Tails Operation System
What is Tails?
In short, Tails is a flashdrive operation system that uses the TOR protocol to connect to the internet. If you don't know what TOR is, it is a network that uses multiple encrypted nodes to connect you to the so called dark web.
The dark and deep web
Everyone is used to using search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo to find the information or content they are looking for. Those search engines have indexed websites for you, so they can better help you get the information you need. But, there are also websites that are not indexed by search eninges, those sites are hard to find since you cannot search for them using the tools you normally would. This selection of websites are called the deep web while the indexed websites are called clearnet.
So what is the dark web then? Well these are websites you cannot even visit using normal browsers or without connecting to some other network first. There are several dark web networks which require special software to be used.
You can use the Tor browser to visit the onion network, these are websites that end with .onion. For example: "http://xmh57jrzrnw6insl.onion".
There is also Freenet, which works a bit different from Tor and lets you surf freesites as they are called. And the last dark web service is i2p, which is probably the least known or used from these 3, where Tor is most likely the most used.
So what do these dark web protocols have in common? They can all be used to surf anonymously.
Back to Tails
So now you have at least a small understanding of what the dark and deep web is and which protocols you can use to stay anonymous online. But why do you need Tails then?
So like we said at the start of this post, Tails uses Tor to connect to the internet and dark web. And although you can use Tor on other operation systems like Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, there are some flaws especially in Windows that can make your identity known.
One of these flaws is that only your Tor browser on Windows is connected to the Tor network, meaning that other applications are still connected to your own connection and they can reveal your identity. For example, if you download a file using the Tor browser and you open this file, that action can result in your identity being known. This is especially true for word and PDF documents.
How does Tails fix this problem?
In Tails, your entire OS is only connecting trough the Tor network, everything else is blocked. So even if you would open a downloaded file using third party applications, it would still only go through the Tor connection, hence your real IP is still protected.
Not only that, Tails is a flashdrive OS that can be used on any PC. It stores all data in your RAM and is wiped at shutdown or restart. So all traces of your activity when on Tails is wiped clean after usage.
How to install Tails
If you are running Windows right now, the best way to install Tails is by using 2 USB flashdrives where you install a temporary Tails using Windows on the first drive, and using the temporary Tails OS to install the second and final version on the second USB drive.
It is really not that hard, even if you are no tech geek.
Step one: Go to their official website https://tails.boum.org/
Step two: Click on "Install Tails"
Now the Tails site will guide you through the proces. In the following steps you will just need to download the latest Tails OS. The best way to do this is by using the Torrent.
After that you will make a bootable USB drive and install the first tails on there from your Windows OS. After that you boot from this disk and use the second USB drive to install the final version of Tails from your temporary Tails you just booted on.
If you just follow the steps provided on their site, you will be fine.
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