Dell releases locked-down version of Firefox

PC maker claims to have made surfing with Firefox more secure with virtualised browser

Barry Collins
20 Jul 2010

Dell is entering the browser business with the release of a virtualised version of Firefox, which the company claims will make computing safer.

The browser comes courtesy of system management appliance firm Kace, a company Dell purchased at the turn of the year.

Dubbed the Dell Kace Secure Browser, it uses virtualisation to create an isolated instance of Firefox on Windows PCs. Any malware that attacks the browser cannot reach the underlying operating system, the company claims.

You don't have to worry about removing malware

"You don't have to worry about removing malware," said John Karabaic, product manager at Dell Kace. "You have a reset button should you encounter any malware," which returns the browser to its original state, Karabaic added.

Google claims to offer similar protection with the "sandboxing" of its Chrome browser. So why should individuals and companies bother with Dell's solution? "There are lots of organisations that may not want to run Google Chrome," Karabaic claimed. "And Chrome may still write to things in the underlying OS - the registry, etcetera."

The Dell Kace Secure Browser can be installed on individual PCs or across an entire network using a Kace K2000 system deployment appliance. Website whitelists and blacklists can be set up on an individual PC or network level.

However, it's not quite as straightforward as running a regular version of Firefox. Users will have to re-download and reinstall the Dell Kace Secure Browser if they want to benefit from updates to the browser. And though Karabaic said he was "fairly confident there won't be a problem", the company can't guarantee compatibility with every Firefox add-on.

The Firefox version of the free Dell Kace Secure Browser is available for download here, with an Internet Explorer version planned for later in the year.

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