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Can DuckDuckGo replace Google search while offering better privacy?

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Can DuckDuckGo replace Google search while offering better privacy?

By Jack Schofield

 

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DuckDuckGo is a good search engine that aims to protect your privacy without compromising on results. Photograph: PR image

 

Following last week’s article about privacy and surveillance capitalism, several readers wrote in about the absence of DuckDuckGo, and it was mentioned a dozen times in the comments.

 

I have suggested this privacy-oriented search engine a few times since 2012, and I think it’s worth a go.

 

However, I’m answering Murray’s earlier query along the same lines because I can use his email verbatim rather than cobbling together a joint question from multiple sources.

 

I will admit that Google is generally the best search engine. 

 

Full Story: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/askjack/2019/dec/12/duckduckgo-google-search-engine-privacy

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As I understand it Duck duck go uses results from Google and other search engines but strips out all the tracking software.

 

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Using DDG for well over a year, I don't get any feeling that it uses Google for anything. Much of the results are different than what turns up with a Google search. 

Although Google results seem much deeper, I am satisfied with DDG. Google's database is big enough without adding my info.

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A goog search will often mean you need to wade through the first page of ads that do not even have anything to do with your search. I find DDG to be better, but to each their own.

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I tried using DDG for about six months and ultimately ended up back with Google as DDG's search algorithm simply is not on par with Google's.  There's a flag you can use to force it use Google's search and bring back the results semi-privatized, but if I'm doing that for every search, it just became a pain in the butt. 

 

I like what they're doing and I really wanted to use something that took me off Google's grid a bit but it simply wasn't to be. 

 

Of course, my use case might not be everyone's.  I often have very specific searches so DDG's "close" is not the same as Google's "exact".  

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49 minutes ago, digibum said:

I like what they're doing and I really wanted to use something that took me off Google's grid a bit but it simply wasn't to be. 

Have you tried Startpage? From their site -

https://www.startpage.com/

Quote

You can’t beat Google when it comes to online search. So we’re paying them to use their brilliant search results in order to remove all trackers and logs. The result: The world’s best and most private search engine. Only now you can search without ads following you around, recommending products you’ve already bought. And no more data mining by companies with dubious intentions. 

 

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1 hour ago, digibum said:

I tried using DDG for about six months and ultimately ended up back with Google as DDG's search algorithm simply is not on par with Google's.  There's a flag you can use to force it use Google's search and bring back the results semi-privatized, but if I'm doing that for every search, it just became a pain in the butt. 

 

I like what they're doing and I really wanted to use something that took me off Google's grid a bit but it simply wasn't to be. 

 

Of course, my use case might not be everyone's.  I often have very specific searches so DDG's "close" is not the same as Google's "exact".  

i agree i tried it and didn't like the results

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I use DDGG these days. And more importantly....firefox which has improved my browsing experience especially with this site which had become unusable with Chrome.

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37 minutes ago, topt said:

Have you tried Startpage? From their site -

https://www.startpage.com/

 

 

I have but haven't switched over yet.  We're going through a trial phase 🙂

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2 hours ago, topt said:

Have you tried Startpage? From their site -

https://www.startpage.com/

Thanks for the tip.

 

Just tried a search for my own family name, Startpage came up with

Quote

Sorry, there are no results for this search

–whilst checking same right after on Google said...

Quote

About 44,300 results (0.53 seconds) 

Checking my full name – i.e. first name + family name – gave 5 pages on Startpage and "About 21,500 results" on Google; and there are actually quite a number of pages on the Internet including my name.

 

I think I'll stick too Google, I'm not scared about "privacy", I got nothing to hide...🙂

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2 minutes ago, sunnyboy2018 said:

I use DDGG these days. And more importantly....firefox which has improved my browsing experience especially with this site which had become unusable with Chrome.

 

IMHO, most people should spend a little time coming up with a threat profile.  For instance, are you worried about state-level actors or just want to break the Google dependency?  Are you trying to prevent some script kiddies from stealing your bank account info or do you have a valid reason to believe you might be targeted by a sophisticated hacker? 

 

Then you can figure out where you want to be and what things you are willing to trade-off.  I mean, I know people that get all into anonymous email services like Proton Mail, PGP encrypt all of their emails, use burner phones,  only use Tor browser, have zero social media accounts, and yadda, yadda, yadda, and they can't explain why other than Privacy = Good. 

 

For me, that's way too much trouble for my personal threat model. 

 

It's easy to go overboard on security/privacy but you really need to look at what your threats are. 

 

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7 hours ago, khunPer said:

Thanks for the tip.

 

Just tried a search for my own family name, Startpage came up with

–whilst checking same right after on Google said...

Checking my full name – i.e. first name + family name – gave 5 pages on Startpage and "About 21,500 results" on Google; and there are actually quite a number of pages on the Internet including my name.

 

I think I'll stick too Google, I'm not scared about "privacy", I got nothing to hide...🙂

I have very occasionally got the "No results" and there is obviously a glitch somewhere as very infrequent and I then use DDG.

Whilst I have nothing to hide I would rather not have Google slurping up any info about me no matter how anonymised  the  data supposedly is - but that is just me.

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