privacytools.io

You are being watched. Private and state-sponsored organizations are monitoring and recording your online activities. privacytools.io provides knowledge and tools to protect your privacy against global mass surveillance.

Glenn Greenwald: Why privacy matters Over the last 16 months, as I've debated this issue around the world, every single time somebody has said to me, "I don't really worry about invasions of privacy because I don't have anything to hide." I always say the same thing to them. I get out a pen, I write down my email address. I say, "Here's my email address. What I want you to do when you get home is email me the passwords to all of your email accounts, not just the nice, respectable work one in your name, but all of them, because I want to be able to just troll through what it is you're doing online, read what I want to read and publish whatever I find interesting. After all, if you're not a bad person, if you're doing nothing wrong, you should have nothing to hide." Not a single person has taken me up on that offer.

The primary reason for window curtains in our house, is to stop people from being able to see in. The reason we don’t want them to see in is because we consider much of what we do inside our homes to be private. Whether that be having dinner at the table, watching a movie with your kids, or even engaging in intimate or sexual acts with your partner. None of these things are illegal by any means but even knowing this, we still keep the curtains and blinds on our windows. We clearly have this strong desire for privacy when it comes to our personal life and the public.

Read also:

Quotes

Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say.

The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife's phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards. I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things... I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.

We all need places where we can go to explore without the judgmental eyes of other people being cast upon us, only in a realm where we're not being watched can we really test the limits of who we want to be. It's really in the private realm where dissent, creativity and personal exploration lie.

Global Mass Surveillance - The Fourteen Eyes

UKUSA Agreement

The UKUSA Agreement is an agreement between the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand to cooperatively collect, analyze, and share intelligence. Members of this group, known as the Five Eyes, focus on gathering and analyzing intelligence from different parts of the world. While Five Eyes countries have agreed to not spy on each other as adversaries, leaks by Snowden have revealed that some Five Eyes members monitor each other's citizens and share intelligence to avoid breaking domestic laws that prohibit them from spying on their own citizens. The Five Eyes alliance also cooperates with groups of third-party countries to share intelligence (forming the Nine Eyes and Fourteen Eyes), however Five Eyes and third-party countries can and do spy on each other.

Five Eyes

  1. Australia
  2. Canada
  3. New Zealand
  4. United Kingdom
  5. United States of America

Nine Eyes

  1. Denmark
  2. France
  3. Netherlands
  4. Norway

Fourteen Eyes

  1. Belgium
  2. Germany
  3. Italy
  4. Spain
  5. Sweden

Key Disclosure Law

Who is required to hand over the encryption keys to authorities?

Mandatory key disclosure laws require individuals to turn over encryption keys to law enforcement conducting a criminal investigation. How these laws are implemented (who may be legally compelled to assist) vary from nation to nation, but a warrant is generally required. Defenses against key disclosure laws include steganography and encrypting data in a way that provides plausible deniability.

Steganography involves hiding sensitive information (which may be encrypted) inside of ordinary data (for example, encrypting an image file and then hiding it in an audio file). With plausible deniability, data is encrypted in a way that prevents an adversary from being able to prove that the information they are after exists (for example, one password may decrypt benign data and another password, used on the same file, could decrypt sensitive data).

Key disclosure laws may apply

Key disclosure laws don't apply

* (people who know how to access a system may be ordered to share their knowledge, however, this doesn't apply to the suspect itself or family members.)

Related Information

Why is it not recommended to choose a US-based service?

USA

Services based in the United States are not recommended because of the country's surveillance programs, use of National Security Letters (NSLs) and accompanying gag orders, which forbid the recipient from talking about the request. This combination allows the government to secretly force companies to grant complete access to customer data and transform the service into a tool of mass surveillance.

An example of this is Lavabit – a secure email service created by Ladar Levison. The FBI requested Snowden's records after finding out that he used the service. Since Lavabit did not keep logs and email content was stored encrypted, the FBI served a subpoena (with a gag order) for the service's SSL keys. Having the SSL keys would allow them to access communications (both metadata and unencrypted content) in real time for all of Lavabit's customers, not just Snowden's.

Ultimately, Levison turned over the SSL keys and shut down the service at the same time. The US government then threatened Levison with arrest, saying that shutting down the service was a violation of the court order.

Related Information

Privacy VPN Services

Sortable VPN Providers Table Yearly Price Free Trial # Servers Jurisdiction Website
AirVPN 54 € Yes 162 Italy AirVPN.org
AzireVPN 45 € Yes 22 Sweden AzireVPN.com
blackVPN 49 € Yes 31 Hong Kong blackVPN.com
Cryptostorm $ 52 Yes 28 Iceland Cryptostorm.is
ExpressVPN $ 99.95 Yes 148 British Virgin Islands ExpressVPN.com
FrootVPN $ 35.88 No 27 Sweden FrootVPN.com
hide.me Free Yes 160+ Malaysia hide.me
IVPN $ 100 Yes 38 Gibraltar IVPN.net
Mullvad 60 € Yes 281 Sweden Mullvad.net
NordVPN $ 83.88 Yes 5200+ Panama NordVPN.com
OVPN.com 84 € Yes 67 Sweden OVPN.com
Perfect Privacy 119.99 € No 54 Switzerland Perfect-Privacy.com
ProtonVPN Free Yes 325 Switzerland ProtonVPN.com
Proxy.sh $ 40 No 300+ Seychelles Proxy.sh
Trust.Zone $ 39.95 Yes 164 Seychelles Trust.Zone
VPN.ht $ 39.99 No 128 Hong Kong VPN.ht
VPNArea $ 59 Yes 204 Bulgaria VPNArea.com
VPNTunnel 35.88 € No 800+ Seychelles VPNTunnel.com

Our VPN Provider Criteria

  • Operating outside the USA or other Five Eyes countries.

    More: Avoid all US and UK based services.

  • OpenVPN software support.
  • Accepts Bitcoin, cash, debit cards or cash cards as a payment method.
  • No personal information is required to create an account. Only username, password and Email.

We're not affiliated with any of the above-listed VPN providers. This way we can give you honest recommendations.

More VPN Providers

Spreadsheet with unbiased, independently verifiable data on over 100 VPN services. (Join the discussion on Reddit)

What is a warrant canary?

Warrant Canary Example

A warrant canary is a posted document stating that an organization has not received any secret subpoenas during a specific period of time. If this document fails to be updated during the specified time then the user is to assume that the service has received such a subpoena and should stop using the service.

Warrant Canary Examples:

  1. https://proxy.sh/canary
  2. https://www.ivpn.net/resources/canary.txt
  3. https://www.bolehvpn.net/canary.txt
  4. https://www.ipredator.se/static/downloads/canary.txt

Related Warrant Canary Information

Browser Recommendation

Tor Browser

Tor Browser Tor Browser is your choice if you need an extra layer of anonymity. It's a modified version of Firefox, it comes with pre-installed privacy add-ons, encryption and an advanced proxy.

Website: torproject.org Tor

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, OpenBSD.

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox Firefox is fast, reliable, open source and respects your privacy. Don't forget to adjust the settings according to our recommendations: WebRTC and about:config and get the privacy add-ons.

Website: firefox.com

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, BSD.

Brave

experimental

Brave The new open source browser "Brave" automatically blocks ads and trackers, making it faster and safer than your current browser. Brave is based on Chromium.

Website: brave.com

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS.

Browser Fingerprint - Is your browser configuration unique?

Fingerprint image

When you visit a web page, your browser voluntarily sends information about its configuration, such as available fonts, browser type, and add-ons. If this combination of information is unique, it may be possible to identify and track you without using cookies. EFF created a Tool called Panopticlick to test your browser to see how unique it is.

Test your Browser now

You need to find what most browsers are reporting, and then use those variables to bring your browser in the same population. This means having the same fonts, plugins, and extensions installed as the large installed base. You should have a spoofed user agent string to match what the large userbase has. You need to have the same settings enabled and disabled, such as DNT and WebGL. You need your browser to look as common as everyone else. Disabling JavaScript, using Linux, or even the TBB, will make your browser stick out from the masses.

Modern web browsers have not been architected to assure personal web privacy. Rather than worrying about being fingerprinted, it seems more practical to use free software plugins like Privacy Badger, uBlock Origin and Disconnect. They not only respect your freedom, but your privacy also. You can get much further with these than trying to manipulate your browser's fingerprint.

Firefox Addon: CanvasBlocker

Related Information

WebRTC IP Leak Test - Is your IP address leaking?

While software like NoScript prevents this, it's probably a good idea to block this protocol directly as well, just to be safe.

Test your Browser now

How to disable WebRTC in Firefox?

In short: Set "media.peerconnection.enabled" to "false" in "about:config".

Explained:

  1. Enter "about:config" in the firefox address bar and press enter.
  2. Press the button "I'll be careful, I promise!"
  3. Search for "media.peerconnection.enabled"
  4. Double click the entry, the column "Value" should now be "false"
  5. Done. Do the WebRTC leak test again.

If you want to make sure every single WebRTC related setting is really disabled change these settings:

  1. media.peerconnection.turn.disable = true
  2. media.peerconnection.use_document_iceservers = false
  3. media.peerconnection.video.enabled = false
  4. media.peerconnection.identity.timeout = 1

Now you can be 100% sure WebRTC is disabled.

Test your Browser again

How to fix the WebRTC Leak in Google Chrome?

WebRTC cannot be fully disabled in Chrome, however it is possible to change its routing settings (and prevent leaks) using an extension. Two open source solutions include WebRTC Leak Prevent (options may need to be changed depending on the scenario), and uBlock Origin (select "Prevent WebRTC from leaking local IP addresses" in Settings).

What about other browsers?

Chrome on iOS, Internet Explorer and Safari does not implement WebRTC yet. But we recommend using Firefox on all devices.

Excellent Firefox Privacy Add-ons

Privacy Badger

Stop Tracking with Privacy Badger

Privacy Badger is a browser add-on that stops advertisers and other third-party trackers from secretly tracking where you go and what pages you look at on the web. Privacy Badger learns about trackers as you browse by inspecting external resources websites request. Please be aware that Google Analytics is considered first-party by Privacy Badger, which means that Google Analytics will not be blocked if you do not use another blocker, such as uBlock Origin.

uBlock

Block Ads and Trackers with uBlock Origin

An efficient wide-spectrum-blocker that's easy on memory, and yet can load and enforce thousands more filters than other popular blockers out there. It has no monetization strategy and is completely open source. We recommend Firefox but uBlock Origin also works in other browsers such as Safari, Opera, and Chromium. Unlike AdBlock Plus, uBlock does not allow so-called "acceptable ads".

Cookie AutoDelete

Automatically Delete Cookies with Cookie AutoDelete

Automatically removes cookies when they are no longer used by open browser tabs. With the cookies, lingering sessions, as well as information used to spy on you, will be expunged.

HTTPS Everywhere

Encryption with HTTPS Everywhere

A Firefox, Chrome, and Opera extension that encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure. A collaboration between The Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Decentraleyes

Block Content Delivery Networks with Decentraleyes

Emulates Content Delivery Networks locally by intercepting requests, finding the required resource and injecting it into the environment. This all happens instantaneously, automatically, and no prior configuration is required. Source code: GitLab (self-hosted).

Terms of Service - Didn't Read

Be informed with Terms of Service; Didn’t Read

“I have read and agree to the Terms” is the biggest lie on the web. This addon aims to fix that by grading websites based on their Terms of Service agreements and gives short summaries. Source code: GitHub.

uMatrix

Stop cross-site requests with uMatrix

Many websites integrate features which let other websites track you, such as Facebook Like Buttons or Google Analytics. uMatrix gives you control over the requests that websites make to other websites. This gives you greater and more fine-grained control over the information that you leak online.

NoScript

Be in total control with NoScript Security Suite

Highly customizable plugin to selectively allow JavaScript, Java, and Flash to run only on websites you trust. Not for casual users, it requires technical knowledge to configure.

Firefox: Privacy Related "about:config" Tweaks

Preparation:

  1. Enter "about:config" in the firefox address bar and press enter.
  2. Press the button "I'll be careful, I promise!"
  3. Follow the instructions below...

Getting started:

privacy.firstparty.isolate = true
A result of the Tor Uplift effort, this preference isolates all browser identifier sources (e.g. cookies) to the first party domain, with the goal of preventing tracking across different domains. (Don't do this if you are using the Firefox Addon "Cookie AutoDelete" with Firefox v58 or below.)
privacy.resistFingerprinting = true
A result of the Tor Uplift effort, this preference makes Firefox more resistant to browser fingerprinting.
privacy.trackingprotection.fingerprinting.enabled = true
Blocks Fingerprinting
privacy.trackingprotection.cryptomining.enabled = true
Blocks CryptoMining
privacy.trackingprotection.enabled = true
This is Mozilla's new built-in tracking protection. It uses Disconnect.me filter list, which is redundant if you are already using uBlock Origin 3rd party filters, therefore you should set it to false if you are using the add-on functionalities.
browser.cache.offline.enable = false
Disables offline cache.
browser.safebrowsing.malware.enabled = false
Disable Google Safe Browsing malware checks. Security risk, but privacy improvement.
browser.safebrowsing.phishing.enabled = false
Disable Google Safe Browsing and phishing protection. Security risk, but privacy improvement.
browser.sessionstore.max_tabs_undo = 0
Even with Firefox set to not remember history, your closed tabs are stored temporarily at Menu -> History -> Recently Closed Tabs.
browser.urlbar.speculativeConnect.enabled = false
Disable preloading of autocomplete URLs. Firefox preloads URLs that autocomplete when a user types into the address bar, which is a concern if URLs are suggested that the user does not want to connect to. Source
dom.battery.enabled = false
The battery status of your device could be tracked.
dom.event.clipboardevents.enabled = false
Disable that websites can get notifications if you copy, paste, or cut something from a web page, and it lets them know which part of the page had been selected.
geo.enabled = false
Disables geolocation.
media.eme.enabled = false

Disables playback of DRM-controlled HTML5 content, which, if enabled, automatically downloads the Widevine Content Decryption Module provided by Google Inc. Details

DRM-controlled content that requires the Adobe Flash or Microsoft Silverlight NPAPI plugins will still play, if installed and enabled in Firefox.

media.gmp-widevinecdm.enabled = false
Disables the Widevine Content Decryption Module provided by Google Inc., used for the playback of DRM-controlled HTML5 content. Details
media.navigator.enabled = false
Websites can track the microphone and camera status of your device.
network.cookie.cookieBehavior = 1
Disable cookies
  • 0 = Accept all cookies by default
  • 1 = Only accept from the originating site (block third-party cookies)
  • 2 = Block all cookies by default
network.cookie.lifetimePolicy = 2
cookies are deleted at the end of the session
  • 0 = Accept cookies normally
  • 1 = Prompt for each cookie
  • 2 = Accept for current session only
  • 3 = Accept for N days
network.http.referer.trimmingPolicy = 2
Send only the scheme, host, and port in the Referer header
  • 0 = Send the full URL in the Referer header
  • 1 = Send the URL without its query string in the Referer header
  • 2 = Send only the scheme, host, and port in the Referer header
network.http.referer.XOriginPolicy = 2
Only send Referer header when the full hostnames match. (Note: if you notice significant breakage, you might try 1 combined with an XOriginTrimmingPolicy tweak below.) Source
  • 0 = Send Referer in all cases
  • 1 = Send Referer to same eTLD sites
  • 2 = Send Referer only when the full hostnames match
network.http.referer.XOriginTrimmingPolicy = 2
When sending Referer across origins, only send scheme, host, and port in the Referer header of cross-origin requests. Source
  • 0 = Send full url in Referer
  • 1 = Send url without query string in Referer
  • 2 = Only send scheme, host, and port in Referer
webgl.disabled = true
WebGL is a potential security risk. Source
browser.sessionstore.privacy_level = 2
This preference controls when to store extra information about a session: contents of forms, scrollbar positions, cookies, and POST data. Details
  • 0 = Store extra session data for any site. (Default starting with Firefox 4.)
  • 1 = Store extra session data for unencrypted (non-HTTPS) sites only. (Default before Firefox 4.)
  • 2 = Never store extra session data.
extensions.pocket.enabled = false
Disables Pocket completely.
network.IDN_show_punycode = true
Not rendering IDNs as their Punycode equivalent leaves you open to phishing attacks that can be very difficult to notice. Source
extensions.blocklist.url = https://blocklists.settings.services.mozilla.com/v1/blocklist/3/%20/%20/

Limit the amount of identifiable information sent when requesting the Mozilla harmful extension blocklist.

Optionally, the blocklist can be disabled entirely by setting extensions.blocklist.enabled to false for increased privacy, but decreased security. Source

Firefox user.js Templates

Related Information

Privacy-Conscious Email Providers - No Affiliates

Email Service URL Since Server Storage Price / Year Bitcoin Encryption Own Domain
Protonmail WWW Tor 2013 Switzerland 500 MB Free Accepted Built-in Yes
Disroot WWW 2015 Netherlands 2 GB Free Accepted Built-in Yes
Tutanota WWW 2011 Germany 1 GB Free No Built-in Yes
Mailfence WWW 2013 Belgium 500 MB Free Accepted Built-in Yes
mailbox.org WWW 2014 Germany 2 GB 12 € Accepted Built-in Yes
Posteo WWW 2009 Germany 2 GB 12 € No Built-in No
Runbox WWW 1999 Norway 1 GB $ 19.95 Yes No Yes
Neomailbox WWW 2003 Switzerland 1 GB $ 49.95 Accepted Built-in Yes
StartMail WWW 2014 Netherlands 10 GB $ 59.95 Accepted Built-in Yes
Kolab Now WWW 2010 Switzerland 2 GB $ 60 Accepted No Yes

Interesting Email Providers Under Development

Become Your Own Email Provider with Mail-in-a-Box

Mail-in-a-Box

Take it a step further and get control of your email with this easy-to-deploy mail server in a box. Mail-in-a-Box lets you become your own mail service provider in a few easy steps. It's sort of like making your own Gmail, but one you control from top to bottom. Technically, Mail-in-a-Box turns a fresh cloud computer into a working mail server. But you don't need to be a technology expert to set it up. More: https://mailinabox.email/

Related Information

Email Clients

Thunderbird

Thunderbird Mozilla Thunderbird is a free, open source, cross-platform email, news, and chat client developed by the Mozilla Foundation. Thunderbird is an email, newsgroup, news feed, and chat (XMPP, IRC, Twitter) client.

Website: mozilla.org

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux, BSD.

Claws Mail

Claws Mail Claws Mail is a free and open source, GTK+-based email and news client. It offers easy configuration and an abundance of features. It is included with Gpg4win, an encryption suite for Windows.

Website: claws-mail.org

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux, BSD, Solaris, Unix.

Privacy Email Tools

Worth Mentioning

Email Alternatives

Bitmessage

Bitmessage Bitmessage is a P2P communications protocol used to send encrypted messages to another person or to many subscribers. It is decentralized and trustless, meaning that you need-not inherently trust any entities like root certificate authorities. It uses strong authentication which means that the sender of a message cannot be spoofed, and it aims to hide "non-content" data.

Website: bitmessage.org

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux.

RetroShare

RetroShare Retroshare creates encrypted connections to your friends. Nobody can spy on you. Retroshare is completely decentralized. This means there are no central servers. It is entirely Open-Source and free. There are no costs, no ads and no Terms of Service.

Website: retroshare.cc

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux.

Worth Mentioning

Privacy Respecting Search Engines

searx

searx An open source metasearch engine, aggregating the results of other search engines while not storing information about its users. No logs, no ads and no tracking.

StartPage

StartPage Google search results, with complete privacy protection. Behind StartPage is a European company that has been obsessive about privacy since 2006.

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo The search engine that doesn't track you. Some of DuckDuckGo's code is free software hosted at GitHub, but the core is proprietary. The company is based in the USA.

Firefox Addon

Worth Mentioning

Encrypted Instant Messenger

Mobile: Signal

Mobile: Signal Signal is a mobile app developed by Open Whisper Systems. The app provides instant messaging, as well as voice and video calling. All communications are end-to-end encrypted. Signal is free and open source, enabling anyone to verify its security by auditing the code. The development team is supported by community donations and grants. There are no advertisements, and it doesn't cost anything to use.

Website: signal.org

OS: Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux

Riot.im

beta

Riot.im Riot.im is a decentralized free-software chatting application based on the Matrix protocol, a recent open protocol for real-time communication offering E2E encryption. It can bridge other communications via others protocols such as IRC too.

Website: riot.im

OS: Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, Web

Desktop: Ricochet

Desktop: Ricochet Ricochet uses the Tor network to reach your contacts without relying on messaging servers. It creates a hidden service, which is used to rendezvous with your contacts without revealing your location or IP address. Instead of a username, you get a unique address that looks like ricochet:rs7ce36jsj24ogfw. Other Ricochet users can use this address to send a contact request - asking to be added to your contacts list.
Danger Always keep Tor up to date. See below: Updating the Tor binary included with Ricochet

Website: ricochet.im

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux.

Worth Mentioning

Related Information

Updating the Tor binary included with Ricochet

Currently there are no known vulnerabilities with Ricochet. The software is safe to use as long as you update the included Tor binary to the latest version.
  1. Download the Tor Browser.
  2. Run the Tor Browser installer or extract package for your platform. Windows (.exe), MacOSX (.dmg) and Linux (.tar.bz2).
  3. Copy the Tor binary or create a symbolic link to it:

    • Windows: Copy the Tor binary included with the Tor Browser and overwrite the old one included with Ricochet.
      • Tor Browser binary: %HOMEPATH%\Desktop\Tor Browser\Browser\TorBrowser\Tor\tor.exe
      • Ricochet's included binary: %HOMEPATH%\Desktop\Ricochet\tor.exe

    • MacOSX: Assuming you copied the Tor Browser.app and Ricochet.app from their respective .dmg install media to /Applications:
      Create a symbolic link to the Tor binary in Terminal. Ricochet will continue to use the up to date version of the Tor binary when you update the Tor Browser Bundle.
      • rm ~/Applications/Ricochet.app/Contents/MacOS/tor
        ln -s ~/Applications/Tor\ Browser.app/Contents/Resources/TorBrowser/Tor/tor \
        ~/Applications/Ricochet.app/Contents/MacOS/tor

    • Linux: Assuming you extracted the Tor Browser Bundle and Ricochet tarball to your home directory:
      • rm ~/ricochet/tor
        ln -s ~/tor-browser_en-US/Browser/TorBrowser/Tor/tor ~/ricochet/tor

Encrypted Video & Voice Messenger

Mobile: Signal

Mobile: Signal Signal is a mobile app developed by Open Whisper Systems. The app provides instant messaging, as well as voice and video calling. All communications are end-to-end encrypted. Signal is free and open source, enabling anyone to verify its security by auditing the code. The development team is supported by community donations and grants. There are no advertisements, and it doesn't cost anything to use.

Website: signal.org

OS: Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux

Wire

Wire Wire is an app developed by Wire Swiss GmbH. The Wire app allows users to exchange end-to-end encrypted instant messages, as well as make voice and video calls. Wire is free and open source, enabling anyone to verify its security by auditing the code. The development team is backed by Iconical and they will monetize in the future with premium features/services.
Caution: The company keeps a list of all the users you contact until you delete your account.

Website: get.wire.com

OS: Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, Web

Linphone

Linphone Linphone is an open source SIP Phone and a free voice over IP service, available on mobile and desktop environments and on web browsers. It supports ZRTP for end-to-end encrypted voice and video communication.

Website: linphone.org

OS: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Linux, Windows, macOS, Browser (Web)

Worth Mentioning

Related Information

File Sharing

OnionShare

OnionShare OnionShare is an open source tool that lets you securely and anonymously share a file of any size. It works by starting a web server, making it accessible as a Tor onion service, and generating an unguessable URL to access and download the files. It doesn't require setting up a server on the internet somewhere or using a third-party filesharing service. You host the file on your own computer and use a Tor onion service to make it temporarily accessible over the internet.

Website: onionshare.org Tor

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux.

Firefox Send

Firefox Send Send uses end-to-end encryption to keep your data secure from the moment you share to the moment your file is opened. It also offers security controls that you can set. You can choose when your file link expires, the number of downloads, and whether to add an optional password for an extra layer of security.

Website: send.firefox.com

OS: Browser and Android

Magic Wormhole

Magic Wormhole Get things from one computer to another, safely. This package provides a library and a command-line tool named wormhole, which makes it possible to get arbitrary-sized files and directories (or short pieces of text) from one computer to another. The two endpoints are identified by using identical wormhole codes: in general, the sending machine generates and displays the code, which must then be typed into the receiving machine.

Website: warnermagic-wormhole

OS: cross-platform

Encrypted Cloud Storage Services

Nextcloud - Choose your hoster

Nextcloud - Choose your hoster Similar functionally to the widely used Dropbox, with the difference being that Nextcloud is free and open-source, and thereby allowing anyone to install and operate it without charge on a private server, with no limits on storage space or the number of connected clients.

Website: nextcloud.com

Client OS: Windows, macOS, Linux, BSD, Unix, iOS, Android, Fire OS. Server: Linux.

Least Authority S4 - For Experts

Least Authority S4 - For Experts S4 (Simple Secure Storage Service) is Least Authority's verifiably secure off-site backup system for individuals and businesses. 100% client-side encryption and open source transparency. 250GB for $9.95/month or 5TB for $25.95/month. Servers are hosted with Amazon S3 in the US.

Worth Mentioning

Self-Hosted Cloud Server Software

Pydio

Pydio Pydio is open source software that turns instantly any server (on-premise, NAS, cloud IaaS or PaaS) into a file sharing platform for your company. It is an alternative to SaaS Boxes and Drives, with more control, safety and privacy, and favorable TCOs.

Website: pydio.com

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android.

Tahoe-LAFS

Tahoe-LAFS Tahoe-LAFS is a Free and Open decentralized cloud storage system. It distributes your data across multiple servers. Even if some of the servers fail or are taken over by an attacker, the entire file store continues to function correctly, preserving your privacy and security.

Website: tahoe-lafs.org

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux.

Nextcloud

Nextcloud Similar functionally to the widely used Dropbox, with the difference being that Nextcloud is free and open-source, and thereby allowing anyone to install and operate it without charge on a private server, with no limits on storage space or the number of connected clients.

Website: nextcloud.com

Client OS: Windows, macOS, Linux, BSD, Unix, iOS, Android, Fire OS. Server: Linux.

Worth Mentioning

Secure Hosting Provider

BAHNHOF

BAHNHOF BAHNHOF is a widely known 'bullet-proof' hosting company utilized by Wikileaks.

Colocation: DataCell

Colocation: DataCell DataCell is a data center providing secure colocating in Switzerland and Iceland.

VPS/Web Hosting: Orange Website

VPS/Web Hosting: Orange Website Orange Website is an Icelandic web hosting provider that prides themselves in protecting online privacy and free speech.

Worth Mentioning

Secure File Sync Software

SparkleShare

SparkleShare SparkleShare creates a special folder on your computer. You can add remotely hosted folders (or "projects") to this folder. These projects will be automatically kept in sync with both the host and all of your peers when someone adds, removes or edits a file.

Website: sparkleshare.org

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux.

Syncthing

Syncthing Syncthing replaces proprietary sync and cloud services with something open, trustworthy and decentralized. Your data is your data alone and you deserve to choose where it is stored, if it is shared with some third-party and how it's transmitted over the Internet.

Website: syncthing.net

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, BSD, Solaris.

Worth Mentioning

Password Manager Software

Bitwarden - Cloud/Self-host

Bitwarden - Cloud/Self-host Bitwarden is a free and open source password manager. It aims to solve password management problems for individuals, teams, and business organizations. Bitwarden is among the easiest and safest solutions to store all of your logins and passwords while conveniently keeping them synced between all of your devices. If you don't want to use the Bitwarden cloud, you can easily host your own Bitwarden server.

Website: bitwarden.com

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Web.

KeePass / KeePassXC - Local

KeePass / KeePassXC - Local KeePass is a free open source password manager, which helps you to manage your passwords in a secure way. All passwords in one database, which is locked with one master key or a key file. The databases are encrypted using the best and most secure encryption algorithms currently known: AES and Twofish. See also: KeePassXC with official native cross-platform support for Windows/macOS/Linux.

Website: keepass.info

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, BSD.

LessPass - Browser

LessPass - Browser LessPass is a free and open source password manager that generates unique passwords for websites, email accounts, or anything else based on a master password and information you know. No sync needed. Uses PBKDF2 and SHA-256. It's advised to use the browser addons for more security.

Website: lesspass.com

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android.

Worth Mentioning

Related Information

Calendar and Contacts Sync

Nextcloud

Nextcloud NextCloud is a suite of client-server software for creating and using file hosting services. This includes calendar sync via CalDAV and contacts sync via CardDAV. Nextcloud is free and open-source, thereby allowing anyone to install and operate it without charge on a private server.

Website: nextcloud.com

Client OS: Windows, macOS, Linux, BSD, Unix, iOS, Android, Fire OS. Server: Linux.

Email Providers

Email Providers Many email providers also offer calendar and or contacts sync services. Refer to the Email Providers section to choose an email provider and check if they also offer calendar and or contacts sync.

Website: Email Providers section

OS: depends on email provider.

EteSync

EteSync EteSync is a secure, end-to-end encrypted and journaled personal information (e.g. contacts and calendar) cloud synchronization and backup for Android and any OS that supports CalDAV/CardDAV. It costs $14 per year to use, or you can host the server yourself for free.

Website: etesync.com

Client OS: Android, Web. Server OS: Linux.

Worth Mentioning

File Encryption Software

VeraCrypt - Disk Encryption

VeraCrypt - Disk Encryption VeraCrypt is a source-available freeware utility used for on-the-fly encryption. It can create a virtual encrypted disk within a file or encrypt a partition or the entire storage device with pre-boot authentication. VeraCrypt is a fork of the discontinued TrueCrypt project. It was initially released on June 22, 2013. According to its developers, security improvements have been implemented and issues raised by the initial TrueCrypt code audit have been addressed.

Website: veracrypt.fr

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux.

GNU Privacy Guard - Email Encryption

GNU Privacy Guard - Email Encryption GnuPG is a GPL Licensed alternative to the PGP suite of cryptographic software. GnuPG is compliant with RFC 4880, which is the current IETF standards track specification of OpenPGP. Current versions of PGP (and Veridis' Filecrypt) are interoperable with GnuPG and other OpenPGP-compliant systems. GnuPG is a part of the Free Software Foundation's GNU software project, and has received major funding from the German government. GPGTools for macOS.

Website: gpgtools.org

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, BSD.

PeaZip - File Archive Encryption

PeaZip - File Archive Encryption PeaZip is a free and open-source file manager and file archiver made by Giorgio Tani. It supports its native PEA archive format (featuring compression, multi volume split and flexible authenticated encryption and integrity check schemes) and other mainstream formats, with special focus on handling open formats. It supports 181 file extensions (as of version 5.5.1).

macOS alternative: Keka is a free file archiver.

Website: peazip.org

OS: Windows, Linux, BSD.

Worth Mentioning

Self-contained Networks

Tor Browser

Tor Browser The Tor network is a group of volunteer-operated servers that allows people to improve their privacy and security on the Internet. Tor's users employ this network by connecting through a series of virtual tunnels rather than making a direct connection, thus allowing both organizations and individuals to share information over public networks without compromising their privacy. Tor is an effective censorship circumvention tool.

Website: torproject.org Tor

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, OpenBSD.

I2P Anonymous Network

I2P Anonymous Network The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is a computer network layer that allows applications to send messages to each other pseudonymously and securely. Uses include anonymous Web surfing, chatting, blogging and file transfers. The software that implements this layer is called an I2P router and a computer running I2P is called an I2P node. The software is free and open source and is published under multiple licenses.

Website: geti2p.net

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, BSD / Solaris.

The Freenet Project

The Freenet Project Freenet is a peer-to-peer platform for censorship-resistant 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. Both Freenet and some of its associated tools were originally designed by Ian Clarke, who defined Freenet's goal as providing freedom of speech on the Internet with strong anonymity protection.

Website: freenetproject.org

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux.

Worth Mentioning

Decentralized Social Networks

Mastodon

Mastodon Mastodon is a social network based on open web protocols and free, open-source software. It is decentralized like e-mail. It also has the most users, and the most diverse (in terms of interests) users, looks good, and is easy to setup. Feel welcome to join our hosted instance: social.privacytools.io

diaspora*

diaspora* diaspora* is based on three key philosophies: Decentralization, freedom and privacy. It is intended to address privacy concerns related to centralized social networks by allowing users set up their own server (or "pod") to host content; pods can then interact to share status updates, photographs, and other social data.

Friendica

Friendica Friendica has an emphasis on extensive privacy settings and easy server installation. It aims to federate with as many other social networks as possible. Currently, Friendica users can integrate contacts from Facebook, Twitter, Diaspora, GNU social, App.net, Pump.io and other services in their social streams.

Worth Mentioning

Related Information

Domain Name System (DNS)

OpenNIC - Service

OpenNIC - Service OpenNIC is an alternate network information center/alternative DNS root which lists itself as an alternative to ICANN and its registries. Like all alternative root DNS systems, OpenNIC-hosted domains are unreachable to the vast majority of the Internet.

Njalla - Domain Registration

Njalla - Domain Registration Njalla only needs your email or jabber address in order to register a domain name for you. Created by people from The Pirate Bay and IPredator VPN. Accepted Payments: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero, DASH, Bitcoin Cash and PayPal. A privacy-aware domain registration service.

DNSCrypt - Tool

DNSCrypt - Tool A protocol for securing communications between a client and a DNS resolver. The DNSCrypt protocol uses high-speed high-security elliptic-curve cryptography and is very similar to DNSCurve, but focuses on securing communications between a client and its first-level resolver.

Worth Mentioning

Digital Notebook

Joplin

Joplin Joplin is a free, open source, fully featured note taking and to-do application, which can handle a large number of markdown notes organized into notebooks and tags. It offers E2EE encryption and can sync through Nextcloud, Dropbox and more. It also offers easy import from Evernote and plain text notes.

Website: joplin.cozic.net

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Firefox/Chrome (Web Clipper).

Standard Notes

Standard Notes Standard Notes is a simple and private notes app that makes your notes easy and available everywhere you are. Features end-to-end encryption on every platform, and a powerful desktop experience with themes and custom editors.

Website: standardnotes.org

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Web.

Turtl

Turtl Turtl lets you take notes, bookmark websites, and store documents for sensitive projects. From sharing passwords with your coworkers to tracking research on an article you're writing, Turtl keeps it all safe from everyone but you and those you share with.

Website: turtlapp.com

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android.

Warning

Worth Mentioning

Paste Services

PrivateBin

PrivateBin PrivateBin is a minimalist, open source online pastebin where the server has zero knowledge of pasted data. Data is encrypted/decrypted in the browser using 256bit AES. It is the improved version of ZeroBin.

Zerobin.net

Zerobin.net Zerobin is a minimalist, open source online pastebin where the server has zero knowledge of pasted data. Data is encrypted/decrypted in the browser using 256bit AES.

Ghostbin

Ghostbin Ghostbin supports encryption, expiration, sessions, grant users to edit your notes and pastes up to one megabyte. You can also create your own account to keep track of your pastes.
The software is good but ghostbin.com's security is worrisome.

Worth Mentioning

Productivity Tools

CryptPad

CryptPad CryptPad is a private-by-design alternative to popular office tools and cloud services. All content is end-to-end encrypted. It is free and open source, enabling anyone to verify its security by auditing the code. The development team is supported by donations and grants. No registration is required, and it can be used anonymously via Tor browser.

Website: cryptpad.fr

OS: Linux, macOS, Windows, Web.

Etherpad

Etherpad Etherpad is a highly customizable Open Source online editor providing collaborative editing in really real-time. Etherpad allows you to edit documents collaboratively in real-time, much like a live multi-player editor that runs in your browser. Write articles, press releases, to-do lists, etc. Sites That Run Etherpad

Website: etherpad.org

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux.

Write.as

Write.as Write.as is a cross-platform, privacy-oriented blogging platform. It's anonymous by default, letting you publish without signing up. If you create an account, it doesn't require any personal information. No ads, distraction-free, and built on a sustainable business model.

Website: write.as Tor

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome OS, Web.

Worth Mentioning

PC Operating Systems

Qubes OS

Qubes OS Qubes is an open-source operating system designed to provide strong security for desktop computing. Qubes is based on Xen, the X Window System, and Linux, and can run most Linux applications and utilize most of the Linux drivers.

Debian

Debian Debian is a Unix-like computer operating system and a Linux distribution that is composed entirely of free and open-source software, most of which is under the GNU General Public License, and packaged by a group of individuals known as the Debian project.

Trisquel

Trisquel Trisquel is a Linux-based operating system derived from Ubuntu. The project aims for a fully free software system without proprietary software or firmware and uses Linux-libre, a version of the Linux kernel with the non-free code (binary blobs) removed.

Warning

Worth Mentioning

Live CD Operating Systems

Tails

Tails Tails is a live operating system, that starts on almost any computer from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card. It aims at preserving privacy and anonymity, and helps to: Use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship; Internet connections go through the Tor network; leave no trace on the computer; use state-of-the-art cryptographic tools to encrypt files, emails and instant messaging.

KNOPPIX

KNOPPIX Knoppix is an operating system based on Debian designed to be run directly from a CD / DVD (Live CD) or a USB flash drive (Live USB), one of the first of its kind for any operating system. When starting a program, it is loaded from the removable medium and decompressed into a RAM drive. The decompression is transparent and on-the-fly.

Puppy Linux

Puppy Linux Puppy Linux operating system is a lightweight Linux distribution that focuses on ease of use and minimal memory footprint. The entire system can be run from RAM with current versions generally taking up about 210 MB, allowing the boot medium to be removed after the operating system has started.

Worth Mentioning

Mobile Operating Systems

LineageOS

LineageOS LineageOS is a free and open-source operating system for smartphones and tablets, based on the official releases of Android by Google. It is the continuation of the CyanogenMod project.

Ubuntu Touch

Ubuntu Touch Ubuntu Touch is a free and open-source operating system for smartphones and tablets. It's an alternative to the current popular mobile operating systems on the market. Only a few devices are supported.

Worth Mentioning

Android Privacy Add-ons

Blokada

Block ads with Blokada

Blokada works across all of your apps, not only the browser. It doesn't require root, supports both wifi and mobile networks, and is perfectly safe and simple to use. Just turn it on, and it will do the job silently!

NetGuard

Control your traffic with NetGuard

NetGuard provides simple and advanced ways to block certain apps' access to the internet without the help of root privileges. Applications and addresses can individually be allowed or denied access to your Wi-Fi and/or mobile connection, allowing you to control which apps are able to call home or not.

Orbot

Tor for Android with Orbot

Orbot is a free proxy app that empowers other apps to use the internet more securely. Orbot uses Tor to encrypt your Internet traffic and then hides it by bouncing through a series of computers around the world. Root Mode: Orbot can be configured to transparently proxy all of your Internet traffic through Tor. You can also choose which specific apps you want to use through Tor.

XPrivacyLua

Manage your apps' permissions with XPrivacyLua

Revoking Android permissions from apps often let apps crash or malfunction. XPrivacyLua solves this by feeding apps fake data instead of real data.

Requirements: Magisk (xda-developers), Xposed Framework (xda-developers)

Open Source Router Firmware

OpenWrt

OpenWrt OpenWrt is an operating system (in particular, an embedded operating system) based on the Linux kernel, primarily used on embedded devices to route network traffic. The main components are the Linux kernel, util-linux, uClibc and BusyBox. All components have been optimized for size, to be small enough for fitting into the limited storage and memory available in home routers.

pfSense

pfSense pfSense is an open source firewall/router computer software distribution based on FreeBSD. It is installed on a computer to make a dedicated firewall/router for a network and is noted for its reliability and offering features often only found in expensive commercial firewalls. pfSense is commonly deployed as a perimeter firewall, router, wireless access point, DHCP server, DNS server, and as a VPN endpoint.

LibreCMC

LibreCMC LibreCMC is a GNU/Linux-libre distribution for computers with minimal resources, such as the Ben Nanonote, ath9k-based Wi-Fi routers, and other hardware with emphasis on free software. The project's current goal is to aim for compliance with the GNU Free System Distribution Guidelines (GNU FSDG) and ensure that the project continues to meet these requirements set forth by the Free Software Foundation (FSF)..

Worth Mentioning

Don't use Windows 10 - It's a privacy nightmare

Windows 10 Privacy
  1. Data syncing is by default enabled.
    • Browsing history and open websites.
    • Apps settings.
    • WiFi hotspot names and passwords.
  2. Your device is by default tagged with a unique advertising ID.
    • Used to serve you with personalized advertisements by third-party advertisers and ad networks.
  3. Cortana can collect any of your data.
    • Your keystrokes, searches and mic input.
    • Calendar data.
    • Music you listen to.
    • Credit Card information.
    • Purchases.
  4. Microsoft can collect any personal data.
    • Your identity.
    • Passwords.
    • Demographics.
    • Interests and habits.
    • Usage data.
    • Contacts and relationships.
    • Location data.
    • Content like emails, instant messages, caller list, audio and video recordings.
  5. Your data can be shared.
    • When downloading Windows 10, you are authorizing Microsoft to share any of above-mentioned data with any third-party, with or without your consent.

Download: W10Privacy

This tool uses some known methods that attempt to disable major tracking features in Windows 10.

Related Information

More Privacy Resources

Guides

Information

Tools

Note: Just being open source does not make software secure!

It's important for a website like privacytools.io to be up-to-date. Keep an eye on software updates of the applications listed here. Follow recent news about providers that are recommended. We try our best to keep up but we're not perfect and the internet is changing fast. If you find an error, or you think a provider should not be listed here, or a qualified service provider is missing, or a browser plugin is not the best choice anymore, or anything else... Talk to us please. You can also find us on our own Mastodon instance or on Matrix at #general:privacytools.io.

Make suggestions on Reddit

Make suggestions on Reddit Our active community subreddit to stay up to date or to make suggestions. Join now! (Info)

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Twitter Get the latest privacy-related updates from our Twitter Feed. Follow now!

Develop on GitHub

Develop on GitHub The complete website source code is available on GitHub. Join our developer team!

This is a community project and we're aiming to deliver the best information available for better privacy online. Thank you for participating. This project needs you.