This piece of software has turned out to be a surprise. What does it do? Instead of just running a spyware bot, it creates a virtual machine inside your computer that completely isolates your Internet activities from the rest of your machine.
Within it, you can surf the net safely, send messages to your favorite instant messaging service, and safely download and open email executable attachments. Attacks cannot reach your system while you are using the software,
I decided to test by downloading a short .wmv movie file that a friend had sent. I noticed that my downloader was safely encased in the red that the program uses for showing that what you are using is in the virtual machine. However, the file would not play. I finally had to right click to move it outside the Buffer Zone to get it to play. When you open the program by double-clicking its icon in the taskbar, there is an area in the security section that allows you to edit what programs are running inside the zone but the choice is pretty limited.
Avant also has a firewall running inside the virtual machine.
It automatically makes all documents stored in your My Documents folder confidential and inaccessible to snoopers on the Internet. There is also a place that allows you to make other folders confidential. You can also turn the program completely off if you need to.
I used a beta version of a virtual machine program similar to this several years ago. Buffer Zone will take a little getting used to and you may need to make some changes as to where you store your files if you do not use My Documents, but in my opinion, this program gives you a completely new freedom from worry on the Internet that is probably worth the minor inconveniences.
However, the program could also be vastly improved by allowing more programs to run inside the virtual machine. Although this has the potential to be excellent, in my opinion, I would not recommend it to beginners as it really does seem to require some familiarity with the technical aspects of Windows.
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