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I have a virtual machine running on Virtualbox on my host OS.

I want to make sure that my host PC is as safe from outside threats as possible. When using an ISO live image as the virtual machine, which of the following approaches to connect to the internet would you recommend:

  • using a USB WiFi adapter
  • using a host only adapter
  • using a bridge adapter

and why?

Which would be the best way to connect to the internet while keeping the host computer not connected to the internet?

3 Answers 3

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The network choice makes little difference if your system is kept up to date. Malware abusing the hypervisor are very rare, but malware attacking hosts over the network are common. Update the host OS, and update the guest OS too.

If you use host-only network, your virtual machine will not be able to connect to the internet because it's, by definition, host only. You either have to run a proxy on the host and configure the virtual machine to use the proxy, or there's no external connectivity.

An USB adapter or bridge virtual adapter are almost the same. Unless the USB adapter is connected to one network and your host in other network, there's little difference: any malware on the virtual machine can try to connect to the host.

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Pass through a physical adapter like usb-ethernet, wifi, PCI device (maybe not possible with virtual box).

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Would I recommend using an iso live image? No. These live ISO images are always a bit behind and may be behind in security patches.

A USB adapter certainly separates the client network from the host network.

To further prevent the host from accessing the Internet, you could remove the default gateway. However, I would suggest that you keep your host and clients current, at least for security patches, and no access from the host to the Internet may complicate that.

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