Yoggie Gatekeeper Pico

PC security software is often the topic of debate amongst PC users. Typically, it revolves around which suite of security apps to go for. A quick search and you’ll find hundreds, with a few established brands that have entrenched themselves in the market. That unfortunately has also meant that these popular security suites have become so overbloated that they zap the performance out of the brand new computer you just bought.

So, let me introduce you to the Yoggie Gatekeeper Pico. The Pico is a security suite that fits inside of a USB drive, and will do all of the things that your existing security suite might do plus more. The difference is that the Pico will do it with minimal interruption to your systems performance, or at least that’s the claim.

The Pico is a new generation of security protection that comes complete with its own processor, memory and operating system. It’s essentially a miniaturised computer that plugs in to your USB port and keeps your computer safe from any malicious activity that comes you way.

Inside the device is a 520MHz processor and 128MB RAM. Now, if you’re thinking like me, then you’re thinking that computers from not all that long ago had similar figures attached to them. You’ll also remember them being a lot bigger and noisier as well. Thankfully, the Pico really is the size of a USB, albeit a slightly larger one.

As soon as your Pico drive is plugged in, security measures and monitoring are activated to protect you from viruses, spam, spyware and phishing. You also get firewall, intrusion detection and parental control features all under one roof. There’s a total 12-point protection system in place when you have the Pico plugged in – security so strong that Yoggie are bold enough to claim that it’s the equivalent to Pentagon-level security.

The Pico device essentially acts as a middle-man, in a similar fashion to what a corporate server does with a network of computers. All traffic and data passes through the USB drive before it reaches your machine. This of course doesn’t just magically happen when you plug the drive in. The software provided on the CD, makes some changes to your operating system (which can be reversed of course). This enables all networking traffic to pass through the Pico before arriving at its final destination.

A status monitor is accessible from the tray icon, leaving a minimal resource footprint on your machine – one of the key features of the Pico is that it reduces hardware utilisation to an absolute minimum, instead shifting it on to the hardware on the USB device itself. This means that the memory and CPU cycles that are normally consumed by security suites from software vendors such as McAfee and Symantec, two of the most established brands in the security market, are freed up for your use, effectively minimising the impact it has on the performance of your machine.

The status monitor gives you stats on how many threats it has protected you from with a dial indicating how dangerous the environment you’re operating in is, based on the number of threats detected, removed or blocked. Instead of meaningless log reports, the browser interface creates animated graphs to show you the history of your computer health and the security threats it has protected it from.

Everyday usage of the Pico proves that its non-intrusive and provides peace of mind to the user. I know that it’s plugged in and I know that it’s quietly monitoring my computer as I work. I’m also happy in knowing that I’ve freed up more than 30MB of RAM compared to having one or more security applications for the 12 different areas that the Pico protects you from.

Included with the Pico, is one years subscription to updates, with a limited offer currently running where you get three years all-in. Not bad considering you would normally be renewing every year at a considerably higher cost.

2008-08-28 Onwah Tsang

4 comments - why not add yours

  • rcardo says:

    This sounds like a viable alternative to forking out for Norton every year!

    Posted on 9th September 2008
  • oni says:

    There are cheaper alternatves to Norton, but the Yoggie does come with three years worth of updates (for limited time). After that you will have to pay but you do continue to get the benefits of offloading the ‘scanning’ overhead, which you’ll never get with a software-only solution.

    Posted on 10th September 2008
  • Su Routledge says:

    Can you confirm for me that I will not need Anti Virus Software if I use a Yoggie? Can I transfer it to my daughter’s laptop when I’m not using it?

    Posted on 22nd October 2008
  • oni says:

    @Su Routledge: With Yoggie, you don’t need anti-virus software. Your license will be restricted to use on one machine only.

    Posted on 25th October 2008

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