Bitdefender Box Reviewed

TheLostSwede

Regular Contributor
It's powered by an old Atheros AR9331 MIPS SoC that's mounted on a module, as per the breakdown video.

It also doesn't seem to be FCC certified, as they have certified a similar board back in 2014, but not this product https://fccid.io/2ADJ5
The FCC ID on the product sticker claims it contains the certified product in the link above, but it clearly doesn't if you watch the tear down video, as the PCB layout is vastly different, although the module appears to be the same. That said, this should require a new FCC ID.


Image source: https://www.digitaltrends.com/pc-accessory-reviews/bitdefender-box-review/#/7
 
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thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Thanks for the info. Only the radio module needs to be FCC certified.
 

TheLostSwede

Regular Contributor
Thanks for the info. Only the radio module needs to be FCC certified.
Note quite true, it depends on the type of device and this is clearly not a modular radio module in the sense of for example what's used in a notebook. From my understanding of the FCC regulations, this is more than a permissive change. To fall within permissive changes, you can change minor components, but not things like housings, antenna layouts, antennas etc. which this clearly includes if you compare with what they submitted to the FCC in 2014. It looks like the same module, but that's the only part that hasn't changed.

Considering that they're using a chip antenna, I wouldn't want to use this as a router, the range is going to be terrible.
 

schultzter

New Around Here
Great review!!!

How does the DHCP server compare to what's in your Edge Router? I assume the ER's DHCP is pretty powerful. I use DD-WRT on my router and do some minimally advanced configuration for some of the devices on my network. Will I loose all that or is the DHCP configuration in the Bit Defender comparable to what's in DD-WRT? Do I have to use the Bit Defender's DHCP or could I configure it into my current DHCP server?

Is this how all these stand-alone boxes work? By setting themselves up as the gateway? Isn't that going to be an issue if all traffic has to pass through one port of a single device? I realize the Bit box only did outgoing traffic, and maybe that's why - because you're probably only making small requests upstream and the majority of traffic is downstream. What happens when you sync photos and videos to Google/Flickr/etc?

How about a Fing box review? Not sure it's available yet, but the app already is, https://www.fing.io/

Thanks,
 

dreid

Regular Contributor
Thank you for your excellent questions! Below are the answers I can provide to your questions.

The DHCP server on the Bitdefender Box is not configurable. I don't see an option to disable the Box's DHCP server, so I doubt you could use a router's DHCP server.

I've tested the Bitdefender Box and the Cujo firewall. Both need to be between your devices and the Internet to do their job. Becoming the DHCP server on your network is how they do so.

We tested the Overlook Fingbox a while back, here. (https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/other/cloud/cloud-services-apps/31832-overlook-fingbox-reviewed) We haven't tested the new Fingbox, but stay tuned!
 

Hadley

New Around Here
Thank you for your excellent questions! Below are the answers I can provide to your questions.

The DHCP server on the Bitdefender Box is not configurable. I don't see an option to disable the Box's DHCP server, so I doubt you could use a router's DHCP server.

I've tested the Bitdefender Box and the Cujo firewall. Both need to be between your devices and the Internet to do their job. Becoming the DHCP server on your network is how they do so.

We tested the Overlook Fingbox a while back, here. (https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/other/cloud/cloud-services-apps/31832-overlook-fingbox-reviewed) We haven't tested the new Fingbox, but stay tuned!
If I had an extra computer lying around that I could install pfsense on, I would give it a shot. But I don't, so the Bitdefender Box2 seemed like a good alternative at the time. I tried Cujo but had to return it because it wouldn't even start up for me about 80% of the time. At least Box2 works, and without too much fuss. I'll just live with it for a year, and find free alternatives for my VPN/ad-blocking needs in the meantime while they continue to develop their product.
 
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sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
Note quite true, it depends on the type of device and this is clearly not a modular radio module in the sense of for example what's used in a notebook. From my understanding of the FCC regulations, this is more than a permissive change. To fall within permissive changes, you can change minor components, but not things like housings, antenna layouts, antennas etc. which this clearly includes if you compare with what they submitted to the FCC in 2014. It looks like the same module, but that's the only part that hasn't changed.
Talking about bringing old threads to the front.

One of the fun things about SoM's...

2457637-0.png


With things like this - the SoM (System on Module) is certified in and of itself - it's an interesting loophole @TheLostSwede - can change the underlying board, but as long as I don't touch the SoM itself - it's a paperwork thing. Might be a permissive change, might not, but it's just part 15, not the radiated stuff - bit of a loophole there.

With EU it's a bit different - RE-D and RE-D does not mean that the device is RE-D - needs to be retested... but even there, a good regulatory person can find a way...
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
didn't find a review on snb about version 2 which seems a huge improvement!
I reached out to them a few times awhile ago with no response. I also have lost touch with the reviewer for these types of products.
 

System Error Message

Part of the Furniture
a funny title would be bitdefender box bit defended :p
Will it route?

A lot of companies do well first but dont last, usually they get bought out and die or just dont plan on the long term.
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
A lot of companies do well first but dont last, usually they get bought out and die or just dont plan on the long term.
Hmmm... startups might get funding to do interesting things, and that research can be bought out by a bigger fish... Or just bringing in a hired gun to sort things, and once done, let them go -- "not the right fit for the team"

Been there... not very happy - used and abused...

I have a pretty negative opinion on startups right now... as I was "that guy"...
 

System Error Message

Part of the Furniture
Hmmm... startups might get funding to do interesting things, and that research can be bought out by a bigger fish... Or just bringing in a hired gun to sort things, and once done, let them go -- "not the right fit for the team"

Been there... not very happy - used and abused...

I have a pretty negative opinion on startups right now... as I was "that guy"...
what about unfunded startups that wont be bought out?
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
what about unfunded startups that wont be bought out?
I think a lot of it is really about the business model - how is the company going to make money? There always has to be a valuation to the company, whether bootstrapped or seeded/invested by externals...

Whether tradition startup path or whatever - the company needs to have a viable product to sell...

Ethics go a long way, depends on the founders and management - like I mentioned above, I was brought in as a 'hired gun', did some cool/crazy stuff, but once they understood it - kicked to the curb...
 

System Error Message

Part of the Furniture
I think a lot of it is really about the business model - how is the company going to make money? There always has to be a valuation to the company, whether bootstrapped or seeded/invested by externals...

Whether tradition startup path or whatever - the company needs to have a viable product to sell...

Ethics go a long way, depends on the founders and management - like I mentioned above, I was brought in as a 'hired gun', did some cool/crazy stuff, but once they understood it - kicked to the curb...
every company was once a startup, why do you think i use a very different business model?
 

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