Called the Home Network Defender, the applications provide protection for PCs and other home-network devices, such as online game consoles, Wi-Fi-enabled phones, and personal media players. Among the security features offered are safe Web surfing, parental controls, and user-activity reporting.
"This product helps protect not only PCs but any connected device and is a must for anyone concerned with Internet safety for their family," Greg Memo, VP and general manager for products at Cisco's Consumer Business Group, said in a statement.
The software's safe Web surfing feature blocks sites and links it identifies as malicious based on a regularly updated list. The parental controls lets parents set rules for blocking sites and restrict access at specific times.
Defender also includes an antivirus application and can provide reports on parental control violations by users. The software also can monitor network devices and activities and block unapproved devices.
Trend Micro claims that Web threats have increased by nearly 2,000% since 2005, with half of the threats downloaded by users surfing unknown or malicious Web sites. About a third of teenagers have experienced unwanted exposure to pornography while online, according to the security vendor.
The Home Network Defender is available on select Linksys wireless-N routers. The service costs $60 a year. Current Linksys customers can download the firmware from Cisco's Web site.
InformationWeek has published an independent analysis of six top technologies for remote office support ... and two to avoid. Download the report here (registration required).