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The Best Private Search Engines 2023
It’s difficult to recall a time before search engines when practically any question could be answered with a single click and you couldn’t settle a disagreement about who plays that man in that show while you were out to dinner.
There are many search engines available, with Yahoo! Search, Bing, and Baidu each having their own market preferences. But there is no denying Google’s dominance; the term was made a verb in 2006 when it was included in the Oxford lexicon, and as of 2023, it will hold over 90% of the market.
However, a lot of people are worried about how much personal information search engines like Google collect; therefore, some are using private search engines to browse the internet with more protection and anonymity.
What is a private search engine?
Private search engines are internet browsers that don’t keep track of user or search data. They may also be referred to as secure search engines or anonymous search engines. Standard search engines (like Google) gather a variety of user data, such as but not limited to:
- IP addresses
- Using agents
- Fingerprints left by browsers, search keywords, and cookies all contain unique identifiers.
- Location specificsAdditionally, if you are connected to your Google account and browsing Google, all of your search and browsing information is used to create an ad profile so that Google can better target you with relevant ads.
The privacy of users is maintained by private search engines. It’s crucial to keep in mind that each search engine provides a varied level of privacy depending on how they make money. It is always wise to keep in mind the maxim, “If something is free, you’re probably the product.”
You should use a private search engine because…
Google is simple to use. However, it’s important to review their privacy statement to get an idea of the volume of information they gather about you. The policy states that in addition to the personal information we previously stated, Google also gathers:
- Your search terms
- Videos you watch
- Interactions and views of advertisements and content
- Audio and vocal information
- Buying behavior
- People you interact with or share content with activity on third-party websites and apps that make use of [their] services
- Your Google account is linked to your Chrome browsing history.
Thanks to the EU GDPR, you will have given your consent for the acquisition of your data, although many people don’t recall doing so or believe they had no other option.
By using a private search engine, you can avoid disclosing more information about yourself than is necessary while browsing the web. This is so that a profile of you won’t be created or information won’t be gathered every time you use a private search engine.
Popular private search engine DuckDuckGo places a strong emphasis on user privacy by not tracking your queries or storing sensitive data.
The “!bang” instructions offered by DuckDuckGo, which let users use the search box on other websites, are well recognized. For instance, you can use Google to search for national parks in Texas by typing “!bang Google national parks Texas,” and you’ll get the same results it would have given you if it hadn’t been for the annoying data collection.
- Secure connections require SSL encryption.
- Blocking trackers to stop third-party tracking direct search shortcuts on other websites with bang
- Mobile, desktop, and browser extensions
- To get rid of email trackers, use Email Protection, an email forwarding service.
The privacy-focused search engine Qwant was created and is hosted in France with the goal of offering a trustworthy and safe search experience. Qwant has created its own web crawl and provides unbiased information without requesting your personal information. It doesn’t employ cookies or keep track of your search history.
In addition to their search engine, they have created a Google Maps substitute that will take you where you need to go without following you. Additionally, you should look into Qwant Junior, which provides children aged 6 to 12 with a safe and ad-free internet browsing environment. Through brief contextual advertisements, Qwant makes money from advertising.
- 3-in-1 browser extension and app
- Appropriate maps,
- A search engine for kids called Qwant Junior blocks objectionable material and doesn’t display advertisements.
Startpage, formerly Ixquick, is a metasearch engine that prioritizes user privacy and gives Google search results while preserving user anonymity. It serves as a go-between for you and Google, preserving the privacy of your searches. Your search history is not collected, tracked, or sold by Startpage.
You can read news that isn’t filtered based on your surfing history, view goods and prices that aren’t shown based on your location, and avoid targeted advertising created around your user profile because you’re viewing Google results anonymously.
Users are safeguarded by the GDPR because Startpage has its headquarters in the Netherlands.
- Results from a private Google search
- Feature for Anonymous Viewing for Secure Online Browsing
- Search engine results sharing URL builder that hides your IP
- Not tracking users
Swisscows, a metasearch engine, uses Bing for web searches and has created its own index specifically for the German market. Search results are produced by Swiss cows using semantic data recognition. This indicates that rather than offering literal matches, it tries to increase search accuracy by figuring out the intent and context of search phrases.
Along with GetDigest, an AI-based programme, Swisscows has also created TeleGuard, a WhatsApp alternative. Through a partnership with Bing, Swisscows makes money by having search ads show depending on your search parameters and receiving a cut of the advertising income for each link click.
- Semantic search for accurate outcomes
- Filtering of family-friendly material
- GetDigest, an AI-based tool for information delivery and summarization
- TeleGuard, a data-secure messaging service
Your search history and browsing history are protected by the local encryption technology used by the metasearch engine, Search Encrypt. In addition to acting as an intermediary and gathering search results from numerous sources, it also locally encrypts your search terms before transferring them to the Search Encrypt servers.
Your search results will expire and become inaccessible after 30 minutes of inactivity, increasing browsing privacy. Similar to the majority of metasearch engines, Search Encrypt makes money from sponsored links and contextual advertising.
- Forward secrecy that is flawless and advanced SSL encryption
- Protection for private search history
- Results of major search engines’ encrypted searches
- Browser extensions
Exactly how private are private search engines?
Online privacy is essentially hard to achieve, and users can expect varying levels of privacy from various private search engines. Think about the privacy features that are most important to you, and pick a search engine that gives you the level of anonymity you feel comfortable with.