The popularity of Disconnect as an effective and easy to use tool for privacy is increasing as the functionality of the service continues expanding. Originally, Disconnect was recognized for top quality open source browser extensions focused on privacy. Now, it has added new options that help users to prevent online tracking, to browse internet anonymously and to protect their data with a VPN solution. Disconnect offers a versatile privacy package and we’ll check in this review what are the highlights and the areas of improvement of this service.
Security and Privacy
Disconnect offers multiple solutions that aim to help users to keep their privacy protected. One of them is Disconnect Premium, which offers a full VPN that uses a 256-bit AES cipher for OpenVPN on Windows, Mac OS X and Android. IKEv2 (IPSec) is the security option used for iOS. The encryption provided offers top security and they also use 2048-bit for key exchange in order to support Perfect Forward Secrecy.
The original Disconnect browser extension earned recognition for being an open source solution, meaning that it can be independently audited to confirm its authenticity and security. Although the mobile and desktop apps are not open source yet, Disconnect states on its website that the code for them will be available soon, which will provide the possibility of confirming the integrity of their technology.
Although Disconnect doesn’t keep logs of your online activity or IP addresses, it stores information related to payments and account management. They also log some connection data including time and bytes used. Although keeping connection logs is something that many providers do, many users prefer a zero logs solution. The main problem with Disconnect is that it is only possible to pay using cards, which means that your identity is at risk of being compromised.
In addition, the fact that Disconnect is based in the United States means that it is more likely to be affected by NSA surveillance. The above issues would put off people who won’t settle for anything less than the highest standards of security and commitment to privacy. While Disconnect is a reliable and well-established company and it doesn’t log your activities, the lack of anonymous payment methods and its location will raise concern among some users.
Disconnect.me offers a combination of options that aim to offer complete protection for your privacy. The tracking prevention and malware blocking technology, complement the security that the VPN provides and the anonymity that the browser extension supports. The majority of search engines store information such as IP address, terms queried, cookie ID (which can lead a search request back to your device) and date/time of the query. This data is usually sent to the requested web page and to advertisers, who use it to target you with ads based on the profile they have created of you.
This information can also be requested by government agencies and law enforcement and search engines like Google, are likely to hand it over without delays. Disconnect aims to address this issue by routing all searches made using the apps through its own servers, This means that your actual IP address will not be revealed to the search engine. Disconnect enhances the security of your online searches and it offers convenient options like simple regional selection, advanced search tools and no ads.
The Disconnect anti-tracking and anti-cookie extension features a database of tracking cookies that is regularly updated, as well as analytic tools and secure WiFi encryption. Another benefit is that it will allow you to avoid being tracked by Facebook and other Social Media tools that attempt to collect your data even when you are browsing internet outside them. With Disconnect Premium, you can also get protection against known or suspected malware sites and the service supports up to three simultaneous connections.
While Disconnect doesn’t offer detailed information about its network, paid customers can enjoy VPN protection through servers located in the United States, Asia and Europe. There are not specific details stating that P2P is not allowed, but since the locations supported are known for their strict approach towards torrenting, it would be best to stay away from the service is this is your main purpose for having a VPN.
The Premium service, which includes VPN, costs $5 per month or $50 ($4.16/ month) if you choose a yearly subscription. Although there is not a free trial, users can opt for the basic service which is available without charge. This free plan supports visual tracking, private search and it also offers the possibility of blocking sites for desktop using the browser extension. There are other services like Disconnect Malvertising, Secure Wireless and the Privacy Pro app available for $3.99.
The website includes an extensive FAQ section with information about all the products available. However, there are some specific details that are missing or that are difficult to find. In order to get more information, you can contact the support team via email and while the responses are helpful, they can take a while to get back to customers’queries.
Disconnect is a professional and affordable privacy solution that offers anti-tracking and anti-malverstising to provide an incredible level of protection against common threats. The downsides include a limited number of server locations and the fact that the company is based in the United States, which could make it more vulnerable to NSA monitoring. Still, if your main concern is to avoid annoying tracking and ads, while keeping your online traffic secure against hackers, Disconnect offers a good deal.