Best privacy protection apps: These applications will all-round protection to you and your internet activities.
They’ll make you invisible on the web, hide your communication and files, and prevent the govt. and other third-parties from tracking you.
Note that when I say privacy “protection”, I mean companies which are openly and publicly pro-privacy. Not just companies we “assume” to be private. Some of these companies have stood against govt. orders at times trying to protect their user-base.
Let’s get started then?
Best Privacy Protections Apps:
Here the apps that will protect your privacy and make sure your data remains “just yours”:
- VPN: Changes your IP/hides everything you do on the web/unblocks everything on the web.
- Tor browser: Changes IP/hides your identity
- Skiff Mail: Offers E2E encrypted e-mails.
- Cloud storage apps: Sync & pCloud offer E2E encrypted data and many other advanced features.
- Browsers & search-engines: DuckDuckGo for browsing the web, and Brave prevents fingerprinting.
Let’s get you an in-depth insight then?
A VPN isn’t “one” of the best privacy protection apps. It’s “THE” best privacy protection app you can get your hand on.
This is simply because it does the most “privacy protecting”, with the least required efforts. In most cases, it only needs a “single click”.
So, a VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network”. Sounds complicated, actually is pretty simple.
It’s just a software which acts as a mediator between you, and the rest of the internet. Meaning, when you use a VPN, it gives your entire device a new IP address and encrypts your connection.
So, everything else you do after connecting to a VPN has this new IP address.
Why is it a big deal? Your IP address is how “you” are recognized on the internet. It’s how your ISP knows who you are, the govt. knows who you are, and the websites you visit know who you are.
In other words, by changing your IP address, you become invisible. You can access any website, do anything and no one knows it’s “you”.
Additionally, by changing your IP address, you unlock access to blocked content. Almost everything on the internet is blocked using “IP addresses”. This includes websites, streaming content, software access and everything else.
By changing your IP address, you can now access everything that was blocked.
Now, if there ever was an inspection, there’s no way the govt./third-parties can connect your activities on the web, to you.
Obviously, you can’t trust all VPNs. A lot of VPNs have been found lying about their “we do not keep a log” policy.
As a result, I’ll suggest go with NordVPN. It’s publicly and independently audited to not keep logs. It’s also not a part of the invasive five-eye group.
Tor browser is a web browser as the name may suggest. However, it’s one of the best privacy protection apps on the planet. It’s open-source and volunteer-run for starters.
It too primarily “changes your IP address”. This is done as Tor browser doesn’t just take your browser request and sends it off to websites.
Rather, it sends your request first to various “nodes”. These nodes aren’t controlled by any government, not even Tor controls them. These are completely volunteer-run, even you can become a node if you want to.
Also, not even these nodes know your real IP address. Each node only knows its previous, and succeeding node, not the full circuit. So, the final node never knows your real IP address, or even the first node you connected to.
Tor is primarily used to browse .onion websites (and the dark web). This tells you it’s definitely more secure than your everyday browser.
Tip: Unfortunately, Tor isn’t secure “enough”. It does have a past where it was hijacked by the FBI. Hence, it’s best if you use it combined with a VPN. That would make it bulletproof.
I’m sure most of you reading this use Whatsapp. While it’s “end to end encrypted”, it still is owned by Facebook. Facebook has a controversial history when it comes to privacy protection, wouldn’t you agree?
Although, everyone needs an instant messenger like Whatsapp in their lives.
Enter Telegram. It offers what Whatsapp does, and then some. It’s a lot more secure and private than Whatsapp.
For starters, users can choose to use an “username” instead of a number. You can share this with others to communicate and they never have to know your number.
Then, it too is end-to-end encrypted (it has these “secret chat” feature for this). However, what’s special is its “delete anything anytime” feature.
You can delete messages from both the devices at any time, permanently, without leaving a trace. There’s no “message deleted” prompt like what shows up on Whatsapp.
You can even send “self-destruct” messages.
Privacy protecting instant messenger
Almost every single one of you on this piece have used Gmail at some point in your life, and probably still do.
Well, Gmail is extremely unsecure. In fact, it was caught “reading” user e-mails. And I do not mean just the metadata, I mean the actual contents of the emails. (Not surprisingly, I can’t find the actual news article anywhere now! I’ve linked to the article in some of my previous pieces. Given how Google almost controls the entire Internet, that’s expected!).
This is why you need an end-to-end encrypted email solution.
Skiff Mail is one such solution. Unlike Gmail, Skiff Mail doesn’t require your personal information while signing up either.
Other privacy protecting e-mail providers
Additionally, you can also use Protonmail or Tutanota. These too are E2E encrypted, 100% free, and require no personal information for sign up.
One of the most immediate privacy app switches you should make? Your cloud storage solution.
You store everything on there, don’t you? Your personal life, private life and sometimes even secret life.
Using Google Drive, or anything else that’s controlled by big tech or is based one of those “not so private countries” isn’t a good idea.
Instead, you should use something that’s E2E encrypted, is based in a privacy-friendly nation and isn’t controlled by one of those big companies.
Sync is a good place to start. It brings in advanced collaboration & sharing features. Versioning, user-based permissions, remote wipe and a lot more. .
pCloud is another E2E encrypted cloud storage solution that offers many other advanced features. Advanced sharing features, branding, multi-server storage, remote upload and many other such superpowers are available.
I like to call these the little cousins to VPNs. That’s because these too change your IP address.
However, they do not “encrypt” your connection like VPNs do. Also, they’re app-specific, they do not protect your “overall device” like VPNs.
Proxy connections also drop more frequently as compared to a VPN. A good VPN connection has an uptime of 99%+ which is almost impossible with a proxy server!
Best proxy apps today:
Privacy protecting browsers and search engines
Google Chrome and Google the search engine are the farthest thing from privacy. The same is true for Yahoo, Bing and other traditional search engines.
They store your browsing history ,attach it to your account, then to your social profiles and lot more.
They know what you eat, what you wear, where you were and everything else about you.
This is why you need a search engine that “doesn’t” profile or fingerprint you.
DuckDuckGo is one such search engine. It’s a very strong Google alternative with a massive database.
As for the browser, switching to Brave is a good idea. It looks and feels exactly like Google Chrome, minus the privacy invasions.
Holy grail of Privacy Protection Apps
I can keep listing apps forever, for everything that breaches your privacy, there’s a privacy-respecting alternative.
However, if you look for certain key points, you can pretty much find them yourselves.
- Open-source is the best: Always look for applications which are open-source. This would mean the company can not hide backdoors and other loopholes into its code.
- End-to-End encrypted: For any communication tool, only use E2E encrypted apps. This would make sure that the company, govt. or any other third-party can’t snoop in on your conversations.
- Free isn’t always the best: When it comes to your privacy, it’s okay to shell a few bucks rather than letting your “data” be the price you pay.
- Jurisdiction: It’s important to know who controls the app you’re using. If it’s based in any of the “five-eye” nations, it’s probably not the best choice. Obviously, this isn’t absolute. If the app is encrypted, anonymous and satisfies other privacy conditions, the jurisdiction can be accepted.
Final words- Which are The Best Privacy Protection Apps?
The list of all the privacy protection apps on the planet would probably be never ending. However, the following are the best in terms of quality, pricing and features:
VPN > TOR > Telegram > Skiff Mail > Sync > SmartProxy > DuckDuckGo > Brave browser.
Just switching to the ones mentioned above would add a massive privacy layer to your life.
Obviously, manual leaks are still possible. Just be sure to not share any personal information manually anywhere on the web unless absolutely required.
That’ll be all for this list of the best privacy protection apps folks. I hope it helped?