Sandboxie

Discussion in 'sandboxing & virtualization' started by John Bull, Jun 6, 2010.

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  1. John Bull
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    John Bull Registered Member

    Sandboxie
    Sandboxie allows you to run your browser, or any other program, so that all changes that result from the usage are kept in a sandbox environment, which can then be deleted later.
    =========
    And so it goes. Very impressive indeed.
    I have read a lot of net data on Sandboxie, user reviews and general descriptions etc. All this I find extremely attractive and downloaded the Wizard, but still I hesitate from installing it.

    I have found that the experience of Wilders members gives me far more definitive and sound advice than the net does in many cases. So I am asking users of this system to give me their views.

    Is it simple to use ?
    Does it cause problems with existing programs etc. ?
    Can it complicate normal browsing ?
    Are their any risks of mixing up data or losing it ?
    Generally speaking - is it a perfectly safe system for the ordinary punter to use or do you need a PhD in Computer Technology ?

    Thank you in advance.
    I hope your replies will jog me into installing Sandboxie.
    John Bull
  2. sg09
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    sg09 Registered Member

    Before using Sandboxie or any kind of virtualization software i used to fear a lot about them. But Sandboxie indeed is very simple to use. But I will suggest you to read these well documented articles before using SBIE.
    http://www.sandboxie.com/index.php?HelpTopics
  3. Sully
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    Sully Registered Member

    This thread will likely be moved to the correct area, but none the less, is sure to be full of comments.

    Here is the scoop on SBIE. Typically things operate more or less as usual. The thing that needs to be understood, is that any program ran in a sandbox, does not touch the real system, unless you give it instructions to do so. Everything it does is kept in the c:\sandbox directory.

    If you download a file, or modify an existing file, it is all saved in the c:\sandbox somewhere. Obviously that area is laid out logically. SBIE offers to "recover" items. It means, do you want to take that item you just downloaded to "mydocs", which is really in c:\sandbox, and place it in the real "mydocs".

    Once you understand this concept, the rest is easy. Most people, in my experience, fail to understand just how SBIE handles these types of things, and get confused and say "where is my stuff I just downloaded".

    I consider it far simpler than any hips or firewall. Far lighter than any AV/AM/AS. You often don't even know it is running. Risks, only exist if you delete a sandbox and don't recover what is in it before you delete it. So far I have found no conflicts at all.

    In short, it is a splendid program, well worth the money. Try it out, use the trial period, then decide. It is perhaps one of the few programs that I personally would tell anyone to try.

    Sul.
  4. sg09
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    sg09 Registered Member

    True...:thumb:
    I have found some known compatibility issues with some programs like Windows defender. But SBIE automatically alerts me to turn on the compatibility option for them.:-*
  5. justenough
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    justenough Registered Member

    PhD in Computer Technology hah! I am as nooby as it gets as far as Windows goes, having just come over from Mac, though I do know how to ask questions, like you have here. I've tried all sorts of AV software with 2 goals in mind:

    1. as much safety as I can get while
    2. not interfering with the system

    You can look at my sig to see where I am at the moment. Maybe I have gone too far towards lightweight, but it is working and man is it fast. And having the system image at hand gives a fall-back in case of a problem, at which time I will add a layer.

    You'll have to learn how to handle your files. I sandbox the browser and mail, and set Sandboxie to automatically delete everything when it closes, so no malware lingers. That means always recovering everything you want to save before shutting down Sbxie (for just about everything I do, it asks automatically if I want to recover the file). If you can do that, then all the other security layers become less critical. It took me about a week to get comfortable with it, it'll probably take you less.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2010
  6. John Bull
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    John Bull Registered Member

    So far so good, my whiskers are twitching with excitement. What confidence inspiring replies. I have never seen such compliments showered on a system like they are being showered on Sandboxie.

    I am a bit worried about this recovery business, where if you omit to do it you lose data. I suppose with a little savvy and experience it all turns out alright on the night.

    Can you browse perfectly normal in the Sandbox just as if it was not there ? And what happens if a virus strikes ?
    Sandboxie sounds like an infallible alternative to our faithful security systems. Is it really that good ?
    John Bull

    PS - by the way, I understand from various download sites that Sandboxie is FREE, although the Pro version is not.
    What is the problem with just sticking to the FREE version ?
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2010
  7. adik1337
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    adik1337 Registered Member

    man you can't go wrong w/ sandboxie, as long as you have it configured correctly it got you covered pretty much against malwares. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to be able to configure and use it right and w/ regard to conflicts w/ other apps there are very few to none, I suggest you test run, if you are comfortable I suggest testing it w/ real malwares and you will be surprised how good it is. Look at my sig, sandboxie is my only real-time protection and even though I frequent the internet underground scene, never had any problem w/ malwares,
  8. justenough
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    justenough Registered Member

    When I saw what it could do, I didn't think twice about paying for it and supporting the author. You do get extras, but a one-time fee, lifetime registration? Nothing to think about there.
  9. John Bull
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    John Bull Registered Member

    My only problem with paying fees on the Internet is one of personal total security distrust in entering my financial data on it. To-date I have never made an Internet financial transaction and the only details entered are my true name and address, which are necessary for other reasons.

    I suppose that I will never enter my credit card or banking details on the net.

    Having a number of freebies which all serve me impeccably, I have so far had no reason to do more.

    I have read user comments that Sandboxie, whilst offering a presumably satisfactory but limited free service are guilty of Nagware, where the user is bombarded with pop-ups at log-on and also whilst in use, constantly pestering the user to upgrade to a paid version. If this is the case, then I do not wish to have this irritation.

    But, I like everything posted so far and as I inferred before, it is like asking family rather than vetting the field.

    John Bull
  10. adik1337
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    adik1337 Registered Member

    @John Bull
    for free sandboxie ... you can only sandbox your browser, but you have to click on the sandbox browser icon and not your normal browser icon if you want to run it sandbox. On paid version you can set just about anything (forced) to run sandbox. Also, there is very limited configuration for the free one compared to the paid one.

    EDIT: w/ the number of paying costumers sandboxie have, I never heard anybody having any problem w/ the paying scheme. It is pretty secured.
  11. HAN
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    HAN Registered Member

    I have been using paid Sandboxie at home now for approx a month. I have had no issues at all. I chose to make a couple of minor tweaks to the setup (auto emptying of the sandbox when it's closed being one of them) but overall, I run it as it comes. As already said, it's pretty easy to use. (There is a great tutorial for beginners at the Sandboxie website.)

    I also installed a paid copy of it for a friend and it has saved him from PC infections at least twice a week ever since I set it up.

    On the other side of the coin, I have tried it at work and it will not run there at all. Crashes and says there is not enough memory (this is on an XP Pro machine with 2 GB of memory!! There is no shortage of memory! Ever!)

    In general, I can easily recommend it and believe it's something that can make a serious improvement in one's security. Based on my experiences, if you install it and it runs fine, you're good to go. You'll probably never have any issues. But if it crashes soon after installation, then o_Oo_O?
  12. Peter 123
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    Peter 123 Registered Member

    First of all, I also fully recommend Sandboxie. :thumb: :D

    And (being a user of the free version) I would to like to clarify two things that mentioned adik1337 in his postings:

    The first part of the first sentence is a little bit misleading: Even with the free version you can sandbox any application you like - not only your browser(s). For example I let my messenger programs (Skype etc.) and sometimes the Windows Media Player also run in a sandbox. Only that in the free version you have to right click on the application you would like to run sandboxed and to click on the corresponding option there. (Exception: As already mentionend by adik1337, for your standard browser exists a special icon for running it sandboxed. - Very useful, because so you cannot forget to open the [standard] browser in the sandbox. :cool: )

    And there was a second statement that worried me a little bit:

    Do you think so? I would say quite the contrary: You have with the free version almost the full range of configuration possibilities. As far as I see, the main difference in configuring a sandbox is that with the free version you cannot force programs to start (automatically) in the sandbox (as described above [and with exception of the standard browser]).

    Another (for my purposes not very important) limitation of the free version is that you can run only one sandbox at the same time. But this does not mean that you cannot run several programs sandboxed at the same time. You simply have to "put" (or to start) them in the same sandbox: for example I have Skype and my browser in the same sandbox - so I can use them sandboxed at the same time. :)
  13. John Bull
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    John Bull Registered Member

    These replies are unbelievably informative and are much better than a random scan of net comments. It is not the money that prevents me paying for these programs, it is the issues I outlined regarding Internet security. A personal paranoia I suppose.

    Hence I stick to freebies and I do like what you are saying about the free version of Sandboxie. For those who have this freebie, is this accusation about Nagware true ?

    I am certain that as this thread progresses, I will give the freebie a try. I find this subject more intriguing than most other programs. Seems like operating in a stockade separate from the free world and when finished you leave the bad guys inside.

    Question :-
    Does Sanboxie uninstall clean or is it so integrated with the normal system that when you pluck it out the normal system is left in tatters ?

    John Bull
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2010
  14. Sully
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    Sully Registered Member

    Look, it really is simple.

    SBIE is a super program, stable, lightweight, easy to use, and even though you are unsure, easy to understand.

    The free version is pretty much everything the paid is in terms of security. The paid versions gives you options though like a sandbox for every program rather than one for all, and most importantly lets you force a program into a sandbox. This is one of the best parts. You force a program, and then you are done. Every time you start Opera for instance, it starts in the sandbox without you having to do anything special.

    Nagging, is much like using winrar. It gives a message "hey, this is the free version". Like all nagware, it nags you. I mean, the author does want to make money for his work. But, the free version still works fine, and if you don't mind the nag, keep using it. Look how many people use Avira with its nag screen. SBIE is not nearly as bad as Avira is in that respect.

    Uninstalling, I have done it, never had an issue. But, I am quite confident that unless you have a hardware conflict or something, you will not be uninstalling it.

    Sul.
  15. John Bull
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    John Bull Registered Member

    Thanks, Sully.
    Another super and completely digestible reply.

    Has`nt anybody something bad to say about Sandboxie ?
  16. pegr
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    pegr Registered Member

    In my experience Sandboxie uninstalls cleanly. I also endorse all of the other positive comments made about Sandboxie in this thread. I'm a long-time user since 2007 and I've never experienced any problems. One of the things that is quite unique about Sandboxie is the way it combines virtualisation with policy restriction.

    The virtualisation provided by the sandbox pretty much guarantees that nothing running inside the sandbox will infect the real system; and the policy restriction features enable you to lock down the sandbox and set individual restrictions on a per application basis. Configured correctly, Sandboxie can prevent drive-by downloads from even running within a Sandboxed browser session.

    Sandboxie can also be set to prompt you with the option do an Immediate Recovery whenever you download a file, which is a very convenient way to transfer files that you want to keep permanently out of the sandbox. Of course, if you choose not to immediately recover a file, it simply remains inside the sandbox and can be manually recovered at any time prior to emptying the sandbox.

    If anything undesirable does happen within the sandbox, right-hand clicking on the control panel icon in the system tray and selecting Terminate All Programs will kill all processes running in the sandbox so you're always in complete control.

    As well as the security provided by Sandboxie, don't forget the privacy angle either. The ability to set restrictions so that sandboxed applications can't access your private data protects you from data stealing. You can also set Sandboxie to use a secure deletion utility such as SDelete or Eraser to securely wipe the contents of the sandbox on deletion so that no electronic traces of your web sessions remain on the hard disk when the sandbox is emptied.

    All of these features are available within the free as well as the paid version.
  17. Greg S
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    Greg S Registered Member

    Does one selectively recover schtuff they want to keep? What if the sandbox had items that should be placed in multiple folders/locations/registry? Does it know exactly where everything should be placed? How cumbersome is it to do this?
  18. John Bull
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    John Bull Registered Member

    Pegr ! Another award winning reply.

    My God it gets better with every post.
  19. Get
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    Get Registered Member

    Yes. The fact that it's hard to believe for some people that it's flawless:D .
  20. John Bull
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    John Bull Registered Member

    I have never before heard a system given such a unanimous testimonial of praise.

    If Wilders Forum has a large Global audience, then Tzuk and Sandboxie.com will not need any advertising effort, the download buttons will be overloaded.
  21. timestand
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    timestand Former Poster

    sandboxie best app out there. I use with SRP/Applocker very nice. Your question show you no understand how it work. Hard to explain sorry. Just try and test.
  22. crofttk
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    crofttk Registered Member

    I'm glad you brought that to everyone's attention, timestand!

    God forbid that we should have people asking questions here about something they don't understand and hope that someone will help them understand it. Duuuuuuh!

    Greg S, yes you recover selectively that which you want to keep, which, IMO, is much less a bother than selectively deleting things you don't want to or (don't even realize you) shouldn't keep when you operate outside of Sandboxie.

    As I haven't recovered more than simple file downloads, I can't tell you how complex it can get, but plenty here and at Tzuk's forum can share on that.
  23. philby
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    philby Registered Member

    JB - As Sully commented, you will doubtlessly not want to remove SB, but if you're concerned about lingering debris, why not image your system first and then re-instate that image if you decide SB isn't for you?

    Macrium Free is very simple to use, but of course there are others...

    philby
  24. Greg S
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    Greg S Registered Member

    No thanks, but I appreciate your feeble attempt to explain it.
  25. Greg S
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    Greg S Registered Member

    Most helpful reply, Thank you!
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