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Pros and cons of privacy software

SpiderOak secure cloud storage

Free with 2 gigabytes of storage; 100 gigabytes for $100 per year at spideroak.com

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Pros: Encrypted storage promises absolute privacy; reasonably priced; accessible through iOS and Android devices and personal computers.

Cons: Desktop interface is poorly designed and hard to use.

StartPage.com
Internet search
service

Pros: Privacy oriented search site stores no information about users; routes searches through proxy computers to conceal users’ location; based in the Netherlands, so not subject to US court orders; delivers high-quality results generated by Google.

Cons: Lack of personalization means less accurate searches than standard Google site.

DuckDuckGo.com
Internet search
service

Pros: Stores no information about users; displays search results from multiple services, including Bing.com, WolframAlpha, and its own search engine.

Cons: Based in United States, so it could be compelled to assist in federal surveillance efforts.

Hushmail encrypted e-mail service

Free subscription includes 25 megabytes of storage; $49.98 per year subscription includes 10 gigabytes of storage, at hushmail.com.

Pros: Canada-based e-mail service offers easy-to-use encryption of all messages; encrypted messages can be sent to nonsubscribers.

Cons: Free edition has limited storage capacity; account is canceled if not used regularly.

Hiawatha Bray can be reached at bray@globe.com.
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