You Can Be More Connected to You Home Appliances with Google’s Nest

Google Nest Connects Home Appliances

Google-owned Nest Labs can keep you more connected with your home thanks to the many new third-party devices added to its “Works with Nest”  Program.

The  Works with Nest program originally launched with consumer brands including Whirlpool, Jawbone and LED bulb-maker LIFX.

According to Nest Labs senior product manager Greg Hu, the company’s goal is to keep the interactions between his company’s products and Continue reading “You Can Be More Connected to You Home Appliances with Google’s Nest”

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.

Dacor Discover IQ Dual Fuel Range

Ever since Android was released, there have been attempts to build it into appliances. None of these products have kicked off the era of smart appliances we’ve all been dreaming about, but Dacor is back at CES this year with yet another Android-powered appliance in its Discovery iQ series.

Dacor Discovery iQ 48-inch Dual Fuel Range | KitchAnn Style

The 48″ range comes  with a 7″ Android powered tablet built into the control panel complete with the ability to run apps. The Wi-Fi connected range comes with Dacor’s iQ Cooking App which provides the user “with tools they require for precision cooking.” It allows home chefs to control the range with their tablet or smartphone to do such things as conveniently preheat the oven, change a cooking setting or receive a text message when the meal is complete.

“The new range combines the cooking precision our customers have enjoyed for nearly 50 years with a first-of-its-kind Dacor Cooking App and iQ Controller, providing a convenient, connected cooking experience.”

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The Dacor Discovery iQ range does has  built-in safety features. For instance, whenever someone is using the range via the built-in tablet, all users connected from other rooms will be kicked off the controls. The oven also cannot exceed a certain temperature when controlled from the app. The top burners also can’t be controlled via the mobile app.

DacorDiscovery iQ Range | KitchAnn Style

 The Discovery iQ 48″ Dual-Fuel Range is priced at $11,999 MSRP and will be available nationwide in June 2014. A 36″ range is supposed to be released next for $4,299.

Let’s hope that the specs on the tablet are updated from Android 4.0.3,  512MB of RAM and 1GHz Exynos processor.