What is DuckDuckGo? Why Should I Use It?
Do you always feel like somebody's watching you? Maybe you're one of those people who routes all their traffic through a VPN and runs a background check on your Tinder dates before you meet up. You might even have already searched the web for the best search engines to replace the spying eyes of Google. Or maybe you just want to try to experience an internet where you aren't having targeted advertisements shoved in your face everywhere you go. No matter the reason, you can find out what the buzz about DuckDuckGo is about here.
Alternatives to DuckDuckGo
Search engine preferences can be fickle. You might be interested in browsing more privately than incognito mode allows, but find yourself stifled by the results available on DuckDuckGo. In that case, you could try out some of these alternative options.
|Does not track you|
Best Ways To Use DuckDuckGo
- Navigate to the website and enter a search like you would with any other engine.
- Use Bangs. Type an exclamation point and the name of a site, then your search term. This will search that site directly.
- Install the toolbar. Firefox and Chrome users can add DuckDuckGo as an extension, allowing them to search directly from the browser.
How Does Internet Advertising Work?
Just like using incognito mode on Google Chrome or private browsing on Firefox doesn't actually keep you secure from the many horrors of the internet, using DuckDuckGo alone isn't enough to keep your computer safe. The important thing about taking back your privacy on the web is to engage with a full suite of options. And even then, there aren't any guarantees. But that doesn't mean it isn't worth staying on top of your digital footprint. That might not even be your biggest concern. Maybe you just need to try a new search engine because Google's results have been subpar. No matter the reason, giving DuckDuckGo a shot is bound to be a good idea.
By now, you should know that the most popular search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo track your information. Over time, they collect data on your personal interests, browsing behaviors, IP address, and sometimes even your personal info. This is done to give users a more personal experience by having search results and advertisements tailored to them. Obviously, there are a bunch of security and privacy concerns that come with it.
One common solution to this problem is using one of the many private search engines on the internet. Not only will they keep you anonymous, they also give you unbiased search results. DuckDuckGo is currently one of the best options available due to its many convenient features. Let's quickly talk about what it is, and what it has to offer.
Its user interface is very similar to Google. After typing in a keyword, you may filter your results to show only images, videos, news, and even "meanings". You can also easily boost results for a certain country if you need to find locally relevant information. To provide a smoother experience, DuckDuckGo allows you to continue scrolling through search results instead of tediously going through several pages to find what you need. You'll also notice that there isn't much visual clutter, and that ads are both rare and very unobtrusive.
One of the best things about DuckDuckGo is the amount of customization options you have at your disposal. To access the settings, click on the button on the upper right corner and then go to "Other Settings". From here, you can change several things such as how your search results are presented, the interface language, the overall UI theme, font size, and even your privacy settings. You don't really have to change anything under "Privacy" though, unless you absolutely know what you're doing.
There's also a list of syntaxes that can help narrow down your queries, but the most unique feature of this search engine has to be the syntax known as "Bang". Bangs allow DuckDuckGo users to directly search through supported websites. There are tons of sites that support this feature, and using it is very simple.
To use bangs, all you have to do is type an exclamation mark and a few recommendations will pop up. It even has an autocomplete system that lists down the possible choices. As an example, if you type the letter "a", websites such as Amazon and Aliexpress will show up. After typing your desired bang, put in a keyword or phrase that you'd like to search for in the specified website. For example, typing "!youtube movie trailers" will immediately send you over to YouTube's search results for "movie trailers".
Over the years, DuckDuckGo has grown from being a one-man project to being a small international company. With that said, they actually do not take donations because they make enough money from their growing traffic. Instead, they encourage potential donors to support other privacy-related services and causes.
There are also a lot of contributors from the open source community that help with things such as translations, instant answers, and coding in general. This is led by a group of community leaders who act as either developers or active moderators on duck.co and Reddit. Currently, the subreddit serves as a place for users to ask questions regarding the service or to report bugs they've encountered with any of its features.
DuckDuckGo is compatible with most browsers and is available as an extension for both Firefox and Google Chrome. Installing the addon will automatically change your default search engine. It will also give you a handy toolbar button that can be easily toggled on and off. It also has its own official app for both iOS and Android called "DuckDuckGo Search and Stories".
So, should you use DuckDuckGo? If you value your online privacy, then this search engine is definitely a viable option. Even without that in mind, all of its extra features make it a worthy competitor to Google. With its growing team, it's bound to get even better in the following years. At the end of the day though, most of it boils down to personal preference. Try it out and see if it suits your needs.