What's your favorite privacy tool that you don't think gets recommended enough

Veracrypt (blah blah 15 characters)

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Obsidian, period. Even if you take the data ownership part aside. You can still get an extremely powerful, extensible, flexible and customizable note taking application that is as private as it gets by default*

* It does check updates on startup by default and if you install 3rd party plugins, they may do other connections. Auto updates can be disabled

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What aspects of Obsidian make it “as private as it gets by default” in your eyes? I’m not very familiar with Obsidian.

for me I would say the website https://alternativeto.net because I love the fact you can sort the results by criteria and the ones I use the most are “Privacy focused” and “Open Source

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Keet Secure Messenger

In Obsidian, everything is stored inside a folder in your PC (or smartphone for that matter). There is no (reasonable nor basically spyware) telemetry or anything like that.

The only network connections are automatic updates and the ones made by third party plugins (that you have to manually install after disabling Restricted Mode), however plugins doing network requests are a small part thanks to Obsidian’s nature of “everything local in Markdown files”

I should also mention that Obsidian itself is not Open Source, but most if not all community plugins (which is not the same as “Core Plugins”, those are bundled by Obsidian) are FOSS.
Also of note: Obsidian is built with Electron and doesn’t disable Chromium’s DevTools which mean that you can inspect the (compiled and minified) code that is running, along with what network requests that are getting made and everything else that the DevTools give you

There is also opensourcealternative.to :slight_smile:


application that is as private as it gets by default *

And we trust them because …? Obsidian looks great and, to be honest, when I was looking for a note app, it was on my top list. It’s powerfull, it has great UI, tons of plugins and actually nice mobile app (with no trackers!). Unfortunately it’s not open source and I didn’t want to go with a proprietary software. Especially with such a personal stuff as notes.

Also it’s quite pricey. It’s clearly a business driven product. To for sync and publish functionality it’s 192$/yr. I pay for the same with Joplin 30$/yr. Moreover you cannot use other service for sync or selfhost.

(I’ve just noticed that they have a Softwear link in the footer. I though it’s a typo, but it’s not. Nice :slightly_smiling_face: :+1: )


Obsidian stores your notes in the universally recognized Markdown format, so if your concern is that you might get locked in, this is not something you should worry about.

Your knowledge should last.
Obsidian uses open, non-proprietary files, so you’re never locked in, and can preserve your data for the long term.

From: https://obsidian.md/

Wrong. Since your notes (the “Vault”) is simply a folder in your drive you can use any file syncing software that you like. There’s also the Obsidian Git plugin that uses Git to sync your vault to any Git hosting service

Vendor lock

That’s good to know :+1:


So it’s possible to sync folder across all devices with custom syncing SW? How does it work on iOS or Android? I pressume you have to have the same SW on mobile and be able to point it in the right folder.

About Git

From what I’ve been able to quickly check I understand that:

  • Git backup is not encrypted by default (at least there is no mention of it on GH readme) - so kind a pointless.
  • Apparently It’s possible to encrypt that, but it’s not a streamline experience at all and on iOS presume you’re screwed …

Am I wrong?

Compare it to Joplin - turn on E2EE and choose your sync option*. Done.

*) Joplin Cloud, Dropbox, One Drive, File system, NextCloud, WebDAV, S3 (Beta), Joplin Server (Beta)

On Obsidian’s side, it’s the same as on desktop (at least for Android): the vault is stored inside a folder where every application can read and write (after user-granted permission). So your syncing software needs to access that folder.

Not really sure about iOS.

That’s right, Obsidian Git doesn’t encrypt you data, but I wouldn’t call this “pointless”.
If your backup was encrypted, you would basically lose the ability to inspect the changes that you’ve made from time to time (if the encryption was done before feeding the files to Git, that is), also you can self-host your Git server (see GitLab or Gitea) or use a more trustworthy options than GitHub (like Codeberg or Disroot Forejo) that, depending on your threat model, might eliminate the need for encryption.

You could also store your Git repository in a Cryptomator container and use that, but it’s probably a pretty convoluted setup

Still not enough

Thanks for clarification. Still think it’s way too much work for something I have with Joplin basically out of the box. At least for me.

Anyway, I think it’s enough. We digress quite a lot … :innocent:

I agree.

Tried them all, including Obsidian. None of them could hold a candle to Joplin.

It’s just has everything I need.

I have been using Portmaster for ~3 years now and unfortunately, it recently has gotten a lot worse. Before they rebranded under Safing, I used Portmaster all the time and it worked very well. However, after the acquisition/rebrand, the UI changed, a lot of features were put behind firewalls (such as longer logging), and it has gotten significantly slower and more buggy.

Frequently the UI will bug out, become super slow, or not load connections. Sometimes it will just forget filter settings on certain apps and block connections when it isn’t supposed to. Trying to restart Portmaster just results in an infinite loading screen.

However, while I do respect the developers and I understand why they changed the software to be more profitable, I dislike that it also came at a cost of the normal use of it. However, this could all be just that my install is bugged or some quirk of my hardware, not the developer’s fault.

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Didn’t know opensourcealternative.to , interesting discovery :slight_smile: thank you very much.

Anytype, Mull Browser, Yattee for iOS, and VLC player.

Yattee for iOS connected to a self-hosted Invidious instance.

I looked for an alternative way to consume content on Youtube using iOS for a long time and this is the closest thing to the user experience from the iOS Youtube app while reaping all the privacy benefits of the setup.

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You can add public instances bu using their api support. I am using piped.video in this way, bu logging info mu account.

Thanks! I will definitely try it. So great they have such wide OS support

I used to use Obsidian but I really wanted something opensource. Im currently using Logseq which is similar but opensource.