Sandboxie-Have control over Permanent changes in your computer

sandboxie softwareWhen you browse the Web, changes occur to your computer system. Some harmless, like recording the addresses of Web sites you have visited, so the browser can help you complete a Web address that you type in. Some more harmful, like the unsolicited installation of malware. When you use Sandboxie to protect your browsing session, it catches all these changes just as the browser is about to apply them into your computer system. Sandboxie does record these changes on behalf of the browser, but it records them in a special isolated folder, called the sandbox. Thus, with Sandboxie, you can browse the Web securely while still keeping all your browser’s functionality for active and dynamic content, such as Javascript and ActiveX. All undesired side effects, including the removal of malware, can be easily undone.

If you run your browser under Sandboxie, any software installation attempt, either through a security breach or voluntarily, is saved only in the “sandbox”, where you can discard it later, if it is malicious or undesired software. This also works with a mail client, but in this case you must indicate where are the saved mail files, in order for Sandboxie to make an exception and allow saving them, otherwise you would lose the mail you download.

If you run a text editor under Sandboxie, you could read a file from the disk and edit it, but when you save it, the new content will not replace the previous one, but would stay in the temporary area: the so-called “sandbox”. This temporary content can be retrieved easily to be implemented on a permanent basis. If we do not that, the file will remain with its original contents as if nobody had changed it.

The concept underlying Sandboxie is to allow the reading of the hard disk, while the writing is not performed on the original file, but on a temporary copy. Sandboxie creates a “virtual space” in the hard disk, where it ‘writes’ the different programs. In this way, viruses, trojans and other threats that circulate on the Internet stay within this sealed compartment and have no access to the rest of the disc. Thus, any changes performed by the program can be discarded later without affecting the system. This “virtual drive” lets you even install applications to try them. If files or applications are OK, you can draw them from the ‘sandbox’ and implement the final changes to your hard drive.

Sandboxie resides in the system tray, and when you want to start an “isolated” session, you simply have to run the program from the tray icon.

The following picture shows how sandboxie acts as a guard against malwares

The red arrows indicate changes flowing from a running program into your computer. The box labeled Hard disk (no sandbox) shows changes by a program running normally. The box labeled Hard disk (with sandbox) shows changes by a program running under Sandboxie. The animation illustrates that Sandboxie is able to intercept the changes and isolate them within a sandbox, depicted as a yellow rectangle. It also illustrates that grouping the changes together makes it easy to delete all of them at once.

A. Sandboxie is shareware software. The free version is missing a few features which are available in the paid version. After 30 days of use, the free version displays reminders to upgrade to the paid version, but remains functional. For personal use, you are encouraged, but not required, to upgrade to the paid version.

Benefits of the Isolated Sandbox:

  • Secure Web Browsing: Running your Web browser under the protection of Sandboxie means that all malicious software downloaded by the browser is trapped in the sandbox and can be discarded trivially.
  • Enhanced Privacy: Browsing history, cookies, and cached temporary files collected while Web browsing stay in the sandbox and don’t leak into Windows.
  • Secure E-mail: Viruses and other malicious software that might be hiding in your email can’t break out of the sandbox and can’t infect your real system.
  • Windows Stays Lean: Prevent wear-and-tear in Windows by installing software into an isolated sandbox.

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