Adam Torks

This Year's Top 7 Online Privacy Tools

Despite the fact that the Internet was initially conceived as a pillar of
liberty of speech and anonymity, only a few of us truly believe that we
remain incognito while surfing on the Web.
However, what is meant here is not that our authorities collect data about bad guys in order to prevent crimes, I’m talking about such corporations as
Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and others. They investigate. They’d like to get acquainted with us, watching our behaviour on the Net, looking through our emails regarding our personal preferences. The commercial success of theirs directly depends on target audience quality for advertising and promotion.
With this article, you will learn what tools you should use to preserve online anonymity. Remember, using VPN and thinking that you are anonymous is a mistake. The most valid method of data protection is the use of anonymous networks or a strong PRIVACY TOOL.

Best Online Privacy Tools of 2019

1. Tor

I’m sure you’ve heard about The Onion Router, but if not I’ll try to explain.
This browser encrypts and routes the Internet connection through servers
around the world and greatly complicates the determination of your location and traffic analysis. Also, with its help, no regional restrictions on the network will apply.
Users run Tor software as a proxy on their devices, it “negotiates” with
other network nodes and builds a chain through which encrypted traffic
is transmitted.
Then, the chain is rebuilt, and other nodes are already used in it. To hide
info about the browser and installed OS from unauthorised access, you
can use Tor together with Privoxy, a non-caching proxy that modifies
HTTP headers and web data. That will allow you to keep your precious
privacy and get rid of annoying ads.

2. Utopia

Utopia is a self-closed ecosystem. It is decentralised peer-to-peer (P2P)
network using which you can provide yourself with all-round multi-level
security.
It includes a secure browser, service for instant messaging, email, mapping service, file storage. Thus, that’s an all-in-one solution — you don’t have to search for separate apps for messaging and browsing.
The ecosystem ensures total confidentiality thanks to several levels of
encryption and the adoption of ECC (elliptic curve cryptography). The
anonymity is gained through using temporary keys (that’s the upper level of encryption), and hashing of the addresses of the sender and the receiver. Such a cover-up of network packets does not allow the internet provider to distinguish encrypted Utopia traffic from IP telephony or online video.

3. I2P

Invisible Internet Project is considered to be the most anonymous network, but it’s not to ease top use for a general user, to be honest.
I2P is built on the principle of an overlay. An anonymous and secure layer
works on top of another network — the Internet. One of the main features
of I2P is decentralisation. There are no DNS servers in this network — they are replaced by automatically updated “address books”. And the role of addresses is played by cryptographic keys that do not give out real PC. Each user of the project can get a key that cannot be tracked.
Many users often wonder why to use I2P when there are a VPN and Tor. If we compare I2P with the Tor browser, we can distinguish the following
differences:
  • Tor uses onion routing, sending your traffic through the famous eight proxies, but at the same time does not protect itself from decryption. I2P, in contrast, relies on traffic encryption.
  • Tor is a big fan of SOCKS, while I2P prefers to use its own API. Which is more convenient — you decide.
  • I2P tunnels are unidirectional, unlike Tor.
  • Although Tor has the properties of a peer-to-peer network, it is centralised. I2P is fully decentralised.

4. Freenet

Freenet is designed for decentralised, distributed storage of data without the possibility of censorship. The network was created to provide users with electronic freedom of speech by ensuring their strict anonymity. The
network includes a large number of peers (computers) and allows you to
publish any materials without the ability to go to the author of the publication.
There are no dynamic servers on the this network, and no one hosts sites.
This is a data warehouse. First, users place data, after which it is available for everyone who has a key. Essentially, Freenet is a large, distributed hash table.
Users say that Freenet is fundamentally different from other peer-to-peer
networks. It is still difficult to use and much slower than others. However, after some time in this network, its nodes become faster and begin to extract data more efficiently.
Currently, Freenet is actively using the principle of The Onion Router/TOR
networks (the implementation of the second generation of onion routing). But unlike the TOR network, Freenet does not provide means of accessing the Internet but creates its own, free and unlimited world within the
existing network.

5. RetroShare

It is cryptographically secure decentralised platform for anonymous
communication and file sharing. The system allows you to organise
separate serverless Friend-to-Friend networks or one global network
(which exists today) with a certain circle of people — for example, your friends, family, colleagues, or just strangers. Connections are established directly only with those participants to whom you have given permission. This is an important feature that moves such networks into a special class of decentralised networks in which unauthorised connections to your computer are prohibited without your permission. Networks of this type are called “Private p2p” or “Darknet.”
All connections are securely encrypted with SSL; the authenticity of the
participants is verified by PGP keys. The system is not subject to censorship and any outside control or observation due to its distributed structure and is resistant to blockages and other manifestations of other people’s hostile interests.

6. GNUNet

What about secure and anonymous file exchange?
GNUnet is a project on creation of framework (software package) for a fully
decentralised anonymous P2P network, characterised by the absence of a
central server.
The protocol implemented in this network is designed for decentralised, anonymous data exchange without the possibility of censorship. Anonymity in the network is ensured by levelling the difference between the messages that were sent by the host itself and the external messages that the host routes to other hosts.
In GNUnet, you can configure the degree of anonymity, from 0 to infinity.
Transferred files are encoded using the advanced encryption system ECRS.
Besides, GNUnet is extensible. On its basis, you can easily build new P2P apps. In GNUnet, in addition to file sharing, there is a simple chat and several other services.

7. DuckDuckGo

Therefore, the emergence of a simple and understandable open-source search engine that does not store IP addresses, does not log user activity and uses cookies only when necessary, cannot but rejoice.
A key feature of the DuckDuckGo search engine is maintaining the
confidentiality of user information. That is, the service does not track and does not remember your activity, history, and other data related to it. This principle allowed to attract a certain audience.
Its specifics are:
  • The hybrid search engine gives more results.
    DuckDuckGo search results are aggregated from fifty different sources, including Yahoo! Search BOSS, Wikipedia, Wolfram Alpha, and own search engine. In a word, DuckDuckGo is a kind of opposition to Google and all commercial search engines in general.
  • Instant answers.
    The duckduckgo.com website says that the main goal of the service in the long term is to provide users with specific answers to their requests, and not with just a set of links. Therefore, for some categories of issuance, special sources may be used.
A couple of useful tools for additional anonymity online:

Open Street Map.

Free, open-source maps that don’t record the history of your movements. The service draws routes and shows traffic intensity.

Orbot

Another application from The Tor Project, which encrypts Internet traffic from mobile applications on a smartphone. It can also be used as a VPN
service.
The user can independently select the programs on the smartphone whose traffic he wants to encrypt. Like Tor, the service is absolutely free.
The close
I have introduced you to the list of basic solutions that allow you to surf the Net in a more secure and anonymous way. By taking fairly simple measures and using these 7 best privacy tools, you can increase the level of your online anonymity, protect yourself from intrusive advertising, and prevent identity theft.

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