After testing several Google Search alternatives, I made the full switch to DuckDuckGo earlier this year. It provides me with direct results that I can work with for the majority of queries, and the excellent !bang feature to redirect queries to other search engines. For Google, I would simply append !g to open Google's search result page for the entered query, which is pretty comfortable once you get the hang out of it.
I also switched the default search engine in Firefox to DuckDuckGo, to make use of the search right from the browser's address bar. You can follow the link above to find out how this is done in all major browsers.
What you did not get until now where search suggestions or information when you enter a search term into the address bar. This has changed with the release of DuckDuckComplete, a Firefox add-on that is adding the feature to the browser.
Once you have installed the add-on in the browser, you will notice that results appear to be different for some of your queries. You can best test this with simple queries first. If you enter speed of light for instance, you will see the first result returning the speed of light in meters per second, while the second and third result definitions from Merriam-Webster and Wikipedia.
Firefox's address bar can do conversions and calculations now after the extension has been installed. Not every direct lookup or calculation option is available though. If you check with the official goodies page, you will notice that several are not available directly from the urlbar yet. While you can get a random number immediately by entering random in the url bar, you won't get the temperature for New York displayed there. As a rule of thumb: All queries that lead to graphical displays are not available, while the majority of textual result queries are.
The extension is especially useful for Duck Duck Go users who work with those special queries regularly. It can speed up things, as it is now no longer necessary to run the query on the search engine's homepage, as it is already done and answered in Firefox's address bar.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.