What is a more private alternative to Windows 10? When Windows 10 came out, people used to say, “This is the end of privacy. You consent that every word you type can be spied.” How reasonable these claims turned out to be, and what OS do these people use nowadays?
How bad is the default Privacy setting in Windows 10?
There is a post from Network World from 2015 detailing how bittorrent trackers ban Windows 10 over privacy concerns. If it’s that bad, it can’t be good!
Windows 10 sends a lot of info to Microsoft, and their EULA is very liberal as to the right of Microsoft to disable illegal games or illegal hardware.
We may automatically check your version of the software, which is necessary to provide the Services and download software updates or configuration changes, without charging you, to update, enhance and further develop the Services, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games or using unauthorized hardware peripheral devices.Windows 10’s EULA
Of course, I’ve never had a case of Windows 10 disabling a piece of pirated software, or hardware but people have reasons to be afraid.
Anyway, as you can see the privacy situation is not good for Windows 10. I am going to focus more on the solution, so enough about old news.
What is a more private alternative to Windows 10?
Why, your favorite Linux distro comes to mind. Even Ubuntu, which does send some telemetry to its parent company, Canonical, is a privacy champion compared to Windows 10.
Starting with Ubuntu, which is the best Linux distro for newbies, but is not too private, there are a bunch of operating systems which are privacy-centric.
Linux Kodachi is a privacy centric Linux distro with a lot of tools built in to help the person who wants to protect his data. It includes a built-in VPN and DNSCrypt for masking your TCP/IP configuration.
Qubes OS is the OS of choice for hacker Edward Snowden. It relies heavily on virtualization. The concept of Qubes OS is that you have a separate virtual machine for every activity, so if one machine gets compromised, the rest of your online identity won’t be hacked. It’s a solid concept and I have used it. Of course, I don’t have so strict privacy needs, so I switched to Ubuntu, which is better for everyday tasks.
Tails is the legendary privacy-centric Linux distro. It can be run from any medium, like a DVD or a USB stick. Tails saves your private data in an encrypted folder and erases everything every time you run it.
Kali Linux is the choice of all security engineers and hackers. Kali is easy to set up and use for beginners.
Parrot OS is yet another private Linux distro. Among other things, Parrot uses an encrypted repo, virtualized sandboxed environment, Anonsurf, I2P, and Tor to help users with their privacy needs.
I am not going to recommend Russian Windows releases with removed spy functions, because I am not sure what they put in there. I use them on my computers, but I backup everything to the cloud regularly and don’t have any mission-critical data on my PC.
Windows 10’s privacy issues are more than serious. For the privacy-minded crowd, there are plenty of Linux distros to choose from. Of course, the learning curve is steep and you will miss a lot of things from the Windows world. Such is the price you pay for privacy.
If you are concerned about security, checkout my article Can you have a virus even though your anti-virus says no?
What is your favorite choice for a private OS? How do you protect your privacy under Windows? Do you even care about your info? Are you a privacy advocate? Let us know in the comments. If you like this article, share it!
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