Came across TOR last night – browser to Browse Privately Explore Freely – and it went great on USB under WIN10, but after spending much of today trying to get it on Ubuntu, Mint and Puppy I finally gave up. I tested it on the USB in WIN10 and the test site (this blog) didn’t register the ‘Hit’ (I use Chrome for this blog and Firefox for another blog) tho checking this blog from Firefox leaves a ‘Hit’.

Was about to give up on getting it to work w/ Linux, and started searching for another privacy method – this time I added “anonymous” to my search which led to: “How to Stay Anonymous Online” … and that led to “Tails: The Amnesic Incognito Live System” and the Tails Home page.

It’s 1.2 GB download, so I’ll wait til early tomorrow morning to download (Hughes.net gives an extra 50 GB’s between 2:00AM-8:00AM). It’s a full Linux Debian based OS that uses the TOR browser. It also offers a 1.2 GB Windows download, but I’m not sure how that works. I’ll do the Linux Tail first and see how I like it. It will set up a ‘Live’ USB stick, but I don’t know if that ‘Live’ USB stick will work across all four of my computers (two are Windows mainly) yet … should since it is it’s own OS on a ‘Live’ USB.

OK .. Day 2 of the Tails ‘n TOR testing .. I think?!?! Got Tails downloaded onto USB and working, tho it doesn’t seem to save settings like ‘Live’ Puppy does. Puppy has been able to save settings on CD/DVD (+RW ones) ever since I started using it, and USB’s at some point. No one else could do it like Puppy for a long time, and Tails isn’t saving *ALL* settings either, so far. Heck, I haven’t even been able to get Tails’ TOR browser to import bookmarks yet. Did manage to finally change Time Zone – required adding a setting at the “Welcome to Tails!” startup window under “Additional Settings” – i.e. adding Administrator password. One thing I don’t like about Linux (other than Puppy) is the required password – tho under the Tails USB installing it never asked for password, so I couldn’t change Time Zone w/o a password … ??!!?!?!!?? Erased the USB and reinstalled, and then found the “+” button under “Additional Settings.” Still wasn’t able to import bookmarks, thusly its going to take more time to learn how to use Tails. It does save a “Persistent” (SP?) folder, but mouse settings need reset, etc when Tails is started again.

If Tails requires much more time, I may just scrap testing it anymore, since I did try another install of the TOR browser under Ubuntu (I must’ve done something wrong yesterday) and it installed easily today, and works better than the WIN10 USB version did. I had downloaded the Windows and Linux TOR versions to a USB, and installed it there. Anyway, today I downloaded the Linux version to Ubuntu, and just installed it there. After seeing how great it worked there, I did it with WIN10 also, and it works much better on the SSD instead of USB.

Under the new WIN10 TOR installation – did location/ip searches & they showed Vienna, Austria and later somewhere in the Netherlands. Bookmarks like Google & Yahoo have been showing different foreign languages, e.g. one sorta looked German (?!) and another maybe French (guessing again??). Seems to be hiding/changing both my IP address and location, for whatever that is worth; i.e. can’t use my password sites w/o exposing me, so my Blogs have to be done on either Chrome or Firefox, then there’s banking, shopping, Fantasy Football, email, etc that all require passwords. Heck, was even warned when I “Maximized” my TOR browser – gave me a warning that sites can then tell what size my monitor is and possibly use that to locate me .. er, OK?!

Day 3 of the Tails ‘n TOR testing … Well, I’m giving up on Tails … it doesn’t save settings and I can’t even get my bookmarks imported to it. Probably doing something wrong – maybe. Its been around for awhile, e.g. a 3 Jul 2014 article –  “Use Tor or ‘extremist’ Tails Linux? Congrats, you’re on an NSA list” – so it must work for some, e.g. Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, and Barton Gellman have each said that Tails was an important tool they used in their work with National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, but not for me.

TOR browser is handling my ‘privacy’ needs right now – in both Linux OSes and WIN10, and I’m not sure what those ‘needs‘ actually are – WINK!