The Yoggie Pico Pro is a USB thumb drive with no space for you to store stuff on. But don't panic, it does come with 15 security applications pre-installed, and it does throw in a Linux OS, and it does pack a 520MHz PXA270 Intel processor on board, and it does provide your PC with industrial strength security protection in a hugely desirable and attractive little package. So that's OK then.

The clever bit, well one of many clever bits, is that the Yoggie hijacks all your incoming network traffic and passes it through what is in effect a fully self-contained Linux computer on a memory stick. Here, the firewall, antivirus, antispam, antiphishing, antispyware, intrusion detection and other security applications check that all is well before releasing the data back onto the PC. The cleverest bit, therefore, is that whereas on a standard PC with security software loaded upon it, a particularly nasty bit of malware might take down your PC, if that happens on the Yoggie it takes down the Yoggie and leaves your PC running. Not that our testing found anything that could so seriously upset the Yoggie it has to be said. And, of course, another advantage of this hardware device approach as used by bigger businesses the world over, is that you remove the danger of introducing system stability problems caused by security software conflicts.

The only real drawback of this device is the fact that you are handing over complete trust for all your security solutions to Yoggie, and there is very little information available as to what choices they are making in the applications used to protect you PC, your data and your identity. We managed to find out that the applications are actually a combination of totally written in house by Yoggie, adapted by Yoggie from open source software, and in the case of some applications licensed from third parties. We understand these to include Kaspersky AV, SurfControl and MailShell for example. Signature updates are done on the hour, and stored within the writeable memory of the Yoggie itself so fulfilling the promise of keeping all the security off of the host PC and on the removable device.

Those 15 security applications in full are:

AAnti Virus, Anti Spam, Anti Phishing, Anti Spyware, Intrusion Detection (IDS), Intrusion Prevention (IPS), Web and Mail Proxies, Firewall (stateful inspection), Web Filtering, Parental Content Control, Adaptive Security Policy, Multi-Layer Security Agent, Layer-8 Security Engine, VPN Client (PRO model only), VPN (available in the Pro model

If you don’t need the VPN client which provides secure remote access to your network files while out and about, or the Yoggie Management Server interface that comes along with it to manage that access, then you can save a few quid by opting for the non-pro model at £94. There’s no getting around the £21 ongoing software license fee after first 12 months though, but that compares well enough to ongoing licensing costs for any security software suite to be honest.

Whether buying for business or home use, you won’t be disappointed by this smart little device. It takes the pain out of protection, and can even act as the ultimate in easy parental Internet control systems because once you unplug it there is simply no playing online. Let’s see little Johnny get around that one then...


Forget about installing a swathe of complicated security software on your PC, and let this mini-marvel Linux computer on a stick take control of policing your connection.