FAQ

If you have a question that’s not answered below, please email us.

Company

What does Disconnect do?

We develop award-winning, user-friendly privacy and security software.

Why did you start the company?

Disconnect was founded on a basic principle: that people should have the freedom to move about the Internet - and their lives - without anyone else looking over their shoulder.

How long have you been in business?

We were founded in February of 2011.

How are you organized/structured?

Consumer advocacy is a critical component of our mission. To formalize this aspect of the business, we are a certified B Corporation, a designation which gives us the flexibility to spend more time than a traditional company on activities such as consumer education, advocacy, and collaboration with non-profits.

What’s a B corporation?

From Wikipedia: A benefit corporation (colloquially, B corporation) is a new corporate form designed for for-profit entities that want to consider society and the environment in addition to profit in their decision making process.

Historically, United States corporate law has not been structured or tailored to address the situation of for-profit companies who wish to pursue a social or environmental mission. While corporations generally have the ability to pursue a broad range of activities, corporate decision-making is usually justified in terms of maximizing shareholder value.

By contrast, benefit corporations expand the fiduciary duty of directors to require them to consider factors other than the financial interests of shareholders. This gives our directors and officers the legal protection to make decisions to improve the Internet for everyone, even if that means less profits.

Who are your investors?

Our investors include FirstMark Capital, Highland Capital Partners, Charles River Ventures, and a bunch of awesome angel investors.

How do you make money?

We are a consumer software company and rely on payments from our users. We believe basic privacy protection should be available to everybody, irrespective of the ability to pay. In support of that goal, we have a two-part pricing model. For our desktop browser extensions, users can “pay what they want.” For our mobile software applications we offer a Basic free version and a Premium paid version that has additional benefits. Payments help sustain our work and also support nonprofits that share our corporate values.

Can I try your software before paying you?

Absolutely. In addition to being “Pay What You Want”, our software is also “Pay When You Want”. Feel free to try it for a few days before making a payment.

Do I have to pay for each browser or device I install it on?

No. You’re obviously welcome to pay us more than once, but it is not necessary.

I paid with PayPal and it reversed my allocation between Disconnect and Charity; why?

That’s a bug; we are working through a solution with PayPal to correct these errors. The bug does not impact the total charged to you and you do not need to do anything.

Why does the payments page sometimes come up if I’ve already paid?

Even if you’ve paid us, you will still see our payment page if you ever have to re-install the software, or install on a different browser or device. If you’d rather not pay again, please just ignore the page and click out of the window.


Disconnect for iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows

What is Disconnect?

Disconnect is a privacy and security software suite that is available for iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows. The suite incorporates the functionality of our individual products into a single, integrated app that works seamlessly across all of your devices.

Why should I use Disconnect?

You should use Disconnect if you want more privacy and security online and if you want to have more control over how your personal information is shared with companies.

How does Disconnect protect me?

We protect you with 6 core features:

How does Disconnect work?

First, we route all of your Internet activity through an encrypted tunnel. Second, we stop any companies on our filter list from communicating with your devices. Third, we anonymize all of your search queries by routing them through our servers.

What platforms does Disconnect run on?

How do I know if Disconnect is working?

On Mac, you will see our green shield icon in the menu bar on the upper right of your screen, just to the left of the system icons (clock, power, Wi-Fi, etc.). On Windows, you will see our green shield in the notification bar on the lower right of your screen, just to the left of the system icons (clock, power, Wi-Fi, etc.). On iOS, you will see a small box with the letters “VPN” on the upper right of your screen, between the power icon and the clock. On Android, you will see a key icon on the top left of your screen.

Why do you show the key notification icon on Android and the VPN symbol on iOS?

Unfortunately, we don’t have any control over these icons, as they are requirements of Android and iOS, respectively.

Do I need to leave the app open and running in order to be protected?

On Mac and Windows, yes you need to keep the app open and running to be protected. On iOS and Android, no you do not need to keep the app open and running to be protected.

Is Disconnect a VPN? What happens if I already have, or add, a VPN on my device?

Yes, Disconnect is a VPN. If you already have a VPN, and want the protections that Disconnect offers, we recommend uninstalling your other VPN and using Disconnect as your VPN.

I’ve installed, but it’s not connecting when doing the initial activation.

The first time you activate, it can sometimes take the app a few minutes to connect, especially if you have a poor signal from your Wi-Fi or cellular network. Please give it a few minutes and, if it does not come on, try again from a different and better network connection. If it still does not work, please email support@disconnect.me to let us know.

When I try to install Disconnect, it asks me for a password, but I don’t know the password. Why is it doing that?

Disconnect does not require a password. You are being asked for the password that you use to unlock your device.

Does Disconnect block all ads? Is it an adblocker?

No. Rather than block all advertisements, we only block the privacy-invasive ads that invisibly track you and may be responsible for distributing malware (malvertising) and other security threats. We also generally unblock ad tracking websites that commit to respect users’ Do Not Track (DNT) preferences and agree to comply with DNT as defined by the Electronic Frontier Foundation: https://www.eff.org/dnt-policy

Does Disconnect prevent the US government from seeing my Internet activity?

No. And you should have a healthy skepticiscm about any company or organization that says they can prevent the US government from accessing your online activity. Disconnect focuses on preventing companies from accessing your online activity, not the US government.

That said, by reducing the amount of information that companies know about your online activity, Disconnect does reduce the amount of information available to the government when these companies are served with government information requests.

How is Disconnect different from your Private Browsing extensions?

Disconnect is a desktop application that incorporates most of the functionality currently available in our Private Browsing extensions, plus a variety of other protections including a smart VPN, location control, and anonymous search. Some Private Browsing features are not available in the desktop application, including the ability to see trackers in real-time when you visit a site, the ability to whitelist/blacklist a site, and the blocking of social widgets from Google, Facebook, and Twitter. We’re planning to add these features into the desktop application in a future release. In the meantime, if you’re interested in any of these three features, we recommend using the Private Browsing extensions as an adjunct to the desktop application.

How is Disconnect different from your Private Search extensions?

Disconnect is a desktop application that incorporates most of the functionality currently available in our Private Search extensions, plus a variety of other protections including a smart VPN, location control, and safe browsing. Some Private Search features are not available in the desktop application, including the ability to search privately from the address bar of your browser and from search engine websites. We’re planning to add these features into the desktop application in a future release. In the meantime, if you’re interested in either of these features, we recommend using the Private Search extensions as an adjunct to the desktop application.

How is Disconnect different from your Privacy Icons extensions?

Disconnect is a desktop application that incorporates most of the functionality currently available in the Privacy Icons extensions, plus a variety of other protections including a smart VPN, location control, safe browsing, and anonymous search. Some Privacy Icons features are not available in the desktop application, including the ability to see the icons while you are visiting a site. We’re planning to add this feature into the desktop application in a future release. In the meantime, if you’re interested in this feature, we recommend using the Privacy Icons extensions as an adjunct to the desktop application.

What’s the difference between Disconnect and Disconnect Kids?

Unlike Disconnect Kids, Disconnect is a VPN that encrypts all of your online activity. It also offers additional protections not available in Disconnect Kids: anonymous search, privacy icons, and location control. We are planning to update Kids so that it has the same level of protections as Disconnect (plus the educational component), but for now you should switch to Disconnect (and uninstall Disconnect Kids).

What’s the difference between Disconnect and Disconnect Mobile?

Unlike Disconnect Mobile, Disconnect is a VPN that encrypts all of your online activity. It also offers additional protections not available in Disconnect Mobile: anonymous search, privacy icons, and location control.

What’s the difference between Disconnect and Secure Wireless?

Like Secure Wireless, Disconnect is a VPN, but it also offers additional protections: anonymous search, safe browsing, privacy icons, and location control.

How do I uninstall Disconnect?

First off, we’re sorry to see you go! If you have a minute after following the instructions below, please tell us went wrong at support@disconnect.me. (We solve most problems within a few days, so maybe we can even get you to try Disconnect again.)

On iOS and Android, find the Disconnect Mobile icon on your device and delete it just like you would any other app on your device.

On Mac, find the Disconnect application in your Applications folder and move it to the Trash. You can also optionally delete some supporting files by moving the /Application Support/disconnect folder to the trash.

On Windows, find the Disconnect application in your Programs folder and uninstall.


Disconnect Private Browsing browser extension

What is Disconnect Private Browsing?

Disconnect is a browser extension that stops major third parties from tracking the webpages you go to. Disconnect makes the web more private, less cluttered, faster, and safer.

How do I use Disconnect Private Browsing?

Here’s a link to a product video and demo: https://disconnect.me/d2/help. Disconnect runs in the background and comes with sensible defaults, so you don’t have to do anything after installing. You can click the D icon in your toolbar to view, block, or unblock third-party requests or to otherwise change the defaults.

Internet Explorer users: please note that the D icon will be in the system tray at the bottom right hand corner of your computer screen, near the clock.

How does Disconnect Private Browsing? work?

1. Every time you visit a site, Disconnect automatically detects when your browser tries to make a connection to anything other than the site you are visiting. We call these other attempted connections “network requests”.

2. Disconnect then categorizes these network requests into different groups (Google, Facebook, Twitter, Advertising, Analytics, Social and Content).

3. By default, Disconnect blocks all of the network requests in each category except Content. Content is unblocked by default because it often includes network requests that, if blocked, would “break” the site you are visiting.

4. Blocked categories have green icons and unblocked categories have gray icons. You can block or unblock categories by clicking the icon associated with that category.

5. You can also get more granular by clicking on the “>” on the right side of each category, which will open up a list of all the trackers in that category. Blocked trackers are checked and unblocked trackers are unchecked. You can block and unblock categories by checking and unchecking them.

6. Finally, you can unblock all network requests on a given site by clicking “whitelist”.

How is Disconnect Private Browsing different from the privacy mode in my browser?

Many of the popular browsers today have privacy modes. Chrome has “Incognito”, Firefox and Opera have “Private Windows” and Internet Explorer has “InPrivate Browsing”. While each is slightly different, they all do essentially the same thing: automatically delete your browsing and search history from your browser when you close the browser. However, unlike Disconnect, most of these privacy modes do not do anything to prevent companies from tracking you as you browse the web. Another way of thinking about it: the browser privacy modes protect your privacy if someone gets access to your device, but they generally do nothing to keep the outside world from tracking you.

How can I tell if Disconnect Private Browsing is working?

When you go to a web page, you will see a small counter next to the D icon in your toolbar. This counter shows you how many companies are attempting to track you on that specific site. If you’d like to see more details, simply click on the D icon and review the dropdown information.
Internet Explorer users: please note that the counter will appear as an overlay to the the D icon in your system tray while the counting is underway, and will revert back to the D icon once the counting is complete.

Why does Disconnect Private Browsing contact disconnect.me servers?

Disconnect stays up to date by periodically downloading configuration files from disconnect.me. The configuration files determine which tracking sites can be filtered and whether experimental features can be enabled. Requests for the configuration files may include anonymous info about when you were last updated so we can optimize our infrastructure and the data we send you. As per our privacy policy, we never log your IP address or other personal info when our servers are contacted.

Which browsers does Disconnect Private Browsing support?

Disconnect is available for Chrome (modern versions), Firefox (modern versions), Internet Explorer (9.0 and above; currently in private beta), Safari (5.1.4 and higher), and Opera (15.0 and higher).

Do I have to install it separately on each browser?

Yes.

Why are some icons green and some icons grey?

Green = blocked. Grey = not blocked.

Why are some boxes checked and other boxes unchecked?

Checked = blocked. Unchecked = unblocked.

Why does the browser give me an install warning that Disconnect needs access to my browsing data?

In order for us to block the trackers, we need to understand what your browser is doing (there is no other way unfortunately).

How do I know that Disconnect itself isn’t logging and selling my data?

As outlined in our privacy policy, we don’t log or store any of your information. Also, and importantly, our software is open source so anyone can see exactly how it works and how it handles your information.

I can’t find the D icon in my Safari browser toolbar; where did it go?

The D icon should be to the left of the address URL box at the top of the browser window. If it’s not there, you need to make sure that Disconnect is installed and enabled. On your menu bar, click Safari > Preferences > Extensions and look for Disconnect in the left hand column. If it’s not there, please re-install Disconnect. If Disconnect is installed but not enabled, please enable it. If it’s installed and enabled and the D icon is still not showing up in your toolbar, please email us and include the version of Safari you are using. You can find this by clicking Safari on your menu bar and then clicking About Safari.

I can’t find the D icon in my Firefox browser toolbar; where did it go?

The D icon should be to the right of the address URL box at the top of the browser window. If it’s not there, you need to make sure that Disconnect is installed and enabled. On your menu bar, click Tools > Add ons > Extensions and look for Disconnect. If it’s not there, please re-install Disconnect. If Disconnect is installed but not enabled, please enable it. If it’s installed and enabled and the D icon is still not showing up in your toolbar, please right click on your toolbar, hit “Customize,” and drag the D icon where you want it. If this still does not work, please email us.

I downloaded Disconnect Private Browsing for Safari and when I clicked on the file in my downloads folder, it disappeared. What now?

You need to make sure that Disconnect is installed and enabled. On your menu bar, click Safari > Preferences > Extensions and look for Disconnect in the left hand column. If it’s not there, please re-install Disconnect. If Disconnect is installed but not enabled, please enable it. If it’s installed and enabled and the D icon is still not showing up in your toolbar, please email us.

Why is the Content category grey?

By default, we do not block third parties that are critical to the delivery of content to a web page. However if you’d like to block content third parties on the site you’re visiting, simply click the Content category and it will flip to green, indicating that content third parties are being blocked.

What is the “Whitelist site” feature?

This feature gives you the ability to unblock all third parties on the site you are visiting with a single click. This can be especially handy if you ever notice that certain elements of a site are not functioning the way they normally do (these situations are rare, but we still wanted to allow for a single-click option if you need it).

What is the “Visualize page” feature?

This feature allows you to see the third parties that Disconnect is blocking in a graphical format. It is based on the Collusion initiative at Mozilla. This feature is currently only available on Chrome and Safari. You can also download Mozilla’s standalone Collusion product here.

Why is the Visualize page feature grayed out on Firefox and Internet Explorer?

We are working hard to add this feature to both Firefox and Internet Explorer. If you’d like to be notified when it’s available, please sign up for our newsletter on our home page.

On the Visualize page, why are some circles red and others gray?

Red circles are known tracking sites; gray circles are either content sites or sites that are also owned by the site you are visiting.

On the Visualize page, why are some of the red circles crossed out and others not?

Red circles which are crossed out are blocked; plain red circles are unblocked. We block most trackers by default, and you can block and unblock them by clicking on the red circles.

What is the “Secure search” feature and why is it grayed out?

At some point, we may incorporate Disconnect Search directly into Disconnect Private Browsing. The “Secure search” checkbox is a placeholder. In the interim, you can get our standalone Disconnect Search extension here: https://disconnect.me/search

What is the “Secure Wi-Fi” feature and why is it grayed out?

This is a legacy feature that we’ve temporarily disabled while we work on a better approach; you can see our blog post about this decision here: https://blog.disconnect.me/secure-wi-fi-removed-on-desktop-coming-soon-to-mobile

What are the graphs at the bottom of the extension?

The graphs are meant to help quantify some of the additional value that Disconnect provides beyond just blocking trackers. The red graph is an estimation of the page load time saved because trackers were not able to load their elements on the page. The orange graph approximates the amount of bandwidth saved by blocking these trackers. The blue graph is a remnant of a previous feature called Secure Wi-Fi, and it will be removed shortly.

Will Disconnect Private Browsing work if I have multiple blocking extensions installed?

It depends on which browser you are using. On Internet Explorer, Disconnect will work fine even if you have multiple blocking extensions installed. On Firefox, if Disconnect is the first blocking extension you install, then Disconnect will work even if you subsequently install other blocking extensions. On Chrome, Safari, and Opera, it’s the opposite: in order for Disconnect to work on these browsers, it must be the most recent blocking extension installed. We know, it’s silly. And we’d change it if we could. But unfortunately, this weirdness is a function of the browser software, not ours.

How is Disconnect Private Browsing different than a VPN?

Disconnect stops companies from tracking you through cookies and other identifiers but it is not a VPN. A VPN alters your IP address, which can help stop the sites you are visiting from tracking you, but doesn't stop other companies from tracking you. Disconnect and VPNs are compatible and complementary; they protect your privacy in different ways.

How do I update Disconnect Private Browsing?

Disconnect for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera will update automatically. Safari extensions take manual action to update. Choose the Preferences item on the Safari menu and then click the Extensions tab followed by the Updates item in the lower left corner. We recommend you check the Install Updates Automatically box to let your extensions update automatically from now on. If you’d rather do a one-time update, just click the Install button underneath the Disconnect heading.

Is Disconnect Private Browsing for IE incompatible with any other add-ons or toolbars?

Yes, a small group of IE add-ons and toolbars cause instability problems when Disconnect starts blocking their requests: AdBull, Mysearchdial, Web Steroids, Internet Updater (Parallel Lines Dev), Search Protect (Conduit), and Lookinglink. We are working to resolve these incompatibilities. In the meantime, if you’d like Disconnect to function properly, you will need to uninstall these other add-ons and toolbars.

Why am I still seeing ads after installing Disconnect Private Browsing?

Disconnect Private Browsing is not designed to be an ad blocker. It’s designed to stop companies, some of whom serve ads, from tracking your browser behavior. As a result, you will still see all “first party” ads, meaning those ads that are presented to you directly from the site you are visiting.

I see the “Get Disconnect” button on your site, but nothing happens when I click. Why?

You may be on a browser that we do not support. Disconnect is available for Chrome (modern versions), Firefox (modern versions), Internet Explorer (9.0 and above; currently in private beta), Safari (5.1.4 and higher), and Opera (15.0 and above).

Why doesn’t Disconnect Private Browsing work on my mobile devices?

Mobile browsers do not support extensions. We are working on mobile apps for iOS and Android that will function much like Disconnect Private Browsing does on PCs and Macs. If you’d like to be notified when these are available, please sign up for our newsletter on our homepage.

How do I disable or uninstall Disconnect Private Browsing?

First off, we’re sad to see you go. If you have a minute after following the instructions below, please tell us went wrong at support@disconnect.me. (We solve most problems within a few days, so maybe we can even get you to try Disconnect again.)

On Chrome, open the Window menu and then choose the Extensions item. Uncheck the Enabled button to disable or click the trash icon to uninstall.

On Firefox, open the Tools menu and then choose the Add-ons item. Click the Disable button to disable or Remove button to uninstall.

On Internet Explorer, open your Windows Control Panel, click on Programs and Features, select Disconnect, and click uninstall.

On Safari, open the Safari menu, choose the Preferences item, then click the Extensions tab. Uncheck the Enable box to disable or click the Uninstall button to uninstall.

On Opera, open the "View" menu, click on "Show Extensions", find Disconnect and then click "Disable". If you wish to remove Disconnect from Opera entirely you can then click the "x".


Disconnect Private Search browser extension

What is Disconnect Search?

Disconnect Search is the easiest way to search privately on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other popular search engines. We designed it for people who like using popular search engines but who want more control over who has access to what they search for.

Why do I need Disconnect Search?

There’s not many things more personal than what you search for online. But your typical searches are anything but private.

Most of the popular search engines save your search queries and connect them to your real name, your email address, or your IP address. These companies keep this information for months, sometimes years. In addition, when you click a search result link, the website usually receives the search terms you used, which can then be saved by that website as well. Finally, your ISP may be able to access your search queries and connect them to your account.

You need Disconnect Search if you want to prevent all this data logging and invisible tracking by thousands of companies.

How does Disconnect Search work?

Disconnect Private Search protects your privacy in four ways:

1. Search queries are routed through Disconnect’s servers, which makes the queries look like they’re coming from Disconnect instead of your computer.

2. Search engines are prevented from passing keywords to the sites you visit from search results pages.

3. All queries are encrypted, which prevents your ISP and eavesdroppers in your network from seeing them.

4. Disconnect doesn’t log any keywords, personal information, or IP addresses.

How do I use Disconnect Private Search?

You can either go to https://search.disconnect.me and type in your query, or you can install our Disconnect Private Search extension. The extension gives you some additional ways to search privately:

  1. 1. You can search from the search box in the extension interface.
  2. 2. You can search privately from your browser’s address bar by checking “Search from your address bar”
  3. 3. You can search privately on search engine websites by checking “Search from search engine websites”. Please note: this feature is currently only available on Chrome and Firefox.

Do you keep search query logs?

No, we do not log, save, or store your search queries, your IP address, or any other information that could be associated with you.

Will my search results be different?

Most results will be identical to searching without Disconnect Search, though some results will be different. For example, if you search for a local restaurant or store, the search engine won't know your location so it won't be able to geographically target the results. Sponsored links (otherwise known as advertisements) might also be different, since the search engine will not be able to target them based on your past browsing behavior or other information they know about you.

How is Disconnect Private Search different from the privacy mode in my browser?

Many of the popular browsers today have privacy” modes. Chrome has “Incognito”, Firefox and Opera have “Private Windows” and Internet Explorer has “InPrivate Browsing”. While each is slightly different, they all do essentially the same thing: automatically delete your browsing and search history from your browser when you close the browser. However, unlike Disconnect, they do not do anything to prevent your search queries from being affiliated with your personal profile or shared with web sites and ISPs.

If I want to turn Disconnect Private Search off and search "normally", how do I do that?

On Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, make sure that "Search from the address bar" and "Search from search engine websites" are unchecked, and then search as you always have, either through the address box in your browser, the search box in your browser, or at the search engine's web site.

On Internet Explorer, you’ll need to select a different default search provider. On the Internet Explorer menu bar, click Tools > Manage Add ons > Search Providers and choose another search engine.

If I click on a search engine result, is that private too?

Yes, we prevent the search engine from sending your search query to the web site you are visiting. However, as soon as you reach the site you are visiting, your activities are not being kept private by Disconnect Private Search.

How does Disconnect Private Search prevent my ISP from seeing my search queries?

Some search engines don’t encrypt your search queries, which means that your ISP can access them and tie them to your account. When you use Disconnect Search, your search queries are encrypted, so your ISP cannot see them or associate them with your account.

Does Disconnect Private Search prevent the US government from seeing what I search for?

You should not assume that any company or organization can prevent the US government from accessing your search queries, or anything else you do online. Disconnect Search focuses on preventing companies from accessing your searches.

However, Disconnect Search does reduce your digital footprint by offering the following protection:

First, Disconnect Search prevents search engines and websites from associating your queries with you or your computer. This makes it more difficult for search engines and other websites to provide this information to the US government.

Second, Disconnect Search queries are encrypted. This makes it harder for the US government to obtain your search queries from your ISP.

Third, we do not log or otherwise save your search queries. This makes it impossible for us to share your Disconnect Search queries with the US government without a valid court order that requires us to change our technology.

Finally, the US government may force us to begin logging the search queries of a particular user or group of users. If served with a court order that includes a non-disclosure provision, we may not be able to tell our users about this change for some period of time, possibly forever. And the US Government may also have other methods of monitoring your searches which Disconnect Search cannot prevent.

What browsers does Disconnect Private Search support?

Disconnect is available for Chrome (modern versions), Firefox (modern versions), Internet Explorer (9.0 and above; currently in private beta), Safari (5.1.4 and higher), and Opera (15.0 and higher).

Do I have to install Disconnect Private Search separately on each browser?

Yes.

I see the “Get Disconnect Search” button on your site, but nothing happens when I click. Why?

You may be on a browser that we do not support. Disconnect is available for Chrome (modern versions), Firefox (modern versions), Internet Explorer (9.0 and above; currently in private beta), and Safari (5.1.4 and higher).

How do I uninstall Disconnect Private Search?

First off, we hate to see you go! If you have a minute after following the uninstall instructions below, please tell us went wrong at support@disconnect.me. (We solve most problems within a few days, so maybe we can even get you to try Disconnect Search again.)

On Chrome, simply right click on the Disconnect Search icon and choose “Remove from Chrome”.

On Firefox, choose Tools/Add-ons/, locate Disconnect Search, and then click “Remove”

On Safari, open the Safari menu, choose the Preferences item, then click the Extensions tab. Uncheck the Enable box to disable or click the Uninstall button to uninstall.

On Internet Explorer, open your Windows Control Panel, click on Programs and Features, select Disconnect Private Search, and click uninstall.


Disconnect Mobile for iOS and Android

What is Disconnect Mobile?

Disconnect Mobile is the mobile version of Disconnect’s top-rated desktop software. Disconnect Mobile stops the biggest mobile trackers from collecting your info, blocks privacy and security invasive ads from more than 2,500 ad tracking services (both inside your apps and on your mobile browser), and protects you from thousands of suspected malware sites.

How does Disconnect Mobile work?

Disconnect Mobile installs a new network profile on your device which automatically blocks any attempts to track you from all of the companies on our filter list.

Do I need to leave the app open and running in order to be protected?

No. Once you’ve setup the app, and it says “Protected” on the home screen, you’re all set. You’ll be protected even if the app is closed, and even if you restart your device.

How do I know if Disconnect Mobile is working?

One or more of the icons on the bottom of the home screen will appear in white. On Android, you’ll also see a key icon in your notification bar.

Why don’t I see a D icon in my mobile browser like with Disconnect’s browser extensions

On desktop browsers, we install an extension and place a D icon in the upper right of the browser (or upper left on Safari). On iOS and Android, we download a standalone app to your device and, once configured, it works in the background to protect you.

What platforms does Disconnect Mobile run on?

iOS 7.0 and higher and Android 4.0 and higher.

Is Disconnect Mobile a VPN? What happens if I already have, or add, a VPN on my device.

Disconnect works like a VPN, but it is not a full-fledged VPN. On iOS devices, it will only work if it is installed after all of the other VPNs on your device. Put another way, if you have more than one VPN (or something similar to a VPN, like Disconnect) installed on an iPhone or iPad, only the most recently installed “VPN” will work. Android supports multiple simultaneous VPNs, irrespective of what order they were installed.

Is Disconnect Mobile an adblocker?

No. We block invisible tracking of all types, some of which comes in the form of advertising.

Does Disconnect Mobile block all mobile ads?

No. Rather than block all advertisements, we only block the privacy-invasive ads that invisibly track you and may be responsible for distributing malware (malvertising) and other security threats. We also generally unblock ad tracking websites that commit to respect users’ Do Not Track (DNT) preferences and agree to comply with DNT as defined by the Electronic Frontier Foundation: https://www.eff.org/dnt-policy.

If your site is compliant with DNT and you’ve followed the EFF’s instructions (see above link), please contact us at support@disconnect.me and we’ll review your site for whitelisting. Please note: we never receive compensation from any website we whitelist.

I paid for the Advertising Filter and/or the Malware Protection; does my payment cover all of my devices?

Yes. On iOS, if you are using the same Apple ID on both devices then you can restore the purchases for free. You can go to settings (in Disconnect Mobile) then at the bottom click ‘Restore previous purchases’. On Android, open the Google Play Store app, touch the Play Store icon and select My Apps. Visit the All category. Select Disconnect, then touch the Install button on the app’s detail page.

When I try to install Disconnect Mobile, it asks me for a password, but I don’t know the password. Why is it doing that?

Disconnect does not require a password. You are being asked for the password that you use to unlock your device.

How do I uninstall Disconnect Mobile?

First off, we’re sorry to see you go! If you have a minute after following the instructions below, please tell us went wrong at support@disconnect.me. (We solve most problems within a few days, so maybe we can even get you to try Disconnect Mobile again.)

Find the Disconnect Mobile icon on your device. Touch it until it starts to vibrate, then click the X on the upper left corner. When the “Delete ‘D. Mobile’” pop up appears, click “Delete”. Then click the Home button on your device.

Why do you show the key notification icon on Android?

Unfortunately, we don’t have any control over the key, as that’s an Android requirement.

I’ve installed, but it’s not connecting when doing the initial activation on Android

The first time you activate, it can sometimes take the app a few minutes to connect, especially if you have a poor signal from your Wi-Fi or cellular network. Please give it a few minutes and, if it does not come on, try again from a different and better network connection. If it still does not work, please email support@disconnect.me to let us know.

Why won’t it activate on iOS 8?

A new version with full support for iOS 8 is currently under review by Apple and should be available very soon. In the meantime, here’s how to install a secondary profile that will work on iOS 8 as an interim solution:

Ever since installing Disconnect, I can’t send pictures in my texts and I can’t send texts to multiple people at once. Why?

This is an issue limited to a handful of devices on Verizon. We are working on a fix and should have it out soon.

Why does it seem like my battery is not lasting as long with Disconnect installed?

We’ve had a few sporadic reports of battery issues, but not many, and they seem to be one-offs (not even consistent across devices/OS versions). It may have something to do with the network you’re on, or other VPN software, but we’re not sure yet. We are planning to dig into this soon.

I purchased the Advertising pack and the Malware pack, but the new version only has one premium pack, called Malvertising; what’s going on?

Based on user feedback, we combined the two packs (Advertising and Malware) into one, Malvertising. You still have the same protections as before and the combined pack actually has more protections than the version with two separate packs.

On my Android device, why do I have to periodically turn the protection back on?

This issue was fixed as part of release 1.0.5. You can download it here: https://disconnect.me/mobile/disconnect-mobile/sideload


Disconnect Private Search for Android

What is Disconnect Private Search for Android?

Disconnect Private Search is a “narrow” VPN that masks your IP address, browser cookies, and other personal info whenever you’re searching so search engines and ISPs can’t track your searches.

How does Disconnect Private Search for Android keep my searches private?

Disconnect Private Search for Android protects your privacy in four ways:

1. Search queries are routed through Disconnect’s servers, which makes the queries look like they’re coming from Disconnect instead of your device.

2. Search engines are prevented from passing keywords to the sites you visit from search results pages.

3. All queries are encrypted, which prevents your ISP and eavesdroppers in your network from seeing them.

4. Disconnect doesn’t log any keywords, personal information, or IP addresses.

How can I tell if Disconnect Private Search for Android is working?

Your search results pages will have our icon in the upper left hand corner.

How do I update Disconnect Private Search for Android?

It updates like any other app; your device will inform you when an update is ready.

What versions of Android does Disconnect Private Search support?

Everything from FROYO (2.2) and later.

How do I select my preferred search engine?

Use the drop-down control on the search results page of your browser. Your first search will use Google, but then you can then change it so that all subsequent searches will use any of the other popular engines.

Am I still protected when I browse the search results?

Yes, we prevent the search engine from sending your search query to the web site you are visiting. However, as soon as you reach the site you are visiting, your activities are not being kept private by Disconnect Private Search.

Do you keep search query logs?

No, we do not log, save, or store your search queries, your IP address, or any other information that could be associated with you.

Will my search results be different?

Most results will be identical to searching without Disconnect Search, though some results will be different. For example, if you search for a local restaurant or store, the search engine won't know your location so it won't be able to geographically target the results. Sponsored links (otherwise known as advertisements) might also be different, since the search engine will not be able to target them based on your past browsing behavior or other information they know about you.

Does Disconnect Private Search for Android prevent the US government from seeing what I search for?

You should not assume that any company or organization can prevent the US government from accessing your search queries, or anything else you do online. Disconnect Search focuses on preventing companies from accessing your searches.

However, Disconnect Search does reduce your digital footprint by offering the following protection:

First, Disconnect Search prevents search engines and websites from associating your queries with you or your computer. This makes it more difficult for search engines and other websites to provide this information to the US government.

Second, Disconnect Search queries are encrypted. This makes it harder for the US government to obtain your search queries from your ISP.

Third, we do not log or otherwise save your search queries. This makes it impossible for us to share your Disconnect Search queries with the US government without a valid court order that requires us to change our technology.

Finally, the US government may force us to begin logging the search queries of a particular user or group of users. If served with a court order that includes a non-disclosure provision, we may not be able to tell our users about this change for some period of time, possibly forever. And the US Government may also have other methods of monitoring your searches which Disconnect Search cannot prevent.

I see the “Get Disconnect Search” button on your site, but nothing happens when I click. Why?

You may be on a version of Android that we do not support. Disconnect is available on Android 2.2 (FROYO) and later.

How do I disable or uninstall Disconnect Private Search for Android?

It can be uninstalled just like any other app.


Disconnect Privacy Icons browser extension

What is Disconnect Privacy Icons

Disconnect Privacy Icons is a browser extension that helps people easily understand the privacy policies of the websites that they search for and visit.

Why do I need Disconnect Privacy Icons?

Because privacy policies are too complicated, but legally important. Disconnect Privacy Icons can help you better understand how websites treat your personal data.

How does Disconnect Privacy Icons work?

Privacy Icons displays the key elements of website privacy policies in a series of icons and badges. These icons and badges are then presented in your search results (as an overlay to your native search engine results) and while you browse (inside the extension). You can see detailed definitions for each of the icons and badges here: https://disconnect.me/icons/info

How do I use Disconnect Privacy Icons?

Once Disconnect Privacy Icons is installed, you can simply glance at the icons and badges on your search results and also while you browse.

How can I tell if Disconnect Privacy Icons is working?

You will see the icons and badges on your search results, and also in the extension itself while you browse.

Do you keep search query logs?

No, we do not log, save, or store your search queries, your IP address, or any other information that could be associated with you.

Will my search results be different?

Most results will be identical to searching without Disconnect Privacy Icons, though there may be some formatting differences. Sponsored links (otherwise known as advertisements) might also be slightly different.

Which browsers does Disconnect Privacy Icons support?

Disconnect Privacy Icons is available for recent versions of Chrome, Firefox and Opera. Versions for Internet Explorer, Safari, and Mobile browsers will be available soon.

Do I have to install Disconnect Privacy Icons separately on each browser?

We are working on a solution to this, but for now, you will need to install it separately on each browser.

Why does the browser give me an install warning that Disconnect Privacy Icons needs access to my browsing data?

In order for us to show you the icons and badges, we need to understand what you are searching for and where you are browsing. There is no other way unfortunately).

How do I know that Disconnect itself isn’t logging and selling my data?

As outlined in our privacy policy, we don’t log or store any of your information.

I can’t find the D icon in my Firefox browser toolbar; where did it go?

The D icon should be to the right of the address URL box at the top of the browser window. If it’s not there, you need to make sure that Disconnect Privacy Icons is installed and enabled. On your menu bar, click Tools > Add ons > Extensions and look for Disconnect Privacy Icons. If it’s not there, please re-install Disconnect Privacy Icons. If Disconnect Privacy Icons is installed but not enabled, please enable it. If it’s installed and enabled and the D icon is still not showing up in your toolbar, please right click on your toolbar, hit “Customize,” and drag the D icon where you want it. If this still does not work, please email us.

How do I update Disconnect Privacy Icons?

Disconnect Privacy Icons for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera will update automatically.

I see the “Get Disconnect Privacy Icons” button on your site, but nothing happens when I click. Why?

You may be using a browser that we do not support. Disconnect Privacy Icons is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Versions for Internet Explorer and Safari will be out soon.

Why doesn’t Disconnect Privacy Icons work on my mobile devices?

We are working on mobile apps for iOS and Android that will function much like Disconnect Privacy Icons does on PCs and Macs. If you’d like to be notified when these are available, please sign up for our newsletter on our homepage.

How do I disable or uninstall Disconnect Privacy Icons?

First off, we’re sad to see you go. If you have a minute, after following the instructions below, please tell us went wrong at support@disconnect.me. (We solve most problems within a few days, so maybe we can even get you to try Disconnect Privacy Icons again.)

On Chrome, open the Window menu and then choose the Extensions item. Uncheck the Enabled button to disable or click the trash icon to uninstall.

On Firefox, open the Tools menu and then choose the Add-ons item. Click the Disable button to disable or Remove button to uninstall.

On Opera, open the Window menu, click Extensions, find Disconnect Privacy Icons and then click the 'x' in the upper right hand corner of the listing.

My site is TRUSTe certified; why aren’t all my privacy icons green?

Icon designation is based on criteria developed by Disconnect which is different from TRUSTe’s certification Program Requirements. TRUSTe’s Program Requirements require companies, amongst other things, to provide clear notice and choice around secondary use and collection of data, whereas Disconnect will only display the green icon for sites that clearly state they do not engage in secondary data usage practices, or do not allow third party tracking. TRUSTe’s certification program requirements are available at http://www.truste.com/privacy-program-requirements/

My site’s privacy icons are gray; when will information be available?

We currently have information on over 5000 sites. Requests to add a privacy policy to the database can be made to privacydb@truste.com

The privacy information you have for my site is incorrect; what can I do?

Requests to have your privacy policy reviewed can be made to privacydb@truste.com

My website is TRUSTe certified; why does the icon indicate that it is not?

Disconnect gets up-to-date certification information from TRUSTe, but there may be a discrepancy in the database . If you send an email to privacydb@truste.com, TRUSTe will verify your current certification and update your certified status.


Disconnect Kids for iOS

What is Disconnect Kids?

Disconnect Kids is the first and only iOS app that prevents your web-browsing history, in-app activity, location, and other info from ever leaving your iPhone or iPad.

How does Disconnect Kids work?

We created this short video to let you peek under the hood at how Disconnect Kids works.

How do I know if Disconnect Kids is working?

Once the app is installed, you will see a checked box next to the word “Protected!” This means that Disconnect Kids is working. To see which specific third parties are being blocked by Disconnect Kids, click the gear wheel settings icon. If you’d like to unblock any of the third parties, just uncheck the box next to their name.

How do you determine which third parties to block with Disconnect Kids?

We looked at all of the third parties that appear on mobile web sites and within mobile apps, and we blocked the top 23, which account for approximately 60% of all third party mobile tracking activity. A subsequent release of Disconnect Kids will expand this list and increase your protection.

Will Disconnect Kids prevent my child from accessing any web sites or apps?

No. Disconnect Kids does not have any impact on your child's ability to browse to a web site, download an app, or use an app. It only blocks the invisible third parties that track users on web pages and within apps.

What platforms does Disconnect Kids run on?

iOS, for both iPhone and iPad. We are working hard on an Android version and should have one out soon.

Is Disconnect Kids a VPN? What happens if I have, or add, a VPN on my iPhone or iPad?

Disconnect works like a VPN, but it is not a full-fledged VPN. And importantly, it will only work if it is installed after all of the other VPNs on your device. Put another way, if you have more than one VPN (or something similar to a VPN, like Disconnect) installed on an iPhone or iPad, only the most recently installed “VPN” will work.

I’ve installed Disconnect Kids but it says “Warning: Disconnect not Enabled”. What now?

On some devices, it can take up to 30 seconds to confirm that the app is enabled. If it does not activate within 30 seconds, turn on Airplane mode, then turn it off after 5 seconds and open Disconnect Kids again.

When I try to install Disconnect Kids, it asks me for a password, but I don’t know the password. Why is it doing that?

Disconnect does not require a password. You are being asked for the password that you use to unlock your device.

How do I uninstall Disconnect Kids?

First off, we’re sorry to see you go! If you have a minute after following the instructions below, please tell us went wrong on at support@disconnect.me. (We solve most problems within a few days, so maybe we can even get you to try Disconnect Kids again.)

Find the Disconnect Kids icon on your iPhone or IPad (green icon with a robot image). Touch it until it starts to vibrate, then click the X on the upper left corner. When the “Delete ‘D. Kids’” popup appears, click “Delete”. Then click the Home button on your iPhone or iPad.


Disconnect Secure Wireless for Android

How does Secure Wireless automatically detect insecure networks?

All new WiFi networks are considered insecure until you decide to whitelist them (mark it as trusted). In automatic mode, all cellular connections will be considered trusted because local threats are more limited on cellular connections.

Where are your servers located?

We currently have servers located in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan. We are actively adding new server locations.

Do you keep logs?

We only keep logs relating to how much data was used during a monthly cycle. We do not store IP addresses, DNS lookups, sites/addresses accessed, or anything else.

What is the Private Browsing feature?

Private browsing helps keep your browsing private by blocking known tracking companies from communicating with your device to target you, store cookies, or fingerprint your browser. Although unlikely, some websites or apps may not work properly if they rely on loading a 3rd party resource that’s being blocked. In this case, you can simply turn off Private Browsing and try the website/app again.

How can I tell if Private Browsing is working?

Generally, you can’t visually see the trackers that Secure Wireless blocks. Some of the trackers, like advertisements, may be noticeably absent while Private Browsing is enabled, but all other types of tracking are completely hidden. More technical users can validate that Private Browsing is working by using software like network traffic analyzers and comparing the results before and after Private Browsing is enabled. You’ll see fewer requests to known tracking servers.

What is the Whitelist feature?

You can manually specify which networks are already trusted and whitelist them. Trusted networks will not automatically trigger the VPN to connect when using the Automatic mode.

What is the difference between the three modes: Automatic, Manual, Always On?

Automatic mode interrogates each network change and connects to the VPN only if the Wi-Fi network isn’t trusted or if a user is connecting via 3G, 4G, or LTE. Manual mode allows the user to turn the VPN on and off on any network interface. Always On mode turns the VPN on regardless of network or interface.

What type of encryption does Secure Wireless use?

Secure Wireless uses AES-256 to encrypt data to or from your device. Secure Wireless also enforces Diffie-Hellman for key agreement/exchange which provides perfect forward secrecy (PFS).

Does Secure Wireless protect all network connections?

Yes

.

Are my DNS requests leaked?

No. When using the Private Browsing feature, your DNS requests are routed through our servers to hide your IP address. Your ISP won’t see any of your DNS lookups.

How do I update Secure Wireless?

Secure Wireless will automatically update when there is a new system update available.

How do I disable Disconnect Secure Wireless?

If you don’t want Secure Wireless to automatically secure untrusted networks then you can change to the ‘Manual’ mode in settings. This will require you to manually start and stop the VPN.


Legacy Products: Facebook, Google, and Twitter Disconnect and Collusion

What are the Facebook, Google, and Twitter Disconnect extensions?

These are some of our earliest extensions and each one is designed to block third party tracking by Facebook, Google and Twitter respectively.

Should I install Facebook, Google, or Twitter Disconnect in addition to the all-in-one Disconnect?

Facebook Disconnect, Google Disconnect, and Twitter Disconnect are functional subsets of Disconnect (i.e., they do a portion of what the all-in-one Disconnect does). Therefore, you don’t need Facebook, Google, or Twitter Disconnect if you already have Disconnect.

What is Collusion?

Collusion for Chrome and Collusion for Safari are browser extensions that let you visualize and, optionally, block the invisible websites tracking you. Collusion for Chrome and Collusion for Safari are based on Collusion, a Firefox add-on by Mozilla.

Should I install Collusion in addition to Disconnect?

There’s little overlap between Collusion for Chrome and Safari and Disconnect (Google advertising and analytics and Yahoo advertising). The major third parties that Disconnect filters are more likely to be privacy invading and to break pages, so Disconnect has an interface designed for convenient blocking and unblocking.

Why does Collusion contact disconnect.me servers?

Disconnect stays up to date by periodically downloading configuration files from disconnect.me. The configuration files determine which tracking sites can be filtered and whether experimental features can be enabled. Requests for the configuration files may include anonymous info about when you were last updated so we can optimize our infrastructure and the data we send you. As per our privacy policy, we never log your IP address or other personal info when our servers are contacted.