DuckDuckGo app for Android ships with Tor integration now

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 3, 2013
Updated • Oct 3, 2013
Apps, Google Android

If you are using the privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo, you have probably installed the official application of the search engine on your phone or tablet as well to make use of the very same features that make it a great alternative to the big dogs Google and Bing.

DuckDuckGo promises that it wont track users, won't personalize search results, and enables users to search the web anonymously.

The Android application, DuckDuckGo Search & Stories, offers the same feature set as the web-based version. You can use it to search on DuckDuckGo, and use all the features that makes the search engine special. This includes the !bang syntax, all privacy protections, and also zero-click information about select search phrases that are displayed right on top of the regular results.

DuckDuckGo and Tor

duckduckgo tor orbot tor android

One of the recent changes in DuckDuckGo's application for Android is the integration of Tor in it. It depends on another application though, but will point you in the right direction once you enable Tor in the DuckDuckGo preferences.

To use the Tor network in DuckDuckGo, do the following:

  • Install the DuckDuckGo Search & Stories application on your Android device. It is compatible with all Android versions from 2.2 onwards.
  • Tap on the menu button and select settings from the menu that opens up.
  • Scroll down on the settings page until you find TOR listed there.
  • Tap on Enable Tor to activate the integration.
  • A prompt is displayed that informs you that you need to install the free Android application Orbot for that.
  • If you select yes you are taken to Google Play where you can install the app.

When you open the DuckDuckGo application from now on, it will check if Orbot is running, and if it is not, ask you if you want to start it.

Note: If you enable Tor, you need Orbot to run. If it is not running, you won't get any connection to DuckDuckGo using the application.

You are probably wondering how you can tell that you are connected to the TOR network and that the DuckDuckGo application is making use of it as well.

Besides the connection error that you get when it is not running, you can install the free Orweb: Private Web Browser application to test that on your phone or tablet.

Just run the app after installation and you should get a confirmation that you are connected to the TOR network.


Support for the Tor network is certainly something that many DuckDuckGo users will appreciate. The integration itself works really well once you are past the setup. It may take one additional click to start a search, as you may need to start Orbot if it is not running.

You can configure Orbot to automatically start with the Android phone so that it is available right after that.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments ( Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [] and it appears there but as well here at []

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

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