MonoDefense offers a decent suite of security tools, but there are better cybersecurity suites out there. While it has intuitive apps, the lack of proper phishing detection and other quirks makes it only a passable solution.
VPN offers dedicated IP addresses with over 3,000 servers
Great password manager features and duress mode
Compatible with almost all OS’s
Easy to use
No antivirus and malware protection
VPN data storage subject to Five Eyes jurisdiction
Unusually high ping in some instances
Limited to 5 active devices
Pricey for a bundle of below-premium quality solutions
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There are almost innumerable ways in which hackers can get a hold of our most sensitive data, and their techniques keep evolving daily. A hack can occur through public Wi-Fi, malware, an accidental download of a compromised document file, or a hacker simply guessing our weak password. Such breaches can be costly, especially if you’re running a business. According to Statista, cybercrime costs climbed to $8.44 trillion in 2022, with predictions that this grim trend will continue growing.
New York-based KeepSolid offers us MonoDefense Cybersecurity Suit, a comprehensive solution comprising VPN Unlimited, Passwarden, KeepSolid SmartDNS, and KeepSolid DNS Firewall. However, there is no antivirus and anti-malware solution that could have completed an otherwise solid number of bundled apps. Nevertheless, MonoDefense kicks things off by being available on almost all popular platforms, especially their VPN solution.
The software stands out because it continuously monitors your activities and identifies any bad behavior or activity. It uses algorithms for threat detection, analysis, and machine learning to protect against potential threats. MonoDefense offers a variety of applications that work together seamlessly to protect your presence. Although these apps are bundled together, you will need to download them separately.
While this may seem a bit inconvenient initially, it has the advantage of allowing you to choose the apps you want, which helps prevent unnecessary clutter on your device. Furthermore, the user experience remains enjoyable as the applications are well-designed, easy to navigate, and visually appealing. We personally found the smooth transition between screens within each app fast and impressive.
The entire bundle adds up to a comprehensive online shield covering all major desktop and mobile devices. There are some advantages to getting a bundled package of security software, such as cost savings, as you can often find KeepSolid’s bundle on sale for a lifetime deal at just $199.99, which is great value if you run a small business and need one complete solution to cover your security needs. Furthermore, having a single bundle ensures that the data is being shared between these apps. Such an approach can speed up your work and reduce the cumbersome tasks of switching between various security solutions just to set up everything properly. Finally, you can manage it all from a single source of truth and ensure you’re taking appropriate action to shield your family or employees.
Plans and pricing
MonoDefense offers three distinct pricing plans tailored for various needs, though equally limited to “only” five active devices. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee across all plans, which is a great option if you’re looking to give it a go. Note you can pay using all popular credit cards, Gpay, PayPal (for which you get a 10% discount), or you can use BitPay.
Notably, the monthly plan will bill you $11.99 and could be a great option for those looking to test out the suite or for those who plan on using it for a limited time when they are, for example, traveling and expect to be using public Wi-Fi or unsecured networks.
Likewise, the yearly plan will offer the same functionalities, but you get to pay $79.99 (or $6.66 per month), which is a great option if you’re looking to save some money and are sure you will be using the suite features for a full year. Finally, the lifetime plan, which is usually $399.99, is currently discounted to $199.99, making it great value for users looking to protect their digital assets across various instances.
Regardless of which plan you go for, you will receive access to the entire bundle of apps, all of which you will have to pick, choose, download, and install if you want to use. Luckily, the process is not that time-consuming, and the setup is straightforward.
Kicking things off with VPN Unlimited, it represents the main pillar of MonoDefense, an app that offers over 3,000 servers worldwide, spanning over 80 countries. Its main job is to give users peace of mind when they’re using the web while in the background, protecting sensitive information and preventing unauthorized access. VPN Unlimited ensures the protection of your privacy by using VPN protocols. It doesn't offer options like PPTP or L2TP; instead, you can choose from WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2.
Moreover, it includes KeepSolid's Wise technology. This innovative feature adds a layer of encryption and obfuscation to the OpenVPN protocol. It may slightly alter the routing of your connection compared to a typical setup. While this might result in a reduction in speeds, it has the advantage of bypassing VPN detection and blocking methods commonly used in countries like China. As a result, you can establish connections from anywhere.
With its zero-logging policy and unlimited bandwidth, VPN Unlimited ensures safety for the end users. For streamers among us, there is the Blogger Mode, which allows obfuscation of IP addresses, prevents IP tracking, and prevents DDoS attacks while streaming. This mode is also great when using public Wi-Fi spots where security may not be top-notch.
Furthermore, it offers additional security features in the form of:
- DNS Firewall - When you activate this feature, the DNS Firewall will automatically block websites preventing access to them.
- Kill Switch - The kill switch is available on most platforms except for macOS, browser extensions, and Windows Phones. It ensures that your internet connection is automatically disconnected if your VPN connection drops.
- Split tunneling - Currently, VPN Unlimited only supports split tunneling on Android devices, which they refer to as App Exceptions. With this feature, you can select which applications bypass the VPN tunnel and have internet access.
VPN Unlimited is particularly notable among VPN providers because of its dedication to offering a great streaming experience. They understand the importance of having streaming capabilities, which is why they have a special section that highlights servers specifically optimized for popular platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+ HBO Now, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Popcornflix, Rai.TV and Sony Crackle. When you choose a platform, VPN Unlimited optimizes your connection and effortlessly connects you to the appropriate server for uninterrupted streaming.
The VPN provides three server locations specifically designed for P2P usage. It works seamlessly with known P2P applications like BitTorrent, uTorrent, and Vuze. Furthermore, it comes with a SOCKS5 proxy that changes your IP address without encryption, leading to faster download speeds. Keep in mind that KeepSolid has been ordered to ban torrenting as it has been accused by film studios to encourage the illegal practice. If you’re using one of the US based servers, you will be banned from visiting torrenting sites. It is safe to assume that the company is offering torrenting reluctantly, which is why the three servers you can use for torrenting are located in Romania, France and Canada. If you’re looking for a VPN specifically for torrenting IPVanish is a much better option.
VPN Unlimited prides itself on its encryption method, known as AES 256, which is widely recognized as unbreakable. This advanced cipher has earned the trust of the US government ensuring its robustness. Furthermore VPN Unlimited offers a feature called VPN kill switch function. In the event of a connection drop this feature automatically blocks traffic to safeguard your true IP address from being exposed. However, it could further enhance its security by providing its DNS servers instead of relying on Google Public DNS. Although Google Public DNS is still considered efficient and secure, having proprietary DNS servers would be an advantage for VPN Unlimited.
Finally, the user experience was acceptable since the VPN is supported on all major devices (and can be manually configured for routers and NAS) as well as browsers. After the initial installation, users are greeted by a sleek, uncluttered, and modern UI whose main functionalities are just a click or tap away.
While it does have some drawbacks compared to competitors such as NordVPN, it can still find a niche for itself with users that don’t need advanced features or more than five devices with a single account. All in all, VPN Unlimited gets a passing grade but leaves some things to be desired in the fields of connection speed and stability, P2P features, and more advanced security measures.
KeepSolid Passwarden is among the best password managers out there, with a broad set of features that can be an ideal choice for individuals, families, and businesses. It is by far the best application in the bundle, and while it tends to be expensive when you buy it outside of the bundle, the current lifetime offer of $199.99 for the entire bundle could be a great option if you need the other apps offered alongside it.
As with the VPN, the setup process is straightforward, with the app available on Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, as an extension for popular browsers and even as a web app. Once installed, the setup process is pretty much similar to most password managers: you create a master password, save your recovery key, and import passwords from browsers/tools/CSV files.
Passwarden takes its organizational cue from the Windows Folders filing system and renames it into Vaults. Inside of them, it stores, organizes, and secures all of your data. A Vault can hold account login information, personal information, payment data, and even encrypted notes. Since a single Vault is a separate entity, a neat feature is that you can share a single Vault with family members or co-workers and not expose your entire Passwarden account to them. Furthermore, the password generation feature really stands out. With just one click, it can create difficult-to-crack passwords, and the best part is that you have the option to set parameters such as character length, digits, symbols and upper/lower letters.
Passwarden might not be the obvious choice given the presence of other notable password managers on the market. However, it's apparent that significant time and effort have been invested in its designs resulting in a consistent user experience, across devices. Even the browser extensions look appealing. One slight disappointment is the lack of ability to create custom data types or customize input fields for existing categories. This should not discourage you from using Passwarden if its features appeal to you. It's worth noting that this is a common feature found in competing applications. It's evident that Passwarden primarily caters to consumers since there is a scarcity of business plans. It's surprising that KeepSolid has yet to announce any plans for integrating passkeys into their ecosystem, particularly considering that many competitors have already done so. The increasing trend of third-party access to passkeys in 2023 makes this omission more noticeable.
Passwarden utilizes 256-bit AES encryption to ensure the safety of your data. Your master password remains confidential to you alone, and for added security, you have the option to enable two-factor authentication when logging into your account, though there is no SSO option. Passwarden boasts an additional unique security feature known as duress mode. This allows you to create a separate master password, which can be used if you find yourself compelled to log into your account under duress. When logging in using this password, your Passwarden account will only display a limited selection of vaults that you have designated as non-essential. While it may not be frequently utilized, it provides peace of mind, knowing it's available if ever needed.
The app offers sharing features, making it a suitable choice for teams. However, it may not fully meet the requirements of organizations. If you are seeking password management and SSO capabilities, LastPass for business could be an option to consider. They have various plans available starting at $4 per user per month. Another noteworthy alternative is Bitwarden, which allows businesses to securely store passwords in a location behind a firewall or proxy.
Passwarden ensures customers receive 24/7 support, through email and live chat providing assistance. Moreover, their website includes a FAQ section and a comprehensive collection of manuals for their applications. However, it's worth mentioning that phone support is not available with Passwarden.
Ultimately, Passwarden serves as a password manager that greatly benefits families or small teams. However, for individuals, it may be more challenging to justify its use since there are alternatives that offer comparable or even superior features in certain cases. Nevertheless, if families and teams prioritize bundled solutions with password security measures, Passwarden could still be an option for them.
DNS technology revolves around the alteration of your Domain Name Server (DNS) to bypass internet censorship. Its purpose is to deceive streaming services into believing that your requests are originating from a location where their content is accessible. This technology offers two distinct advantages in comparison to proxy servers. Firstly, it solely affects the portion of your internet traffic that could potentially reveal your identity (i.e., your DNS queries). Secondly, it does not impact your IP address, thereby eliminating any issues related to IP-based security authentication.
KeepSolid’s SmartDNS allows users to circumvent geo-restrictions easily as well as to stream content on devices that lack built-in VPN support, such as TVs, routers, media players, and gaming consoles. The list of supported devices is quite impressive. Though unlike a VPN, this smart DNS tool doesn't modify your IP address or encrypt your data. It's worth mentioning that this also means it doesn't offer privacy protection or prevent throttling, but it has a neat feature in the form of DNS leak prevention, which should ensure that your DNS requests are secure and private.
The setup process itself is fairly simple. Registration takes a few minutes, or you can simply use the KeepSolid ID if you’ve created it for one of the other apps from the bundle. After that, you will be all set to use the DNS on an unlimited number of devices. Speed-wise, it did well, though more distant servers experienced a drop off in transfer speeds, despite the company claiming that it is the fastest DNS on the market.
The user interface, in general, is pretty straightforward, but its simplicity really shines on mobile phones, where you can connect to a dedicated location with a single swipe. Another commendable aspect is that there are no advertisements, which some competing solutions have implemented despite you actually paying for the solution.
If you are unsure about the service, the app offers a 7-day free trial, which we would encourage you to try. During that time, you can test out your desired regions and see if the speeds match what the company is advertising and your needs as well. We feel that trying it out outside the bundle will give you the best approach to properly value the app as a standalone solution. In the bundle itself, it neatly hides behind the powerful functions of the VPN and nicely complements what it has to offer. Without the bundle, it would be difficult to recommend the service as there are better alternatives at a similar price point that combine advanced security features, which are simply a must for a modern DNS solution.
KeepSolid DNS Firewall
The KeepSolid DNS Firewall provides a solution to protect users of KeepSolid VPN Unlimited from online threats. Along with defending against DNS attacks, it allows users to customize their settings by blocking domains. For KeepSolid VPN Unlimited users, using the DNS Firewall is a simple process. If you haven't installed the app yet, you can download it for your device's operating system using the company website. To access the subscribed features, you'll need to create an account or use the one you created for the other apps from the bundle.
When it comes to blocking websites, the KeepSolid DNS Firewall performs well. The option to block websites based on categories is particularly user-friendly for those who are not very tech-savvy. Parents can also take advantage of this feature to prevent their children from accessing content when using the VPN. You have the option to prevent access to certain content by utilizing a pre-determined selection of content categories, or you can establish your own customized list of restricted content for specific domains. This can be done by either creating a blacklist or a whitelist.
While the Firewall boasts phishing protection, accessing some known phishing sites was not blocked. We tried with additional settings and still managed to access the sites, though our browser alerted us that we might be potentially visiting a phishing site. Of course, this can be easily resolved by creating a list of sites you wish the Firewall to block access to, though we would argue that the app should do it on its own. After all, we are paying for protection, and we should not have to manually add phishing sites and hold the app's hand through this process.
Performance-wise, you will be enjoying fast, reliable DNS resolution with minimal impact on browsing speeds. In our experience, we did not see any significant slowdowns while performing bandwidth-heavy tasks such as 4K video streaming or online gaming. If you’re getting the app in the bundle, you will have to configure the VPN solution initially to make use of the full functionality of the Firewall. We would recommend setting up the VPN initially, followed by the DNS app and, finally, the Firewall, if you’re setting up the entire bundle all at once.
If you’re looking at the DNS Firewall as a separate solution, be prepared to pay $1.99 per month, $9.99 a year, or $99.99 for a lifetime deal. As a bundle, obviously, you get the best deal, but it is worth mentioning that KeepSolid’s Firewall solution is not as expensive as a standalone solution. If you have a need to just have a firewall solution, then getting an annual subscription might be your best value for money.
Access to great documentation for all of their solution makes running the apps fairly simple, but if you do get stuck, there is an option for email support. While we would appreciate phone or live chat options, email doesn’t seem like a bad option, seeing that users online haven’t had issues getting their complaints resolved via email.
All in all, DNS Firewall is a passable protection solution, thanks to its real-time monitoring features, which will flag most intrusion attempts, but be mindful of phishing websites. You can easily create your own list of blacklisted known phishing websites if you’re not satisfied with their detection out of the box. As part of the bundle, it complements other solutions nicely, as a standalone app, it is on the cheaper side, and for that reason alone, it can be recommended, despite lacking some premium features offered by industry-leading solutions.
Depending only on a password is no longer enough as hackers are becoming more sophisticated. Therefore, it has become commonplace to include security measures, like two-factor authentication, into your arsenal. A great example of this is the Authenticator app, which regularly changes its code similar to a bank token. This dynamic feature of the app makes it highly difficult for unauthorized individuals to gain access to your account without permission.
MonoDefense offers its version of the Authenticator app, with an uninventive name “Authenticator” by KeepSolid. It is free and available only for iOS and Android, making its addition to the bundle more of a marketing ploy to make the package look complete.
Once you install the app itself, adding 2FA to your account and linking it with the MonoDefense Authenticator is pretty simple. You tap on the plus sign and follow the prompts on the phone and the website you’re trying to activate 2FA on. You can also pair services by scanning a QR code.
For those looking to get the bundle, a neat feature in the mobile app itself is a link to getting all other apps installed on your phone, so you don’t have to search for them in the app store. Moreover, the app offers a biometrics setup so you can unlock the Authenticator using your face or fingerprint. To round things out, you can also export or import your settings into the app and use the app as a widget on your phone.
All of the onboarding (read, help) will redirect you to KeepSolid’s website, which is dedicated to the Authenticator FAQ. Through the app, you will also have the ability to reach out to the support team, but if you have ever used an Authenticator app, there is actually little to no reason to reach out or reach for an FAQ, the entire process is quite simple.
In the end, would we recommend you use KeepSolid’s Authenticator to replace your existing one? Not really. If you already have an authenticator app, there is almost no reason to switch to KeepSolid unless you want to have the bundle completed and you want to use one brand for all of your security features. Note most Authenticators are free anyway.
MonoDefense is a cybersecurity solution that offers users a range of tools to safeguard their online activities. Its password manager allows users to securely store and manage all their passwords in one location, ensuring unique credentials for every account. With the VPN feature, users can browse the internet anonymously. With security protecting their sensitive data from prying eyes. Adding a layer of protection, the DNS firewall actively blocks websites and helps prevent malware infections. Additionally, the smart DNS service enables users to access geo-restricted content by bypassing limitations. While MonoDefense may not include antivirus scanning capabilities or additional features such as controls or system optimization tools, it truly excels in its core functionalities – providing effective cybersecurity solutions for both individuals and businesses alike.
It is by no means a perfect solution since each app it offers in its bundle has certain elements that need improving, though it is hard to fault the lifetime plan when it is on sale for $199.99. Sure, there is the marketing trick of including a free app in the bundle, but if we disregard that, it can still be considered good value for money. Especially if you’re a small business that doesn’t have a techy savvy person, but you need online security tools that are easy to manage, are affordable, and offer a single design philosophy behind each app.
In our experience, the best app in the bundle is Passwarden. It is clear that a lot of thought has been put into the app. It also has its drawbacks, as it lacks some features that are common among competitors, but it does offer a full, feature-packed app that can offer tremendous value for families or teams that juggle multiple log-ins and a lot of sensitive information. VPN Unlimited is also a solid choice, it does the basics pretty well, stumbles through some advanced features, and flat-out misses premium features offered by the likes of NordVPN.
With all of that being said, we would give MonoDefense Cybersecurity Suite a passable grade, especially if you’re getting the lifetime bundle deal at a discount. For a single user, there are better options in the market, some free, some premium, that can compete with MonoDefense solutions on the price, but beat it out on almost all other aspects.
Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.