'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
Firewalla is expanding its product lineup today with its fourth network security device. As is the case with each product in Firewalla's lineup, the $319 Purple takes a different approach to provide an extra layer of security to your home network.
In addition to two gigabit Ethernet ports on the Purple -- a device that's roughly the size of a Raspberry Pi -- the Purple can also be used to create a short-range Wi-Fi network when you're working in a coffee shop or a hotel while traveling.
You can use the Purple as a router at home. You can also set it up between your modem and router to monitor your traffic, look for malicious websites, and send you alerts via the Firewalla iPhone or Android app.
I've now used every Firewalla device available, and they all do exactly what is advertised. With Purple, I was able to migrate the settings and rules I had set up from when I tested Firewalla Gold, and the Purple was up and running in a few minutes. That includes my ad blocking and routing rules, along with VPN and DDNS settings.
That means you can connect to your home network via a VPN connection, either protecting your Wi-Fi activity while you're away from home or allowing you to access devices and files stored on your home's network.
I haven't had a reason yet to leave the house and take Purple with me, but messing around with the app and reading through the instructions makes it look simple enough.
The only catch is that you'll need to complete the initial setup of Purple before you take it with you.
Firewalla also has Blue Plus, Red, and Gold. Each one varies in cost and overall network speed, with the Gold and Purple being the most capable and powerful of the bunch. You can learn more about Firewalla's network security products either by visiting Firewalla's website or reading my review of the Blue.