Sandboxie, Better Than Anti-Virus?

I found an application called Sandboxie and am so far, during this trial period, very impressed with it.

Tired of dealing with rogue software, spyware and malware?

Spent too many hours removing unsolicited software?

Worried about clicking unfamiliar Web links?

Sandboxie runs your programs in an isolated space which prevents them from making permanent changes to other programs and data in your computer.

I’ve put it to the test by downloading the eicar anti-virus test file to my desktop. My Bitdefender Anti-virus found it right away but I told Bitdefender to ignore the file.

The virus file was totally contained within sandboxie and never made it to my actual desktop. I can view it through the sandboxie interface but if I go to my desktop where I told it to download to, it is not present.

In that sense, it is like being able to release a disease and not having to worry about it contaminating the populace.

If I choose later that I did wish to keep whatever I downloaded it is simple to move it from the sandbox to my actual system.  If I choose not to keep whatever I downloaded, I simply quickly clean the sandbox.

What better way to test programs you download that you are unsure of?

If I am not being clear as to the advantages of this program I’ll try to better explain.

As you browse the web changes are being made to your computer, from the small and relatively harmless changes such as retention of URLs for the purposes of auto complete to the destructive such as undetected installation of malware.

Sandboxie tracks all changes and locates them in a isolated folder called “the sandbox”. You lose no browser features by running your browser in a sandbox session and protect you PC at the same time.

DRUDGE REPORT 2009®_1237771090810

Notice the hash marks (#) in the title bar of my browser, that is how you know you are running your browser in the sandbox.

If there are changes that you wish to keep from your browsing session you may choose to do so. If you are wanting to download and test some shareware or freeware, this is the safest way in which to do it.

No changes will be made to you computer, all changes are contained only within the sandbox.

You can run your email program and all other programs in the sandbox as well.

In the end this will mean a system that continues to run at optimum with no changes that you, yourself do not specifically permit being made to your system.

Sandboxie can be downloaded as a thirty day trial. After the thirty days you may purchase it at a lifetime cost of 22 Euros (about 30 USD) or keep it as “nagware” without paying.

I’m still in my trial period so I don’t know how much “nagging” is involved if you opt to keep it without paying.

Download it, take the tutorial and at least use it during the thirty days.

I would suggest a known clean system before installation, after all what is the point of keeping a crappy system running crappy?

One bad thing, sandboxie is only for 32bit systems.

So, is it better than anti-virus.

So far I’d be inclined to say yes, but I doubt I’d pitch my anti-virus in favor of it. Rather, I believe they will compliment each other nicely and add an extra layer of very good protection.

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2 Responses

  1. I also have Bitdefender

  2. I think that it’s better to have an AV installed than Sandboxie. I also have bitdefender installed on my pc and never had any kind of problems with it.

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