Here are the questions we get asked most. If you have a question that’s not answered below, please email us.
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.
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.
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.
Once Disconnect Search is installed, you have three options:
There is a slight delay when we route your request through our proxy servers, but the delay should be negligible and rarely noticeable.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.]
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.
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.
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”.
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.