Bitdefender Box protects your Smart House

Do you worry about hackers gaining access to your Smart House? Truth is the more connected our technology becomes, the more data our devices and appliances can gather about us. That data can be shared in ways we don’t anticipate or can be revealed as part of larger breaches.

In a speech at International CES, Edith Ramirez, chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, said the trend toward having so many things constantly connected to the Internet presented serious risks that start-ups and big companies needed to take seriously.

Because connected devices are relatively new, there are few security features built into many of them or the apps and services that power them. Even fewer products exist to lock down your smart home.

Bitdefender Box | KitchAnn Style

That’s why I was happy to discover a new product from Bitdefender, which makes antivirus and anti-malware software for computers.

The new Bitdefender BOX is a mix between a router, network firewall and intrusion prevention system. It can sit behind an existing router, connected to one of its ethernet ports, it can be placed in front of a router, so that it also protects the router from Internet-based attacks, or can act itself as a router.

With the help of Bitdefender’s cloud-based threat intelligence network Bitdefender Box constantly scans your network and the websites you visit for potentially harmful software or viruses.

“The whole idea is not to let it inside your network,” said Bogdan Dumitru, the company’s senior threat analyst.

One common security problem, for example, is that a person visits a website that has malicious code embedded in it. You don’t have to click anything for the code to run, and after it does it can deliver a virus that can co-opt your computer and put it to work as part of a botnet. A botnet is a giant network of computers linked together to break codes or passwords or initiate distributed denial-of-service attacks that can take down entire sites.

“When you’re opening a malicious page, before the page is downloaded, it is intercepted in the box, flags are sensed in the cloud and it doesn’t show up in the first place,” said Dumitru.

More interestingly, this layer means that it can be used to set up a VPN connection when users travel away from home, protecting them against man-in-the-middle attacks.

It will also handle things like vulnerability alerting and OS updates and even anti-theft.

Bitdefender Box | KitchAnn Style

Bitdefender plans to start shipping Bitdefender BOX this month. The $199 MSRP includes the hardware and a one-year subscription for the service. After that, expect to pay $99 per year to protect an unlimited number of connected devices.

As with most antivirus and anti-malware products, the box can scan for and detect only code that has already been identified as a threat. Something new could still sneak through.

LG Twin Wash system

If you thought the new Samsung ActiveWash was pretty cool just wait…there’s more. LG has also debuted a washer at the International CES 2105 show with a new washer category of their own.

LG’s revolutionary TWIN Wash System enables two separate loads to be washed simultaneously with a space-efficient mini washer located in the pedestal. The new washer is compatible with any front-loading LG washing machine, including older models.

LG Twin Wash System | KitchAnn Style

This means you to can wash lights and darks at the same time, or simply pop a smaller delicate load into the mini washer to save water and energy.

LG Twin Wash System | KitchAnn Style

Despite its small size, the mini washer uses the same “Slim Inverter Direct Drive” motor as bigger machines, so it delivers the same cleaning power, according to LG.

In addition to speed and efficiency, LG wants to stay at the cutting edge of connected tech with its washers and dryers as well. The new washer comes with NFC and WiFi connectivity, allowing users to upload special washing cycles, monitor those cycles, and receive alerts when the load is finished.

Although not confirmed, look for the TWIN Wash System in May 2015, the mini washer (WD100C, WD200C) will retail for $499.

To learn more about other new laundry products from LG shown at CES 2015, visit their press room. Here.

ActiveWash from Samsung

If you haven’t heard yet, Samsung just unveiled a new washing machine with a built-in sink so that you can pre-treat stained clothing and drop them directly into the washer.

The latest top load washer from Samsung features ActiveWash technology. With built-in water jets under its lid and a surface for scrubbing out stains homeowners without a laundry tub will no longer have to attempt to hand wash clothes in a small bathroom sink or worse the bathtub.

Samsung ActiveWash | KitchAnn Style

A conveniently place water button allows for easy start and stop of water when hand washing. Once finished, raising the built-in scrubbing area pours the water into the machine.

Samsung ActiveWash | KitchAnn Style

The new ActiveWash washer also features an accelerated wash cycle with Samsung’s proprietary Super Speed technology that can clean a normal load of clothes in as little as 36 minutes.

Samsung ActiveWash | KitchAnn Style

Also, ActiveWash is equipped with Samsung’s state-of-the-art technology such as VRT, which reduces vibration, and SmartCare, which provides laundry status updates to mobile devices.

Samsung will start selling the ActiveWash washer in White and Platinum in the US in Spring 2015.

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