Confidential internet search engines



I don’t want large search businesses to know what I am searching for. Here are some links to search engines based on that preference.

Corporate search with notionally good privacy

  • Startpage repackages Google search results AFAIK anonymously, although I cannot see much information about why i shoudl beleive them on this.
  • duckduckgo is a search engine run by strident privacy advocates which is laudable I s’pose. The search is… OK. Usually not as good as google. Every now and again it is serendipitously wonderful, but this cannot be relied upon.
  • Brave Search recently launched, backed by the creators of the Brave browser.
  • Qwant promises to forget user data rapidly. There is not a lot of organisational transparency on their privacy guarantees AFAICS.
  • Similarly runaroo
  • search encrypt also claims to great privacy via encryption in the Perfect Forward Secrecy mode. Presumably this is supposed to prevent them from assembling a history of my searches? They do not explain exactly whom they wish to protect my search queries from, nor tell me how I would verify their claims.
  • The searx family is a network of metasearch engine portals with the aim of protecting the privacy of users. Searx does not share users IP addresses or search history with the search engines from which it gathers results. Tracking cookies served by the search engines are blocked etc. The flagship instance is searx.me but there are many user-operated ones, since it is open source. Advanced: run your own DIY search anonymiser on your own server.

Search proxies

Run your own search server? I suspect this has some maintenance overhead as the search companies attempt to circumvent this circumvention of their business model. Effectively, you would be participating in an arms race.


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