Google Search rival DuckDuckGo: What to understand concerning the non-public seek engine


DuckDuckGo logo

DuckDuckGo desires to place your virtual privateness entrance and heart.

DuckDuckGo; representation via Stephen Shankland/CNET

If you will have ever looked for a couple of trainers, best to have advertisements for those self same footwear pop up on reputedly each and every web page you visited for the following month, you will have noticed the obnoxious facet of on-line monitoring. Enter DuckDuckGo: a seek engine that pledges to not observe you and in addition stay your seek task nameless.

There are different non-public browsers, like Brave, that block trackers and third-party cookies tracking your task as you seek the internet. But DuckDuckGo — which has just lately had a heavy promoting campaign– sees itself as a right away competitor to Google Search, entire with a cellular app and extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari and different browsers.

After primary incidents just like the Cambridge Analytica scandal, other folks have develop into extra acutely aware of how a lot private knowledge is to be had to tech firms and advertisers — and are opting out of being tracked when they are able to, as Apple’s iOS 14.5 lets you do. While it does not observe customers, DuckDuckGo’s app has been downloaded greater than 50 million instances within the ultimate 12 months by myself — greater than all different years mixed since its release 13 years in the past.

Here’s what you wish to have to learn about DuckDuckGo and the way it works to stay your searches extra protected.

What is DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckGo is a seek engine that gives a cellular browser app and a desktop extension, each aimed toward permitting you to browse the web with out firms gobbling up your own records. It guarantees to stay your searches non-public, nameless and provides integrated tracker blockading, so the websites you consult with have a tougher time amassing details about you.

Read extra: Best VPNs of 2021

How does DuckDuckGo paintings?

For starters, DuckDuckGo does now not observe searches made via its browser extension or cellular app. Other browsers, together with Chrome, will let you use non-public or incognito home windows that do not observe your seek historical past, however their default home windows do. (That’s the root of each and every “embarrassing seek historical past” funny story.) Instead of constructing you navigate to another model of its app, DuckDuckGo by no means tracks your seek historical past.

Searches made via DuckDuckGo additionally routinely attach you to the encrypted variations of web sites anywhere conceivable, making it tougher for any individual else to look what you are looking at on-line. This is any other state of affairs the place each choices (encrypted and unencrypted) exist different search engines like google and yahoo, however the default is not all the time the privacy-friendly choice. DuckDuckGo saves you the additional steps of manually navigating to encrypted connections.

DuckDuckGo additionally actively blocks exterior trackers from following you round on-line. For a extra detailed rationalization of DuckDuckGo’s privateness options, take a look at DuckDuckGo’s weblog.

The DuckDuckGo search engine emphasizes privacy.

The DuckDuckGo seek engine emphasizes privateness.

Screenshot via Stephen Shankland/CNET

How is DuckDuckGo other from Google Search? What about Incognito mode and personal surfing?

DuckDuckGo necessarily takes the other way in comparison to different giant tech firms like Google and Facebook, that have historically made cash via concentrated on advertisements according to your surfing historical past and private records. While Google has mentioned it is going to prevent this custom, the platform nonetheless collects a ton of information about you, together with your location and seek task — sure, even in incognito mode.

Incognito mode merely deletes knowledge comparable on your surfing consultation out of your pc: your historical past, cookies and any information you will have entered into fields. Notably, it best does that when you finish your consultation via ultimate out all of your tabs. So for those who depart your incognito tabs open for hours or days at a time, that knowledge will nonetheless building up. And it doesn’t matter what, Google can save your searches — and corporations, web carrier suppliers and governments can nonetheless observe you around the web, even when you find yourself the use of incognito mode.

DuckDuckGo is other as it does not retailer your surfing records in any respect, and it blocks trackers while you are surfing.


When you first use the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser, the app will stroll you during the alternative ways it protects your privateness.

Screenshot from Adam Benjamin/CNET

If it’s not concentrated on advertisements, how does DuckDuckGo generate income?

DuckDuckGo nonetheless makes cash from promoting — it simply does not use focused advertisements. The seek engine displays you advertisements according to the key phrases you seek for, which are not attached on your private records like your surfing or acquire historical past. Essentially, you’ll be able to best see advertisements for no matter you are recently on the lookout for, now not the unusual product your good friend despatched you a hyperlink to ultimate week that you simply now can not escape from.

How can I take advantage of DuckDuckGo?

On cellular gadgets, merely open your app retailer and seek for “DuckDuckGo.” You’ll be capable of obtain the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser app and use it the similar means you’ll use Chrome or Safari. At the ground heart of your app, you’ll be able to see a fireplace icon, which you’ll be able to press at any time to near all of your tabs and transparent all private records.

On desktop, pass to, the place you’ll be able to see a button so as to add DuckDuckGo on your browser. On Chrome, you’ll be able to be directed to the Chrome webstore web page to obtain the extension without cost. On Safari, you’ll be able to be prompt on how one can set DuckDuckGo as your default seek engine or to manually turn on a seek the use of DuckDuckGo.

For extra about on-line privateness, take a look at the browser privateness settings you will have to alternate presently, how one can prevent your iPhone apps from monitoring you, and the most efficient password managers of 2021.

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