Tor software is quite popular among Internet users who want to maintain privacy and a degree of anonymity. But the project has come under fire from law enforcement throughout 2016, and some people have been looking for alternative solutions. As it turns out, there are some projects that can compete with Tor, even though may not always offer the same user experience.
The name IprediaOS may not ring a bell for most people, and that is only normal. This unknown operating system is based on Linux and offers users a full suite of anonymity tools. Among its toolkit is an anonymous IRC client, an anonymous email client, and users can browse the Internet while remaining anonymous. Moreover, all online traffic is fully encrypted, making sure no information is leaked. Switching to a whole different operating system may not be the primary choice for a lot of Tor users, though.
#5 Tox (Albeit In Limited Fashion)
On the surface, Tox has a lot of potential, even though it is not a replacement for Tor in the traditional meaning of the word. Tox offers encrypted private messaging services, including video conferencing and calls. On the user-friendliness level, there are still some kinks to work out, though. That said, Tox is a valuable tool to use alongside Tor.
#4 JonDo Combines Tor With Other Tools
The JonDo Live-DVD acts as a full-fledged Debian Linux-based operating system that does not need to be installed on a hard drive. The developers of this project have packed together some powerful tools including the Tor browser, Thunderbird, and a lot of other pre-configured applications that allow users to maintain privacy. Unfortunately, this solution is no longer being developed, although users can still download the file and tweak it to suit their own needs.
Privacy advocates will be familiar with the name Freepto, as it is a commonly used privacy tool. All it takes is a USB drive to install the software on. Similar to the Tor browser, it runs on Linux, and encrypts and saves all data on the USB drive. Many activists swear by this tool and deem it a worthy alternative to Tor.
#2 Tor Over VPN
Another way to use Tor is over VPN. You can choose a VPN service provider and purchase a subscription to their site. Then, you configure your tor browser to run through the same port as the VPN. What this allows you to do is to hide your TOR traffic from your ISP. In return the VPN will have access to your Tor traffic so there is a trade off. Some say that using VPN over Tor is less secure than not using it because if you don’t choose a reputable service provider they may spy on your traffic. Even though Tor traffic is encrypted there are ways (possibly through DNS servers) to deanonymize some traffic.
#1 Tor Bridges
The less third party services you use the more secure your tor usage will be. If you are paranoid about your ISP spying on your Tor traffic try using Tor Bridges to obfuscate your traffic. Essentially Tor Bridges are unlisted nodes on the network. The way ISPs track your Tor usage is by checking if your browser connects to any of the listed Tor nodes. If it finds a match then that is a confirmation that you are using the Tor network.
It’s really easy to setup Tor bridges, you simply go to the configurations of your vanilla Tor browser and select Yes when it asks you if your ISP blocks Tor traffic. Select the default option next and your Tor traffic will be routed through the unlisted bridges. Remember, this isn’t a foolproof way to hide your Tor traffic, but it is super easy and the tradeoff is very minimal. The only trade-off for using Tor bridges is that your webpages will load slightsly slower, other than that there is no difference.
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