VirtualBox, VMWare, or Parallels

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by mac2o, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. mac2o Guest

    Jan 13, 2013
    Looking into all three options to be able to run quickbooks for pc on a mac.

    Which one is the best? (easy to install, doesn't contaminate the mac side, easy to use)

    XP or windows 7(professional or would the home version work)?

    Do I need an antivirus on the pc side?

    if worse comes to worse, I might buy a really cheap pc to run the few programs I still need on windows.

  2. MagicBoy macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    All would do what you want. VirtualBox has the advantage of being free, VMWare and Parallels offer better integration, performance and graphics acceleration support ... but you pay for it.

    Either OS, use free AV software.

    I've used Parallels since 2006.
  3. charlien macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2006
    My preference is Parallels. It is also the most expensive. I prefer it because it gives me an almost native Windows experience. With Fusion, I always felt I was running a VM. I never tried virtual box so I can't comment on it other than to acknowledge there are rabid supporters, so I imagine it gets the job done for free. I would not go the second PC route. More to maintain, carry around and make sure you have all the right adapters.
  4. a.coward macrumors regular

    Jun 1, 2010
    Parallels 9 was just release yesterday. If I was a betting man, I would
    say that Fusion will be upgraded to V6 within one or two months. So,
    it will be interesting to see how these two fair against each other.

    For malware protection, I would look no further than Microsoft Security
    Essentials, which is free. It works well, is fairly transparent, and has
    very little bloat.

    Another advantage of using a VM is that you can take "snapshots".
    I do this fairly often. So if you do run into malware, you can always
    revert back to a clean state. I also tend to save working files outside
    of the VM (either on a network share or on the host machine using
    host sharing), so that going back to a snapshot will not affect any
    working files (that is unless your working file was the source of the

    Last, if you are as paranoid as I am, you can use the OSX Little Snitch or
    Hands Off! firewalls to keep a tab on any outgoing network connections
    from the guest VM. I have not found anything similar or quite as
    powerful on Windows.

    Combining these things, I find using a VM to be more secure and robust
    than a native Windows install.
  5. jonasdamn macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2013
    As i'm studying computer engineering I also need windows OS. So far tried trial parallels 8, it is simple to use, because i'm totally new on macs and installed parallels with windows in 10 minutes without any problems. However i have MBA with 4gb rams, so i'm thinking about installing windows via bootcamp for better performance.
  6. mac2o thread starter Guest

    Jan 13, 2013
    Thanks. Getting ready to order a mac mini and wanted to make sure that a VM was as easy as everyone says it is.

    Noticed that B&H photo is offering free parallels with purchase of mini. However, if I buy a refurb from Apple there is a chance I might get the upgraded ram as a surprise.

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