Are you tired of using Google search and worry about your personal information being widely shared with other sites? DuckDuckGo with its focus on privacy might be the engine you have been searching for..
Created by Gabriel Weinberg in 2008 and initially self-funded, DuckDuckGo is steadily gaining in popularity and awareness primarily because of its privacy features. It advertises itself as a search engine that gives you: 'way more instant answers, way less spam and clutter, lots and lots of goodies and real privacy'.
“What happened was that I soft-launched the search engine to the community I was in, which was the Hacker News and Reddit community, and almost immediately I got questions around search privacy,” said Weinberg.
DuckDuckGo does not store your data and it does not send your search terms to any of the sites you visited for that search term. That means it does not filter the results based on the information you have previously given it. You get the same results as everyone else does when searching for a page.
It also stops any searches from being traced back to you. With Google searches, information about your IP address, your User Agent and cookie information is sent to the web site. If you are logged in to your Google account, it sends your name and email address too.
Web sites potentially can gather a lot of information about you. As can the search engines. And they might have to give the information over to the authorities if asked for.
Privacy related search engines such as ixquick are used more and more often. There is a downside though. The tight control on privacy means that you do not get any search history if you are making several related searches. Nor do you get auto correct when you type your search query.
DuckDuckGo has a long way to go before it gets to rival either Google or Bing in terms of search volumes but it is catching up. It passed the million searches per day mark in February -- a long way from Google's estimated billion searches per day but it is showing great growth.