Switch to FOSS | DuckDuckGo!

Every time you surf the Internet to collect information, visit some site, play on-line games, or whatever you do, you have to browse some kind of web sites called: Search Engine, these sites provide a service for you to type some words related to something you want, and by using these keywords, the site gives you some suggestions, maybe one of them you were looking for.

One of the most famous and popular Search Engine is Google.com, from Google Inc. This engine considered as No. 1 for searching. However, few months ago, I have decided to leave Google Search after hearing bad news that Google collects its users’ information, the obvious purpose is: to know how many users use Google, where they are from, and to provide services to them according to the things they browse very much.

The terrible issue is most of Internet users have Google accounts. What does it mean? It means, inside Google, there are information about the whole tellurions. Moreover, Google has many services on the Internet, for everything nearly, G+ (Social Media), YouTube (Watching online), Blogger (Blog Maker), and many other services, which also means that you will never run away from them, and they will collect data and information about your online activities, because their services control your life. If they were true, and they will not use it against us, there is a possibility that a professional hacker may break Google security systems and use the data inside the company against it (and its users of course); or a new administration might change Google’s privacy policies.

This is not the end of the world, there is a hope ray in our issue. Why do not you leave those espionage foundations and switch to another one safer? Yes, there are many of them. Today, I will recommand one of these alternatives that I personally use. Today, my post will be about DuckDuckGo.

Screenshot_20170430_163001
DuckDuckGo – The search engine that doesn’t track you.

According to Wikipedia English: “DuckDuckGo (DDG) is an Internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers’ privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results. DuckDuckGo distinguishes itself from other search engines by not profiling its users and by deliberately showing all users the same search results for a given search term. DuckDuckGo emphasizes returning the best results, rather than the most results, and generates those results from over 400 individual sources, including key crowdsourced sites such as Wikipedia, and other search engines like Bing, Yahoo!, Yandex, and Yummly.”

This service has been launched in 25th September 2008, and owned to DuckDuckGo, Inc. I have no information about this company, but I think it is a non-profit organisation. In 2014, many browsers have used DDG as an optional search engine, like Safari, and Firefox. In addition to, there are many GNU/Linux distributions use DDG as its default search engine instead of Google, like: Linux Mint, SemiCode, and others.

Why should I switch to?

DuckDuckGo provides many features that will make you choose it as your default search engine, by way of example, not exhaustive enumeration:

  • Privacy: On DDG, you do not need to sign in to be able to use the site’s full services; so that, no one will track you, and knows everything about you.
  • Open Source: The project is shared for public, it is not a bad thing, absolutely, it is good for all whom want to know how the project works, use some project’s techniques in their ones, and opening the door for the others to develop and improve the project. DDG shared their source code on GitHub, and this gave a good opportunity for developers to contribute in, and the project will become better and better.
  • Theming: Humans by nature tend to see beautiful views, and we now use the computers, Laptops, and smart phones very much, we need to look at good scenes to not feel boring from looking at the screen, this feature is lacked in Google, but on the other hand, it is available here, in DuckDuckGo. Besides the good default look and feel, there are other themes to switch to.
Screenshot_20170430_162346
DuckDuckGo Dark theme, and other themes on the right-side-par
  • Google’s searching techniques: You can easily use the methods of searching that you were using in Google, here in DuckDuckGo; like: 5+5; USD to Eur; and so on…
  • Bangs: It is a good feature from DDG, type ! and a letter refers to some site to visit directly, like: !w = Wikipedia, !wen = Wikipedia English. And etc…
Screenshot_20170430_162530
A short menu of sites you can visit using ‘Bang’

However…

It is not all good on DuckDuckGo, they are some things I did not like, such as:

  • RTL: People who use RTL (Right-To-Lift languages) like Arabic and Hebrew will find a problem in DuckDuckGo, not to use their languages, but to type RTL and LTR together (i.e. Arabic and English), it will make a confusion, because all languages are written from left-to-right in DuckDuckGo.
  • Less results: If you used Google to look for something and used DDG to look for the same something, Google will give you more results in the first page than DuckDuckGo’s.

Conclusion:

DuckDuckGo is really easy, nice, and secured search engine, the reasons for using are more than the reasons for leaving. On DDG you will really find your lost privacy, and enjoy the good theming 🙂 . BUT, as everything, DDG also has some disadvantages, like the lack of results and RTL.

Try it and tell us about your experiment, and if you use another search engine, share it in a short note in comments below to explain why you have switched to your current choice. If you were a DDG user, tell us what is the favourite feature you liked in. All your comments, questions and suggestions are welcomed, and people who want to ask me Anonymously, you can use my ask.fm. Wait you next weeks 🙂


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8 thoughts on “Switch to FOSS | DuckDuckGo!

  1. Good to hear that more and more people are ditching google. Duckduckgo is a great alternative, but next to Duckduckgo I would like to add Startpage.com as a great private search engine. I especially like the ‘unbubble’ effect, making the results sometimes even better than google.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Missq for you comment. Yes! I’ve tried http://www.startpage.com and found it great, private, and secured 🙂 I’m thinking really of switching to it. However, it looks very similar to DDG! I mean, if someone used one of them, the user will never feel the difference! As if, I use the same search engine?
      What do you think?

      Like

  2. Hi Peter. Please do try StartPage.com for search privacy. You mention in your response to Missq that StartPage looks very similar to DuckDuckGo, but there are some very important differences:

    1. StartPage.com delivers actual Google search results–in privacy. Plus, they are delivered without the “search bubble.”

    2. StartPage.com offers a free proxy with every search result so users can optionally visit third-party websites through StartPage without anyone, even the ISP, website and its advertising partners seeing them, interacting with their browsers, or being able to infect their computers with malware, spyware or viruses. No other search engine offers this feature.

    3. StartPage.com is the only search engine that goes through in-depth audits to prove its privacy promises:

    -No IP addresses recorded
    -No tracking cookies used
    -No record made of users’ searches
    -No personal information logged

    (BTW – Important parts of DDG are not open source.)

    4. StartPage.com is located outside US jurisdiction so it is not subject to US National Security Letters and gag orders. Here’s an article about why this is so important for privacy: https://www.bestvpn.com/us-must-leave-privacy-firms-alone/

    5. StartPage is recommended by privacytools.io, and Edward Snowden has recommended StartPage no-logging privacy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_RnBX3l124

    Would love for you to write something up about StartPage.com! Please contact me with any questions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Liz McIntyre for your passing and leaving a comment 🙂

      Let me illuminate something to you, when I said that DDG is similar to StartPage, I meant in the features in both of them, according to StartPage’s “How we protect you”, I found there’s a big similarity in features like the private searching, no (sign in) button, no Ads, and so on. But, I didn’t know these fantastic features you have mentioned here.

      So that, I promise you to type an article about: https://www.startpage.com/, but, it will be after my final exams 🙂

      Thank you so much again dear McIntyre, and any comments or replies are welcomed 😀

      Like

  3. I applaud you. If you knew more about Google’s datacenter security company, G4 Secure Solutions (formerly Wackenhut), then you’d be actually upset about who now could have your browsing information. George Wackenhut and his three former-FBI agents/partners bragged that they had a private collection of dossiers on U.S. citizens that was bigger than the governments’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment and the information you gave me, every comment is written here gives me new pieces of information, and to be honest, I didn’t know these facts you’ve mentioned above, you really helped me with information I may use in the rest of my series’ articles 🙂

      “George Wackenhut and his three former-FBI agents/partners bragged that they had a private collection of dossiers on U.S. citizens that was bigger than the governments” – So, thanks God because I’m not American 😀

      Like

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