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DuckDuckGo adds Indian servers and new options

The privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo announced the launch of new features and servers recently on the company's Spread Privacy blog. The company added servers in India to better serve Indian users, a new "past year" data range filter, and dark theme refinements to the desktop version of the service.

The search engine supported time-based filters for a long time but the options were limited to a maximum length of one month up until now.

DuckDuckGo users can activate the "Any Time" filter on search results page to select a date range filter. The new "past year" option is now available; it displays results of the past year only and extends the maximum length to 12 months.

duckduckgo past year filter search

DuckDuckGo notes that the "past year" data filter was one of the most requested features of users of the service. The filter lacks options to set custom date ranges for results; Google Search and Bing support the filter while most third-party search engines, including Startpage, don't.

The company notes that the implementation was not straightforward as it needed to make sure that the delivered results would still be anonymous.

It wasn't straightforward for us to do because we work with a variety of different partners to produce the anonymous search results you see on DuckDuckGo. With their help, we were finally able make it happen!

DuckDuckGo is aware that a custom date range is popular as well. It stated that it has no immediate plans to add it but that it may be added in the future.

The update brings dark theme refinements next to that. You can activate the dark theme with a click on Settings and the selection of the dark theme icon in the interface that opens.

duckduckgo dark theme

Dark and light themes are not the only themes that are supported by the service. If you open the Theme Settings using the Hamburger menu at the top you will find four more themes listed there including a high contrast, gray, and terminal theme.

DuckDuckGo added "a lot of servers" to the Indian subcontinent to improve the performance of the service for Indian users (and users in that region). The connection speed was not the best according to the company and the addition of new servers should improve the experience for users significantly.

Now You: what is your favorite search engine, and why?

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DuckDuckGo adds Indian servers and new options
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DuckDuckGo adds Indian servers and new options
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The privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo announced the launch of new features and servers recently on the company's Spread Privacy blog.
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Comments

  1. Crambie said on October 16, 2019 at 11:26 am
    Reply

    It’s good that they finally added year filtering but unless their search results drastically improve I will be sticking with Startpage.

  2. John Smith said on October 16, 2019 at 1:04 pm
    Reply

    Really…very helpful and informative post

  3. The Searchers said on October 16, 2019 at 1:55 pm
    Reply

    In my experience DDG nowadays provides better search results than Startpage.

    1. The Punisher said on October 16, 2019 at 4:26 pm
      Reply

      I agree, they’ve gotten a lot better over the years.

    2. Marcus said on October 16, 2019 at 4:30 pm
      Reply

      In your dreams. As an example I did a search this morning for reddit posts. The first page of results in startpage were all reddit pages except for one, ddg only one was a reddit page and seemed totally unrelated to my search request. The image search in ddg is even worse especially when you specify a size. It’s hardly a surprise as startpage basically uses google search.

      1. John Fenderson said on October 16, 2019 at 7:09 pm
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        @Marcus:

        It may depend on who you are and what you search for. My experience is that Google search result quality nosedived a few years back (around the time they started “personalizing” them) and has been declining ever since. I get much better results from DDG.

    3. Tom Hawack said on October 16, 2019 at 6:13 pm
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      IMO based on practice (like us all so why different opinions?!) Startpage delivers results close to those of Google, therefor better than DDG.

    4. Anonee said on October 17, 2019 at 12:19 am
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      Agreed! It might depend on where you live of course, and I know this site is based out of Germany and it gets more non-US visitors than many sites out there, so maybe Startpage delivers better results for Europeans than DDG does.

      However, I’m in the US and by far, DDG gives better results than Startpage. I can do a side by side search and DDG/Google will provide nearly identical results, while Startpage is all over the place!
      It’s especially a problem when it comes to images/videos! Doing a regular search in Startpage is at least useful, though less useful than DDG – but doing an image search in Startpage is completely useless! The image/video results are so far off base and you get such few results that it’s not even funny!

  4. sunnytimes said on October 16, 2019 at 3:03 pm
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    http://www.ecosia.org .. privacy and planting trees.

    good for DDG tho , need as many viable google replacements as we can.

    1. Crambie said on October 16, 2019 at 4:39 pm
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      The main trouble with Ecosia is you can only filter back to the last month, often I need the last year. But if that’s not a problem then it’s OK and is powered by Bing but hopefully without the spying MS loves.

  5. Ruan said on October 16, 2019 at 3:44 pm
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    Hi Martin,

    Came across this Reddit thread yesterday, thought you might be interested.

    Startpage is now owned by an advertising company
    https://old.reddit.com/r/privacy/comments/di5rn3/startpage_is_now_owned_by_an_advertising_company/

    Looks like privacytools.io is about to delist startpage.
    https://github.com/privacytoolsIO/privacytools.io/pull/1410

    1. Itsme said on October 16, 2019 at 4:49 pm
      Reply

      The press release says they are committed to privacy and that start1 is a separate entity. I think if they do delist it simply from that pr without any questions or right to reply then that’s not good. As usual some people on the cesspit that is reddit coming to unsubstantiated conclusions and calling them facts. However it is something to watch.

      1. John Fenderson said on October 16, 2019 at 6:26 pm
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        @Itsme: “The press release says they are committed to privacy”

        This is meaningless. Some variation of that phrase is pretty much boilerplate that every company uses.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on October 16, 2019 at 5:39 pm
      Reply

      Hi, I noticed this a couple of days ago but decided against posting it at that time because there was not enough information available apart from (nothing is changing privacy-wise). I will keep an eye on the development but think that it is too early to judge the impact. Liz not being an adviser anymore is quite problematic in my opinion.

      1. Anonymous said on October 16, 2019 at 8:40 pm
        Reply

        @Martin

        I think you could provide the basic info and let the readers come to their own conclusions. Companies changing ownership is huge news for their users. Please, help keep us informed :)

      2. Anonymous said on October 17, 2019 at 4:09 am
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        @Martin I would also suggest having an article at the end of each day with the most important stuff that you find that would interest your readers.

        Just a sentence and a link for each item. If the reader is interested they can take it from there, without having to depend on keeping up with so many feeds and subreddits and github projects, etc.

        For example,

        Change in StartPage ownership: link to the reddit post above.

        Thanks

    3. owl said on October 17, 2019 at 4:43 am
      Reply

      @Ruan said on October 16, 2019 at 3:44 pm

      Thank you for your information.
      Firefox and its fork browser used “DDG”, but Chromium using “Startpage” also decided to switch to “DDG”.

  6. GAJa said on October 16, 2019 at 4:45 pm
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    This article states:

    ‘DuckDuckGo notes that the “past year” data filter was one of the most requested features of users of the service. The filter lacks options to set custom date ranges for results; Google Search and Bing support the filter while most third-party search engines, including Startpage, don’t.’

    However, the option ‘past year’ is available in Startpage too. I don’t know exactly since when, but I have used it for quite some time.

    1. Crambie said on October 16, 2019 at 4:54 pm
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      Since always as it’s basically an anonymized google search and all the filters are the same. The reason ddg didn’t have it before is that they don’t just use one source so it was more complicated to implement.

  7. John Fenderson said on October 16, 2019 at 4:52 pm
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    I use DDG almost exclusively. The addition of the “past year” filter is greatly welcome!

  8. chesscanoe said on October 16, 2019 at 5:32 pm
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    I have not used DuckDuckGo in many years because I did not like their results compared to Google search. I must admit my opinion seems quite antiquated at this time; I will keep using DDG for a while at least to continue experimenting.

  9. Deepan said on October 16, 2019 at 5:58 pm
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    To increase popularity in India they should rebrand to CowCowMoo.

  10. Tom Hawack said on October 16, 2019 at 6:10 pm
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    I have 4 Web search engines, Google, Qwant, Startpage and SearX.
    I never use Google, it’s there only for friends who are addict to it.
    Given the article, I had a new look at DDG (‘DuckDuckGo’ is, IMO, an odd name) and decided to implement it in place of Google. Friends will have to deal with that or go to the urlbar and type their beloved Google url. That’s my last word; even if the friend is pretty, charming and tralala.

    1. GaryD said on October 16, 2019 at 8:16 pm
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      @ Tom Hawack

      “tralala” ? Don’t you mean ooh la la :)

  11. Anonymous said on October 16, 2019 at 9:54 pm
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    @Marcus you could always use duckduckgo’s bangs search “!reddit” it would probably give you more results on reddit.

    @John Fenderson and Martin are you two saying duckduckgo now saves our searches? Therefore they’re privacy is meaningless?

    1. John Fenderson said on October 17, 2019 at 3:47 pm
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      @Anonymous:

      Huh? I never said that.

  12. Yoav said on October 17, 2019 at 5:40 am
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    This is the only feature that I have been really missing in DDG. Other than this, for most use cases, it’s just as good as Google.

  13. Anonymous said on October 17, 2019 at 6:05 am
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    Google and Bing results are nearly identical, I supplement them with non-US search engines like Yandex if something appears to be censored. We really need more alternatives to Google.

  14. Jonas said on October 17, 2019 at 10:53 pm
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    I’ll have to give DDG another try… I gave up on it a few years ago (and switched to Startpage) mostly because DDG didn’t have an adequate date-range option, and also because I found its search results generally inferior to Google’s.

    However, I’ve had a problem with the Startpage “advanced” page too: if I choose both the “past year” and “English” options simultaneously, if often delivers “no result” even though there are clearly web pages that should be found.

    Are there any truly community-based (i.e. open source, not “companies”) search-engine projects? Is that even possible?

    1. owl said on October 19, 2019 at 4:52 am
      Reply

      @Jonas,
      Are there any truly community-based (i.e. open source, not “companies”) search-engine projects?

      I don’t know such a search engine, but Ecosia and Quant are notable search engine other than “DDG”.
      Ecosia | Wikipedia
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecosia
      Qwant | Wikipedia
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qwant

      1. owl said on October 24, 2019 at 11:19 am
        Reply

        Article from “henrypp/chromium”
        https://github.com/henrypp/chromium
        Chromium builds with codecs https://chromium.woolyss.com/

        5. Web search engines
        Note: Few #extensions exist to protect user privacy on search engines.
        https://chromium.woolyss.com/#web-search-engines

        Search engines
        Search engines index the content of web pages by running an algorithm on a web crawler.
        ● Baidu
        ● Bing
        ● Google Search
        ● Mojeek
        ● Yahoo! Search
        ● Yandex Search

        Metasearch engine
        Metasearch engines use another search engine’s data to produce its own results from the Internet.
        ● Disconnect Search (by Disconnect.me • Uses Bing, Yahoo… results)
        ● DuckDuckGo (uses its own crawler + Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, Wikipedia… results, on Amazon servers (AWS) • Review at an 8ch site archive • To search without JS, choose the html or lite version)
        ● Ecosia (uses Bing results)
        ● Oscobo
        ● Qwant (uses its own crawler but is partner with Microsoft for Bing results, Bing Ads and Microsoft Azure • Its lite version)
        ● Startpage (uses Google results • No IP logging, no cookie, proxy available…)
        ● Swisscows (uses its own crawler + Bing results with enabled parental filter)
        ● YaCy (A peer-to-peer search engine)

        If you are a web developer, use your own metasearch engine yourself ^^
        ● SearX (uses many search engines • Source code in Python • Author: Adam Tauber, @Searx_engine • Searx instances)
        ● Googol (uses Google results • Source code in PHP • Author: Bronco)
        ● MetaGer (uses Yahoo… results • Source code in PHP)

        Page built: Thu 24 Oct 2019 00:03:29

  15. Sebas said on October 19, 2019 at 9:01 am
    Reply

    Qwant lite for me is the best replacement for Google. Better as Startpage and much better as Duckduckgo. Maybe because Qwant being a French search engine, and me living in Europe.

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