Reclaim privacy on Windows 10 with new Debotnet tool
Debotnet is a new application for devices running Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system designed to make configuration changes to improve privacy. The application is developed by Mirinsoft, which you may known from programs such as CloneApp, the disk cleanup alternative Cleanmgr+, or the program download helper Roboget.
Debotnet is available as a beta release currently; interested users can download the latest binary or the source of the application from the project's GitHub page. Just extract the archive the binary is provided in and run the software afterwards. Note that Windows may throw a SmartScreen warning because it is a new program and relatively unknown.
The interface looks similar to that of other privacy tools for the operating system (You can check out our master list of privacy programs for Windows 10 here).
The application interface is divided into three columns. The second column lists the tweaks and modifications, the third provides a description for the currently selected tweak. The description may list PowerShell commands that may be run manually to apply the change to the system; good, as it improves transparency and provides tech-savvy users with options to verify the method.
One interesting feature of Debotnet is the ability to edit the description. While it may only be useful to some users, it can in theory be used to modify commands that the program executes or add to the description to provide additional information.
Note: The beta version of the application does not create backups, e.g. system restore points, at the time of writing.Â It is recommended that you create a backup of the system partition or the entire system before you run it as you have no option to restore changed functionality at the time otherwise.
Basically, what you do is go through the list of available privacy modifications to enable those that you want to apply to the underlying system. Once you are done, you hit the "run" button and confirm that you want to apply the selected modifications to make the changes to the system.
You may also enable debug mode to make a dry run. Using it, you will be presented with information about Registry changes and other changes that the program would make it you'd hit the run button.
The program supports roughly 70 modifications at the time; some remove preinstalled applications, others disable certain features such as automatic updates, Cortana or Windows tips.
Most program settings are modified using a text editor; this is not overly comfortable and may pose some issues for inexperienced users but experienced users may modify theme related options there for the most part.
Debloatnet is a promising program for Windows 10 to tame the operating system's hunger for data. It is a beta program and as such in an early state of development. I'd like to see an automated backup option and tweak categories to improve manageability.
Now You: Do you use privacy tools? If so which and why?