Whonix: What Is It?

You should well know by now, increased levels of mass surveillance are chewing away at our freedoms and privacy at light speed. Governments as well as big technological corporations are working more closely than ever to spy on you, and collect as much personal data as possible. Whether you want¬† to perform sensitive research; protect your privacy from unscrupulous marketers or hackers; circumvent censorship or skirt surveillance; protect your communications from irresponsible corporations; or simply protect your children while they are online, it’s your responsibility to keep your information anonymous, private, and secure. Make no mistake of it, governments and corporations are not collecting your data and informations to your benefit, and I’ll leave it at that.

Without any precaution on your part, your internet service provider (ISP), the government (CIA, FBI, NSA, HMS…etc), the state and police, hackers, and global surveillance systems like PRISM and ECHELON can, and do, both monitor and record what/whom you communicate with and what you write and read. This happens because all the traffic going over the internet is bidirectional, and their respective IP adresses are traced back to, and identify, both the sender and the receiver.

If you are concerned about what’s been written thus far, and want to break free from the chains of surveillance, read on, this is for you.

Whonix, a fork of the Debian operating system, focuses on your anonymity, privacy, and security, by utilizing the TOR network. Using the Whonix workstation, along with the Whonix gateway, your internet traffic is isolated, keeping it anonymous, private, and secure.

The Whonix Workstation is where you do your normal, every-day computing, and the Whonix Gateway automatically routs all internet traffic through the TOR network. This is what is know as security via isolation. Security by isolation offers you all the benefits of TOR, as well as providing protection from threats such as malware. Both parts work in tandem, bring you the most completely safe, stand-alone computing environment that I know of.

Whonix is based upon Debian, the universal operating system. Debian is the most stable, and one of the most secure of all Linux distributions. Whonix IS Debian, specially configured. Anything you can do with Debian, you can do with Whonix, including the use of Debian support.

TOR protects your anonymity by bouncing internet traffic around a distributed network of global relays. This means whomever may be watching your internet traffic will be unable to see what sites you visit, and the sites you visit can not learn your physical location. Whonix relies on the TOR network to keep you anonymous. All traffic is either forced through TOR, or is blocked entirely.

While Whonix is not a one-click anonymizer, it will help hide your IP address; Prevent websites and malware from identifying you, keep your ISP from tracking and recording your internet traffic; and help you circumvent censorship. If you’d like to read about Whonix further, here is the Whonix Documentation.

This is the second of a four-article series I am preparing to help people in their quest for freedom from surveillance whilst using the internet.

  1.  Debian Linux: The Universal Operating System
  2. Whonix: What Is It?
  3. Oracle’s Virtual Box: What Is It?
  4. The Anonymous Personal Computer

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  1. Pingback: Debian Linux: The Universal Operating System | simply Luculent

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