jimipre

Level 1
As the cyber world gets more dangerous, every available protection should be considered. Browser in the Box or BitBox was created by Sirrix AG for the German government.

From 1click in windows BitBox opens :

-Virtual Box, which in turn opens
-Hardened Debian Linux, which in turn opens
-Chrome or Firefox.

Therefore, you are protected from most malware by Linux and Virtual Box. From what I understand there are a very few viruses written for Linux.

I downloaded and tested both the Firefox and the Chrome versions. I recommend using a download accelerator as Both downloads are huge, approximately 450 MB (Firefox) to 530 MB (Chrome). Using an accelerator that downloaded from 10 mirror sites it still took about 15 minutes to download each one.

I took my usual precautions and installed them in a double virtual environment using Sandboxi and Acronis Try and Decide. I also ran my usual malware tests (Virus Total, Hitman Pro, Malwarebytes, Super-anti-spyware, AVG). It passed all tests. Both programs installed and uninstalled cleanly in both the virtual and the regular Windows environments.

The BitBox installer installs three programs with one click. However, I estimate that it took 5 times longer to install BitBox than to install Chrome. It also seems to take a long time to open BitBox when you click on the icon. Keep in mind that BitBox needs to open Virtual Box, Linux, and finally the browser. Once opened both versions ran quite well with no perceivable loss in browsing speed when used for basic surfing. However on video sites neither version of BitBox does well. It asks if you want to run flash player Before starting a video, which is a good precaution, but the videos run quite choppy.

All in all, I think BitBox is the safest way to browse the web if you can handle the slight delays in browsing, and you do not need to watch video. For the uber-paranoid, BitBox can be run Run virtualized in Sandboxi, Shadow Defender, or your other favorite virtualizer. As I mentioned, I ran it with Sandboxi and Acronis Try and Decide. After my initial trials I now run BitBox without any additional virtualization other than what is included with BitBox.

I am by no means an expert on BitBox, as I have only used it about two weeks. I will say that although I generally prefer Chrome, I did think that the Firefox version worked better. This is likely due to the fact that the Firefox download is about 20% smaller. One oddity is that you can have only run either the Chrome or the Firefox version installed. I found this to be a little disappointing. When you close BitBox, the browser is returned to its original state and all history, cookies, plug-ins, etc. are removed. There is a method of getting downloads out of BitBox into the regular Windows environment, but I have not explored that yet. There is also a way of adding Avira antivirus inside the virtual box, but I did not explore that.

I am by no means an expert on BitBox, as I have only used it about two weeks. I will say that although I generally prefer Chrome, I didn’t think that the Firefox version worked better. This is likely due to the fact that the Firefox download is about 20% smaller. One oddity is that you can have only either the Chrome or the Firefox version installed. I found this to be a little disappointing. When you close BitBox, the browser is returned to its original state and all history, cookies, plug-ins, etc. are removed.

The links I have provided are in English but I suggest running Google Chrome with the translator on as if you explore the website you may find yourself on a page written in German. The pages written in English are a good translation with only occasional unusual phrases. There is a plethora of information available including installation instructions, a datasheet, and a user manual. They come in downloadable PDFs in English. Also, BitBox installs in English provided you use the English download links.

DOWNLOAD: http://download.sirrix.com/content/pages/bbdl-en.htm

INFO: http://www.sirrix.com/content/pages/BitBox_en.htm

I hope Some of you others out there will try BitBox, and post additional feedback. I will provide updates as I discover new benefits or problems with BitBox.

I run BitBox on 2 laptops they both have 4 GB of DDR3 ram. One has a 2.5 GHz processor with quad core, and the other has a 2.1 GHz processor with no core technology.
 

andrew124C41

New Member
In early 2015 I built a PC for my wife using an Asus M5A97 R 2.0 MB, 120 GB SSD, and 1 Seagate 1 TB HD, with 8 GB of memory. The OS is Windows 7. I had been testing the Windows 10 OS and decided that it would be best to remain with Windows 7 for both of us. (I have followed this and other PC tech sites for many years.) The OS was installed on the SSD (c: drive,) and the d: drive contains data. This was accomplished by using a script during creation using sysprep. Norton 360 is used for ant-virus protection. The is also a virtual e: drive on the mechanical drive which contains both Acronis and Macrium OS images which are not compressed as well as OS backups and data backups. Backups are also sent to an external drive and the cloud. The PC also contains a second HD which contains a copy of the original OS. This was done in case of a crash so my wife could be up and running again should I not be available. She has instructions for getting back up quickly. There are also many tweaks such as minimizing he number of windows services as well as others to make the OS run more quickly. The PC's only browser is BitBox with Firefox. All of this was done after six months of testing different ways to simplify anti-viru, adware and malewere protection. The reasons is that my wife watches news from a number of other countres and as a consequence she was having problems. I wanted to find a fool prrof way to protect her new PC.

Originally, I thought to utilize a duel boot system. One would be for day to day computing and the second would be for her foreign browsing. The second was going to contain a virutalized OS. However, when I came upon BitBox, it seemed in theory the best answer.

Bottom Line: After a year of use I ran both Malwarebytes and Superantimalware scans. Both results were negative! The same was true for another PC which used the Chrome version. Bitbox is not perfect...but it is pretty good. The fact that it runs virtually in a transparent manner makes it a good choice for those who are not familiar with vrtualization software.