Alternatives to Google Search
Google is the three-hundred pound gorilla in the room when it comes to searching on the internet, but there are privacy concerns. Searches that you make online have the potential to reveal a lot about you and your private life. This includes, but is not limited to: your habits, your interests, your health, your religious or philosophical beliefs, your political opinions, your sexual preferences, your diet, your purchasing power, your cultural awareness, etc.. You reveal a lot of things through your online searches that you may not normally reveal to your family and friends or even on social media. Nevertheless, you should feel free to search for any information you would like to without feeling surveilled, and without giving anyone the opportunity to exploit information about your private life.
Here are a few search engines that respect your right to privacy.
DuckDuckGo’s mission statement is to “show the world that protecting privacy is simple. For over a decade, we’ve created new technology and worked with policymakers to make online privacy simple and accessible for all.” They offer apps for Android and Apple phones and work with major browsers to achieve this goal. They also offer a newsletter to help with privacy issues.
They also give back to the community by supporting projects like: nginx, FreeBSD, Tor Project, Clamwin, Tahoe-LAFS and OpenSSH.
In 2010 they made the bold move not to track searches and have continued not tracking to this day. DuckDuckGo uses Apple Maps to enhance privacy.
Qwant is another search engine that is designed for privacy. No targeted ads or search history. By not tracking our users, our search engine offers you a completely unfiltered overview of the Internet and guarantees neutral results. Your search results are never locked into certainties. Thus, your previous searches don’t influence the results of your next ones.
Qwant sets one cookie, but there is no personally identifiable information in it and it is used only for browser preferences.
Ecosia is a unique search engine that plants trees. So if you are Eco-friendly, you may want to search with them. They work with all the browsers that you can name. They are a non-profit organization (Thus the .org). They are interested in trees, not your data.
Out of all of the three choices, my favorite is DuckDuckGo. (Not that there is anything wrong with the others). The main take away is that you have alternatives out there besides Google. Pick the one you like most and make the switch. It will be more private and you will not get Ads that are targeted to your search history.
If you are concerned about privacy take a look at “How to achieve online privacy”.