What is a sandbox?
A sandbox, in computer security terms is a self-contained environment in which to run computer applications in order to detach them from the host environment.
Like the childrens toy, a sandbox in an environment where you can play (test software) without affecting the surrounding environment.
The sandbox application controls access to the physical hardware such as memory, storage media, network connection and host operating system. Therefore the software that is being 'played with' can do no damage to the computer system that it is running on.
Uses of sandboxing include: testing new software that is in development, testing security software and diagnosing malicious software such as computer viruses.
Implementations of Sandboxes
There is all kinds of sandbox software ranging from software that sandboxes just one particular type of application such as a web browser, to sandbox software which is essentially a virtual machine containing a fully functioning sandboxed operating system.
Sandboxing is a great way to play with, test and evaluate software that you are not sure about in such a way that you can just go mad and use it however you want, without having to worry about it affecting your computer system. As long as you do so within the sandbox.
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Article date: 9th February 2011