For years, Google has been monopolizing the search engine world. What's worse, apparently, this monopoly poisoned the company's transparency to the extent that private data is now an asset. On June 2, Google was sued for illegally invading the privacy of millions of users by tracking their internet use through the Chrome browser's incognito” mode. Absolute power tends to corrupt, ha? It's time to finally say goodbye to Google and opt for one of the private search engines that are gaining numbers of loyal users.
A private search engine is one that allows you to remain hidden when submitting your queries on the Internet. Private search engines are the exact opposite of Google when it comes to privacy and protection.
Why Use a Private Search Engine?
We’re living in a digital age where there’s a high level of awareness on privacy protection. If you’re using major search engines like Google, it’s no secret that each of your actions is tracked and stored. Don’t believe us? Read How to Completely Clear All Your Search History.
The search phrase and clicks that got you to buy a fryer becomes valuable data for other advertisers too. And, it’s not just what you type, but voice search as well. That’s why you’re seeing the same ads whether you’re on a news site or scrolling social media feeds.
A private search engine allows you to search anonymously. None of your data is risked being passed over to third parties like advertisers, ISPs, and government agencies. Even if you’re using Google in incognito mode, some of your browsing activities like the websites you’ve visited can still be tracked.
In recent days, Google has also been accused of providing biased search results. Its algorithm is influenced by your interests, which are reflected in your social media, emails, and other online activities. In certain subjects, Google has its own interpretation of what might be the best results for you.
If you want to have a more neutral set of results, you’ll need to use a private search engine. Even if Google has your best interest in personalizing your search, it’s algorithm is far from perfect.
Are you tired of using Chrome? Read: Best Anonymous Browsers.
Best Private Search Engines
If you’re ready to ditch Google and turn to private search engine alternatives, here are some of the best options.
DuckDuckGo is currently the leading private search engine in terms of searches and traffic. It was propelled to the limelight in 2013 after the Snowden revelations.
It serves more than 40 million daily queries and combs over 400 sources to return the best results. The private search engine doesn’t store IP addresses or user information, making it a favorite option for privacy-conscious users.
You’ll still find ads on DuckDuckGo’s search results, but they are kept at a minimum and non-intrusive. The search engine is transparent on how it depends on ads as part of its revenue to operate.
Mojeek is a truly independent search engine that has its own crawler. Instead of depending on results from major search engines like Bing, Mojeek has indexed more than 3 billion pages in 2019 to provide unbiased results to its users.
It also stays true to its motto of “No Tracking. Just Search.” It replaces the IP address of the users with a two-alphabet code to indicate the originating country. None of your personal information is logged when you’re using Mojeek.
Mojeek is a good alternative for users hoping to have their privacy protected at all costs while getting neutral results from their search.
Switzerland-based SwissCows not only guarantees your privacy but it’s also a family-friendly private search engine. Adult-related topics are automatically filtered off from SwissCows, making it a great choice for children.
Its facilities, which go by the name SWISS FORT KNOX, are installed at high-security bunkers underneath the Swiss Alps. SwissCows takes a non-compromising approach when it comes to the security and privacy of its users.
You can bank on SwissCows to not collect any personal information or sell them to third parties. Due to its strict privacy protection, SwissCows relies heavily on donations to cover its expenses.
Like DuckDuckGo, MetaGer is a private search engine that queries commercial search engines like Bing anonymously. Each of the results carries a label indicating where it was derived from. Also, you’ll have the option to view the page anonymously via MetaGer’s proxy server.
Launched in 2011, Qwant is a popular private search engine in France. In 2016, it handled more than 2.6 billion queries. It relies mainly on Bing for generating neutral search results. Qwant enables the results to be filtered by News, Images, Videos, Social, Maps, and Music.
It also offers a children-friendly engine with Qwant Junior and a beta-version of Qwant Map that enables location search. Quant ensures that no personal information is collected when you’re using the search engine. It neither store cookies on your browser or tracks your browsing activities.
Qwant’s elegant layout is completed by columns of trending stories below its search box. Overall, it’s a private search engine worth trying.
These private search engines provide you with options to take privacy into your own hands. If you’re frustrated with Google’s constant attempts to manipulate search results or the excessive advertisements you should consider one of our recommendations and invest in a VPN service that will make you anonymous over the internet once and for all.
Read more here: Best VPNs for PC