— Article published on October 5, 2007 – updated on August 24, 2022 —
If you are used to juggling sensitive programs such as “security” tools or other kind of slightly dodgy little apps, you know that it’s very easy to catch a little virus or stupid adware that will open 150,000 popups to sexylolo.com.
To avoid this kind of thing, while testing the underground programs that come to hand, there is a little software that creates a kind of container on your PC in which the programs run in complete autarky without touching your system.
It is called SandBoxieit is under free license and the tool exists in 2 flavors: Sandboxie Classic and Sandboxie More. Both have the same level of security, but not the same features. Indeed, the Sandboxie Plus version has a more modern user interface using Qt which allows the following features:
- A snapshot manager that allows you to “photograph” a sandbox in order to restore it if necessary.
- A mode now allowing to uninstall / reinstall / launch / stop the Sandboxie service.
- A portable mode to run Sandboxie and all of its files in the same directory. Convenient to stick it on a USB key or just not to install.
- And additional options to block, for example, access to certain Windows components such as the print manager, Internet access or the clipboard. Sandboxie’s firewall also supports WFP (Windows Filtering Platform).
Once your program is launched in Sandboxie Plus, you can also terminate all the processes running in it with a simple keyboard shortcut.
This kind of tool is very practical to avoid getting a virus when using a dubious .exe, or simply to run a browser in it to avoid both malware and information leaks related to your privacy.
Clear no? Basically, it gives your Windows access to the programs in it, but only read-only. I had heard about it for a while, but I had never taken the time to mention it here. So if you didn’t already know, SandBoxie is downloadable here.