Meet DuckDuckGo Privacy Pro: VPN, Personal Information Removal, and Identity Theft Restoration Service

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10 bucks a month for 2 features I’ll never use? Pass.

Looks interesting though. complete lack of info on the VPN however seeing as they don’t even state where the servers are.

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Am I the only one who finds it suspicious that many companies are starting to offer a VPN service ?

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I can’t speak for everyone, but I personally don’t find it “suspicious” and don’t really understand why it would be. But I guess it really depends what you mean, it is not clear to me what you mean by suspicious or what you find suspicious about offering a VPN.

I think it’s just a somewhat simple and stable revenue stream that many companies are realizing they can tap into, that offers an alternative to the ‘default’ revenue stream online (advertising).

I think you may have skimmed the article too quickly:

We currently have VPN servers across the US, Europe, and Canada, and we’ll be adding more over time.

Learn more about the VPN on our Help Pages.

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wouldn’t be surprised if these guys were just using mullvad for their vpn service…

wouldn’t be surprised if these guys were just using mullvad for their vpn service…

I actually kind of hope that they are (this was one of my first thoughts when I read the news).

Mullvad is a great service, very reputable, technically focused and robust. I’d trust them to handle the backend and the infrastructure more than most.

I don’t think every company that offers a VPN service needs to reinvent the wheel and maintain their own infrastructure and backend (and if they all did, I think most would fall short of Mullvad, iVPN, etc). I like that other orgs are partnering with Mullvad. (I have no idea if DDG is or isn’t, I suspect that they are not, since they mention they have plans to ‘add new server’)

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It doesn’t seem like they are: “Get an extra layer of online protection with the VPN made for speed, security, and simplicity — built and operated by DuckDuckGo, not an outside provider.”

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It’s a good thing to see more people using VPNs on a daily basis. VPN service providers are just privacy friendly ISPs.

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I think that Mozilla and DuckDuckGo are missing a gigantic opportunity to partner with someone like Mullvad and create not a mere VPN, but a system with a dual-hop architecture where for example your traffic first goes through Mozilla/DuckDuckGo, then gets passed to Mullvad to exit onto the internet.

I think whoever does this first will have a killer product on their hands. Apple does it with various providers (mainly Cloudflare) and INVISV does it with Fastly, but a product from prominent people within this space instead of mainly big tech companies/CDNs would be sweet.

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Why does everyone keep mentioning Mullvad here insinuating it is the gold standard VPN? Is Proton VPN not the “best” VPN service according to PG’s Recommended Tools page? Do you all recommend I go with Mullvad for its cheaper price (which is a huge deal to me), or go with DDG in the future, and for $2 extra a month, I will get personal information removal services (which there is no guide for on this website)?

Love the changes to the site BTW, everything is coming together!

Mullvad is the only one of the three who has partnered with Mozilla/Malwarebytes/Tailscale already, so it is precedented. Plus can’t there be more than one good VPN?

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DDG has always had a way of making privacy simple for your average Joe so I think this is an ideal service for the “normal population” that want more privacy but don’t want to go to the extreme with everything. For example, my parents. They know who Duckduckgo is and they know what a VPN is, so they would be more likely to get this service over something like Proton or Mullvad who are companies they’ve have never even heard of. Or for my friends who use DDG’s tracking protection app cause they don’t want to learn how to use something like NextDNS. This is a solid addition to their ecosystem.

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Chrome has this feature, called IP Protect (github) that use two hops, one being Google and the other being an ISP/CDN/…

Duck uses AWS servers (source. Google obviously have their own servers (map, map2 and Cloudflare basically have servers everywhere in the world.

But definitely, it will be feasible in the US and Europe. Question is : will it be beneficial ? It will remove a single point of failure. I think it will pave way to an alternative internet network, kinda.

Unfortunately, it’s much worse. The first server I tested is actually owned by i3d.net (AS49544) whose parent company is Ubisoft. You know who has a 10% stake in Ubisoft? Tencent.

DDG really shot themselves in the foot with this one. There’s so many providers out there who have a proven track record. (M247, Datacamp Limited, OVH).

$9.99 for a half baked VPN and two services I’ll never use… I’ll pass. Better off running your own Wireguard server through DigitalOcean for $5/month. :joy:

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To be fair, I think there is close to ZERO overlap between the type of user who would/should even consider self-hosting their own VPN, and the type of user that a service like Duckduckgo Privacy Pro is intended for.

I think there are also some things to think through before considering rolling your own VPN

one thing I struggle with in the (context of privacy) is if you roll your own VPN, there is no crowd for you to be a part of, no variability to your IP address (presumably), and you’ve replaced your ISP assigned IP that is linkable to you, with a host provided IP address that is linkable to you, you do still prevent some MitM snooping (ISP for example) but introduce new MitM/parties that must be trusted.

Unfortunately, it’s much worse. The first server I tested is actually owned by i3d.net (AS49544) whose parent company is Ubisoft . You know who has a 10% stake in Ubisoft? Tencent.

I’m not intending to dismiss valid concerns over choosing good hosting providers (or own infra) and I’d certainly always prefer only partnerships with privacy-respecting orgs, but this seems like a really strained threat (3 degrees of separation, and even then a minority 10% share (of the company, that owns the company, that rents at least some servers to DDG)).

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Proof ?

Umm isn’t this exactly what Safing’s Portmaster do? It’s not really a question, I know that it is exactly that because I do use it :grinning:

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Its similar to what they did with the search, they just use Bing (they still do) and they didn’t block some Microsoft trackers (I suppose to soothe microsoft). Ever since this I am too suspicious of them, because this was deliberate, not an accident.