The Security Benefits Of Using A Virtual Machine

Virtual machines are a piece of technology that have been around for a long time and are only now becoming used in the mainstream.

The technology is being used in the server space and is becoming more and more popular on the desktop as well.

There are many times that you may have run across it and you might not have even known it.

Your favorite web site could use the technology and you would never know.

Now that the technology is becoming proven and people are sure that it is reliable this might be the time that you will want to integrate it into your normal every day routine.

In the following paragraphs I will go into more detail of what the technology is, how it can keep you safe, and how you can easily use it every day.

I think that once people are not scared of the technical aspects of the technology anymore then they will feel safe in using it.

what are the security benefits of using a virtual machine?

what are the security benefits of using a virtual machine?

What Exactly Is A Virtual Machine?

The technology behind the modern day virtual machine has been around for a long time.

The reason why it is starting to become more and more popular is the fact that the computer is becoming stronger.

When the virtual machine technology was first invented there was no way that the computers that were around then would be able to run two operating systems at the same time.

Now that is no longer the case.

Even the lowest powered computer that is purchased these days is able to perform this task and that is exactly what you want a virtual machine to do; you want to be able to run a computer inside of a computer.

The true magic of a virtual machine is the fact that you are able to run a second operating system on your machine while it is in a sandbox.

A “sandbox” in computer terms means that you are able to run a system and it will not affect the other parts of the machine.

This way with the second operating system in the virtual machine you are able to do things that you normally wouldn’t do with your regular system.

You can visit dangerous web sites, run programs without scanning them and whatever else that might harm your system.

This is what makes it perfect for you when it comes to security purposes.

Using A Virtual Machine For Security Purposes

Using a virtual machine for security is one of the best things that you can do when you are using the computer.

The ability to keep the dangerous parts of running a computer sandbox away from the other parts of your system is a big benefit.

As I said in the earlier paragraph, you can have your system run all of the dangerous parts without it taking the whole computer down but you can also do the opposite as well.

For example, if you have a bunch of financial programs that you keep your money organized with you can keep them in the virtual machine.

This has two benefits for you to use –

1) The first benefit is the one that I have been talking about the whole time. You are able to keep your data secured and nothing will damage it.

2) The second benefit that you are able to get from keeping your data in the virtual machine is the fact that you can now make copies of it. In case something happens to the main virtual instance, you can make a copy of it and the environment around it for safe keeping. Also you can use this same information on any computer that has a virtual machine player installed on it.

So as you can see, with a virtual machine instance running on your machine, you have a bunch of flexible options when it comes to security.

You can use the virtual machine instance to do anything dangerous so that your actions don’t affect the rest of the computer or you can keep the important data in the virtual machine instance.

This way you can make sure that it is all safe and ready wherever you need it.

Now let’s talk about how easy it is to use the technology today.

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The Ease Of Use Of Virtual Machines

Using a virtual machine instance on your computer is easier than ever.

First of all, most people have a computer that is powerful enough to run the programs.

Second of all, the installation and running process of the software is very simple to use.

Both VMWare, Microsoft, and several other VM companies are trying to make the technology mainstream.

To do this it has to be easy to install and to use.

That is definitely the case.

Using a virtual machine to keep your data safe is great way to use your computer.

You will definitely have a more secure system.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

Comments

  1. Virtual machines are indeed great for experimentation, developer testing, and as you mentioned, for browsing the web safely.
    However, since the host must be connected to the internet as well it would be also exposed to some internet risk, unless you use a proxy server with firewall to connect to the internet.
    So Giedrius is right that an anti-virus is definitely needed anyways. I would also add that a backup is necessary as well. When you have a VM, the good thing is they are easy to backup as well.

  2. I think VM has some downsides you forgot to mention.
    For example, I purchase PC to use its resources to fullest extent: Its CPU, Its ram, its GPU, its disk space. That means that I would have to use more powerful machine for these tasks.
    The second problem is that VM does not allow all programs to run. This might include some games, or ones that use hardware (or they might run slower). Game cracks and trainers (typical scenario for teen computer usages) is one of favorite ways for distributing some of trojans.
    Many of the benefits of VM can be gained by using browser with sandboxing features and a decent firewall and antiviruses. VM will not replace an antivirus, as not all of malware intends to show any symptoms (keyloggers, backdoors). In a way it is a kind of doing backups of system (which is highly advisable).

    • Oh yes, there are certainly downsides too and I think you covered all of them there.

      The extent to which any of them would be relevant is, of course, dependent on the user of the VM and the tasks they are using it for.

Trackbacks

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