Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Software License Giveaway: Sandboxie

It Brings Me Special Pleasure To Announce My Latest Software License Giveaway: Sandboxie

SecurityNowLogo “…it is, I think, as important a tool as a personal firewall is for network communication.~ Steve Gibson ¹ on Security Now, Episode #172.

Regular readers may remember that I have recommended Sandboxie here before. I’ve used it for as long as I can remember. I consider Sandboxie an essential and primary tool for protecting my machines from cybercrimals (incorrectly called “hackers”). I’ll speak to this more in a bit…

How it works: Sandboxie takes a whole different approach (tactic) than traditional antivirus and anti-Spyware programs use to protecting you. Sandboxie runs your applications (aka “programs”) in an isolated area called a “sandbox”, as this animation shows…

Any programs that are “launched” (aka “Open”-ed, aka “run”) within Sandboxie only function within the sandbox, and have no direct access to your files, the Windows operating system or any other part of your PC. After you have finished with the ‘session’, you can right click the Sandboxie icon and delete all sandboxed files and processes, and your PC will be returned to the same state it was in before you started (how those red boxes vanish). To paraphrase, “What happens in the sandbox stays in the sandbox.”

Some Benefits of the Isolated Sandbox

  • Secure Web Browsing: Running your Web browser under the protection of Sandboxie means that all malicious software downloaded by the browser is trapped in the sandbox and can be discarded trivially.
  • Enhanced Privacy: Browsing history, cookies, and cached temporary files collected while Web browsing stay in the sandbox and don’t leak into Windows.
  • Secure E-mail: Viruses and other malicious software that might be hiding in your email can’t break out of the sandbox and can’t infect your real system.

How I use Sandboxie: The main thing I use Sandboxie for is when I want to explore unknowns; the second use is for when I want to explore ‘known bad’s’ or ‘known risky’ (such as when I want to see how a new item of malware installs itself, so I can better remove it). What do I mean by “unknowns”? Websites I have not visited before.. and those PowerPoint slideshows people “forward” to me.  Frankly, I almost always open my web browser, Firefox, “sandboxed”, and I recommend you get in the habit too – the Internet is not a clean, well-lighted place, but an un-policed criminal’s playground; and even “safe” websites get hacked.
When I am asked to review a new (to me) program, I first “install” it in a sandbox. There is a tutorial on this here, How To Investigate Suspicious File using Sandboxie.
(An example of “known risky” would be P2P downloads (aka “Torrents”) and porn sites.)

Sandboxie allows me to be a better tech (and tech writer) because with it I can safely observe the techniques ‘hackers’ and malicious software employ. But it also plain and simply gives me a secure feeling when traveling around the Web, and I feel ‘naked’ without it.

Note: Sandboxie is NOT a replacement, nor substitute, for traditional anti-Malware (antivirus+anti-Spyware) but is used in conjunction with. (This is referred to as “layering” your defenses.) And Sandboxie is not exactly intuitive to the “average user”, so I highly recommend that first time users see Tutorial: Getting Started with Sandboxie. This is a serious security tool and taking the time to learn how it works is well worth it! Using Sandboxie is simple, there’s just a few things to know.

Who can use Sandboxie? Sandboxie runs on 32-bit and 64-bit Windows operating systems.

Okay. Okay. Okay! The contest!
Sandboxie’s creator, Ronen Tzur, has graciously and generously donated five licenses to me, to award to my readers. I sincerely thank him for that. So I am going to do a random drawing ² contest from folks who “enter” my drawing. The contest will end midnight Thursday, July 15th, and the winners announced Friday the 16th.
A “registration” license is “lifetime” and can be used on as many computers as you own. Sandboxie currently retails for €29 Euros ($36.67). The other advantages of the paid version are listed here.

How to enter? To enter the drawing, simply click on “comment”, and enter your name and a valid e-mail (so we can send you the key) in the form. Actually commenting is optional. And, I shouldn’t have to say this, but it seems I do — multiple entries will result in disqualification. (In this contest. Entry in prior contests doesn’t count against you.)

GizmoAwardMy first recommendation for safe browsing is a free program called Sandboxie.~ JonathanT, Gizmo’s Best Free Browser Protection Utility.

Ronen has always offered this (essential, IMHO) security tool free, for which he has long earned a big tip of my Geek hat. It consistently wins “Best” and “Top” mentions on the reputable download sites, such as PC Magazine and MajorGeeks.


click to read

You may use Sandboxie free of charge for any length of time that you desire. However, if you use Sandboxie for more than 30 days, the software will remind you to consider paying the registration fee each time it is launched. (By purchasing you would support further development and improvement of Sandboxie.) So, download your copy today, and then leave a comment — you just might win a lifetime license!

The Sandboxie website is here.

¹ Steve was named one of three Tech Paul’s Friend of the Internet Surfer Award winners to date. (I should name Ronen as my next winner for giving the world Sandboxie!)

² All entrants will be placed into’s “randomizer”, and the top 5 results will be the winners.

Related: A man I know a little bit, and respect a lot, published this review of Sandboxie on Bright Hub, Sandboxie Review: Free Security Software for Your PC.

* You may want to take the time to read the other comments (below) too…

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.

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July 12, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, cyber crime, e-mail, free software, hackers, how to, Internet, PC, security, software | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 174 Comments