DuckDuckGo for Firefox

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 20, 2012
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

I switched to DuckDuckGo as my primary search engine back in the beginning of 2012, not only because I believe it to deliver better results on the majority of searches that I conduct throughout the day, but also because of its feature set it makes available. This includes better privacy, not putting users into a search bubble, and the !bang feature that enables you to quickly switch to another search engine or perform a variety of other tasks.

Some time ago I reviewed the DuckDuckGo Zero-Click Information for Google Chrome, which adds information from DuckDuckGo to Google searches, and the DuckDuckComplete add-on for Firefox, which adds search suggestions from the search engine to the browser.

Today, I'm reviewing DuckDuckGo for Firefox, a solution that combines many of the features in a single add-on. The extension has two primary features.

  • It makes available the information that DuckDuckGo displays on a variety of searches when you search Google or Bing in Firefox. The results are displayed right at the top of the web browser and look exactly like they do when you search directly on DuckDuckGo
  • A toolbar button displays a menu that enables you to search on DuckDuckGo, use !bangs, and configure the extension.

A click on the minus icon hides the settings and bangs in the interface, so that only the search form is displayed. You can add DuckDuckGo as a search provider and make it the default search engine of the browser if you like. Here you can also remove the answers from Bing and Google when you search on those search engines, hide meanings or use the "i'm feeling ducky" feature which takes you to the first result of a search automatically.

You can hide the toolbar button in the add-on's preferences in the Firefox Add-ons Manager if you prefer not to use it, which is likely the case if you are using DuckDuckGo as your default search engine in the browser anyway.

Options to customize the featured bangs section is unfortunately missing. While most users probably will feel comfortable with the selection that includes Google Images, Wikipedia, Google Maps, YouTube and Amazon, some might prefer to replace bangs they do not use with bangs that they do use there.

It is not really necessary to install the add-on if you have set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine, as you benefit from all the features it provides automatically. The two things it adds are fast access to select bangs, something which you can learn to type manually in short time, and the inclusion of ZeroClick information on Google and Bing.


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  1. PixelWizard said on October 29, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    I wish I could come up with some really easy way to get the browser (Firefox) to log into cloud-stored DDG settings without needing to retain some cookie or other. As things are, it just takes too many clicks and a bunch of keying.

    Using DDG without my settings is unacceptable because unless I’m mistaken, there’s no other way to get the WOT ratings in the search results. LinkExtend ratings (better than WOT alone) don’t offer DDG compatibility either.

    If the add-on featured in this article – or some other – does the trick, I’m not seeing it. I’d really like to have a toolbar button that activates the cloud-stored DDG settings with a single click. Any ideas?

  2. SCBright said on October 21, 2012 at 5:05 am

    The search results are only in english… :(

  3. EuroScept1C said on October 21, 2012 at 1:30 am

    So… This site is trying to warn you about your privacy and the bad Google… Then, it suggests programs that “protect” ( in some cases ) your privacy…. Sounds too good right? And you know what they when something is “too good”… The first 2 programs it suggests is Abine and Ghostery, both are owned by ad-related companies and about both have been leaked truly bad incidents.

    Well… I really don’t like this. Why Abine and Ghostery first; while all other are doing better job…proven.

    1. cezi said on October 21, 2012 at 9:47 pm

      I also have more sceptic attitude to highly advertized “Duck…”
      and startpage aka ixquick or jawoko . all of them needs javascript+cookies — I get response “seems you’re using privacy oriented browser =we need cookie…

      other alternative claiming privacy oriented
      – but i didn’t find way for disabling suggested links on right side .

      The best of all was – it was killed by google.

      Maybe google without cookie+js , but with excellent beefree.xpi FF addon ,or similiar privacy tweaks is better …
      Ways how to curb google are widely known and accessible…

      Albine =fishy -I agree , Ghostery with new owner company = in default it doesn’t block 100% -with every new update you must again to 100% revert .
      Do you know anything bad about Ghostery apart from this ?
      Name those ” all other are doing better job…proven ”
      To me adzap , admuncher= albine like .

      Tracking + adverts can be dealt with globally with peerblock,
      hostsman , also have many lists to subscribe.

  4. berttie said on October 20, 2012 at 10:41 pm
  5. jay said on October 20, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    I just set DDG as my Homrpage :D

  6. trol said on October 20, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    DDG for opera?

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