Practical Anonymity, by Peter Loshin (Elsevier/Syngress)

The anonymity on the web is probably one of the most debated topics on the web. Is possible to be completely anonymous? The short answer is no. This book tries to help the read to improve its anonymity, staying is the “real world”, as the “Practical” world in the title suggests. In this book you will not find anything that is too complex for an average user.

Whether this is good or bad, depends on you expectations. I’ve took this book the first time with really high expectations and I was really disappointed. When I took it for the second time, with different expectations, I did found the book pretty good.

This book is able to explain in a really easy way what is anonymity, why is important and how to improve your anonymity. The book does cover mainly Tor. You will also find some other companion technologies like Tails, obfsproxy and anonymous emails.

All the information written in this book are freely available online with some Google researches, but are not well organized and simplified as they are in this book.

Is this book worth or not? This is a really difficult question.

Why you should buy this book:

  • It contains a lot of useful information about anonymity
  • It’s well written
  • It’s written in plain English (you don’t have to be an engineer to understand what the author is saying)
  • It’s short (141 pages long) and full of contents

Why you should NOT buy this book:

  • It’s very expensive considering the length (141 pages) and the price (30.00$ the eBook) making ~22 cents per page (considering in the calculation the appendices, covers, index, white pages, etc)
  • All the information in this book are present online

Given these ups and downs, I would not suggest this book unless you have to learn stuff about Internet Anonymity quickly and you don’t have a strong IT knowledge.

You can find the book at O’Reilly website.

Disclaimer: I received a free electronic copy of this book as part of the O’Reilly Blogger Program