Cyberoam NetGenie is a new breed of Wireless Routers that offers much more than just network sharing. No doubt, the first and foremost job that a router must do is networking, but imagine a router that has is smart, and includes features like parental control, inbuilt antivirus, Intrusion Prevention and option to plug in a 3G modem. Yes, the NetGenie is capable to do all this, plus much more. The NetGenie is available in for home users and office users. Let’s take a closer look at Cyberoam NetGenie.
Cyberoam NetGenie Home – Smart Wireless Router with Family Protection
As the name suggests, this “Home” router is targeted towards home users, for those who want to create a secured Wi-Fi network at home without any complicated process. Many router’s user interface are so complicated that a normal home user would have to seek the help of his/her neighborhood technician to setup a router. Thankfully this is not the case with NetGenie. The setup is truly plug-n-play – connect the internet, connect the computer and you’re online.
Normal routers need to follow a long process to get started, like login to the router, going to the Wi-Fi menu, creating an SSID, entering a password and then remembering that password forever. This is not the case with NetGenie, that’s because it has pre-set Wi-Fi security that comes with a network security key at the bottom of the device. This security key (pass key) is unique for every device. Thus, there is no need for any manual security settings, and of course you can change this security key from the web interface.
NetGenie Web Interface
This is the NetGenie web interface. In this screen, you can see how easy it is to create user accounts. Yes, in normal routers there’s no need to create any user accounts, but since this device also provides parental controls, its better to create a login for each and every family member. Create a user account from this screen and also select the age of the user, this is just to prevent the user from browsing unwanted sites (e.g. social networking, mails, etc) and applications not suitable for their age. Also note the “Tips” section in the right side, this gives additional help about each option on the page.
This parental control feature can help you stop kids from wasting time online. You can select the age group of the user and this in turn will set the preferences of which websites and applications the user can access and which ones be blocked. For e.g. you can prevent your 12 year kid to browse any adult, gaming, etc sites. This age level restriction helps to configure the settings as the way you want.
Clicking on “website categories list” opens a list of all the website categories, for all age groups. Allowing or blocking any website category is also a piece of cake, just click on the category to allow a particular category to be browsed by that age group. This GUI is so simple that anyone can configure all these settings, you don’t need to be a computer expert to do this.
That’s not all. You can also enter a URL to quickly allow or block a particular site. You can configure which applications can access the internet. This helps in preventing access to applications like instant messengers, P2P, VoIP or games that require internet access.
You can also set time for internet access. For e.g. you may want to limit a particular user to access internet only on particular days and for specific timings. Family protection control can also be easily enabled and disabled for a user.
After creating an account, you can just pass on those login credentials to the user. Each time user wants to connect to the internet, they will need to login.
There is no need to remember any IP address to login to this web interface. If a user is not logged in, then that user will be prompted to login with his/her credentials.
The “security” settings page lets you configure different security settings like enable/disable anti-virus, firewall, port forwarding, intrusion prevention and UPnP. By default the security features like inbuilt anti-virus and Intrusion Prevention system are enabled.
“Network settings” page helps in configuring network related settings. Set IP address, subnet mask, gateway, enable/disable wireless, etc. The internet usage meter helps in specifying a limit to data transfer. This is useful for those who have limited data transfer plans. For e.g. if a user has 10GB plan, then you can set monthly, quarterly, half yearly or yearly limit. This helps in limiting usage beyond the ISP plan.
3G Modem Ready Router
This is a 3G ready router. Share internet connectivity of your USB broadband or 3G modem with more than one family member by plugging in your 3G device into the NetGenie appliance.
Logs and Reports
This is yet another notable feature of NetGenie. This section can display a very detailed report on which websites the user opens, which application accesses internet, which users are connected to the internet, overall this section is one stop for every report a home user would ever want to see.
This detailed report can help a user keep a track on what other users are browsing. This means that parents can monitor the online activities of kids and multiple other users. Logs can also be disabled from the configuration menu, just in case a user doesn’t want to keep record of network activities.
Cyberlink NetGenie SOHO UTM (Unified Threat Management)
NetGenie also offers a different model for Small Offices, Home Offices (SOHO). For a productive office environment, its very much essential that a user doesn’t waste time surfing sites not related to office work. To a much extent, this can also lead to productivity loss and bandwidth wastage.
Office users are separated as per “levels” and not as per age group as in “home” model. Set internet restrictions based on levels with a single click.
IPSec VPN functionality over NetGenie SOHO provides secure remote access to central and vendor offices. Cyberoam NetGenie can truly make office network more secure. Control which user can browse which sites and applications, as per your preferences.
The NetGenie SOHO appliance is a UTM (Unified Threat Management) device. This is an all-inclusive security product that has the ability to perform multiple security functions like stateful inspection firewall, VPN (Virtual Private Network), inbuilt anti-virus, intrusion prevention and internet access controls, all in one single device. This device is placed right at the internet entry point in your network.
NetGenie is available in India, U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Middle East countries, Africa, Latin America, Switzerland, Spain, France, Greece, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy and more.
Warranty, Pricing and Subscription
Cyberoam NetGenie appliances come with 1 year warranty, 3 year security subscription (Internet Controls, Inbuilt Anti-Virus, Intrusion Prevention System) and free 3 months support. Price of Cyberoam NetGenie Home Wireless Router in India is Rs. 7,999 and for NetGenie SOHO costs is Rs. 10,999. No doubt India is a price sensitive market where before asking about features of the product, buyers ask about the price first. The price may seem to be on the higher side but since this device is much more than just a normal Wireless router, the pricing may seem to be somewhat justified.
- Wireless N Network
- Superb parental control
- modemAllows sharing of USB broadband /3G modem Internet connection by plugging it into NetGenie
- Inbuilt antivirus and Intrusion Prevention System
- Only 4 Ethernet ports to connect wired computers
- User will need to login each time he/she needs access to internet (this is to identify the user to implement internet access rights configured in NetGenie)
One can also whitelist devices to access the internet from his /her own laptop or smartphone with no restrictions and without having to log in to the NetGenie.
The device would have added more value if it had at least 8 Ethernet ports for connecting wired devices. Overall this can be a smart, all-in-one device which not only connects each and every device to the network, but can also provide protection against viruses, inbuilt content filtering system with web filtering and application filtering, intrusion prevention system and offers much more.
If you’re a home user and want to stop kids from wasting time on those social networking sites, then device this for you. The plus point is that you don’t need to waste time configuring each and every thing, but just configure the elements that you’re comfortable with. The web interface helps you do things fast, so that even an average user can configure this router easily.
Small office users will also find this device attractive, as office workers can be prevented from wasting time browsing sites, this in turn can improve their productivity.