I have written several times about the excellent security and privacy offered by Chromebooks. You can find my past articles about Chromebook security by starting at http://bit.ly/2UyLIqi.
Now Kevin Murnane obvious agrees, based on his recent article in the Forbes web site. Murnane’s article focuses on the advantages of Chromebooks versus the many recent problems with Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system. For that comparison, I’ll refer you to Kevin Murnane’s article at: http://bit.ly/2GEY77t.
Probably the ultimate security available today in standard PC hardware is to use Tails (The Amnesiac Incognito Live System) Linux or Whonix Linux or Qubes OS or some other high-security version of Linux. Please keep in mind that not all versions of Linux offer top security. For top security, you should use one of the versions of Linux designed for the ultimate in computer security. The problem is that these same high-security versions of Linux can be a bit complex to install and use daily, thereby discouraging their use by non-experts.
To be sure, there are easy-to-use versions of Linux that are much simpler to use than the high-security versions of Linux. Linux Mint pops to mind as one example but it certainly is not the only Linux implementation that offers ease of use. The problem with the easy-to-use versions of Linux is that they typically do not offer the best security.
For the non-expert computer users, the Chrome operating system may be a better choice. The Chrome operating system, as used on Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, and ChromeBit (often called Chrome “Sticks”) systems was developed by Google and offers the best of both worlds: both ease of use and excellent security.
In fact, the Chrome operating system is based on the Linux kernel although it has been heavily modified. The original Linux software developers might not even recognize today’s Chrome operating system. However, most of the security benefits of Linux have been maintained in the Chrome operating system but with a much easier-to-use user interface built around the high security kernel. You can learn more about the Chrome operating system’s security strengths by reading my earlier articles (by starting at http://bit.ly/2UyLIqi) and from documents in the Google Help Center at https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/3438631?hl=en and at https://www.google.com/chrome/security/.
A Chromebook, Chromebox, or ChromeBit computer is not designed for everyone. Instead, these systems are designed for individuals who want ease of use, low prices, and bullet-proof protection from viruses and other malware (malevolent software). For instance, I have a Chromebook and use it frequently. HOWEVER, I realize the Chromebooks were never designed for technically-competent people, except perhaps as a low-cost second computer. The Chromebook/Chromebox/Chromestick target audience includes students, truck drivers, housewives, retirees, adolescents, and lots of other non-techies. While I do consider myself to be a techie with a lot of experience in Linux, UNIX, Windows, and Macintosh computers, I still reach for the Chromebook most of the time simply because it is so easy to use. I don’t need complexity when all I want to do is to write an article for this blog or to read and write email messages or to surf the web.
Don’t compare the Chromebook to other laptops with all sorts of elegant features. If you do, you will miss the point. Hand a Chromebook to your non-computer-literate grandmother and ask her to use it. That will give you a far better picture of how well the Chrome operating system works.
Chromebook computers are available from a number of manufacturers at prices ranging from $180 or so up to top-of-the-line Chromebooks that sell for more than $1,500. I believe that most of the Chromebooks purchased by consumers are in the $180 to $400 range. Chromebits are a bit cheaper, often for less than $100. Chromeboxes vary from about $100 to $250. Of course, with both Chromebits and Chromeboxes, you still need to supply your own monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
Best of all, even the cheapest $180 Chromebook or even an $80 Chromebit enjoys the same privacy and anti-virus protection as the $1,500+ model. There are no options for privacy and virus protection: all versions of the Chrome operating system have the exactly same level of protection.
You can find the more popular Chromebooks by starting at https://www.google.com/chromebook/find-yours/.
For a comparison of Chromebooks to Windows 10’s multiple problems, look at Kevin Murnane’s article at: http://bit.ly/2GEY77t.