DuckDuckGo Expands Privacy Services with New Subscription

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Key Takeaways

  • DuckDuckGo launches premium subscription model with enhanced protection to users
  • The three-in-one offering provides a VPN, complemented by two security tools to keep your online activity secure
  • The $9.99 monthly service is only available in the US for now, with plans to expand to other regions in the future

DuckDuckGo has launched an extension to its privacy protection service with a new subscription-based offering, DuckDuckGo Privacy Pro. 

The initiative pledges ‘three new protections, one easy subscription’ with the benefits including a VPN and two new security tools.

DuckDuckGo is a search engine available on mobile and desktop dedicated to online privacy. It was first launched in 2018. It attempts to make internet browsing private with a built-in tracker blocker, making it difficult for websites to collect user information.

DDG claims its protections would cost more than $30 per month if bought individually, but the full service is fixed at $9.99 per month or $99 for the whole year.

Privacy Pro is available in the United States on iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows devices, and the company plans to roll out its products to other markets in the future.

DuckDuckGo’s privacy credentials are supported by its browser extension or mobile app, which does not permit the tracking of searches. This is where it differs from other default search engines, which will track your online activity. The likes of Chrome offer private or incognito windows to evade this.

All searches conducted through DuckDuckGo are automatically connected to encrypted versions of websites as much as possible, once again making it harder for others to see what you’re doing.

DuckDuckGo’s Privacy Controversy with Microsoft Tracking Scripts

In May 2022, the Pennsylvania-based company was criticized after researchers discovered the presence of some Microsoft tracking scripts while using DuckDuckGo browsers.

This appeared to contradict the raison d’etre of the search engine, leading to the founder and CEO of DuckDuckGo explaining on Reddit how his organization was “currently contractually restricted by Microsoft” from prohibiting the full load of its scripts.

One explanation for this is that DuckDuckGo uses Microsoft’s Bing to power its search results. Still, the company has said it will endeavor to restrict Microsoft tracking as much as possible.