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NETGEAR Moderator

Re: NETGEAR Armor Experience

Hi Mike,

 

Please check out the article below on how to disable Armor.

 

https://kb.netgear.com/000060900/How-do-I-turn-NETGEAR-Armor-on-or-off-using-the-Nighthawk-or-Orbi-a...

 

Christian 

Message 26 of 32
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Initiate

Re: Share Your NETGEAR Armor Experience

BTW, the model is Orbi RBK852, but apparently your site isn't updated with your current products, because it didn't allow me to select that.

 

Like others, I was mysteriously signed up for the trial version of Armor without realizing it. Not only is that lack of transparency disappointing, but it feels like the very kind of malware implementation one expects hardware/software combinations like this to squash. It seriously damages the trust I have.

 

Further, the point of the whole Armor exercise could easily be mistaken as a ploy to steer all your customers towards playing for a subscription service for a product/service without clearly articulated benefits. Even those benefits that are claimed are damaged in credibility by the previously mentioned lack of transparency. You're asking users to send links and install software on local/client devices without really demonstrating how their information will be protected--I don't know how it will be protected from unknown/untrusted actors, and I don't know how it will be protected from Netgear and/or Bitdefender.

 

And like others, I believe basic/core security features should be built-in to the product, not paid add-on features or services. It's sort of like car companies making you pay extra for safety features that keep you from dying in crashes--the safety/security of your customers should be basic considerations, not profit centers. Also, it smells a little bit like a protection racket.

 

I'm sure that some of the things that seem like anti-transparency measures are meant to be sophisticated features that promote ease-of-use, and that your marketing and/or engineering people decided not to trouble customers by taking them into the technical weeds, and I appreciate that. There are some companies that do that very well. Your implementation is clumsy at best and doesn't inspire confidence.

 

Now, independent of my rant about your processes and practices, I've noticed a few things about Armor, some good. It does appear to have caught some ugliness on a couple of sites I visited, and I like getting notifications when devices join the network. But there is a little bit of granularity in the reporting that would be nice to have.

 

Also, my security score has ping-ponged between 80 and 85 over the last several days with no actual changes to the configuration of the network or the Armor implementation. It started out at 84 9 days ago. Then dropped to 80 4 days ago "because you have a number of devices without on-the-go protection" though no more or fewer than I ever had allowed on the network. Then it increased to 85 "because Bitefender security was installed on my device" though it didn't tell me which device, and I didn't knowingly install Bitdefender Security on any devices. Then it dropped to 81k today for the "on-the-go devices" reason again. I haven't made any specific interventions at any turn, and havne't implemented any of the suggested improvements it recommended. This may all be normal, but without explanation it just seems kind of arbitrary.

 

Your marketing fluff talks about adding a Netgear or Bitdefender VPN service without talking about any of the features (encryption policies, privacy policies, speed, geographic endpoints) that people use to evaluate VPNs. As far as I know there's no way to use the Orbi (Nighthawks can be flashed to use DD-WRT firmware instead of Netgear's to do this) to connect to 3rd party VPNs that actually do let you evaluate the quality of their service offerings. Even your "on-the-go" protection isn't clearly distinguished from whatever is happening on the router...it takes a while to figure out that you're actually blindly supposed to install this other software on all your devices.

 

In the end, this product/service basically seems half-baked, like it was written by a committee of the marketing and engineering departments, with the marketing departments in charge. You're asking customers to place a whole lot of their data in your and Bitdefender's hands without much explicit explanation of how that stuff is supposed to be protected. The priority doesn't really seem like security--that just seems like sort of a buzzword and a necessary complication to a business opportunity to get in on a subscription model service. 

 

Let your security and customer service people be in charge of the product for a while and it might actually turn out to be useful.

 

Message 27 of 32
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Guide

Re: Share Your NETGEAR Armor Experience

So far, my experience is horrible. I bought a subscription, through the Orbi mobile app, but even after activating, it still shows as either "expired" on the mobile app, and "Not Enabled" on the browser router management. No information on how to resolve it. No answers to support tickets. Pretty bad experience all around. I should have known better than to spend money on this.

Model: RBR50|Orbi AC3000 Tri-band WiFi Router
Message 28 of 32
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Aspirant

Re: Share Your NETGEAR Armor Experience

I don't know much about routers so please bear with me. I hope this is the correct forum to ask the questions below. But first some background.

 

I recently installed the Orbi AC 3000 Tri Band Mesh system. It's been great. I could use so advice. My family is very dependent on WIFI and it would be a hardship if it was down, especially since my daughter is taking online classes.

 

My Armor trial is about to expire. So far I have had no problems with the router and Armor. In fact Armor alerted me to a few phishing attacks on my wife's IPhone. Because of that I was considering paying for Armor. Then I read some of the comments about Armor slowing the connection speed (that hasn't been an issue for me during the trial period) and the fact that when the trial ends people seem to be having all sorts of problems. Problems that I don't feel technically knowledgable enough to fix.

 

If Armor worked great and didn't impact performance I would have no hesitation paying for the product. I would like to know what people think.

 

1. Given what I have said, should I pay for Armor or should I just let the trial expire?

2. If I do let the trial expire and I cannot connect to WIFI, how do I correct that problem?

3. If I pay for Armor and then down the line decide to turn it off, can that be done? If so how?

 

Thanks

 

Message 29 of 32
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Luminary

Re: Share Your NETGEAR Armor Experience

1: If armor is serving a purpose for you and you are getting value out of it, keep it. If not, drop it.

2: Armor expiring should not prevent you from connecting to WiFi. If you are worried that is the case, turn it off before it expires or buy a subscription. But I can attest that with some devices with it enabled and others without it (I have multiple remote sites w/ netgear routers) I have never had that type of problem.

3: you can always turn it off or back on if you have a live subscription or trial period...

https://kb.netgear.com/000060900/How-do-I-turn-NETGEAR-Armor-on-or-off-using-the-Nighthawk-or-Orbi-a...

Regarding performance there is a slight latency hit but for general throughput for a higher end router (such as Orbi) you are unlikely to notice it. The first time you connect to a remote website or server the initial connection time is milliseconds slower, but that's about it.
Plus you get the free bit defender software which with the web browser plug in may be more impactful to performance...again that depends on your PC or Mac specs...
Use your trial period to push it to the limits. If you have been happy so far my guess is you shouldn't worry about performance. You are likely to figure it out after just a few days of performance testing.

Hope this helps.
Message 30 of 32
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Aspirant

Re: Share Your NETGEAR Armor Experience

Thanks. That help's a lot.

Message 31 of 32
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Re: Share Your NETGEAR Armor Experience

My comment is now N/A but I can't delete it. I can only rewrite it, as I'm doing now.

I just enabled Armor yesterday and it's been randomly killing the Internet connection for all devices (wired and wireless). My modem and Internet connectivity are fine, the Router is just doing something to lock everything down and I cannot find anywhere in the Router to either manage Armor, view logs, or otherwise troubleshoot the problem.

I did figure out how to walk through Support and set up a ticket that I don't have to pay for. We'll see how this goes.

Model: RAX200|Nighthawk Tri-band AX12 12-Stream Wi-Fi 6 Router
Message 32 of 32