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  Product:     AlphaShield Professional Hardware Firewall  
  Price:     $110 (CDN) / $99 (U.S)
  Supplied By:     VoyeurMods
  Author:     clsGrinder
  Date:     July 2nd, 2006
  Rating:     star star star star star star star star star  

MODTHEBOX would like to thank Brian from VoyeurMods for sending the AlphaShield Professional Hardware Firewall for review.

VoyeurMods

Introduction:

The Internet is a great place to be and offers a wealth of worldwide information. Growing up, I never had such a thing, but today I can’t imagine my life without it. As we all know that with the good comes the bad, and yes there is an ugly side to being online. Bad apples look to compromise your PC’s security with every packet, and home Internet security can really be a pain. Does a device exist that can take the entire headache out of home security, and give you piece of mind when you sleep at night? AlphaShield thinks so, with introduction of their new computer security device for the home user. Today in the MTB Labs, we will be evaluating the AlphaShield Professional Hardware Firewall, a stand-alone external hardware device that utilizes cutting edge technology to stop hackers and network attacks before they can access your computer.

Specifications:

The AlphaShield Professional Hardware Firewall is a small switch-like network device that has 3 RJ-45 slots. This hardware firewall works independent from your PC, so it even protects the user from his or herself. One port plugs into your high-speed Internet modem, another goes to your computer. A third port is included if you want to bypass the security all together if needed. With all due respect to AlphaShield, the web site and manual put very little meat on my fork in respect to hard technical data about their product. Here are a list of features and “marketing jargon” from AlphaShield’s manual and website:

Model
AlphaShield Professional Hardware Firewall
Technology

Unique “GAP” technology (Trademark: AlphaGAPTM)

Authorization

RPA (Real-time Packet Authorization)

Stealth

IP Stealth Technology (Makes your computer invisible to hackers)

Sentry

Stand-alone hardware sentry

Modes

Manual Mode (Timed connection with a logical disconnect), Auto Mode (Continuous connection with an optional logical disconnect), Lock Mode (Timed connection with a physical disconnect), Dynamic Configuration Mode (allows the opening of ports and trusted internet IP addresses)

Features

- - Blocks all 65536 ports by default

- Stops most 3rd party pop-ups
- No PC expertise required
- No software patches or firmware upgrades required
- Compatible with all operating systems
- Compatible with Cable, xDSL, ISDN or wireless broadband connections
- Firmware is immune to viruses and alterations
- Won’t conflict with existing firewalls or routers
- - Eliminates DOS/DDOS attacks
- 7 by 24 protection

AlphaShield Professional Hardware Firewall
Click image for larger view
AlphaShield Professional Hardware Firewall
Click image for larger view
 

The AlphaShield Professional Hardware Firewall comes in a nice red coloured retail box. A product shot is illustrated on the front, while features, specifications and topology diagrams are located on the back.

AlphaShield Professional Hardware Firewall
Click image for larger view
AlphaShield Professional Hardware Firewall
Click image for larger view
 

The AlphaShield sits securely inside the package. While the supporting hardware and manuals lie underneath. Here is an inventory of the hardware firewall system:

  • 1 x AlphaShield
  • 1 x 6ft cat5e
  • 1 x AC/DC adapter
  • 1 x Users Manual
  • 1 x Software CD
  • 1 x Panda Platinum 2006 Suite
The Panda Platinum 2006 Suite is pretty comprehensive and provide an array of useful tools that includes Antivirus protection, Privacy Control, Anti-spam protection, Anti-Spyware protection, Anti-Phishing protection, and Web Content Filtering. The package also includes a installaton video and easy to understand users manual.

AlphaShield Professional Hardware Firewall
Click image for larger view
AlphaShield Professional Hardware Firewall
Click image for larger view
 
The AlphaShield Professional Hardware Firewall is small and manageable in size. There are 3 LED's sit on the front, (from left to right) PC Activity, Connection Status, Internet Activity. On the back (from left to right) we have the Internet connection, an AUX or Bypass connection, a settings switch, PC Ethernet connection, and power plug. The “S” on the top of the unit is not simply a logo, but buttons as well. The blue button is a connection button, and the grey button is a disconnect button. Allow me to explain the function of the settings switch first.

Manual/Auto/Lock: Manual Mode will only bring you online when you press the blue connect button on the top. Much like a screen saver, if there is 15 minutes if Internet in-activity the connection will be broken logically forcing you to press the blue button again if you wish to connect to the Internet again.

Auto Mode: Auto Mode will bring you online when you press the blue connect button. The connection will be permanently maintained regardless of the level of in-activity. If you want your PC’s connection with the Internet broken, you can do that manually by pressing the gray disconnect button. This is a mode that will probably be employed by most users.

Lock Mode: Lock Mode will only bring you online when you press the blue connect button. After 15 minutes of in-activity you will be physically disconnected from the Internet, until the blue connect button is pressed again.

In all instances where you are physically disconnected, your IP address could be released by your PC. Depending on your ISP (Internet Service Provider) you could obtain a new IP address when you re-press the blue connect button.

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