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Top 10 Privacy Search Engines

Top 10 Privacy Search Engines
29 Jan, 2019 updated: 09 Feb, 2024 By Mureithi Maina Explainer

Yesterday was world privacy day, and we each used a privacy search engine and personally i have to say i am hooked. We tested 12 of them but we will only mention the best 10 not rated in any way buy my personal view of them.

1. Search Encrypt

Developed from the ground up for privacy according to their about page, They encrypt search results on their server, transmit the results to the user via https and contain encryption keys that expire in 30 minutes. Hence protecting you from spying eyes on what you are searching. but this means their server is a central point which is a vulnerability in my book.

2. Duck Duck Go 

Unless you have been living under a rock in the past 10 years, you have heard the buzz around duck duck go, obviously the most famous privacy engine out there. They offer an awesome feature called !bang that make searching other sites very simple and convenient right from DDG. 

3. Oscobo

Design to protect privacy, it is meant to protect users privacy from both individuals and corporation, encrypting results from their server before sending them to the user. They also have a privacy browser that block tracking cookies, but we could not test because it runs on windows.

4. Start Page

Founded in 1998 as lxquick.com and latter startpage.com and made it the first privacy search engine in 2006, which does not log, track or share personal data. They have other private versions of common online tools like email.

5. Qwant

Based in europe, its is a search engine that promises to deliver the best available results to queries and does not try to guest what a user is doing. They do not log searches. The website is also beautifully designed.

6. Swiss Cows

Like many search engines, they base their results on bing api to deliver search results without tracking. They website did not even redirect me to the local website instead i was using the default swiss home page. It was developed by hulbee.com based in switzerland. 

7.  Yippy

They have developed their own powerful crawlers, robust API and extensive connector framework. The site organizes search results based on topic to increase insight on the matter you are searching. For a privacy search engine i have to note they do not force use of https for security and you may end up in unencrypted http.

8. Searx.me

It is a meta-search engine generating search results using results from other search engines, which makes it powerful. the site features a minimalistic but powerful design. The software is also free and open source helce backed by community of developers. it also works with tor.

9.  Gibiru (defunct: 2024 update)

Before anything else great and beautiful design, I like the way the site shows logos and profile photos of Twitter and other websites, truly beautiful and tries to redirect users to https on all site they visit. They offer a proxy browser and link any privacy freak recommends not using Google Chrome.

10. Discrete Search

From first glance it looks like a replica of Search Encrypt, for users of both the system typically works the same and also results look pretty similar and also the docs.  

Bonus: BitClave (defunct 2024 update )since we all love blockchain, bitclave is a blockchain-based search engine site, that allows users to choose what to share with advertisers. It also incentivises their users by giving consumer activity tokens (CAT) for making searches relevant to the advertiser.

I personally use DDG but was thinking of switching to search encrypt or searx. me because of the open source nature of their engine and metasearch engine.