Other use cases
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 recievers 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)
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Pressures to enable JS, doesn't work without
- Hosts PNG, GIF, JPG, BMP (converts 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: 2011-01
Text hosting / pastebin / pasta
- Hosts texts up to 64 KiB in size with a selectable expiry time of 1 day, 1 month or none
- Has problems with abuse (spam posts)
- Certified Privnote
- You can read the text only one(!) time. Afterwards the text will be deleted.
- Certified with the European Privacy Seal
- Translation with context (DE, EN, FR, ES)
- Translation of words with some additional info (DE vs EN, FR, ES, IT, RU, CN)
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.
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.
- Converts "docx" into doc, PDF, HTML, Wiki or text
- 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)
- Samuraj Data AB Online viewer for PDF, PostScript and Word
- Converts PDF into HTML (upload local file or web link)
- highly recommended
- forum thread
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.
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.
- 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)
- You could download the videos only with external tools (Firefox plugins, download helper software, standalone software (Atube Catcher), video screenshot software), now also directly (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
- 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
-  whois.net
-  checkdomain.com
- Seems to work well
- Cookies required to login
- JS 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 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
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, corrupting or loosing it causes logout)
- JS not required except for smiley and BBcode inclusion
- phpBB2 is obsoleted by phpBB3
- Many modified versions exist
- 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.
Most Wiki-like services work without JS, just advanced features like special character inclusion are not available then. Cookies are required to login.
- 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.
- Allows HTTP access to manage pages offering FTP only
- JS: ???
- Last test: 2010-04 (still online, functionality not tested)
- 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 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, and other services.
- Also provides web based E-mail (see above / other page)
- Also provides web based E-mail (see above / other page)
- German only
- Belongs to Microsoft
- Chinese and Japanese language only
Maps and routing services
- recommended map service Openstreetmap.org (does not support street numbers)
- other map services: Google maps or Bing Maps (Microsoft)
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.
- Doesn't work without JS (?)
Cookies required to login, may require JS 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.
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.