Tired of Microsoft abusing your privacy? It's never been a better time than now to check out Linux.




Microsoft's newest operating system, Windows 10, has finally been released. Since then, the media has ran wild with stories about how Microsoft is spying on you and stealing your private information. If you are looking for a great alternative to the Windows operating system, Linux may just be the solution you need.



Security

We all know how insecure the Windows operating systems is and has been for a while. Linux doesn't have any of those problems. Linux Distros rarely, if ever, get infected with viruses or malware. On my Linux boxes I don't run any kind of anti virus program. In over ten years of using Linux, I've never had any type of problem. Linux Distros are open source, so thousands upon thousands of people around the globe contribute to them. This makes them much more secure than the Windows operating system, which is closed source. So, only Microsoft employees are working on them. If there is a security vulnerability discovered in the Windows operating system, the patch can take weeks or even months to come out. In Linux Distros however, it can take as little as a few hours for the patch to become available. In Linux, programs can't run wild like they do in Windows. This means there are far less programs running in the background.



File Structure Architecture

The file system of Linux, is also completely different than it is in Windows. There is no registry, there is only one file tree and everything is mounted to that tree. This makes Linux much more stable and less error prone than Windows. Linux users typically run limited accounts and normally don't need root access. Without the ability to gain root access, the same as administrator access in Windows, a hacker or malware can't do much. It can attack the user's account, but all you have to do is delete that account. This doesn't compromise the rest of the Linux installation. It remains stable and secure.



Software Repositories & Package Managers

A major vector of malware within the Windows eco system, is the way users obtain new programs and apps for the operating system. Normally, you search on the internet for the program you need and download it onto your computer. This can compromise your machine, simply because this software isn't always checked for authenticity or security. So, anyone can inject malicious code into the program you are downloading. Linux Distros use software repositories and package managers to distribute programs to their operating systems. The programs in these software repositories, are vetted by whatever Linux Distro you are using. This way, Linux users can be 100% certain that the programs they are downloading to their Linux Distro, are safe and not compromised in any way.



Flexibility

The Windows operating system isn't built for flexibility. Linux however, is known for its flexibility. Linux, provides you with unlimited ways to come up with solutions to almost any problem. Linux can be deployed on almost any type of machine, regardless of age or the hardware specifications.



Other Features

Linux also contains other security features such as AppArmor. AppArmor restricts actions that processes can take. This is particularly useful with applications that may become compromised, such as a web browser, for example. There's another application called SELinux, or Security Enhanced Linux. SELinux, is an access control implementation for the Linux Kernel. Both AppArmor and SELinux provide, what is known as, mandatory access control or (mac). Both applications are capable of limiting what a hacker or malware can damage, have access to, and even limit what they are able to do with Linux's resources.



Community

There's no shortage of people contributing to the open source Linux community. Thousands upon thousands of people contribute to the coding, patching of security holes, implementing improvements and even help people having issues with Linux. If you run into a problem or need help, there's a huge amount of support available. The support for Linux is, of course, free as well. If you run into an issue with Windows and you need support from Microsoft, your going to have to pay for it.



Cost

Linux Distros  are free or relatively inexpensive. Versions of the Windows operating system can be quite expensive, ranging anywhere from $99-199. Now, if you own a computer that is running a legitimate version of Windows 7,8, or 8.1; then you can upgrade to Windows 10 for free within the next year. After that time period, if you want Windows 10, you will have to purchase it.



Many Flavors

For Windows users, there are only a few options available to choose from. Windows offers you choices of either Windows 7, 8, 8.1 or 10. Unlike Windows, Linux offers an amazing assortment of flavors to suit any one's fancy. These are some of the more popular Linux Distros:

  • Ubuntu

  • Mate

  • Mint

  • Debian

  • OpenSUSE

  • Netrunner

  • Arch Linux

  • Steam OS

  • Tails

  • Kali Linux

New Linux Distros come out all the time. With a little research, anyone can find the Linux Distro that works for them. A great place to start your search is here.



Conclusion

In comparison, of all of the differences between Windows and Linux, it's not hard to see why Linux is such an attractive alternative. It's definitely worth checking out.

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Comments

Nicholas Johnson 3 years ago

Pretty thorough. Yes, Windows 10 was a HUGE concern for me when it came out. The first red flag that came to me was when the technical preview had the Keylogger on it. I thought that was a little sketchy as if NSA and Microsoft paired up. They can write all of the fine print they want for it is a crafty way to convince the average user that everything is okay with Windows only to find out otherwise.

Well written!

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lonto81 3 years ago

Nick,
Yeah Windows 10 has a lot of shortcomings. The various ways and the amount of personal data that Microsoft is collecting from Windows 10 is amazing. The more I learn about it the less I like it. I've always been a huge fan of Linux, it's superior to Windows in so many ways. I also agree that just because Microsoft say's nothing is going on and that everything is fine doesn't actually mean it is.

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