Netgear today announced a potentially exciting development in its router-based add-on online protection feature, the Netgear Armor Powered by Bitdefender.
First available in April 2019, NAPD is an add-on feature available in select Nighthawk routers and Orbi mesh systems. It's designed to protect your entire home network from online threats and more.
Netgear Armor Powered by Bitdefender: A premium service
Initially, this feature comes with the following capability for an annual cost of $69.99 (after a 3-month trial):
- Active Vulnerability Scans on all the connected devices in your home
- Instant Alerts that inform you via notification of detected/blocked threats.
- Web Protection helps you browse safer by alerting you and blocking potentially harmful webpages.
- Anti-theft Protection help safeguard your data in case of loss or theft (available only to Android and Windows Devices).
On top of that, it also includes Bitdefender Security software and app for iOS, MAC, Android, and Windows devices for an unlimited number of users within a family.
In mid-2020, Netgear upgraded this feature with the support for BitDefender VPN, which is free for those needing no more than 200 MB of encrypted data traffic per day per device.
But, still, the point is, to really enjoy the benefit of this feature, you'll have to prepare to pay.
But considering the levels of protection, especially the included Bitdefender software, the NAPD is worth it. Generally, the Bitdefender Total Protection software suite currently already costs some $50 per five devices per year if you buy it separately.
A new tier of protection
As of today, according to the networking vendor, its Netgear Armor Powered by Bitdefender will get another tier of protection that adds the following additional capabilities:
- Sensitive Data Protection: Blocks attempts to send your login and banking info, SSNs, and more over unencrypted connections.
- Anomaly Detection: Machine learning algorithm monitors and learns the usual behavior of your connected devices and blocks any activity that’s out of the ordinary.
- Brute Force Protection: Prevents connected smart devices from bots that attempt to compromise your passwords with unlimited concerted attempts.
- DDoS Protection: Protects your network against crippling denial-of-service attacks.
- Exploit Prevention/IDS: Protects your data and devices from malicious intrusions.
All that makes Netgear Armor Powered by Bitdefender one of the most, if not the most, comprehensive protection packages on the market.
A higher annual cost
There's a catch, however. With this, Netgear also hikes the cost of Armor to $99.99/year. For comparison, Asus's Network Protection, powered by TrendMicro and available in all of its routers, is free for the product's life.
Compared to other similar subscription-based features on the market, such as Amazon's eero Secure + or TP-Link's HomeShield Pro (formerly HomeCare Pro), though, the cost of Netgear Armor seems reasonable.
Speaking of paying, existing Netgear Armor users will get the option to upgrade to the latest tier or remains at the original level with the same cost.
An important thing to note: useful as they seem, these additional capabilities of Netgear Armor Powered by Bitdefender will require users to surrender more personal information. That's a sure thing.
What's not so sure is the actual level of its effectiveness. Neither Netgear nor Bitdefender guarantees 100% protection. But that's the case with all protection services, online or offline.
Also, while you can't have protection without somebody watching over you, it's always the balance between privacy and protection that matters. It's a matter of degrees.
It's generally wise to assume that your guard could get compromised, so it's a good idea to think twice before putting all of your security eggs in one basket, so to speak.