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How I browse/surf privately E-mail
Thursday, 02 January 2014 09:15

With all this snooping and overreaching data-collecting Google and everyone else is doing on the web, everywhere, I feel less and less comfortable just browsing random websites with each day.  I've found some tools that help you protect your privacy while just going about your regular business online - searching for information, checking e-mails, browsing books on Amazon, etc.



Disconnect - I came across this on Wired's website.  It "lets you visualize and block the invisible websites that track you" (from their own website).  It's available as an extension for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera.


There's a Disconnect Search extension too, but in my testing it had some flaws.  The first was that after searching for something on Bing, when I tried to go to page 2 of the results it wouldn't let me.  Page 1 of the results would just reload!  The second major problem I came across was that when I tried to run a new search from the search bar on the Bing search results page, I was redirected to the Disconnect website, instead of results for my new search!


SRWare Iron

Iron has been my go-to browser (and Chrome substitute) for years now.  It's basically a snoop-free version of Google's Chrome.  They've taken out all of Google's code that tracks your activities and habits, while leaving you able to use all the Chrome extensions and features you like and use.  It's a good product.


Tor Browser

By now I think Tor is pretty popular among advanced computer users.  It's a nice package that lets you surf the web through proxies all over the world.  The Tor Browser Bundle comes with everything you need to get started, including Firefox as the default browser.  After installing you run it and Firefox starts with Tor enabled, and you go about your business.  You won't be able to view videos and some JavaScript functionality won't work like you're used to, but that's the price you pay for higher privacy.


ChrisPC Free Anonymous Proxy

ChrisPC Free Anonymous Proxy is similar to Tor but it's slightly more user-friendly.  You install it and it configures your current browser(s) to tunnel their traffic through its proxy connection.  What I do is use this with my regular Firefox installation for anonymous browsing that doesn't require logging in anywhere - doing research online, or reading something.  For other tasks like banking and tasks that require logging in, I just use my SRWare Iron browser (or Maxthon, which I also like).