Josh Brade


Privacy Forward Operating Systems

Imagine you’re someone who wants to use the internet without others being able to easily see what you’re doing online. You also want to keep your personal information safe from hackers and prying eyes. That’s where operating systems like Tails and Whonix come in.


Tails is like a special tool you can use when you want to browse the internet secretly. It’s designed to keep your online activities private and your identity hidden. When you use Tails, it’s kind of like wearing an invisible cloak while surfing the web. Nobody can easily know who you are or what websites you’re visiting.

One cool thing about Tails is that you don’t need to install it on your computer. You can just put it on a USB stick or a DVD and use it on any computer. When you’re done, you take out the USB stick or DVD, and it’s like you were never there. It’s great for using public computers without leaving a trace.

Tails Features

  • Anonymous Browsing: Tails routes your internet traffic through the Tor network by default, ensuring that your online activities remain anonymous and your IP address is concealed.
  • Live Operating System: Tails is designed to be a live operating system, meaning it can be run from a USB drive or DVD without the need for installation. This helps to prevent traces on the host system.
  • Data Encryption: Tails includes built-in tools for encrypting your files and communications, enhancing the privacy of your sensitive information.
  • Amnesic Design: Tails is designed to leave no trace of your activities on the computer you’re using. It automatically clears memory and wipes temporary data when you shut down.
  • Secure Communication: Tails comes with pre-configured communication tools like email clients and instant messengers that are configured to work securely with the Tor network.
  • Leak Prevention: Tails is configured to block non-Tor traffic, preventing accidental leaks that could compromise your privacy.
  • Access to Tor Services: Tails allows access to .onion websites, which are part of the Tor hidden services network, further enhancing anonymity and privacy.


Whonix is like having your own secret tunnel to the internet. It’s a bit more complex, but it’s also very secure. Whonix works by putting your online activities in a special box that’s really hard for anyone to peek into. It’s like putting your browsing in a safe room, away from the rest of your computer.

Whonix also helps you use something called Tor, which is like a network that bounces your internet connection around the world, making it really hard for anyone to figure out where you’re really located. It’s like using a bunch of secret passages to get around.

Whonix Features

  • Isolated Workstations: Whonix operates as a pair of virtual machines—one for your actual activities and another (the “Gateway”) for routing traffic through Tor. This isolation helps prevent leaks and enhances privacy.
  • Leak Protection: Whonix is designed to ensure that all internet traffic goes through the Tor network. It’s much harder for your real IP address to leak in Whonix due to its two-VM structure.
  • Security-Focused: Whonix is built with a strong focus on security. It’s designed to minimize the attack surface and reduce the risk of various security vulnerabilities.
  • Whonix Gateway: The Gateway VM routes all network traffic through Tor, providing an additional layer of anonymity and preventing accidental use of non-Tor traffic.
  • Application Isolation: All applications on Whonix are forced to use Tor, making it extremely difficult for any application to bypass the anonymizing network.
  • Protected Against Malware: Whonix’s design ensures that malware running in the Workstation VM is isolated from the Gateway, preventing it from compromising your anonymity.
  • Encrypted Communication: Whonix is designed to work with encrypted communication tools, helping you maintain secure and private conversations.

So, which one should you choose? Well, it depends on what you want to do. If you just want to quickly use a secret browsing mode on any computer, Tails is great. If you’re more serious about staying hidden and you’re okay with a bit more complexity, Whonix might be better.

Remember, both Tails and Whonix are like special tools for staying private online. Depending on what you’re comfortable with and what you’re trying to do, one of them could be a better fit for you. It’s like choosing between wearing an invisible cloak (Tails) or having your own secret tunnel (Whonix) while exploring the internet!