It’s official… I’ve finally dumped Google as my preferred search engine. With all the ramifications presented by recent disclosures regarding privacy and PRISM, the NSA, etc. it seemed a prudent move to make.
I’ve been using Google search for many years. However, with privacy issues so much in the spotlight of late I thought it was time to seek out a replacement from among those alternative search engines which promise to deliver optimum privacy. In no particular order, here is a brief rundown on the three contenders:
The oddly named “Duck Duck Go” is arguably the best known of these search engines which advocate and emphasize privacy. I added Duck Duck Go to the list of search engines in Firefox some time back but I openly admit I haven’t used it very much at all (the ‘devil you know’ syndrome). Duck Duck Go’s policy is simply stated as follows:
Zero ambiguity there… short, sweet, and to the point.
Duck Duck Go includes a drop down menu adjacent to the Search bar which allows for more concentrated searches:
And a nice range of “Settings” to customize behavior, look and feel:
The all important results:
Ixquick does NOT collect or share ANY personal information!
According to Ixquick’s About Page, it draws its results from a combination of popular search engines:
When you search with Ixquick search engine, you are searching many popular search engines simultaneously and anonymously. Combined, these engines cover more of the Internet than any one search engine alone.
An Ixquick result is awarded one star () for every search engine that chooses it as one of the ten best results for your search. So a five star () result means that five search engines agreed on the result.
Settings are pretty straightforward with provisions for behavior, filtering, and basic customizations:
And the all important results:
When you search with Startpage the Web results are generated by Google. This offers you the search results and search features you may have grown accustomed to.
On Startpage the privacy of Ixquick is combined with the Web search results from Google. The combination of these two features is what makes Startpage so special.
You can continue using the Web results from the world’s most popular search engine but now under the privacy protection of Ixquick, the world’s most private search engine.
All three provide simple methods to either add the search engine into the browser as an option or set as your home page (which is the preferred option for persistent/default use).
All these search engines offer comparable privacy features so the decision is pretty much subjective. I settled on Ixquick for my new default search engine simply because I prefer the way in which it displays search results. If you are into extra features, I would suggest Duck Duck Go may be for you. And, if you simply cannot get by without your daily dose of ‘Googling’, then Startpage should fit your bill nicely.
P.S. Indications are now coming to hand that Duck Duck Go’s traffic has surged substantially since news of PRISM and its implications were uncovered.
Interview with DuckDuckGo Founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg on Bloomberg TV: