Browsing the web, downloading and running applications that may pose security issues require lots of experience and a powerful protection layer to prevent malware from spreading onto a computer. There are, nonetheless, some alternatives that can be exploited even by less experienced users, like running such potentially dangerous programs in a virtual environment.
Initially developed especially for Internet Explorer, known for its vulnerabilities, Sandboxie is a utility that is now just as effective for any other software. What it actually does is allow anyone to run apps inside a protected environment, that is completely isolated from the actual hard drive space.
This means that when running a software sandboxed, no modifications will me made to your system and all the changes occur virtually, in that quarantined folder. Thus, Sandboxie can help you browse web pages with unsafe content, test virus behavior and a lot more.
Inside the 'Sandboxie Control' area you will be able to view and manage the programs, start the web browser, email reader or any other application. Also, you have the possibility to run a utility from the 'Start Menu' and open 'Windows Explorer', but remember that while it is inside the sandbox, no changes will occur to the real files and folders.
A neat feature of Sandboxie is its ability to integrate seamlessly with the operating system and it will become available from the right-click (context) menu, as well as from the 'Send to' desktop menu.
All in all, even if it can be really easy to use by anyone, Sandboxie is best suited for advanced users, mainly because configuring it is not quite the straightforward job many would expect it to be. Nonetheless, the software serves its purpose perfectly and will make it possible for anyone to stay safe while performing insecure actions or accessing potentially harmful areas of the Web.