Yoggie Gatekeeper Card Pro

  • Editors' rating
    8.4 Excellent


  • Compact ExpressCard 34 format
  • Hardened Linux OS
  • 'Plug-and-forget' transparency
  • Automatic updates
  • Real-time monitoring
  • Comprehensive reports
  • Remote management


  • Doesn't protect workgroups

Yoggie Security Systems makes great hardware-based security devices for business travellers. From the diminutive Firestick Pico to the Gatekeeper Pro, Yoggie has your back covered; and for those who don't like to leave the office, Yoggie even offers a security management appliance that can be installed in your server room.

The company's latest offering, the Gatekeeper Card Pro, is an evolutionary (Yoggie has already done USB) device that offers the same level of protection as company's other products, but in ExpressCard 34 format. So instead of using a USB device, which could easily be lost or stolen, the Gatekeeper Card Pro is safely hidden within an ExpressCard slot.

Like the Firestick Pico and Pico Pro, the Gatekeeper Card Pro is a computer with its own processor, memory and hardened Linux-based operating system. With new and improved hardware architecture (CPU changed from Intel PXA to Freescale i.MX31; RAM from SDRAM to DDR), the Gatekeeper Card Pro offers better performance than existing Yoggie devices.

The Gatekeeper Card Pro is a computer with its own processor, memory and hardened Linux-based operating system.

The Gatekeeper Card Pro is smaller than a regular PC Card; it also operates at lower voltages, with 1.5 and 3.3V baselines. Be aware that ExpressCard slots come in two varieties: those designed for both ExpressCard 54 and 34 cards, and those for ExpressCard 34 cards only. If your notebook has an ExpressCard 54 slot, it can accept both types of card; however, only ExpressCard 34 cards like the Gatekeeper Card Pro fit in ExpressCard 34 slots.

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To get the device up and running, you first need to disable any software-based firewall or internet protection suites to avoid conflicts. Then you simply insert the Gatekeeper Card Pro into your notebook's ExpressCard slot. If your system only has a PC Card slot, you'll need an ExpressCard-to-PC Card adapter (not supplied). Finally, you install the driver and software, which is provided on CD. The first time you install the product it will automatically download all relevant updates, which can take up to 15 minutes depending on your connection speed. During this time you can't use the Gatekeeper Card Pro, but at least you can view the update progress via the easy-to-use web-based management console.

The Gatekeeper Card Pro then works like all Yoggie products by providing a physical barrier between your computer and the internet to ensure that threats never reach the notebook itself. Because all internet traffic is routed through the ExpressCard device, there's no need to install security software on your notebook, which can improve its performance. The Gatekeeper Card Pro, like its brethren, is pitched as truly 'plug and forget' technology, as you don't have to manage subscriptions to multiple security applications.

There are 13 layers of security software in total, including Adaptive Security Policy, Multi-Layer Security Agent, Layer-8 Security Engine, URL Categorisation and Filtering, Anti-Spam, Anti-Phishing, Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus, Transparent E-mail Proxies (POP3, SMTP), Transparent Web Proxies (HTTP; FTP), Intrusion Detection/Prevention, VPN Client, and Stateful Inspection Firewall. Before any data is accepted for processing by your computer's operating system, a low-level driver redirects it to the Gatekeeper Card Pro, where a full security check is performed. Attempted security breaches are identified and thwarted, and only safe, secure data is passed back to the computer.

The Gatekeeper Card Pro is managed via an intuitive web-based management console, which provides status information, security logs and reports and can be used to configure device settings, network settings and security policy. You can also change card's modes of operation from Corporate (Managed) Mode to Standalone Mode. In Corporate mode, the Gatekeeper Card Pro unit is connected to a Yoggie Management Server, which extends the IT manager's ability to manage and enforce security on notebooks in the field. In Standalone Mode the Gatekeeper is not connected to a Yoggie Management Server and functions independently. In this case, security policy is set by the user, with security updates transparently downloaded directly from Yoggie Security Systems.




The Gatekeeper Card Pro's web-based management console provides status information, security logs and reports; it can be used to configure device settings, network settings and security policy.

The Gatekeeper Card Pro includes two additional settings for optimising performance. If you use a PPPOE dialler to establish an internet connection, or if you have trouble sending or receiving email, browsing the internet, or receiving updates to Gatekeeper Card Pro, you might need to adjust the MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit) setting. This is because the Windows MTU setting might be configured to less than the standard MTU, which is 1500. Gatekeeper Card Pro must be configured to the same MTU as Windows. Some firewalls restrict access to UDP port 9020, which is used by Gatekeeper Card Pro's Web Filtering engine. To overcome this problem, Gatekeeper Card Pro can allow the Web Filtering engine to operate on the well-known HTTP port 443, which is always open on the Firewall. This mode of operation is called Remote Procedure Call (RPC) mode.

Reports are provided about types of security events in the form of graphic charts. These reflect information gathered during the last 24 hours of operation. You can click a chart to view it as a 3D graph, and then click and drag it to change its orientation. You can also navigate through the charts, view them in 2D, replay animations and print them. One of the outstanding features provided by the Gatekeeper Card Pro driver and software is Gatekeeper Card Pro Enforcement. This prevents or disables connection to a network when the Gatekeeper Card Pro is not connected to your notebook. Situations may arise when you need to disable Enforcement — for example, if the Gatekeeper Card Pro has been damaged or lost. Once disabled, you can continue working with a network connection. However, this feature should be used with caution as all Gatekeeper Card Pro protection is disabled.

These days, many professionals take their notebooks with them on holiday. However, internet hotspots, in hotels, cafes or airports, are notorious for their insecurity, exposing unprotected systems to spam, phishing, malware, Trojans and worms and more. Yoggie's Gatekeeper Card Pro delivers powerful plug-and-play protection for notebooks, removes the need to manage multiple software subscriptions and can boost your notebook's performance by removing the security software overhead. Bear in mind that no security solution is perfect and you'll still need to use your common sense. The only downside is that it protects individual computers only, so small workgroups are not supported.