Does "Disconnect" give any real privacy benefits ?

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by quietman, Aug 21, 2015.

  1. quietman

    quietman Registered Member

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    I've been trying out Disconnect ( the free version ) and I notice that it also installs OpenVPN .

    From reading other discussions of VPNs on Wilders , I have doubts if there are any real privacy or security benefits
    from a "one-click" VPN that doesn't appear to need any tweaking or configuration.

    Neither the website nor the app give much in the way of information.

    I'd be interested to read the experiences of other Wilders members on this .
     
  2. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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  3. ComputerSaysNo

    ComputerSaysNo Registered Member

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    I believe that Disconnect search doesn't set a cookie when you search.
     
  4. deBoetie

    deBoetie Registered Member

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    My take is that it provides a per-time selection of whether you do or don't want to go through the VPN for search, which would otherwise be harder.

    Can't see the point of that, but maybe it's a gentle introduction to the world of VPNs for the novice. Maybe you actually want google to know your "public" search history so you can get all the wonderful benefits of targeting.
     
  5. quietman

    quietman Registered Member

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    I was playing with the installed version of Disconnect Free and I should have been clearer in my original post .... Mea Culpa !
    Once I saw how it behaved , or more exactly , wasn't able to see , I uninstalled it with Revo ; it had hooks in various places ,
    and made a few registry changes , but nothing major.

    I was surprised to see that it had installed OpenVPN at the same time , without any mention to the end user , not that it matters much .
    But after the complete Revo uninstall of Disconnect ( and its "droppings " ) , OpenVPN still needed a manual uninstall.

    It's really the overall lack of transparency with Disconnect that prompted me to start this thread , and given how little info is on their
    website , I'm keen to learn precisely what it is doing .
    .... I'm just naturally suspicious of so-called " one-click fixes " ..... call me old-fashioned if you will .... ;)
     
  6. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    So it actually doesn't say that it installs a VPN to search through?

    I generally don't like browser-integrated VPN clients. For someone who won't likely install their own VPN, it is better than nothing. But as with Tor browser, there may be surprises when users expect other apps to be anonymized in the same way.
     
  7. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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  8. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    I've come to like it better. It lacks the proxy feature, but I don't need it. And sites often don't work well, using it.
     
  9. TomAZ

    TomAZ Registered Member

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    I have used and like Startpage and Ixquick, but I'm currently using DuckDuckgo. It seems to work very well for me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2015
  10. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    With Disconnect, you can choose which search site to use: Google, Bing, Yahoo or DuckDuckgo.
     
  11. cb474

    cb474 Registered Member

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    I have strangely found that although Startpage claims to be providing anonymized Google results, sometimes the results are not the same as what one would get directly on Google. The order and the specific results can be different--this is even more true with image searches. This does not appear to be the case with Disconnect. It seems to always give the exact same results, in the same order, as Google. So, if you have a preference for Google's search alogrithm (over DuckDuckGo, etc.), Disconnect may be a better option than Startpage.

    Disconnect also offers an anonymized version of Google's news results, which Startpage does not offer. It provides search tool options that are more exactly like Google's. And I like how it clearly shows the sort of Google results that are "unprotected." Disconnect also offers a drop down menu to select the country results you want (something Google itself does not directly offer on its search page).

    So I'd say Disconnect seems to provide a more complete reproduction of Google searches and other features. I have no opinion about how it works for other search engines, since I don't use Bing and I dont' see the point of further anonymizing DuckDuckGo (which I'm generally happy with anyway as a primary search engine).

    I do find that Startpage returns results faster. There's always a little delay with Disconnect. And Startpage has been around longer. Maybe that gives them more of a track record and makes them more trustworthy? I really don't know any details about either company, who runs them, and whether they should really be trusted. In that respect, I feel the best about DuckDuckGo.
     
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