CUJO is a firewall between your home and the internet; think of it as a mix between anti-virus and anti-malware protection that not only protects your PC but any and all attached devices. If the first question is, “why, do I need one? I have windows firewall and windows defender built in and that should be enough.” Well, in my experience, I've seen the results of people clicking on the most dubious of links, falling for the worst phishing scams, the obvious ransomware scams, and god knows what else hackers have come up with. It may not be you in particular, but if you live with kids, have a click happy spouse, or deal with parents that will fall for the same thing twice in one week, then you should definitely look at the CUJO.
Unboxing CUJO felt like opening a Russian nesting doll as each of the three parts had either forms or wires. The CUJO is currently only available in white and stands about 5 ¾” tall and 4 ¾” round. Turning it on for the first time was cool as CUJO has eyes; I guess the better to see you with. But they also serve as an indicator that it’s currently working. So what does it do for you?
CUJO is designed to monitor all traffic in and out of your home, creating a buffer between your home network and the internet by giving you something that your family can’t override and click past. Not only can CUJO do the required protection, but it has an app that helps control and adds rules. Since CUJO is in-line with the router it protects all wireless devices and applies rules to them as well.
After you purchase Cujo, which is currently $99 device only, there are three subscription options:
- $8.99 - Monthly
- $59.00 - Yearly
- 150.00 - Lifetime
What you’re getting with the subscription is an active up-to-date firewall, antivirus and malware protection that when you come across any type of action against any device connected to your home network, you will get a notification on your app and CUJO will block the connection, also giving you a detailed log of what's going on and what is the best option to proceed.
Setting up CUJO was fairly simple; once you create a login you can start the setup guide, which will ask you to let CUJO be in charge of DHCP. This is where you make a choice to go forward with this. But don’t worry its reversible. This lets CUJO take care of everything automatically and I'd recommend it. Once everything is set up, CUJO becomes almost independent with no real need to make changes as the device will stay updated via the internet and you will be protected against the newest and the strangest things out there.
Since I’m experimenting with a few routers, devices, and other protocols, I had to go with CUJO's manual settings, which I needed since I have multiple tasks going on. It was a bit more involved but they give you a full set of instructions right on the app, which is quite handy. However, in this instance, I did have a little trouble setting up the device the first time around as the multiple router/network switch kept CUJO from seeing everything. It was nice to have tech support readily available right from the app willing to help me out; in fact, they emailed me first after my many failed attempts. And after some changes, I was able to make it work with my configuration. I did test CUJO out on a single router system and it worked very well. In fact, I separated my work and home network for my family and friends just so they don’t have to partake in my madness.
My experience with CUJO so far revolves around my son’s machines - a tablet and laptop, with both at one time or another having gotten malware and ransomware as he was trying to find some Minecraft hacks. Sure I can fix it but it takes a lot of time. However, with CUJO I now have an option for protection as having the device around cuts down my time wasted on cleaning up his machines every two months. This means I can get a few good years of security from CUJO until he is out of the house. I’m going to give you something to think about; if your kids are 5 - 7 years of age, they're already attached to the hip with their tablets. And chances are you’re not going to be there all the time to see what they’re doing. With my son I applied rules where I would take him offline after 9:30 pm on weeknights and block certain sites and content types.
CUJO helps keeps me informed when anything critical is happening on my network. It does so with a one-two combination of visual notification as well as notification from the app, which also keeps track with the logs that I can review as necessary. With the app, it's nice to see how detailed and clean everything is and I like the parental controls, which gave me rules that could blanket the whole network or individual connected devices. While CUJO helps protect devices such as gaming consoles, tablets, and security cameras, it's the latter that I'm most concerned with and appreciate the protections that CUJO gives when dealing with my feeds. If you're not already aware, hackers can snoop into your security camera and post them online, so you'll want something that'll keep such shenanigans at bay. Now that CUJO is setup solely on the home network, it has worked well that all I have to do now is sit and wait for one of them to screw up and let the app tell me it caught something. And you can expect the same protection as well should add CUJO to your connected family. Finally, CUJO's tech support really came through; they were nice thorough and patient. I will admit sometimes I get a little arrogant when it comes to my personal network, but in the end, mission accomplished.
CUJO really is an awesome security device, which helps to protect your devices that reside on your network from outside, nefarious attacks. With all the nice things CUJO does please keep in mind that what it won't do is replace what you already have on your PC; it won’t scan your device for viruses or malware, nor will it detect what you bring in from an external storage (i.e. USB, SD Card, or hard drive). So keep your built in antivirus/firewall handy and updated. CUJO is as hands off as you can get while maintaining a good watch over your network, which I'll give it a TOV 4 out of 5 stars. And the next time someone in your house acts up… No internet for you.