If you care about your online privacy, you might want to consider switching to DuckDuckGo, a search engine that offers a private and secure way to browse the web.
More than 90% of all web searches are performed with Google, but there are very legitimate reasons why you should use DuckDuckGo instead of search engines like Google or Bing.
DuckDuckGo Doesn’t Track You
Unlike other search engines that collect and store your personal information, such as your IP address, location, search history, and browsing habits, DuckDuckGo does not track you at all.
This means that DuckDuckGo does not create a profile of you based on your online activity, and does not sell or share your data with advertisers or third parties.
You can search for anything you want without worrying about being followed around by ads or having your privacy compromised.
DuckDuckGo Protects You From Trackers
Not only does DuckDuckGo not track you itself, but it also blocks other trackers from spying on you as you browse the web.
It has a feature called Tracker Radar that identifies and blocks over 5,000 trackers from hundreds of companies that try to monitor your online behavior.
This helps you avoid unwanted ads, pop-ups, malware, and identity theft. You can also see how many trackers are blocked on each website you visit with the Privacy Grade rating in the DuckDuckGo extension.
Besides being privacy-friendly, DuckDuckGo also provides a fast and easy way to find what you are looking for on the web. DuckDuckGo has several unique features that make searching more convenient and enjoyable:
1. Instant Answers:
DuckDuckGo gives you quick and relevant answers to your queries without having to click on multiple links or scroll through pages of results. For example, if you type “weather” or “calculator” into the search box, you will get an instant answer right on the page.
Shortcuts, called bangs, let you access thousands of websites and services. For example, if you type “!w” followed by a keyword into the search box, you will be taken straight to Wikipedia’s page for that keyword.
DuckDuckGo allows you to customize the look and feel of your search engine with different themes and settings. You can choose from various colors, fonts, layouts, and dark modes to suit your preferences.
Another useful addition is Maps. Sometimes, maps will appear in search results, and you can click on them to see more detail. DuckDuckGo partners with Apple for their map data and route planning. As you may expect, no identifying data is sent to Apple when you use this service.
5. Ads (or not):
By default, DuckDuckGo will show you ads. However, they are based on the keywords you use in your search and not on your location or previous search history. If you don’t like ads in your search, you can turn them off.
Is DuckDuckGo Any Good?
I’ve used DuckDuckGo for about ten years. I use it on desktop and on mobile, and I never have any problems finding what I am looking for.
For the first year or so, I would flip back and forth between DuckDuckGo and Google, more out of habit than anything else, but my search results were largely the same. After that, I just used DuckDuckGo, and I continue to use it exclusively to this day.
I use it for research on articles like this, for finding recipes, to locate places on a map, for reading news articles, and even for dumb things like the ages of celebrities. (Spoiler alert, they are ALL younger than they look).
DuckDuckGo is an excellent search engine, and thanks to the addition of new features like Duck Assist, it’s getting better all the time.
How Does DuckDuckGo Make Money?
Google makes money from collecting your personal data and using that information to serve you ads. DuckDuckGo operates differently.
I talked about ads already. That is an important source of revenue for the company. The other income generator they have is affiliate links. For instance, if you click on a search result for eBay and end up making a purchase, DuckDuckGo earns a small percentage of that sale.
And that’s about it. Personally, I don’t have a problem with either of those models because they stay true to the company’s values of privacy and security. The company has been profitable since 2014, which means, at least for now, it’s business model is working.
Getting Started With DuckDuckGo
If you want to start using DuckDuckGo, head over to duckduckgo.com and give it a try. If you would like to use it as your default search engine on a laptop or mobile device, here’s how you can make the switch:
- Chrome (Mac/Windows)
- Safari (Mac)
- Firefox (Mac/Windows)
- Edge (Mac/Windows)
- Safari (iPhone and iPad)
- Chrome (Android)
You can also install the DuckDuckGo browser extension. It sets your default search engine for you, while also blocking website trackers, forcing HTTPS encryption, and adding additional security protections.
DuckDuckGo might not be a household name like Google or Bing, but if you want a fast, private, search engine that gets you the results you want, then this is the solution you need.