If you have a question that’s not answered below, please email us.
- What does Disconnect do?
- Why did you start the company?
- How long have you been in business?
- How are you organized/structured?
- What’s a B corporation?
- Who are your investors?
- How do you make money?
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. We are here to educate and empower individuals, with software that gives people insight into what’s happening with their digital data, and control over who has access to it. Our mission is to create enduring, positive change in the way personal data is created, managed, controlled, and shared.
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 recently became certified as a 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? ↑
Disconnect is pay what you want software. We believe great privacy & security software should be available to everybody, irrespective of the ability to pay. Your payments help sustain our work and also support nonprofits that share our corporate values and make the web better.
- What is Disconnect?
- How do I use Disconnect?
- How does Disconnect work?
- How can I tell if Disconnect is working?
Why does Disconnect contact
- Which browsers does Disconnect support?
- Why are some icons green and some icons grey?
- Why is the Content category grey?
- What is the “Whitelist site” feature?
- What is the “Visualize page” feature?
- What is the “Secure Wi-Fi” feature?
- What services does the Secure Wi-Fi feature encrypt?
- What is the “Secure search” feature?
- What are the graphs at the bottom of the extension?
- Will Disconnect work if I have multiple blocking extensions installed in my browser?
- How is Disconnect different than a VPN? Do I need a VPN if I use Disconnect
- How do I update Disconnect?
- How do I disable or uninstall Disconnect?
- Is Disconnect for IE incompatible with any other add-ons or toolbars?
What is Disconnect? ↑
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? ↑
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 work? ↑
Disconnect blocks data requests from over 2000 third party tracking companies without disrupting your browsing activity and without degrading the functionality of the sites you visit. You can easily unblock a third party by clicking the D icon and then clicking on the name of the third party.
How can I tell if Disconnect 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 third parties Disconnect is blocking 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 contact
disconnect.me servers? ↑
Disconnect stays up to date by periodically downloading configuration files from
Which browsers does Disconnect support? ↑
Disconnect is available for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Opera.
Why are some icons green and some icons grey? ↑
Green = blocked. Grey = not blocked.
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.
What is the “Secure Wi-Fi” feature? ↑
This feature prevents wireless eavesdropping by encrypting the data you exchange with major sites if those sites do not support encryption by default. Browser extensions with similar functionality like NoScript and HTTPS Everywhere tend to break pages by unintentionally blocking elements, so we use a bit of clever code to fall back to an unencrypted resource when the encrypted version doesn’t work. This feature is currently only available on Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
Watch this video to learn how quickly and easily an attacker can exploit unencrypted connections to break into your accounts or steal your data.
What services does the Secure Wi-Fi feature encrypt? ↑
The feature currently secures:
More specifically, these domains are secured:
We’ll add more services and domains as we thoroughly test them.
What is the “Secure search” feature? ↑
We recently released a standalone extension called Disconnect Search. At some point soon, we are planning to incorporate Disconnect Search directly into Disconnect. The “Secure search” checkbox is a placeholder for when we integrate the two products.
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 third party trackers. The red graph is an estimation of the page load time saved because third parties were not able to load their elements on the page. The orange graph approximates the amount of bandwidth saved by blocking these third parties. The blue graph is specific to Wi-Fi and keeps track of the number of Wi-Fi requests secured by Disconnect.
Will Disconnect work if I have multiple blocking extensions installed in my browser? ↑
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 different than a VPN? Do I need a VPN if I use Disconnect ↑
Disconnect stops third-party sites from tracking you through cookies and other identifiers but it is not a VPN. A VPN alters your IP address, which can help stop first-party sites from tracking you, but doesn't stop third-party sites from tracking you through cookies, etc. In other words, Disconnect and a VPN are compatible and protect your privacy in different ways.
How do I update Disconnect? ↑
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.
How do I disable or uninstall Disconnect? ↑
First off, we're sad to see you go. If you have a minute after following the instructions below, please tell us what went wrong at firstname.lastname@example.org. (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 Window menu, click Extensions, find Disconnect and then click the “x” in the upper right hand corner of the Disconnect listing.
Is Disconnect 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.
Disconnect Search ↑
- What is Disconnect Search?
- Why do I need Disconnect Search?
- How does Disconnect Search work?
- How do I use Disconnect Search?
- What info does Disconnect Search track about me or my searches?
- Do you keep search query logs?
- Will my searches be slower?
- Will my search results be different?
- Does Disconnect Search disable any other functionality on search engines?
- How is Disconnect Search different from Incognito mode in my browser?
- If I want to turn Disconnect Search off and search "normally", how do I do that?
- If I click on a search engine result, is that private too?
- How does Disconnect Search prevent my ISP from seeing my search queries?
- Does Disconnect Search prevent the US government from seeing what I search for?
- How do I uninstall Disconnect Search?
- What browsers does Disconnect Search support?
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? ↑
First, we route your search queries through our proxy servers before they go to the popular search engines, including Google, Bing and Yahoo. Instead of these search engines knowing that a search is coming from you or your computer, all searches look like they’re coming from Disconnect.
Second, we prevent search engines from sending your search queries to the web sites you visit from search results pages.
Third, Disconnect encrypts your search queries, which prevents your Internet Service Provider (ISP) from seeing your searches.
How do I use Disconnect Search? ↑
Once Disconnect Search is installed, you have three options:
- You can search from the search box in the extension interface.
- You can search privately from your browser’s Omnibox by keeping “Search from the omnibox” enabled.
- You can search privately everywhere (the extension, your omnibox, and everywhere else you search from) by activating the “Search from everywhere” feature in the extension interface.
What info does Disconnect Search track about me or my searches? ↑
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 searches be slower? ↑
There is a slight delay when we route your request through our proxy servers, but the delay should be negligible and rarely noticeable.
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 Search disable any other functionality on search engines? ↑
Some advanced search features won’t work, such as filters, image-only search, or the "instant recommendations" that appear while you are typing search queries. We are working on fixes to these issues and will release them as soon as we can.
How is Disconnect Search different from Incognito mode in my browser? ↑
Incognito mode automatically deletes your browsing and search history from your browser; it does not do anything to prevent your data from being shared with search engines, web sites, or ISPs.
If I want to turn Disconnect Search off and search "normally", how do I do that? ↑
Make sure that "Search from the omnibox" and "Search from everywhere" are unchecked, and then search as you always have, either through the search box in your browser, the omnibox in your browser, or at the search engine's web site.
If I click on a search engine result, is that private too? ↑
Yes, when using Disconnect Search we prevent the search engine from sending your search query to the web site you are visiting. [Please note: if you open a search result in another tab, your keywords will be exposed.]
How does Disconnect 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 Search prevent the US government from seeing what I search for? ↑
Based on recent revelations, you should not assume that any company or organization can prevent the US government from accessing your search queries. Disconnect Search focuses on preventing companies from accessing your searches.
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.
How do I uninstall Disconnect 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 on at email@example.com. (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”.
What browsers does Disconnect Search support? ↑
Disconnect Search is currently available on Chrome and Firefox. We are working hard on versions for Opera and Internet Explorer and will have them out soon. Unfortunately, Safari does not support the type of proxy we need to run Disconnect Search so unless Apple changes their policy on this issue, we will not be able to offer Disconnect Search on Safari.
Disconnect Kids ↑
- What is Disconnect Kids?
- How does Disconnect Kids work?
- How do I know if Disconnect Kids is working?
- How do you determine which third parties to block with Disconnect Kids?
- Will Disconnect Kids prevent my child from accessing any web sites or apps?
- What platforms does Disconnect Kids run on?
- What happens if I have, or add, a VPN on my iPhone or iPad?
- How do I uninstall Disconnect Kids?
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 – and being collected by invisible tracking services.
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.
What happens if I have, or add, a VPN on my iPhone or iPad? ↑
Currently, if you have more than one VPN installed on an iPhone or iPad, only the most recently installed VPN will work. Since Disconnect works like a VPN, it will only work if it is installed after all of the other VPNs on 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. (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.
Legacy Products: Facebook, Google, and Twitter Disconnect and Collusion ↑
- What are the Facebook, Google, and Twitter Disconnect extensions?
- Should I install Facebook, Google, or Twitter Disconnect in addition to the all-in-one Disconnect?
- What is Collusion?
- Should I install Collusion in addition to Disconnect?
Why does Collusion contact
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