Alternative Private Search Engines

private-search-alternativesGoogle’s growth and innovation has made them the most used search engine worldwide and even overtook Apple as the world’s most valuable brand. Many feel that Google has too much of a strong presence and monopoly on the online world, but it is important to remember that the Google search engine is basically a very large marketing tool. It does collect your browsing data using tracking cookies, in order to provide market research for companies to buy and distribute products and services. Google also are receiving ever increasing requests to share your information with government agencies. The same can be said for Bing and Yahoo and although used for commercial ends, these services have made it easy for anyone in the world to access an endless wealth of free information.

If you want to have an additional layer of privacy when browsing, you can always opt for search engines that claim to offer just that. It is important to remember that using private search engines do not make you completely anonymous online, and only promise that the search engine services themselves do not intrude your privacy or collect and distribute your search history in any way.

Since online surveillance goes much deeper than just search engine services, using a VPN would be the only way to encrypt your search history from surveillance agencies and your internet service provider. It is the only effective way to hide your dataflow from everyone. However, here are some alternative search engines that do provide that extra layer of privacy you may want.

DuckDuckGo
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This is probably the most popular search engine that you most likely have encountered previously. On their privacy policy, they claim that DuckDuckGo does not log any data that could be used to identify you, is free of tracking cookies and deletes IP records from the server. DuckDuckGo claims to not have any visibility on where search entries are coming from at all.

Ixquick
ixquick

Ixquick is a Dutch search engine that uses encryption and has a no-log privacy policy free of IP address collection and cookies. The service utilises Google and other search engine sources unified to provide a varied amount of results.

Startpage
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Startpage is the sister search engine to Ixquick and offers the same privacy policy and encryption features but instead of collecting results from various search engines, it only requests the search from Google, giving you the opportunity to search strictly on Google while still retaining privacy. The way Startpage and Ixquick request queries cannot ever be tracker to the user, making it an effective way to get the best of both worlds.

WolframAlpha
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This is one little revolutionary search engine, that offers more than just privacy. The privacy ends up being a detail with WolframAlpha because of its drastically different approach to searching for information. It uses a variety of scientific and mathematical calculations that give you varied numerical results. Try it out for yourself, it is a math geek’s dream.

Blekko
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Blekko ranks a little lower in our choice since it offers privacy but still collects your data for a period of 48hours before deleting it. We do not see the need for this and feel the information can be mishandled. It still represents a much shorter time span of data collection when compared to other popular services.

As always, never forget to get a VPN, and you can find some cheap solutions here.

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