I’m a paranoid computer user. The first thing I do with a PC is install a full suite of ”anti-” software programs—antivirus, antispy, antispam, you name it. I even leave Microsoft Vista’s ”Annoy me constantly” mode turned on. So when I got a browser virus anyway, I lost my faith in my software security shields.
Just in time, along came the Yoggie Gatekeeper Pico. It’s a USB stick that bills itself as a replacement for all the security software we ordinarily run under Windows, designed with laptops in mind. All network traffic, wired or wireless, goes through the Pico before any Windows software sees it. And because the Pico is itself a complete computer, running Linux on an Intel XScale processor, it promises to bump up performance by supplanting the security software that now sucks cycles from your laptop’s central processing unit.
That claim got my attention, because I both design and play games, and what gamer doesn’t crave better performance? The price seemed right, too—I found it for US $149 up front and $30 a year for automatic updates (including, for example, new virus profiles), with the first year’s updates free.
Installation is supposed to be straightforward: just insert the Pico and install a driver from a CD. However, it didn’t work that way for me. The CD’s installer wouldn’t run on its own, so I ran it from Windows Explorer. Then, when the program launched Internet Explorer to register my Pico on Yoggie’s Web site, the browser reported an invalid site certificate—not a good sign for a security product.