DriveSentry describes itself as the world's first firewall dedicated to protecting the hard drive. It monitors any attempt to write to the hard drive, Registry or removable devices. The program works best with a typical firewall that monitors network traffic to provide maximum defence against malware.

The program has two modes – Standard and Advanced. The former will be advisable for most users. Through a series of tabs you can establish which folders, file types and program settings will be protected by DriveSentry. And by adding trusted applications you'll control which ones can write to disk and which are prevented from doing so.

Advanced mode is designed for expert users who'd prefer to have a greater level of control over whether specific programs can write to or access folders, drives or specific files. This is useful if you wish to monitor activity on your hard drive and track suspicious applications. Importantly, both modes allow the protection of files on removable devices, such as thumb drives.

While the interface looks slick, there are one or two features that will be rather irritating for beginners. Switching to Advanced mode, for example, is very easily done via a button on the main screen. However, the settings screen will almost certainly confuse any novice user who wants to return to Standard mode. Similarly, clicking on the 'Protect me' button in the InfoBar floods your screen with pop-ups – although, admittedly, the program does warn you of this.

DriveSentry 2.0: Specs

  • Pentium III 500 MHz
  • Windows 2000 (Service Pack 4)/2003 (SP1)/XP (SP2)/Vista
  • 256MB RAM
  • 1.5MB hard disk space
  • Pentium III 500 MHz
  • Windows 2000 (Service Pack 4)/2003 (SP1)/XP (SP2)/Vista
  • 256MB RAM
  • 1.5MB hard disk space

OUR VERDICT

DriveSentry focuses on a specific task and carries it out competently. However, to describe it as a firewall draws attention to the limitations of this particular program when compared to other security suites. We would not feel secure running DriveSentry alone, nor would we recommend doing so, but it does provide an additional degree of protection for the safety-conscious.

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