Windows 10: Installing VirtualBox on an old computer. Will it protect me?

  1.    28 May 2018 #1

    Installing VirtualBox on an old computer. Will it protect me?


    Hey guys, I have another question I hope you can answer about safe networking.

    I have another old computer that I don't use (Windows XP). Can I install VirtualBox (or Sandboxie) on it and use it when I need to access sites that aren't exactly safe.

    For example, if I wanted to go to PubFilm.to and watch movies, would VirtualBox protect the other computers on my home network from getting any viruses that might get downloaded to the old computer?

    Also, can I use it to test 3rd party programs. Install unknown 3rd party programs and see if the registry has changed a week later? For example, I like ShareX but not sure if it does anything harmful to my computer.

    Thanks in advance for your help, guys.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 5,391
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       28 May 2018 #2

    [QUOTE][Also, can I use it to test 3rd party programs. Install unknown 3rd party programs and see if the registry has changed a week later?/QUOTE]Can't say about the rest but for this part you'd have to be careful that such programs would work on WinXP AND Win10. Also involved would be the type of Windows install, WinVista and later were available as x86/32-bit and x64/64-bit. WinXP was usually 32-bit, only Pro was also available as 64-bit [weren't yet many programs for 64-bit 'back then'].
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    29 May 2018 #3

    Good point about the differences in Windows XP and Windows 10. Never really thought about it. I just love some of 3rd party programs out there even though they are so old. I just wish Microsoft would be innovative enough to incorporate them. At the same time, I hate to use the 3rd party programs because each one I install increases my risk that my computer system will be compromised.

    Also, you wouldn't know how effective VirtualBox be in insulating itself from the rest of my network? I want to dedicate one of my old computers to watch stuff from a streaming NBA game or see a recent movie from Pubfilm. But I'm afraid that if I do, viruses will be downloaded with the media (which probably does happen). Just wondering how effective VirtualBox is at sandboxing stuff. I just read that it has its holes too.


    Would you happen to know if Virtualbox.

    [QUOTE=Berton;1382350]
    [Also, can I use it to test 3rd party programs. Install unknown 3rd party programs and see if the registry has changed a week later?/QUOTE]Can't say about the rest but for this part you'd have to be careful that such programs would work on WinXP AND Win10. Also involved would be the type of Windows install, WinVista and later were available as x86/32-bit and x64/64-bit. WinXP was usually 32-bit, only Pro was also available as 64-bit [weren't yet many programs for 64-bit 'back then'].
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    29 May 2018 #4

    Provided you do not attach external drives to the vm, and do not network connect to outside pcs (including host), it is generally safe to use a vm like yiou want accepting you may have to delete vm if it gets infected. However, this is not 100% guranteed. An even safer solution is to run vm from linux.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    29 May 2018 #5

    I'm kinda' of a newb at this networking stuff. When you mean by "network connect", you mean that I don't try to gain access to the virtual machine through my other PCs on the network, right? Because all of my family PCs and the virtual machine will be on the same network as they all access the internet through the same router, right?

    Running from Linux? That's a can of worms I'd like not to open. I know nothing about Linux. I mean like zero. It would be like a year long project just to get used to it, I'm guessing...

    cereberus said: View Post
    Provided you do not attach external drives to the vm, and do not network connect to outside pcs (including host), it is generally safe to use a vm like yiou want accepting you may have to delete vm if it gets infected. However, this is not 100% guranteed. An even safer solution is to run vm from linux.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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