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DuckDuckGo’s new $9.99 Privacy Pro subscription should be on everyone’s radar

Published Apr 11th, 2024 6:10PM EDT
DuckDuckGo Desktop Browser
Image: DuckDuckGo

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After all these years, DuckDuckGo doesn’t need an introduction. It’s a more private internet search tool than Google Search, and it’s my default search engine on the iPhone and most of my desktop browsing. It also offers a DuckDuckGo browser for mobile and desktop.

Whether you’re using DuckDuckGo or not, now there’s a great new reason to check out the company. DuckDuckGo just launched a $9.99/month Privacy Pro subscription that delivers three great services, two of which you’ll hope you’ll never have to use.

The first is a DuckDuckGo VPN service that should improve your privacy while browsing the web on various platforms. This is the service you’ll use the most.

More interesting are the Privacy Pro protections you hope you won’t need. One of them is called Personal Information Removal. As the name implies, it’ll come in handy for removing personal information from the web.

Identity Theft Restoration is the second Privacy Pro tool you hope you won’t have to use. It’s a service that will give you access to professionals ready to help you mitigate identity theft issues.

The Privacy Pro subscription

You’ll pay $9.99/month of $99.99 per year for DuckDuckGo Privacy Pro, but the bundle is only available in the US for the time being. It’s also one reason I can’t get it, as I’ll need to wait for it to roll out in Europe.

Once you sign up for it, the three services will be available immediately, covering your security and privacy on all your devices.

The VPN service

The VPN service from DuckDuckGo's Privacy Pro subscription.
The VPN service from DuckDuckGo’s Privacy Pro subscription. Image source: DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo says it built an anonymous VPN service that’s fast and secure. It works directly in the DuckDuckGo browser and encrypts all of your traffic. While you open it in the DuckDuckGo browser, it protects your traffic from all your browsers. The service also supports up to five devices at the same time.

The VPN service will make it impossible for anyone to see your browsing history. DuckDuckGo will not log or store any data about your browsing habits while using the Privacy Pro VPN.

DuckDuckGo is working with servers from the US, Europe, and Canada for the time being. Service will expand in the future to more regions. Users can connect automatically to the closest VPN server or choose one manually.

The Personal Information Removal tool

DuckDuckGo Privacy Pro: The Personal Information Removal tool.
DuckDuckGo Privacy Pro: The Personal Information Removal tool. Image source: DuckDuckGo

Google already lets you monitor for personal information popping up online and remove data from Google Search results. But DuckDuckGo will go one step further with the Privacy Pro subscription.

The Personal Information Removal tool will actually let you remove personal information from certain data brokers. DuckDuckGo promises to handle the entire removal process if it finds personal information about you online:

We scan dozens of these sites for your info and, if found, request its removal, even handling back-and-forth confirmation emails for you automatically behind the scenes. Unlike other similar services, we only contact the data brokers once we confirm that you’re in their databases and the info you enter for scanning is stored on your device — not on remote servers.

Users will need to set up the Personal Information Tool on a Mac or Windows PC. After that, they’ll start scans from that device. Removal requests and progress will be managed from the same device in the DuckDuckGo browser.

Identity Theft Restoration

DuckDuckGo Privacy Pro: The Identity Theft Restoration tool.
DuckDuckGo Privacy Pro: The Identity Theft Restoration tool. Image source: DuckDuckGo

Hackers who gain access to enough personal data can steal your identity. That’s why it’s so important to protect that data with unique, secure passwords and do whatever you can to avoid your accounts from being hacked. However, some hacks happen nonetheless, and your data can get in the wrong hands.

DuckDuckGo says that over 1 million people report identity theft cases in the US every year. Having a service like Identity Theft Restoration work for you will come in handy if you ever have to use it.

DuckDuckGo is working with Iris Powered by Generali, one of the oldest firms that deals with identity theft in the US. DuckDuckGo says that Iris identity advisors are available 24/7, every day of the year, and the average call response time is 11 seconds.

If hackers use your data to steal your identity, Iris will help you mitigate the problem. The company will work to freeze your credit report until your identity is restored. It’ll also help you cancel and replace documents like your driver’s license, bank cards, passport, and social security card.

Furthermore, Iris will provide travel assistance if you’re more than 100 miles from home and report fraudulent activity to authorities if you’re abroad when it happens.

Iris will also work with your healthcare and insurance providers to prevent fraudulent claims. Finally, in some cases, Iris will reimburse certain out-of-pocket expenses associated with the identity theft case.

Hopefully, you’ll never have to deal with recovering your identity theft.

That said, you should certainly check out DuckDuckGo’s Privacy Pro and consider getting a subscription. You’ll find more information about it here and here.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.