The Yoggie Pico Pro Linux security appliance review - Part 1

Summary:Yesterday I received a Yoggie Pico Pro personal security appliance for review. This is a new Linux-based security computer that's the size and shape of a USB flash drive. The idea is that rather than run security apps on your PC, have them all running on the Yoggie instead. Nice idea, but how well does it work in practice?

Yesterday I received a Yoggie Pico Pro personal security appliance for review.  This is a new Linux-based security computer that's the size and shape of a USB flash drive.  The idea is that rather than run security apps on your PC, have them all running on the Yoggie instead.  Nice idea, but how well does it work in practice?

Full installation/setup gallery can be found here.

Yoggie Pico Pro

I have to admit that I like the sound of the Yoggie Pico Pro.  The idea of being able to offload 13 different security applications onto a dedicated appliance and being able to free up PC system resources to carry out other tasks sure has some benefits.  The Yoggie Pico Pro runs Linux 2.6 and is powered by a 520MHz Intel PXA270 processor.  Onto the Pico Pro is packed 13 security applications:

  • Anti Virus
  • Anti Spam
  • Anti Phishing
  • Anti Spyware
  • Intrusion Detection (IDS)
  • Intrusion Prevention (IPS)
  • Firewall (Stateful Inspection)
  • VPN
  • Web Filtering
  • Parental Content Control
  • Adaptive Security Policy™
  • Multi-Layer Security Agent™
  • Layer-8 Security Engine ™

I'm not going to bore you with unboxing shots and long descriptions of how the Pico Pro was packaged (this isn't a Mac after all :-), suffice to say that the Pico Pro came well packaged in a cardboard display pack containing the Pico Pro, instruction manual, installation CD and a spare end cap for the Pico Pro (a nice touch).  No lanyard or lanyard home though, although I never use them.

OK, enough about the packaging!  What about the Pico Pro itself?  Well, I'm here to tell you that I'm impressed.  Impressed enough to think about buying a few more of these at $199 each.

Installation of the Yoggie Pico Pro software (which you need on each PC that you plan on using the Pico Pro on) was simple and straightforward.  It'll work on both Windows XP and Windows Vista.  Pop the disc into the drive, click on a few options and it was installed.  Once installed you are prompted to access the Yoggie's management console to set it up.  Again, this take a couple of minutes and the process is done.

Yoggie Pico Pro
Initial testing of the Pico Pro seems to suggest that it's working well but to be honest it's too early to tell yet as I've not been using it for long.  Over the next few days I want to carry out more testing and I'll post my finding here.  However, here are a few of my initial thoughts:

  • I love the compact design.  However, this is double-edged and could lead to loss.
  • Spare cap - nice idea!
  • Easy to use interface - I thought administrating 13 separate security apps would be a nightmare.
  • Drivers aren't digitally signed - I would expect that the drivers for a security appliance would be signed for security.
  • I wish that it came supplied with a short USB cable as my USB ports are close to the hot air exhaust outlet on the notebook which means that the Pico Pro gets quite hot.

Stay tuned for more!

For more details visit Yoggie.  Price: $199

Thoughts?  Would you be interested in a portable security appliance such as the Yoggie Pico Pro?  Do you have any ideas or suggestions as to what tests should I carry out on it?  Share your thoughts!

Topics: Security

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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