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GOOGLE’S GRIP ON the web has never been stronger. Its Chrome web browser has almost 70 percent of the market and its search engine a whopping 92 percent share. That’s a lot of data—and advertising revenue—for one of the world’s most powerful companies.

But Google’s dominance is being challenged. Regulators are questioning its monopoly position and claim the company has used anticompetitive tactics to strengthen its dominance. At the same time, a new wave of Google rivals hopes to capitalize on the greater public desire for online privacy.

Two years after publicly launching a privacy-focused browser, Brave, founded by former Mozilla executive Brendan Eich, is taking on Google’s search business too. The announcement of Brave Search puts the upstart in the rare position of taking on both Google’s browser and search dominance.

Eich says that Brave Search, which has opened a waitlist and will launch in the first half of this year, won’t track or profile people who use it. “Brave already has a default anonymous user model with no data collection at all,” he says adding this will continue in its search engine. No IP addresses will be collected and the company is exploring how it can create both a paid, ad-free search engine and one that comes with ads.

But building a search engine isn’t straightforward. It takes a lot of time and, more importantly, money. Google’s search algorithms have spent decades crawling the web, building up anindex of hundreds of billions of sites and ranking them in search results.

The depth of Google’s indexing has helped secure its market-leading position. Globally its nearest rival is Microsoft’s Bing, which has just 2.7 percent of the market. Bing’s own index of the web also helps to provide results in other Google rivals, such as DuckDuckGo which uses it as one of 400 sources that feed into search results.

Eich says Brave isn’t starting its search engine or index from scratch and won’t be using indexes from Bing or other tech firms. Instead Brave has purchased Tailcat, an offshoot of German search engine Cliqz, which was owned by Hubert Burda Media and closed down last year. The purchase includes an index of the web that’s been created by Tailcat and the technology that powers it. Eich says that some users will be given the ability to opt-in to anonymous data collection to help fine-tune search results.

“What Tailcat does is it looks at a query log and a click log anonymously,” Eich says. “These allow it to build an index, which Tailcat has done and already did at Cliqz, and it's getting bigger.” He admits that the index will not be anywhere near as deep as Google’s but that the top results it surfaces are largely the same.

“It's the web that the users care about,” says Eich. “You don't have to crawl the entire web in quasi-real-time as Google does.”

The Brave Search team are also working on filters, called Goggles, that will allow people to create a series of sources where search results are pulled from. People could, for example, use filters to only show product reviews that don’t contain affiliate links. A filter could also be set to only display results from independent media outlets.

And Google might soon have even more competition. There have been unconfirmed reports that Apple is building its own search engine, although this could see it lose billions of dollars that Google pays it to be the default search choice on its Safari browser. Further competition comes from Neeva, built by former Google engineers who plan to use a search subscription model; You.com, which is in an early testing phase; and British startup Mojeek, which has crawled more than three billion webpages using its own crawler tech.

It remains to be seen how much of a dent any of these rivals can make in Google’s dominance—or if they actually need to if they’re going to succeed. Google’s rivals can be successful in local markets and make profits on a much smaller scale. Search engine Seznam has an 11 percent market share in its native Czechia, while Russia’s Yandex has 45 percent of its local market share. DuckDuckGo, which has most of its users in the US and Europe, has made a profit since 2014 and passed 100 million daily searches for the first time in January.

The closure of Cliqz offers some important lessons. When it shuttered in April 2020, the company said that despite having hundreds of thousands of users it couldn’t cover its own costs. In the search business, some scale matters. “The world needs a private search engine that is not just using Bing or Google in the backend,” Cliqz said when it announced its closure.

Brave has one advantage when it comes to people who might use Brave Search: its web browser. The company says the browser, which launched in 2019, already has 25 million monthly active users— in the future they may all be potential search users too. However, Eich says Brave Search won’t be forced upon people as a default, to begin with.“We will have it as an alternative not as a default because we'll still feel like there's more work to do,” he says. “As it gets good enough, I think we will try to make it the default engine in Brave.”

[Source: This article was published in wired.com By Elena Lacey - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jason bourne]
Categorized in Search Engine

The Brave web browser has set out to become one of the best Chrome for desktop alternatives, and this latest move puts it in a pretty good position. Brave announced in a blog post on Wednesday that it has acquired the open-source search engine, Tailcat, and is integrating it into its privacy-focused web browser.

Brave web browser is coming after Google with its own privacy-based search

For those not familiar with Brave, it's an open-source web browser made using the Chromium source code. Because of this, it looks and feels like Google Chrome in many ways, although without many of its bells and whistles, while also claiming to be more battery efficient. The main difference, though, is that Brave is focused on privacy, something that Google often struggles with. Brave does not track its users for targeted ads and instead has partnered with various companies to serve "privacy-respecting" ads that can reward users by just watching.

Brave just pulled a fast one on Google Search

By purchasing Tailcat and turning it into Brave Search, users will have a fully-integrated solution for private browsing as an alternative to Google Search and Chrome. CEO and co-founder of Brave Software, Brendan Eich highlights the invasiveness of Big Tech as a motivation for launching a privacy-focused search engine:

Brave's mission is to put the user first, and integrating privacy-preserving search into our platform is a necessary step to ensure that user privacy is not plundered to fuel the surveillance economy.

The company maintains that because Brave Search is open source, it will remain independent so that improvements made to the platform are from anonymous contributors. It outlines in a paper how its ranking model will be built to avoid any bias with search results. Users will also have the option for an ad-supported or a paid, ad-free experience, and those that choose ads will not be targeted. Brave Search is aiming for full transparency with its users.

Brave points to the recent exodus of WhatsApp users to services like Signal as a sign that users are actively seeking more private alternatives for their apps and services. The company believes that this move makes it the right choice for users who are looking for an alternative to Google. It's even open to making its search engine available for other browsers.

Brave has open sign-ups to test its upcoming search engine, although there's no word on when it will be available.

[Source: This article was published in androidcentral.com By Derrek Lee - Uploaded by the Association Member: James Gill]
Categorized in Search Engine

Popular search engines and browsers do a great job at finding and browsing content on the web, but can do a better job at protecting your privacy while doing so.

With your data being the digital currency of our times, websites, advertisers, browsers, and search engines track your behavior on the web to deliver tailored advertising, improve their algorithms, or improve their services.

In this guide, we list the best search engines and browsers to protect your privacy while using the web.

Privacy-focused search engines

Below are the best privacy-focused search engines that do not track your searchers or display advertisements based on your cookies or interests.

DuckDuckGo

The first privacy-focused search engine, and probably the most recognizable, we spotlight is DuckDuckGo.

Founded in 2008, DuckDuckGo is popular among users who are concerned about privacy online, and the privacy-friendly search engine recently said it had seen 2 billion total searches.

DDG

With DuckDuckGo, you can search for your questions and websites online anonymously.

DuckDuckGo does not compile entire profiles of user's search habits and behavior, and it also does not collect personal information.

DuckDuckGo is offered as a search engine option in all popular browsers.

In 2017, Brave added DuckDuckGo as a default search engine option when you use the browser on mobile or desktop. In Brave browser, your search results are powered by DuckDuckGo when you enter the private tabs (incognito).

Last year, Google also added DuckDuckGo to their list of search engines on Android and platforms. With iOS 14, Apple is now also allowing users to use DuckDuckGo as their preferred search engine.

Startpage

Unlike DuckDuckGo, Startpage is not crawling the internet to generate unique results, but instead, it allows users to obtain Google Search results while protecting their data.

Startpage started as a sister company of Ixquick, which was founded in 1998. In 2016, both websites were merged and Startpage owners received a significant investment from Privacy One Group last year.

This search engine also generates its income from advertising, but these ads are anonymously generated solely based on the search term you entered. Your information is not stored online or shared with other companies, such as Google.

StartPage

Startpage also comes with one interesting feature called "Annonymous View" that allows you to view links anonymously.

When you use this feature, Startpage renders the website in its container and the website won't be able to track you because it will see Startpage as the visitor.

Ecosia

The next search engine in our list is Ecosia.

Unlike any other search engines, Ecosia is a CO2-neutral search engine and it uses the revenue generated to plant trees. Ecosia's search results are provided by Bing and enhanced by the company's own algorithms.

Ecosia

Ecosia was first launched on 7 December 2009 and the company has donated most of its profits to plant trees across the world.

Ecosia says they're a privacy-friendly search engine and your searches are encrypted, which means the data is not stored permanently and sold to third-party advertisers.

List of privacy-friendly browsers:

Web browser developers have taken existing browser platforms such as Chrome and Firefox, and modified them to include more privacy-focuses features that protect your data while browsing the web.

Brave Browser

Brave is one of the fastest browser that is solely focused on privacy with features like private browsing, data saver, ad-free experience, bookmarks sync, tracking protections, HTTPs everywhere, and more.

Brave

Memory usage by Brave is far below Google Chrome and the browser is also available for both mobile and desktop.

You can download Brave from here.

Tor Browser

The Tor Browser is another browser that aims to protect your data, including your IP address, as you browse the web.

When browsing the web with Tor, your connections to web sites will be anonymous as your request will be routed through other computers and your real IP address is not shared. 

In addition, Tor bundles comes with the NoScript and HTTPS Everywhere extensions preinstalled, and clears your HTTP cookies on exit, to further protect your privacy.

Tor

firefox focus

Firefox Focus also comes with built-in ad blocker to improve your experience and block all trackers, including those operated by Google and Facebook.

You can download Tor browser from here.

Firefox Focus

Firefox Focus is also a great option if you use Android or iOS.

According to Mozilla, Firefox Focus blocks a wide range of online trackers, erases your history, passwords, cookies, and comes with a user-friendly interface.

 [Source: This article was published in bleepingcomputer.com By Mayank Parmar - Uploaded by the Association Member: Logan Hochstetler]

Categorized in Search Engine

DuckDuckGo, the privacy-focused search engine, announced that August 2020 ended in over 2 billion total searches via its search platform.

While Google remains the most popular search engine, DuckDuckGo has gained a great deal of traction in recent months as more and more users have begun to value their privacy on the internet.

DuckDuckGo saw over 2 billion searches and 4 million app/extension installations, and the company also said that they have over 65 million active users. DuckDuckGo could shatter its old traffic record if the same growth trend continues.

Screenshot 5

Even though DuckDuckGo is growing rapidly, it still controls less than 2 percent of all search volume in the United States. However, DuckDuckGo's growth trend has continued throughout the year, mainly due to Google and other companies' privacy scandal.

DuckDuckGo1.jpg

On average, DuckDuckGo is getting 65 million+ searches regularly. The number is likely to be more if we add up the searches performed via DuckDuckGo's API, extensions, or apps.

DuckDuckGo search engine is based on Bing, community-developed sites such as Wikipedia, and the company has developed its own crawler to generate its index of search results.

Unlike Google, DuckDuckGo is more privacy-oriented, and they don't track what users are searching for. As a result, DuckDuckGo search results are not as up-to-date as Google or even Bing.

On the other hand, Google has championed web standards, and its search engine allegedly ignores privacy standards and tracks people across its platforms.

If you are serious about privacy, you can give DuckDuckGo a try by visiting their search homepage. You can also use DuckDuckGo by installing its extensions and apps.

[Source: This article was published in bleepingcomputer.com By Mayank Parmar - Uploaded by the Association Member: Issac Avila]

Categorized in Search Engine

In 2008, the first privacy-focused search engine emerged on the scene - DuckDuckGo. The company was the first to bring consumers a search engine designed to protect consumer privacy as they searched online. By 2018, DuckDuckGo had 16 million searches a day, and by 2019, that number had jumped to 36 million searches.

Now, more than ten years later, privacy and search continue to evolve.

Privado is a new private search engine from  CodeFuel, which allows consumers to protect their right to online privacy. Search results are powered by Bing and driven by the consumer’s search query and not by their demographics or personal data

“Online privacy per se is not a new issue. But what we have seen until recently, is that a relatively narrow segment of users care enough to take action, mainly tech-savvy users, who understand how companies feed off their data,” said Tal Jacobson, General Manager of CodeFuel. “With the growing number of data breaches we hear about every other day, privacy concerns have finally made it to center stage.”

Jacobson says he strongly believes we have come very close to the privacy tipping point when people realize that this is just too much.

Tal Jacobson, General Manager, CodeFuel

“Think for a moment about the millions of parents out there, who have just heard about the accusations against TikTok secretly gathering user data and sending it to China,” added Jacobson. “Think about the Millions of users across social and search and how their data is used and abused to make more money, without their permission.”

Jacobson adds that users are waking up, and search privacy is making its way to the mainstream. “Privado enables users to realize the benefits of internet search without anxiety about their most intimate behaviors being observed and tracked.”

As consumer awareness increases around data and privacy, their actions have shifted as well. According to a data privacy and security report from RSA, 78 percent of consumers polled said they take action to limit the amount of personal information they share online.

[Source: This article was published in forbes.com By Jennifer Kite-Powell - Uploaded by the Association Member: Dorothy Allen]

Categorized in Search Engine

Private.sh is a new private search engine that uses cryptography to ensure that your search history cannot be tracked by anyone – even us. Private.sh comes from the same privacy committed makers of Private Internet Access in partnership with GigaBlast – one of the few companies to have their own index of the internet available for search.

This first truly private search engine is possible thanks to the partnership, with each partner playing a key part of the puzzle to provide a new standard for cryptographically secured privacy for search engines.

Chances are, your current search engine is not private

One of the core functions and business models of a search engine is tracking searches and who makes them. The vast majority of search engines are taking personally identifiable information like your IP address and browser fingerprints to create or add to a profile. Besides keeping a log of what you’ve searched for, non-private search engines also keep a log of what result you clicked on, how long it took, whether you were feeling lucky, etc.

With non-private search engines, being able to identify you – the searcher – and tie your search terms to your user profile while targeting advertising at you is all an essential part of the business model.

That is to say, with normal search engines, your search’s privacy is ignored and trampled on by design. With Private.sh, your privacy is protected by design.

With Private.sh, your search privacy is protected with both encryption and anonymity.

When you enter a search term into Private.sh, the search term gets encrypted on the client side (on your computer or device) using GigaBlast’s public key, which only they can decrypt. In effect, this ensures that Private.sh never sees the search term.

After the search term is encrypted, it is passed to the GigaBlast search engine through a Private.sh proxy so GigaBlast doesn’t see your IP address, browser fingerprints, or anything that would allow for your privacy to be broken or a user profile to be created. This means that neither Private.sh or GigaBlast is able to build a user profile on you or store your search history.

Finally, the search results are encrypted by GigaBlast using your temporary public key and are returned to you through the Private.sh proxy. The results then get decrypted and rendered locally on your device using Javascript with a temporary private key that only exists on your device. This client-side keypair is changed for every search request.

With this multi-pronged approach, Private.sh is the perfect option when you need to search something privately.

Private Search is finally here, and improving

Another benefit is that since Private.sh and GigaBlast are both unable to build a user profile on you, you’ll be able to get unbiased and private search results every time. You may notice that these results aren’t as accurate or algorithmically tailored to you based on your search history. This is by design and makes Private.sh a perfect complement to your favorite search engine, for when you want to make a search that is truly private.

We will constantly be working to better your search experience without compromising your security. In the future, Private.sh will be working with GigaBlast to expand their index of the internet to bring more results. Private.sh is determined to be your private search engine of choice.

Try private search out and add it to your privacy toolkit today.

 [Source: This article was published in privateinternetaccess.com - Uploaded by the Association Member: Joshua Simon]

Categorized in Search Engine

[Source: This article was Published in itsfoss.com By   - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jay Harris]

Brief: In this age of the internet, you can never be too careful with your privacy. Use these alternative search engines that do not track you.

Google – unquestionably being the best search engine out there, makes use of powerful and intelligent algorithms (including A.I. implementations) to let the users get the best out of a search engine with a personalized experience.

This sounds good until you start to live in a filter bubble. When you start seeing everything that ‘suits your taste’, you get detached from reality. Too much of anything is not good. Too much of personalization is harmful as well.

This is why one should get out of this filter bubble and see the world as it is. But how do you do that?

You know that Google sure as hell tracks a lot of information about your connection and the system when you perform a search and take an action within the search engine or use other Google services such as Gmail.

So, if Google keeps on tracking you, the simple answer would be to stop using Google for searching the web. But what would you use in place of Google? Microsoft’s Bing is no saint either.

So, to address the netizens concerned about their privacy while using a search engine, I have curated a list of privacy oriented alternative search engines to Google. 

Best 8 Privacy-Oriented Alternative Search Engines To Google

Do note that the alternatives mentioned in this article are not necessarily “better” than Google, but only focuses on protecting users privacy. Here we go!

1. DuckDuckGo

privacy oriented search engine duckduckgo

DuckDuckGo is one of the most successful privacy oriented search engines that stands as an alternative to Google. The user experience offered by DuckDuckGo is commendable. I must say – “It’s unique in itself”.

DuckDuckGo, unlike Google, utilizes the traditional method of “sponsored links” to display the advertisements. The ads are not focused on you but only the topic you are searching for – so there is nothing that could generate a profile of you in any manner – thereby respecting your privacy.

Of course, DuckDuckGo’s search algorithm may not be the smartest around (because it has no idea who you are!). And, if you want to utilize one of the best privacy oriented alternative search engines to Google, you will have to forget about getting a personalized experience while searching for something.

The search results are simplified with specific meta data’s. It lets you select a country to get the most relevant result you may be looking for. Also, when you type in a question or searching for a fix, it might present you with an instant answer (fetched from the source).

Although, you might miss quite a few functionalities (like filtering images by license) – that is an obvious trade-off to protect your privacy.

DuckDuckGo

Suggested read  ProtonMail: An Open Source Privacy-Focused Email Service Provider

2. Qwant

qwant best privacy oriented search engines

Qwant is probably one of the most loved privacy oriented search engines after DuckDuckGo. It ensures neutrality, privacy, and digital freedom while you search for something on the Internet.

If you thought privacy-oriented search engines generally tend to offer a very casual user experience, you need to rethink after trying out Qwant. This is a very dynamic search engine with trending topics and news stories organized very well. It may not offer a personalized experience (given that it does not track you) – but it does feel like it partially with a rich user experience offered to compensate that in a way.

Qwant is a very useful search engine alternative to Google. It lists out all the web resources, social feeds, news, and images on the topic you search for.

Qwant

3. Startpage

startpage best privacy oriented search engines

Startpage is a good initiative as a privacy-oriented search engine alternative to Google. However, it may not be the best one around. The UI is very similar to that of Google’s (while displaying the search results – irrespective of the functionalities offered). It may not be a complete rip-off but it is not very impressive – everyone has got their own taste.

To protect your privacy, it lets you choose it. You can either select to visit the web pages using the proxy or without it. It’s all your choice. You also get to change the theme of the search engine. Well, I did enjoy my switch to the “Night” theme. There’s an interesting option with the help of which you can generate a custom URL keeping your settings intact as well.

Startpage

4. Privatelee

privatelee best privacy oriented search engines

Privatelee is another kind of search engine specifically tailored to protect your online privacy. It does not track your search results or behavior in any way. However, you might get a lot of irrelevant results after the first ten matched results.

The search engine isn’t perfect to find a hidden treasure on the Internet but more for general queries. Privatelee also supports power commands – more like shortcuts – which helps you search for the exact thing in an efficient manner. It will save a lot of your time for pretty simple tasks such as searching for a movie on Netflix. If you were looking for a super fast privacy oriented search engine for common queries, Privatelee would be a great alternative to Google.

Privatelee

Suggested read  Librem 5 is a Security and Privacy Focused Smartphone Based on Linux

5. Swisscows

swisscows best privacy oriented search engines

Well, it isn’t dairy farm portfolio site but a privacy-oriented search engine as an alternative to Google. You may have known about it as Hulbee – but it has recently redirected its operation to a new domain. Nothing has really changed except for the name and domain of the search engine. It works the same way it was before as Hulbee.com.

Swisscows utilizes Bing to deliver the search results as per your query. When you search for something, you would notice a tag cloud on the left sidebar which is useful if you need to know about the related key terms and facts. The design language is a lot simpler but one of its kind among the other search engines out there. You get to filter the results according to the date but that’s about it – no more advanced options to tweak your search results. It utilizes a tile search technique (a semantic technology) to fetch the best results to your queries. The search algorithm makes sure that it is a family-friendly search engine with pornography and violence ruled out completely.

Swisscows

6. searX

searX best privacy oriented search engines

searX is an interesting search engine – which is technically defined as a “metasearch engine”. In other words, it utilizes other search engines and accumulates the results to your query in one place. It does not store your search data being an open source metasearch engine at the same time. You can review the source code, contribute, or even customize it as your own metasearch engine hosted on your server.

If you are fond of utilizing Torrent clients to download stuff, this search engine will help you find the magnet links to the exact files when you try searching for a file through searX. When you access the settings (preferences) for searX, you would find a lot of advanced things to tweak from your end. General tweaks include – adding/removing search engines, rewrite HTTP to HTTPS, remove tracker arguments from URL, and so on. It’s all yours to control. The user experience may not be the best here but if you want to utilize a lot of search engines while keeping your privacy in check, searX is a great alternative to Google.

searX

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7. Peekier

peekier best privacy oriented search engines

Peekier is another fascinating privacy oriented search engine. Unlike the previous one, it is not a metasearch engine but has its own algorithm implemented. It may not be the fastest search engine I’ve ever used but it is an interesting take on how search engines can evolve in the near future. When you type in a search query, it not only fetches a list of results but also displays the preview images of the web pages listed. So, you get a “peek” on what you seek. While the search engine does not store your data, the web portals you visit do track you.

So, in order to avoid that to an extent, Peekier accesses the site and generates a preview image to decide whether to head into the site or not (without you requiring to access it). In that way, you allow less websites to know about you – mostly the ones you trust.

Peekier

8. MetaGer

metager best privacy oriented search engines

MetaGer is yet another open source metasearch engine. However, unlike others, it takes privacy more seriously and enforces the use of Tor network for anonymous access to search results from a variety of search engines. Some search engines who claim to protect your privacy may share your information to the government (whatever they record) because the server is bound to US legal procedures. However, with MetaGer, the Germany-based server would protect even the anonymous data recorded while using MetaGer.

They do house a few number of advertisements (without trackers of course)- but you can get rid of those as well by joining in as a member of the non-profit organization – SUMA-EV – which sponsors the MetaGer search engine.

MetaGer

Suggested read  7 Open Source Chrome Alternative Web Browsers For Linux

Wrapping Up

If you are concerned about your privacy, you should also take a look at some of the best privacy-focused Linux distributions. Among the search engine alternatives mentioned here – DuckDuckGo – is my personal favorite. But it really comes down to your preference and whom would you choose to trust while surfing the Internet.

Do you know some more interesting (but good) privacy-oriented alternative search engines to Google?

Categorized in Search Engine

 Source: This article was published itsfoss.com By Ankush Das - Contributed by Member: Issac Avila

Brief: In this age of the internet, you can never be too careful with your privacy. Use these alternative search engines that do not track you.

Google – unquestionably being the best search engine out there, makes use of powerful and intelligent algorithms (including A.I. implementations) to let the users get the best out of a search engine with a personalized experience.

This sounds good until you start to live in a filter bubble. When you start seeing everything that ‘suits your taste’, you get detached from the reality. Too much of anything is not good. Too much of personalization is harmful as well.

This is why one should get out of this filter bubble and see the world as it is. But how do you do that?

You know that Google sure as hell tracks a lot of information about your connection and the system when you perform a search and take an action within the search engine or use other Google services such as Gmail.

So, if Google keeps on tracking you, the simple answer would be to stop using Google for searching the web. But what would you use in place of Google? Microsoft’s Bing is no saint either.

So, to address the netizens concerned about their privacy while using a search engine, I have curated a list of privacy oriented alternative search engines to Google. 

Best 8 Privacy-Oriented Alternative Search Engines To Google

Do note that the alternatives mentioned in this article are not necessarily “better” than Google, but only focuses on protecting users privacy. Here we go!

1. DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo is one of the most successful privacy oriented search engines that stands as an alternative to Google. The user experience offered by DuckDuckGo is commendable. I must say – “It’s unique in itself”.

DuckDuckGo, unlike Google, utilizes the traditional method of “sponsored links” to display the advertisements. The ads are not focused on you but only the topic you are searching for – so there is nothing that could generate a profile of you in any manner – thereby respecting your privacy.

Of course, DuckDuckGo’s search algorithm may not be the smartest around (because it has no idea who you are!). And, if you want to utilize one of the best privacy oriented alternative search engines to Google, you will have to forget about getting a personalized experience while searching for something.

The search results are simplified with specific meta data’s. It lets you select a country to get the most relevant result you may be looking for. Also, when you type in a question or searching for a fix, it might present you with an instant answer (fetched from the source).

Although, you might miss quite a few functionalities (like filtering images by license) – that is an obvious trade-off to protect your privacy.

2. Qwant

best privacy oriented search engine

Qwant is probably one of the most loved privacy oriented search engines after DuckDuckGo. It ensures neutrality, privacy, and digital freedom while you search for something on the Internet.

If you thought privacy-oriented search engines generally tend to offer a very casual user experience, you need to rethink after trying out Qwant. This is a very dynamic search engine with trending topics and news stories organized very well. It may not offer a personalized experience (given that it does not track you) – but it does feel like it partially with a rich user experience offered to compensate that in a way.

Qwant is a very useful search engine alternative to Google. It lists out all the web resources, social feeds, news, and images on the topic you search for.

3. Startpage

best privacy oriented search engine

Startpage is a good initiative as a privacy-oriented search engine alternative to Google. However, it may not be the best one around. The UI is very similar to that of Google’s (while displaying the search results – irrespective of the functionalities offered). It may not be a complete rip-off but it is not very impressive – everyone has got their own taste.

To protect your privacy, it lets you choose it. You can either select to visit the web pages using the proxy or without it. It’s all your choice. You also get to change the theme of the search engine. Well, I did enjoy my switch to the “Night” theme. There’s an interesting option with the help of which you can generate a custom URL keeping your settings intact as well.

4. Privatelee

best privacy oriented search engine

Privatelee is another kind of search engine specifically tailored to protect your online privacy. It does not track your search results or behavior in any way. However, you might get a lot of irrelevant results after the first ten matched results.

The search engine isn’t perfect to find a hidden treasure on the Internet but more for general queries. Privatelee also supports power commands – more like shortcuts – which helps you search for the exact thing in an efficient manner. It will save a lot of your time for pretty simple tasks such as searching for a movie on Netflix. If you were looking for a super fast privacy oriented search engine for common queries, Privatelee would be a great alternative to Google.

5. Swisscows

best privacy oriented search engine

Well, it isn’t dairy farm portfolio site but a privacy-oriented search engine as an alternative to Google. You may have known about it as Hulbee – but it has recently redirected its operation to a new domain. Nothing has really changed except for the name and domain of the search engine. It works the same way it was before as Hulbee.com.

Swisscows utilizes Bing to deliver the search results as per your query. When you search for something, you would notice a tag cloud on the left sidebar which is useful if you need to know about the related key terms and facts. The design language is a lot simpler but one of its kind among the other search engines out there. You get to filter the results according to the date but that’s about it – no more advanced options to tweak your search results. It utilizes a tile search technique (a semantic technology) to fetch the best results to your queries. The search algorithm makes sure that it is a family-friendly search engine with pornography and violence ruled out completely.

6. searX

best privacy oriented search engine

searX is an interesting search engine – which is technically defined as a “metasearch engine”. In other words, it utilizes other search engines and accumulates the results to your query in one place. It does not store your search data being an open source metasearch engine at the same time. You can review the source code, contribute, or even customize it as your own metasearch engine hosted on your server.

If you are fond of utilizing Torrent clients to download stuff, this search engine will help you find the magnet links to the exact files when you try searching for a file through searX. When you access the settings (preferences) for searX, you would find a lot of advanced things to tweak from your end. General tweaks include – adding/removing search engines, rewrite HTTP to HTTPS, remove tracker arguments from URL, and so on. It’s all yours to control. The user experience may not be the best here but if you want to utilize a lot of search engines while keeping your privacy in check, searX is a great alternative to Google.

7. Peekier

best privacy oriented search engine

Peekier is another fascinating privacy oriented search engine. Unlike the previous one, it is not a metasearch engine but has its own algorithm implemented. It may not be the fastest search engine I’ve ever used but it is an interesting take on how search engines can evolve in the near future. When you type in a search query, it not only fetches a list of results but also displays the preview images of the web pages listed. So, you get a “peek” on what you seek. While the search engine does not store your data, the web portals you visit do track you.

So, in order to avoid that to an extent, Peekier accesses the site and generates a preview image to decide whether to head into the site or not (without you requiring to access it). In that way, you allow less websites to know about you – mostly the ones you trust.

8. MetaGer

best privacy oriented search engine

MetaGer is yet another open source metasearch engine. However, unlike others, it takes privacy more seriously and enforces the use of Tor network for anonymous access to search results from a variety of search engines. Some search engines who claim to protect your privacy may share your information to the government (whatever they record) because the server is bound to US legal procedures. However, with MetaGer, the Germany-based server would protect even the anonymous data recorded while using MetaGer.

They do house a few number of advertisements (without trackers of course)- but you can get rid of those as well by joining in as a member of the non-profit organization – SUMA-EV – which sponsors the MetaGer search engine.

Wrapping Up

If you are concerned about your privacy, you should also take a look at some of the best privacy-focused Linux distributions. Among the search engine alternatives mentioned here – DuckDuckGo – is my personal favorite. But it really comes down to your preference and whom would you choose to trust while surfing the Internet.

Categorized in Search Engine

The company’s revamped app and browser extension will block ad tracking networks from companies like Google and Facebook

DuckDuckGo is launching updated versions of its browser extension and mobile app, with the promise of keeping internet users safe from snooping “beyond the search box.”

The company’s flagship product, its privacy-focused search engine, will remain the same, but the revamped extension and app will offer new tools to help users keep their web-browsing as safe and private as possible. These include grade ratings for websites, factoring in their use of encryption and ad tracking networks, and offering summaries of their terms of service (with summaries provided by third-party Terms of Service Didn’t Read). The app and extension are available for FirefoxSafariChromeiOS, and Android.

The ability to block ad tracking networks is probably the most important feature here. These networks are used by companies like Google and Facebook to follow users around the web, stitching together their browsing history to create a more accurate profile for targeted advertising. DuckDuckGo says its software will “expose and block” these trackers when it can find them. Although, in the cat and mouse game of advertising vs. privacy tech, it won’t always be able to catch them all.

DuckDuckGo has long been a small fish in a big pond (or should that be a small duck), but its pitch to users continues to prove popular. At the beginning of 2017, it celebrated 10 billion searches since its creation in 2009. This figure now stands at 16 billion — an increase of more than 50 percent in less than a year.

According to DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg, this shows the appetite for privacy online is only getting stronger. And, says Weinberg, the more people that use tools like DuckDuckGo’s, the more tech companies will be forced to reconsider their business model. “We’ll collectively raise the Internet’s privacy grade, ending the widespread use of invasive tracking,” writes Weinberg. It’s ambitious, to say the least.

Source: This article was published theverge.com By James Vincent

Categorized in Search Engine

DuckDuckGo has almost doubled its popularity in the past year, giving it the title of 400th most popular website worldwide

Let’s face it, Google probably knows everything about you.

Whether it’s through the search engine, internet browser, phone or emails, the service is learning new things about you each day. In fact, last year, Google launched an opt-in service known as “My Activity”, a page where you can see everything Google has learned about you in one place. 

But if you want this to change, there is an alternative, and it’s growing in popularity. Describing itself as “the search engine that doesn’t track you”, DuckDuckGo promises not to collect any information about its users, including their IP address.

What is DuckDuckGo?

The DuckDuckGo search engine was launched in 2008 by founder Gabriel Weinberg, who funded it himself until it secured investment with Union Square Ventures in 2011. Since then, the company has gone from strength to strength.

According to figures from the website Alexa, DuckDuckGo has almost doubled its popularity in the past year, giving it the title of 400th most popular website worldwide. In September, the website reached 19 million direct searches, a figure that has shown a gradual increase throughout the year.

Unlike other search engines, when you click on a link through DuckDuckGo the site you are sent to knows nothing about the words you used to find it. “What you search for is your own business and we’d like to keep it that way,” the company says.

DuckDuckGo recently reported that only 24% of adults care enough about their online privacy to take action to protect it while 65% would be motivated to switch search engines if they knew the search engine wouldn't collect personal data. 

DuckDuckGo features

The search engine is aimed at providing a quicker answer, requiring fewer clicks. It uses features called Instant Answers, which provide an answer without leaving the app, and !bangs, which take you straight to a particular website.

Elsewhere, the website offers a service that automatically changes the address of well-known websites to encrypted versions, if you click through its search engine.

Plus it offers fewer adverts. “Less clutter, less spam, fewer ads and an overall cleaner design,” the company says. “We can do this since we just focus on web search and therefore don't have to promote other services on our results pages.”

When it comes to advertising, DuckDuckGo makes money based on the keywords a user searches for, rather than the details of the person, meaning it does not need to collect any other information to create lucrative advertising. 

Related...

DuckDuckGo and Brave

DuckDuckGo recently partnered with the Brave browser to integrate the DuckDuckGo search within the browser's private tabs. 

The tie-in is available if you upgrade the Brave browser to 0.19.116. DuckDuckGo will be integrated in the Brave Android and iOS apps in the first quarter of 2018.

Under the partnership, when you open a private tab on Brave - the equivalent of opening an Incognito tab on Google - you'll get the option to make DuckDuckGo your default search engine. 

Many popular sites host as many as 70 trackers, following you around the web and collecting information about your habits. Brave, by default, stops ads and trackers and its private tabs are not logged in History or in browsing data.

DuckDuckGo browser extension

You can set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine and add the DuckDuckGo browser extension to Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari and Microsoft Edge. Below are the links for each extension. Click the one that applies to your browser(s).

For each of those browsers, you can also add DuckDuckGo as your default search engine directly from the homepage using the address bar. 

Go to DuckDuckGo, right-click the address in the address bar, select "Edit search engines" and find DuckDuckGo. You can now set this as your default search engine. 

You can also download the DuckDuckGo Android app or iOS App.

Source: This article was published alphr.com By Abigail Beall

Categorized in Search Engine
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