TOR on steroids: TAILS an OS that let you use the Internet anonymously


Everybody had heard of Tor Project for Anonymity Online, or, at least the ones who want to protect their anonymity and privacy on digital space. So if you take care of your anonymity and want to be able to protect anywhere you go, TAILS is your answer.

So what is TAILS actually? It is Free Software and based on Debian GNU/Linux.

We can call it Tor on steroids, which actually it is: an live OS (Operating System) that you can start on almost any computer from a DVD ( who actually still use DVD for live OS these days ?), USB stick, or SD card, that force all connections to the Internet to go through the Tor network.

TAILS represents Theamnesicincognitolivesystem

It promises to:

  • leave no trace on the computer you are using (as host) unless you explicitly want;
  • circumvent censorship;
  • make use of state-of-the-art cryptographic tools to encrypt your files, emails and instant messaging.

TAILS - The Amnesic Incognito LiveSystem

If you use Yahoo mail service probably it won't do much for you. I would recomend you at least an Gmail account if not Protonmail services. Also do keep in mind that using cloud services like Dropbox, G-Suite, OneDrive, AWS while working with TAILS you compromise your anonymity a bit.

Tails relies on the Tor anonymity network to protect your privacy online: 

  • all software is configured to connect to the Internet through Tor
  • if an application tries to connect to the Internet directly, the connection is automatically blocked for security.

For those who don't know Tor is an open and distributed network that helps defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security.

How is Tor protecting you: by bouncing your communications around a network of relays run by volunteers all around the world, in plain words, it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location.

Using Tor you can: be anonymous online by hiding your location, connect to services that would be censored otherwise, resist attacks that block the usage of Tor using circumvention tools such as bridges.

You can download from here (the small green link - download only ) or use the step by step installation guide using the big link with "Let's START THE JOURNEY!' written on it.

Use anywhere but leave no trace

Using Tails on a computer doesn't alter or depend on the operating system installed on it. So, you can use it in the same way on your computer, a friend's computer, or one at your local library. After shutting down Tails, the computer will start again with its usual operating system.

Tails is configured with special care to not use the computer's hard-disks, even if there is some swap space on them. The only storage space used by Tails is in RAM, which is automatically erased when the computer shuts down. So, you won't leave any trace on the computer either of the Tails system itself or what you used it for. That's why it is called "amnesic".

This allows you to work with sensitive documents on any computer and protects you from data recovery after shutdown. Of course, you can still explicitly save specific documents to another USB stick or external hard-disk and take them away for future use.

State-of-the-art cryptographic tools

Tails also comes with a selection of tools to protect your data using strong encryption:

  • Encrypt your USB sticks or external hard-disks using LUKS, the Linux standard for disk-encryption.
  • Automatically use HTTPS to encrypt all your communications to a number of major websites using HTTPS Everywhere, a Firefox extension developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
  • Encrypt and sign your emails and documents using the de facto standard OpenPGP either from Tails email client, text editor or file browser.
  • Protect your instant messaging conversations using OTR, a cryptographic tool that provides encryption, authentication and deniability.
  • Securely delete your files and clean your diskspace using Nautilus Wipe.

TAILS is by no means a perfect tool for anonymity and it has some flaws as you probably know there is no magic or perfect solution to such a complex problem.

To understand the limitations of TAILS please visit the WARNING page here ....

Enjoy safe surfing on internet and comment here.


Featured Photo: Simon Abrams

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