Web Browser Wednesday

LivePC3Secure and safe Web browsing is undoubtedly hard to come by these days. We’ve introduced two great pieces of software that will help keep your browsing safe, and we have yet another. About two-weeks ago Ashley wrote about a nifty little program called BufferZone that prevented things you downloaded from leaving the “buffer zone.” We have also done another post about using Tor-enabled browsers to ensure your anonymity while on the Internet. Both of those solutions are really great…and now we have one that is kinda a cross between the two!

Meet LivePC by moka5! It is a great concept that I am sure will continue to become more popular. LivePC utilizes VMware Player so that you can run a virtual PC on your existing operating system without needing to find, download, and configure a bunch of things. This means you can do a lot more with your Windows machine in just a few clicks!

There is a “Garage” for the LivePC’s that people have uploaded and already configured for you. There is everything from a Kid Safe Desktop all the way to a Fearless Browser. Heck, you can even try out the OS that is shipping on the computers for the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project.

What we want to focus on today is the Fearless Browser LivePC. It has several great features to make your Web browsing safer, more secure, and anonymous:

  • Completely anonymized browsing using Tor
  • Key storage inside the virtualized disk
  • Linux-based environment for security
  • Firefox web browser
  • Thunderbird email client with Enigmail
  • GAIM Instant Messenger with Encryption
  • Automatic use of OpenDNS for phishing protection and fast DNS lookups
  • Flash player 9 support

The Fearless Browser is not restricted to just a Web browser, but also includes a mail client and an instant messenger. So how long will it take you to download this? Well, the download for the actual application is 30MB and then if you’re wanting to download the Fearless Browser, that will be an additional 100MB. However, the initial download for Fearless Browser is only about 4KB because the LivePC will download it when you actually want to use it. This is all done from the application’s main control panel:


Once it finishes downloading you’ll be able to start doing all of the things you love to do the most on the Internet, but a lot safer! Here is a screenshot of what it looked like after I had it up and running:


Even though this is running Linux you can’t actually access any of the Control Panel options or anything that you might be used to. They have really locked it down so that it is both secure and small. I had no problems getting this running since VMware does a great job of integrating the virtual PC with your current operating system, so my experience with using the Fearless Browser was remarkable.

There is also another instance where this could be extremely useful. Think about those people who aren’t very familiar with PC’s and all they want to do is browse the Internet and chat with friends. This is perfect for them because it has everything built-in that they would be using on the Internet…and you won’t have to worry about them getting infected with a virus or spyware.

My only complaint with it is that it still has Firefox installed, and I think Firefox 2 would be much better and even more secure. Since it is so locked down I haven’t found a way to be able to update it, but from the looks of it they do a good job of keeping it updated.

Live PC Homepage
Fearless Browser Homepage

Thanks for the tip Pasch!