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Google CAPTCHA when using a VPN

Why do I have to sometimes fill out a CAPTCHA when using Google through VPN service?

Firstly, please rest assured that filling out the CAPTCHA does NOT in anyway compromise your privacy and online anonymity. Here we will discuss what a CAPTCHA is and why they're used.

What is a CAPCHA?

The word ‘CAPTCHA’ is an abbreviation for ‘Completely Automated Public Turing Test’. CAPTCHAs usually consist of letters, numbers or perhaps a picture sequence that has been distorted or is a little difficult to read. CAPTCHA is basically a test to determine whether the search/login being attempted is actually a human or a bot (Automated script, robot, etc).

These CAPTCHAs are not intended to stop users from browsing, but are made to filter out any fake traffic generated on the site by bots - as an automated script/robot would not be able to solve them. Only humans are smart enough to pass through the CAPTCHA test.


Why Google wants VPN users to fill in CAPTCHAs?

When you use a VPN you’re actually sharing an IP with our other VPN users. This means that there may be other people searching for something at the same time on Google using the same IP address.

When Google sees searches originating from the same computer/IP address, it confuses these people for bots or spammers, and therefore requests you to fill out a CAPTCHA occasionally to prove you're human. Filling out the CAPTCHA verifies that you’re not a bot or a computer program making fake searches, or otherwise trying to abuse the Google search/service.

Does Google CAPTCHA Compromise Online Security?

Your identity, security and privacy isn’t compromised when filling out Google CAPTCHA. This is because the IP address which you use is also being used by other users at the same time. This makes it very hard for Google to track you online, due to the shared nature of our VPN IP addresses your internet traffic blends in with other users. It is very difficult for them to identify the person making a search and where that search is being conducted from. However, Google DO attempt to track and log your searches so continuing reading below to see what options you have to prevent this.

I don't want to fill in the CAPTCHA, what options do I have?

We recommend switching your search provider to DuckDuckGo, it's quick and easy to update the default search engine that your browser uses - we'll show you how below.

What's so great about DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckGo have a 'no log no track' policy making it simple to further enhance your online security; Google do not have such a policy, they do attempt to track and log your searches so for this reason we recommend against using it. Yes, even if you have 'nothing to hide' - why should Google be allowed to track and record your searches?!

The DuckDuckGo search is as simple as Google and provides options to customise your search location (so you can get results in your local language no matter where you connect from) and filter out potentially unsafe links. We've included a link below, so give it a go - everyone at StreamVia ONLY uses DuckDuckGo, we're a no-Google-zone due to their tracking of users!

You can see some of the advanced features they offer below, such as customising your search location, 'safe search' options, etc:

How do I update my computer/browser to use DuckDuckGo instead of Google?

It's quick and simple to update your default search to use DuckDuckGo rather than Google, you can find guides below for all the common browsers. If you still prefer to use Google generally, when you do not have the VPN connected, perhaps install another browser where you can set DuckDuckGo as the default search option, then use another browser when you do not have the VPN connected.


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