Download Shadow Defender – Virtualized Intrusion Prevention

Shadow Defender is an intrusion prevention system that is non-intrusive, and after initial setup, requires a minimum of user intervention – perfect for the average user.

Simply put, Shadow Defender, when active, creates a virtual environment on your computer by redirecting all changes to your system to an unused location on your Hard Drive. At, or before shut down, these system changes can be permanently saved to disk, or completely discarded.

Virtualization can be analogous to – “now you see me; now you don’t”, or “you think you can see me, but I’m not really here”. By handling security in this way, Shadow Defender prevents damage from intrusions, and malicious software: viruses, worms, spyware, key loggers, etc.

A case in point:

While surfing the Net, an inexperienced user mistakenly accepts an invitation to install a scareware application but realizes, after the fact, that this is a scam. Operating in a “real” environment, the damage, unfortunately, would already have been done.

Operating in a “virtual” environment with Shadow Defender active; operating in Shadow Mode, the system changes made by this parasite could be completely discarded, since the attack occurred in the, “I’m not really here” environment .

A system reboot would restore the system to the original state, as if the attack had not occurred.

So what’s Shadow Mode?

Shadow Defender clones an independent system platform with the same configuration, and functions,  as the existing system. The important difference between “normal mode”, and the shadow mode is: everything in Shadow Mode, including the file/s you downloaded, the document/s you created, or the settings that you changed, will disappear when you exit Shadow Mode.

The user interface is “follow the bouncing ball” simple as the following screen captures illustrate.

Since I’m not a fan of application auto start, I configured this application to start on an on demand basis – only at Browser launch.

Shadow Defender 1

At the following screen, I set the application to protect both partitions on my Hard Drive. Simple.

Shadow Defender 2

If a user choose to run Shadow Defender on a continuous basis, an option is available to exclude specific files and folders. Remember, since all downloaded files, all created documents, and all system changes will disappear when the user exits Shadow Mode, unless excluded, this is a critical option.

Shadow Defender 3

The administration screen allows the user to fine tune the application to their specific needs including allowing/disallowing auto start at boot.

Shadow Defender 4

Fast facts:

Prevent all viruses and malware.

Surf the internet safely and eliminate unwanted traces.

Protect your privacy.

Eliminate system downtime and maintenance costs.

Reboot to restore your system back to its original state.

Maintain a system free from malicious activity and unwanted changes.

Test software and game installations in a safe environment.

Protect against unwanted changes by shared users (suitable for workplaces and educational institutions).

During a quick test, I downloaded application files, video files, moved files between partitions, wrote and saved test documents, and made minor system changes with Shadow Defender active. On reboot, no changes were evident.

System requirements: Windows 2000, XP, Vista (32-bit), Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit).

This application is not freeware but you may download a 30 day trial version at: Shadow Defender

Purchase Price $35.00

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Internet Safety Tools, Online Safety, Software, Software Trial Versions, Spyware - Adware Protection, System File Protection, System Security, Tech Net News, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

21 responses to “Download Shadow Defender – Virtualized Intrusion Prevention

  1. Sut

    Hi Bill. A freeware alternative to this is Returnil (there is also a paid version). Have tried Shadow Defender and it works seamlessly, but so does Returnil and it’s free. The latest version of Returnil has anti-virus capabilities built in which is the one major difference to Shadow Defender. Personally, I think the anti-virus aspect in Returnil is overkill and would recommend your readers seek out Returnil Free 2008 (probably not Windows 7 compatible) which does not have the anti-virus option, is less complicated to set up and use, and generally responds in a snappier manner than Returnil 2010.

    • Bill Mullins

      Thanks for this Sut.

      Recommended Returnil last year in an article on safe porn surfing, I’m glad you brought it to my attention again. Just downloaded the latest version (2010 Home Free), to take for a test drive, which is BTW, Win 7 compatible. Looking forward to giving this a workout.



  2. Liam O' Moulain

    Hi Bill,

    Another great one!



    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Liam,

      In the coming year, with the huge number of infected legitimate sites on the Web, virtualization may be the safest way.

      Thanks for coming by.


  3. Ramblinrick


    I currently use Shadow Defender and can attest to it’s quality and reliability. Great piece of software… I primarily use it to test software by putting the PC in a virtual mode with Shadow Defender…


    • Bill Mullins

      Hi Rick,

      I rmember that you had mentioned Shadow Defender and how impressive you thought it was. So………..

      Thanks for that and of course, for visiting.


  4. Luis

    Hi Bill,

    I have both paid softwares ( Returnil and Shadow Defender) and I prefer Shadow Defender over Returnil. Shadow Defender doesn’t have an antivirus like Returnil, true, but do you need it?. To me an anti-virus software inside a virtual environment is useless ( plus Returnil Anti-virus gives you a lot of false positives). I rather have an Anti-key logger or anti-malware software .
    Shadow Defender will protect all your drives if you want to. Returnil will only protect drive c: .

    There is also an excellent program called Sandboxie that I feel it is even more flexible than Returnil or Shadow Defender and it is also free.

    With Sandboxie you don’t have to reboot. All you need to do is close the sandbox.

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Luis,

      Interesting comment. I agree, I don’t see any benefit to an anti-virus inside a virtualization application. I’d much rather rely on my choice of anti-malware applications, including Zemana Anti-logger.

      Your point “Shadow Defender will protect all your drives…… Returnil will only protect drive c:”, is important for those of us who have multiple drives.

      Just today, I installed the new version of Returnil to take it for a test drive. I’ve tested this previously, just want to see if the new version is an improvement.

      BTW, I’ve run Sandboxie for years, off and on, and have reviewed it here 3 or 4 times. Great application, but just a little complicated for newbie/casual users, I think.

      Great comment – glad you paid a visit.


  5. Sut

    Forgot to mention in my earlier comment that Returnil only ‘protects’ the system partition whereas Shadow Defender gives you the option to protect other partitions. Still, i am not sure of the practicalities of virtualizing your documents on another partition when any changes made to them will be gone after a restart if running in ‘Shadow Mode’. Have compromised my system on many occasions (often willingly) and have never had a single problem with my documents partition but maybe i’ve been lucky.
    Just to add, another freeware virtualization alternative is Comodo Time Machine (a carbon copy of the commercial software Rollback RX) which allows you to ‘rollback’ to a previous timeline. It’s like a very versatile and reliable version of Windows System Restore. You can even restore individual documents to any point in time from the right-click context menu. A different approach to Shadow Defender and Returnil but worthy of consideration.

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Sut,

      Thanks for the update on this.

      You’re right, Comodo Time Machine is a superb application which I’ve been running for months. My good buddy Ramblinrick (who just left a comment in this comment stream), just posted on Time Machine on his site, What’s On My PC – Comodo Time Machine A Powerful System Restore Utility. Great article that’s worth checking out.


  6. kingpin

    Hi Bill,
    All three Shadow Defender,Returnil and Sandboxie are good.Since the trio are all shareware which one will put your money for the best?

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  8. leofelix

    Hi Bill
    I have downloaded and installed Shadow Defender…. thank you: it is simply excellent.
    Far better than RETURNIL 2010 (which I unistalled).
    Thank you for letting us know of this handy software.
    Do you plan a giveaway maybe?;)
    It would be great.


    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Leofelix,

      Interesting – I just posted a review on Returnil.

      Don’t know of a giveaway yet – still working on it.



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  10. TucsonMatt

    What happens with these if your going along and make a bunch of changes to your system that are fine, and then you’re watching Hulu or some other video and your system locks up and you have to do a hard reboot? I’ve had this happen with my Win7 Ultimate 64-bit system several times. System runs fine under Linux and all hardware checks come out ok. I would be pretty upset if a couple hours worth of work was wiped out because of a system freeze! As much better as Win7 is, it still isn’t as stable as Linux (in my experience) and lockups have to be expected on occasion.

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  13. Sam

    how we find the freeware key of shadow defender?

  14. Merci pour votre article sur notre logiciel Returnil.
    Ce commentaire pour vous dire que l’antenne France de Returnil vient d’ouvrir et que le logiciel est disponible sur Returnil france


    Nicolas de