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Review: SafeCentral

written by: Daniel Barros•edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 2/4/2011
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SafeCentral has released a version 2.0 of their browser program - is it worth your time and money? That and much more inside.

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    Lock-Down Browsing

    Imagine that you are not only incompetent, but also have bouts of incurable paranoia. This is the type of customer that SafeCentral is catering towards these days. A single day with their product was enough for me to know that it wasn’t for me or for my web-surfing habits. Want to know if it’s right for you?

    Safety

    While I don’t enjoy the rest of the product, one thing I have to concede to SafeCentral is the fact that when it comes to browsing safety, I would likely trust it with everything from social security numbers to bank account information. Using a derivative of the Firefox engine (simplified obviously), it’s capable of things that most browsers couldn’t even dream of.

    For instance, the fraud prevention protocol keeps out amateur hackers that try to redirect you to their websites in an effort to phish your information directly from your hands. While I haven’t been able to personally test this ability, the good people at PC Magazine were able to and proved that the product was not tempted to go to the fake site and visited the correct one instead.

    Safecentral also uses the traditional green bar, red bar protocol for websites. Green bars represent websites that are trusted whereas red bars represent fake or not trusted websites. This however, relies on your ability to tell fake from real while surfing. In any case, you should only be using SafeCentral to surf the “Favorites” websites that it has on its main page.

    Finally, one of the best features, which may make it worth it for some people, is the ability to completely block almost 95% of all key-loggers. Again, I had to test it to make sure that this feature worked and using a special key-logger that I found after much looking on Google; I was able to determine that nothing was recorded from my time in the SafeCentral terminal.

    User Operability/Interface and Price

    If the safety is the best part of the program, everything else is the worst part. While you get complete protection, loading on all websites is decreased to a crawl in the tests I performed, with Google’s Chrome loading the websites 2, if not 3 times faster than on SafeCentral.

    On top of painfully slow loading times (which could be acceptable for the safety), SafeCentral ceases all the activities you have going on in Windows. Using Bittorrent? Forget it – you’ve already lost the session. Were you downloading a file? It’s not downloading anymore. Got Skype or any other IM client open? Not anymore you don’t. SafeCentral treats your computer like a hostile warzone and for that, I absolutely hated it.

    The best part of most programs is their ability to seamlessly integrate with the rest of the things you’re busy doing. Right now, I have Chrome and Office 2007 open – but not with SafeCentral, multitasking in that thing is impossible. To add insult to injury, you’re essentially paying upwards of $40 for a program that’s essentially a secure version of Firefox, a free program online.

    Conclusion

    Unless you’re insanely paranoid, stay far, far, far away from this piece of software – that should rightly be relegated to the trash bin. I understand the need for the software to freeze the rest of your activities, but having it freeze even my music was the last straw for me. Even though I can understand someone’s need for this much security, it was beyond excessive. You could get great results using a secure browser like Firefox with the adequate extensions, a firewall and a good anti-malware program all for free rather than paying for this backwards tech.