Is DuckDuckGo Good Enough for Protecting Online Privacy?

Last Updated by Denise Sullivan on June 28, 2019

One of the stickiest issues concerning the internet today is the right to privacy. Successful search engines like Google and Bing use cookies that track your online searches and other data to offer you the best online experience possible.

Despite the efforts to provide relevant links and ads, most internet users would prefer a little more privacy.
DuckDuckGoDuckDuckGo is a search engine that offers users more anonymity, but while it is good at keeping user data out of unwanted hands, does it stack up against a VPN for online security?

DuckDuckGo Security

Standard browser private modes are not as efficient as some search engines lead you to believe, and despite using a private window in Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Chrome, information from your searches are still tracked.

Search engines like Google and Bing have algorithms which store search phrases along with your IP address and share the data with third-parties.

Online data retention is where DuckDuckGo differs from the competition; as when using the search engine, the DuckDuckGo algorithm works in a way that prevents the distribution of your personal information. When you click a link, DuckDuckGo redirects the information package so that you visit the page without sharing any data.

DuckDuckGo does not store any information gathered during use, and they also have no cookies as the default setting for their website. The engine strives to keep your online activity as private as possible while on their site and when you navigate away.

That said, all searches initiated do remain stored in the DuckDuckGo database; however, it is not identifiable as an individual’s search. Users can change settings to allow cookies, which are also stored in a non-identifiable way.

DuckDuckGo vs. VPN Service

Virtual Private Network (VPN) There are many positives for using DuckDuckGo as opposed to other search engines, with protocols in place to help ensure user privacy remains intact when using the service.

However, that is the extent of the data protection provided, and users can still be at risk from other online threats.

A VPN can ensure users avoid revealing their identity by obscuring their IP address and DNS information by providing a proxy server to facilitate internet access.

The data stream between a user’s device and the proxy is encrypted to protect you from third-parties, especially if you are using a public access point or visiting high-risk sites, like for torrenting, etc.

VPN services make access to content restricted by location possible anywhere in the world. Geo-blocking occurs in countries with strict internet access regulations, when licensing laws apply, or with content affected by copyright and distribution regulations.

Using VPN with DuckDuckGo

Although DuckDuckGo does provide a level of security that many search engines lack, it doesn’t actively protect you from the threats that exist online.

Used in conjunction, a VPN and DuckDuckGo can achieve near-total anonymity while online, protect your privacy, and allow you to bypass geo-blocking.

These VPN providers are among the top services that work seamlessly with DuckDuckGo.


image of nordvpn homepage on mobile, tablet, and laptop screens
  • 256-bit AES Security
  • Kill Switch Feature
  • 5,000+ servers
  • Servers located in over 60 countries
  • Six simultaneous connections
  • Works with most streaming services

Military grade encryption combines with CyberSec, Double VPN, and a strict no logs policy protects users, while DNS leak protection and an Onion Over VPN facility ensure anonymity.

NordVPN’s expansive server network is optimized to stream without buffering or lag; enhanced with SmartPlay technology, while P2P is permitted and encouraged for data sharing.

24/7 customer service with available via live chat, email, or the help center, and if you’re unhappy with the service you can benefit from the 30-day money-back guarantee.

Get it Now


  • Military-grade encryption
  • No logs
  • Supports Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and more
  • 2,000+ servers
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

256-bit AES encryption, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, split tunneling, and a kill switch, ensure data protection and privacy with ExpressVPN.

The server network is comprised of almost 150 locations across 90+ different countries. When combined with the applications available for most major devices, five simultaneous device connections, and service optimized for streaming, Express delivers on security and geo-spoofing.

24/7 customer service is available via live chat, or from within the detailed troubleshooting guides.

Try Now Risk Free

3CyberGhost VPN

  • The added security of Malware Blockers
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • 3,000+ servers
  • Servers in over 60 countries
  • Supports all major operating systems
  • Unlimited bandwidth

Robust encryption, DNS/IP leak protection, an automatic kill switch, and a strict no logs policy make CyberGhost VPN a viable option for online security on your major devices. Additionally, CyberGhost’s web browser extension features a malware blocker to prevents websites from uploading malicious content and online tracking.

Servers are optimized to operate at the highest speeds possible, with accessing geo-restricted content possible, simultaneous connections on seven devices, and an integrated profile for anonymous torrenting included.

CyberGhost offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, while friendly customer support is available via live chat for email.

Try Now Risk Free


Using DuckDuckGo is a secure way to search without risking the exploitation of your interests.

However, if you want the best protection, you should consider using a VPN service in addition to the DuckDuckGo search engine.

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Denise Sullivan
Denise Sullivan is an accomplished writer from Louisiana, with an Associate's Degree in Journalism from Eastern Oklahoma State College. Denise began her writing career writing operations and maintenance manuals and software utility manuals for flight simulators. She is fascinated with VPNs, cybersecurity and helping to make the internet a more secure place.