I have been running virtual machines for a while now and i have been under the impression it is a good way to protect against viruses when using risky files or going to underground websites but today it seems i may have been proven wrong. i tried limewire on the VM today and downloaded something (right file size and extension so doesn't look suspicions) anyway i launched the file and of corse it turned out to be a virus it tried taking me to a web site canceled out of everything but the virus scanner on my host machine still picked up a virus i was able to trerminate it so didn't catch it so it may seem that running somthing in a VM isn't completely safe after all?
I think running virtual machines will protect you from virus' and malware that afftect files and folders, but if it was designed to infect the memory, then you can infect the host system. My thoughts anyway.
In any event, I like running virtual machines for the same reason. I don't actually run an antivirus on my main machine since I only play games on it, but I still need to be able to surf....that is where VM comes in.