Secure browsing from a flash drive

Scott Hanselman’s Computer Zen – A New Private Browser – I mean Browzar – does not work as advertised: “”

$40 for that tiny 2gb drive sounds about right. I picked up this tiny 1gb drive a few months ago for $21, it’s down to $19 now at NewEgg. I can’t believe how small this thing is, it’s about the thickness of a standard paper clip and just a little bit shorter than one. I’ve talked about my love of flash drives before.

Anyway, the premise behind Browzar is that it will delete any footprints you leave behind when you browse. Apparently that’s not the case and there are reports that it does a LOT of stuff you may not want it to do. So, ok. Browzar is more like Brozaren’t. What are your options for securely browsing the web? Portable Firefox is a great choice. First, the cache and everything is stored ON the flash drive. So you take it with you instead of leaving footprints behind on the machine you are using. I’ve used portable Opera as well. So, what about the router? The network? The websites you are visiting? Don’t they all record your clicks? Can’t people analyze the packets your computer is sending and figure out what you are doing? Yes, they can. Try The Onion Router (TOR) TOR works by randomizing the path your packets take getting to their destination. None of the TOR nodes know anything about the path other than who gave them the packet and who they are giving the packet to. There are numerous web proxies you are run off of a flash drive to that will strip private information out of the headers you send when you browse to a web site. I haven’t reviewed any of them so I don’t have any recommendations. The one I’ve heard the most about is called Privoxy. Leave your favorite flash-drive proxy in the comments.