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BufferZone Pro Free Anti-Malware Virtualization Review

Friday, 03 December 2010 18:07:22 (US Mountain Standard Time, UTC-07:00)

    Virtualization is a new concept that has not been implemented with ease of use in mind until now.  What BufferZone does is create a separate environment in memory, the registry, and on the hard disk where all files that enter a computer from the internet, usb drives, and any form of downloading are run.   While most programs won’t cause any problems, if a virus is downloaded, it stays in the virtual folder and cannot affect or read any personal or OS files.   This means that the virus is useless.  The “virtualization” has also been referred to as sandboxing and is included in Comodo’s antivirus programs and Avast’s premium antivirus. However, the performance is lacking when compared to BufferZone. Also, the program doesn’t need to have local virus definitions to stop the latest malware.

    The installation of BufferZone was ok.  The download was 16 megabytes in size.  I initially opened the installer and was greeted with a message that states there isn’t 64 bit support.  Users may already be aware that this is a big pet peeve of mine because most new computers have 64bit O/S’s.   Also, Sandboxie (similar to BufferZone) now has 64bit support; so it is possible.  Regardless, I installed the software on a 32bit machine and was required to restart the computer after completing the installation.

    Once the restart was finished, the program configuration started.  One can protect specific important folders (i.e. My Documents) from ever being accessed by programs inside the BufferZone.  Protection in Windows 7 is indicated by a lock on the folder and files.  Also, one can enter in their bank URL address to prevent any program in the zone from accessing the website (aka keyloggers etc.)

    Routine use of Bufferzone is hardly noticeable. The program already detects all forms of internet browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Opera etc.) and runs them virtualized automatically. If one wants any particular program to run in the sandboxed environment, simply right click and select it on the context menu.

    The resource usage of BufferZone is very reasonable at only about 20 megabytes across three different processes.  The program also requires very little CPU power and is only utilized when a user accesses a virtualized program.

    One other complaint about BufferZone is the lack of programs that are automatically run in a virtualized environment.  While a user can add any program, I think a more comprehensive list  would provide more out of the box functionality.

    In conclusion, Bufferzone is a great security tool and definitely should be run alongside a free antivirus to provide excellent protection.