Since practically everything is being moved to the cloud (opens in new tab)The cyber threat landscape has created new security challenges that create gaps in standard security and leave users confused and vulnerable.
Launched in 2018 by Amos, Michael and Daniel, Guardio was developed with the aim of tackling these challenges head-on, combating emerging cyber threats and ensuring internet users remain in a safe environment and can surf the internet with peace of mind.
In short, Guardio is a lightweight extension for Google Chrome designed with a safe and fast browsing experience in mind – it can wipe your browser, increase its speed and protect your confidential information. It not only makes your Internet travel safer from scams and suspicious websites, but also blocks unwanted pop-ups and other types of mood killers.
Guardio’s official website seems clear, simple (a bit too simple if you ask us) and straightforward to use. It also features an up-to-date blog with some useful tips and tricks to strengthen your cybersecurity. To learn more about Guardio you can follow them on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Although Guardio is designed specifically for Chrome, it also works with Microsoft Edge and Chromium-based browsers (opens in new tab) on desktops and laptops running Windows, Linux and Mac. Unfortunately, Guardio still doesn’t support smartphone and tablet users.
plans and prices
You are invited to unblock Guardio’s browsing protection by choosing one of the three plans available, two of which are for individuals and one for businesses.
While there is a freemium edition that covers the most basic features, users can try out the paid plans (both “Premium” and “Team”) thanks to free trials.
If you want to commit for a full year, “Premium” will cost you $5.99 per month, while billed monthly will set you back $9.99 per month, which is a significant difference. And if you want to start your 7-day free trial before committing, be prepared to give up your credit card information. Team has a 14-day free trial, but pricing isn’t as transparent.
To purchase Guardio products, you can use any major credit/debit card (supported by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc.) or PayPal.
All paid plans are backed by a standard 30-day money-back guarantee.
properties and functionality
Guardio uses AI and machine learning to scan every single website you visit. So don’t be surprised if it sometimes seems like it takes its work a little too seriously. One of the main complaints users have about Guardio is that it’s slightly overprotective, often blocking secure websites that users have been visiting for years. However, we find it’s better to be a little too sure than the other side.
To set up Guardio, go to the official website and tap the self-explanatory “Add Guardio to Chrome” button. There you will learn a bit more about Guardio’s features and functionality before clicking the Add to Chrome and Add Extension buttons again to finally install the extension.
Guardio works both as an antivirus for browser extensions (opens in new tab) and a web filter tool that checks everything from your social media account to any cloud services you currently use. It warns you about suspicious websites, blocks malicious websites and offers adware and malware removal – so no more annoying pop-ups.
While the freemium edition is a bit sparse in terms of features, it does give you suspicious website detection, phishing alerts, personal data leak history, on-demand scanning, and some level of support via email. However, unless you opt for a paid plan, you don’t even get a personal dashboard from which to review all your activity. Also, your plan is limited to just one user, which means you’re the only one who can benefit from this extension.
In addition to everything from a freemium edition, a premium plan gives you the ability to stop spam adware, filter out adult content, monitor future data breaches, rely on real-time threat removal, pre-installation warnings too received and much more.
User Interface and Ease of Use
Once Guardio is installed and your account is fully set up, you can start Guardio’s security scan – it only takes a few seconds and you’ll have the opportunity to see everything it’s scanning as it’s happening (unwanted pop-ups, information leaks, malicious websites, etc.).
When the scan finishes, you will get a fairly detailed report of various detected cyber threats. From here you will be taken to your personal security dashboard where you can review previous scan reports or repeat the scan as many times as you like.
The dashboard itself is designed for ease of use, making it suitable for first-time users. If you want to start your free trial, you can also do that directly from the dashboard.
One of Guardio’s key selling points is how accessible it is to the average internet user – it takes no more than a few minutes to set up Guardio in your browser, and once it’s done, it continues to protect all of your online activity from that point forward .
If you get stuck along the way (although highly unlikely) or have a few questions and concerns (a more likely scenario), you can email Guardio’s support staff, likely during working hours. However, if you choose to purchase a premium plan, you’ll enjoy the same type of support, but this time 24/7.
Luckily, Guardio’s “Help Center”, the so-called “Dictionary” (a glossary of key cybersecurity terms) and an FAQ section are available to all, and you’ll also find some well-made video guides there. The “Help Center” looks well organized and all the articles we checked seem helpful enough – most of them are supported with proper screenshots.
While both BlockSite and Guardio were built from the ground up with Chrome in mind, you’re better off going with BlockSite if you’re thinking of protecting anything other than your computer. It supports Android and iOS mobile devices and can be synced between all your devices to ensure you are protected wherever you go.
OpenDNS is another excellent alternative to Guardio, but it requires a bit more technical know-how. However, OpenDNS offers two free plans, a solid set of features including a web filter that cannot be bypassed, and a simple way to protect yourself from unwanted content on the internet.
SquidGuard is best suited for Linux enthusiasts who also use Squid proxy software, as it won’t work without it. As expected, it’s not as beginner-friendly as its competitors, but it makes up for it by being one of the fastest and most flexible web filters out there – and it’s free, too.
So, can you arm yourself with Guardio as your secret weapon against cybercriminals, suspicious websites and cunning schemes created to wreck your budget and mood? The short answer is yes, you can.
Guardio is easy to set up and use, budget-friendly, and does a great job of keeping its users safe. The only serious downside is being a bit overprotective, but we suppose it’s better to be safe than sorry.
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