Privacy Guide: Fight Surveillance with Encryption and Privacy Tools

You are being watched. Private and state-sponsored organizations are monitoring and recording your online activities. PrivacyTools.io provides services, tools and privacy guides to counter global mass surveillance. Established way back in 2015 after Edward Snowden's revelations and quickly became the most popular guide for Privacy Tools.

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Best Privacy Tools and Alternatives

Communication Privacy Tools

Privacy Service Providers

Cryptocurrency Tools and Services

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For easy copy & paste on social media platforms, messengers and emails.

Web Browser Guide for better Privacy

Firefox: Reliable, fast and privacy friendly
Forum Fast Win Android iOS Mac Linux

It's recommended to install additional browser addons to strengthen Firefox even more. Firefox is able to sync accross all your devices on different platforms. Firefox is not the perfect out of the box solution but It's definetly worth it to take the extra time and setup Firefox properly.

Check for WebRTC & DNS leaks and learn how to fix them with the connection check at mullvad.net.

Hardening & Tweaking: The default settings of Firefox are not the best choice to be a privacy respecting browser. Use Firefox Profilemaker to adjust the settings. An alternative is to download the hardened Arkenfox's user.js - Place this in your Firefox's user.js directory and it will fix everything for you. You can also do it manually.

Tor: Encrypted out of the box for extra privacy and anonymity
Forum Slow Anonymity Win Android Mac Linux

Tor Browser is your choice if you need an extra layer of anonymity. It's a modified version of Firefox, which comes with pre-installed privacy add-ons, encryption, and an advanced proxy. It's not recommended to install additional browser addons. Plugins or addons may bypass Tor or compromise your privacy.

Tutorials: Installing, Tor Bridges, Gaining Anonymity and Tracking via anonymized Tor/VPN traffic.

Brave: Fast, cross-platform and block ads & trackers
Forum Fast Win Android iOS Mac Linux

Not a popular choice within the privacy community but it offers a complete package out of the box on all platforms and is suitable for beginners or if setup time is a factor at the given situation. Wikipedia offers more information about it's controversies.

Android and iOS - DuckDuckGo: Privacy Browser
Forum Fast iOS Android

Built-in advertising trackers blocking, private search and forces sites to use an encrypted connection if available.

Android - Bromite: Based on Chromium
Forum Fast Android

Chromium browser with privacy and security enhancements, built-in adblocking and DNS over HTTPS support.

iOS - Onion Browser: Connection to the Tor Network
Forum Slow Tor iOS

There are certain anonymity-related issues with Onion Browser due to iOS limitations.

Privacy Tools Forum:

Privacy Tools & Browser Checks:

Privacy Guides for Browsers:

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Privacy Browser Addon Guide

uBlock Origin: Block Ads and Trackers
Android Firefox Chrome Opera Safari Edge

It's recommended to use this plugin with Firefox, but it's also available for other browsers. Firefox on Android supports also uBlock Origin plugin.

HTTPS Everywhere: Secure Connections
Android Firefox Chrome Opera Edge

This plugin is already included in Brave (Desktop & Mobile), Tor (Desktop & Android) and Onion Browser (iOS only). It can be installed for Firefox on Android. Most browsers support HTTPS already after activation.

We are not linking to the plugin directly anymore, instead straight to the Tutorial of EFF.org on how to activate HTTPS in every browser. After the end of this year, the extension will be in “maintenance mode.” for 2022.

Decentraleyes: Block Content Delivery Networks
Android Firefox Chrome Opera Edge

Emulates Content Delivery Networks locally by intercepting requests and injecting it into the environment. Automatically, and no configuration required. Can be installed for Firefox on Android.

ClearURLs: Automatically remove tracking elements from URLs
Firefox Chrome Edge

Removes tracking from URLs automatically in the background. Lightweight and useful.

xBrowserSync: Encrypted bookmarks across devices and browsers
Android Firefox Chrome

No sign up is required and no personal data is ever collected. To start syncing simply download xBrowserSync for your desktop browser or mobile platform, enter an encryption password and click Create New Sync!

Cookie AutoDelete: Automatically Delete Cookies
Firefox Chrome

When a tab closes, any cookies not being used are automatically deleted. Keep the ones you trust (forever/until restart) while deleting the rest. Also available for Chrome.

Privacy Tools Forum:

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Secure Password Manager Tools

"If you're having login problems I feel bad for you son. I've got 99 passwords and remember only 1." Jay-Z, 2022

Bitwarden: Easy to use, modern, cross platform and convenient
Win Android iOS Mac Linux All Browsers

Bitwarden is our top choice. You can import your previous passwords from other password managers with ease. Free for personal use. Available for Desktop, all Browsers, Android and iOS.

LessPass: Securely generated passwords with no storage or snyc needs
Android iOS Firefox Chrome

If you like Bitwarden but don't like syncing or storage of passwords then LessPass is your choice. Browsers, mobile phones and the command line are supported platforms.

KeePassXC: Reliable, old school and cross platform
Win Android Mac Linux Firefox Chrome

Securely store passwords using industry standard encryption, quickly auto-type them into desktop applications, and use browser extension to log into websites. KeePassDX for Android: Google Play or F-Droid.

Spectre: Generated passwords, no storage needed
Win Android iOS Mac Linux Web

Formerly Master Password. Passwords aren't stored: they are generated on-demand from your name, the site, and your master password. No syncing, backups, or internet access needed. The Windows version requires to install Java. Same principle like LessPass, but LessPass is more convenient to use because of the Browser Addons.

Password Privacy Guides:

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Privacy Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) Tools

Raivo OTP: Easy-to-use and lightweight with sync for iOS
iOS iPhone iPad Mac

There is also a MacOS app available to automatically and securely copy one-time passwords tapped in Raivo OTP for iOS to the clipboard of your Mac. Works across multiple iCloud accounts.

Privacy Guides Blog:

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File Encryption Software Guide

VeraCrypt: On-the-fly Disk Encryption
Win Mac Linux Raspberry Pi

It can create a virtual encrypted disk that works just like a regular disk but within a file. It can also encrypt a partition or the entire storage device with pre-boot authentication.

GNU Privacy Guard: Email Encryption
Win Android Mac Linux

GnuPG allows you to encrypt and sign your data and communications. Following are download links for different platforms. Mac: GPG Suite. OpenKeychain for Android: Google Play and F-Droid.

7-Zip: Easy to use with strong AES-256 encryption
Fast Windows Linux

File archiver with a high compression ratio and built-in encryption functionality.

Cryptomator: Encrypt Dropbox, Google Drive and other cloud storage
Win Android iOS Mac Linux

Cryptomator encrypts your data quickly and easily. Afterwards you upload them protected to a cloud service.

Picocrypt: Small, simple and secure Desktop Encryption
Win Mac Linux

Uses the secure XChaCha20 cipher and the Argon2id key derivation function to provide a high level of security, even from three-letter agencies like the NSA. Simply drop your files, enter a password, and hit Start to encrypt.

Hat.sh: Simple, fast, secure client-side file encryption in your browser
Firefox Chrome Opera Edge Web

A web app that provides secure file encryption in the browser. The app never uploads the files to the server. It uses modern secure cryptographic algorithms with chunked AEAD stream encryption/decryption.

Worth Mentioning:

Privacy Guides about Encryption:

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File Sharing and Synchronizating

OnionShare: Anonymous file transfer via Tor
Tor Win Mac Linux

OnionShare is an open source tool that lets you securely and anonymously share files, host websites, and chat with friends using the Tor network. Share files, host websites, and chat anonymously via a new tabbed interface for maximum productivity.

Syncthing: Continuous file synchronization
Win Android Mac Linux

Synchronizes files between two or more computers in real time, safely protected from prying eyes. Your data is your data alone and you deserve to choose where it is stored, whether it is shared with some third party, and how it's transmitted over the internet.

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Encrypted Digital Notebooks

Turtl: Encrypted and synced notes, bookmarks, passwords and files
Encryption Win Android iOS (coming soon) Mac Linux
Cryptee: Encrypted Documents Editor
Encryption Freemium Hosted Web Android iOS

Your documents are encrypted before they leave your device, so Cryptee can't see your documents. Use the code "privacytools" at the checkout for a 10% lifetime off.

Logseq: A local-first notebook for organizing and collaboration
Win Android Mac Linux Self-Hosted

Not encrypted, but the server will never store or analyze your private notes. Your data are plain text files.

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Encrypted Calendars That Respect Your Privacy by Design

Tutanota: Free, Cross-Platform and Zero-Knowledge Calendar
Encryption Win Android iOS Mac Linux Web

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Productivity & Collaboration Privacy Tools for Work

Etherpad: Instant collaborative web text editor
Web

Highly customizable open-source online editor providing collaborative editing in real time.

CryptPad: End-to-end encrypted collaboration suite
Web

Plenty of features: Rich text, code, presentation, sheet, form, kanban, whiteboard and CryptDrive.

ONLYOFFICE: Collaborative online document editors
Win Android iOS Mac Linux Web

Features: Online document editors, platform for document management, corporate communication, mail and project management tools.

LibreOffice: Complete desktop office solution
Win Mac Linux

LibreOffice consists of programs for word processing, creating and editing of spreadsheets, slideshows, diagrams and drawings, working with databases, and composing mathematical formulae. It is available in 115 languages.

EtherCalc: Instant collaborative web spreadsheet
Web

Your data is saved on the web, and people can edit the same document at the same time. Everybody's changes are instantly reflected on all screens.

Vikunja: Self-hosted team task manager with modern features
Web Win Android iOS Linux Self-Hosted

The project is still under development and the native apps are not final yet, but the web version works great. Offers an import feature from Todoist, Trello and Microsoft To-Do.

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Privacy Friendly Operating Systems

Tails: Portable, encrypted and secure through the Tor network
For Experts Linux Portable Tor Encryption

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Privacy and Security Tools for Windows 10 and 11

Security & Privacy Guides:

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Privacy Friendly Mobile Operating Systems

LineageOS: Security and privacy for Phones and Tablets
Android Phones Tablets

Wide range of supported devices: Open list.

CalyxOS: Secure features for your Google Pixel Phone
Android Google Pixel Phones

Only Google Pixel devices and Xiaomi Mi A2 are supported. Source.

GrapheneOS: Improved privacy and security for your Google Pixel device
Google Pixel Android Phones

Only Google Pixel devices are supported, new models are recommended. Source.

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Android Keyboard Alternatives That Respect Your Privacy

AnySoftKeyboard: One of the most customizable keyboards available
Free Android Phones Tablets

Get it on F-Droid. Supports lots of languages via external packages.

OpenBoard: Look and feel of Gboard without the tracking
Free Android Phones Tablets

Get it on F-Droid. No dependency on Google binaries.

FlorisBoard: Modern, user-friendly, customizable and privacy respecting
Free Android Phones Tablets

Get it on F-Droid. Currently in early-beta state.

Simple Keyboard: Super lightweight (<1MB) and minimal features
Free Android Phones Tablets

Get it on F-Droid. For people who like it minimalistic. No emojis, gifs, spell checker or swipe typing.

Indic Keyboard: Indic and Indian languages
Free Android Phones Tablets

Get it on F-Droid. Supports 23 languages and 54 layouts.

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Open Source Router Firmware

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Encrypted DNS Clients for Improved Internet Privacy

dnscrypt-proxy: Flexible DNS proxy, supports modern encrypted protocols
Win Android Mac Linux

(Desktop) A flexible DNS proxy, with support for modern encrypted DNS protocols including DNSCrypt V2, DNS-over-HTTPS and Anonymized DNSCrypt. Also allows for advanced monitoring, filtering, caching and client IP protection through Tor, SOCKS proxies or Anonymized DNS relays.

Unbound: Validating, recursive, caching DNS resolve
Win Mac Linux

(Desktop) Validating, recursive, caching DNS resolve with support for DNS-over-TLS. Designed to be fast, lean, and secure Unbound incorporates modern features based on open standards. Unbound was recently audited.

Nebulo: Light-weight, customizable and battery efficient
Android Phones Tablets

(Android) Non-root, small-sized DNS changer utilizing DNS-over-HTTPS and DNS-over-TLS.

DNSCloak: iOS GUI and Wrapper for dnscrypt-proxy
iOS Phones Tablets

(iOS) Allows for the use for dnscrypt-proxy on an iPhone or iPad, which gives users the ability to encrypt their DNS requests through the use of an on-device VPN profile.

Firefox: Built-in DNS-over-HTTPS resolver
Win Mac Linux

(Desktop) If you're using Firefox you don't need additional tools. DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) FAQ.

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Self-Contained Anonymizing Networks

Tor: Most popular, biggest and cross-platform network available
Anonymity Encryption Win Android iOS Mac Linux

Tor, short for The Onion Router, is for enabling anonymous communication. It directs Internet traffic through a free, worldwide, volunteer overlay network, consisting of more than six thousand relays, for concealing a user's location and usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis.

I2P: Censorshipo-resistant peer-to-peer network
Win Android Mac Linux

The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is an anonymous network layer that allows for censorship-resistant, peer-to-peer communication. Anonymous connections are achieved by end-to-end encrypting the user's traffic, and sending it through a volunteer-run network of roughly 55,000 computers distributed around the world.

Freenet: Decentralized, anonymous communication without fear of censorship
Win Mac Linux

Freenet is a peer-to-peer platform for censorship-resistant, anonymous communication. It uses a decentralized distributed data store to keep and deliver information, and has a suite of free software for publishing and communicating on the Web without fear of censorship.

ZeroNet: Uses existing Bitcoin cryptography and the BitTorrent network
Win Android Mac Linux

ZeroNet is a decentralized web-like network of peer-to-peer users. Instead of having an IP address, sites are identified by a public key (specifically a bitcoin address). The private key allows the owner of a site to sign and publish changes, which propagate through the network. Sites can be accessed through an ordinary web browser when using the ZeroNet application, which acts as a local webhost for such pages.

Retroshare: P2P communication and file sharing built on GNU Privacy Guard
Win Android Mac Linux

Peer-to-peer communication and file sharing app based on a friend-to-friend network built on GNU Privacy Guard (GPG). Optionally, peers may communicate certificates and IP addresses to and from their friends.

IPFS: Protocol and P2P network for storing and sharing data
Win Mac Linux

The InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) is a protocol and peer-to-peer network for storing and sharing data in a distributed file system. IPFS uses content-addressing to uniquely identify each file in a global namespace connecting all computing devices

GNUnet: Software framework in support of a free and open society
Linux (official) Win (unofficial) Mac (unofficial)

For decentralized, peer-to-peer networking and an official GNU package. The framework offers link encryption, peer discovery, resource allocation, communication over many transports (such as TCP, UDP, HTTP, HTTPS, WLAN and Bluetooth) and various basic peer-to-peer algorithms for routing, multicast and network size estimation.

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Open Source Torrent Clients without Ads and Tracking

Your IP address is exposed while using any Torrent Client. Consider using a VPN provider to hide your IP. If you are using µTorrent that includes ads and tracking, select your alternative here.

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Disk & File Cleaners with Privacy Features

BleachBit: Disk space cleaner, privacy manager and system optimizer
Win Linux

Shredding files and wiping unallocated disk space to minimize data remanence.

ExifCleaner: Privacy metadata removal tool
Fast Win Mac Linux

Removes metadata for the most popular image and video formats. It also supports PDF files and comes with batch-processing to process multiple files at once. Drag and Drop interface, easy to use.

Czkawka: Simple, fast and free app to remove duplicated files
Win Mac Linux

No privacy features but a neat little tool to declutter your computer and free disk space.

Privacy Guides about Disks and Files:

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RSS Feed Readers

Feeder: Android only. No tracking, no account needed
Android Phones Tablets

Download is also available on F-Droid.

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Secure Whistleblower Tools

SecureDrop: Whistleblower submission system for news organizations
Tor Web

Software that news websites install to offer whistleblowers a plattform for secure communication and file transfers. Requires Tor Browser for anonymity in order to access. List of organizations using SecureDrop.

Haven: Monitoring of intrusions into home, office and hotel rooms
Android Phones Tablets

An Android application that leverages on-device sensors to provide monitoring and protection of physical areas. Turns Android phones into a motion, sound, vibration and light detector, watching for unwanted intruders.

Briar: P2P encrypted messaging for activists and journalists
Tor Android Phones Tablets

Briar doesn't rely on a central server - messages are synchronized directly between the users' devices via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Online sync via the Tor network is possible, too. Protecting users from surveillance.

GlobaLeaks: Easily set up and maintain a secure whistleblowing platform
Tor Web

Alternative to SecureDrop. Easily set up a secure and anonymous whistleblowing initiative. Designed to be user-friendly, the software is customisable and protects the whistleblower's privacy and submissions by default.

OnionShare: Anonymous file transfer via Tor
Tor Win Mac Linux

OnionShare is an open source tool that lets you securely and anonymously share files, host websites, and chat with friends using the Tor network. Share files, host websites, and chat anonymously via a new tabbed interface for maximum productivity.

EFF: Surveillance Self-Defense Guides
Web

Electronic Frontier Foundation offers tips, tools and how-tos for safer online communications.

Privacy & Anonymity Guides:

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A Guide to Privacy Email Providers

ProtonMail: Secure email for the independent professional
Freemium Encryption Tor Bitcoin Web Android iOS

Based in Switzerland, founded in 2013. Free and paid plans include all security features, including end-to-end encryption, zero-access encryption, anti-phishing, anti-spam and 2FA. Own Android, iOS Apps and web interface. Paid plans enable custom domains. Accessible via Tor Network.

Tutanota: Easy to use and private by design
Freemium Encryption Win Android iOS Mac Linux Web

Based in Germany, founded in 2011. Native cross platform apps available. Paid plans enable custom domains. No third-party email clients are supported, users need to use the wide range of native apps.

Disroot: Secure email for your desktop client or via a web interface
Free Plan Encryption Web

Based in The Netherlands, founded in 2015. Free plans support custom domains. Users can choose between their web client or third party desktop clients like Thunderbird. Disroot allows for encrypted emails to be sent from their webmail application using OpenPGP.

mailbox.org: Secure e-mail inbox 100% powered by eco-friendly energy
Paid Plan Encryption Cash Web

Based in Germany, founded in 2014. Paid plans enable custom domains. Users can choose between their web client or third party desktop clients like Thunderbird.

StartMail: Trusted and reliable encrypted email provider
Paid Plan Encryption Bitcoin Web

Based in The Netherlands, founded in 2014. Paid plans enable custom domains. Users can choose between their web client or third party desktop clients like Thunderbird.

Email Privacy Guides:

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Email Clients for better Internet Privacy

Desktop - Thunderbird: Reliable, fast and privacy friendly
Win Mac Linux

Mozilla Thunderbird is a email client, personal information manager, news client, RSS and chat client.

Browser - Mailvelope: end-to-end encryption for your existing email address
Firefox Chrome Edge

Bring email encryption straight into your Browser. We recommend using Firefox for this. It can be used to encrypt and sign electronic messages, including attached files, without the use of a separate, native email client (like Thunderbird) using the OpenPGP standard. List of supported email providers.

Android and iOS - Canary Mail: Intuitive Design & Impeccable Security
iOS Android Mac

Canary's security suite is second to none with Seamless End-To-End Encryption, Full PGP Support, Biometric App Lock, On-Device Fetch, No Ads, No Data Mining & Open Source Mail Sync Engine. Also available for Mac.

Android - K-9 Mail: Advanced Email for your phone
Android

K-9 Mail is an open source email client focused on making it easy to chew through large volumes of email. Designed for both novice and power users and offers lots of features for everyone.

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Anonymous Email Forwarding with Aliases

SimpleLogin: Hide your existing email address
Freemium Android iOS Firefox Chrome Safari Web

Emails are forwarded to your real email address. If you reply to a sender it will use your alias, too. It is designed to be user friendly and available on many platforms.

AnonAddy: Anonymous email forwarding
Freemium Android iOS Firefox Chrome Web

Third party apps for Android and iOS are available. Support GPG/OpenPGP Encryption.

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Encrypted and Secure Instant Messaging

Avoid: Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, LINE, Telegram, Snapchat, Tencent QQ, Viber, WeChat, WhatsApp.

Session: Cross-platform, end-to-end encrypted
Decentralized Win Android iOS Mac Linux

No phone number or email address is required to signup. Similar functionality like Element, but still in an earlier stage of development. Decentralized servers routed through Lokinet.

Status: Cross-platform, end-to-end encrypted
Decentralized Win Android iOS Mac Linux

No phone number or email address is required to signup. Uses the peer-to-peer (p2p) messaging protocol Waku that removes centralized third parties from messages.

Signal: Cross-platform and encrypted messaging
Centralized Win Android iOS Mac Linux

Similar look and feel of WhatsApp and other commonly used messaging apps, makes switching easy. Signal requires your phone number as an personal identifier.

Threema: Encrypted messaging for mobile
Centralized Paid Android iOS Huawei AppGallery Web Bitcoin

No native desktop apps available yet, but there is a web version for your browser. No phone number is required to signup but there is a payment involved to get the app. Fortunately the Threema shop accepts Bitcoin.

Delta Chat: Cross-platform, end-to-end encrypted via Email
Decentralized Win Android iOS Mac Linux

Delta Chat doesn't have their own servers but uses the most massive and diverse open messaging system ever: the existing e-mail server network. Chat with anyone if you know their e-mail address, no need for them to install DeltaChat. All you need is a standard e-mail account. How does Delta Chat protect my Metadata?

Sounds slow? It's using Push-IMAP to make it fast. List of recommended Email providers.

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Open Source Team Chats

Element: Cross-platform, end-to-end encrypted and federated Chat
Encrypted Hosted Self-Hosted Win Android iOS Mac Linux Web

A modern alternative to IRC or Discord. Good for team chats and groups.

Rocket.Chat: Cross-platform, end-to-end encrypted
Encrypted Hosted Self-Hosted Win Android iOS Mac Linux Web

Professional approach for real-time conversations with your colleagues, other companies or customers.

Revolt Chat: Open Source Discord Alternative
Unencrypted Hosted Win Android Mac Linux Web

Ideal for gamers who prefer open source solutions over Discord. Early stage development and experimental.

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Anonymous Instant Messaging via Tor

Cwtch: End-to-end encrypted and takes place over Tor
Decentralized Tor Android Win Mac Linux

User friendly, lightweight, for desktop and Android. End-to-end encrypted and takes place over Tor v3 onion services. Privacy-preserving, multi-party messaging protocol. Built to be metadata resistant.

Speek! Easy to use, file transfer and metadata resistant
Decentralized Tor Win Mac Linux

Based on Ricochet with an improved user interface to make onboarding easy and achieve mass adoption.

Briar: Encrypted messaging for activists and journalists
Decentralized Tor Android Phones Tablets

Briar doesn't rely on a central server - messages are synchronized directly between the users' devices via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Online sync via the Tor network is possible, too. Protecting users from surveillance.

Ricochet Refresh: Easy to use, file transfer and metadata resistant
Decentralized Tor Win Mac Linux

Based on Ricochet but improved security and compatibility with Tor Onion Services v3 instead of older v2.

Tox: Encrypted messaging, voice, video, screen and file sharing
Decentralized Tor Android Win Mac Linux

Wide range of features but a highly experimental protocol, use with caution.

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Encrypted Video & Voice Messengers

Avoid: Skype, Zoom, TeamSpeak, Discord and Ventrilo.

Brave Talk: Browser based for unlimited private video calls
Encrypted Freemium Win Android iOS Mac Linux

The person creating the call requires to use Brave Browser, but the participants can join from any browser.

Jami: Instant messaging and video calling
Encrypted Win Android iOS Mac Linux
Linphone: Video and instant messaging
Encrypted Win Android iOS Mac Linux
Jitsi Meet: Video conferencing, no account needed
Encrypted Win Android iOS Mac Linux Web

Desktop version downloads can be found here.

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Privacy Friendly Translation Tools

DeepL Translate: The world's most accurate translator
Web Supports File Uploads Closed-Source

Warning: The free version of DeepL does not respect your privacy, only the paid pro version. Source: Privacy Policy. The texts of free users are used to train and improve the neural networks and translation algorithms.

Lingva Translate: Alternative front-end for Google Translate without tracking
Web Open-Source

Retrieves translations without using any Google-related service, preventing them from tracking.

LibreTranslate: No ties to proprietary services and can be self-hosted
Web Self-Hosted Open-Source

100% Self-Hosted. No Limits. No Ties to Proprietary Services.

Translate Shell: Command-line translator for your terminal
Terminal Win Android Mac Linux Open-Source

Formerly Google Translate CLI is a command-line translator powered by Google Translate (default), Bing Translator, Yandex.Translate and Apertium.

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Decentralized Social Networks

Redact: Delete your digital footprint
Sponsored Win Mac Linux Closed-Source

Allows you to automatically clean up your old posts from services like Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, Discord and more all in one place. Delete by key word, sentiment and content type.

Mastodon: Twitter Alternative
Win Android iOS Mac Linux Web
Friendica: Facebook Alternative
Win Android Linux Web

Tip of the day: Delete your Facebook Account.

Social Networking Privacy Guide:

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Blog Software for Self and Managed Hosting

Ghost: A popular and modern publishing platform
Web Paid Plan Hosted Self-Hosted

Related Privacy Guides:

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Encrypted DNS Resolvers for Improved Internet Privacy

AdGuard DNS: Blocking of Ads, Trackers and Malicious Domains
Web

Supports: DNS-over-TLS (DoT), DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) and DNSCrypt. Based in Cyprus.

Quad9: Open DNS Recursive Service for Free Security and Privacy
Web

Supports: DNS-over-TLS (DoT), DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) and DNSCrypt. Based in Switzerland.

NextDNS: Blocks Threats, Ads and Trackers on Websites and Apps
Web

Supports: DNS-over-TLS (DoT), DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) and DNSCrypt. Based in United States.

Cloudflare: High Performance DNS Resolver
Web

Supports: DNS-over-TLS (DoT) and DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH). Based in United States.

Definitions Explained

DNS-over-TLS (DoT): A security protocol for encrypted DNS on a dedicated port 853. Some providers support port 443 which generally works everywhere while port 853 is often blocked by restrictive firewalls.

DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH): Similar to DoT, but uses HTTPS instead, being indistinguishable from "normal" HTTPS traffic on port 443 and more difficult to block. DoH contains metadata such as user-agent (which may include system information) that is sent to the DNS server.

DNSCrypt: With an open specification, DNSCrypt is an older, yet robust method for encrypting DNS.

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VPN Privacy Guide: The best and most reliable VPN Services

We have compared 185 different VPN providers, but our strict criteria left only the three best providers. Our recommended providers are operating outside the USA or other Five Eyes countries, use a strong encryption, accept Crypto currencies or cash payments, support OpenVPN, have a no logging policy and have a long history of operating.

Mullvad: 60 Euro Yearly
Win Android iOS Mac Linux Bitcoin Cash

Based in Sweden. Operating since 2009. Accepts Bitcoin, BCH and Cash. Native desktop and mobile clients are available for Android and iOS and are easy to use. Money back guarantee for 30 days.

Amount of servers in Oct 2021: 763 VPN servers, in 38 different countries. Source

ProtonVPN: Limited free version available, otherwise 48 EUR Yearly
Freemium Win Android iOS Mac Linux Bitcoin

Based in Switzerland. Operating since 2016. Accepts Bitcoin, but you need an existing account or contact their support team in advance. Easy to use native desktop and mobile clients are available for Android and iOS.

Amount of servers in Oct 2021: 1200+ VPN servers available in 55 different countries. Source

IVPN: 60 USD Yearly
Win Android iOS Mac Linux Bitcoin Monero Cash

Based in Gibraltar. Operating since 2009. Accepts Bitcoin, Monero and Cash. Native desktop and mobile clients are available for Android and iOS and are easy to use. Money back guarantee for 30 days.

Amount of servers in Oct 2021: 139 VPN servers available in 32 different countries. Source

VPN Privacy Guides:

Using a Privacy VPN will not keep your browsing habits anonymous, nor will it add additional security to non-secure (HTTP) traffic. If you are looking for anonymity, you should use the Tor Browser instead of a VPN. Don't replace good security practices with a VPN service. If you're looking for additional privacy from your ISP, on a public Wi-Fi network, or while torrenting files, a VPN may be the solution for you.

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DNS Network Level Ad Blocking for better Privacy and Speed

NextDNS: Blocks security threats, ads and trackers
Easy to Setup Win Android iOS Mac Linux Browsers Router

The major advantage of NextDNS over AdGuard DNS is to be able to configure the service to your needs via parental controls, website restrictions or block whole categories of websites and apps. Easy to setup within minutes. Comes with setup guides for all systems. 300,000 queries/month for free, after that it will just work like a classic non-blocking DNS service.

AdGuard DNS: Blocks tracking, ads and phishing for free
Easy to Setup Win Android iOS Mac Linux Router

Easy to setup within minutes. Comes with setup guides for all systems. You only need to enter two IP adresses.

Pi-hole: Self-hosted solution for experts
For Experts Raspberry Pi Linux Self-Hosted

You can run Pi-hole in a container, or deploy it directly to a supported operating system via installer.

More self-hosted expert solutions: pfBlockerNG Plugin for pfSense and Artica.

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The Best Privacy Respecting Search Engines

Startpage: Dutch search engine company that highlights privacy
Web

Based in the Netherlands. Launched in 1998.

DuckDuckGo: Privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized results
Web

Based in US. Some of DuckDuckGo's code is free software, but the core is proprietary. Launched in 2008.

MetaGer: Metasearch engine run by a non profit organization
Web

Based in Germany. Launched in 1996.

Swisscows: Privacy and family friendly Bing search results
Web

Based in Switzerland. Launched in 2014. Proprietary source code.

Searx: Privacy-respecting metasearch engine
Web Self-Hosted

Hosted in multiple locations around the world. Self-hostable, open source metasearch engine. Users can access existing public instances.

Privacy Tools Forum: Worth Mentioning:

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The Best Privacy-Friendly World Maps

Avoid: Apple Maps, Bing Maps, Google Earth and Google Maps.

OpenStreetMap: Free, collaborative world wide map
Web

OpenStreetMap is a map of the world, created by people like you and free to use under an open licence.

OsmAnd: Map and navigation app that uses OpenStreetMap data
Android iOS Amazon

Global mobile map viewing and navigation for online and offline OpenStreetMap.

Organic Maps: Offline hike, bike, trails and navigation
Android iOS Huawei AppGallery

Organic Maps is an Android & iOS offline maps app for travelers, tourists, hikers, and cyclists based on top of crowd-sourced OpenStreetMap data and curated with love by MapsWithMe (Maps.Me) founders.

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Secure Web Hosting & Domain Provider

OrangeWebsite: Icelandic Web Hosting with Free Speech
Affiliated Fast Web Bitcoin Cash

Based in Iceland, founded in 2009. Accepts Bitcoin and cash by mail. 100% Green energy.

Privex: Secure Private VPS and Dedicated Server hosting
Affiliated Fast Web Tor Bitcoin Monero

Based in Belize, founded in 2017. Server locations: Finland, Germany, USA, Sweden, Netherlands, Canada and Japan. Accepted cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin, HIVE / HBD, Monero (XMR), EOS and Dogecoin.

Servers can also be ordered via Tor and I2P.

1984 Web Hosting: Safeguarding privacy and civil rights
Fast Web Bitcoin

Based in Iceland, founded in 2006. Accepts Bitcoin. 100% Green energy.

Njalla: A privacy-aware domain registration service
Fast Web Bitcoin

Based in Sweden, founded in 2017 by Peter Sunde the Co-founder of The Pirate Bay.

Bahnhof Cloud: Covered by strong free speech and data protection laws
Fast Web

Based in Sweden, founded in 1994. Payments only with Credit Card or PayPal.

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Encrypted Cloud Storage Services

Avoid: Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and Apple iCloud.

MEGA: Files are transmitted and stored securely with end-to-end encryption
Affiliated Freemium Win Android iOS Mac Linux Web Huawei

Company is based in New Zealand. The free plan offers 20 GB storage and a daily 5GB transfer limit.

Nextcloud: Self-hosting or choose a provider for your data
Win Android iOS Mac Linux Web Self-Hosted

Nextcloud is functionally similar to Dropbox, Office 365 or Google Drive. It can be hosted in the cloud or on-premises. It is scalable from home office solutions based on the low cost Raspberry Pi all the way through to full sized data centre solutions that support millions of users.

Filen: Zero knowledge end-to-end encrypted cloud storage
Freemium Win Android iOS Mac Linux Web

Hosted in Germany. The free plan offers 10 GB storage and unlimited bandwith.

If you're not able to switch your cloud service immediatly, consider encrypting with Cryptomator.

Privacy Cloud Storage Guide:

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Photo Gallery Managers

ente: simple, encrypted photo storage
Encryption Freemium Hosted Android iOS Web

Your photos are encrypted and hosted in datacenters in The Netherlands and France (Source). Migration options available: Local HDD, Google, Apple and Amazon Photos. Free trial of 1 GB for 365 days available. Use coupon code "PRIVACYTOOLS" to get 10% off in the first year.

Cryptee: Encrypted Secure Photo Storage
Encryption Freemium Hosted Web Android iOS

Your photos are encrypted before they leave your device, so Cryptee can't see your photos, and no one else. Use the code "privacytools" at the checkout for a 10% lifetime off.

PhotoPrism: AI-powered app for browsing, organizing & sharing your photos
Free Self-Hosted Web

No hosted solution available yet, but coming soon. Tag and find pictures automatically. Try the demo.

Piwigo: Photo management software for the web
Free Paid Plan Hosted Self-Hosted Android iOS Web

Cloud-hosted and self-hosted versions available. Comes with user management. Demo.

Worth Mentioning:

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YouTube Alternatives

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Known Privacy Related Incidents & Gag Orders to Date

2021, ProtonMail: ProtonMail logged IP address of French activist after an order by Swiss authorities. Source

2021, WindScribe VPN: Servers were not encrypted as they should have been allowing MITM attacks by authorities. Source

2021, DoubleVPN: Servers, logs, and account info seized by law enforcement. Source

2021, Tutanota Email: Forced to monitor two user accounts for three months implicated in a blackmail case. Source

Transparency Report & Warrant Canary for the secure email service Tutanota

2017, PureVPN: Forced to disclose information of one user to the FBI. Source

2014, EarthVPN: User was arrested based on logs provider to the Dutch Polic because of a bomb hoax. Source

2013, Lavabit Email: Secure E-Mail provider Lavabit shuts down after fighting a secret gag order. Source

2011, HideMyAss VPN: User was de-anonymized, and logs were provided to the FBI in a labeled "LulzSec fiasco". Source

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What is a Warrant Canary?

A term for a regularly published statement that a service provider has not received legal process that it would be prohibited from saying it had received, such as a national security letter. Transparency reports and warrant canaries have an important role to play in the fight against illegal and unconstitutional national security process, including National Security Letters and other secret court processes. Wikipedia

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Buy Cryptocurrency

AgoraDesk: P2P Bitcoin Marketplace without ID verification
Affiliated Tor Web No KYC required

Accessiable via Tor and I2P. 1% fee for sellers.

LocalMonero: Monero (XMR) P2P marketplace
Affiliated Tor Web Monero No KYC required

Accessiable via Tor and I2P. The biggest, most trusted and well-established P2P Monero exchange in the XMR community.

Bisq: Decentralized, open source P2P marketplace for desktop
Win Mac Linux Monero No KYC required

Buy and sell bitcoin for fiat (or other cryptocurrencies) privately and securely using Bisq's peer-to-peer network and open-source desktop software. No registration required. Easy to use.

LocalCryptos: P2P marketplace for multiple currencies
Affiliated Web No KYC required

Sign up either with your Ethereum wallet or email address. Fees: 0.75% for buyers and 0.25% for sellers.

Binance: Largest cryptocurrency exchange world-wide with P2P Feature
Affiliated Win Android iOS Mac Linux Web Monero KYC required

Founded in 2017 and became quickly the largest exchange in the world in terms of daily trading volume of cryptocurrencies. P2P trading available. Update: Sep 17, 2021: Binance requires all users to get verified.

Worth Mentioning:

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Privacy-enhancing Bitcoin Wallets

CoinJoin is a trustless method for combining multiple Bitcoin payments from multiple spenders into a single transaction to make it more difficult for outside parties to determine which spender paid which recipient. Unlike many other privacy solutions, coinjoin transactions do not require a modification to the bitcoin protocol.

Samourai: Android Wallet
Tor CoinJoin Android Phones Tablets

Built-in trustless CoinJoin. Full offline mode. Designed to keep miner fees as low as possible.

Sparrow Wallet: Lightweight Desktop Wallet
Tor CoinJoin Win Mac Linux

Built-in trustless CoinJoin. Easy to use and offers users a quick start guide.

BitLox: Hardware Wallet
Affiliated Tor Android iOS Chrome Web

Fully secured cryptocurrency wallet with the mind of keeping your Bitcoin transactions anonymous. Their Bitcoin Block Explorer is accessible over the Tor and I2P network.

Wasabi: Desktop Wallet
Tor CoinJoin Win Mac Linux

Non-custodial, privacy-focused Bitcoin wallet for Desktop, that implements trustless CoinJoin.

Edge: Android and iOS Wallet with multi-asset support
Android iOS Phones Tablets Monero

Touch ID (fingerprint) support, offers in-app buy and sell.

Electrum: Cross-platform with support of Hardware Wallets
Android Win Mac Linux

Decentralized servers, encrypted, cached blockchain for improved speeds.

More information:

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Monero: A privacy-enhanced cryptocurrency for anonymity

Monero GUI Wallet: The official desktop wallet
Win Mac Linux

Suitable for both beginners and advanced users.

Feather Wallet: A lightweight desktop wallet
Win Mac Linux Tails

Good alternative to the official Monero GUI Wallet.

Cake Wallet: For Android and iOS with a modern design
Android iOS Phones Tablets

Modern wallet design to store, send, receive and exchange XMR.

Monerujo: Android only with multiple wallets support
Android Phones Tablets

Multiple wallets, QR code scanning and able to pay BTC addresses.

Donate Monero to PrivacyTools.io

Easy copy & paste. Your donation for Pizza, Coffee and Beer is highly appreciated.

Worth Mentioning:

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Cryptocurrency Swap

Cryptocurrency exchanges which allow for direct peer-to-peer cryptocurrency transactions to take place securely and without the need for a third party to oversee transfer of assets. DEX are more anonymous than commercial exchanges which implement know your customer (KYC) requirements.

UnstoppableSwap: Send Bitcoin, receive Monero using Atomic Swaps
Web Monero

This is brand new technology and might have unexpected bugs. Be careful and only test with small amounts. Read the Official announcement from August 20, 2021.

SideShift.ai: No Account required on this crypto exchange
Web Monero

Swap between BTC, ETH, BCH, XMR, XAI and 30+ other cryptocurrencies.

WizardSwap: Supports Privacy Cryptocurrencies
Web Monero

Platform charges 0.1% fee but liquidity providers set their margins. Accessible via Tor (.onion).

Telegram Channels are targeted by scammers, don't share your key phrases with anyone. Admins of the official channels are not sending private messages to users. Beware of anyone reaching out via private message.

Worth Mentioning:

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About Privacy Tools, Tracking, Surveillance and Encryption

Many of the activities we carry out on the internet leave a trail of data that can be used to track our behaviour and access some personal information. Some of the activities that collect data include credit card transactions, GPS, phone records, browsing history, instant messaging, watching videos, and searching for goods. Unfortunately, there are many companies and individuals on the internet that are looking for ways to collect and exploit your personal data to their own benefit for issues like marketing, research, and customer segmentation. Others have malicious intentions with your data and may use it for phishing, accessing your banking information or hacking into your online accounts. Businesses have similar privacy issues. Malicious entities could be looking for ways to access customer information, steal trade secrets, stop networks and platforms such as e-commerce sites from operating and disrupt your operations.

Using Open-Source Software for Your Security

Open-source software is an application whose source code is available to modify. Therefore, businesses can use these tools to create security solutions that are tailored to their specific security needs. Some of the benefits of using open-source software include reliability as it is created by expert developers and sometimes volunteers. This creates an opportunity for other experts to check for flaws and correct them. In the end, you get software that is very resilient and highly reliable for crafting security solutions.

Such privacy tools are also flexible. Unlike proprietary software where the vendor sets limits and lock-ins that prevent some functions, these tools are highly flexible for use in various applications. Besides, users do not have to follow a rigid set of requirements when using the software.

If you have been browsing online, making transactions, and interacting with others online without any form of security, the chances are someone is collecting your data, tracking you, or looking for ways to manipulate your data. It is time to take control of your data by choosing the right privacy tools for your activities. There are various tools for your security, each offering specific qualities to deal with online challenges. Read on to determine the best privacy tools for individual use and for your business below.

Software recommended on PrivacyTools.io are all Open Source unless marked otherwise.

Differences between Privacy, Anonymity, and Security

"Privacy is the ability to seclude any information about themselves from access or scrutiny by other parties. This way, they are able to express themselves selectively and prevent others from accessing their information. Unfortunately, governments and marketing companies are always surveying the general population for various reasons, among which are security, marketing research, or even malicious intentions. Privacy tools help us to use internet resources without being surveyed or having our personal space intruded by other parties.

Anonymity is the situation where the identity of the person conducting the activity is unknown. It is part of privacy in that other parties cannot pin a name on the doer of the activities in question. For example, when you are browsing anonymously, the tracking companies cannot tell who is visiting their website. Therefore, they cannot follow up with marketing or any offers on account of your online behaviour.

Encryption is the technique of translating data from one form to another so that only people with the right decryption key can access and understand the data. Encryption prevents criminals from tapping and hacking data on transit for malicious reasons. Encryption is usually part of privacy. On the other hand, online security involves the use of tools to prevent issues such as intrusion of privacy, access and theft of personal and company data, phishing, and attacks on the online tools. These privacy tools help you enhance your anonymity when conducting activities online.


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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Sunde