So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
BFG Tech Internet Traffic Cop
- It looks cool, easy to set up, does its job with a minimum of fuss
- Not very useful, Button presses don’t always register, No AC Power adapter included
The sleek looking Internet Traffic Cop is a security device we can do without
Price$ 79.99 (AUD)
The Internet Traffic Cop is a strikingly designed gadget that provides a form of security while you are away from your computer or wireless network - although we really can't see the point of it.
In a nutshell, the Internet Traffic Cop provides 'security' by disconnecting your PC from the internet while your computer is still in operation. Once you have finished using your machine, you simply press the button to disconnect your computer and another button to reconnect when you want to use the Internet again.
We think this kind of device is plainly unnecessary for most users, as if you really want to disconnect your PC from the network, you can save $80 by just unplugging the network cable yourself, turning your PC off or disabling the network. Additionally, many people now like to leave their PCs connected to the internet in order to download data when they are not using it, and the Internet Traffic Cop doesn't facilitate this. We would recommend using a firewall for protection, rather than this device.
We struggled to think of any users who would gain from using this gadget. Perhaps parents who wish to restrict internet access may find it useful, but there is nothing stopping a child from simply reconnecting the device themselves. Internet novices or those not too familiar with computer technology might also gain some benefit, but this is marginal at best.
The Internet Traffic Cop is a small, chrome polished box with two large buttons - an illuminated green button which signifies that internet access is available and an illuminated red button which means that your internet connection has been disabled.
Depending on what connection you use for your internet, the Internet Traffic Cop connects between your cable or DSL modem and your PC. We tested it through a simple Ethernet connection. The supplied USB cable provides power to the unit while an Ethernet cable from our modem was plugged into the unit, with another Ethernet cable connecting the box to our PC. The Traffic Cop also works with USB connections and can provide security for a wireless network as well. We were impressed with the ease of setup which requires no drivers or installations on your PC. You simply plug in the unit and away you go.
The idea is simple and we must say that the silver box with its glowing lights looked flashy on our desk. However, what we didn't like was the responsiveness of the buttons - they sometimes took two or three presses to register and this wasn't ideal. There was also no included AC adapter in the box, but you can purchase this separately if you need to. For those with limited USB ports, the convenience of an AC adapter for power would have been much appreciated.
Overall, the Internet Traffic Cop is not a very useful device and you would be better off saving your money and investing in a decent firewall and anti-virus package.
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