Recommended desktop software

A list of software I use regularly, will keep adding to it as I find more. I try to use Open Source software where possible

Operating systems:

Mac OS

My primary operating system right now, dual booted with a cracked customised copy of Windows 10 for some situations.

Linx Mint

A variation of Ubuntu, with a few extras to make life easier. Recommend this as primary operating system for non-Mac users, dual booted with Windows 10.


Don't use Windows, but if you must, I recommend running this and this software that changes some setting

For installing software, use this tool.

I prefer to use 'custom' versions of Windows 10, that have been cracked and had lots of the unnecessary crap removed. Search for 'TeamOS' or ask me.


The most secure and private operating system available, but a bit extreme for most users. It runs from a USB stick, and runs all traffic through the Tor network. Leaves no trace of activity on the USB or computer that used it.

You could use this on an untrusted machine, over an untrusted network, securely. The only vulnerability is physical key loggers.


I2P (Linux/Mac/Windows)

Run this software to be able to access .i2p websites, and to contribute to the I2P network. The best use of this software is for securely and privately downloading pirated content (movies, music etc).

IPFS (Linux/Mac/Windows)

Software (package) manager:

Homebrew (Mac)

This allows you to download and update applications just using the Terminal (command line). So cool. Linux users have this built in to already. Windows users could try Chocolatey (not used it myself)


qbittorent (Linux/Mac/Windows)

An open source, and lightweight, torrent client.

SoulSeek (Linux/Mac/Windows)

The best way to download music.

Jdownloader (Linux/Mac/Windows)

A great download manager that can bypass Capchas, pause and resume etc.

SABnzbd (Linux/Mac/Windows)

A simple Usenet client.


Exodus (Linux/Mac/Windows)

A cryptocurrency wallet that supports most coins. It's not open source, but is super easy to use and you are less likely to lose your cash (it does backups etc). Put it on your phone too. Very beginner friendly, but misses some advanced features, such as setting transaction fees.

It has a built in exchange, for which they charge a small fee (this is how they fund the project).

Excellent for beginners and storing lots of different currencies/coins. But because it is closed source I wouldn't recommend storing serious amounts. If your major currency is Bitcoin, but you have a portfolio of lesser amounts of altcoins, a good strategy is to keep altcoins here, and use Bitcoin dedicated wallets (such as Wasabi/Samourai) for Bitcoin - as this will allow you to set transaction fees and offers more security.

Atomic (Linux/Mac/Windows)

Another cryptocurrency wallet that supports most coins. It's not open source, but is very usable. Not as good as Exodus, but the benefit of this wallet is that it allows for better control of staking/baking some currencies (Tezos, Tron etc).

Wasabi (onion address) (Linux/Mac/Windows)

For advanced users: Wasabi is an open-source, non-custodial, privacy-focused Bitcoin only wallet, that implements trustless coin shuffling with mathematically provable anonymity. Desktops only. Might get falsely flagged as a virus by some scanners.

Bisq (Linux/Mac/Windows)

For advanced users: A P2P exchange for Bitcoin.


StandardNotes (Linux/Mac/Windows)

One of the most secure and privacy respecting note applications available.

7zip (Windows)

Unzips whatever you throw at it. Can also encrypt files.

CutePDF (Windows)

Installs as a 'printer', that if you use, will save the file as a PDF.

SumatraPDF (Windows)

A simple PDF viewer.

Revo (Windows)

Use this to uninstall software fully (leaves no shit behind)

Duplicati (Linux/Mac/Windows)

Allows you to perform incremental backups to external storage and various online places (Onedrive, WebDAV, FTP etc). Optionally you can (and should!) encrypt the files.

Coconut Battery (Mac)

Gives you the deets on your battery life


Signal (Linux/Mac/Windows)

The most secure means of communication available. Works with your mobile application (like WhatsApp web). Useful also to send notes to yourself (e.g. sharing stuff between mobile and laptop)

ElectronMail (Linux/Mac/Windows)

A secure and convenient way to access ProtonMail. It's unofficial, but open source.

Tutanota (Linux/Mac/Windows)

Another privacy respecting email provider I use, and they have a desktop application to access mail.

Franz (Linux/Mac/Windows)

This Open Source application allows you to access various services (such as Gmail, Skype, WhatsApp) all in one application. It is essentially just a wrapper for the website of each. Some people prefer Rambox or Station, but I find this one works better.

Keybase (Linux/Mac/Windows)

This application deals with secure messaging, storage and verifying identiy and ownership of online stuff - all in one.

UPDATE: this has been bought by Zoom now... so will probably remove this recommendation. Likely Zoom will just let this project stagnate....


Popcorntime (Linux/Mac/Windows)

Like Netflix, but free. It is based on torrents, so if you are in a country that prosecutes piracy, you absolutely need to use a VPN.

VLC (Linux/Mac/Windows)

Plays almost every kind of video you can throw at it.

Kodi (Linux/Mac/Windows)

A media library player. It connects to my seedbox, so can directly watch movies and shows without downloading. Ask me details and I'll share it with you.

Freetube (Linux/Mac/Windows)

A better way to access YouTube. Free of annoying ads, and you can subscribe to channels without revealing your identity to Google.

Web browsers:

Tor browser (Linux/Mac/Windows)

An advanced browser that uses 'onion routing' to obscure your web traffic. You can also use this to access .onion sites (AKA the dark web).

Of course, this only protects your web browsing. Other applications will be unprotected - so if you use torrents you still need a VPN.

Firefox (Linux/Mac/Windows)

A great browser with a few privacy setting built in, made even better with the right addons.

Brave (Linux/Mac/Windows)

Based on Chrome, but with Google stripped out, hardended with inbuilt Adblocker. Also has builtin cryptocurrency function, which seeks to replace the way advertising online works - this is optional but I recommend you set it up (called Brave Rewards).

It also allows access to the Tor network (via Tor tabs), including .onion hidden sites.

You can still use addons that you would on Chome, via the store available here.

Security and Privacy:

Authy (Linux/Mac/Windows)

My recommended 2FA application. Also put it on your phone, the more accessible it is to you the better.

Whonix (Linux/Mac/Windows)

An entire Operating System, that runs through a Virtual Machine on your computer. All network traffic goes through the Tor network. It is an extremely secure and private way to access the internet - but does not protect you if your computer itself is compromised with keyloggers etc. (I'm looking at you Windows!).

Java Anon Proxy (Linux/Mac/Windows)

Running this software will allow you to use an onion routed network, similiar to Tor. You need to make some changes to the settings in your browser to tell it to use this network.

VeraCrypt (Linux/Mac/Windows)

Create encrypted volumes on your computer or other storage (USB). Not recommended for volumes to be stored online.

Cryptomator (Linux/Mac/Windows)

A great tool to make encrypted volumes, and works very well with untrusted online storage services such as Dropbox, making them secure and private to use.

Cyberduck (Mac)

A great way to access your online storages places, and even has cryptomator built in.

Little Snitch (Mac)

Paid. Lets you know, and allow/block any connections applications try to make to the internet. You could use LuLu, similiar, for free (see next item).

ALL software by Objective See (Mac)

A great collection of security software for Macs. The developer is very active in security space.

GPG tools (Mac)

Allows for encrypting, decrypting, and signing of files and emails.

ClamXav (Mac)

You probably don't need an Anti Virus scanner if you run Mac, but if you want to this is the best option. Lightweight and based on an open source project.

Microsoft Essentials (Windows)

Don't use windows, as it is inherently insecure, but if you must, use this anti virus.

Bleachbit (Windows)

A great way to clean up your Windows computer. Open source.

Wireguard (Linux/Mac/Windows)

The best VPN software. Connects instantly and very light. Not all VPN providers work with Wireguard yet though.... so see below for alternatives

A VPN of your choice (Linux/Mac/Windows)

A VPN is necessary.

If you want it for Netflix, I recommend NordVPN, as they guarentee access.

If you want a good free one, use ProtonVPN, of course it works faster if you pay.

Tunnelbear also offer a (limited) free service, but don't support Torrent traffic.

Another good choice is Mullvad, you don't make any account with them and they accept Bitcoin.

You can either use the software offered by each of the companies, or you can use Tunnelblick (Mac only) or Wiregaurd and set it up to work with servers provided by the VPN company (advanced)

Some VPNs offer port forwarding, which allows for better filesharing. It's better than messing around with your router, but this need another guide...


Privacy vs Security

The two aspects are related... but there is a difference. An example of this is your Google data: 

The chances of hackers breaching Googles servers (computers) to access your data is very small. Google also has some top security engineers, and some anti-hacking features, such as your phone pinging you whenever you try to log in.

The chances of Google sharing your data to 3rd parties, the US government or an employee even reading your emails is very high (there are documented cases of this happening...).

So we could say that Google is secure, but not private.

This guide deals with Security only.

Securing your accounts

The best way to secure your accounts (Google, Amazon, eBay, Facebook etc.) is with a strong password, and Two Factor Autentication (2FA). 


The best way to achieve a strong password is to use a password manager, if you don't use one already I can recommend Bitwarden - it's one of the few that are Open Source. This will allow you to have a unique password for every account, this is essential, because if Facebook ever get hacked - then the hackers will also get access to your Google, Amazon and eBay accounts

You can let your password manager generate these unique passwords for you, which is fine. But you need to 1) ensure you will remember the password to your password manager and 2) ensure you back up the data from your password manager somewhere else, in case you DO forget your password OR the password manager somehow fails you. 

When it comes to backing up the data in your password manager, you should export it, unecrypted, to an encrypted storage of your choice (more on this later).

Bonus for the obsessive: Another way to generate unique passwords is to use some kind of algorithm to do so. For this, I recommend masterpassword, an offline 'calculator' that generates strong passwords. This way, you will still be able to find your passwords if you ever lose access to your password manager. Some aruge this introduces an insecurity, but I argue that the risk of you losing access to your password manager is greater than the risk of a hacker reverse engineering the algorithm of masterpassword.

Bonus for the most zealous: Use KeePassX to store all your passwords securely offline. Some would argue this is the most secure, as it doesn't touch the internet. Just don't come to me if you lose them!


Your password is only 1 factor of authentication. That means 1 piece of information to get into your account - your password. It is better to add a second factor of authentication, hence 2FA. This means that even if a hacker gets your passwords, your accounts are still secure.

That second factor can be, in increasing preference:

1) A text message with a code sent to your phone (annoying and proven to be hackable, but better than nothing by far). Remove this option if you can use one of the others below.

2) A code generated on an app on your phone (such as Authy)

3) A hardware key (like YubiKey)

The best option, is to have multiple - in case you lose your 2) phone or 3) your hardware key

For option 2 - I strongly recommend an application called Authy. It allows you to use multiple devices as your 2FA, and backs itself up. You can set it up on all of your phones, laptops, and tablets - and I recommend that you do. This makes it very unlikely you would lose access, and makes it more convenient. 

Some argue that this is not secure, again I argue that you are more likely to screw yourself over by losing your phone, than a hacker breaking into AND cracking Authy servers. However even IF authy was breached... the hacker would only have 1 factor of authentication (i.e. they still need your passwords!).

However, I also recommend getting a hardware key - the most common of which is Yubikey. This is like a USB stick with a unique code inside that acts as your 2FA. Basically you go to each website, and put in your Yubikey, then that website recognises the unique code in the Yubikey as you and accepts it as a 2FA method. Your Yubikey is useless to anyone else, as they still need your passwords. If you lose your Yubikey it is very unlikely anyone finding it would know it is yours anyhow.. no personal information is stored on Yubikeys (unless you program it to).

You can use, and I recommend you do, more than 1 Yubikey (as a backup), or other hardware key. 

You can also, and I recommend you do, use BOTH the Yubikey AND Authy.

To add 2FA, look inside 'accounts' or 'security' section of the website - you can usually add several 2FA methods.

This way, you can use either one of your Yubikeys OR Authy on one of your devices to login.

Securing your data

The way to secure your data is to use encryption.

Offline data: phone/tablet

Almost all phones (Android and iPhone) use full disk encryption by default. This means that anyone with physical access to your phone shouldn't be able to access your data, without your password. If you have sensitive data on your phone, don't use face or fingerprint to unlock. You can easily be forced to unlock with these.

Offline data: laptop

Macbooks have FileVault (full disk encryption) enabled by default. Easy. Choose a strong password and you are done.

Linux users can easily set their computer to use full disk encryption, but it is option (opt-in).

Windows users are the most at risk. There is some Microsoft encryption on SOME versions of Windows called BitLocker. It's better to use more proven, Open Source, software.

Even with full disk encryption, it is better to store all your personal data in an encrypted volume(s). If you are not sure if some data is personal, encrypt it. As a minimum I would encrypt stuff like scans of passports, or other documents, backups from your password manager, backups of notes, etc. 

For offline data, the best choice is VeraCrypt or Cryptomator. If you use Macs, and use them exclusively, look into making SparseBundles - as you don't need any additional tools - however Sparsebundles can ONLY be opened on Macs.

VeraCrypt makes an 'encrypted volume', basically its like a virtual USB stick where you can add your files. You need to choose a good password for this, better is a passphrase. The reason for this is that VeraCrypt is totally offline, so if someone got hold of it they could try to get inside as many times as they want - or run a script that tries 1000 passwords a minute until it works.

Veracrypt has some advanced features. You can make hidden volumes, or set it to need a password PLUS a 'passfile' to get inside. 

Offline data: USB sticks and USB hardrives

Same principle. Put encrypted volumes on here with VeraCrypt or Cryptomator. Mac users have option to format drives and add encryption.

Online data

Online data refers to data that you either store exclusively online, or data that you store locally and 'sync' to the cloud.

This data is VERY vulnerable. Essentially your data is sitting on someone elses computer. Even if the online service of you choice promise to look after your data, you probably have to trust them.

The best way to protect this data is to encrypt it yourself first - for this, use Cryptomator.

This way, you encrypt the data yourself, and sync/send the data online. To anyone else, the data is completely unusable. Of course, choose a strong password - or better yet a passphrase.

The difference between VeraCrypt and Cryptomator? Cryptomator is better at working with online storage, because the way it splits the 'encrypted volume' into chunks means that if you add a few files to a volume, it is only a small change. With VeraCrypt - if you add one document to a 5GB volume - ALL of that 5GB volume has changed... this will mean that if you sync with Google the whole thing has to reupload... Note: for Mac users, sparsebundles ALSO do the chunk thing same as Cryptomator.

Once encrypted, your data can sit online and you don't need to worry (until quantum computers is a thing...) - just please use a unique strong PASSPHRASE.

Why use Veracrypt at all then? As we said it has some unique features. I prefer it for storing data offline (such as USB sticks).

My recommendation? Use BOTH cryptomator AND Veracrypt. Keep Cryptomator volume on your computer, synced online (dropbox, Google backup and sync, etc) AND occassionally back up the data inside Cryptomator to a Veracrypt volume on as USB stick you keep safe somewhere. If you lose your computer, you have an ecrypted volume backed up online. If you also lose access to your online stuff, or somehow lose your password or otherwise screw up Cryptomator, you have a back up on a USB stick and can access from any computer with VeraCrypt installed. If it doesn't exist in two places - it doesn't exist at all.

Bonus section: alternatives and advanced tips

Many password managers also allow you to put individual files in their locker. Not a bad option.

If you deal with online storage a lot, check out CyberDuck. It has Cryptomator build into it! This way you can store data online directly and keep it encrypted.

Nord, of VPN fame, have recently release NordLocker. Its very similiar to Cryptomator - but is new, untested, and closed source. I would not trust/rely on this too much.

To encrypt individual files, you can just use 7zip. It uses AES-256 which is fine. This is a good option for sending files to people, but is not good for your own data as when it unzips it makes an unecrypted copy on your computer.

If you subscribe to pro version of Standard Notes (and I recommend you do!) you can add encrypted files to notes AND you can use it to for 2FA, similiar to Authy.

If you do get a Yubikey, you can program the button as a keyboard to enter a string of long text. Why is this useful? You can add it to passwords to unlock your laptop, or applications inside your laptop for super strong effect. E.g. you set the Yubikey to type 'fishcycletothemoon', then you set your latop password to 'password1fishcycletothemoon' and you set Firefox to 'password2fishcycletothemoon' etc.

If you are REALLY advanced, you can use PGP to encrypt data too... this basically secures your data with a KEY (not a password)... but if you know PGP you probably don't need my help ;)


Search the internet like a ninja with DuckDuckGo bangs!

duckduckgo might just be my favourite search engine... because you can search almost everything!

It has a very powerful feature called bangs!

I recommend you set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine. This enables you to directly search many websites or search engines directly from your address bar.

(You can also get the 'duckduckgo' app for your phone, and these will work there too.)

For example, if you want to find cat videos on YouTube; instead of typing into your address bar, loading the front page of youtube (with all its adverts etc) then typing your query 'funny cats' into the search bar on Youtube.... blah blah... so many steps.

Instead, you simply type this into your address bar:

!yt funny cats

There are over 13,000 of these 'bangs!', for many different websites. Yes, it takes a little getting used to, but you will save A LOT of time over years.

Here are a few choice samples. I try to avoid the obvious ones, with huge privacy concerns, and offer good alternatives depending on the type of search you are gonna do.

I put the ones I use most often in bold.

(You can find more at:

General searches (aka metasearch engines):

While you could just use DDG directly, you can also search using other engines using bangs. There are many different search engines out there in the wild, but most use the same 2 or 3 'crawlers/indexers' made by the big players (Google/Bing etc.). Alternatives exist, and different engines can give different results (and muddies your footprints) so try to mix your usage.

Escape the filter bubble!

If you don't use a !bang you just get DuckDuckGo results. The results are from Bing, but with strong privacy.
!spGoogle results, but through StartPage engine. Same results, better (but not complete) privacy. Don't rely on this alone, as Google censor/prioritise results. It also has a unique feature called 'anonymous view' to allow you to open a search result through their proxy, protecting your IP from the website you visit.
!qwQwant. It has it's own indexes/webcrawler so you will get unique results.
!mojeek  Stupid name, but has its own index. You will get unique results not found in other engines.
!swisscowsResults from Bing (same as DuckDuckGo) but has a unique way of showing results
!sptioSearX engine, an open source project. It combines a few different search engines into one. Has a good 'files' section for torrents.
!gibGibiru. Stupid name. Claims to be completely uncensored, so good luck out there and avoid risky clicks.
!yan Yandex. One of the few sites with its own (huge) index, and a good one at that. Also it won't be subject to same restrictions the USA put on Google and Bing results.

WARNING: Subject to dragnet survelience by Russian Intelligence - probably not a concern (if you are not Russian) but use a VPN/Proxy, control your cookies, and don't sign in to Yandex account.
!gigaGigablast. Old, ugly and way behind the competition. Only mentioned here as its one of the few site with its own (small) index, which makes it awesome.
!pkPeekier. Shows previews of all results as tiled webpages.

Specialist searches:

!iimage search by duckduckgo, same results as Bing, which are better than Google but with no tracking
!i sunset
!maps (or !m)google maps.

you WILL be tracked by Google, but have to admit that Google still has the best map and directions result for now...
!maps amuda to erbil

!maps macdonalds moscow
Search Invidious (a privacy focussed front-end of Youtube). If you insist on actual youtube, you can use !yt instead.
!w wikipedia
!twsearches twitter
!qwnOne of many news !bangs. Qwant are impartial, so can be trusted not to censor.!qwn


!wawolfram alpha. a very powerful calculator that understands natural langauge.!wa solve 8x + 6 = 15x -8

!wa days until 31 December 2020
!owm Open Weather Map. There are plenty of weather related !bangs, this one seems good.!owm kathmandu
!u urban dictionary.
!mc metacritic, for aggregated reviews of films/shows/games... etc!mc the walking dead
!rreddit, searches all of
rotten tomatoes!rt mr robot
!imdb Internet Movie Database 
!t thesaurus
!asearches amazon. also variations of this exist, for your national store (e.g. !auk search
!ebaysearches amazon. also variations of this exist, for your national store (e.g. !ebayuk search
search for more bangs! e.g. !band news to list all bangs! that related to news sources

!bang news

Web browsers and Addons / Extensions

In general, it's better to limit the number of addons/extensions as each one is another risk (e.g. if the developer goes rogue or abandons the project). Also, some can be detected by websites you visit, making you stand out from the crowd and more 'unique' and therefore less anonymous (you can test your fingerprint here). This is one reason the Tor browser people recommend to not add anything to Tor browser, as some people living in oppressive regimes literally have to trust it with their lives. 

Don't let that put you off, if your biggest concern is to avoid dragnet surveillance and tracking by corporations then most of the below will help you here. Just regularly check and clear out addons you are not actually using. 

There are two main 'types' of browser out there now, for simplicity, let's call them Firefox-based and Chrome-based. Each has their own addon/extension store, but most of the addons/extensions are available on both stores.

While you can just choose your flavour and stick to it, I recommend to use one of each. Keep one browser only for places you have to login to (Facebook, Amazon etc), and a second one where you don't (e.g. researching, checking news, wikipedia etc). Let's call this your login browser, and your search browser

There are two reasons for using a separate browsers: If, while searching for something, you come across a malicious site - the damage will be far less if it happens on a browser where you are not logged into anything (i.e. you don't have cookies with your data in that browser). Second, the places you are logged into can do what is known as 'cross site tracking' - which basically means in some cases being logged into Facebook/Google in your browser might allow Facebook/Google to know what other sites you visit in that browser. Using the right browser addons and settings should prevent this. Using a second browser makes it impossible.

The two browsers I recommend are Firefox, and Brave (Chrome-based, so use the Chrome store for extensions). I use them like this:

Login browser - Firefox: 'Firefox containers', where you can set a unique container for each major site (e.g. one for Facebook, another for Google), makes Firefox the perfect login browser. It also has a robust password manager, if you don't want to use a third party one. These browsers, unlike Brave/Chrome, also allow you to set a 'master password', again another reason to use this for places you stay logged in. If someone gains access to your computer, this is another step they have to bypass...

Search browser - Brave or Tor browser:
 Brave, with its option to use the Tor network, and privacy by default settings, makes it the perfect browser search browser. Tor browser itself is stronger, but I prefer the usability of Brave.

However both Firefox and Brave are solid browsers and either would make fine primary browsers.

No reason to stop at just two browsers.... I use Safari only for banking and booking flights, and Waterfox just for some particular addons I need sometimes but don't particularly trust - experiment with what works for you.

For ALL browsers

uBlock Origin

The only adblocker you should use. 

(Not needed for Brave, which has it's own adblocker built in)

Privacy badger

Intelligently stops tracking between sites. Not an ad blocker, so can be used in conjunction with one.

HTTPS everywhere

Ensures your connection to the site you are visiting is encrypted.

(Not needed for Brave, which has this built in)

I don't care about cookies (Brave)

Blocks those annoying popups asking about cookies. It just accepts them. Use only if you either set your browser to permanent 'private window mode' or you use an addon to delete cookies (see below)

UPDATE: better to use this, to deny them in the first place (it's not yet open source though)?

Cookie AutoDelete (Brave)

Delete cookies, unless its a site you care about staying logged into - in which case you whitelist them (works with Firefox containers too, so each container has its own rules)

(not needed if you set your browser to always open in private mode)

History Cleaner / History AutoDelete (Brave)

I won't ever need to remember which websites I visited more than a week ago, and data is a toxic asset, so may as well clear the history.

Behind the Overlay Revival

A kind of popup blocker.

Neat URL (Firefox or Brave)

Strips URLs (web addresses) of all the crap typically used to track you. Essential to do this if you share links.

Privacy Pass (Brave)

Prevents those annoying 'click all the traffic light' verification tests.

Terms of Service; Didn't Read (Brave)

Doesn't actually do anything. But warns you how shady the TOS of the website you are on is.

Decentraleyes (Brave)

Hard to explain what this does... but recommended by many who know their stuff.

Dark Reader (Brave)

The only non purely functional addon I use. Open source and approved by Mozilla (who make Firefox) so should be fine to add. Makes websites kinder on your eyes.

For login browser (Firefox)

In addition to those listed at the beginning 'For ALL browsers', I recommend the following for browsers where you login to websites:

Firefox Multi-Account Containers / Facebook Container

Makes containers for websites, to prevent you being tracked by them across tabs (e.g. you signed into Facebook ONLY it its container, so the 'LIKE' buttons you see everywhere won't link back to your facebook account. This is under-rated.)

Bloody Vikings

A very easy way to make single use anonymous temporary email addresses. Only available for Firefox-based browsers.

Bitwarden (or other password manager)

An addon for my choice of password manager. It generally better not to rely on the one built into your browser, as you are locking yourself into them and can be a nightmare to export/import them all later... 

N.B: The optimum, but inconvenient, solution is not to store passwords anywhere near a browser as they are inherently insecure environments... better to just copy/paste them from an offline encrypted database such as KeePass. But you should be fine if you don't use out-of-date Windows versions or obscure outdated browsers. 

Blur/Burner Emails/

Useful for when you need to give an email address... these services generate a site specific email that forwards to one of your actual email addresses

NoScript Security Suite

WARNING: Advanced users only - this will break many sites!

This can be a pain at first - it essentially blocks many of the scripts websites run, until you allow them. It takes a while for to train it, but once its set up it will really harden your browser. This is why I recommend it for your 'login browser', as you don't want to set it up for every new site you visit (and you will visit hundres on your 'search browser'). Also, the sites you login to are exactly the sites you want to control like this. For example has dozens of scripts, only a few are needed to operate the site. Using this addon will allow for a more controlled, quicker, and more private use of many of the major websites on the web.

For search browser (Brave)

In addition to those listed at the beginning 'For ALL browsers', I recommend the following for the browser you use exclusively for searching. No need for password manager as you won't be logging in anywhere.

Privacy redirect (link)

Automatically takes you to privacy-centric versions of major websites, such as YouTube and Twitter.

Unpaywall (link)

Useful for research. If you find an article behind a paywall, this might help find another source.

Also interesting, but not essential

TrackMeNot / AdNauseam

These 2 go together well. The first conducts random searches on your computer (obscuring your actual searches) and the second silently clicks on the ads (reducing the value of ads). Better to just use uBlock Origin, but you might have a use for this if you don't have a VPN and want to pollute your data.

Joplin Web Clipper / Turtl

Addons to clip websites to these encrypted notebooks applications, if you have them installed (they also need to be running). Joplin is better, as it actually takes the entire website to your notes, so you can read them offline or add your notes directly to them and dont have to worry about sites going offline. Turtl just bookmarks the site with a nice icon.


If you have your own domain and use a catch all email addres, this allows you to create on-the-fly email adresses.


create fake sign-up information

(or use

Flowcrypt / Mailvelope

Two very easy ways to encrypt your webmail with PGP. But your friends also need to use PGP... better just to use ProtonMail / Tutanota...


Allows you to send encrypted messages to people on Twitter/Facebook etc if they are also using Keybase.

User-Agent Switcher

You can make the internet think you are using a different browser or computer (to reduce the amount of info websites have on you). Some say this doesn't add much to your privacy.

Foxy proxy

Allows you to easily switch your internet traffic through a proxy (e.g. Tor or JAP network). Useful if you don't use a VPN or the Tor browser. Some VPN providers also have their own addon, so this is another option (one or the other, both not possible).

Ghostery / Duckduckgo

Similiar to uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger respectively.


It allows your browser to contribute to the Tor project


Allows you to open links in other browsers. Useful if you use many different browsers for different purposes. I think is Mac only.


Allows you to save articles you read, for reading later. Built into Firefox and endorsed by Mozilla, so probably 'OK' as far as privacy concerns, but would still use a fake generated email to register with them.

Mendeley / Send to kindle

Good for research/reading, but bad for privacy so maybe have in own browsers dedicated for research.

I2P In Private Browsing

Allows you to easily access I2P sites, uses Firefox Containers. Firefox based browsers only.

Zeronet Loader

Automatically load ZeroNet domains as well as use `z­.­net/` as shorthand or omnibox search keyword `zn`.

Alternative to Grammarly:

Grammarly is awesome, but is essentially a keylogger.... try this instead:


An Etheruem web-wallet which allows you to interact with pages that accept ethereum or ERC tokens.

Note taking apps

Standard Notes

Best for just text. No real linking of documents. Encrypted and audited - this app is the only note taking app I would trust completely - even with passwords. Free (for text only version)

Best for:

  • Lists or tasks.
  • Plain text.
  • Unordered and unlinked notes, relying on search to find them again (cant link notes, wikipedia style)
  • Just dumping information for finding later
  • Its the quickest to add/access data so use this the most often.

Pro features give it more features, better even than Joplin:

  • inline images (drag and drop when on Desktop)
  • publishing notes online (you are reading one now)
  • more features added regularly

This one suits the type that just wants to capture all info without spending time to sort it out/organise it - but you also can do that if you like.

This is simply the best note taking application, especially if you pay for Extended.

(N.B The only problem encounted is sometimes notes appearing blank when offline on your phone and it was written in one of the fancy editors - you can still access the note if you load it in the standard editor)


Best for web-clipper, takes copy of actual site. Free. Most advanced features (even compared to the free version of Standard Notes), closest to evernote. can use external text editor. Stores to Google Drive or other online services (encryption optional), so could store a lot of info for no/little cost

Best for:

  • Web page clipping
  • Having nested/ordered notes with thematic areas to find them
  • Linking notes together, Wikipedia style
  • Inline images or files
  • You use it primarily on one device (desktop is better) as the syncing is not perfect

Had some problems syncing (adding stuff on phone that got wiped) and not sure the encryption is as trustworthy as Standard Notes. Can be kinda buggy. Might be useful for specific purposes.

Encrypted. Paid service (store data with them). Has 2 basically separate services - photos and notes. Good for photos. Good for linking documents together with references, so good for research project. Completely system agnostic. Everything stored in thier cloud, so need some trust (even though open source), and I guess the service (and your data) could disappear overnight.

No sharing. No web clipper.

Best for:

  • Photo storing (not linked to notes at all, like a separate service)
  • Linking documents together/referencing other documents like a wiki
  • best for hiding data and leaving no trace on the computer (e.g. shared computer), you can have ghost folders you summon by name only, and you its essentially a fancy website so you could just delete it with no trace
  • Easy to use for non techy people
  • Might be best as a journal, can easily add photos directly inline from phone
  • Website is Tor friendly

Protected text

Another Web-app/online only. You choose a page (e.g. and set a password. You can now add notes and access that site with that password. Text only. Has tabs so you kind get sub-pages within your page. Has an android app.

Good for:

  • Those that want online-only/website based notes and dont want to or cant install any apps.
  • Android only notes that you occassionaly want to access on a website.
  • If you want to collaborate with other people, you can give them the address and password
  • No sign up required and you could potentially be anonymous (access over Tor browser and don't have any identifying content in notes or page name)
  • Website is Tor friendly 

The project is partially open source, but not audited and the server code is not open source - I wouldn't trust this site with very sensitive information.

I don't see any reason to use this, unless you want to collaborate - stick with Standard Notes.


    Encrypted. Paid service (you store data with them). Good for website book marking. Good for sharing notes. Seems like Pinterest, so good for 'boards' of general interest areas (e.g. fitness/travel) to collect and inspire later. Can share. No IOS app. Can take the following types of note:

    • Password
    • File
    • Image
    • Bookmark
    • Text note

    Has a web clipper, but is only really a bookmarker that grabs an image with the link.

    Best for:

    • Collecting ideas for a project (e.g. a trip, or workout) - similiar to Pinterest


    The only app with text recognition OCR for photos. But privacy is completely compromised. 

    Best for non-sensitive PDFs (e.g. textbooks) to exploit the OCR search (pro version only)