The DuckDuckGo Browser vs. Others

Several posts on here have talked about the search engine DuckDuckGo as it relates to the dark web. In and of itself, DuckDuckGo is not a dark web search engine, but it does emphasize privacy. In the same vein, DuckDuckGo has also developed a browser, known as the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser, which has similar features.

Like Brave Browser, it’s based on Chrome, but has a number of additional privacy features. For instance, it has a “wipe” feature that will clear all tabs and data (such as cookies and history) at the press of a button, or upon exiting the browser. It’s the little flame button next to the address bar.

In addition, you can change these settings so that it will only wipe data after you’ve been inactive for 5 minutes, 15 minutes, etc., in case you want to save your history. The browser also has options like Global Privacy Control (GPC), which signals to websites that your preference is not to sell your data or share it with other companies – though unfortunately, not all websites respect this preference, and that’s something to be aware of.

Besides DuckDuckGo, other browsers and extensions have a similar feature, like Brave, Disconnect, and OptMeowt. The site goes into a bit more detail about this, or you can download the individual browsers and see for yourself.

On the other hand, regarding the DuckDuckGo browser, if you want to save cookies on certain sites, it has an option called “Fireproof Sites.” With this option, the browser won’t delete cookies on sites that you add to the list, thus saving your login information and things of that nature.

Keep in mind that even the Tor Browser, if you allow it, will save login information; it’s just not enabled by default. In Tor, on its normal settings (located under about:preferences#privacy), the browser is set to “permanent private browsing mode,” meaning that it will clear cookies and site data when you close the browser. It also won’t save passwords and login information unless you designate it so.

The DuckDuckGo Browser, unlike the former, isn’t connected to the Tor network, or at least not under its standard settings. If you have a Tor proxy enabled, it might be possible to connect to Tor. Even so, the DuckDuckGo Browser also makes it easy to clear login information and such.

In terms of anonymity, the Tor Browser is still better overall, though it is slower because that’s the nature of Tor. The DuckDuckGo Browser isn’t going to disguise your IP address and location by default, but it does its best to block different tracking aspects of many websites.

Like DuckDuckGo, the Brave Browser also has features that block trackers, ads, and other things that can potentially identify you. Brave, on the other hand, can access some .onion sites because Brave operates some Tor relays, and can thus connect to the Tor network. It’s interesting to note that some of these onion sites won’t grant you access if they know you’re using the Brave Browser instead of Tor! If you’re concerned with maximum anonymity, it’s still best to use the original Tor Browser, or something similar like I2P.

This brings up a good point: any open source browser, like Firefox, can be configured to have reasonable privacy tools, but you have to know how to code them in or enable them. If done incorrectly, they can inhibit, rather than help, your privacy and anonymity.

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