[Review] Returnil Virtual System 2010

{rw_text}Software reviewed in this article is:

Returnil Virtual System 2010

Both Returnil Virtual System 2010 Home Free and Returnil Virtual System 2010 Home Lux are reviewed in this article.

Version reviewed:


System OS:

Windows XP and higher


Returnil Virtual System 2010 Home Free is free for home use; Returnil Virtual System 2010 Home Lux costs $39.95 for 1 year.

Software description:

RVS 2010 is a completely new product that uses a combination of antivirus, antimalware and a virtual system to protect your computer from all types of viruses and other malicious threats.

RVS 2010 uses an advanced anti-malware and virtualization technology. It clones (copies) your operating system and creates a virtual environment for your PC. Instead of loading the native operating system, a clone is loaded that allows you to run your applications and perform your online activities in an entirely isolated environment. In this manner, your actual operating system is never affected by viruses, Trojans, malware and other malicious threats. To return to the actual operating system environment, you just need to restart your PC. While working in the virtual environment, you have the option of saving documents and files so that your data will not be lost when the system is restarted.

Ashraf’s note:

Returnil offers a freeware version of their software for home users – Returnil Virtual System 2010 Home Free – and a paid version Returnil Virtual System 2010 Home Lux. The only difference between Home Free and Home Lux is Home Lux has the “File Manager” feature while Home Free does not. Update: Although Returnil does not officially state this, after explicitly comparing Home Free and Home Lux, I noticed Home Free also lacks the “Access Real Disk” feature while Home Lux has it.

Since there is such a high similarity between Home Free and Home Lux, this review conducts a review on both Home Free and Home Lux. (The actual review is based on Home Lux – the screenshots will be of Home Lux – but I mention the two differences between Home Free and Home Lux.)

————————-{/rw_text} –>


  • Very easy to use once you understand what it does.
  • Comes with a built in anti-virus/malware (live protection and on demand scanning).
  • Allows user to use “always on” protection or “protection on demand” in terms of turning system safe on/off.
  • Allows user to dump all changes made to computer or keep all changes (when system safe is on of course).
  • Allows user to select specific files/folders, not on the main system partition, to “lock” at all times.
  • Allows user to save changes to user defined specific files/folders while system safe is turned on. [Home Lux only]
  • Can create a “virtual disk” where user can store files and folders which will always be there regardless of if system safe is turned on or off.
  • User can access his/her “real” disk and make changes while system safe is turned on. [Home Lux only]

{/rw_good} –>


  • Built in anti-virus/anti-malware has frequent false positives.
  • A prompt to the user, warning the user data will be lost, right before the user restarts or shutdowns would be very handy.

{/rw_bad} –>

{for=”Ease of Use” value=”10″}Once you understand exactly what it does, pretty much point and click to use.
{for=”Performance” value=”9″}Fairly light footprint, in terms of RAM and CPU usage, and does exactly what it claims to do, and does it well. However, the anti-virus/anti-malware component has frequent false positives – that can be improved upon.
{for=”Usefulness” value=”9″}I can see this being useful to many people.
{for=”Arbitrary Equalizer” value=”9″}This category reflects an arbitrary number that does not specifically stand for anything. Rather this number is used to reflect my overall rating/verdict of the program in which I considered all the features and free alternatives.
{/rw_score} –>

{rw_verdict}[tupr] [tupf]
{/rw_verdict} –>

Returnil Virtual System (RVS) is a program which aims to provide protection to users in an unorthodox manner. Usually when a user wants protection against malware, and other bad things, he or she installs security software like Avira, Kaspersky, Norton, AVG, NOD32, etc. which actively, and on demand, detect and remove infected files. Although the new 2010 version of RVS also includes an anti-virus/anti-malware component, RVS’s core method of system security is this: it creates a “virtual copy” of your main system partition (the partition which you have Windows installed) and whatever changes are made to your computer are dumped when you restart your computer (there are opinions to tweak how it does that, but generally speaking, that is how it works). This approach is the ultimate protection because even if you download malware unknowingly on your computer, RVS gets rid it (100% completely) when you restart your computer. Of course, any other changes made to your computer are also undone (like Windows Updates; so be sure to turn RVS off when running Windows Updates).

That being said, this is what RVS’s interface looks like:


Using RVS is very straightforward:

  • Virus Guard


Virus guard is the built in anti-virus/anti-malware protection RVS has. Returnil does not specify exactly what types of viruses or other malware the virus guard can remove; they simply call it an “anti virus” and state it detects malware.

Like main stream security software, virus guard has real-time protection and on demand scanning. Additionally, there are two other features worth noting:

  • File protection – file protection lets you specify certain files or folders not on your main system partition to “protect”. I put “protect” in quotes because it is more of “locking” than “protecting”: any file or folder specified under file protection is unable to be opened or changed. If you want to open or change a file, either delist it, or turn off file protection. The interesting thing about file protection is you can also protect whole partitions.


Do take note the developer specifically warns the user to not select any files or folders on your main system partition for file protection – “System Safe” is for that (I will discuss “System Safe” next).

  • Additional protection while using System Safe – you have the ability to prevent programs from running, while you have System Safe on, that don’t exist on your real disk already.
  • System Safe


System Safe is the bread and butter of RVS. With System Safe turned on, RVS will activate that “virtual copy” of your main system partition I discussed earlier. Then when you restart your computer, any changes made to your computer while System Safe was on will be lost. This includes any files downloaded, any files/folders changed, any settings changed, etc. To help provide optimal protection, you have the option to have System Safe turn on automatically whenever you turn on Windows.

However, as you may have noticed by looking at the screenshot, RVS 2010 added an new option where if you have System Safe on, you can save all changed made to your computer so when your computer is restarted, nothing is lost. To do this, you simply have to select “Save all changes” from “On computer shutdown”. The great thing is you can toggle between “Drop all changes” and “Save all changes” at will so if originally you turn on System Safe thinking you will drop all changes after you restart your computer but later on decide you want to keep all changes, you just need to go into RVS and change it.

  • Tools


From tools you can use 3 different features which have the same goal: to allow you to make changes to files and folders that won’t be lost when you restart your computer (if you had System Safe on and set to dump all changes).

  • [Home Lux only – not available in Home Free] File Manager – file manager allows you to define specific files and folders to which all changes will be will be saved to your real disk when System Safe is on. The purpose of file manager is for you to specify files or folders you use frequently (so frequently that you can see yourself using those files or folders while System Safe is on) and allow you to easily save any changes you make to them while System Safe is on.

How file manager works is simple. First you need to tell file manager which files you want it to work with:


Take note

  • Unlike the “File Protection” feature, the files and folders you specify under file manager should be located on your main system partition;
  • Warning from the developer: RVS sees files and folders as unique objects, meaning that if you want to save all the files inside of a selected folder, you must include each of the files in the list individually.

Then when you have System Safe on and you make any changes to the files or folders you specified under File Manager, you need to open up RVS, come to the File Manager window, and click on the “Save Changes” button to save the changes to your real disk (i.e. so you don’t lose them on reboot).

  • Virtual Disk


Virtual Disk is a feature that allows you to, literally, create a virtual partition which you can save and store any file or folder you want. Any files or folders saved to the virtual disk will always be there and the changes made to them will always be made. Think of the virtual disk as having another partition on your computer. You can mount the virtual partition you create, so you can access it directly from My Computer, and interact with it just like you would with any other partition you have.

Using the Virtual Disk feature is easy. First create a virtual disk by click on “create”:


After the virtual disk is created, it will be mounted automatically for you:


Once it is mounted, you can add/remove/edit files and folders in it by accessing it via My Computer…


Or simply selecting the drive letter from the “Virtual Disk Drive” drop down menu.

You can also set it to be automatically mounted on Windows boot or to make it read only.

If you want to create another virtual disk (you can create as many as you want), simply click on “dismount” and start the process all over again. You can manually mount any virtual disk  you have created by clicking on “open” if no disk is already mounted.

  • [Home Lux only – not available in Home Free] Access Real Disk – this feature, available only when System Safe is on, allows you to access your real disk (files, folders, and registry):


Any changes you make from here are saved and will not be lost when you restart your computer.

Lastly, other features of RVS include:

  • The floating tool bar:


This toolbar serves two purposes: to allow you easy access to RVS’s main program window (double click the bar) and to let you know if System Safe is on or off (it will be red System Safe is on).

  • Preferences:






NOTE: “Remote control” is a feature that allows Returnil customer service help a user recover password if he/she loses it.


Overall, I definitely give Returnil Virtual System 2010 a thumbs up. It is an excellent program; in fact it is a dotTech Favorite =). There is, however, one major problem it has:

  • The anti-virus/anti-malware portion of RVS has a lot of false positives. I have been using RVS 2010 since it came out (at the beginning of October if I remember correctly) and since then RVS has had, by my count, 9 false positives. About half of these detections were labeled as “potentially unwanted application” and the other ones were labeled as spyware or adware. Now to some people 9 false positives in a little over 2 weeks of usage may not sound bad, but statistically speaking it is high, and in reality will drive you crazy. I have turned off the real time protection and you may want to do the same. However, if you do disable the real time protection, just make sure you have some other security software, such as Avira, that is covering you with real time anti-virus/anti-malware protection.

Also, there is one feature I would like added: The option to have a pop up warning appear – right before a computer restarts or shutdowns – telling the user that all changes will be lost after he or she restarts/shutdowns (if applicable). I want this pop up warning because I know many people, like me, will forget they have System Safe on and will be confounded when they see all their hard work gone after they reboot their computer. In other words, this is just a fail safe feature for us consumers.

This review was conducted on a laptop running Windows 7 Professional 32-bit. The specs of the laptop are as follows: 3GB of RAM, a Radeon HD 2600 512MB graphics card, and an Intel T8300 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor.


Returnil Virtual System 2010 Home Free

As I already stated, Home Free is a freeware version (only for home users) of RVS. The only difference between Home Free and Home Lux is Home Lux has the “file manager” feature while Home Free does not.

Update: Although Returnil does not officially state this, after explicitly comparing Home Free and Home Lux, I noticed Home Free also lacks the “Access Real Disk” feature while Home Lux has it.

Windows SteadyState

Windows SteadyState is a free software (free for commercial or home use) for Windows XP and Vista (Win7 support not officially added yet as far as I know). While SteadyState takes the same approach as RVS (dumping all changes made to computer when rebooted), SteadyState is aimed at multi-user computers.  SteadyState’s “system safe” feature corresponds to Windows user accounts, and SteadState has other options like disabling Windows features for non-administrator accounts.

Also, SteadyState integrates Windows Updates better than RVS.

Wondershare Time Freeze Free

Wondershare Time Freeze is a program very similar to Returnil Virtual System, except it lacks some features such as the anti-malware, “file manger”, etc.


Sandboxie aims to accomplish much of the same things as RVS (i.e. protection), but it is a different program altogether. You see with Sandboxie you get to “sandbox” programs so any files created/associated with those programs will not directly affect your computer if they are harmful. However, these sandboxed programs/files don’t get deleted upon system reboot – they are just kept isolated.

To put it in layman’s terms, RVS is more of a system-wide protection while Sandboxie is more of pinpoint, user defined protection. With RVS you start with full protection and must manually poke holes in your protection when necessary. With Sandboxie you start with no protection and must manually select how you want to be protected when necessary.

Overall, in my opinion, RVS is better because I find it to be a lot easier to use but both of them are not mutually exclusive programs; you can use both at the same time although I am not sure how much of an advantage you would get with using both RVS and Sandboxie as opposed to just one.

{/rw_freea} –>

{rw_verdict2}Returnil Virtual System 2010 is a great program; it provides excellent, and unique, protection to the everyday user. The features it has makes it very easy to use and versatile. I give it two thumbs up. That being said, my recommendation for today is as follows: if you are the sole user of your computer, RVS is the way to go. The options and features of RVS make it far superior than SteadyState for a single user (you can grab Home Free if you don’t want to pay for Home Lux). However if you share a computer with other people on a regular basis (i.e. you have multiple Windows user accounts), or you are looking to protect a publicly used computer, Windows SteadyState is better than RVS in that situation because SteadyState works with Windows users accounts and provides Windows’ feature disabling functions while RVS does not.
{/rw_verdict2} –>

Related Posts

  • Skye-hook

    Ashraf- Isn’t there a way someone can contact you easily & fast with info about a virus in a software, like the 1 from GOTD discussed here, if GOTD or other places won’t post it? Or maybe even if they do? Thanks. :) Ashraf, I trust you more than any other place online! You are more informative and easily understood than any other site! When you were on vacation, I saw what it would be like without you to guide and inform us! It was like a wilderness of danger and our wise leader missing. :) True.

  • Skye-hook

    @TK: That’s pretty scary that GOTD moderators would do that! I also had trouble with that icon app, but my anti-viris caught it, and deleted the app every time I installed it. I thought it was just my anti-virus being picky, since after all, it was from GOTD and they always seemed to be so careful. Thanks for telling us here! Appreciated! Pretty sad when you can’t trust GOTD!

  • Skye-hook

    @Jeanjean: Returnil isn’t just a system back/recovery app like the software you suggest! Returnil doesn’t have to use tons of disk space to store images, & because it doesn’t allow save of any changes to your disk til you tell it to, any problems happening while Returnil is running just flat do NOT actually happen to your system! It’s as if you are using a different computer while it’s turned on, and saves anything to your real disk ONLY if you want it to! Get it? It is NOT a backup/recover program! It’s lots better! Another thing- I’ve had backup/recover apps fail totally when my system has a big problem, & because of the problem the backup/recovery app couldn’t even function! This has happened with 3 different backup/recover apps I’ve used. Best to have Returnil KEEP problems from happening on your PC, than to try to recover from them later! Also, Returnil can be set to come on when you start PC! You can have it do that or not, your choice. Really think about all this, as it can save your PC! You want a dead PC u have to try to fix, or use Returnil & have the problem never really happen to PC unless u tell it to save it to disk?

  • G


    RVS intercepts block-level writes to disk (it’s a copy-on-write file system, nothing less, nothing more); Sandboxie intercepts higher-level system calls – lots of them – but works at the file level.

    In principle RVS is the better bet because of its simple model. The only way around it is direct access to the disk controller. With Sandboxie you’re always worried there’s some other system call they forgot to intercept.

    However RVS’s model only works on block-based filing systems. It can’t stop a rogue program trashing or stealing your files off a network share, for example.

  • jerry

    Thanks for the great review. It is very helpful. Speaking of GOTD, any of you get the message on your GOTD RVS copy that we should register it with a new license which is valid for more than 45 days. I tried and now it is valid until November 2010. So, there must have been some problem with the last license.

  • G

    1) Why did returnil modify smss.exe on installation?
    2) Why is returnil trying to run bspatch.exe repeatedly in the small hours of the morning? (When I haven’t activated any of the returnil features, it should be passive right now)

    I’m beginning to wish I had left the old version in place.

  • TK

    Same here previous license was retained and only after using a different name and email address did it reuest and get allocated a new license but for the same short trial, I think they need to issue a new license key that is configured properly their server side and try again.

    On another note I experienced no false positives with the built in virus scanner, but I did get a true detection on july 7th 2009 giveaway iconcommander.exe 1.10 for win32/Induc, confirmed it on Virustotal (33/40) and simulated a delphi build environment and traced the virus try to patch itself into sysconst.pas amd sysconst.dcu

    Tried repeatedly to warn GAOTD binerus and their users of the issue and none made it past the moderator.

    Binerus delphi dev system was infected with win32/Induc when the GAOTD offering was built and it is currently impossible to clean with thrid party software.

  • Ashraf

    @Skye-hook: Thanks for posting that but it still only gives me until 2009/11/29.

  • Skye-hook

    Hey, Ashraf & ALL-
    ATTENTION! RETURNIL has changed the expire date on yesterdays giveaway!(At Giveawayoftheday.com) It is posted as the LAST comment at end of yesterdays comments! He says get the trial version from their site (Returnil) & use the license # in his post.HERE IS HIS POST, or go see last post on yesterdays giveaway.

    #82 last comment-
    thank you for downloading RVS and for your patience. Please try downloading RVS from our website one more time ( http://www.returnilvirtualsystem.com/rvs-home-lux) and use your license key to register the version again (F0000R00017000006Z0B5KORL).

    Unfortunately, due to a small human error, the license was set to the wrong date, however, this was now rectified and the license is now valid for 1 year from activation.
    Thanks for your understanding.
    We hope this response has sufficiently answered your questions. If you have any further queries, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions – http://www.returnil.com/support/faq
    , our official forum – http://www.returnil.com/r/forum
    or feel free to contact us via email. Now you can also stay up to date with Returnil on Facebook – http://www.returnil.com/fb.
    Kind Regards,
    Returnil Support

  • Bob Hill


    I installed Returnil yesterday but today Spyware Doctor is claiming that the BSpatch.exe file in the Utils folder contains a Worm Opnis. Is this a false claim or for real and if so how do I overcome the problem?

  • Child Genius



    Good 2CUB8K

    Keep on laughing !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !!

  • @jack_bss:
    Exactly, though as I said above a VM could also be used for software testing, though both ways have their good and bad points.

  • jacko_bss

    Thanks for the explanation, Samuel.

    It sounds like it would be an ideal program for someoneone trying out new software or experimenting but of no use for someone wanting to use a computer for mundane daily tasks such as word processing.

  • Child Genius

    Very amusing day here and at gaotd.

    Alot of people just don’t understand virtual apps. Yet they are the most required app after installing an OS. I was first aquainted with virtual apps when I installed Returnil from gaotd about one and half years ago. I found it very useful. It gave me the power to test all kinds of software installations and downloads without the worry of malware or unwanted changes to my PC.

    I have since used most of the virtual machines like sandboxie, virtualbox etc.

    After reformating I lost Returnil but this was a good thing because I met the new kid on the block called “Shadow Defender”.

    Shadow Defender although not being freeware is much simpler and easy to use than Returnil. The only drawback is you can’t save your entire session if you so desire.

    I use it to test software and installations, keep my PC clean from unwanted changes and malware, and using trial software repeatedly while saving created and downloaded files to my external HD (you can save them to another partition on your HD if you don’t have a external HD) or you can exclude files in Shadow Defender itself but I find this way simpler. Like I said it would be nice if you could save your entire session if you wanted to, hopefully it will included in future verions. Unlike Returnil’s yearly subsciption Shadow Defenders one time fee includes all future updates.



    I love opensource and freeware but I wish people would also give their best choice for propietary software also!

  • @jacko_bss:
    The program worked, I think you just misunderstood what the program does. The point of the program is that when you reboot, anything done since the last time it “save” your system is lost. You have to tell it not to delete the changes if you want to keep them. And yes even deleting files counts as a change that would be undone.

  • jacko_bss


    Many thanks for your GOTD reviews. I always install the software that you recommend. I did so with this program.

    However, I found when I rebooted that this program had undeleted all the emails that I had deleted in Outlook Express and documents I had saved were no longer saved. I have yet to discover what else has been “rewound”. It is something I am doing? I am inclined to uninstall it immediately as I can’t have it undoing all the work that I have done.

  • @Jeanjean: Very interesting program. From what I can tell EAZ-FIX seems to be WSR on steroids, in that it uses the same methods (or similar ones) but just monitors more (though I admit that I could be wrong but that seems to be what the site says). As to my original question of size it seems to take up about the same amount of space. It says that every backup takes up about 0.07% of the drive. I can fit in the 3% of my drive about 40-50 WSR backups, which means each take up from 0.06% to 0.075%, which makes sense. My only complaint against is that they claim you can only run WSR if you can run windows, that is a lie. I have personally used it to restore machines that I can’t even boot. I admit I won’t get it but that mostly because I’m very picky about putting things on my system, unless I absolutely need them.

  • Jyo

    @Steelers6: Yep, Sandboxie does not work on 64-bit. And from what I know, GesWall and Sandboxie are two different types of softwares. GesWall is something like a intrusion prevention firewall, while Sandboxie is like a virtual system, in which malware cannot attack your real system.

  • Jeanjean

    @ Samuel

    For information about disk space, look here :


  • Steelers6

    Hey Asharf,

    I see know you are mentioning Sandboxie again. My understaning is it won’t work with Vista 64 corret? I’ve been testing GesWall and it seems to be doing the job.

    What is better overall GesWall or SandBoxie? I saw your review and in your Best programs review you had GesWall down as an alternate.

    Thanks keep up the good work.

    Vidimo Se!

  • Steelers6

    Seems like alot of people either loved or hated this. As for me, it basically crashed my system. Never even got around to being able to try it. Just got done reinstalling my firewall after this mess. Now my system won’t shut down or restart on its own have to hard reset.

    I researched this well before and made a restore point and tested it thank goodnesss on my other computer. Some kind of conflict in this with Vista or my installed programs or the program itself.

    Too bad thought it had alot of potential. I’ll have to fix my other PC later to get it to restart and shut donw again. I’m too tired from this test.

    Any one else have major issues right out of the gate?

    Vidimo Se!

  • @Jeanjean:
    I admit that your answer is more informed then mine, I personally have never use EAZ and guessed, incorrectly it seems, that it was the same as Returnil. The only this I wounder is how much space an EAZ snapshot takes up? WSR is set by defualt to only use 3% of the disk it is protecting, though you can change that.

  • Belacan

    Assalam Ashraff..thanks for the comment and review..i install Returnil.run normal with vista premium32..no problem.i like gud software,save my mmoney :)bcoz iam still student..thanks alot for yr review Ashraff,GOTD and Returnil Team..TQ..4/5 star..Wasallam.

  • Jeanjean

    @Jonathon and Samuel

    I complete and correct answer of Samuel.
    For example, a conflict arises between two programs and something does not work as before.
    If Returnil enabled : OK ! If it is not, the problem remains and it may be very boring.
    With EAZ, the program creates a baseline snapshot (one that never clears, unless it is updated after a certain time… you decide).
    Then we tell the program to make a snapshot at each startup (for example). You indicate also how quickly it can be deleted automatically.
    Nothing prevents, however, to make as many snapshots as you want, to delete them when you want, to lock them (temporarily or not) to prevent their removal.
    I tested a new program, I do a snapshot before and I remove it myself or let the program do it automatically after x days …
    Snapshots can involve only the c: or more partitions.
    Unlike WSR, everything works fine again as before, in all situations, and with the configuration you can retain new files created.

  • giovanni


    Besides SANDBOXIE I would also add these 2 freeware alternatives:



    – and above all SAFESPACE excellent and easy to use sandbox program:


    Cheers from Italy!!

  • Spot3D

    Talking about the false positive rates, from my experience, it’s about as high as avira which is abnormally high compared with all major anti-virus packages, but avira is truly lightweight & perform great otherwise. Back to returnil, I posted the following to GAOTD about 4 hours ago, but it is still awaiting moderation:

    After a reboot to satisfy the request to plant the drivers by Returnil deeply into the system, I had to allow rvsmon.exe to access internet whereby I notice non-stop communication between this module & returnil server (even when “virus guard” is off), then I tried to register it with no luck, finally I turned off the real-time anti-virus protection by avast & registered again, now it works but tells me the license is valid till 2009/11/30. Let me sum it up:

    1. In freeware mode, it behaves like a malware phoning home NON-STOP!!!
    2. In registered mode, it states to be like a shareware which expires in less than 45 days! Well, you may argue most sharewares only give you 30 days, but hey, we are supposed to get non-crippled software within 24 hours, right?
    3. I don’t see such problems from previous version, seems another great app going down the drain instead of becoming better!

  • @Jonathon:
    1) Never heard of ESET NOD32,, so I can’t help you there
    2) I’m going to guess, for the point of my answer, that EAZ-FIX works the same, or close enough, as Returnil. The diffrence between the and Windowss System Restore is the WSR only makes changes to Windows files and/or programs that install themselves legit. So its good if you mess up the registry, a legit program’s installation gets messed up, or Windows Update gets messed up. Returnil and EAZ-FIX reset the WHOLE computer, anything it wiped. Another diffrence is that with WSR I can go back months to a restore point, they only can reset you computer back to the last time you ran it with out the disk protection. So Returnil and the like are good for fixing day to day stupidity, while WSR is good for fixing long turn stupidity (and yes, I’ve used WSR and it’s usually my fault, so I can call it stupidity)

  • Two questions:

    1. Does anyone know how Returnil compares to ESET NOD32? I think ESET NOD32 is like Sandboxie but much more sophisticated – but I’m not sure.

    2. Can someone clarify how Returnil and EAZ-FIX are different than Windows’ System Restore point [thing]?

  • I’ve though about getting programs like this, but I haven’t since:
    A) I’ve got my system over secured; Threatfire, SpySweeper, AVG Free, MS Security Essentials; as well as having system setting over hyped.
    B) When I do need isolation I just goto one of my VMs.

    I’m working on a way to do this using Windows built in features, I’ll send Ashrad an article on how to do it once I get it working.

  • Kite

    Altiris Software Virtualisation Suite is another application with similar uses

  • Yehuda

    Thanks for the ever helpfull reviews
    The programm does not install it reverses mentioning an error – does not say why ??? conflicting progms ?? I have CA antivirus ashampoo firewall and threat fire installed.
    Any suggestions?

  • Jeanjean


    For the everyday user, I remain a supporter of EAZ-FIX (which few seem to know while he was GAOTD in January for more than 45 days) for the same protection, except the antivirus.
    Returnil requires activation by the user and therefore a simple oversight can make your PC at risk.
    EAZ is constantly active.
    In case of problems, it allows to refind your PC totally healthy after a reboot, pressing the “Home” key (at the appearance of the image program) and selecting a previous snapshot.
    Anyway, thank you for this review.

  • Ashraf

    @Satya: I just added Sandboxie due to popular demand and my forgetfulness.

    I suggest Avira as the best free antivirus.

  • Satya

    Thanx for ur Reviews they are very informative. What about Sandboxie?? No mention at all.True no antivirus feature but It does the same. What is ur take Ashraf? As for anti-virus features Can u pick one antivirus which we can trust? I have tried AVG,McAfee,Avast, Norton and Kaspersky but some how the system gets infected and slowly ends up on the Snails path and then its time for reformat. Can u enlighten us on this? Mind u I use Commodo Firewall also.

  • Ashraf

    @KillNoise: That is true. I included Sandboxie in my last Returnil review but forgot it in this one lol.

    Sandboxie aims to accomplish much of the same things as RVS (i.e. protection), but it is a different program altogether. You see with Sandboxie you get to “sandbox” programs so any files created/associated with those programs will not directly affect your computer if they are harmful.

    To put it in layman’s terms, RVS is more of a system-wide protection while Sandboxie is more of pinpoint, user defined protection. With RVS you start with full protection and must manually poke holes in your protection when necessary. With Sandboxie you start with no protection and must manually select how you want to be protected when necessary.

    Overall, in my opinion, RVS is better because I find it to be a lot easier to use but both of them are not mutually exclusive programs; you can use both at the same time.

  • KillNoise

    Thank you Ashraf for this excellent review.

    From your “Free Alternatives” section i was missing Sandboxie, a “lightweight virtualization environment” to isolate single applications. (See Review at Gizmo’s TechSupportAlert”.)

    Can you compare it to new Returnil Virtual System 2010 ?