There is no doubt that Google is the world’s leading search engine, with search engine statistics showing that Google dominates the search engine market at 92.47% as of June 2021.
However despite Google’s clear lead in the search engine market, users might not enjoy the amount of data the search engine giant collects about them.
Every time they browse, click and type in a search query, Google’s algorithm catalogues the user’s personal data to formulate targeted ads and personalised results. This can be a variety of data, including sensitive information such as our medical history, political identity, financial information and religion.
As a result, privacy when searching online has become a growing concern for many users, especially in 2021. It makes sense as to why more and more people have been looking for the best search engines for privacy.
TSCA is here to help you protect your information when browsing online and increase your anonymity by helping you to find the best search engines for privacy.
What Are Privacy Search Engines?
Privacy Search Engines are just like regular search engines except they collect much less data, if any, in order to allow you to search anonymously without the worry of trackers in your search history.
Most run as metasearch engines meaning they take information from multiple search engines rather than one in order to offer their searchers an unbiased list of search results to choose from.
Unlike Google, which builds a unique profile of you to market based on the way you search, private search engines don’t store any personal data in which to force targeted ads onto you.
Unfortunately, despite these alternative search engines offering increased privacy options, they lack in other areas. User experience can suffer, and the levels of privacy offered aren’t always supplied.
What are the Best Search Engines for Privacy?
To help you narrow down your choices of search engines, and avoid any poor quality options, we did the research. Here are TSCA’s top CHANGEEEEE search engines, like Google we have compiled based on popularity, privacy and unique attributes for you to use:
MetaGer boasts a dedication to data protection and privacy. The metasearch engine based in Germany discusses how important its users’ privacy is within their company values, stating:
“Data protection and privacy are important to us. That’s why we don’t track or store personal data and offer several services to protect your privacy, for example our anonymizing proxy (“Open Anonymously” feature).”
Launching in 2006, the search engine has developed to look more familiar to ‘regular’ search engine users. But in the background, MetaGer uses an anonymising proxy to keep you protected even when you continue surfing. They do not track their users across their browsing, so you can feel more comfortable in your searches, and trust that there are no eyes peeking at you.
DuckDuckGo is probably the most popular alternative search engine for privacy, with an average of over 90 million searches per month it’s safe to say it is a top contender to Google. When using DuckDuckGo they offer searches from across multiple search engines including Bing, Yahoo and even Wikipedia, making sure the sources you receive are not affected by algorithms or targeted ads.
They work by using traditional advertising methods and affiliate marketing in order to monetise their site as opposed to Google who profits off of using your personal data. For example, if you search for ‘cheeseboards’ on DuckDuckGo, you will only receive ads based on the term you have used at that moment for instance ‘BabyBels’ in comparison to Google who will accumulate it with your previous search history.
Besides this privacy benefit, the site is a great alternative to Google Other features of this private search engine include the ability to filter searches based on region to get the most accurate results for your search queries as well as providing detailed search results to your questions.
For the best private search engine that’s most similar to Google, DuckDuckGo would be a tough one to beat.
UK based and committed to providing an extra level of security and privacy to its users, Mojeek is another good option for browsers looking to boost their online protection.
If you opt for this browser to keep you protected, you’ll also be experiencing different results to your searches. The search engine has been building its own index from scratch since 2006, a standout difference to its competitors who often rely on Bing and Google to pull results.
Previously known as Hulbee, this privacy first search engine uses Bing rather than Google in order to source search results which may seem like a bad thing for some, however, this alternative search engine has two particularly great reasons to choose them over other search engines for privacy.
Apart from the privacy-first setting which does not store your data, they also offer you have the ability to preview a site before clicking on it when searching the web. This makes it easier for you to use the web browser to get the answers you need fast and to avoid being tricked by misleading website title tags.
Not only that, they are extremely popular for their family-friendly features; limiting content to keep it, child-safe such as pornography and violent content. This is a great attribute for parents who may be worried about what their child could accidentally fall upon in their innocent search engine usage.
Everyone knows you can trust the Swiss to keep things secure and anonymous and as their servers solely run out of Switzerland alongside their promise in not using the cloud for storage, SwissCows holds a host of reasons as to why it’s one of the best search engines for privacy.
Searx has a simple to use interface that is straightforward and provides browsers with the option to protect themselves in a more advanced way than a regular search engine.
It not only provides an extra layer of security, Searx also gives you the control in the results that you see. As it is an open source metasearch engine that gathers results from other search, users can control which search engines Searx pulls results from – all whilst specifying the categories for search results.
As Google has blocked Searx search requests in the past, these customisations are especially helpful, so you don’t have to sacrifice your privacy to find what you’re looking for.
Quant is another search engine for privacy that sources its searches from Bing but what make’s them unique besides their promise to respect your privacy is their user experience when using their search browser.
Although your experience using their search engine is not personalised, as to be expected since they do not store your data, scrolling their site is a casual experience with topics to read and stories to explore whilst you type your search queries.
The ads you see are generated through Microsoft Bing’s ad network, not through your personal data and Qwant allows you to categorise your search terms based on topics to make it easier to find the results you are looking for. Topics include news, social, images, videos, music, or boards which allows searchers to tailor their own searches based on what they want to see rather than sites like Bing and Google who do the decision making.
With a laid-back attitude to search and even a search engine option for children ‘Qwant Junior’, there is lots to love about Qwant and to make it one of the best search engines for privacy.
Ever wanted to reduce your carbon footprint but still with minimal effort? Then Ecosia is definitely the alternative search engine for you! Ecosia is an incredibly unique privacy-focused search engine compared to its competitors as it is entirely CO2-neutral with the promise that it will plant trees when users search on their web browser.
As a not-for-profit business, they work by using the funds raised from search ads based on your anonymous search terms to contribute to organisations and charities planting trees worldwide. Although this may seem strange at first, you can rest assured that this search engine does not care about storing data and allows you to search without creating a search history profile, as they say on their website ‘we’re interested in trees, not your data’.
This Bing-based search engine is incredibly easy to use as well as they can be used over desktop or laptop, and mobile via both iOS and Android apps, not to mention they offer a chrome extension for you to download.
Overall there is an abundance of reasons why this is one of the most popular search engines for privacy, they simply do not care about storing data and you can see from their website that they put their mission of planting trees from your use of their search engine as their priority.
How To Change Your Search Engine?
Depending on the web browser you use currently, it is relatively easy to change your search engine. In Chrome, you can change your default search engine by clicking on the top right of your computer in ‘Settings’ followed by ‘Search Engine’, ‘Search engine used in the address bar’ then clicking on the downward arrow to select your new private search engine of choice.
A Final Rundown
- No tracking and protect you from trackers
- Unbiased results based on search terms not stored data
- Offer regional search
- Site Encryption
- Mobile-friendly app
- Most similar to Google and can add as a Chrome extension
- Guaranteed privacy
- Run by a non-profit organisation
- Diverse and free
- Uses 100% renewable energy
- Bing-based search engine
- Child and family-friendly search and filtering for violent content
- Google Chrome extension
- Do not collect, store or track data
- Servers located in Switzerland
- Offer regional search
- Customisable search engine results
- Doesn’t collect, store or track data
- Straightforward interface
- Bing-based search engine
- No third-party data sharing
- No Advertising tracking
- Search results can be filtered and categorised
- Offer a child-friendly extension
- A casual user experience with news and top trends
- First ever privacy oriented search engine
- Has its own search algorithm
- Simple and clean UI
- Renewable energy-based, CO2 search engine
- Allows you to search the web with privacy
- A not-for-profit company that does not display interest in collecting your data
- Will plant trees every time you search
- Monetised by your searches, not targeted ads.
- Mobile-friendly app and Google Chrome extension
- Mobile-friendly app and Google Chrome extension
There are plenty of search engines designed with your privacy in mind, making it easier than ever to find one that suits your search needs. Whether you are a parent concerned about your child’s search results, someone looking for non-targeted news to enjoy or simply feel like making your internet usage a bit greener. There are some great alternative search engines to Google out there to let you relax with the knowledge that your data is left alone.