Anonymous Operating Systems Review
It’s not just fashionable to be anonymous on the Internet, but also necessary. Anonymity is necessary even for downloading a music album! For this, almost all browser programs have the “anonymous” button, and some even install a VPN program alongside the browser. However, “hiding in a browser” is not the same as “hiding online.” But how can you do exactly the latter?
You have to use anonymous Linux distributions. They are created by anonymity enthusiasts and packed with tools for data privacy and secure communication. In most cases, you need to install these distributions from a USB drive so that you have both the main and anonymous OSes on the same machine. Usually such builds include some communication encryption utilities, anonymous TOR browser, and I2P anonymity program.
Today we’ll review three anonymous operating systems: QUBES, TAILS, and JONDO.
Qubes operating system
Qubes employs an interesting principle of launching apps: each app is launched in a separate virtual machine. Such machines belong to different classes according to the level of importance for the OS. You launch a browser in one VM, “Miranda” in another one, but you work with them as though they are in the same workspace. You can tell the difference between VMs only by the color of the window. Usually the OS controls hardware resources very precisely, so you can launch a lot of apps, however remember that this type of structure requires maximum usage of processor power and RAM. This OS is built on top of Debian and Fedora using the KDE interface.
The developers promise to launch a new refined version this year called Qubes OS. It will offer pre-configured stacks of anonymous programs’ settings.
TAILS operating system
Everybody learnt about the Tails OS when it was publicized by the prominent spy Snowden who showed his laptop with it. TAILS (The Amnesic Incognito Live System) is a Debian-based build. Unlike Qubes, this Linux distribution works only from a Flash drive and doesn’t affect your main OS in any way. TAILS offers the user a maximum amount of anonymity tools available today: TOR Tails (encrypting all Internet connections), email and messaging encryption app, and a utility to wipe all data in RAM after you reset your computer. Also, this distro checks if a Flash drive is plugged in, and if you eject it, the anonymous OS will instantly turn off preventing anyone from peeping on your work.
Tails is great for anonymity lovers because it doesn’t use the hard drive for storing data, which means you can’t restore any data (like messaging) after your session ends. But you can save any data you want on your own, for example, on another media.
Now rumors say that a new OS design is under development that will imitate Windows 7. This might make TAILS laptops even more discreet when used in various public places like cafes.
JonDo operating system
JonDo Live DVD is another distribution made specifically with private data exchange in view. JonDo OS encrypts and decrypts each Internet connection about ten times using special keys thus giving you almost 100% protection from tracking. This unique software encrypts your Internet connection and can be installed on Linux or Windows to serve as a VPN utility.
JonDo runs only in the live mode, its graphic interface is based on XCFE. The system features an anonymous version of Firefox and the Toolkit utility that encrypts all data and deletes it from RAM after the work is done. A great feature of JonDo is low RAM requirements: this OS can work with just 512 MB “on board.”