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TECH REVIEW: Driveshield offers a different kind of protection

I recently read about an individual who got so disgusted with all of the malware on his computer, he decided to throw it away and just buy a new one. Granted this was a rather extreme reaction. And while I feel his reaction was tantamount to thro...

I recently read about an individual who got so disgusted with all of the malware on his computer, he decided to throw it away and just buy a new one. Granted this was a rather extreme reaction. And while I feel his reaction was tantamount to throwing away a car because the ashtrays were full, I also believe his frustration reflects how so many of us feel when it comes to the daily assault on our computers we have to face as we go online.

All of us know about the anti-virus software, the spam filters, the firewalls and the multitude of other prevention products we load onto our computers in an attempt to stave off all the bad stuff. There's a product with a rather different and novel approach to the problem but it's a solution that's not for everyone. Still, the more I think about it, there are a number of situations where this could prove to be the perfect solution to all of the cyber problems out there.

DriveShield Home from Centurion Technologies uses a simple approach to the problem. When you are finished for the day or whenever you reboot your computer, DriveShield Home puts everything back to the exact way it was when you first started your computing day. Since you began everything with a perfectly clean, non-infected hard drive, it stands to reason that your next computing session will be infection-free when you put it back the way it was.

To begin and before you install DriveShield Home, you must be sure your computer is free of anything bad. You can reformat your entire hard drive and install whatever original applications you like or need. Once applied and before you ever go online, you then install a copy of DriveShield Home. From that point on, DriveShield Home will know to return your computer to that original condition whenever you reboot. The idea is that no matter where you go, what you do or to whatever you may be exposed, it really doesn't make any difference because when you reboot, your computer is returned to its original pristine condition.

Now while at first blush this may sound like the perfect solution to everything, it really isn't. Most of us know that as we continue to use our computers that things are constantly being changed, added to, updated and modified and most of these things are changes we want to occur. The Windows operating system is constantly making changes, watching how we work so that certain components that aren't being used are omitted in an effort to make things work faster. Home applications can be adding things of which we may not be aware but are necessary. Take the web browser for example. As you surf, you add bookmarks, cookies are being added and changed to keep track of where we went and associated passwords, etc. Then there's the obvious changes such as new word processing documents you create, new e-mail received and saved. Chances are you want them to be there the next time you restart your computer.

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So if a major part of using a computer is change, this may not be right for you. Yet there are many scenarios where it's applicable. For example, let's say you want to lend your computer to someone. Installing DriveShield Home is a perfect way to insure that whatever they do while they use it won't effect you in any way because when they bring it back, you'll know that the hard drive's contents will be exactly the same way before you lent it to them.

In the educational environment where computer labs expose their PCs to students doing whatever, DriveShield Home puts them back at the end of the day. The same can be said for public libraries, Internet cafes and other public venues that offer computers to be used. Many retail outlets use DriveShield Home so that at the end of the day with customers banging on the keyboards, deleting things they shouldn't delete and surfing to places they should surf, the merchants know that in the morning, all will be exactly the same as it was the day before.

Now Centurion realizes that not all of us want our computers to forget everything and that's why you can use DriveShield Home's "Persistent Storage" feature. This lets you define specific folders and areas such as your e-mails, My Favorites, Pictures, Documents and other similar areas to be persistent. In other words, these areas will not be forgotten when you reboot with DriveShield Home in place.

As I said, DriveShield Home is not for everyone because its method can be a bit extreme. But if you're fed up with all the cyber-junk, and if you can see your way through to make it work to your advantage, then this is one utility that should be in your arsenal of products that fight the good fight.

DriveShield Home now works with Windows 7 and sells for $59.99 per license.

www.centuriontech.com

(Craig Crossman is a national newspaper columnist writing about computers and technology. He also hosts the No. 1 daily national computer radio talk show, Computer America, heard on the Business TalkRadio Network and the Lifestyle TalkRadio Network -- Monday through Friday, 10 PM -- Midnight, ET. For more information, visit his web site at www.computeramerica.com .

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