We started testing the effectiveness of all this protection by downloading and installing programs deemed to be infected by our conventional virus scanners and we were glad to see our PC remained completely uninfected. Depending on what the malware was we saw the odd error message as the virus or Trojan obviously fell over trying to get passed the BufferZone. However, a quick empty of the BufferZone later and we had a completely clean machine again.
We then tried various combinations of running and installing programs from within and without the BufferZone, to see if they operated correctly. And in all the programs we tried, not one came a cropper. The one oddity we did notice was that, due to the way BufferZone actually stores programs in its virtual machine, links in certain menus, namely the quick launch section at the top of the start menu, could become broken. However, normal shortcuts operated as expected.
Overall, the experience of using BufferZone is an easy one, and it largely remains unobtrusive. Yes, due to the fact it is essentially doubling the workload of running certain programs, it can all get a bit clogged up if used for extended periods. However, a quick wipe of the BufferZone soon sorts things out.
In fact, there are only really two reasons we can think of not to recommend this software and neither of them are technical issues. Rather, it's all to do with our original question as to whether adding another string to your protection bow is worth it. You see, while BufferZone shields the delicate parts of your PC from a lot of malicious software run from web browsers or floppy disks, it can't actually prevent a direct attack to your operating system from a remote source. To counter this you still need to keep up to date with OS patches and make sure you use a good hardware or software firewall. Likewise, if your system does become infected by some other means, BufferZone will never be able to tell, so you'll still need a normal antivirus program to take care of that possibility.
So, if you don't mind having yet another piece of, what is essentially, extraneous software to help keep your PC safe then we wholeheartedly recommend TrustWare's BufferZone Pro - especially as you can trial it for 30-days free of charge. However, if all this software is getting a bit much we would advise you to maybe give this a miss and instead just mind where you browse and make sure you scan all software from external sources with your normal anti-virus before you run it. Oh, and always keep backups!
TrustWare's BufferZone is a brilliant new weapon in the constant battle to keep your PC free from malicious software. It may not replace any of your existing solutions but just like any good weapon, it plays its part and it plays it well. And, at around £15, for a single-user, time-unlimited license it is an absolute steal.