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Anyone with advice/experience using Onion or other secure browsing system?

Captain Adverse

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I am interested in making my home system as secure as possible from both external threats and monitoring of my general internet usage.

I'm not involved in any criminality, I am simply getting more and more annoyed at the superfluous tracking whenever I go to YouTube for videos, or search other websites for information (often to use in support of debates in this Forum).

Now I am using Duck Duck Go as my primary browser, and with windows 10 there is this "InPrivate Browsing" for what it's worth. I also use Norton Antivirus.

But I am curious about tools that modify the IP Address so whenever I go someplace repeatedly they can't "profile" me.

Any advice, or experiences? NOTE: I am a U.S. citizen and resident in America so I am not seeking anything that would violate US Law.
 

Beaudreaux

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I am interested in making my home system as secure as possible from both external threats and monitoring of my general internet usage.

I'm not involved in any criminality, I am simply getting more and more annoyed at the superfluous tracking whenever I go to YouTube for videos, or search other websites for information (often to use in support of debates in this Forum).

Now I am using Duck Duck Go as my primary browser, and with windows 10 there is this "InPrivate Browsing" for what it's worth. I also use Norton Antivirus.

But I am curious about tools that modify the IP Address so whenever I go someplace repeatedly they can't "profile" me.

Any advice, or experiences? NOTE: I am a U.S. citizen and resident in America so I am not seeking anything that would violate US Law.

This will be my very first thread that I will subscribe to. I'm very interested in this as well. By onion, I presume you're referring to Tor?
 

coldjoint

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I am interested in making my home system as secure as possible from both external threats and monitoring of my general internet usage.

I'm not involved in any criminality, I am simply getting more and more annoyed at the superfluous tracking whenever I go to YouTube for videos, or search other websites for information (often to use in support of debates in this Forum).

Now I am using Duck Duck Go as my primary browser, and with windows 10 there is this "InPrivate Browsing" for what it's worth. I also use Norton Antivirus.

But I am curious about tools that modify the IP Address so whenever I go someplace repeatedly they can't "profile" me.

Any advice, or experiences? NOTE: I am a U.S. citizen and resident in America so I am not seeking anything that would violate US Law.

Wouldn't a VPN solve your problem?
 

Captain Adverse

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This will be my very first thread that I will subscribe to. I'm very interested in this as well. By onion, I presume you're referring to Tor?

Well doing a search on Duck Duck Go for "TOR" indicates a yes...that would be it. ;)

I first heard of it as ONION, and I did some research back then. Apparently it is a system which uses my computer as a link in shared system, making it one of three (maybe more?) random connections with other systems so that the IP address is the last link before the search address location is connected.

The concern I have is if MY IP address will appear on some government monitoring system, making me a suspect if someone else is searching for child porn or some other illegal activity.
 

Carjosse

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Well my main piece of advice would be to uninstall Norton Antivirus. It is is essentially a virus and is incredibly taxing on your system.
 

Captain Adverse

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Wouldn't a VPN solve your problem?

You mean this?

A virtual private network also known as a (VPN) is a private network that extends across a public network or internet. It enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network.

VPNs can provide functionality, security and/or network management benefits to the user. But they can also lead to new issues, and some VPN services, especially "free" ones, can actually violate their users' privacy by logging their usage and making it available without their consent, or make money by selling the user's bandwidth to other users.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_private_network

1. Would this require me to either lose my "basic internet" replacing it with the VPN, or have a separate connection?

2. Costs for paid services so as to avoid the bolded portion of the quoted section?
 

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Well doing a search on Duck Duck Go for "TOR" indicates a yes...that would be it. ;)

I first heard of it as ONION, and I did some research back then. Apparently it is a system which uses my computer as a link in shared system, making it one of three (maybe more?) random connections with other systems so that the IP address is the last link before the search address location is connected.

The concern I have is if MY IP address will appear on some government monitoring system, making me a suspect if someone else is searching for child porn or some other illegal activity.

Using TOR only allows anonymous access to TOR sites, all open Web sites will have the same protections as whatever your browser gives you.
 

Captain Adverse

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It eats performance....

Well that's a given with most applications.

..and it is rather ineffective, so in effect a virus. All it is doing is slowing down your computer

Not really since a virus has more insidious effects than simply slowing down a computer.

In any case what would you replace it with?
 

Captain Adverse

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Using TOR only allows anonymous access to TOR sites, all open Web sites will have the same protections as whatever your browser gives you.

Really? Well that's a waste of time.

I want something that simply connects me to a site so I can see and utilize it, without leaving the same footprint.

I hate when I go to YouTube and they create a "history" after I check one or two videos; then presents me with videos they think I'd like. I know what I want and would prefer seeing new, random videos I might wish to watch.
 
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Crovax

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Really? Well that's a waste of time.

I want something that simply connects me to a site so I can see and utilize it, without leaving the same footprint.

I hate when I go to YouTube and they create a "history" after I check one or two videos; then presents me with videos they think I'd like. I know what I want and would prefer seeing new, random videos I might wish to watch.

Easiest way around that is to run through a proxy server, however that will slow down your Internet a lot usually.
 

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Well that's a given with most applications.



Not really since a virus has more insidious effects than simply slowing down a computer.

In any case what would you replace it with?

ESET, much less taxing on your system. Norton is well known to be a very inefficient program. The point of an antivirus is to run in the background and eat as few resources as possible while protecting your PC but Norton consumes a lot of your system resources.
 

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Carjosse

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Really? Well that's a waste of time.

I want something that simply connects me to a site so I can see and utilize it, without leaving the same footprint.

I hate when I go to YouTube and they create a "history" after I check one or two videos; then presents me with videos they think I'd like. I know what I want and would prefer seeing new, random videos I might wish to watch.

I think what you want is a VPN.
 

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Well that's a given with most applications.



Not really since a virus has more insidious effects than simply slowing down a computer.

In any case what would you replace it with?

Like a pop up asking you to buy things every 15 minutes? Sounds pretty insidious to me

Kaspersky is a pretty good one IMO
 

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I suggest AVG for virus protection. The free version will protect your computer just fine. I (after years of free use) bought a subscription. This new program has a better process (task) manager than windows and allows you to see what runs in the background, and stop all of them if you wish. Stop the start-up programs too.

I've been using Tor (The onion router) for a few years now. It just gets better with each new update. It just bounces you around so that the exit computer accessing the site isn't yours. Completely untraceable. It was designed by the US Navy to send anonymously. Then it got a bad name because of the Silk Road and child porn problems. I believe that most of that has been cleaned out. It's never affected my browsing.
 

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You mean this?

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

1. Would this require me to either lose my "basic internet" replacing it with the VPN, or have a separate connection?

2. Costs for paid services so as to avoid the bolded portion of the quoted section?

you can also use a proxy ip. there are free proxy sites but I would question those. personal vpn is probably the best way to go.
I will be honest I don't use any third party security software like Norton. I'm an IT guy. I am careful about where I go and have a pretty good sense about if something questionable is going on.

Since you are using Norton, does Norton Ghost come with your software package? its a reimaging application. any time you do any significant download or change or data update on your computer I would create an image.
Then if something goes back you can simply reimage your computer to exactly how it was when you created the image and its a lot faster than formatting and reinstalling and updating everything.
 

Nilly

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You mean this?

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

1. Would this require me to either lose my "basic internet" replacing it with the VPN, or have a separate connection?

2. Costs for paid services so as to avoid the bolded portion of the quoted section?

I pay $10 a month or so for a VPN service. A paid VPN is probably the best thing you can do easily. Always have it connected, wherever I am. https://thatoneprivacysite.net/ has a good comparison chart and faq. I use VyprVPN. None are perfect. It doesn't replace your existing internet connection. You connect to wifi like you normally would, then turn your VPN on once you are connected. There are a number of different encryption modes you can use depending on the VPN service (128 bit, 256 bit, AES etc). Don't use proxy websites.

I don't bother with Tor or anythign like that, too many limitations, but use the chrome extensions HTTPS anywhere (stops things from being transmitted in plaintext) and Disconnect (stops connections to things like facebook/google logins unless I request it - otherwise facebook/google know what other sites you've been visiting).

https://thatoneprivacysite.net/choosing-the-best-vpn-for-you/

In terms of stopping youtube etc from tracking your history, you'll need to disable cookies. Cookies are little files that your browser downloads to your computer that hold small amounts of information that make using the website easier. Try disabling cookies in your browser and see how you go. Sites like debatepolitics won't remember who you are and log you in, and sites like youtube won't track history. I couldn't live without cookies, they're too useful, but if you're that set on it then that'll be the next step.
 
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Nilly

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Using TOR only allows anonymous access to TOR sites, all open Web sites will have the same protections as whatever your browser gives you.

Tor does a bit more than that. If you use Tor to visit regular clearnet sites the websites you visit will not be able to see your originating IP address so it accomplishes what a regular proxy does.

Tor isn't the best choice for regular old anonymous internet surfing, though. Because the exit nodes are known, lots of websites block its use and having to continuously prove you are a human gets tedious. Tor is also very slow.

The best option for most people is to use a VPN. Many of them will allow you to pay anonymously by cash in the mail or even bitcoin if you want to go down that route. If you are really, REALLY paranoid go buy a mobile internet dongle for cash and run Tor through an anonymously purchased VPN. That way your ISP doesn't even know who you are or what sites you are visiting, your VPN doesn't know who you are or what sites you are visiting. The controller of the exit node doesn't know who you are or where your traffic is originating from and the website you are visiting doesn't know who you are or where the traffic is originating from.

But it will be slow as ****.
 

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I am interested in making my home system as secure as possible from both external threats and monitoring of my general internet usage.

I'm not involved in any criminality, I am simply getting more and more annoyed at the superfluous tracking whenever I go to YouTube for videos, or search other websites for information (often to use in support of debates in this Forum).

Now I am using Duck Duck Go as my primary browser, and with windows 10 there is this "InPrivate Browsing" for what it's worth. I also use Norton Antivirus.

But I am curious about tools that modify the IP Address so whenever I go someplace repeatedly they can't "profile" me.

Any advice, or experiences? NOTE: I am a U.S. citizen and resident in America so I am not seeking anything that would violate US Law.

Vpn or a proxy would be better. Onoin only protects people on tor webseites, or sites with .onion, but actually comprimises it's modes when browsing the normal web.

I looked into it a few years ago, tried the browser, and ran away screaming when I discovered probably 70% of tor was illegal activity, 5 % secutiry reasons, and the other 25% people from countries that heavily restrict internet,like china so they can browse the web their govt blocks.
 

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I am interested in making my home system as secure as possible from both external threats and monitoring of my general internet usage.

I'm not involved in any criminality, I am simply getting more and more annoyed at the superfluous tracking whenever I go to YouTube for videos, or search other websites for information (often to use in support of debates in this Forum).

Now I am using Duck Duck Go as my primary browser, and with windows 10 there is this "InPrivate Browsing" for what it's worth. I also use Norton Antivirus.

But I am curious about tools that modify the IP Address so whenever I go someplace repeatedly they can't "profile" me.

Any advice, or experiences? NOTE: I am a U.S. citizen and resident in America so I am not seeking anything that would violate US Law.

Here's my suite of privacy, for Chrome.

Ublock Origin (takes care of ads)
PIA, a vpn for isp protection
Ghostery (I'd use disconnect but it appears to be incompatible with Ublock)
Https Everywhere
And finally Canvas Defender, which prevents sites from collecting your browser "fingerprint."

TOR is overkill and, frankly, slow as death. I'll consider using it though if I ever need to do some arms dealing or overthrow a government.

As for duckduckgo, yes, it doesn't collect your searches, but its search results are so inferior to google that using it effectively breaks the internet experience for me.
 
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Cardinal

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Really? Well that's a waste of time.

I want something that simply connects me to a site so I can see and utilize it, without leaving the same footprint.

I hate when I go to YouTube and they create a "history" after I check one or two videos; then presents me with videos they think I'd like. I know what I want and would prefer seeing new, random videos I might wish to watch.

First things first you may want to get into your google settings and turn off all the options that do what you're talking about. It won't prevent them from still collecting your searches (although to a limited degree ghostery will take care of the Google Analytics tracker), but at least the customization will stop.
 
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