General Question

metadog's avatar

To surf without leaving a trace, which browser is best?

Asked by metadog (377points) June 7th, 2009

Firefox has loads of add-ons (Stealther, Key Scrambler, Track Me Not, BetterPrivacy, etc.) and Chrome has “Incognito” mode (IE 8 has something similar, right?). Opera? Safari has “private browsing”... What is the best browser for leaving as little info “out there” for interested webbies AND nosy network admins (if possible)?

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9 Answers

DarkScribe's avatar

You can’t sneak past a nosy admin who knows his/her stuff. Not while still on the network. You can use your own WiFi to do it. You need to learn about proxies. Maybe Tor. Google it. And learn to clear your caches.

SirBailey's avatar

If they install key-logger software on your computer there’s nothing you can do.

AnnieOakley's avatar

DarkScribe – even if you clear your caches I think it can still be brought back…don’t you think? I started learning some computer forensics a while back for fun and there was a program I was using that brought back everything – icluding deleted cookies and images seen from websites.

I’m not sure if there truly is a way to be stealth. Everything you do seems to leave a footprint of some kind and there is always someone designing a way to bring the footprint back if removed.

DarkScribe's avatar

@AnnieOakley even if you clear your caches I think it can still be brought backā€¦

Not if you overwrite it. You can either do that manually or use software that will do it for you. If you really want to be secure, use a USB 16/32GB thumb drive and point your caches at it. You can also buy thumb drives that browsers running on them that can be used in any computer and keep your whole history on it.

AnnieOakley's avatar

Excellent point. The areas of the drive I could not bring back were overwritten. And I have heard of someone overwriting their entire drive to clean their activities off of it. I like the thumbdrive idea were I ever needing to do anything requiring that level of security. Way to be stealth!

Vincentt's avatar

Be sure to realize that the “Incognito” mode isn’t fully “without a trace”. Though it supposedly does not leave anything on your computer, you do leave traces on the internet. You’d have to use a proxy or something, and even then you’d still leave traces with the proxy server.

uniquenewyork's avatar

Agreed. your best bet is to use a thumbdrive. You can run a browser like Firefox from it and it will save all related files to the drive. To get a version of Firefox on a thumb drive, check out Portable Apps

Naked_Whale_Tamer's avatar

Run Linux such as Ubuntu off a CD (no chance of anything being written to any physical media) and use Tor. When the computer is powered off, nothing is left on your computer.

And don’t use Google as your primary search engine. Use DuckDuckgo.com which doesn’t save information on their servers.

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