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Sandboxie 3.54 promises improved compatibility and better performance

24 March 2011, Nick Peers

If you’re paranoid about the changes a particular program might do to your system, then “sandboxing” it is a good idea. Sandboxie 3.54 is the latest version of a shareware program that allows you to run programs in an isolated environment, preventing them from making any changes to your hard drive without your express say-so.

Version 3.54 introduces a number of enhancements to improve the behaviour of both sandboxed applications and Sandboxie itself. These improvements – detailed below – are accompanied by better compatibility with applications including Internet Explorer 9 and Windows Live Messenger 2011 as well as Service Pack 1 on 64-bit editions of Windows 7 and a wide number of security programs, including Panda Cloud AntiVirus and F-Secure Internet Security 2011.

The first improvement in Sandboxie 3.54 is the fact that closing Internet Explorer 8 or 9 when in sandboxed mode won’t interfere with session recovery, and so relaunching IE will not result in an offer to recover the last session. Also, any programs prevented from starting in a specific sandboxed environment (as specified in the Start/Run Access dialog) will no longer display an error message.

Sandboxie has also improved support for sandboxed applications detecting removable drives as they’re plugged in and subsequently ejected. The Resource Access settings dialog has also been tweaked to make it possible to apply settings to all programs except those specified (either individually or in a group). Finally, BlockPort can now be used to block a range of ports.

Sandboxie 3.54 is shareware – the free download acts as a fully functional trial for 30 days before reverting to a cut-down version with frequent reminders to register. The free download requires Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7 or Server and is 64-bit compatible. Home user licenses cost $19.40 for a single year, or $43.30 for a lifetime, and include all subsequent upgrades.

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