ExpressVPN vs DuckDuckGo – Which is Safer?

  • ExpressVPN and DuckDuckGo can help you protect your online privacy and security.
  • The former is a VPN service that encrypts your internet traffic and hides your IP address.
  • DuckDuckGo is a search engine that doesn't track your online activities, see how they compare below.

In today’s digital age, online privacy and security are paramount.

Cybercriminals are always lurking, waiting to steal your personal information, track your online activities, and use your data for malicious purposes. 

To safeguard your privacy and security online, you can use security-focused tools like ExpressVPN and DuckDuckGo. 

But which one is better for your needs? We’ll compare ExpressVPN vs DuckDuckGo so you can have a comprehensive understanding on what exactly each offers in terms of security.

ExpressVPN vs DuckDuckGo – What’s the difference? 

The main difference between ExpressVPN and DuckDuckGo is the purpose they serve. 

ExpressVPN helps users browse the internet securely and privately by encrypting their internet traffic and hiding their IP address. 

DuckDuckGo, on the other hand, is a search engine that emphasizes privacy and does not track its users.

They also work differently:

You need to install ExpressVPN on a device, such as a computer or a smartphone, while DuckDuckGo is a web-based search engine you can access through any web browser.

It does however have a dedicated app for mobile. It comes equipped with a search engine, tracker blocker, and encryption enforcer, and it’s available on iOS & Android.

Let’s dive in and explain the main differences between ExpressVPN vs DuckDuckGo.

ExpressVPN

expressvpn user interface

When a user connects to ExpressVPN, their internet traffic is encrypted, which means it is scrambled and unreadable to anyone trying to intercept it.

It employs AES-256 encryption, which security experts and U.S. governments widely adopt to protect classified information.

This makes it much harder for hackers, government agencies, or other third parties to monitor or steal the user’s online activity.

Additionally, ExpressVPN hides the user’s IP address by routing their internet traffic through a remote server in a different location. 

expressvpn changing IP address

This means the public IP associated with you won’t be your own, but your VPN’s server. As you can see in the image above, once you’re connected to VPN, your IP’s location information will match the VPN server.

Not only will this protect your privacy, but it will give you the possibility to browse the web securely from highly regulated countries.

The server location change option is also useful if you want to access geo-restricted content from unsupported countries.

DuckDuckGo

duckduckgo user interface

As opposed to ExpressVPN, DuckDuckGo is a search engine that doesn’t store personal information and does not track users.

Unlike other search engines, DuckDuckGo doesn’t log browsing history and it doesn’t use cookies.

The company puts a lot of emphasis on user privacy and claims not to share any of your information with third parties. Given they don’t log any of it, to begin with, we’d say these claims are solid.

As a result, you can search the internet without worrying about your information being collected or used for advertising purposes.

Also, because it doesn’t store or track you, it won’t show targeted ads or search results. All DuckDuckGo users will get the exact same results page when typing in the same search query.

This sounds great. But you may be skeptical. How does DuckDuckGo make money without tracking and displaying targeted results?

DuckDuckGo generates revenue through private ads displayed on their search engine. 

However, the ads you get on DuckDuckGo’s search results page are not based on your personal information but on the search query you enter. 

For instance, if you search for phones, you will see ads related to them on the results page.

duckduckgo advertisments

In a nutshell, with DuckDuckGo, you can avoid the dozens of irrelevant ads that will follow you after every search query on other search engines.

In addition to its privacy features, DuckDuckGo offers several helpful search tools. 

For example, it can provide instant answers to queries, as well as search results from various sources. It can also filter out spammy or low-quality websites from search results.

Do you need a VPN with DuckDuckGo?

The simple answer is yes. You may still need a VPN when using DuckDuckGo.

DuckDuckGo only protects browser data, while VPNs secure the entire device on which you install them.

While it prioritizes user privacy during searches, it may not provide complete protection against other online threats, such as government surveillance and social media trackers.

One reason for this is that DuckDuckGo does not encrypt all of your internet traffic, leaving your activity and IP address visible to anyone trying to access it.

DuckDuckGo isn’t built to work as a VPN. It offers you a level of privacy by not tracking your browsing activity the same way other search engines do.

It essentially works like Google Chrome’s incognito mode. You’re less vulnerable to your data being stolen or tracked by the search engine, but your activity is still visible to your ISP.

This means that your network admin will be able to track what you do online. On the other hand, if you use a VPN, all data is hidden.

ExpressVPN vs DuckDuckGo: Which is the winner?

When comparing two different privacy features, which one is better comes down to what exactly you need?

Having ExpressVPN vs DuckDuckGo side by side we can tell that they achieve different things: one stops search engine tracking, while the other encrypts all traffic.

The most secure option would be to use both. Mainstream browsers do log user activity even if you use a VPN. But using a VPN while searching with DuckDuckGo will protect all of your data.

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