Search engines are the building blocks of the internet. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to find the websites that we do, and we would have to rely on manually inputting websites exactly how they are. Besides that basic function, they also provide us with a host of valuable and personalized information to help us find what we need–whether that is movie times, a local restaurant, or even our own digital history.
That same power and usefulness comes at a cost however, since the best and most powerful search engine is Google–a company notorious for tracking and keeping data. Google uses this data to personalize results, create ads, and improve its service–all at the cost of your privacy. Google controls 64.5% of the search engine market as of 2015, and there are over 40,000 search queries performed every second on average. This is a huge amount of data that is stored permanently.
Besides Google, Yahoo, or Bing search, there are also other search engine providers that care more secure and private searches. Check out this ranking of five search engines that respect your privacy:
If you love Google, you can still use it with TorGuard services. Simply log into TorGuard through the VPN client and Google away! (Make sure to use a browser that is set to clear cookies, and don’t forget to log out of Google first.) When using a VPN, your results will not linked to your personal IP, and all your web searches will be encrypted. Like the sound of that? TorGuard VPN services also extend through multiple offerings that include proxy extensions, Stealth VPN for censored countries, and private e-mail. Anonymous VPN can even prevent ISP throttling and ensure Bittorrent Privacy.
Unlike Google, DuckDuckGo doesn’t maintain a user profile that collects your data. Instead it uses a “zero tracking” approach when giving your search results that doesn’t track cookies. It comes with some cool features like a voice search option, and a Firefox extension. The platform is open source and available on GitHub. DuckDuckGo aggregates its results from Bing, Yandex, and other larger search engine providers.
If you like the power of Google search, Yahoo Search, or other major search providers but don’t like how they collect your data try out Ixquick. Ixquick is a valuable go-between that could fit your needs since it gives the similar results without data collection.
Run by the same company that runs Ixquick, StartPage exclusively uses Google search results while letting the user remain anonymous. StartPage doesn’t track user logs which ensures total privacy.