anonymous services and tools


operating system:

linux:

before anything: DO NOT USE THE SNAP STORE/FLATPAK TO INSTALL PACKAGES. especially the Snap Store. it's a closed-source (spyware) package/software manager made by Canonical and being pushed on Ubuntu as a replacement to APT (Debian's package manager). some APT packages in the Ubuntu repos require snap as a dependency but also run snap commands as root without your knowledge. even worse, Ubuntu will prioritize snap applications over .deb files, to the point where it will search for the software on the snap store and install it instead of the deb file. this, plus it containing outdated or not working software. and the fact that some packages can only be downloaded on it (like Firefox or Chromium). this is criminal. flatpak is not as worse as the snap store, but still a big pile of shit. if you can, prioritize APT (this, dpkg .deb packages or AppImages) over those two. if software is only available on those two, it's probably shit.

here's a list of good linux distros (with or without systemd):

internet browser:

browser addons:

other privacy addons not listed here (AdBlock, Privacy Badger, Ghostery, LibreJS...) are either bad or useless and shouldn't be used.

search engine:
either use SearXNG or LibreX. SearXNG is a frontend for many search engines like Google, DuckDuckGo, etc. and LibreX is a Google frontend. both have public instances; see here for SearXNG and here for LibreX.

password manager:
there's only one good answer to this question, and it is KeePassXC. basically it's KeePass but better, with browser integration and it doesn't leak your passwords in clear in systemd's journalctl ;). for Android, use KeePassDX, it's compatible with KeePassXC databases. ALL ONLINE PASSWORD MANAGERS ARE ABSOLUTE TRASH. if your passwords aren't stored on YOUR hard drive, then they aren't yours. don't use your browser integrated password manager.

vpn:
remember that VPNs do not provide anonymity like Tor or I2P would. but they're recommended if you torrent stuff on public trackers like 1337X or RARBG.
if you really want a good "anonymous" VPN, buy a VPS and setup WireGuard (better and faster than OpenVPN) on it. you can buy a VPS for 5 bucks a month on Hetzner, or if you want a privacy-respecting server provider: NiceVPS or Privex. no public solution is good. if you download or seed torrents from public trackers, activating your VPN killswitch is obligatory, because in the case the VPN tunnel fails, it will instantly disconnect your internet (and remove you from the swarm) thus making sure your actual IP doesn't appear clearly for a few seconds.

email service:
emails aren't recommended for privacy, but if you need one: host it yourself. there is no good (free or paid) public/private email service. not even "privacy-oriented" ones like riseup, disroot, cock.li (meme), etc. remember that this isn't easy and can be a mess to troubleshoot. buy a vps using the links above, and setup a mail server using Luke Smith's emailwiz (or whatever self-hosting mail software you want like mailcow or Mail-in-a-Box). always use strong end-to-end encryption.

email client:
if you want a GUI, use Claws Mail, otherwise use Neomutt. they are the only good choices as they don't send telemetry like Thunderbird would, and are the only two mail clients that weren't vulnerable to the EFAIL vulnerability (see this paper). for Android, use K9-Mail (if you're using an encrypted mailbox, you'll also need OpenKeychain).

code editors:
for Visual Studio Code users, replace it with VSCodium. this is a build of VSCode's open-source base with telemetry and closed-source extensions removed by default. a good VSCode alternative is Lite XL, it's made in C instead of JS and TypeScript. Sublime Text is freeware but will harass you sometimes when you save a file to reminder you to buy a (useless) license. other graphical code editors include Atom (now deprecated), Brackets, Gedit, and Kate. for terminal code editors, if you want a modal one, use classic vi, Vim, Neovim, or Vis, if not, use Nano. if you want Emacs, download GNU Emacs, and either use classic Emacs, or with custom configs, like Spacemacs (recommended), or Doom Emacs (doesn't support the latest version of Emacs, and requires a replacement of grep made in the shittiest language ever (Rust) because muh faster!!!). see this page for more resources about emacs. all commercial IDEs and code editors (Visual Studio, JetBrains, Eclipse...) shouldn't be used.