Tails helps you to:
- use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship
- all connections to the Internet are forced to go through the Tor network
- leave no trace on the computer you are using unless you ask it explicitly
- use state-of-the-art cryptographic tools to encrypt your files, emails and instant messaging
Tails is a live system that aims to preserve your privacy and anonymity. It helps you to use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship almost anywhere you go and on any computer but leaving no trace unless you ask it to explicitly.
It is a complete operating system designed to be used from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card independently of the computer's original operating system.
Tails comes with several built-in applications pre-configured with security in mind: web browser, instant messaging client, email client, office suite, image and sound editor, etc.
If you are interested in giving Tails a try on your current computer without running any risk, please check out our Guide: Running Linux From a USB Drive As a Virtual Machine or Bootable Disk.
Online anonymity and censorship circumvention with Tor
Tails relies on the Tor anonymity network to protect your privacy online:
- all software is configured to connect to the Internet through Tor
- if an application tries to connect to the Internet directly, the connection is automatically blocked for security.
Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security known as traffic analysis.
Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location.
Using Tor you can:
- be anonymous online by hiding your location
- connect to services that would be censored otherwise
- resist attacks that block the usage of Tor using circumvention tools such as bridges
- We disabled in Tails the new circuit view of Tor Browser 4.5 for security reasons. You can still use the network map of Vidalia to inspect your circuits.
- Tails OpenPGP Applet now has a shortcut to the gedit text editor, thanks to Ivan Bliminse.
- Paperkey lets you print a backup of your OpenPGP secret keys on paper.
Upgrades and changes
- Tor Browser 4.5 protects better against third-party tracking. Often when visiting a website, many connections are created to transfer both the content of the main website (its page, images, and so on) and third-party content from other websites (advertisements, Like buttons, and so on). In Tor Browser 4.5, all such content, from the main website as well as the third-party websites, goes through the same Tor circuits. And these circuits are not reused when visiting a different website. This prevents third-party websites from correlating your visits to different websites.
- Tor Browser 4.5 now keeps using the same Tor circuit while you are visiting a website. This prevents the website from suddenly changing language, behavior, or logging you out.
- Disconnect is the new default search engine. Disconnect provides Google search results to Tor users without captchas or bans.
- Better support for Vietnamese in LibreOffice through the installation of fonts-linuxlibertine.
- Disable security warnings when connecting to POP3 and IMAP ports that are mostly used for StartTLS nowadays.
- Support for more printers through the installation of printer-driver-gutenprint.
- Upgrade Tor to 0.2.6.7.
- Upgrade I2P to 0.9.19 that has several fixes and improvements for floodfill performance.
- Remove the obsolete #i2p-help IRC channel from Pidgin.
- Remove the command line email client mutt and msmtp.
- There are numerous other changes that might not be apparent in the daily operation of a typical user. Technical details of all the changes are listed in the Changelog.
- Make the browser theme of the Windows 8 camouflage compatible with the Unsafe Browser and the I2P Browser.
- Remove the Tor Network Settings... from the Torbutton menu.
- Better support for Chromebook C720-2800 through the upgrade of syslinux.
- Fix the localization of Tails Upgrader.
- Fix the OpenPGP key servers configured in Seahorse.
- Prevent Tor Browser from crashing when Orca is enabled.
- Claws Mail stores plaintext copies of all emails on the remote IMAP server, including those that are meant to be encrypted. If you send OpenPGP encrypted emails using Claws Mail and IMAP, make sure to apply one of the workarounds documented in our security announcement.