In recent times, the subject of online security has entered public consciousness through a string of data breaches — LinkedIn being the most notable victim thus far. While it is impossible to protect personal data kept on remote servers, everyone can take action to secure local connections.

One new keyboard, named SilentKeys, affords plug-in protection on any computer. The peripheral sets up a secure desktop environment, complete with encryption and anonymous browsing. This could be the future of digital security.

The keyboard is not the most luxurious in terms of spacing, but the technology inside is quite remarkable. Once you connect the device via USB and press the Secure Key button, SilentKeys boots its own interface. Here, you can choose between two levels of privacy.

For basic protection, users can run the Satya web browser, which is based on Tor. This blocks adverts and tracking, providing instant anonymity without needing to reboot your machine. It is also separated from your main OS, shielding your computer from threats.

For full shielding, the Satya Desktop provides encrypted network connections and a secure file vault, along with malware protection. This all runs from a 16GB memory card inside the aluminum keyboard, which is sealed in order to prevent tampering. Every time the system is shut down, all data is erased, and the system files are set to “read-only” to combat malicious code.

SilentKeys Is a Keyboard that Offers Plug-In Privacy Protection

In spite of such protections, the Desktop system offers access to secure mainstream apps, such as Firefox and Telegram. The hardware and software is open source, and the keys have been set for efficient, ergonomic typing.

SilentKeys Is a Keyboard that Offers Plug-In Privacy Protection

Not everyone will feel the need for the protection offered by SilentKeys, but for the privacy- and security-conscious, there is surely no easier way to use Tor and avoid keylogging.

The project is currently in the midst of crowdfunding via Kickstarter, where backers can secure the keyboard for €169 (approx. $190). The projected retail price is €249 ($280), and the first units will ship in the fall.

Would you use SilentKeys, or install Tor for security?

Meet Mark Myerson

Mark is best known for writing about apps, but he also loves the tactile, hardware side of technology. Being a professional photographer, he's pretty handy with a camera, and he's a self-confessed tweetaholic.