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Sandboxie Review and Download

sandbox quarantine

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#1 marko

marko

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    Posted 01 January 2012 - 01:59 PM

    File Submitted: 03 Sep 2008
    File Updated: 06 Apr 2012
    File Category: System Administration, Information & Security
    Will Run On: 2000/XP/2003/Vista/7

    When you run a program on your computer, data flows from the hard disk to the program via read operations. The data is then processed and displayed, and finally flows back from the progam to the hard disk via write operations.

    For example, if you run the Freecell program to play a game, it starts by reading the previously recorded statistics, displaying and altering them as you play the game, and finally writing them back to disk for future reference.

    Sandboxie changes the rules such that write operations do not make it back to your hard disk.

    Data flows in both directions between programs and the sandbox. During read operations, data may flow from the hard disk into the sandbox. But data never flows back from the sandbox into the hard disk.

    If you run Freecell inside the Sandboxie environment, Sandboxie reads the statistics data from the hard disk into the sandbox, to satisfy the read requested by Freecell. When the game later writes the statistics, Sandboxie intercepts this operation and directs the data to the sandbox.

    If you then run Freecell without the aid of Sandboxie, the read operation would bypass the sandbox altogether, and the statistics would be retrieved from the hard disk.

    The transient nature of the sandbox makes it is easy to get rid of everything in it. If you were to throw away the sandbox, by deleting everything in it, the sandboxed statistics would be gone for good, as if they had never been there in the first place.

    Anti-Virus Software, Anti-Spyware Tools
    These tools scan your computer files and registry settings looking for known viruses and unsolicited software (spyware). Such tools can only remove viruses and spyware they can identify, and usually only after that software has made its way into your computer. Contrast this with the Sandboxie approach, which keeps the viruses and spyware trapped in the sandbox, and makes them disappear when you throw away the sandbox.

    Untrusted Browsing
    The ActiveX mechanism lets Web sites run little programs in your computer. These are mostly well-natured programs, for example automatic download managers or automatic toolbar installation. Some not-so-well-natured Web sites use this mechanism to install spyware into your computer. You could browse with ActiveX disabled (by turning it off, or by switching to a browser that doesn't offer support for ActiveX), but you would be trading security over functionality. With Sandboxie, you can keep ActiveX turned on, and have both security and functionality.

    IMPORTANT: If you wish to leave a review for Sandboxie, please ensure you leave at least 2 paragraphs, give some detailed information regarding it's functions and ideally (but optional) include a few screenshots. If you wish to leave a quick comment, please do this using the comments on the download itself

    Click here to download this file

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    #2 James (Jim) Hillier

    James (Jim) Hillier

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      Posted 10 April 2012 - 01:18 AM

      Much has been written about PC security and how it can be enhanced per medium of adopting a layered approach, which generally means installing different types of products to help cover a wider scope of eventualities - Sandboxie is just such an option.

      Sandboxie is quite well known yet, in my experience, substantially under-utilized. I don?t quite understand why that is the case; Sandboxie is simple, very easy to use, very effective and free. Perhaps it can be put down to a certain mystique surrounding sandboxing and virtual environment techniques in general. Whatever, I hope what follows will help clarify and maybe encourage more users to take advantage of this terrific software.

      Sandboxie is a mere 2.2MB download, installation is clean and straightforward. To complete the process Sandboxie will install its own service - Sbie.Svc.exe. This is Sandboxie?s core component and, although it is not necessary to have Sandboxie itself auto-starting with Windows, it?s imperative to leave this service enabled and running at all times.

      Sandboxie is operated primarily via the Sandboxie Control window which is accessible from the Start menu. The interface is entirely minimalistic, simply click on the Sandbox menu item, then on DefaultBox to reveal Sandboxie?s main options:
      Attached Image: sandboxie control.png
      Default configuration will be fine for the vast majority. However, if you do not want Sandboxie auto-starting with Windows you should access Windows Shell Integration from the Configure drop-down menu and disable that option:
      Attached Image: Sandboxie shell integration.png
      Attached Image: Sandboxie auto start option.png
      Sandboxie places a special folder in the root of ?C? drive and this is where all data created while running sandboxed applications resides. In other words, this folder represents your virtual environment ? all data related to any actions performed inside Sandboxie will go into that folder:
      Attached Image: Sandboxie folder on C.png
      When you have completed your task, whether it be a browsing session or testing software, simply initiate the ?Delete Contents? option and Sandboxie will empty that folder, all associated data will then be gone ? including any nasties accumulated along the way.
      This isolation technique is eminently suitable for many situations; it all but guarantees a perfectly safe browsing session and you can test install software with total immunity from malware or unwanted extras which install without permission.

      Sandboxie?s options are also available via the program?s system tray icon which appears whenever Sandboxie Control is running; simply right click on that icon and then left click DefaultBox:
      Attached Image: Sandboxie system tray.png
      Selecting Run Web Browser for example will open a sandboxed instance of your default browser where you can surf around safely until your heart?s content. If, during a session, you happen to download anything you wish to keep, an image or file perhaps, Sandboxie provides options to ?recover? the file(s) via two methods; 1) an immediate prompt once the download has completed and 2) at the termination of the session when you initiate the Delete Contents option (use the Recover to Any Folder option first and then click on the Delete Contents button to get rid of the remainder):
      Attached Image: Sandboxie recovery.png
      Attached Image: Sandboxie recovery 2.png
      Sandboxie also adds an entry to Explorer?s right click context menu, right click any file and it can be run sandboxed. This is useful for handling any suspect files and particularly so for testing software ? simply right click on the setup (execute) file and select Run Sandboxed:
      Attached Image: Sandboxie run setup.png
      Now the program will be installed entirely inside the sandbox, you can run the software and work with it as usual. When finished simply delete the contents of the sandbox and everything is gone ? your system remains unchanged and unaffected.

      I recently tested a similar free program from Toolwiz called TimeFreeze, you can read through that review HERE. So which do I prefer? Sandboxie, hands down! I?ve since experienced some issues with TimeFreeze, specifically after the reboot process. The system has occasionally restarted with a service randomly disabled, it has been a fairly simple fix ? just go into Services and restart/reset the appropriate service. Still, it shouldn?t be happening and I can?t help wondering what else might be adversely affected. I sent a ?please explain? type email to the Toolwiz support team but have not received a response to date. That was weeks ago so I doubt anything will be forthcoming now.

      In a nutshell; Sandboxie is tried and true (reliable and safe) ? TimeFeeze has yet to pass that test. Sandboxie does not require a reboot, simply delete the contents ? TimeFreeze does require a reboot, and I believe this is the aspect which makes it susceptible to problems. Any hiccup during the reboot process and who knows what might happen. Sandboxie is a wonderful security tool which should be utilized by everyone.

      NOTE: The free version involves a 5 second delay prior to initialization of the selected operation.
      Jim Hillier - Managing editor Daves Computer Tips.com



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