Is there a free alternative to paid services for surfing the internet anonymously that will ensure 100 % privacy?

hermesalpha
hermesalpha used Ask the Experts™
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Is there a free alternative to paid services for surfing the internet anonymously that will ensure 100 % privacy?

I live in mainland China now, and every web site that I visit is registered by the local police. I use the local network at the hotel where I live and there is a device that is inserted in the server here (as it is at any hotel in China). This device is operated by the police to register which web sites I visit.

If I use any of these services for anonymously surfing the internet, can I be 100 % certain that nobody can monitor which web sites I visit (as long as I am able to launch the VPN application)?:

www.strongvpn.com
http://portal.onspeed.com/?rf=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.onspeed.com%2Findex.php
http://www.opendns.com/
http://www.cotse.net/
https://www.astrill.com/

Is there any free alternative to above VPN and SSH-services that would work as well as the paid ones?
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To visit pages anonymously is very difficult.  The less additional tools/toolbars installed into your browser the more anonymous your footprint is while visiting webpages.

You should install portable firefox onto a flash drive.  You can make an encrypted container using truecrypt for your firefox installation and your local temp files.  That will help protect people from looking at your machine specifically.

To surf other sites you should use a program called TOR.  It's a program that will proxy internet from random sources around the world and you will appear to be browsing from those other IP addresses.

The more time you surf online the easier it will be to track you down.  Eventually your likely going to go through an ISP who is no doubt going to be logging what content is being viewed however it may appear to be the wrong person because of TOR.  If 'they' were trying to track you they would need to keep following the traffic back to your IP which would take a lot of work.
TolomirAdministrator
Top Expert 2005

Commented:
OpenDNS provides no secure communication, see for details:

http://www.opendns.com/start/

---

Using a free service that costs the provider money rises the question how he can cover those costs. So I would rather use some cheap provider instead transferring all you data via CIA or Mossad...

Why don't you give those you've mentioned about a try and test their performance.

---

It might be possible though that tor is your choice:

http://www.torproject.org/

But china never sleeps...

https://blog.torproject.org/blog/tor-partially-blocked-china

Tolomir
Hi there,

no product will ensure 100% privacy since all countries have an interest in the connection data when
it comes to criminal prosecution.
But I think you should give
  Tor - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tor_%28anonymity_network%29
and
 JonDonym (formerly JAP )http://anonymous-proxy-servers.net/en/index.html

a try. They both offer a fre alternative.

--TheDoctor
Exploring ASP.NET Core: Fundamentals

Learn to build web apps and services, IoT apps, and mobile backends by covering the fundamentals of ASP.NET Core and  exploring the core foundations for app libraries.

Author

Commented:
Astrill worked very well, I tried it for 7 days, so easy to get started at once. Tor is blocked, I can confirm that, couldn't access their web site. Unfortunately I didn't download their installation file while I still had the Astrill trial activated (the trial elapsed today). Otherwise, I could have downloaded the Tor installation file and gotten started. Would that work? Or is Tor completely blocked, no matter if I get started and install Tor, I will never be able to use it in China?
TolomirAdministrator
Top Expert 2005

Commented:
try this:

http://jump.fm/BFIDD

did download the windows version and upload it on 2shared.com

Author

Commented:
Thanks, but neither worked, probably blocked.
Just tried Jap/JonDo and JonDoFox but it can't find any anti censorship service so probably it's neutralized here (I could install the applications and launch them, but that's it).

Author

Commented:
If I use PGP to send encrypted emails now (without VPN-service like Jap/JonDo and JonDoFox working), will I still be safe? Noone that can read the contents of my emails no matter which email client I use, as long as I use it in combination with PGP?
TolomirAdministrator
Top Expert 2005

Commented:
yes. As long as you keep your personal key private.


TolomirAdministrator
Top Expert 2005

Commented:
PGP need sender and receiver to support pgp encryption. You can only send encrypted emails to a receiver if you use his public key. So it cannot be used for any receiver....

Tolomir
Software and Hardware Engineer
Commented:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freegate

Freegate was explicitly developed for secure surfing from inside china's great firewall....

Author

Commented:
Freegate is blocked also, couldn't get access to it. Is it possible to use it once the account has been registered and opened even if it's blocked now before registering?
TolomirAdministrator
Top Expert 2005

Commented:
You've mentioned other VPN providers. What about them, is access possible?
Dave HoweSoftware and Hardware Engineer

Commented:
FreeGate is downloadable, and automagically selects from a changing list of proxies. I will grab you a copy for trial purposes and put it on my own webspace for you :)
Dave HoweSoftware and Hardware Engineer

Commented:
Tolomir: swimming elephant is commercial, he would need to buy access, and his Astrill trial expired.

hermes: put a copy on https://pc3.ansplc.com/FreeGate for you - will leave it there a few days so you can collect. Everything on the site (including a chm containing the main page so you can see what is for where) is in that dir.

Author

Commented:
Very nice DaveHowe, I'll try this at once, thanks!

Author

Commented:
Hmm, strange, when I left-click on the chm-file and choose open, I get "Navigation to the webpage was canceled." And the only folder in the chm-file that I get is "Verify File Signatures".

The first link worked: Should I just download and install the "vpnclient.....exe"?

What about the other files? There are three zip-files, two exe-files and several dll-files.

TolomirAdministrator
Top Expert 2005
Commented:
can you access

https://encrypted.google.com/ 

--

check the original site I've added below to identify the files.

download-en.php.htm
Dave HoweSoftware and Hardware Engineer

Commented:
chm compiler probably broken. its a ms product, go figure. I will make a pdf instead :)

Author

Commented:
Tolomir,

I can open the site at http://filedb.experts-exchange.com/incoming/2010/10_w43/360855/download-en.php.htm, but then it's stop. For anything I click on I receive HTTP 404: "Webpage cannot be found"

It's the same for all downloads:
"Download Professional Edition", "Download Emergency Edition"
TolomirAdministrator
Top Expert 2005

Commented:
Maybe you should use one of the other services to download these tools and check what gives good results with Internet access.
Dave HoweSoftware and Hardware Engineer

Commented:
hermes: pro and emergency edition should be downloadable directly from the https url I posted.

p352 for pro, e352 for emergency.

Author

Commented:
brewsterm, I think you are right in your posting 33937086 ("the more you surf online the easier it will be to track you down"): two days ago, DaveHowe's solution worked fine, I could access blocked sites easily the first few times I tried Freegate. Now, two days later, I can't do that anymore with Freegate (not with Pro and not with Emergency version), not even with F3 Tunnel (SSH Tunnel).

Author

Commented:
Do you think it will be the same no matter which solution I choose? After a few days, the local "eyes" just control the endpoint and neutralize connection to my current VPN-provider?

Author

Commented:
But, it must cost resources to surveil a foreigner 24/7, and if I use different solutions (have several different providers that use different setups and technologies), can it still be possible to stop my access to blocked sites? And I can subscribe to new providers as they become available, switching all the time between different providers, setups and technologies? Can't be so easy to control that, can it?
Dave HoweSoftware and Hardware Engineer
Commented:
Nobody is going to put a foreigner under 24/7 surveillance - its just too expensive. What they *can* do (and sadly, what the big name American companies have aided them in doing) is log whenever anyone, domestic or visitor, goes to a site they aren't familiar with, and check to see what they were doing. If they don't approve, or can't understand it, they can add it to the blocked list with one click.

Author

Commented:
Now they have blocked the two VPN providers that worked a few days ago: Astrill (worked best, fast and I could access KudoZ at www.proz.com and Facebook and Youtube), and Freegate (worked also well two days ago though a little slower than Astrill). Today, none of these sites are accessible any longer through neither Astrill nor Freegate.

Author

Commented:
I think it's the hotel manager because accidentially when I asked for his assistance a day ago he could see that I used Freegate (he could see that I was using a Proxy). I could notice he reacted.

Author

Commented:
Do you think this block is very local? So that if I move to another area in the city I am located in now and get a new internet connection I will be able to use VPN-providers again? Almost no foreigners where I live now so if I move to a place with more foreigners perhaps they would care less what I do on internet.

Dave HoweSoftware and Hardware Engineer

Commented:
It might be the hotel - although they are under no duty to particularly block their guests, and that will make them less popular with (valuable) foreign paying customers - but more likely the current crop of freegate relays has been added to the great firewall of china and is now blocked.

I note there is a slightly newer version available (6.80) so have uploaded it to my site for you.

Author

Commented:
I got it solved finally, got Astrill and it works fine, can access any site now.

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