2021 looks to become another record year for the DuckDuckGo search engine

Can a privacy-focused search engine survive on today's Internet? It appears that it can, as DuckDuckGo is looking to end the year 2021 with another record-breaking traffic increase.

I have followed the rise of DuckDuckGo since 2012, when I announced here on this site that it became my primary search engine. I had plenty of reasons for that, but privacy was the main one.

Then came PRISM, and DuckDuckGo's traffic started to rise a lot. Back in 2013, traffic rose to more than 2 million queries per day, a small number for search engine heavyweight Google Search, but an important milestone for the DuckDuckGo search engine.

In 2015, DuckDuckGo reported that it crossed the 10 million daily searches mark, and this year (2021), it managed to cross the 100 million searches mark for the first time.

duckduckgo growth

If you look at the reported traffic figures for 2019 and 2020, you get about 15 billion queries in 2019 and 23.6 billion in 2020.

Here is the year-by-year listing from 2015 to 2020.

  • 2015 -- 3.1 billion
  • 2016 -- 4.0 billion
  • 2017 -- 5.9 billion
  • 2018 -- 9.2 billion
  • 2019 -- 15.0 billion
  • 2020 --23.6 billion

Now, in 2021, it looks as if the search engine will report another record year. It is mid-June right now, and traffic is already at 16.0 billion queries. With six months to go, it is very likely that the 30 billion mark will be crossed in the year, and that traffic will likely end between 32-34 billion queries in the year.

The search engine announced plans today to accelerate the growth further. The company plans to release its first desktop application, which it states can be used as a primary browser. DuckDuckGo did not reveal any details on its new browser project. It is likely that it will be based on Chromium, but there is also a chance that Firefox might be its base. If the former is true, it will be interesting to see how it fares against other privacy browsers such as Brave or Vivaldi. Brave, on the other hand, is testing its own search engine that is focused on privacy.

Additionally, it wants to add "new privacy protections" to its portfolio of features and tools, including a "cross-platform email privacy solution" and "app tracker blocking on Android devices" later this year to provide even more privacy services to its users (and new ones).

DuckDuckGo has been profitable since 2014, and generates a revenue of over $100 million US Dollars now.

Now You: which search engine do you use predominantly?

Summary
2021 looks to become another record year for the DuckDuckGo search engine
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2021 looks to become another record year for the DuckDuckGo search engine
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It looks as if the privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo will post another record year in 2021, as traffic is on an all-time high already.
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Comments

  1. chesscanoe said on June 17, 2021 at 3:30 pm
    Reply

    Using DDG maybe a year ago gave me a pseudo site high up in the results. Using Google search never included the pseudo site as far as I could tell. So Google search remains my default engine. Perhaps there is a reasonable explanation for this behavior, but I did not want get burned investigating further.

    1. Herman Cost said on June 17, 2021 at 5:43 pm
      Reply

      I had the same sort of experience. But like you I tried it some time ago, so this article just motivated me to take DDG for another test drive using both Pale Moon or Vivaldi (my backup browsers). If I like it, I’ll get rid of Google search. Since Chrome, Gmail and various other Google applications have been long gone on my systems that leaves me unconnected with Google except for Google Maps (tried Apple Maps but it simply is not ready for prime time – chose some bizarre routes, one of which took me dead north instead of south on an expressway for no reason at all.). Of course Google still has other ways of tying to track me, but thats what adblockers and the like are for.

      1. Iron Heart said on June 18, 2021 at 8:36 am
        Reply

        @Herman Cost

        > except for Google Maps (tried Apple Maps but it simply is not ready for prime time – chose some bizarre routes, one of which took me dead north instead of south on an expressway for no reason at all.).

        Apple Maps might be junk, but Here Maps is not. :D

        https://wego.here.com/

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Here_Technologies

      2. Tom Hawack said on June 18, 2021 at 9:52 am
        Reply

        @Herman Cost, HereWeGo maps indeed is a good alternative to Google Maps, not to mention the first which comes in mind : OpenStreetMapp [https://www.openstreetmap.org/]

        HereWeGo downloads data to the user’s IndexedDB so be sure to have that in mind and clean up that storage accordingly and if motivated.

        No alternative for Google Maps’ Street View, at least worth the comparison. Mappy does offer some ‘street views’ for some places, at least in Europe, but when available they’re often outdated (funny it was to rediscover my location as it was some ten years ago).

      3. Iron Heart said on June 18, 2021 at 12:46 pm
        Reply

        > HereWeGo downloads data to the user’s IndexedDB so be sure to have that in mind and clean up that storage accordingly and if motivated.

        https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/cookie-autodelete/fhcgjolkccmbidfldomjliifgaodjagh

        Cookie AutoDelete has a setting for deleting the IndexedDB cache upon closing a tab. RESOLVED FIXED.

      4. Tom hawack said on June 18, 2021 at 4:34 pm
        Reply

        > Cookie AutoDelete has a setting for deleting the IndexedDB cache upon closing a tab. RESOLVED FIXED.

        Of course, and not only CAD, not to mention that setting Firefox can as well cleanup that IndexedDB on exit… but not everyone is aware of that so instead of promoting a solution, pointing out the fact seems adequate, especially that not all users may feel concerned by the fact and/or by a solution.

      5. Herman Cost said on June 18, 2021 at 3:14 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart and @Tom Hawack – Thanks guys, I’ll try HereWeGo. I’m not sure why, but I had never even heard of it. I don’t use Street View much, so its not really an issue.

      6. Iron Heart said on June 18, 2021 at 3:55 pm
        Reply

        @Herman Cost

        Magic Earth and OsmAnd are worth a look, too.

    2. Iron Heart said on June 17, 2021 at 6:18 pm
      Reply

      @chesscanoe

      Consider StartPage, it uses Google. This way you are not handing over your searches to Google and still get Google results. Cheers.

      1. Anonymous said on June 17, 2021 at 10:41 pm
        Reply

        Try a web search in each using ‘kayak’ as the search term. Ads, ads, ads and different results.

      2. Antone S said on June 18, 2021 at 2:20 am
        Reply

        @Iron Heart
        Well, people don’t trust Startpage because they were bought by an ad company, or people throw the information so people are like “oh no, then I won’t try it”.
        Yet they would rather trust DDG that has a CEO that had a company that used to grab private information from people and sell it in 2006, but now he is the messiah of privacy and DDG is the best.
        I think Startpage is better, but I am also glad I finally got Brave Search beta invite.

      3. Iron Heart said on June 18, 2021 at 8:14 am
        Reply

        @Antone S

        People also hate on Brave because it’s an aD COmPAnY, without ever giving any consideration to the fact that the model of advertising that Brave is pioneering respects user privacy… It’s just a useless one liner, unless they can actually prove that data collection is going on, which they can’t.

        The owners of StartPage, System1, have also bought the browser Waterfox some time ago, and to this day, nothing has changed for that browser. It doesn’t phone home to any StartPage domain. Yet the fear mongering continues unabated…

        StartPage has a privacy policy, people should just read it and then decide whether or not they want to use the service. As far as I can tell, they are not any better or worse than DuckDuckGo, and if people find Google results more useful (DuckDuckGo uses Bing), then StartPage wins.

      4. Beta said on June 21, 2021 at 4:04 pm
        Reply

        I used DDG for several years. When I tried Startpage I liked it a lot. There are search results at the top that have ads, and they are labeled so. When you click on an item in the search results the website you selected opens in a new tab and your results are still easily available.

    3. ms privacy said on June 18, 2021 at 10:12 pm
      Reply

      I use duck for privacy since pandemic. I refuse to go back, whether it is pseudo or sillydo. The biggest anomoly is that after 2 years, my searches seem to be yielding better results. Subconsciously, whether is shopping, researching, or whatever else, I don’t feel like I am being brainwash into getting results that google wants vs. getting results that is best for me. I feel free.

  2. Uwe said on June 17, 2021 at 3:34 pm
    Reply

    Only using DuckDuckGo for years. By the way, it’s also reachable via https://3g2upl4pq6kufc4m.onion/ on the onion network.

  3. Tom Hawack said on June 17, 2021 at 4:03 pm
    Reply

    I have six engines devoted to Web search (+images & videos, some + news)

    – SearX, instance used here is [https://metasearch.nl/] : Default search engine
    – Qwant [https://www.qwant.com/] : Engine assigned to ‘Privacy Redirect’ FF extension to redirect Google queries
    – DuckDuckGo [https://duckduckgo.com/] : nice but doesn’t catch ’em all compared to Google, handled here via SearX
    – Gigablast [https://gigablast.com/] : occasionally, interesting
    – Startpage [https://startpage.com/] : occasionally
    – MetaGer [https://metager.org/] : occasionally

    SearX, metasearch engine, has several instances, not all work nicely, especially not all handle Google quests correctly. The [Metasearch.nl] instance has proven to be reliable through time, and I had previously tried/tested quite many. You can see someone is driving the car, piloting the plane : the site is obviously well taken care of.

    Qwant has been rebuilt practically from scratch. Previously cookie settings were set in the user’s localStorage, which is a bother for those who regularly cleanup that storage. Now Qwant cookies are set as all cookies should be set ; as plain cookies, and only if/for the user’s Qwant settings. Clean. Results, retrieved from Bing, are satisfactory (MetaSearch.nl is the most complete given its very nature).

    Plus 30 extra topic-specific engines (knowledge, translation, image/video, maps

    As always, what we’ve installed and what we use regularly. Regularly (90% of searches) are the top 3 mentioned above.

    1. smaragdus said on June 18, 2021 at 2:42 am
      Reply

      Hawack, have you tried Mojeek and peekier?

      The problem with searX is that instances come and go, some are troublesome, others seem to be unmaintained, some have very ugly domain names. Recently I switched to searx.info but I have not tested it extensively.

      1. Tom Hawack said on June 18, 2021 at 9:07 am
        Reply

        @smaragdus, Mojeek here is bookmarked though not integrated in my search engines. It is indeed another interesting search engine, fed by its own crawlers as far as I remember.
        I never heard of peekier, I’m discovering it right now after having read your comment.

        There are quite many Web search engines, I’ve limited mine (integrated) to 6, but I happen to modify some of them.

        About searX : indeed some instances come and go, and their quality may vary. As I mentioned above, [metasearch.nl] is an instance which has proven to be reliable, in particular it handles flawlessly quests to Google Web Search.

        I’m correcting my 1st post comment : “Plus 24 extra topic-specific engines (knowledge, translation, image/video, maps)” : 24, not 30. Thirty includes the six Web search engines.

        I’m off to peekier to see what it offers…

      2. smaragdus said on June 20, 2021 at 3:52 am
        Reply

        It seems that we use the same search engines (although we prefer different browsers)- mine are (in this particular order)- DuckDuckGo, Qwant, searX, Mojeek, MetaGer, StartPage, peekier, apart from peekier I use Mojeek (own, independent crawler is a rarity and a must) in stead of Gigablast, which I didn’t like when I tested it long time ago, I may retest it in the future. Right now I am considering switching from DuckDuckGo to Qwant as default search engine. Once I rated StartPage higher but I was concerned when it was sold so for the time being I refrain from using it. peekier looks interesting but it doesn’t seem to be actively developed and it lacks dark theme. About searX, I bookmarked your instance- metasearch.nl, and I may test it side by side with search.info some day if I have time and enthusiasm.

    2. delap05 said on June 18, 2021 at 5:37 pm
      Reply
      1. Tom Hawack said on June 18, 2021 at 6:55 pm
        Reply

        @delap05, if someone is bothered by fund raising it’s rather Qwant than the user. As long as the site remains clean and efficient the way they achieve this is none of my concern. This said it’s true that Qwant has never been correctly managed, IMO, be it technically when trying to do too much too quickly, be it financially with one foot in public fund raising and the other kicking in private loans.

        The search engine is OK, sufficiently IMO to include it in my 6 Web search engines, for the reasons I mentioned above. But it’s not and likely never will be my default search engine, not because of its funding problems but because it has no crawler of its own and relies on Bing. Let’s say that the Bing results it retrieves are far better exposed than from Bing itself and that, up to now and as far as I know, privacy is their policy. Time will tell. I’m not emotionally concerned by the concept of a free European search engine, nice idea maybe in the fact that all competition is good but beware of ideals when the business plan isn’t valuable.

      2. Yash said on June 18, 2021 at 7:53 pm
        Reply

        @delap05
        It does look concerning to say the least.

    3. HM said on June 19, 2021 at 8:48 am
      Reply

      @Tom Hawack

      Thank you for the excellent information and summary.

      As a regular user of [https://metasearch.nl/] I can support the claim, from extensive usage, that it is a better replacement for other search engines.

  4. Valrobex said on June 17, 2021 at 4:50 pm
    Reply

    I have been using DDG for several years now with fairly good results and use Startpage as a backup. I refuse to use Google (Yes, I know Startpage is a “filtered” Google which is why it’s a backup.)

    I’m glad DDG is doing well overall and growing in usage. Let’s hope DDG is designing it’s browser around Firefox so we can easily tailor the settings. My backup browser is Flashpeak Slimjet which is very fast but not very customizable given that it’s based on chromium. Slimjet does have ad blocking built in which contributes to it’s privacy and speed.

    1. Iron Heart said on June 17, 2021 at 6:21 pm
      Reply

      @Valrobex

      There is really no way the DuckDuckGo browser will be using Firefox. Their Android browser, DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials, uses Chromium as base. They have several patches ready that can be easily transferred to the desktop, sync will be easier to set up if both use the same base etc.

      Also, Firefox has lost 40 million active profiles since 2019, this browser won’t exist anymore in a few years. DuckDuckGo is run by smart people, they won’t board this sinking ship.

      1. Valrobex said on June 17, 2021 at 8:37 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart

        Unfortunately, I believe you are right. I know Mozilla is on a downward spiral. We can only hope Google keeps subsidizing Mozilla in order to provide cover and reduce potential charges of Google “being a monopoly.”

        I agree that DDG is playing a smart game. Hopefully, they continue to do so and not “cave in” to the desire to make even more money by selling out to “Google and company.”

        And on the very rare occasions I use the internet on android I use Epic Privacy Browser which offers a built in VPN.

      2. Iron Heart said on June 18, 2021 at 8:22 am
        Reply

        @Valrobex

        Surveillance further escalates worldwide, I see a bright future for DuckDuckGo if they maintain their current policies.

        As for Android, I would suggest a combination of Bromite…

        https://github.com/bromite/bromite#features

        …and a VPN app running outside of the browser, here is a comparison chart (check out which ones tick the most boxes):

        https://www.safetydetectives.com/best-vpns/#comparison

        That would probably be better than Epic Privacy Browser – just a suggestion, though.

      3. Yash said on June 17, 2021 at 9:19 pm
        Reply

        Oh yeah now you’re happy that Firefox has lost its users, must have been a watershed sort of moment.

        DuckDuckGo uses Android System Webview as its default base in Android in DuckDuckGo browser and so its not a complete browser, plus I’m not sure it has sync mechanism, last time when I tried it months ago I can’t recall it had account support and whole sync mechanism.

        Hoping that DDG uses Firefox as a base(maintaining it doesn’t take huge resources – see Iceraven though I know its only available for Android) but that’s unlikely.

      4. Iron Heart said on June 18, 2021 at 8:04 am
        Reply

        @Yash

        Here we go again…

        > DuckDuckGo uses Android System Webview as its default base in Android

        …which in turn uses Chromium: https://old.reddit.com/r/androidapps/comments/gwpb9n/is_duckduckgo_privacy_browser_based_on_chromium/fsxumk9/

        > plus I’m not sure it has sync mechanism

        No way they’ll have Sync once they have BOTH a mobile and a desktop application. Wait, there is no necessity for Sync if there is no desktop equivalent? *facepalm* I think it’s self-explanatory that Chromium – Chromium Sync is easier to implement than Firefox – Chromium Sync (if that’s at all possible).

        > Hoping that DDG uses Firefox as a base

        Why? What objectively speaks for Firefox? Its lack of a future, lack of security, lack of performance, lack of web compatibility etc.??? I mean, why would they? It won’t happen.

      5. Yash said on June 18, 2021 at 11:19 am
        Reply

        @Iron Heart

        “Why? What objectively speaks for Firefox? Its lack of a future, lack of security, lack of performance, lack of web compatibility etc.??? I mean, why would they? It won’t happen.”
        So desparate to trash Firefox as if your life depends on it, eh?

        DuckDuckGo uses Android System Webview but good of you to point out its based on Chromium, seriously who else knew that?
        Based on Android System Webview means its not a complete browser and its more preferable to use a browser which has no external dependencies.

        Chromium Sync easier to implement – is this being implemented in DuckDuckGo browser yet? No is the answer, then why the hell are you mentioning this when you don’t know a thing? Seriously atleast talk about things present right now.

        As for Firefox sync read this article – https://hacks.mozilla.org/2018/11/firefox-sync-privacy/ You’ll feel better as first Firefox didn’t trash Brave(only Brave team does that) and whole sync mechanism is explained with all the privacy and security measures, and since the source code is open, you’re welcome to check it.

        Finally @Valrobex please follow restoreprivacy.com guide for secure browsers, and don’t use Epic browser if you care about privacy. It has a guide for Secure and private search engines, VPNs and basically everything.

      6. Iron Heart said on June 18, 2021 at 12:59 pm
        Reply

        @Yash

        I won’t explain to you what it means to use Android Webview, but I will tell you what it DOESN’T mean:

        – It does not mean that applications can’t have their own UI wrapper around it.
        – It does not mean that applications can’t share Webview, multiple applications can use it at the same time.
        – It does not mean that DuckDuckGo can’t apply their own modifications, e.g. filtering.
        – It does not mean that there is no need to sync DuckDuckGo’s own settings across devices.

        Why does DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials not have Sync yet? Because there is no desktop application it could sync with.

        Will they release a desktop version? Yes.

        Does that mean that Sync will become necessary, desirable and eventually available? Yes.

        Does Chromium lend itself to Sync considering what DuckDuckGo currently uses on Android? Yes.

        What you say about Firefox Sync means nothing. Why? Because the following things would have to happen for it to be proven trustworthy:

        – It should not require any personally identifiable information for sign up, like E-Mail addresses. It should be anonymous and trustless, currently it isn’t.
        – Mozilla should open source the code they are running on their servers. That hasn’t happened yet, despite Mozilla parading open source around all the time.
        – Mozilla should let their sync service be audited by a third party that has no ties whatsoever to Mozilla.

        If they refuse to make it anonymous, if they ask for PII like they do, then they should open source it and have it independently audited. Otherwise, there is no reason to trust them.

        @Valrobex

        One further addition re. VPNs: https://privacytools.io/providers/vpn/ (@Yash, by the way, these VPN providers actually let themselves be audited!)

      7. Yash said on June 18, 2021 at 7:44 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart

        Thanks for giving a lecture about Android System Webview, though Bromite also has its Webview which on security level is equivalent and on privacy level miles better. That’s why I highlighted that.

        For Firefox sync, I shared that link, you’re more than welcome to make your own theories, though I prefer password based logins, and its not hard to keep your email anonymous, just don’t give your *personal* one in the first place. Personally I prefer email way of login because of login alerts, and that link is a good place to start rejecting any doubts about privacy and security.

        Yeah VPN providers conduct third party audits, and yeah privacy tools is a good website, though restoreprivacy.com is equally good too.

      8. Iron Heart said on June 19, 2021 at 9:45 am
        Reply

        @Yash

        Bromite “replacing” the system’s web view doesn’t mean that it is more private. DuckDuckGo can interfere with the system’s web view, apply filtering, upgrade to HTTPS etc. This is unrelated, it’s just a Bromite development choice because they bundle Chromium anyway.

        Mozilla never lets anything(!) be audited, if a much smaller VPN company can do it, I am sure they can do it. They should do some trust building once they ask for PII, you see. The mental gymnastics you are performing re. Mozilla are astonishing, to say the least.

      9. Iron Heart said on June 19, 2021 at 10:56 am
        Reply

        @Yash

        restoreprivacy.com is provably low quality junk.

        They are recommending stuff like NordVPN and NordPass (owned by a data harvesting company, lol: https://old.reddit.com/r/VPNTorrents/comments/9adi37/i_investigated_the_nordvpn_ordeal_here_is_what_i/ ), Hong Kong-based ExpressVPN where the owner isn’t even known etc. They rate Privacy Badger highly despite it offering nothing over uBlock Origin and it actually increasing the fingerprinting risk. Their E-Mail section recommends problematic service that even the Neocities guy was able to debunk. Same for their search section. They rate Firefox highly despite it having shit defaults and comparatively low security standards (How is that not a factor?), no comment on that etc. pp.

        This website is low quality and I wouldn’t be surprised if some reviews were paid for. They provide accurate information on things like the Epic browser as well, but there is lots of problematic things in between.

      10. Yash said on June 19, 2021 at 12:53 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart
        “Bromite “replacing” the system’s web view doesn’t mean that it is more private. DuckDuckGo can interfere with the system’s web view, apply filtering, upgrade to HTTPS etc. This is unrelated, it’s just a Bromite development choice because they bundle Chromium anyway.”
        Its a drop in replacement to prevent Google tracking in some applications who use Webview as a default and more of BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY approach. DuckDuckGo isn’t the only browser which depends on Webview, there are many including some non-browser apps, and they all use Webview as back-end. The reason why Brave, Bromite and many other Chromium browsers(not dependent on WebView) exist is because they are complete browsers means can do anything from accessing Camera, Microphone, GeoLocation to full Web compatibility, to configure browser flags and settings. DuckDuckGo is a *lite* browser like Firefox *lite*(which is different from Firefox, Firefox Beta, Firefox Focus) or like SmartCookieWeb, in other words small footprint browser which doesn’t need huge resources as its only front-end client to already present WebView.

        “Mozilla never lets anything(!) be audited, if a much smaller VPN company can do it, I am sure they can do it. They should do some trust building once they ask for PII, you see. The mental gymnastics you are performing re. Mozilla are astonishing, to say the least.”
        Again trashing Mozilla, not being audited. First that’s totally false.
        And since you mentioned Mozilla, what about Brave browser, being fully audited yet?

        “restoreprivacy.com is provably low quality junk.
        They are recommending stuff like NordVPN and NordPass (owned by a data harvesting company, lol: https://old.reddit.com/r/VPNTorrents/comments/9adi37/i_investigated_the_nordvpn_ordeal_here_is_what_i/ ), Hong Kong-based ExpressVPN where the owner isn’t even known etc. They rate Privacy Badger highly despite it offering nothing over uBlock Origin and it actually increasing the fingerprinting risk. Their E-Mail section recommends problematic service that even the Neocities guy was able to debunk. Same for their search section. They rate Firefox highly despite it having shit defaults and comparatively low security standards (How is that not a factor?), no comment on that etc. pp.”

        ExpressVPN Hong-Kong based? Any link? Do you know it beat a certain warrant in a country, ever heard of it?
        For Nord products, I recommend first read the review, then make your points. Personally I don’t use NordPass as its closed source(if I remember correctly) though fully audited and for NordVPN again fully audited, one argument can be raised in terms of market monopoly but then so does for Chrome. You do know that reddit link dates back to 2018, please read its review which includes 2019 incident and measures taken against it and then raise points.

        Rating Privacy Badger highly than uBlock Origin? Clearly you didn’t read properly, their Firefox modification guide(by the way they *recommend* Modified Firefox for which they have a well-written guide) recommend uBlock Origin first, then mention Privacy Badger as an extra, and their guide did said that Privacy Badger is not similar to uBlock Origin. Privacy Badger fingerprint problem appeared at the end of last year, after which EFF(Privacy Badger maker) has changed the functionality of that add-on. And in the uBlock Origin easy mode, its a nice complementary add-on which does block some sites that uBlock doesn’t like Disqus, Spotify player widget, etc.
        Personally I don’t use Privacy Badger(all hail uBlock Origin hard mode) but I can see some benefits.
        See restoreprivacy.com is not bullet-proof, no website is, and its also not very technical, but it can sort the products available into whether they can be used or not. If I find anything new, first I visit restoreprivacy.com to check if it can be used or not, then I visit other websites which are more technical.

      11. Karl (switching between Firefox and Brave) said on June 19, 2021 at 7:12 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart, Good evening

        No offense. I often, if not always, agree with your points. But not here concerning Restoreprivacy. It is not what I could call low quality junk by any means. There might be better sites of the same sort, but there are absolutely worse. If you think they could improve, Sven seems to always be willing to answer and elaborate in the comments section, please just post what you think over there.

        As far as the site you mentioned earlier:
        https://www.safetydetectives.com/best-vpns/#comparison

        Seems to be a similar type of site as restoreprivacy. They might be trusty when it comes to VPNs, I don’t know. But damn, their Best AV list looks likes something from good ole TopTenReviews. Several old and highly regarded high quality anit-malware vendors are nowhere to be found on their site. Might be a site to refer to when it comes to VPNs, but absolutely not when it comes to Anti-malware products. That goes for both their Windows and MacOS “best AV for 2021 list”.

      12. Iron Heart said on June 22, 2021 at 9:28 am
        Reply

        @Karl

        I might contact them, stating some issues with their website, but I am not sure whether or not

        1) …the website owner gets paid to give some services positive reviews or
        2) …he is just superficial and didn’t do enough digging / didn’t research the background of some services properly.

        Could be one or the other, in my opinion, but neither would be a good sign in my book. I got the impression that their VPN section is particularly bad. They really do recommend NordVPN (which at least has ties to, or is even owned by, Tesonet) and ExpressVPN (totally unclear ownership, based in Hong Kong: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yW_zBGXfiPg ). I mean wow, that’s some bad advice right there. The lack of open source involvement of these companies should ring additional alarm bells, but apparently not.
        This section sums up the trustworthy VPN providers, there aren’t many: https://privacytools.io/providers/vpn/
        These people did their research and their criteria seem sound, what criteria restoreprivacy.com uses, no idea. The search engine advice and E-Mail service advice of restoreprivacy.com is also bad.
        You can find factually correct information on restoreprivacy.com, but the impression I get is that this factually correct info is hidden within a sea of bad advice.

        I see no reason to reply to @Yash because I know this guy by now and realize that he has made certain choices and will defend those in verbal battles to the death, no matter the evidence to the contrary that he is presented with. This guy refuses to learn and IMHO trusts the wrong people across the board (except maybe for Bromite, he seems to have made a reasonable choice there).

      13. Yash said on June 22, 2021 at 3:35 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart
        Just so you know I use ProtonVPN as its available in F-Droid and its open source, good policy as well.
        Defend those verbal battles to death?
        That was a good joke. Anyways I have a battle to play, so see you later.

      14. Karl said on June 23, 2021 at 6:46 am
        Reply

        @Iron Heart

        Yes, all good and valid points from your side about all that. Appreciate you replying back. If there are problems and guide issues here and there then at least they got the opportunity to improve and fix those and come off as a better and more serious site. No, I got no idea what criteria restoreprivacy uses either.

        Yes, that is absolutely the case, very few genuine ones to actually consider at the end of the day, I still do not use a VPN but have read quite a lot over the years, and Mullvad and/or IVPN are probably the two that I would pick between, they know what they are doing and has a reputation that takes years to build up in the privacy community. Over the last 5-8 years, “VPN’s” has popped up like mushrooms from the ground. Inexperienced users, pople that are reading an article in one of the Tech Mags of the sort: “Want to protect your privacy online? Read this and learn how” And then they list some of the less good ones. These readers are easy targets, falling for some of the VPNs with the coolest names, but don’t bother researching under what laws they operate, data policys and everything else that DO matter in the decision making about which VPN to go with. It has really become a new wild west, some VPN go up in smoke and just as quickly a new one pops up. Its crazy.

        And yes. Privacytools is a great site. Wish they would expand the browser segment a little more though, the first time I was linked to it I hoped it would be about many browsers that are available, but found its too much focus around just Firefox, they should obviously add and write what they think about Brave, Vivaldi and all other browsers that openly claim to take users privacy serious, if the browser lives up to what the maker claim and what the browser got to offer, if all is true, or too good to be true. Of course, that is easy for us to say, what we would like to see improved when we are not the ones that would need to make all the reasearch, who only read the site and recommends it to others to think this, but I hope they find the time and gets around doing it at some point, it would add a lot to an already great privacy advise source.

      15. Yash said on June 23, 2021 at 8:10 am
        Reply

        I don’t know you Iron Heart is taking restoreprivacy site so seriously. Is it better than your average ‘oh look Google launched new service site’? absolutely. They have reviews about certain products, read them for which they have criteria and then decide for yourself. Yes they have recommended ExpressVPN, so what? They have review of ProtonVPN as well. Plus they also revealed shady practices of other VPN companies as well as all the other companies around. Privacy Tools recommend Decentraleyes so should I stop visiting that as well as that add-on is total trash?
        The way I see it is restoreprivacy.com acts as a filter after which only few products remain, after that decide for yourself. They recommend Brave Browser and I don’t use it. Why? Because I use that site to find out if I can use Opera, Vivaldi or not, for their recommended browser or other things I will decide after going a bit more deep and analysing more technical issues. Safety Detectives is the same website, they recommend LastPass which by the way has been revealed recently that their android app contains trackers, so by that logic you Iron Heart shouldn’t have mentioned it either.

        By the way about certain products, I have a basic rule, when I see a service sponsored by whole of YouTube community, I don’t use it. Hopefully you do that too.

        And about I have made certain choices, do you know I made those choices after trying different products unlike you, better read all your comments before saying that.

      16. Valrobex said on June 19, 2021 at 12:23 am
        Reply

        @Yash

        Thanks for the tip to try restoreprivacy.com’s guide. And even though I rarely use android for my web searches, reading restoreprivacy’s comments re: Epic privacy browser was most helpful. I will be removing it. Once again, thanks.

      17. Yash said on June 19, 2021 at 12:58 pm
        Reply

        @Valrobex
        You do know its a public forum, you don’t have to thank anyone ;-)

    2. smaragdus said on June 18, 2021 at 2:44 am
      Reply

      Slimjet is the ultimate spyware, just like SRware Iron and Opera.

      1. Iron Heart said on June 18, 2021 at 8:05 am
        Reply

        @smaragdus

        Don’t forget Chrome and Edge.

      2. Valrobex said on June 19, 2021 at 12:25 am
        Reply

        @ smaragdus

        Can you please identify your reference re: Slimjet. Granted, it’s my secondary browser which I use with DDG, but I would appreciate where you found the information that it’s the ultimate spyware. Thanks.

      3. smaragdus said on June 20, 2021 at 3:59 am
        Reply

        @Valrobex

        You might read this if you are interested:

        https://spyware.neocities.org/articles/slimjet.html

        I should say that I have not made any tests which would prove the claims of this article.

  5. MiK said on June 17, 2021 at 5:10 pm
    Reply

    DuckDuckGo can survive because Bing allows to use their api and they have deals, even deals we don’t know, with the spyware known as Microsoft. Without the spying of Bing DuckDuckGo wouldn’t survive, they would have to make their own search engine and that costs money.

    1. Antone S said on June 18, 2021 at 2:18 am
      Reply

      They already have their own indexer, they don’t depend only on Bing, but they censor just the same as Google and Microsoft does. So you are wrong about that.
      DDG have made deals with Verizon, AOL, Yahoo, etc etc. That’s bad enough to trust them especially with all the issues they always seem to have with the android app and the many privacy issues and how the CEO abused privacy by the project he used to work in 2006 to people would submit really sensitive private information and they would sell it, of course, now he is the one who is saving privacy and cares about it.
      People don’t even care how Ebay and Amazon links are switched to affiliate links and they get money if you buy something, you agree or not.

      Never trust DDG, it is not worst than google in many things like some tiny information Microsoft and Google haven’t censored but they still do censorship and when they are caught they say “a mistake”. But interesting enough is always the “controversial” websites the one who get the mistake, not the others.

    2. Anonymous said on June 19, 2021 at 2:43 am
      Reply

      They give different results tho, try searching ‘ghacks’.

  6. Kent Brockman said on June 17, 2021 at 5:24 pm
    Reply

    DDG started giving me too many search results in Russian so I gave it up and went to Startpage.

    1. Anonymous said on June 17, 2021 at 10:35 pm
      Reply

      That’s because they added Yandex, which right now is the only alternative for getting results censored by Google and Bing. Isn’t there a setting for English-only?

    2. Anonymous said on June 17, 2021 at 10:50 pm
      Reply

      DDG never gives me sites in Russian. Results (semi) default to my country but always delivers results in my own language.

      Sounds like something else is going on with your setup. For example, are you using a VPN or extension that changes your country?

  7. Tonidah said on June 17, 2021 at 5:53 pm
    Reply

    Startpage, I used DDG for years but mostly search results (and how poor sometimes they were) made me to change to Startpage.

  8. Vlad said on June 17, 2021 at 5:54 pm
    Reply

    They are pretty much insignificant in the marketshare so anything I guess is a “record”.

    But somehow people forget how DDG just like Microsoft and Google censors and manipulate search results, I have seen it once when they manipulated image search results and apologized because it wasn’t pushing agendas enough so the “popular” result had to be eliminated. And Many other cases where Searx DDG would display a search result but somehow the normal DDG hid it.
    So DDG even censors just like Google or Microsoft does

    Will people ever question DDG motives, when even the CEO has a dark past as a privacy abuser.

    DDG’s founder (Gabriel Weinberg) has a history of privacy abuse, starting with his founding of Names DB, a surveillance capitalist service designed to coerce naive users to submit sensitive information about their friends. (2006)

    And then we have the many “bugs” in DDG app that always violated the privacy promises until people found about those bugs like sending information to DDG servers without people’s knowledge and consent.
    We have that when you visit Amazon or Ebay DDG search results they will truly inject affiliate links to those links, but I guess people don’t have problem about it. People rarely even questions partnerships with Verizon, Yahoo, AOL etc.

    Just Tor loving DDG so much and their contributions should bring questions but nope.

    Maybe someday we will have a decent search engine that will give us decent results and will not censor and abuse privacy they claim they want to respect. Maybe, just maybe someday.

    1. LogicChecker said on June 18, 2021 at 10:54 am
      Reply

      > And Many other cases where Searx DDG would display a search result but somehow the normal DDG hid it.

      Actually, the display of some results directly depends on the setting selected in the DDG. Searx DDG use result from API, where with settings not apllied, so show result as DDG with Safe Search Off.

    2. Anonymous said on June 18, 2021 at 10:35 pm
      Reply

      Not saying Weinberg is squeaky clean or otherwise but here are said to be people who built an honest career preventing hacking after their young days doing the opposite. “Leopards don’t change their spots” is a BS saying. Spotty teenage minds work differently to adult minds.

      The extent of concern with privacy depends what you are up to. I haven’t been raided because I was curious about binary explosives or making a bomb out of fertilizer using regular we search engines. If in law enforcement I would be incredibly interested why anyone would think they need to use TOR.

      Criminals with a very high motivation to be cautious trusted ANOM to keep their secrets https://www.bbc.com/news/world-57394831

      The Silk Road was opened up.

  9. ChromeFan said on June 17, 2021 at 7:15 pm
    Reply

    DDG servers are based in the USA, therefore, they are not as private as they claim as. You are still being spied on! Google could also claim they are a private search engine. At the end of the day, privacy is an illusion.

  10. S K L said on June 17, 2021 at 7:44 pm
    Reply

    Have used DDG quite happily as my regular search engine for several years now; it delivers what I want & need. On the rare occasions it falls down, I go to StartPage or Quant.

  11. Ron said on June 17, 2021 at 8:40 pm
    Reply

    There’s something about a search engine company putting out a browser that just doesn’t smell right to me. Maybe I’m just too cynical.

    1. Jeremy said on June 18, 2021 at 4:32 am
      Reply

      I thought that until I tried it on mobile.

  12. ShintoPlasm said on June 17, 2021 at 9:20 pm
    Reply

    Much as I want to like DDG, its results are suckage compared to Google.

  13. Flo said on June 17, 2021 at 11:07 pm
    Reply

    It sounds like some responders do not know how to get the best from DDG. My experience is normal searches usually cover my needs. When they don’t, I use Bangs
    https://duckduckgo.com/bang

    You can delve into settings via the hamburger icon top RHS if you choose (mine remain on default).
    https://duckduckgo.com/settings
    There you will find an option to switch off advertising if you wish.

    Use search operators to improve results
    https://help.duckduckgo.com/duckduckgo-help-pages/results/syntax/

  14. Anonymous said on June 17, 2021 at 11:17 pm
    Reply

    I use searx, ddg with google as a last resort. don’t be surprised if the azzholes at goog or m$ start throwing money at duckduckgo and turn it into another mozilla.

  15. break me off a piece of that Kit Kat Bar! said on June 18, 2021 at 1:11 am
    Reply

    Metager also has a Tor .onion service:

    metagerv65pwclop2rsfzg4jwowpavpwd6grhhlvdgsswvo6ii4akgyd.onion/en

    I’m waiting for DDG to move from their v2 .onion service to v3, which should be soon.

  16. Antron Slavin said on June 18, 2021 at 2:25 am
    Reply

    Because of the information nobody apparently care to know about their CEO and DDG as company, with all the privacy issues they have done in the past and then ‘patch’ or ‘fix the little bug’.
    How they magically even got the duck domain that belonged to Google, and all the censorship they have done through years even if they say they don’t do that and search results are based on popularity, unless the search results are against agendas and whatever they don’t want to believe in USA.
    I hope their numbers drop once Brave Search and others grow. They are not different than what you would get with Google, when it comes to censorship but you get worst results, so I guess StartPage would be a better deal than DDG and their fake fight for privacy, which is all business and no real care about the consumers of the internet.

    1. LogicChecker said on June 18, 2021 at 10:45 am
      Reply

      You’re not consistent in your assertions: if it’s a problem that the head of Duckduckgo ran a company that collected private information, why are you saying that Startpage is better in that regard – because Startpage are now fully owned by an advertising company.

      You are not consistent in your statements: you say that it is a problem that the head of Duckduckgo ruled a company that collected private information, but for some reason you say that Startpage is better in this respect, even though Startpage are now fully owned by an advertising company.
      This – well shows the illogicality of your behavior and the pointlessness of your comment. And it also shows that it’s better not to listen to your opinion on the matter.

  17. PeterR said on June 18, 2021 at 3:13 am
    Reply

    I run my own instance (as recommended by Searx) on a home SBC. Not looking back.

  18. Martin P. said on June 18, 2021 at 4:00 am
    Reply

    Been using DDG for years and still use Startpage when lookin for images since it’s gives more flexibility for that. I haven’t used Google and neither Bing for a long time.

    1. Anonymous said on June 18, 2021 at 11:33 pm
      Reply

      You are using bing, for a long time. DDG is a leecher and most results of it are leeched by bing.

  19. Jeremy said on June 18, 2021 at 4:30 am
    Reply

    I use DDG! I love the fact that unlike Goggle, it gives you results in realtime for things like weather, bitcoin rates, etc. I Sometimes feel like Goggle would give me better, more accurate searches with regards to livestock, but DDG is fine for me.

  20. yanta said on June 18, 2021 at 4:33 am
    Reply

    I actually can’t use Google as they block VPN users. I end up in an endless captcha loop. So I was forced to change and I picked DDG. Initially it seemed they were missing stuff, but Google has massive blacklists that censor massive amount of content, so I wouldn’t use Google anyway.

    DDG doesn’t punish people who want to feel safer online using a VPN. We have to because it’s required to work from home. So after a year of using DDG I find that I’m not unhappy about Google pushing me away.

    I also tried Startpage, who say they don’t censor or interfere with searches and that they simply query Google for the results. But since Google has a blacklist, Start Page’s results are no better than Googles. They also discourage people from using VPNs and TOR and frequently present you with captcha and interrogative questions, so I stopped using them too.

    For now, I’ll stick with DDG. They certainly have opportunities for improvement but they seem to work well enough.

    I did a test on two PCs. The same query on DDG and got different results. Did the same test for Start Page and Google (off VPN), and also got different results. This may have been affected by browser history (which we did not clear before making the searches), or perhaps something else. But the same queries to all three search engines from two PCs at the same location definitely yielded different results. It seems they all filter results in some way, rather than just processing the raw query unhindered.

    1. ULBoom said on June 19, 2021 at 2:47 am
      Reply

      Yup. Browse for a while with any Chromia and FF, same sites, same paths and eventually the Chromia send you to reCaptcha land. Only way out is clear all your data before closing and restart.

      Google search is such an absolute mess, the above plus page after page of word vomit. On a phone it’s completely worthless unless you love endless scrolling, ads, ads within ads, links to ads, more ads…

      Cloudflare’s not much better, dumbest bots ever!

  21. John C. said on June 18, 2021 at 7:34 am
    Reply

    DDG doesn’t have an Advanced Search page AFAIK. I also don’t like how simply opening the DDG page opens a M$ port.

  22. Jeff M.S. said on June 18, 2021 at 11:44 am
    Reply

    Well you are either helping Google get rich or helping Microsoft get rich via DDG. So I choose Google.

  23. Scott Shaffer said on June 18, 2021 at 3:31 pm
    Reply

    Unless you are using a remote browser, Google can still see everything you searched for when you use a private search engine. With a remote browser Google can still see what sites you visit but they can’t match the computer with you. That is private search.

    A private search engine doesnt make you private, using a different computer does.

  24. Anonymous said on June 19, 2021 at 2:40 am
    Reply

    I don’t care about privacy. Google decided that I need to input captcha everytime I search I moved to DDG

    1. BogonIP said on June 20, 2021 at 2:55 am
      Reply

      Why use a name like Anonymous to tell the world you don’t care about Privacy?

      1. IPBogon said on June 21, 2021 at 3:29 am
        Reply

        yup

    2. ryuk said on June 21, 2021 at 12:31 pm
      Reply

      @Anonymous

      Oh well, if you don’t care about privacy could you please give us your Facebook credentials.

  25. Peter said on June 19, 2021 at 8:15 am
    Reply

    “The company plans to release its first desktop application, which it states can be used as a primary browser.”

    That is more or less what Google once said, when they launched Chrome and started their journey down the slippery slope of corporate megalomania.
    .

    “One Browser to rule them all, One Browser to find them, One Browser to bring them all and to the corporation bind them.”
    ~ Google

  26. Cherry said on June 20, 2021 at 1:13 pm
    Reply

    I must say that I’ve personally made more using a Portfolio Manager than trading myself, leaving your portfolio with a Pro in the industry takes away the anxiety involved in trading. I do not claim all portfolio managers are perfect but I have made 5x more than I’ve ever made by trading for myself. I believe some sites offer the best results and I’ll be glad to give you my portfolio manager’s contact if you want to make similar profit. Feel free to reach me here; Cherryowen561 {at} gmail dot com

  27. Anonymous said on June 21, 2021 at 10:58 am
    Reply

    I also, after using DDG for many years, switched over to Startpage, as the results were better and a lot of DDG’s results seemed to be mainly for the American region, rather than Europe. Despite the investment from System1, the privacy policy has remained solid for Startpage. Also I’ve managed to get Startpage working on TOR, which is even better.

    DDG is still my back up search engine to go to.

    I have tried a few SearX search engines but some of the results were not great, plus, despite what SearX itself says, about “…it doesn’t generate a profile about you, Searx doesn’t care about what you search for, never shares anything with a third party, and it can’t be used to compromise you. Searx is free software, the code is 100% open and you can help to make it better. See more on github.” I just dread someone in the background is collecting information on the users. A lot of SearX search engines don’t have privacy policies about those running them.

    At least Startpage and DDG have privacy policies that you can read, unlike some SearX engines, that when you read the privacy policies of some of the companies/organisations running SearX they are absolutely horrifying on what information they collect.

  28. ryuk said on June 21, 2021 at 12:12 pm
    Reply

    Use Duckduckgo without JavaScript so they can track you as little as possible…

    https://html.duckduckgo.com/html/

  29. AAA said on June 24, 2021 at 2:35 am
    Reply

    Although I love Google for its better and precise search results, but DDG has improved the battery life on many of my old devices. ?

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