GigaOM | 11.14.14

Disconnect Hits The Desktop With New Version That Will Protect It From Google’s Whims

By David Meyer

Disconnect, an outfit providing anti-tracking protection and ad blocking, has had a tough time with Google. Earlier this year, Google kicked Disconnect’s app out of the Android Play Store not once but twice — and now Disconnect is understandably worried about the long-term fate of its widely-used Chrome browser plugin.

To that end and others, Disconnect has now released a new generation of its software that spans not only iOS and Android devices – the latter via side-loading, as the Play Store ban remains in force — but now also desktop Windows and Mac computers (a Linux version is also in the works.) Along with this release, Disconnect has also revealed a distribution partnership with German communications giant Deutsche Telekom, which will offer it as protection to customers in a special promotion.

The software shows users the “invisible tracking and unsecured connections” used by websites and apps, routes traffic through Disconnect’s encrypted tunnel, blocks ad trackers, hides the user’s location, displays “privacy icons” that describe sites’ policies, and provides anonymous search. The connection-tracking comes for free but “premium protection” costs $5 a month or $50 a year, covering up to three devices.

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