Following last year’s launch of the Pico – a complete security suite on a stick – Yoggie has come up with another useful safeguard. The Yoggie Firestick Pico is a portable firewall that you plug in to a USB port and that protects your laptop from harm.

Such a device should prove especially useful for anyone using Wi-Fi since it can prevent people accessing your machine and ‘slurping’ your data. According to the Yoggie spokeswoman we quizzed on the matter, the Firestick was developed in response to customer demand.

Having seen the Yoggie Pico, a business security product which contains applications ranging from antivirus and antispam protection to intrusion detection and prevention features as well as a firewall, its creators received requests for a product that could be used by consumers and that simply acted as a firewall. The Firestick is the result.

Another key difference between the two products is that, while the Pico Pro was intended as a substitute for other security products, the Pico Firestick simply provides an extra layer of security in an environment where data-slurping could all too easy to occur.

Last month, Microsoft and Prevx demonstrated in an 'ethical hack' just how easy it is for web surfers at hotspots to inadvertently leave their laptops exposed.

According to Yoggie, the Firestick Pico "places a physical barrier between PCs and the internet to ensure that threats never reach users' computers".

The Firestick Pico is a flash memory-based USB device that uses a 300MHz Linux hardware platform. This self-contained operating system runs independently of any software on the user's PC. This approach, believes Yoggie, gives it a particular strength in combating attempted DoS (denial of service) attacks on individual PCs as well as other malicious assaults.

Yoggie claims the Pico Firestick is able to block all internet threats and attacks outside – before they reach a PC or laptop.

“While our Gatekeeper Pico (known as the Pico Pro in the UK) offloads all security applications from a PC, the Firestick Pico offloads just the firewall functionality at a much lower cost", said Yoggie CEO and founder Shlomo Taboul.

Yoggie’s Firestick Pico will see for around $119 (£60) at sites such as Amazon and ebuyer and provide peace of mind to users connecting to unsecured hotspots. As added protection, a copy of Kaspersky is included. The device will go onsale in the UK in "early" 2008 and is also being launched in France and the US.

Yoggie Firestick Pico

Yoggie Firestick Pico is a hardware firewall that runs off a USB-based Linux system and provides protection at wireless hotspots