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Safe'n'Sec v1.0 Review

Author: Robert, Site Administrator


Reprinted from

A new pro-active, intelligent security product from Star-Force. Impressive security with nearly transparent operation, and zero system load. Read on....

Safe'n'Sec v1.0 Review

ProActive Security

Safe'N'Sec is a new proactive security product from Star-Force, a company known for its nearly unbreakable copy protections. I was pretty dubious about this product on first inspection, as I am with all security products. However it wasn't long before I was impressed with it, and thus, decided to write this review.

Safe'N'Sec(SNS for Short), comes in two flavors, a basic version and a plus version. The differences between these versions is that the plus version has a on-demand antivirus scanner available which uses the well known and competant BitDefender engine. For my test, I decided to use the Plus version because I like the idea of proactive security with a nice on-demand AV scanner. Installation was a snap, the file was tiny, and in less than 15 seconds everything was installed, updated, and operational. This product has 2 running processes that use almost no CPU time, and take up less than 18,000K of ram.

The core SNS product uses no signatures, and is a behavioral monitoring product. Basically what it does is observe the programs you run, existing processes, and anything new starting, to look for "Suspicious" activity, and then prevents this activity, and asks you what to do about it. Its a great principle that other products have used to some success, but the major problem with most products of this type is that they are simply too intrusive and require CONSTANT interaction from the user.

SNS has an extremely clean interface, and is very minimalist. I appreciate this in applications, and really liked the look of this one. Everything important is right in front of you, anything else you need is a single click away. Very clean and slick. SNS comes "Out of the Box" configured for probably 90% of the systems out there, however if you like to tweak, it has all of the options you'd need. Most things are slider controlled with advanced options and exclusions available to the hardcore tweaker.

SNS does something fairly unique in that you can actually control what applications are authorized to "Launch" on your computer. Put SNS in lockdown mode, then everytime anything happens on your PC you are prompted to "Allow" it. Do this for about a week to exclude all of your normal processes, then lock it down, and nothing malicious can run without you approving it. Very effective security in this mode, but nothing the amateur should attempt. I ran it in "Strict" mode, which was almost 100% transparent.

With SNS happily running quietly in the background, I attempted to run "Flux", a well known TrojanSpy program, and sure enough, its execution was forcedly stopped by SNS.

Furthermore, I ran a product that installs a AppInit DLL to see if this would be picked up, and it was - and it was stopped completely.

Then I tried some stuff that modifies or changes some registry keys and everything was stopped properly. I tried the "Soundrel" simulator on my website, and 3 out of the 5 test scoundrels were stopped. Most impressive in performance, and the two it misses aren't even relevant to the product. The next test is perhaps the toughest test available for any registry protection product. Process Guard, PrevX and I think most other products of this type FAIL both of these tests. I'm happy to report SNS passed both tests with flying colors.

So far its performing magnificently. Next up for testing was the antivirus aspects of this product. Keep in mind it does not have real-time AV protection, merely a daily updated on-demand scanner based on the BitDefender engine. Needless to say in my limited testing, the SNS version of this engine performed like a champion. I threw Flux, Bulzano2, a bad CRC infected archive, and a JPG backdoor at it, and it found them all perfectly.

Overall SNS is a pretty impressive product. Its not as intrusive as PrevX, Process Guard, DesktopArmor or System Safety Monitor, but seems to provide much of the same protections as those products with the addition of a great on-demand antivirus solution, and in most cases, costs the same or less. But with the inclusion of the AV, its clearly a better deal at $35.00. (The basic version is $25). Is SNS strong enough to be your only form of security on your system other than a firewall? Possibly, depending on your habits and safe computing practices. For a guy like me that demands LIGHT performance in his products, this one is a home run.

Editors note: Safe'n'Sec is a superb product to compliment your existing security infrastructure. I use Safe'n'Sec alongside Dr.Web for a total solution.

Reprinted from


March 17, 2005

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