Tag Archives: virtualization

Returnil System Safe 2011 Free –Virtualization With Added Antimalware Protection

System virtualization is a very cool technology which, if used correctly, has the power to control malware intrusion through the use of a ‘”virtual” environment, rather than operating in a “real” environment.

Running virtualized while surfing the Internet makes sense, and since it does, we’ve reviewed a number of these applications in the last year or two, including -Shadow Defender, Returnil Virtual System (a previous version of the application currently being reviewed), Sandboxie, GeSWall, Wondershare Time Freeze, Free BufferZone Pro, and more – including virtualized Browser add-ons.

A quick overview of Returnil System Safe 2011 Free:

Returnil System Safe clones your computer’s System Partition and boots the PC into a controlled virtual environment, rather than native Windows. Since the OS operates virtually, the “real” OS cannot be compromised by malware, malicious software, etc. Should the virtual OS become compromised, a simple restart will return the machine to its original state.

Returnil System Safe 2011 Free is compatible with both 32 bit and 64 bit Windows systems. As a value added bonus, Returnil System Safe 2011 Free incorporates an Anti-malware and Anti-spyware component.

Installation is uncomplicated and should run error free. All of the following screen captures can be expanded to the original size, by clicking on the graphic.

Pay particular attention to the registration screen. Should you choose not to register the application, certain product features will not be available past 30 days.


If you plan on continuing to run the application past the 30 day mark, it seems sensible to register. Registration will be confirmed as per the following screen shot.


Setting the Virus Guard real-time protection is simple and straightforward.


You will have the option of automatically starting the application on Windows startup but, I caution against this. Once the application is running, any changes (including downloads, for example, cannot be saved). You will, of course, be guided by your own needs.

The following screen capture explains this restriction.


Instead of an autostart, launch the application manually as needed – surfing the Web, for example.


Fast facts:

  Overall Product

  • New an improved interface
  • Clear protection status of your system
  • Manage main features from one screen

Virus Guard (Anti-malware and Anti-spyware)

  • Real-time protection – define your own shield sensitivity
  • Quick Scan – light on resources and effective
  • Full Scan – thorough scan of pre-defined areas on your computer
  • Scan is dynamically adjustable to user workload (less resource intensive)

Virtual Mode

  • Protect your system – Virtualize it!
  • Virtual Mode Always On or just in current session
  • Ability to save files via File Manager (paid version only)
  • Powerful anti-execute protection

System Restore (System Rollback)

  • Repair infections with ease
  • Restore your system to a previously known/clean state
  • Recover individual infected files
  • Do not ever worry about losing your data

System Requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003, Server 2008,  Windows 7 (all – 32 and 64-bit).

Supported Languages: English, German, Japanese, Korean, Chinese (Simplified), Russian, Portuguese (Brazil), Dutch, Polish, Bulgarian, Finnish.

Download at: Download.com

Overall assessment:

Compared to previous free versions of Returnil, this version suffers from a major lack of functionality – with the focus primarily directed towards a user upgrade. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that of course – that’s marketing. But, this market driven position ignores the fact that free competitive products offer more substantial features and benefits.

If you’re looking for a free virtualization application that offers a reasonably complete solution, then you should consider Free BufferZone Pro. You can read a full review here – Free BufferZone Pro – Maybe The Best Surfing Virtualization Application At Any Price

Update: July 1, 2011

Mike Wood, from Returnil, has clarified a number of issues in the response which follows:

Thanks for the review and write up. All feedback is welcomed and yours has been taken into account for future versions. Some feedback on a couple of things in the article:

1. “… this version suffers from a major lack of functionality “: In the older RVS 2010 versions, the Virus Guard was limited to Quick Scans only. We changed this in the 3.2x versions to include Full System scans in RSS Free. We also provide updates via the Cloud feature that are based on the unknown/malicious file and behavior data collection and server side analysis in our own engine/AI tech. RSS Free does have some limitations as far as premium features are concerned, but that is actually only for the System Restore and File Manager/Access Real disk features. The latter centers around being able to save content to the real System partition while in Virtual Mode and the former is centered on the additional tools we provide to the native Windows Shadow Copy service used for the SR feature.

Those using the Free version can still save content and data to disk; the key is in where that data is stored. In the free version you can still save content to non-system disks/partitions and also have access to the Virtual Disk which can be used as a convenience for those with single partition rigs (only a C:\ drive for example).

The features in the System Restore in the paid versions includes automatic antimalware scanning of restore points and backups prior to implementation as well as the ability to recover files from the previous machine state following a restore. Another feature of the SR is that it can monitor all forms of backups and will list them in the Full Restore option when activated so they can be scanned for malicious content as described above.

2. The discussion of layered security approaches: RSS Pro was designed from the outset to be a vertical layered security approach in a single application where each component part works to not only provide its core functionality, but also to cover the weaknesses in the other component parts. As the free version does have some feature limitations, it is more appropriately placed as a team player in a larger layered strategy that the user is implementing with an ability to cover System level virtualization (as opposed to BZ’s application layer approach), complimentary antimalware, and anti-execute so you can reduce the overall number of other security applications you need to make said strategy work.

The paid version takes this a step further and allows the user to have a layered strategy in a one-stop package that can reduce the need for additional programs in the mix other than a good firewall solution.

With Kind regards,


Returnil Support

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Freeware, Malware Protection, Safe Surfing, Software, System File Protection, Virtualization, Windows Tips and Tools

Free License Giveaway for BufferZone Pro Virtualization Application

imageRegular reader John W, has once more pointed me to a free license giveaway – this time for BufferZone, a virtualization application which creates an isolated environment called the Virtual Zone, while you surf the Internet. The Virtual Zone “buffers” your PC from all forms of known or unknown attacks, that originate from the Internet and external devices.

I have not had an opportunity to test drive this application, but of the 6 or so reviews I did have a chance to read, most reported favorably on the program’s performance.

Virtualization provides a strong layer of protection against malware infection while surfing the Net, and this license giveaway will give you an opportunity to run with the Pro version of  BufferZone, and save $40.00 in the process.


From the developer’s site:

When you use the Internet, programs from the Web can enter your PC uninvited or invited (by downloading). In order to run, these programs make modifications to your hard drive and registry (operating system). Usually such modifications are harmless. However, when they’re not, infected programs or files can do serious damage to your computer.

BufferZone patented “Threat Virtualization” technology


With BufferZone, all programs or files that enter your computer through downloading, browsing or uploading with external media devices are redirected to a Virtual Zone (C:\Virtual). C:\Virtual is a special directory in your computer’s registry that keeps external programs and files in an isolated environment, separated from your trusted personal files and your PC’s operating system.

All files, personal information, drivers and system resources remain invisible to threats and therefore protected from costly or irreversible damage. Viruses, bots, worms, Trojan Horses, phishing, keyloggers, spyware and other malicious code are prevented from covertly installing on your PC.

Modifications from infected programs, files or problematic websites will run only inside C:\Virtual. Inside the Virtual Zone, infections are easily contained and changes can be reversed. The Virtual Zone keeps your computer and trusted files clean and safe.


(Graphic from the developer’s site)

System Requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 (32-bit).

Download at: the developer’s site (Trustware.com).

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Filed under Anti-Keyloggers, Anti-Malware Tools, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Full Versions, Giveaways, Internet Safety Tools, Malware Protection, Safe Surfing, Software, Software Giveaways, System Security, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Free MojoPac Freedom – Portable Computing on a USB Device

MojoPac Freedom is a free software virtualization product from RingCube Technologies which turns any USB2 storage device, such as iPods, USB flash drives, portable hard drives, USB-enabled cell phones, and USB-enabled digital cameras, into a portable computing environment.

The software allows you to carry applications and files from your office to your home or to a tradeshow in Paris for example, on a device that can fit in your pocket. You can then access your usual software applications by plugging in your iPod or USB drive to any PC anywhere in the world. Your language settings are stored on your MojoPac – which means you can connect to a PC in France and still have your environment and applications in English!

To setup the MojoPac device, just run the installer and select a USB device attached to the system. Once MojoPac is installed, it creates an executable in the root of that device, along with an auto run file that gives you the option of starting the MojoPac environment automatically when the device is plugged in.

Once the application is started, a new Windows Desktop (with its own wallpaper, icons, shell, etc.) is started in the virtualized MojoPac environment. Any application that runs inside this environment runs off the USB device without affecting the file system of the host.

You can install most applications (including applications such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, and Firefox) on the portable storage device by simply running that applications installer inside the MojoPac environment.

You can switch between the host environment and the MojoPac environment at any time by using the MojoBar at the top of the screen. Once you’ve finished with the applications, just exit out of MojoPac and eject the USB device. When the portable storage device is disconnected from the host, there are no traces left behind on the host computer.

To run your applications on a different computer, you don’t need to reinstall the application. Simply plug the portable storage device into any Windows XP/Vista computer. All of your settings, applications, and documents function the same way irrespective of which computer the portable storage device is connected to.

Take your work with you:

You never have to load work applications on your home system again, or worry about data synchronization. MojoPac can keep all your work applications and data completely separated from your home PC’s disk drive. And once you remove the MojoPac-enabled device, your home PC will not retain a trace of your work information.

Take your home with you:

You can use MojoPac to take your personal applications (for example, multimedia, finance, games, instant message clients, and personal browser) to work with you; connect to your work PC to run all these apps in the privacy of your MojoPac device, without leaving any trace on your work PC. Nothing will be installed or stored on your work PC, in compliance with your IT policies.


· Supports the majority of popular applications and games

· Works on any USB2 storage device including flash drives, external hard drives, and iPods

Note: The EULA for this application states that MojoPac will collect user information on an aggregate basis that may be used to target promotions.

Requirements: Windows XP (32-bit version)

Download at: PCWorld

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Filed under Freeware, iPod Tips, Mobile Applications, Portable Applications, Software, USB, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools