Muriel wants to know how Disconnect Search differs from DuckDuckGo
I’ve been successfully using http://www.duckduckgo.com for many of my searches. But often I use Google as a comparison or on the chance that it will add to my search results. Apparently, Disconnect Search will make other search engines operate like duckduckgo. Am I correct? If not, how do they differ in function?
Hi Muriel. Disconnect Search (see our article here and in the tips section of this newsletter) creates an instant VPN connection when you search, regardless of your choice of search engine. Your true IP address is changed and all your ISP or search engine sees is the Virtual Private Network IP address. So you may appear to be from Los Angeles, when you’re really in Miami…or London or, Papeete, Tahiti (like EB). When you’re using a VPN all your ISP knows (and logs) is that you are connected to a VPN server in Miami, but — assuming the VPN server keeps no logs — the trail would end there and anything you did (searching, downloading, etc.) would be seen only by the VPN server. If that server keeps no records or logs of your access, then your privacy is pretty much assured. This will not, of course, circumvent NSA surveillance 🙂 but hopefully, none of us have to worry about the NSA. So it’s different and even more private than DuckDuckGo — although using DuckDuckGo with Disconnect Search, would be excellent 🙂
Your ISP has no business knowing what you’re doing on the Internet, any more than the gas company has any business knowing how you’re using the natural gas you buy from them…or the electric company needing to know how you use the electricity you buy from them. I really don’t think most people understand that ISPs record everything their customers do online – and how long they keep this information varies from ISP to ISP, but you can be assured it’s for a period of years. In my opinion, it’s only a matter of time before they start selling this information to advertisers and companies who want to sell us services or things. Where they sell it in the aggregate (most likely) or by customer (not likely) it’s valuable stuff and valuable stuff tends to get sold.
Those who say they have nothing to hide and don’t care what their ISP records are actually encouraging the continuing erosion of our individual rights to privacy. I am certain those who claim they’re not doing anything wrong, would not like people watching them through the windows of their homes even if they were just reading or watching TV. But I bet that the people who say they don’t care who sees what they’re doing online, have curtains or blinds on their living room windows, even though they’re doing nothing but watching TV or reading.
What about private browsing?
And a little overview about so-called private browsing. Chrome has it (Incognito), IE and Firefox has it – so why not just use private browsing instead of something like Disconnect Search or DuckDuckGo? The answer is simply this: Private browsing is only private it to you. It doesn’t store files on your computer nor keep a history. Unfortunately, to the sites you visit, to the search engines you use, and to your ISP, private browsing doesn’t mean anything. Private isn’t really private at all.