Bye Google: 7 privacy-first search engines everyone should try

Even supposing you don’t have anything to cover, looking out the internet with Google can on occasion really feel unnerving.

Possibly you’ve were given a clinical query or monetary worry that you just’d fairly stay to your self, or you need to investigate a product that gained’t later transform fodder for focused advertisements. In all the ones circumstances, it’s great to look the internet with no need a tech massive logging your each transfer.

That’s why I’m a large proponent of passing some high quality time with non-public choices, ones that don’t stay a file of your seek historical past. Set a seek engine like DuckDuckGo as your default, and you find yourself lacking Google lower than you’d expected. And if now not, you’ll be able to all the time move crawling again.

Beneath are one of the crucial perfect ones to take a look at. Whilst they each and every have their execs and cons, all of them promise to not stay a private file of your seek historical past.


DuckDuckGo guarantees to by no means create a private historical past of your searches, and it doesn’t gather details about your pc that may well be used to spot you. It’s additionally probably the most polished non-public seek engine to be had, with devoted effects carousels for movies, recipes, and buying groceries. It additionally gives an array of additional privateness choices, similar to the power to cover searches from the URL and deal with bar—and, via extension, out of your browser’s historical past.

However like maximum non-public search engines like google, the consequences can really feel much less complete than with Google, particularly as your searches get extra detailed. It’s additionally lacking one table-stakes function: It doesn’t show article newsletter dates in its primary seek effects.

Information amassed: DuckDuckGo doesn’t retailer cookies via default, however will do so as to take into account your seek settings should you trade them. It anonymously aggregates customers’ searches to spot problems, similar to misspellings. For native seek effects, DuckDuckGo collects an approximate location the use of your IP deal with—or an actual location on cell units, should you decide in—however doesn’t retailer that knowledge after the use of it to serve knowledge.

Seek assets: Outcome hyperlinks come essentially from Microsoft’s Bing seek engine, however DuckDuckGo makes use of loads of alternative assets for its class pages and fast solutions.

Further privateness options: DuckDuckGo gives cell browsers and desktop extensions with monitoring controls, together with further settings to scale back knowledge assortment even additional.

The way it makes cash: DuckDuckGo contains advertisements in its seek effects and provides associate codes to a couple hyperlinks (similar to Amazon and eBay) to earn a gross sales fee on stuff you purchase.

Courageous Seek

Nonetheless in beta after launching in June, Courageous Seek is already an impressive DuckDuckGo selection, in that it additionally helps to keep no file of your seek historical past. Its effects pages are slick, and it’s practical about its blind spots; each and every effects web page features a hyperlink to the similar question on Google if you happen to’re now not happy with what Courageous turns up. You’ll be able to additionally manually set a zipper code to get native effects for that space with out sharing your IP deal with.

At the drawback, load occasions are somewhat at the sluggish facet, and its seek classes are restricted to information, photographs, and movies.

Information amassed: Courageous collects nameless metrics on such things as seek frequency, question period, and whether or not the hunt results in a hyperlink click on, and it briefly makes use of your IP deal with to ship native seek effects. Each those choices can also be disabled.

Seek assets: Courageous is development its personal index of the internet, however mixes in effects from Google and Bing if its personal index falls brief. A “effects independence” share, out there via Courageous’s settings menu, presentations how steadily this occurs.

The way it makes cash: Courageous plans to provide a unfastened ad-supported model and a paid ad-free model of its seek engine someday.


Startpage will get its seek effects from Google by way of a novel association with the hunt massive, and its simple record of blue hyperlinks feels so much like what Google was—for higher or worse. Whilst it has separate pages for photographs, movies, and information, it lacks the varieties of detailed resolution widgets, video carousels, and web page grouping that you just to find in different trendy search engines like google.

Nonetheless, it’s a fascinating technique to get Google-like leads to a personal means, and it takes additional steps to reduce knowledge assortment than a few of its opponents. As an example, it doesn’t come with your question in its URLs or web page titles, so that they don’t display up for your browser historical past, and it doesn’t log IP addresses until it thinks you’re a robotic looking out at extraordinarily top volumes. You’ll be able to additionally click on the “Nameless View” button on any seek outcome to load the web page via a proxy server, fighting it from figuring out you.

Information amassed: Startpage helps to keep nameless statistics, such because the working methods, browsers, and languages that guests are the use of, and it makes use of cookies to retailer person seek settings.

Seek outcome assets: Those most commonly come from Google, even though its information segment is powered via Bing.

The way it makes cash: Startpage presentations ads in response to your present seek question. (A minor controversy broke out ultimate yr when an promoting corporate known as System1 become a big investor; Startpage says its authentic homeowners make all privacy-related choices, and that System1’s funding used to be borne out a need to diversify clear of privacy-invasive trade fashions.)


As an alternative of simply serving as a seek engine, Neeva positions itself as one of those knowledge concierge. Past conventional seek effects, it could actually serve up private knowledge from apps, similar to Google Pressure and Dropbox, and its “Areas” function allows you to save hyperlinks to retrieve later. That makes its wisdom base really feel broader than Google’s in many ways, even supposing its core seek effects aren’t on par.

Neeva may be the one paid seek engine in this record, with a subscription worth of $five per 30 days after a three-month trial. In trade, the corporate guarantees to be utterly ad-free. Nonetheless, it’s a little much less non-public than every other non-public search engines like google, because it depends on person knowledge to personalize its effects.

Information amassed: Neeva does require a login to make use of, and via default it helps to keep a file of your seek historical past, which can also be disclosed to 3rd events based on a subpoena or court docket order. (This “Reminiscence Mode” can also be disabled in Neeva’s settings.) It additionally collects details about your working device and browser, and it makes use of your IP deal with for native effects.

Seek outcome assets: Neeva has its personal index, but in addition mixes in seek effects from different assets similar to Bing, Google Maps, Yelp, and That’s along with any private knowledge assets you hook up with the provider.

The way it makes cash: Neeva has a subscription trade fashion, creating wealth without delay from customers via charging $five per 30 days.


Mojeek, which has been round since 2004, does now not stay a private file of customers’ seek effects, and it handiest logs customers’ places on the nation stage. That limits any considerations over location-based knowledge assortment, albeit on the expense of native knowledge.

Whilst it’s now not the slickest seek engine—it lacks class sections for maps, buying groceries, and movies—it earns bonus issues for development its personal internet index as an alternative of leaning on Bing or Google.

Information amassed: Mojeek collects nameless, mixture seek knowledge to reinforce its effects, together with different mixture knowledge, similar to time of seek advice from and referral knowledge.

Seek outcome assets: Mojeek is predicated totally by itself index, which has crawled greater than 3 billion pages as of April 2020.

The way it makes cash: Mojeek sells more than a few services and products to companies, similar to site-specific seek and an API for internet effects.


A non-public seek engine for cryptocurrency geeks, Presearch routes searches via “nodes” run via different customers, who in flip question quite a lot of assets to ship effects. Customers earn cryptocurrency tokens for each and every seek, as do the group contributors who run each and every node. Successfully, the node suppliers suppose the danger of getting searches related to their IP addresses, whilst customers get to look privately.

The effects themselves can also be hit and miss, however the token device supplies a small incentive to stay with it, as does the promise of creating a decentralized seek community, as detailed on this TechCrunch profile.

Information amassed: Because the token device calls for an account, Presearch collects an e-mail deal with and password. It additionally collects an IP deal with, details about your pc and internet browser, and a few fundamental main points on how you employ the hunt engine.

Seek outcome assets: The corporate doesn’t specify, however it’s a mixture of different search engines like google, databases, and APIs.

The way it makes cash: The objective is to construct the worth of Presearch’s cryptocurrency over the years, and to have advertisers pay for contextual seek advertisements in PRE tokens.

At the excessive finish of the privateness spectrum, guarantees to reduce knowledge assortment via encrypting seek phrases in the community to your pc. It then sends the guidelines via a proxy server to Gigablast, its seek supplier, which decrypts the question, reencrypts the hunt effects, and sends them again to be decrypted via the browser once more. That, in flip, prevents the hunt engine from realizing the rest about you, together with your IP deal with. (Gigablast itself is a privacy-focused seek engine that guarantees to not proportion its question logs with any individual, and to delete them on “a typical foundation.”)

The effects are naked bones, with out a native effects, no sorting choices, and handiest “Information” as an extra effects class, however it sort of feels just like the surest technique to seek with out a hint.

Information amassed: None.

Seek outcome assets: Gigablast, the underlying seek engine, operates its personal internet crawler.

The way it makes cash: is administered via the VPN provider Personal Web Get admission to, and also you’ll see an advert for that provider on each seek effects web page. (Personal Web Get admission to itself has just lately come underneath scrutiny after being obtained via a company accused of making malware and spy ware prior to now. That corporate, Kape, is it seems that now seeking to blank up its recognition because it buys up more than a few VPN services and products.)

One ultimate non-public seek tip

Should you do move working again to Google finally, no less than believe turning off advert personalization by way of this web page, turning off personalised seek effects in this web page, and managing your auto-delete settings in this web page. Doing so gained’t save you the corporate from accumulating knowledge about your searches, however it could actually lend a hand save you that knowledge from coming again up while you least be expecting it.

Take a look at Jared’s Advisorator publication for extra tech recommendation and guidelines.

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