TP-Link routers get a little safer with AI-powered security features

The new features come from a partnership with security firm Avira, but they won't be free: They're part of a new package called HomeCare Pro.

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At CES 2020, router manufacturer TP-Link (in partnership with security software company Avira) announced new security features for its Wi-Fi 6 routers.

Powered by Avira's threat-monitoring AI, the new features are designed to closely monitor devices connected to routers, fingerprint each permitted device, and monitor traffic for anomalies. 

The new features are part of TP-Link's new HomeCare Pro service, which will be available to owners of TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 devices some time in the first quarter of 2020. This increased security comes at a cost: $5.99 per month, or paid in a yearly sum of $54.99.

Smart home security that's probably worth the cost

TP-Link describes good router security as critical in securing the modern smart home. 

Securing home (and business) routers is just as critical as TP-Link states, and the company has the facts to back that assertion up: Routers, its research found, made up over 75% of infected devices in IoT attacks. 

A honeypot the company set up was attacked within five minutes of being connected to the internet, and nearly half of attacks against routers target default password combinations or unprotected routers. 

In short, the router is the gateway to all the IoT devices hidden behind it, and if it isn't secure, it's a safe assumption that the stuff behind it isn't, either.

SEE: The 5 most important things that happened at CES 2020 (CNET)

According to the company, the Avira-powered HomeCare Pro security suite "protects all connected devices in the home network against external and internal attacks and blocks incoming threats with its malicious content filter, [it also] identifies and blocks suspicious behavior from individual devices and flags invasive tracker activity. Its DDoS protection prevents devices from joining malicious botnets and being misused to knock targeted sites off the internet." 

All of these features and more are available in a mobile app that allows easy monitoring and control of IoT devices that TP-Link says are "nearly hands-free." 

TP-Link hasn't released a list of specific models that HomeCare Pro will be available on aside from saying it will be on all if its Wi-Fi 6 certified routers, and all of them will come with a free trial of HomeCare Pro. 

$5.99 isn't much to pay for IoT network security, whether it be at home or in the office. It isn't clear how well HomeCare Pro will work, but if it is effective it's definitely worth considering for vastly increasing the security of the modern home and office network.

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Image: TP-Link