Other use cases

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Other use cases

See also: Use_cases (Email)

File hosting, document sharing

If you want to send larger documents, you may not be able or not want to attach them on E-mails for various reasons like risk of attachment truncation or loss, or even rejection of the complete mail (receiver won't even notice that you tried to contact him), caused by various attachment size or type limits or even complete ban of them on the way, by the receiver or his provider. Then you can use a file hosting or sharing service, preferably one with a time limit or possibility of deletion by the uploader. List of services (without pointing privacy issues): TheFreeCountry.

If you want to protect the contents of the uploaded files against being accessed by file hosts or third parties you should encrypt them before uploading. You may use, e.g. TrueCrypt, AxCrypt, AES Crypt, 7-ZIP (the own 7z format is very secure) or jFileCrypt. Then you send the password to the same people that get the download link to the files.

Hint 1: An asymmetric encryption of these files using GPG/PGP results in third parties being able to connect receivers GPG/PGP pseudonyms with those files. Use symmetric encryption with a strong password.

Hint 2: A banal ZIP file with a password set is a bad idea since the "standard compatible" ZIP has a very poor "encryption", while the "advanced" ZIP files have better algorithms but are very incompatible.

  • TurboUpload (no registration, no JS needed, works well, no hotlinking, minor delay and trivial captcha before download, last test 2010-09)
  • FileFactory (no registration, upload doesn't work with Javascript off, last test 2010-09)
  • Files.ww (no registration, no JS needed)
  • Share-Now (no registration, no JS needed)
  • JustUpIt (no registration, no JS needed)
  • Load.to (no registration, no JS needed)
  • FlyUpload (no registration, no JS needed, deleting manually maybe not possible)
  • UltraShare (no registration, no JS needed, deleting manually maybe not possible)

Long term file hosting

  • Rapidshare
    • The most popular one, large pirated stuff usually hosted here
    • Registration: upload and download possible without, but bad performance and annoyances, paid registration can remove them
    • JS: required to upload and download
    • Cookies: required to download
    • IP-based download restrictions make it hardly possible to use with free anonymization services
    • Manual deletion of files possible
  • Mediafire
    • Registration: required to upload
    • JS: required to upload and download
    • Cookies: required to download, sets many of them before you can download a single file
  • Ompldr Omploader
    • Hosts files of any type, also big ones, allows hotlinking, also text "pasta"
    • Registration: not required
    • JS: not required
    • Cookies: need for upload
    • No manual deletion, and no expiry time can be specified
    • Firefox extension

Short term file hosting and sharing

  • Wikisend
    • JS required for upload only, not for download
    • Selectable expiry time, 90 days maximum
  • YouSendIt
    • Pressures to enable JS, doesn't work without

Image hosting

  • Postimage
    • PNG, JPG, ???
    • No manual deletion and no expiry time can be set
    • Hotlinking allowed
    • Last test: 2013-06
  • Imageshack (stopped working?)
    • Hosts PNG, GIF, JPG, BMP (latter converted into PNG)
    • Pressures to enable JS, but one can safely ignore this since it works very well without
    • No manual deletion and no expiry time can be set
    • Hotlinking allowed
    • Last test: 2013-06

Text hosting / pastebin / pasta

List of pastebins at Wikipedia

  • PasteBin
    • Hosts texts up to 64 KiB in size with a selectable expiry time of 1 day, 1 month or none
    • JavaScript: not required
    • Has problems with abuse (spam posts) - blocks suspicious IP numbers
  • Certified Privnote
    • You can read the text only one(!) time. Afterwards the text will be deleted.
    • JavaScript and Cookies required, SSL-encryption possible
    • Certified with the European Privacy Seal

Online dictionaries and translators

  • linguee.de
    • Translation with context (DE, EN, FR, ES)
    • Works well without JavaScript
  • Leo.org
    • Translation of words with some additional info (DE vs EN, FR, ES, IT, RU, CN)
    • Base functionality works well without JavaScript, some advanced features don't
  • translate.google.com
    • Translation of words or texts (latter not very good, but gives an idea what the text is about)
    • You can submit text into the form, translate a website, or even upload a document, even in PDF format, output is HTML (Google can serve an a PDF to HTML converter with translation, but not as a PDF to HTML converter only)
    • Works without JavaScript, complaints about missing plugins can be ignored
    • There is a text size limit (???)
    • Last test: 2012-Oct

Online file format converters

Instead of installing software on your PC, you can submit the job to an online converter. Of course this is bad for your privacy, even more considering that most of such converters require JS or even registration + payment.

Document conversion

Software for local document conversion exists may bring problems like very large size, high requirements, painful installation or payment requirement, so you could give a chance to an online converter, for non-private documents at least.

  • pdfmenot.com - no longer active
    • Converted PDF into Flash: the bad into the evil
    • Acquired by Google, domain now redirects to Google Docs Viewer (see below)
  • Google Docs Viewer
    • Converts PDF documents, PowerPoint presentations, and TIFF files
    • Flash + JS needed
    • Converts the bad into the evil
  • Google PDF to HTML converter (vanished)
    • When using Google search, sometimes HTML versions of PDF documents are/were offered
    • Possibly getting dropped in favor of Google Docs Viewer (see above)

Image and video conversion

Many online services exist, but better use some of good and free software products for local conversion: XNwiev or NConvert for images, FFMpeg or FFMpeg2Theora for videos.

Archive conversion

Don't use online converters, use 7-ZIP. To extract very exotic formats unsupported by 7-ZIP, search for some extract tool or use the "primary archiver" of the format - extraction usually works even with unregistered trial versions.

Video

There are possible 2 ways to provide online video: Flash + JavaScript and HTML 5 Theora or WebM. Obviously the latter is much better for your privacy, but most pages (slowly getting less) stick to Flash. In some cases it can be possible (was more common in the past, still applies to "blip.tv", see below) to "pick" the video manually from page source, but the common deal is "No Flash, No video". Note that with any free anonymization service online video playing performance will be unusably bad, and the download will take at least 10 times longer than the playing time (wait at least 1/2 hours for 3 minutes clip), or even won't work because of service restrictions. So storing the video link and downloading the video later without any anonymization is worth considering. Forum thread: 4477 (English). More information about Flash video downloading with JondoFox see Download web videos and jondofox2.html#videoDownload.

  • YouTube
    • The very most popular video service, belongs to Google
    • Needed Flash + JS in the past, now HTML5 works (no Flash needed, still JS must be on, but no more need to extra enable HTML5)
    • Intended for online viewing, downloading is "not supported" and prohibited by the TOS
    • Registration required for upload only (but better upload your videos somewhere else like to Omploader (see above) and don't promote YouTube)
    • In the past one could download the videos only with external tools (Firefox plugins, download helper software, standalone software (Atube Catcher), video screenshot software), now also directly (see "Page Info", usually WebM format, file may get wrong extension)
    • There used to be privacy-friendly online services helping with video download form YouTube, but all seem to be dead now (blocked by YouTube?)
  • News portals
    • Videos are more and more popular
    • Pretty all need Javascript for commenting, and additionally Flash for video viewing
    • YouTube download "tricks" usually don't work, download could be possible using the "stream catcher" approach (still needs Flash + Javascript)
  • Blip.tv
    • Uses Flash but video files can be downloaded "manually" using page source
  • Firefox videos
    • Using HTML 5 Theora (now also WebM)
    • Plays with Firefox 3.5 and above, other browsers can download the videos
    • Cookies, JS and Flash not needed
  • Wikimedia Commons
    • Using HTML 5 Theora
    • Plays with recent browsers, old browsers can download the videos
    • Cookies and Flash not needed, JavaScript partially: videos are still accessible for playing (possibly outside of context in a separate page and without progress/time info) and download.

Domain lookup

Services allowing to check whether an Internet domain is free or not, in latter case also tells who is the owner. Request result may give useful info about responsible person or company, or not (domain held by some "proxy company"). This way you can for example confirm that domains named by health issues are mostly held by pharma companies. Many of those services are unnecessarily complicated and need JavaScript. Also many of them have IP-based quotas, this can cause problems with free anonymization services, similar as with Google search, you can get errors like "your quota is exhausted, you will be able to use the service in 24 hours again".

  • [1] whois.net
    • Apparently doesn't work without JavaScript
  • [2] checkdomain.com
    • Seems to work well

Development

  • SourceForge
    • Cookies required to login
    • JavaScript used but not absolutely required (behavior changes frequently, this was not always true in the past and may not be true in future)
    • Registration required to create or join projects as well to post in most forums and trackers
    • Download of files possible without login
    • Referrer: ???
  • Google Code
    •  ???
    • Using too many products of Google (GMail + Chrome + Google Code + YouTube + ... ) is bad for privacy
  • Bugzilla, trackers
    • Usually work without JS
    • Registration + having cookies enabled usually required to post

Forums

The forum market is covered by several major competitors (phpBB2, phpBB3, v-bulletin, ...) and many "special" forums. JS is usually not required for forum usage including posting, it is just used for marginal things like smiley and BBcode inclusion, but in some forums it may be required for registration (as abuse prevention), or viewing user profiles or searching. Forum permissions, like the ability of guests to post or view profiles, are highly configurable by the administrators in all major forum solutions, nevertheless there exist also modified versions of such forums, exposing non-standard behavior like additional security precautions, possibly including JS requirement or referrer checks. Almost all forums do store IP addresses of all posts and give the moderators and administrators permissions and tools to view and evaluate them. Registration is required to post almost everywhere, guest posting, being the standard years ago, got disabled after excessive abuse (trolling, flamewars, automatic spam posts, sockpuppetry) encountered over the time.

  • phpBB2, pbpBB3
    • Cookies not required (identification string stored in the address then, corrupting or losing it causes logout)
    • JS not required except for smiley and BBcode inclusion
    • phpBB2 is obsoleted by phpBB3
    • Many modified versions exist
  • v-bulletin
    •  ???
  • Invision
    • JS not required for login and posting, but it is for profile viewing
  • JonDos forum
    • Guest posting no longer allowed
    • JS used for smiley inclusion only
    • IP addresses not stored
  • Commenting on news portals
    • JS and registration usually required
    • Many will let you type your text anyway, but after hitting "Submit" either nothing happens (because JS is off), or it tells you that your post of course will be accepted, but only if you log in or register.

Wiki

Most Wiki-like services work without JS, just advanced features like special character inclusion are not available then. Cookies are required to login.

  • Wikipedia
    • All anonymization services including JonDonym are carefully blocked by IP addresses.
    • IP addresses of edits done without login are permanently stored and publicly visible.
    • IP addresses of edits by registered users are not publicly visible, and reportedly used only in case of justified suspect of abuse, and automatically unrecoverably deleted after 1 week.
  • Other Wikies
    • Look and functionality similar to Wikipedia.
    • Blocking of anonymization services usually doesn't apply.
    • Abuse is a big problem, registration usually required, or even account request on forum or mailing list, possibly after making "some useful posts" proving that you are a human interested in the topic.

Webhosting / FTP

Many cheap and free webhosts don't offer FTP, instead they provide a HTTP web based system for upload and management, usually requiring not only Cookies, but also JS.

  • www2ftp
    • Allows HTTP access to manage pages offering FTP only
    • JS: ???
    • Last test: 2010-04 (still online, functionality not tested)

Web searching

Don't search while logged in (if you have an account), make sure to have Cookies and JavaScript disabled when using search services. At first try privacy friendly search engines, consider using HTTPS instead of HTTP where available.

  • Google
    • https://www.google.com/ncr
    • http://www.google.com/ncr
    • https://www.google.com
    • http://www.google.com
    • The most popular one
    • Depending from the IP of the user, it will redirect from "google.com" to some other domain, for example "google.de". This is a minimal anonymity check - if you are in Germany, trying to use a proxy/mix located in GB, and still get "google.de", then your proxy settings don't work.
    • When anonymization services are used, Google can complain about "automated searches" and "virus", solving a capcha can allow to search or not
    • Also provides web based E-mail (see above / other page), a browser "Google Chrome", code hosting, maps, translation (see above), and other services.
  • Yahoo
    • Also provides web based E-mail (see above / other page)
  • Web.de
    • Also provides web based E-mail (see above / other page)
    • German only
  • Bing
    • Belongs to Microsoft
  • Baidu
    • Chinese and Japanese language only
  • Wikipedia - instead of using search engines, you can ask Wikipedia directly, if you except hits there

Maps and routing services

At most all map services need Javascript for searching places or streets.

Street View (Google) or Street Side (Bing, Microsoft) are not securely useable with JonDonym. Flash or Silverlight are needed for displaying. Both plugins are disabled in JonDoFox for security reasons.

Timetables, transport information + reservation

Many such pages do require JS enabled, otherwise they complain or simply fail. Online ticket purchase or reservation is bad for your privacy.

  • Bahn.de - German Railway
    • This one works without JS (at least timetable services, reservation not tested)
    • Covers considerable parts of Europe, not just Germany, good alternative to pages of many other rail companies unable to provide themselves working timetable services for their lines.

Shipment tracking

Services of many post companies are unreasonably complicated and do no longer work without JavaScript. Tracking may be unconditionally allowed, or the sender may have to request it when submitting the shipment.

Online banking

Cookies required to login, may require JavaScript also. You are not anonymous to your bank anyway, the bank knows both your name and your home location, and the communication contents is protected from your provider and 3rd party by HTTPS, so it may be a good idea not to use any anonymization service at all. If you use it nevertheless, you can just hide your login location from the bank and the name of your bank from the provider. Enable Cookies (and JS if required) before login and disable them after, on both occasions also clear all private data of the browser. Don't access other pages or use other software accessing the Internet while logged in. Avoid browsers with limited or no HTTPS support. About JS requirement you can complain to your bank, security is the "killer argument" here.

Online virus and malware scan and removal

Bad, browser Java plugin needed. Do NOT ACCEPT "offers" telling you that your computer is in urgent risk and offering an instant "solution".

Online gaming

Needs Flash + JS or Java plugin or installation of special software, no way to do with pure HTML, very bad for privacy. Only good way is special software respecting proxy settings, it can than be used with paid JAP services only.

Porn and piracy pages

Will usually pressure you to enable JS or Flash or to install or "update" something, or to call an expensive phone number, high risk of privacy intrusion or virus capture. Easy solution: avoid such pages completely.

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