Keezel Portable Cyber Security Firewall REVIEW | MacSources
VPN’s are a must Keezel makes this easy for everyone
When it comes to using public hotspots, security is key. I’m a big proponent of VPNs and keeping your data secure. While VPN providers have designed apps to work well for single device users, there aren’t many clever solutions available for users with multiple devices. The Keezel is a portable VPN networking hub that delivers a secure WiFi solution for travelers and remote workers.
The Keezel is a small oval-shaped device that provides remote privacy for multiple devices. With it, you have the opportunity to be secure online and access unavailable content through Keezel’s VPN. It’s powered by an 8,000 mAh battery that allows it to run for approximately 20 hours without a charge. The Keezel even acts as a power bank that you can use to charge your phone or tablet. The device was originally launched in 2015 with an Indiegogo campaign. It was pitched as a portable WiFi hotspot with built-in VPN capabilities. With Keezel, users have the ability to avoid installing VPN software on multiple devices and then connecting each to a public WiFi. Instead, they can simply connect to the Keezel. The device offers 802.11 b/g/n WiFi support with 2.4 and 5GHz modes available. The encryption standard that is used is AES256. It uses Micro USB to charge.
When you purchase the device at $159 (at the time of writing this review — $199 regular retail price), you have access to the basic/free plan, which affords users 5 mbps as a maximum speed. You are also limited to only 16 Global servers and weekly phishing filters. The premium package is $60 per year (or $5 per month) and provides users with 18 mbps, more than 1,000 VPN Servers, and daily phishing updates. You do have the option to purchase a lifetime premium service for $399.
- Keezel firewall keeps intruders away from your connected devices.
- VPN encryption covers your privacy and security.
- Phishing filters protect you from account theft when surfing online.
- Adblocking improves your browsing experience and lowers risk of malware infections.
- Keezel’s battery lasts 20 hours and can even charge your phone as a powerbank.
The Keezel comes in a nicely branded box with a photo of the product on the front. There are some basic details included on the outside of the box while the device, its carrying case, charging cable (Micro USB), and manuals are included inside. I found the Keezel device to be a nice size. It’s a little larger than you would want to carry in your pocket, but just the right size to stow in your laptop bag. The case is soft on the outside but semi-hard on the inside so that it keeps its shape. The charging cable tucks away in the folds of case.
The first step with the Keezel is to turn it on. If you haven’t charged it, I would recommend doing so when you first remove it from the box. The button on the bottom of the device activates it when you press/hold for approximately 3 seconds. The light will come on blue and then start blinking green. The user manual will tell you that when it blinks green it’s ready for set-up. I would advise that it should be blinking green slowly because when it first starts blinking it’s very fast and it gradually slows down. From here, the process is fairly normal in terms of setting up/joining a WiFi Network. You look for the network name with ‘keezel’ included and join it using the generic password provided by Keezel. Once you join it, you will be asked to go to your browser and type in 192.168.11.1 or Keezel\ to configure the network. At this point, you can log in through a portal and change any VPN settings you wish to.
One of the reasons that I like this device so much is because it gives me the opportunity to secure multiple devices at one time. For example, when I go to a convention with the MacSources team, we all have separate laptops and mobile devices that are connected to the internet. This past January when we visited Imaging USA, the three of us on the team all connected to the hotel’s WiFi using VPN software on our individual devices. It was a pain to manage. Had we brought the Keezel with us, we all could have just connected to the device as we would a normal WiFi and we wouldn’t have had to worry about VPN software at all.
Keezel makes it easy to have a secured network without having to go through a lot of hoops. One complaint I have is that it can be kind of slow. I found that my computer would connect to it quickly, but that the Keezel wouldn’t provide an internet signal very quickly. I saw some other reviews that report a 20–30 second to connect time. That kind of lag makes you start to wonder if it’s worth using. If you can get past that issue that is actually intermittent, then I think it is worth having. I would caution that it’s not always the most efficient method to stream video on because of its slower speeds, but when you want to make sure you can transmit data without anyone snooping, it’s a great option.
While the Keezel has a lot to offer frequent travelers and power users, it’s probably not a device for everyone considering it’s high priced set-up cost. If you are a single-device user, I would still recommend a dedicated VPN app, but for multiple device users, this is the way to go.
Originally published at https://macsources.com on April 21, 2020.