DuckDuckGo: What is It and How Does It Work?

“We protect your search data even from yourself”, the founder of the companyGabriel Weinberg

Increasing government control, frequent security violations as well as worries of information leak during data sharing do invoke in some of us a desire to be protected more that ever before. A browser worth mentioning in this field is called DuckDuckGo. It does exist for several years now, but it had met its true purpose only recently. Browsing using this tool exceeded in January 2017 the ten-milliard mark, while in the entire 2016 it was only 4 milliards.

What is DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckGo claims that it is a browser that doesn’t track you. According to statements by the firm’s officials, app DuckDuckGo doesn’t use cookies and doesn’t store any personal information about its users. Even the IP address remains hidden. “We protect your search data even from yourself,” said the founder of the company, Gabriel Weinberg, in an interview for WIRED magazine.

How is DuckDuckGo different from Google and Bing

The second you click on a link offered to you by Google or Bing, the searched term is sent to the place you want to visit and that is listed under the header of the HTTP address. When you visit this place, your computer immediately shares with this place your information – among others your IP address that can be used/misused to your identification. DuckDuckGo calls this step “leakage of information when searching” and in its default version actively prevents this from happening. If you click on a link, your request will be redirected in a way that precludes information sharing with other subjects. Individual subjects will know about your visit but won’t be able to see what word you have searched for, therefore won’t be able to misuse your personal data to identify you.

DuckDuckGo offers also an encrypted version that automatically changes links of a number of important places referring to encrypted versions, including sources like Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter or Amazon.

“Tor exit enclave” tool

Another way of preventing “leakage of information when searching” is using proxy server (server working as a medium between the client and the targeted computer). DuckDuckGo browser works with the tool “Tor exit enclave” which means that your browsing is completely anonymous and encrypted the whole time. By searching for “proxy” domain, DuckDuckGo automatically redirects you to a relevant proxy server. Unfortunately, this may get in the way of fast processing. However, DuckDuckGo gives its user the freedom to choose whichever way of protection that suits him/her the most. In “settings” by option “redirect” (or setting of address from the bar) it enables transfer to the second variant different from the default.

How is DDG financed?

While other websites and browsers store your data and sells them for commercial use, DuckDuckGo works differently – using keywords.

“If you’ll search for the word ‘car’, your advertisements will display only cars. If you’ll search for hypothec, you’ll get offers of hypothecs.”

Gabriel Weinberg adds: “We don’t need to know, who you are and what you search for only to recommend one lucrative ad.”

Intellectual Property Protection Act and its impact on users

Weinberg says that for the company to survive, it doesn’t need that much money and profits from keywords are able to ensure enough.

DuckDuckGo and information for the police

DuckDuckGo claims that they don’t communicate with criminal bodies of law enforcement simply because they don’t have the data that might be interesting for them. “They don’t really show up around here,” says Weinberg and adds: “In most cases, business records are important, and we don’t store any of those. They can’t get anything from us…”

The origin of the name DuckDuckGo

“There’s nothing secret or exceptional behind our brand,” says G. Weinberg “I just liked the idea,” ends. The name of the browser is inspired by a kid’s game “Duck, Duck, Goose”. The same way Google uses its name as a verb for Internet browsing (to google something), DuckDuckGo uses for browsing “to duck”.