Taking private browsing to the next level.
This guide is meant to help you keep people from snooping on your browser activities, locally on your computer. This is not meant to keep you anonymous on the internet. Icall it taking private browsing to the next level because I'm comparing it to the private browsing feature most of the browsers have. In that regard this give you so much more privacy with none of the sacrifices.
This year, web browsers started giving you the option to privately browse the internet without leaving a trace of your session on the computer.
What if you could have a browser session that is both private, doesn't leave a trace on the machine you are using, yet still lets you enjoy internet caching, favorites and everything a web browser can offer?
The first option that came to my mind was "Portable Firefox". A version of Firefox that doesn't need to be installed and can be run off of a any sort of removable device. This works pretty well, but anybody who has potential access to your removable device also has access to your "Portable Firefox" and everything you've been doing with it.
So I thought there had to be a way to make the device accessible to you and not someone else, even if they had access to it. So I thought, lets combine Portable Firefox with TrueCrypt. Even if someone had access to the device, they wouldn't be able to access the contents without first decrypting it using your password.
This guide will walk you through setting up a Truecrypt container on a removable device and then installing Portable Firefox onto it.
If you would rather watch a video on now to do it, rather than read, I made a video for you below.
Best if watched in 720p
First download and install TrueCrypt from the following website.
Part 1 Setting up your removable device as a Traveler Disc.
1) Plug in the removable device you wish to use with TrueCrypt.
2) Launch TrueCrypt
3) Click on the Tools.
4) Select "Traveler Disc Setup"
In this next section we will be choosing the device we want to use. We won't be encrypting the entire device, just a file that TrueCrypt will use as the container .
5) Under "File Settings" Click the browse button
6) Select the removable device you wish to use (Double check that you have the correct one selected) then click ok
7) Uncheck "Include TrueCrypt Volume Creation Wizard is checked" We'll do that next.
The autorun section gives you the option to have TrueCrypt automatically run when you insert the device into a computer.
8) Click the "Create "
9) Once complete click the close.
Part 2 Creating a TrueCrypt Volume
1) Click the Tools menu
2) Click "Volume Creation Wizard"
3) Select "Create an encrypted File Container"
4) Click Next
5) Select "Standard TrueCrypt Volume"
6) In the volume location box, type in the drive letter of your device along with the name you wish to use for the new TrueCrypt container (Example i:\firefox). Double check that you have it typed in correctly.
TrueCrypt also gives you the option of saving or never saving your history. When you open TrueCrypt off your removable device, do you always want the path to the last container you decrypted to default in?" I actually prefer it that way. Someone still has to know the password to unlock it. It's a pain in the butt to have to browse for the container each and every time. So I just have it remember it for me, but it's up to you.
7) Click Next
8) Select your type of encryption.
9) Click Next
8) Now it's time choose how much of the device you wish use. If you are using the device just for Portable Firefox than go head and use all of it. If it's going to be a device that also has other things on it then just use some of it.
9) Click Next.
8) Type in the password you with to use.
9) Click Next
10) Choose the type of file system you wish to use. Personally I'd recommend using "NTFS" This will not format your entire device. It will just format the file you will be storing all your stuff in. Once mounted that file will appear as a separate drive letter.
11) Once ready click format.
12) Once complete close out to the main TrueCrypt screen.
Part 3: Mounting your TrueCrypt container.
To mount the container you can either use the version of TrueCrypt installed on your machine or the standalone version located in the "TrueCrypt" directory on your removable device.
1) Open TrueCrypt (which should still technically be open unless you closed it already)
2) Click the "Select File" button.
3) Browse to your device and double click the volume you just created (if you used the example I gave earlier, then it will be called Firefox). If done correctly in the volume box you should now see your drive letter along with the name of your container (example L:\firefox)
4) Click the "Mount" button.
5) Type in your password and click ok
6) Your encrypted container should now mount as its own drive letter (mine always mounts as J). You will see which letter it mounted as on the main TrueCrypt screen.
Well the hard part is done. We can now download portable Firefox and extract it to your device.
Part 4: Portable Firefox
1) Download portable Firefox from http://portableapps....irefox_portable
2) Once its down downloaded open it. It will ask you where you want to extract it to.
If your Truecrypt volume is already mounted you can extract it there. Personally I would recommend extracting it to a folder on your desktop and then pasting it onto your device. Doing so will put FirefoxPortable.exe on the root of your Truecrypt volume instead of inside a sub folder.
Holy crap we're done!!
Everything is all ready to go. When you mount your TrueCrypt volume and launch Firefoxportable.exe from the device it operates just like Firefox would if it was installed. Add-ons, cache, favorites, everything. Everywhere you browse and every site you look at is stored on this device and not the computer you are using. This portable browsing session can also be plugged into ANY computer. Meaning you can take this with you everywhere.
At this point open up FirefoxPortable.exe and download all of your favorite add-ons, import your bookmarks and set it up just how you like it. Once you are done and Firefox is closed you can unplug the device from your computer (Technically you should un mount it first, but I always just pull it out). Next time its plugged in your password has to be reentered in order to use it.