Portable apps – safe library computing

If you are on the road and rather short of computing power or I’net connection, a local library might be a solution. Using a public computer can, and should, cause concerns about security and privacy. PortableApps.com is finding solutions to these concerns.

Now you can carry your favorite computer programs along with all of your bookmarks, settings, email and more with you. Use them on any Windows computer. All without leaving any personal data behind.

The applications are FOSS – free and open source. This means that you do not have to worry about licensing or use restrictions for them. If the public computer has a USB port and is running MS Windows, like many do, you can install these applications on a memory stick and plug it in to have your own setup.

All you have to do is to remember to dismount the USB stick and take it with you when you end your session at the computer.

An office suite, web browser, and email client will cover most needs. OpenOffice.org, -|- Mozilla Firefox, and Mozilla Thunderbird will cover these needs. Or, you can download a suite and platform.

PortableApps.com Suiteā„¢ is a complete collection of portable apps including a web browser, email client, office suite, calendar/scheduler, instant messaging client, antivirus, audio player, sudoku game, password manager, PDF reader, minesweeper clone, backup utility and integrated menu, all preconfigured to work portably. Just drop it on your portable device and you’re ready to go.

This suite is a 113 MB download and takes up about 350 MB installed. That will easily fit on a 1 or 2 GB USB memory stick that you can buy for $20 or so.

See Using the PortableApps.com Platform and Safe Portable App-ing

An important thing to keep in mind when using portable applications is that they can be used to spread viruses between machines. While this isn’t as much of an issue when you own or are responsible for the machines you are using it on (say work and home), it can be a very big issue when you use a portable app on an untrusted or unknown machine (school, internet cafe, etc). For this reason, it is important that you practice Safe Portable App-ing!

Privacy and security are not all you get with this approach. You also gain convenience in storing preferences and in password management.

Also See:

Wikipedia -|- Pendriveapps -|- Top Ten Portable Apps -|- Chris Pirillo’s Top 10

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