Google Search Alternative IxQuick - gHacks Tech News

Google Search Alternative IxQuick

Ever since Google starting pumping up the results of their search engine with all kind of nonsense - read first and third party advertisement mainly but also other stuff like the unfair favoring of big brands - I have been looking for an alternative. And while I have found it in Bing, I have to admit that Bing is still not on pair with Google Search once the queries get complicated. Bing does well if you search for single or dual-word phrases like Google Docs, Hacker News or Reddit, but once you start searching for longer phrases like how to turn off JavaScript in Thunderbird you will notice that the browser won't provide you with the necessary information. Here are the top 5 results for Bing and Google for that search:

Bing

Microsoft seems to favor ehow, one particular download site and several other sites in their search engine. Quality of those results is usually not that good. The first ehow article for instance is outdated and not applicable anymore, the four remaining answers either are not about Thunderbird or not about JavaScript.

  • How to Enable JavaScript in Thunderbird
  • How do I turn tabs OFF in Thunderbird 3? - ANSWERED
  • How do i disable archiving in thunderbird 3.0? - Will come in ...
  • In Internet Explorer, how do I enable or disable Java or JavaScript?
  • How to Turn on Javascript in a Mac

Google

Google's results are better. The second result leads to the information that answers your query (JavaScript is no longer supported for mail and news in the browser, and thus does not need to be turned off anymore). In Google, two of the five results give you the answer for your query. That's better than in Bing, but not optimal either, especially since the first result leads you into the wrong direction.

  • Thunderbird: how to disable javascript?
  • Thunderbird 3.0 - New Features and Changes
  • ZyTrax Security - Email Agent FAQs
  • How can I enable javascript in thunderbird 3?
  • ThunderBrowse - The browser for Thunderbird - FAQ

I have been testing other search engines, DuckDuckGo and Ixquick in particular, to find out if they provide better results than Bing or Google.

Ixquick calls itself the world's most private search engine. Unlike other search engines, IxQuick does not record user IP addresses or share personal data with third parties. A full page with privacy related information is available on the service's website.

ixquick

I have used Ixquick for the last week as my main search engine. There are things that I like, and things that do not work out that well. IXquick, like Bing, provides solid results for short queries. If you are looking for a particular business, software or product, you usually find it in the top spot on the search results page.

Results begin to deteriorate quickly if you add terms to the query. The first five results for the Thunderbird JavaScript query above for instance do not offer the information that you would need to get your question answered. The first result furthermore links to outdated information, just like they did on Bing (a different web property though).

Results are not always that bad though, but they are often not that great either. I also noticed that Google's results are not always that better for longer queries, but you find pages with the information you are looking for more often there.

Back to Ixquick. Search results are always opened in new tabs instead of the same tab by default. It happened to me more than once that I clicked multiple times on a search result wondering why it would not open when in fact it was opened multiple times in new tabs in the browser. It takes some getting used to time but it is not really that bad.

You can open any page with a proxy that is provided by the search engine itself. This can be handy if a website is blocked in your country.

ixquick search results

Do not get me wrong though, search results are not always that bad or that different from other search engines. A few things need improvement though:

  • When I'm looking for something product related, e.g. Swtor PVP, I expect the product developer site in the top 5 results.
  • When I'm searching for technology related things I expect recent information in the top 5 result if I do not add a version number to the product.
  • When I'm searching for a product or business, I expect it to be the number one result in the search results (you will notice that software searches sometimes list download portals in front of the developer site).

All of this applies to Microsoft's Bing search engine as well, and probably to the majority of other search engines out there. Google's results are not really that much better or different, but the company somehow manages to often sneak in at least one result that you find your answer on.

I'd still suggest you give Ixquick, Bing or DuckDuckGo a try to see if these search engines return satisfactory search results for you. I for one will now move on to DuckDuckGo for a week to see how it is holding up.

Have you tried other search engines besides Google? Why do not you share your experience in the comments?





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    Comments

    1. Roy said on January 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm
      Reply

      I just reviewed Startpage.com which I think combines the best of both worlds in terms of privacy and useful results – it uses Google (enhanced) search (so no eHow rubbish) but it’s powered by Ixquick.

      Therefore it gives the same IP/data privacy/SSL protection as Ixquick and offers anonymous proxy opening of any page in results (quicker than Tor for me).

      Search results open in the same tab but there are many options in Settings e.g. open in new tab, family safety, font size etc which can be saved via a cookie or a generated URL for bookmark/favorite use.

      1. Annanakia said on December 8, 2014 at 4:36 pm
        Reply

        There is no way any search engine would be allowed to be private. Use your head. Do you actually believe a search engine would exist to give terrorists a private and secure way to use the web? Really? Startpage and Ixquick are in the Netherlands, the home of Queen Beatrix and the center of much of the global control grid. When will people stop falling for controlled opposition companies like this one coming to save us from the bad guys? Alex Jones promotes Startpage and Ixquick. Enough said!

        1. Duh said on December 15, 2014 at 3:20 am
          Reply

          “Improved privacy” doesnt mean “invisible”: it just means most regular data (supposedly) wont be tracked and used to be sold to spammers. if you were a terrorist, and thought that the degree of privacy a “private search engine” available to public is safe, you would be one of the dumbest. Improved privacy is important for common users (search “net neutrality” and learn whats all the fuss about), and maybe journalists (to reduce risks related to their jobs), but if you wished to be a security professional (or terrorist), you would need other technology like tor, and even stronger methods to search more dangerous data that what a regular engine could find. So, the more you know…

        2. MadAboutMetasus said on April 3, 2016 at 4:05 pm
          Reply

          It’s not a rouse if that’s what you are gesturing. Some people are too paranoid. Others do not take it serious. In the middle there is reason that some will clearly see and understand what steps they should take to protect themselves. Privacy rights DO still exist

    2. Maik said on January 22, 2012 at 12:53 pm
      Reply

      ixquick enhanced by Google https://www.startpage.com/

    3. Yoav said on January 22, 2012 at 1:38 pm
      Reply

      I tried DuckDuckGo and Bing and I had the same experience as you had with ixquick – they’re decent but no as complete as google. I havent tried ixquick yet.

    4. Mike said on January 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm
      Reply

      I have also been experimenting with ixquick and startpage. I have no doubt that I will ultimately move permanently to one of these alternative engines. To be honest with myself, the main hurdle is getting accustomed to doing things in a slightly diffferent way – google has been my homepage for so many years that it’s a bit like moving house… all the right reasons are there but I must just get used to the smaller town and adjust my habits accordingly :)

    5. cyriagen said on January 22, 2012 at 3:22 pm
      Reply

      I use ecosia.org for a while now. It uses beside it’s own Servers also Bing and Yahoo and the results are pretty good, at least for me :-)
      Ecosia is a “Green” Search-Engine means that they support the WWF and use Green-Energy for the Servers to reduce CO2 and they also try to compensate the CO2-usage of Yahoo and Bing caused through your search request.

      just my two cents

      1. Anonymous said on September 24, 2015 at 8:24 pm
        Reply

        Surely you are intelligent enough to understand that the climate change is a regular solar cycle we
        go through every eleven years. That the man made BS is just political hacks getting rich off us and
        driving us into Tyranny.

    6. batman said on January 22, 2012 at 4:25 pm
      Reply

      check out blekko

    7. kalmly said on January 22, 2012 at 5:32 pm
      Reply

      I’ve been using Ixquick for a while now. I find the results – usually – more relevant than when I use Google. However, there are times when the results are all but nil. I do like it and expect it will improve. In the meantime, there are other search engines to fall back on.

      1. Invisible said on October 23, 2017 at 4:23 am
        Reply

        I don’t understand why on the ixquick home page..a couple of lines below…it says powered by “google”!!!???

    8. Gramps said on January 22, 2012 at 5:41 pm
      Reply

      Another search engine that I enjoyed is DOGPILE which builds upon the results of several other engines.

    9. Michael Wilkinson said on January 22, 2012 at 6:31 pm
      Reply

      And dont overlook Browzar

    10. Alvaro said on January 22, 2012 at 7:53 pm
      Reply

      why not metacrawler?? (http://metacrawler.com)

      it displays results from google, yahoo and bing, AND no ads :)

    11. Roman ShaRP said on January 22, 2012 at 8:39 pm
      Reply

      So far Google helps me with results I want, so I don’t search for alternative.
      And I don’t trust MS, so Bing is not an option for me.

      But when I need an alternative – I know that I can count on what Ghacks tells :)

      1. Anonymous said on September 24, 2015 at 8:26 pm
        Reply

        They all give away way too much info about you. ixquick is the only sane choice. At least for now.

    12. Anonymous said on January 23, 2012 at 8:28 am
      Reply

      anyone know how to search for a file on ftp server.

    13. acr said on January 23, 2012 at 10:01 am
      Reply

      Startpage is great. I like that I can have my startpage.com search settings generated as a url instead of saving as a cookie. This is an exceptional privacy addition. I am having trouble installing the ixquick toolbar to IE though (Win 7, 32 bit, IE 9).

    14. Anonymous said on January 23, 2012 at 11:34 am
      Reply

      see fulestube or get membetship or use free forum sites which gives links for requiqre files.

    15. Jerryd said on March 1, 2012 at 7:06 am
      Reply

      I have been using Ixquick’s StartPage for a couple of months.
      I stopped using Google because little-by-little they were
      consuming most of my browser window with added junk and
      unwanted features. It took a while to get used to it but now
      I like the fact that I have my window back and my IP isn’t
      recorded. “Try It You’ll Like It”

    16. N.Heine said on September 1, 2012 at 9:48 am
      Reply

      Since Opera update 12.02 startpage.com will not work

      why ??

      Regards N.Heine

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 1, 2012 at 10:20 am
        Reply

        Working fine for me. Try clearing the cache.

      2. Anonymous said on September 24, 2015 at 8:27 pm
        Reply

        Use ixauick it’s much much better than their startpage.

    17. williamwillow said on January 29, 2013 at 4:53 pm
      Reply

      i have used duck duck go and have switched to ixquick start page the later for me has been far superior to the former start page is rivaling chrome for search results and it always loads quickly

    18. rgs said on February 18, 2013 at 6:00 am
      Reply

      Startpage for sure – unlike Google not redirecting one through some JS code or modifying the URL.
      Unfortunately some other search engines (Metacrawler, Dogpile) are doing similar things too by not directly linking and using some redirector.

    19. Tom said on November 3, 2013 at 8:23 am
      Reply

      @Roy
      Ixquicks proxy feature is faster due to the fact that the tor infrastructure connects via multiple hops and deals with high end encryption/decryption processes – the main function of onion routing.

    20. Blaine said on November 10, 2013 at 6:09 am
      Reply

      I have been using Ixquick for about 12 years now. I love how it automatically opens in a tab leaving my search results untouched for me to compare multiple results in multiple tabs. I have found its results are very relevant compared to Google. As an example a few years ago I was at my cousins house and he wanted to show me a site he had found some time ago. He used Google and he usually did and went by several pages of results with no success, so he refined his search and tried again with the same results. I asked him to humor me and try Ixquick. He was surprised to find the site he was looking for on the first page of results. I highly recommend Ixquick.

    21. Mike said on December 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm
      Reply

      Most of the responses here are the useful equivalent of who likes ketchup on their McDonald’s french fries, v.s. plain….smh

    22. Anonymous said on July 14, 2014 at 5:18 am
      Reply

      You can change that in settings, they have an option to open it in the same window but opening in new tabs is the default, all you have to do is click to change it.

    23. Goodman said on March 1, 2015 at 5:56 pm
      Reply

      Hello:

      I’ve been using ixquick for a few years now and for what I use it for it is very reliable although with longer queries that has been written in this article applies. Even so, I really like ixquick.

      I’ve been waiting for them to provide email service and will switch from Google when it does. I only use Google because my email address is tied to so many things I do. When ixquick provides email service, I’ll switch to it.

      I used to use Microsoft’s email software that was built into their operating system in Windows XP (and before) but that all changed when they discontinued providing it in their later Windows OS’s.

      I also used to use Startpage which I liked very much. I only changed from that when I found that ixquick doesn’t record user IP addresses or share personal data with third parties.

      In reality, for me and the amount of time I spend searching for information is minimal. If I really want accurate information and don’t mind spending some time looking for it, I go to a good library and use the old Dewey Decimal System or look at the Library of Congress for sources and then actually buy the book on the subject if necessary. I only started to use the web search options for their time saving benefits.

      The problem with anything web based is in determining what information is really accurate/reliable. I used Snopes or was referred to it to verify some things in the past. I’m 70 years old, but I’m not ignorant! I found Snopes to be utterly wrong in the information they provided for my queries. My first thought when getting their responses was, What planet are they from? They were completely ignorant of the real, historic facts on the subject I queried. When I get this type of response with anything that I know the truth about, I dump them forever as a site never to waste my time on. As a consequence, I only use a few sites for answers that I can trust and even then, I have to cross check them with other information and my own accumulated knowledge stored in my brain, which still works quite well by-the-way.

      Finally, what I find shocking today is that young people have been educated so poorly that they can’t even write a simple sentence of do simple math or even carry on intelligent conversations due to their ignorance of so much. If these kids are like this throughout the general public, how can anyone have any confidence in those who come up with the kinds of technology we are using in the world today? And look at the fact that tech companies won’t hire anyone over a certain age because they are “too old”. True, the young mind is very quick compared to the minds of old people, but it would seem logical that the young mind should be filled with quality, factual information before it enters the real world and before those minds begin imposing themselves on everyone else through technology. Of course, this line of thinking leads into a discussion of the CORE system for educating kids these days, which I won’t even go into except to express; what idiot(s) came up with this absolute garbage? Wait until these kids become the age where they really want to do something technical, like learn to fly a plane. It scares me to think about that reality.

      1. jim said on May 14, 2017 at 5:40 am
        Reply

        took the words outta my mouth…

    24. Magnus FORTIFF said on March 15, 2015 at 12:42 pm
      Reply

      Hi

      IXQUICK so far does the job, of course no one can hide on mainstream search engines, but at least with IXQUICK no IP given to anyones n no extra commercial shits,cookies n tracking, spyings….So it’s now my regular search engines, with some added proxy, some shit busters….and when IXQUICK don’t give me the search I want, I exeptionnaly switch to google or queryserver a meta search engine, then I quickly go back to IXQUICK…..because I can’t stand the added shits in all other search engines..
      .
      i WILL ALWAYS LOOK FOR THE SEARCH ENGINE that give no shits n a relative secure search…..after that said, I know that if hackers can access anywhere on line, the GOVs can too, but Life has never been a long tranquill river hey ?

      So keep to TRUTH, LOVE n LIGHT, do no arm, don’t submit to fear, and you should be allright, I think there is BIGGER than Man involved in the internet anyway…so CHEERUP, be HAPPY…

    25. jim said on May 14, 2017 at 5:39 am
      Reply

      startpage since i heard about it on coast2coast. i switched to ixquick lately.

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