Google search engine has become ubiquitous. Every day, more than 3.5 billion searches are made using the search engine. However, Google is not the most secure and private tool for browsing the internet.
In this article, I will be comparing two search engines that offer better security and privacy for browsing the internet as I discuss DuckDuckGo vs. Startpage.
We would be comparing DuckDuckGo and Startpage. These tools cover your online fingerprints and offer you privacy.
Before discussing these two search engines, let’s talk about the need to be anonymous online.
Why You Should Be Anonymous online?💁
There are various reasons why someone may prefer to keep their internet activities, interests, and discussions private. This is highly unique and personal to each individual.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) offers a thorough explanation of why so many people choose to keep their online identities and actions hidden.
Many people do not want their internet profiles to be linked to their offline personas because they fear economic or political retaliation, harassment, or even death threats.
Another reason people hide their identity online is the fear of whistleblowers revealing information that governments and companies would rather keep hidden.
We also have human rights activists fight oppressive regimes, parents trying to provide a safe environment for their kids to enjoy, and abuse victims trying to restore their lives in ways that their offenders can not follow, all seeking to use the internet in privacy.
Your identification and personal information are extremely valuable. When you are not being anonymous or preserving your privacy, you are putting yourself in danger of:-
- Bad actors are attempting to take your identity.
- Governments will track your activities and utilize them to bring criminal accusations against you.
- Ads from Big Tech will be targeted at you.
Hackers and criminal actors are not the only ones who want to remain anonymous. You have probably done something anonymously at some point in your life. Anyone may have made an anonymous referral at work.
One may have even attended a masquerade party socially. Moreover, several people, including whistleblowers, activists, journalists, artists, and writers, have chosen to remain anonymous online. When building a social media or dating profile, one may have done the same thing.
When Mary Shelley initially published Frankenstein, for example, she did so discreetly. Banksy is currently one of the most famous artists in the world despite remaining nameless.
Advantages of Browsing With a Private Search Engine:-
- There is no such thing as search history.
- Retargeting advertising based on previous browsing history and searches is not available.
- Reduce your online footprint and the information Big Tech has on you.
- Avoid higher pricing and price trackers based on device, your location, and previous purchases. Prevent biased material from being served to you due to your browsing and search history.
- Receive search results and news that are objective and unfiltered.
- You will have peace of mind knowing that only you are aware of your search.
- Startpage has the following features and applications:
DuckDuckGo vs Startpage: The Complete Guide
We will now discuss these two search engines. Let’s begin by looking at them individually before comparing them.
DuckDuckGo is an exciting search engine that includes a desktop extension and a mobile browser application, both of which are designed to protect your personal information while you explore the internet.
It aimed to make your online footprints anonymous and private, as well as provide built-in tracker filtering, making it more difficult for websites to gather data about you.
What’s the deal with DuckDuckGo?
DuckDuckGo doesn’t trace searches done through its mobile app or browser extension, for starters.
Other technologies, such as Chrome, offer incognito or private windows that do not track users browsing history, but on their default windows, they do. (This is the root of most awkward search history and embarrassing jokes.)
DuckDuckGo, on the other hand, does not track your search history; hence there is no need for a private or incognito version of the software.
DuckDuckGo queries also link you to encrypted forms of websites whenever possible, making it more difficult for others to see what you are looking at.
Other search engines may offer both unencrypted and encrypted alternatives in this case, but the preference is not always the confidentiality one. DuckDuckGo, on the other hand, eliminates the need to navigate to the encrypted version manually.
External trackers are also aggressively blocked by DuckDuckGo when you are online.
DuckDuckGo vs Google Search: What is the Difference?
In contrast to other big internet firms like Facebook and Google, which have typically made a profit by placing ads based on their user’s data and browsing history, DuckDuckGo offers an alternative strategy.
Although Google has stated that it will no longer do so, the service still collects a lot of information about users, including their search history and location, even while using incognito mode.
Incognito mode removes all traces of your browser experience from your computer, including history, cookies, and any data you have typed into fields. Interestingly, it does so only after you have completed your activity by closing all of your windows.
The information will still accumulate if you keep your incognito windows open for days or even hours at a time.
Even if you are in incognito mode, Google can save your search results, and internet service providers, companies, and governments can still monitor you across the web.
DuckDuckGo is unique in that it does not save any of your browsing habits and prevents trackers as you browse.
How can you utilize DuckDuckGo?
Search up “DuckDuckGo” in any app store on a mobile device. You can install the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser and apply it in Safari and Chrome.
You will notice a fire icon in the bottom end of the app, which you tap whenever you want to dismiss all the tabs and wipe all your private data.
Look for duckduckgo.com on the desktop to find an option to introduce DuckDuckGo to the browser; this will lead you to the Chrome Webstore page where you would download the extension at no cost if you are using Chrome.
Using Safari, you will be shown how to make DuckDuckGo the default search engine and how to trigger a DuckDuckGo search manually.
Startpage claims to be the most private search engine on earth. It was started in 2006 in the Netherlands and has been high-quality search results without acquiring any confidential information since then.
As a company, Startpage believes that everyone on the planet is entitled to use the internet in complete privacy.
Startpage, the world’s first and most private search engine, has been trusted for over 15 years. Their goal has been to promote awareness of and, most critically, safeguard people’s right to privacy worldwide.
Startpage has been profitable from its inception and is privately controlled by Startpage BV, a Dutch corporation. The company generates money by serving contextual adverts that respect your privacy.
Compared to traditional search engines, Startpage does not sell, save, or disclose any personal data; this means that anyone globally can search without being tracked and obtain un-profiled relevant results.
- You obtain Google results without the notorious tracking associated with it. Startpage leverages Google’s top-quality search technology and employs their anonymization and privacy policies to every single search.
- Anonymous View is a private browsing tool that allows you to visit whole websites without being noticed.
- Shopping privacy.
- Obtain private Instant replies such as weather, dictionary, currency converter, translator, dictionary, and others
- To save your settings safely, use the private settings cookie.
- Extensions for private searches.
- New features are updated regularly!
The DuckDuckGo vs Startpage Debate
DuckDuckGo and Startpage are two of the most significant private search engines on the market. But how do you decide which to use? Here are some things to consider while comparing these privacy-friendly search engines to see which is best for you.
The search engines Startpage and DuckDuckGo both have comprehensive privacy policies in place.
DuckDuckGo doesn’t gather users’ IP addresses; instead, it logs your search terms without exposing you individually. The search phrases that you use are not linked to your identity in any way. If they want to optimize their results or keep track of trends, they use your search phrases.
Startpage, on the other hand, does not save anything, including search queries. Startpage has an advantage here in terms of technicality.
It is essential to mention that neither of them gathers any information that identifies users or their location. Startpage’s and DuckDuckGo’s privacy policies are available online.
DuckDuckGo vs Startpage: Advertisements
Advertising is essential to pay bills and grow a profitable business. Both DuckDuckGo and Startpage will display adverts.
Fortunately, you can turn off the advertising if you like. Using Google’s ad platform, Startpage displays any relevant advertising based on your search terms.
On the other hand, DuckDuckGo places ads on the search results web page via Microsoft’s Ad platform. However, you will not see any adverts that are predicated on your search history.
When a user searches for something, the advertising appears based only on what the user has previously searched for.
When comparing Startpage with DuckDuckGo, you may observe that there are more adverts on Startpage. As of this writing, DuckDuckGo appears to be showing fewer advertisements.
DuckDuckGo vs Startpage: Country of Jurisdiction
Although Startpage and DuckDuckGo do not gather any search history that can be linked back to you, the nation they operate from also provides them with some additional advantages regarding privacy legislation.
Startpage’s headquarter in the Netherlands, which is subject to EU regulations and oversight. Meanwhile, DuckDuckGo is based in the United States.
In general, EU privacy rules, such as those governing GDPR compliance, are more concerned with giving users greater control over their data.
As a result, their data gathering techniques are constantly being scrutinized, and they are continually introducing new safeguards to keep the firms in check.
For example, suppose a corporation does not provide robust data protection safeguards in place. In that case, it may be barred from conducting business in Europe or may be subject to a significant fine.
So, assuming there is a remote possibility that Startpage will gather any data, Eu privacy regulations will assist in giving people control over their data and holding the corporation accountable.
However, when it relates to the United States, if DuckDuckGo begins acquiring any data, the country’s privacy regulations may not empower consumers with the right of control over their data or make the corporation liable promptly.
While this is highly hypothetical, users must be aware of and consider that it could impact your decision so that your privacy-conscious mind would be at ease.
DuckDuckGo vs Startpage: Customizability
Not every individual wants to customize their search engine experience, but if you do, DuckDuckGo appears to be the superior alternative.
The Startpage provides most of the critical choices, including theme selection, region selection, and the number of search results displayed per page.
To put it another way, DuckDuckGo gives you a few more features, such as map rendering as well as an unlimited scrolling option, and various additional cosmetic modifications.
DuckDuckGo vs Startpage: The Search Result Quality
Startpage makes use of Google’s search service by sending anonymous requests to the search engine. As a result, the results of the search are more relevant right away.
When it comes to providing query results, DuckDuckGo depends on Microsoft’s Bing and a few processing partners. While it is similar to Google’s search results, it can differ for a few unique queries in some cases.
The quality of local search results for both DuckDuckGo and Startpage may not be equivalent to that of Google. This is because they do not possess some of the location-specific capabilities that Google provides to assist you to discover a place or business fast, which is understandable.
DuckDuckGo vs Startpage: Searching Capabilities
When users make a search query on DuckDuckGo, if it is a current issue of interest reported by news outlets, they will see recent stories displayed in the results pages as long as it is a topic of interest covered by news organizations.
This makes it more accessible and convenient to keep up with the latest news about your search query.
While Startpage provides a distinct news section, this section is not displayed automatically in the results pages when you search for something. Instead, they may add it soon, but it is not currently available.
In a similar vein, DuckDuckGo provides the option of “Bang” shortcuts, allowing users to search using a supported site and connect to their favorite websites without clicking on the results pages.
Consider the following scenario: a user seeks something on Amazon; they write “!a” in the search area followed by the product name, such as:!a galaxy s21.
When they click on this, they are sent immediately to Amazon.com, where they will see Samsung’s S21 smartphones available for purchase.
Here are some additional bangs for Duckduckgo:
Use the command !drive to access Google Drive. Use the command !enfr to translate things from English to French through Google translate. Use the command !brown to access the library at Brown University.
On their official website, you can see a complete list of bangs (shortcuts) that are available.
This type of shortcut makes it possible to access thousands of websites. In other words, if a user wants to filter their search results from a specific site and look for it, this option can be helpful to them.
Using Startpage, users do not have access to any of that. For this reason, if you are a heavy user of computer shortcuts, you may opt for DuckDuckGo to have access to those keys.
DuckDuckGo vs Startpage: Extra Services
DuckDuckGo provides several additional features that do not affect your search performance but may be handy in some situations.
One such service is DuckDuckGo’s browser extension, designed to prevent tracking on the sites you visit.
You have the option of using any of the various Chrome privacy addons that are accessible. DuckDuckGo’s addon, on the other hand, is a valuable addition because it makes it simple to determine which trackers are blocked and whether any unethical privacy policies are violated.
A DuckDuckGo browser is also available, which allows you to have a protected internet experience when still using the search engine as your default.
They also provide an email tracking security service, which is currently in the trial phase at the time of this writing.
Although the additional features may not be enough to push you over the line, if you want to use a single application for a variety of online services, DuckDuckGo is a genuine contender.
Even though Startpage does not provide any extra services or capabilities, it is one of the most effective Google search options available.
According to technical specifications, using either Startpage or DuckDuckGo will result in a more secure search experience.
For those looking for greater personalization possibilities, service options, and other capabilities, DuckDuckGo appears to be a straightforward choice to make. But, Startpage is a no-brainer for anyone seeking the functionality of Google search results while also keeping their search information confidential.
Overall, one’s personal preference will be determined by the user experience, theme availability, functionality, and anything else that distinguishes a search engine from the competition. So decide on the one that will assist you in locating web resources quickly and comfortably.