2 Anonymous Web Browsers That Are Completely Private

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intro4   2 Anonymous Web Browsers That Are Completely PrivateAs LastPass recently faced a possible security issue, and other top-notch companies keep falling prey to security breaches, some of us, users, may want to think twice before trusting our personal information. But since it’s usually after some database has been hacked that we realize this, it doesn’t hurt to start effecting changes in our often overlooked surfing habits. Not all our habits are dangerous but some could potentially cost us our credit card information or worse.

A good way to protect our information on the web is to surf the web anonymously, like using Google Chrome’s Incognito mode. To go incognito full-time though, you may want to take a look at the following anonymous web browsers.

Tor Browser Bundle [Cross-Platform]

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Tor or The Onion Router is, according to its own site, “free software and an open network” that basically defends you against network surveillance or traffic analysis. To allow anonymous surfing, this open-source tool re-routes network traffic through Tor nodes, which are Tor-running computers owned by volunteers from all over the world. Not only does Tor bring anonymous internet surfing to your browser, it can also hide your country of origin for any application, prevent websites from tracking users (and their physical location) and help users bypass websites blocked by their Internet service providers (ISPs) or government.

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3e   2 Anonymous Web Browsers That Are Completely PrivateThe Tor Browser Bundle includes Mozilla Firefox, which is usually fairly fast, but with Tor, it will be a little slow as all traffic needs to pass through different Tor nodes before being displayed on your browser. Other than Tor being a bit slow, which is inevitable, Tor also blocks websites with flash content and that require browser plugins, like Java and ActiveX, since these can be manipulated into revealing a user’s IP address. The rewards can totally outweigh these drawbacks though.

If you’re ready to try Tor, like our former WordPress guy, Jorge, said, you should probably use the Tor button to switch Tor on when you actually need to access a website anonymously. Also, note that while the network traffic between you and the Tor network is anonymous, the connection between the last Tor node and your final destination cannot be encrypted by Tor so always proceed with care when communicating sensitive information.

SRWare Iron [Cross-Platform]

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If you regularly use Google Chrome, but aren’t so comfortable with Google knowing your every move on the Internet, you might want to try SRWare’s Iron web browser. Both Google Chrome and SRWare Iron are based on the open source Chromium project, so you’ll notice few differences. On the internal side, Iron, of course, has disabled Chrome’s information-collecting features, such as URL-tracker, error reporting, etc. which Google needs to improve our favorite search engine. Aside from internal differences, Iron works pretty much the way you’re used to in Chrome. Chrome extensions and themes will also work on Iron. To check it out in Windows (portable version available), head to the website. If you’re on a Mac, you can download Iron here. Linux users can go to this thread.

Abandoned Web Browsers: Ghostzilla & OperaTor

61   2 Anonymous Web Browsers That Are Completely Private Ghostzilla is a dated web browser program for Windows that doesn’t exactly hide your typed addresses but it does make your web browsing session very inconspicuous as it stations itself inside an active program window. As you type web addresses on Ghostzilla (which uses the Mozilla browsing engine, hence the name), it loads websites in a transparent layer, and shows single images in black and white. Additional images will only surface if you hover your mouse over. Please note that even if you use Ghostzilla, your school or company will still be able to log websites you accessed.
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OperaTor (v. 3.5) is a software bundle that combines the acclaimed and portable Opera browser, and Tor. OperaTor is actually no longer maintained, but you can still try it by following the directions in this post to replace OperaTor’s old Opera 10 browser with the new version.

In addition to these somewhat older browsers, there are also other types of software that can help you attain anonymity online: Proxy software. We have discussed a few of these applications, such as Toonel, JAP/JonDo, and UltraSurf, which can help you reach sites like Hulu outside of the US.

If you would rather not download anything, you can make use of websites that facilitate camouflaged web surfing (like [NO LONGER WORKS] Vanishd), anonymous search engines that do not record your IP address, such as Yauba and Startpage, and web-based proxy services, like AnonyMouse.

What anonymous web browsers do you use to stay hidden on the Internet?

Image Credit: Shutterstock, archetwist, SRWare

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19 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Chloe Austyn Holley

 Thanks! I’m totally addicted to Chrome, but I’ve always been a little suspicious of it knowing what I want seemingly before I do.

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AZB

 I just started using the MagusNet Public Proxy. It uses Tor with OpenVPN and seems to be pretty good so far.

Jessica Cam W.

 That’s an interesting find! Is it easy to use? I can’t seem to find a lot of blog coverage on it on Google.

Reply

Electronic Cigarette

thanks for this post, only use the firefox and chrome~~~

Reply

Cell Travis

I prefer the Tor bundle when it comes to anonymity online. It’s been actively maintained over the years and has a very credible development base.

Guest

tor FTW! 

Reply

Jasonked2

 Using Incognito mode has nothing to do with surfing the net anonymously…

All it does is prevent storing your browsing history on the local machine. It’s still possible for companies inc. your ISP to see exactly what you’re doing unless you take further measures as you do explain, although you do give the wrong impression saying Incognito mode is like a half step towards anonymity.

Jessica Cam W.

You got me there. Thanks for noticing the distinction. :)

When I was writing that portion, what I was trying to say is that using Incognito mode can help protect our information FROM Google’s scrutiny, but this would actually require a few more steps, like installing the Google Analytics Opt-Out Addon, and pausing Google Search Web History.

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ibemedia

 it’s slowing down my internet connection…

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Baracki Lasshot

whoops, sorry about that one folks….posted wrong place, what the heck happened to my browser window just then………whoaaaaaaaa! 

Tina

I gladly removed that comment for you.

Jessica Cam W.

Thank you, Tina. :)

Reply

Lotdn

 Can Tor be used to watch Hulu from Canada? 

Tina

Yes, that can work if Tor creates a connection for you that uses a US IP address. That’s not guaranteed, though. Besides, the transfer rates might be too slow to watch streaming video.

I would recommend other means to watch Hulu, for example Hotspot Shield or Ultra Surf. Check out this article.

Reply

Ken_jk67

Ultrasurf is the BEst!

Jessica Cam W.

I haven’t used Ultrasurf, but hmm, there are usersthat say that their antivirus programs flagged UltraSurf.

Reply

Ian Lim

This info has been awesome. To find the most useful tool to make yourself anonymous then you need to check this out. http://thebestproxyserver.com/hide-my-ass-vpn-review/

Reply

Ian Lim

I agree. Did you also know by using a VPN Service your ISP wont even know what you are doing online. Find the best ones at http://thebestproxyserver.com/hide-my-ass-vpn-review/

Reply

Mr.Ri8x

i cannot find any useful proxy or any VPN which will alow me to view https websites because my ISP doesn’t allows me to open https websites and most of vpn use this secure protocol to connect to their services :(

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