts and airbags. The Volvo doesn’t guarantee nothing bad will ever happen to you, but it gives you a serious advantage.

At $179, Iguardian is expensive. It’s similar electronically to a home router, but since this device is going to be produced in far smaller quantities, it doesn’t have the economies of scale. That said, I can’t build one of these devices for $179.

But as with all things, if this catches on, the cost will come down. If these were made and sold in the kinds of quantities as my TP-Link routers are, there’s no reason this couldn’t sell for $89.

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