Review: NetGenie

Read time 3min 20sec

The Cyberoam NetGenie Home Wireless Router is a full intrusion-prevention and Web-filtering solution that one would expect in an enterprise, but is packaged to appeal to a home user.

The box contains a NetGenie wireless router, an Internet cable, power adapter, two WiFi antennas and a quick-start guide.

Installing the appliance is simply plug-and-play, and the step-by-step guide shows four different ways a user can connect the appliance to a computer and modem; whether it's via a cable or WiFi. It's also compatible with 3G modems.

NetGenie provides protection for multiple devices, including desktop PCs, laptops, iPhones, iPads and gaming consoles, and can support devices connected via cable or WiFi. All devices are immediately protected by a firewall and built-in anti-virus - it effortlessly detected my Android phone and my iPad.

From the moment NetGenie is turned on, it prevents unauthorised access into the home network, without complex manual settings. Enabling parental controls was also simple. After entering the IP address, the user is taken to a bright, user-friendly interface that can configure age-appropriate Internet access for each family member.

Immediately, the administrator can select the age group of each user, and can prohibit kids from accessing questionable Web pages by blocking them. The administrator can also select certain Web site categories and keywords that will be blocked from specific users. The administrator can also set a time allocation and period as to when a user can access a Web site. I suppose this could be useful to restrict children from spending too much time on the Internet.

When a child accesses a restricted Web site, a prompt pops up, saying: “NetGenie thinks this Web site may be inappropriate for you!” It asks the user to enter the password in order to gain access to the Web site, or asks the user to get permission from the administrator.

NetGenie also allows the administrator to blacklist or whitelist certain devices from accessing the network. It empowers the administrator to limit data transfer or prevent files from being uploaded.

It also has a great reporting feature providing statistics for anti-virus, intrusion prevention, family protection and Web protection. It shows which devices are connected, including each device's IP address, and exactly what each device is doing and accessing on the network.

In the security tab, the administrator can access firewall settings and block device IP addresses from accessing the network. Its intrusion protection can scan ports, detect traffic anomalies and enable Web protection.

NetGenie also scans all incoming and outgoing traffic over e-mail. On standard settings, if NetGenie detects malware, it will scan and delete it, but the administrator can change the course of action when dealing with malware, although this is not recommended.

In summary:

Pros: Easy to use, full protection
Cons: Pricey
Rating: 9/10
Price: R1 200
Contact person: Lynton Lubbe

I found no lag or slowdown in speed. Web browsing was fast and the anti-virus runs smoothly. There are no pop-ups or interruptions during Web browsing; I found it to be a very seamless experience.

In summary

NetGenie provides a great network management solution suited to a household that's not tech-savvy, but has multiple devices connecting to the same network. However, I found the device to be overpriced in comparison to alternatives on the market, and one has to question whether users needs yet another box on top of their existing router.

It's a comprehensive device that secures multiple users, monitors bandwidth and prevents children from accessing sites they shouldn't, and if security is a user's priority, then I recommend the NetGenie Home Wireless Router.

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