DuckDuckGo’s New Paid Subscription Plan Actually Seems Like a Good Deal

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DuckDuckGo announced a new three-in-one subscription service on Thursday, Privacy Pro, that it hopes will help customers further protect their privacy online. The bundle includes a dedicated VPN, a personal information removal service, and identity theft restoration. But is it worth adding another $10 subscription to your monthly bill? Honestly, it might be.DuckDuckGo VPNAs DuckDuckGo just announced this suite, I haven’t had a chance to test out this new VPN. But based on DuckDuckGo’s description, it sounds pretty standard. The VPN will, of course, encrypt your internet traffic, so neither your ISP nor DuckDuckGo will see what you’re up to. The company developed and runs this VPN, though it does use the open-source WireGuard protocol to encrypt your traffic. It also claims it does not log any data that can connect you to the things you do online, including any DuckDuckGo services. You can run the VPN on up to five devices at once, via the DuckDuckGo browser.DuckDuckGo says it uses VPN servers in the United States, Europe, and Canada, and that it’ll be increasing its servers in the future. Take note that you connect to the closest server to your current location by default (DuckDuckGo says its does this for internet speed purposes), but you can manually adjust your server yourself. If you want to watch Netflix from a server based in Europe, or you just want your server as far away from your real location as possible, make sure to change it. Personal identification removal service

Credit: DuckDuckGo

When you subscribe, you also get DuckDuckGo’s personal identification removal service. This function looks for your information across common data brokers, and, if it finds any, requests that the site owners remove it on your behalf. Then, it continues to scan the internet looking for more data. You can check in on the data DuckDuckGo has removed from a dashboard in your browser. This service needs to be set up on a Mac or PC at the start. The company didn’t come up with this service out of nowhere: It acquired the personal information removal service Removaly in 2022. That’s one way to get ahead.Identity theft restoration

Credit: DuckDuckGo

Finally, if you pay for the privilege, DuckDuckGo will try to help you get your identity back if it’s stolen. This service is provided by Iris Powered by Generali, which will work with you to create a case in the event your identity is stolen. There’s actually a lot it’ll do: Iris will freeze your credit, help you replace important documents like your driver’s license and passport, provide a cash advance of $500 if you’re more than 100 miles from your home, contact healthcare companies about any fraudulent claims in your name, and reimburse some purchases you make while trying to get your identity back. Is this a good deal?DuckDuckGo claims seeking out other companies to subscribe to these services separately could cost up to $30 per month, while The Duck is charging $9.99 per month, or $99.99 per year (about $8.33 per month when you break it down that way).While adding another $10 monthly fee to your presumably long list of subscriptions might seem like a big ask, this plan seems to be fairly priced. If you’re someone who cares deeply about your privacy while using the internet and would sign up for these three services individually, you’d probably have a hard time cobbling together a similar situation for $10. A VPN will run you anywhere $5 to $14 per month alone; a personal information removal service could run anywhere from $4 to $10.75 per month (that $10.75/month being DeleteMe); while an identity theft restoration service goes for $7.50 to $9. There aren’t too many privacy bundles like this out there, at least not that I’ve seen. Some, like NordVPN, offer dark web monitoring, but not to the level DuckDuckGo is advertising here. That said, if you don’t care all that much about personal information removal or identity theft restoration, and you just want a solid VPN, you have your options, some of which are less expensive than DuckDuckGo. Of course, there are even free VPNs, but those are usually far less effective than paid options, either because they’re far more limited, or because they risk your privacy in ways paid options do not.My advice? Try it out if you’re interested, but stick with the monthly plan over the annual. You’re better off shopping around different VPN and privacy services until you find one you really like, rather than risk locking yourself into a year of something you don’t. If DuckDuckGo’s VPN turns out to be on par with others like ExpressVPN or CyberGhost, the extra security features will just be welcome bonuses.You can sign up for DuckDuckGo Privacy Pro here. Check out our favorite paid VPNs here:

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