Virtual browsers are one of the two technological twists that have come to the browsing world. The other being 3D Browsing. With increased focus on security over internet activities, the concept of virtual browser makes for a secure browsing environment that would ideally not take down your system due to some malicious activity with or without your knowledge. I use the word ideally here because virtual browsers are not exactly proofed from all known and unknown exploits.
Virtual browsers provide for more secure browsing by a process called Sandboxing. Sand-boxing is the creation of a safe execution environment on a host machine so that changes made from one process do not affect the functioning of the system. The processes running inside a sandbox have limited access to the system resources and importantly to the critical resources. Thus the host as such is as secure as the absence of flaws in the sand-boxing program itself.
Coming back to browsers, the main criteria to consider when choosing among various sand-boxed environments is the option of how much fine grained control you have on the data that is stored in the sandbox session and movable to the host machine. Recently, HP in association with Mozilla announced its virtual browser. Google Chrome also features a sand-boxed approach to its browser tabs – which means that each tab runs as a separate process and does not crash all other tabs in event of any failure. This technology has been a reason why Google acquired Greenborder, a maker of secure software.
Virtual browsers are a good choice to make your web browsing experience much safer.