- DuckDuckGo is currently the number one alternative to Google for privacy-concerned users.
- A common misconception is that DuckDuckGo is a VPN since it can protect your privacy.
- Although DuckDuckGo is an efficient privacy-focused service, it's still far from being a VPN.
- Check out our guide and learn more about DuckDuckGo, as well as protecting your privacy.
Just recently, judges in Belgium ruled that Facebook broke privacy laws by deploying cookies and social plug-ins, among other technologies to track Internet users’ activity across the web.
This was a huge blow for Facebook as it uses such personal data collected from users to sell targeted advertising. However, the social media giant couldn’t clarify clearly how user digital activity is used.
For this, Facebook faces fines of up to $124 million, with a daily fine rate if it doesn’t comply with the court’s ruling to stop tracking the web browsing habits of Belgians, in addition to destroying any data they obtained illegally.
This just shows how much you continue to be tracked online, whether you want to accept it or not, and whether it’s by Facebook or even Google or your favorite website.
Most, if not all, websites serve up ads tailored to your browsing behavior.
The proverbial adage that says you can run but can’t hide, may not hold water as such because, on the internet, you can actually run and hide from online tracking.
And here are three quick and easy things you can do now to protect yourself.
DuckDuckGo vs VPN
It might be easy to confuse them since they are both tools that protect your anonymity and privacy. However, they are not the same. DuckDuckGo is a search engine.
It’s a website that can be accessed with any device that is connected to the Internet and has a web browser. On the other hand, a VPN is used to protect your very connection to the Internet.
The device connects to a VPN server through a tunnel, and that VPN server then connects to the Internet. While connected to a VPN, you can, and should, use DuckDuckGo to perform your web searches online.
How we test, review and rate?
We have worked for the past 6 months on building a new review system on how we produce content. Using it, we have subsequently redone most of our articles to provide actual hands-on expertise on the guides we made.
For more details you can read how we test, review, and rate at WindowsReport.
Does DuckDuckGo really not track you?
DuckDuckGo employs a set of measures in order to ensure they have the ability to monetize and maintain operations and, at the same time, not have and store any personal data from you.
They don’t store any cookies and you can use them without them, there are no user accounts to be created and have data associated with that, and the affiliate programs they are registered in are the only ones that can be used completely anonymously.
Does DuckDuckGo use a proxy?
Yes, you’re able to use proxy servers with the DuckDuckGo browser to get encrypted data while you navigate.
Unfortunately, using proxies can slow down your internet speed when it routes the traffic to different addresses.
Hence, according to different reviews, it is not beneficial to use this browser proxy if you want speedy navigation.
How to protect your privacy while online
1. Use a high-privacy VPN
This tool is powered by one of the best privacy protection companies in the US and is meant for use whenever you have a privacy concern.
A tool like ExpressVPN provides a short and effortless method to access websites without being tracked, by typing in your preferred website and the proxy works its magic.
If you seek 100 percent anonymity for your daily online activities, like surfing or unblocking streaming websites like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or BBC iPlayer, or torrenting privately, go for this software.
In addition, using a VPN is more efficient than a proxy because it came with fast server locations spread across the globe. Plus, you get full encryption and private data on the web.
You can use as well private DNS for every server you connect to and browse on DuckDuck or other browsers with improved speed and privacy.
ExpressVPNSurf your websites privately without any trackers and completely hide your online traces with this VPN.
2. Use Private Mode
Privacy mode or Incognito mode, as we know it, is a privacy tool found in some web browsers that disables your browsing history and the web cache, allowing you to browse without local data being stored for retrieval later.
It also disables data storage in cookies and flash cookies, but the protection is only on the local device as it is still possible to identify frequently visited sites by associating IP addresses at the webserver.
If you are using Chrome for example, which has an Incognito Mode, you can also install some privacy extensions.
While this may be a quick way to protect yourself, the next two are even stronger.
3. Use DuckDuckGo
This is a search engine that doesn’t track you the way Google and others do. It is built to protect you from online tracking because you deserve privacy.
Companies make money off your private information without your consent online, so you need to protect your identity and data from such.
DuckDuckGo lets you take back your privacy with a simple app and browser extension to stop online tracking so you can surf and browse with peace of mind.
Search privately, without being tracked, and get privacy tips while you’re at it. This tool has set a new standard of trust online.
You need not buy or install anything, your searches are protected, and search leakage is stopped so that sites you visit won’t know what you searched for, plus your IP address won’t be sent to the search engine or browser’s user agent.
It also has an encrypted version that preserves your privacy, and a password-protected cloud saves setting so you can create search policies, and sync them across your devices.
Does DuckDuckGo hide your IP from websites?
No, you can’t really mask your IP address with this browser. The browsing tool is known for complete privacy on websites without tracking.
That means you can navigate without sharing personal data with other parties, but your IP and therefore location can be seen.
Is DuckDuckGo safe?
It’s clear that using this browser is safer to some extent. Meaning that when you’re searching on DuckDuckGo, you can’t be tracked by any website or web service you visit.
In other words, you’re protected against browsing leaks and tracking cookies used by every platform.
There are indeed privacy flaws when it comes to more complex entities like cyber threats or location tracks.
So, you’ve found your answer. DuckDuckGo is not a VPN, but it doesn’t track you as Google does. However, if you want to stay protected online, you should use a VPN.
If you have any thoughts on this, leave us a note in the comments section below.