Do You Need a VPN With DuckDuckGo? (A Quick Guide)

Privacy concerns are on the rise, and as a result, internet users are opting to use search engines that provide privacy and won’t track and store your information. Having a VPN becomes essential to keeping your data secure, but with a search engine like DuckDuckGo, do you need a VPN? 

DuckDuckGo offers private searching and does not store your search history. Still, after you click on Search Results, your browsing activity is not encrypted. Therefore, for complete Search and Browsing privacy, you will need to use DuckDuckGo and VPN simultaneously.

One of DuckDuckGo’s greatest features is that users’ search results are the same for every user. DuckDuckGo does not store your search results or track your browsing history, but although your search history remains private through DuckDuckGo, your ISP can still have access to your IP address and browsing history unless you invest in a VPN.

do you need a vpn with duckduckgo

How Anonymous Is DuckDuckGo Without A VPN?

When browsing on Duck Duck Go, your search history remains completely private. In line with their strict privacy policy,  you have a blank search history each time you start a new browsing session. DuckDuckGo is guaranteed not to store any information on its users. DuckDuckGo also has apps and extensions that protect your privacy while browsing the web.

Searches made through this search engine automatically connect you to the encrypted version of the websites where possible. DuckDuckGo also blocks trackers, and your information and searches remain private.

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Without using a VPN while browsing with DuckDuckGo, your real IP address and location will still be accessible. The encrypted tunnel of a VPN will also encrypt your complete browsing history, and it will allow for more freedom on the internet to sites that may not be available in your country.

How Does Duck Duck Go Protect Your Privacy?

Search engines like Google and Yahoo store your search history on their servers. They do not just save a list of search terms and sites but save your entire search history. They also collect information on your browser and your operating system. 

Understandably, knowing that this information is available on a server can keep you up at night. Duck Duck Go tackles privacy issues through the following ways:

  1. Prevents Search Leakage. Your personal information is not shared when you click on a link. That information is also not shared with every other site you click on during your browsing session.
  2. No Search History. As I mentioned before, Duck Duck Go does not keep any record of your search history, and you won’t be able to access a list of your searches.
  3. No User Profiles. Many search engines create a profile based on your age, gender, and search history. Duck Duck Go does not create user profiles.
  4. Eliminates Filters. Once a search engine tracks you for a while, it gathers information. You are then presented with filtered results based on your profile when browsing. Duck Duck Go does not track your browsing and therefore does not filter results.
  5. Blocks Advertising Trackers. Most sites contain advertising trackers. Duck Duck Go Blocks advertising trackers, ensuring that third-party companies can’t access your data.
  6. Encrypts Search Data. Duck Duck Go automatically pulls up the encrypted version of the site you click on, ensuring your safety while browsing.

When you compare Duck Duck Go to other search engines, there is a significant difference in their privacy policies; while other browsers track and store your data, Duck Duck Go provides anonymity.

Does DuckDuckGo Use A VPN?

There is a common misconception that Duck Duck Go is a VPN. It is easy to mistake Duck Duck Go for a VPN as it also provides a degree of anonymity. Duck Duck Go does not create a virtual private network or protect your IP address. It does not provide the same encryption that a VPN provides.

DuckDuckGo only uses a VPN for its internal network and does not act as a VPN for its users.

The 5 Benefits Of Using DuckDuckGo With A VPN

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While Duck Duck Go allows you to browse privately, if you want to stay anonymous online, a VPN is worth investing in. Here are the benefits of using Duck Duck Go with a VPN:

1. Prevent Data Throttling

Data throttling occurs when you’ve used up your allocated amount of bandwidth from your service provider. By using Duck Duck Go and a VPN, you won’t be subject to a data cap. The VPN will ensure that all your data is hidden from your ISP, allowing you to stream and download videos online without any restrictions.

2. Get Access To Geo-blocked Services

Streaming providers like Netflix and Hulu have content restrictions based on your country. With a VPN, you can bypass this. Geo-Blocking measures can be complex but can be in place due to government restrictions, intellectual property protection, and cultural differences.

3. Secure Public Wi-Fi Connections

Do you have any cyber security in place while connecting to the public Wi-Fi at your local coffee shop? If not, your personal information is at risk of being stolen. Public Wi-Fi networks are a great spot for hackers to steal your information. If you want complete security while using public Wi-Fi, you need a VPN.

4. Prevents Price Discrimination

Pricing discrimination is price hikes based on factors such as your age, location, and occupation. The most common price hikes include hotels, air flights, and retail stores. With DuckDuckGo and a VPN, your location and personal profile are not accessible; therefore, you are not subject to price discrimination.

5. Online Banking And Shopping Security

If you’re banking online and are concerned about the risks of leaked information, then using a VPN keeps your data and your transactions safe. 


The increase in privacy policy violations and the risk of your information being leaked to companies, stored on servers, and your user profile distributed is enough to make anyone look for alternative search engines that protect your identity.

DuckDuckGo has been a proven choice to allow private web searches. You do not need a VPN to ensure your information stays safe with DuckDuckGo. Although to keep your browsing history private outside of DuckDuckGo, you will need a VPN.

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