Duckduckgo Browser Privacy For PC Archives

Duckduckgo Browser Privacy For PC Archives

Duckduckgo Browser Privacy For PC Archives

Duckduckgo Browser Privacy For PC Archives

12 Things DuckDuckGo Can Do That Google Can't

Search engines have evolved to make it easier to find the information you need without having to go through different websites. Google has the Knowledge Graph feature that shows a neat box with useful information above (or beside) search results. It can do cool things such as calculations, show flight information and even currency conversion.

Although these features are incredibly useful, Google Knowledge Graph has its shortcomings. The biggest problem is that results are not uniform. When we were digging through Knowledge Graph features to find cool things you didn't know you could do with Google, we noticed that the results were not always the same. When one person searched for Apple stocks, Google showed him regular search results, but when a colleague searched for the same term, he was shown current stock information along with a nice price versus time graph.

These limitations made us look for alternatives and we found one that impressed us with its utility - DuckDuckGo. We've previously mentioned DuckDuckGo, a privacy-focussed search engine, in an article on how to stop Google from tracking you. DuckDuckGo is a search engine that shows the same results for a search term to all its users. This is unlike Google, which filters search results based on the sites you have been visiting. It is also now possible to set DuckDuckGo as a default search engine in iOS 8 as well as OS X so you can get the instant search results just by typing your query into the Safari browser. Of course you can also use DuckDuckGo in Chrome or Firefox by visiting DuckDuckGo.com and clicking the Use in Chrome or Use in Firefox button.

Because it doesn't try to personalise results, DuckDuckGo's instant answers work for everyone and it has a great community of developers and users that are constantly adding new sources for answers. After using DuckDuckGo as our primary search engine for quite some time, we found that its instant answers are often as good as or better than Google's Knowledge Graph. Here are 12 amazing things DuckDuckGo can do that Google can't.

1. Social media bio
DuckDuckGo lets you see the social media profiles of people without leaving the search engine. So, search for @ndtvgadgets and you can see full the profile information on the same page. The same thing works for Google+ and Gravatar as well. To look up a Twitter bio, you need to search for the handle. For Google+, type G+ and then the name of the user. For Gravatar, just type Gravatar, and then the username you want to look up.

Another cool feature that is related is letting you search inside other sites. With Google, you can use the site: modifier to search for results within a particular site, but then you still have to open the link to see the results. With DuckDuckGo, you can use the site's own search functions.

For example, if you want to search for someone's details on LinkedIn, you don't need to open the site. Just type "!linkedin" followed by the person's name, and you will see the LinkedIn search results page. You can do this with a large number of websites; !g lets you search with Google, !a is Amazon, !r is Reddit, just to name a few. You can see the full list by just typing ! in the DuckDuckGo search bar.

2. App store search, alternatives to apps
Search for any popular app on DuckDuckGo and you will find that it shows a carousel full of apps with similar names. Just search for NDTV Gadgets app to see what we mean. Clicking on any one of the cards on the carousel will show you the price of the app, a description and links to the store. We found that this feature doesn't work with very obscure apps, but it can find most of the well-known ones.

Another useful feature shows alternatives to apps in a neat carousel. Tired of MS Office? Just search for "Alternative to Word" and see the results for yourself. It also works for Web services, so you can even search for "Alternative to DuckDuckGo", if you like.

3. Shorten and expand links
Want to find out which websites are at the end of shortened links such as http://bit.ly/1tYrmaB ? Open DuckDuckGo and search "expand http://bit.ly/1tYrmaB". Also, if you want to shorten long URLs, enter "shorten https://gadgets.ndtv.com/mobiles/news/android-browser-security-hole-affects-millions-of-users-says-expert-592578" to get a URL shortened using is.gd.

4. Generate passwords
Can't think of a strong password? Just head to DuckDuckGo and search for "Password 20". You'll see a strong 20-character password. You can replace the number to change the number of characters in the password. If you find those random passwords hard to remember, you can make DuckDuckGo generate XKCD-style passwords. These passwords comprise four common words put together, which are easy to remember and hard to crack, and were first suggested in the popular Web comic XKCD. For these passwords, search "Random passphrase".

5. Quick stopwatch
Both Google and DuckDuckGo let you create a quick timer (search for "timer") but DuckDuckGo also has a stopwatch. Simply search for "stopwatch" to use it.

6. Change case and check number of characters
Want to change a sentence to Title Case, lowercase or UPPERCASE? Just add one of those three terms before your sentence and key it in on DuckDuckGo. For example, "Uppercase ndtv gadgets" leads to "NDTV GADGETS".

Another interesting feature is the number of characters. You can quickly check how many characters are in your search query by adding "chars" before or after the query. Try searching for "chars I really like this article" without the quotes and see the results.

7. Checks whether websites are down
If you can't open a website, you might want to check if it is not opening anywhere or just on your computer. You can use websites such as isup.me to check this or you can simply search DuckDuckGo with the keywords like, "Is gadgets.ndtv.com down for me".

8. Does mime rhyme with time
You read that right. DuckDuckGo also has an instant answer that finds rhyming words. Search "rhymes with ndtv" or any other word you can think of. You'll see an instant answer with rhyming words, from RhymeBrain.

9. Calendar
Google and DuckDuckGo can show you the current date and time. But DuckDuckGo goes one step further by supporting calendar as an instant answer. Search "calendar" to see one, with the current date highlighted. It can also show you the calendar for any month and year. Try searching for "calendar january 1899".

10. Loan calculator
Another useful DuckDuckGo instant answer is a loan calculator. It's useful if you want to see how much your monthly installments will be and how much interest you'll be paying in total. The search query for this is a little hard to remember, like the terms and conditions for most loan agreements. It is "loan AMOUNT at INTEREST with PERCENT down for DURATION". All the uppercase words are what you need to key in - total amount, interest rate, down payment percentage and the duration of the loan. We tried "loan Rs 50,00,000 at 4.5% with 25% down for 15 years" to get the answer in the picture below.

11. Cool features for developers
There are several instant answers that will be useful to software developers, but might be less important for the general public. Here's a quick list of what DuckDuckGo can do:

12. Add instant answers to other search engines
If you like all these instant answers but don't want to leave your favourite search engine, just download the DuckDuckGo extension on Chrome, Safari or Firefox. Now whenever you search, you'll see DuckDuckGo's instant answers above search results in any search engine.

Bonus
There are several other instant answers on DuckDuckGo that are quite cool, but not very useful. That's why these are included as a bonus in this article. Here's a quick list of some of the best we could find.

These were the best instant answers we could find on DuckDuckGo and none of those are available on Google. Which is your favourite DuckDuckGo instant answer? Which one of these did you find useful? Let us know via the comments.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Pranay ParabEmail Pranay Pranay is in charge of podcasts and videos at Gadgets 360. Over the years, he has written over 500 tutorials on iPhone, Android, Windows, and Mac. He has also written in-depth reported features on the intersection of technology and culture, reviewed fitness wearables, been the social media manager, started two podcasts, and produced several tech videos. He loves travelling, particularly to places not frequented by tourists. He keeps running half-marathons across the country and hopes to complete ...More

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, Duckduckgo Browser Privacy For PC Archives

17 Great Search Engines You Can Use Instead of Google

Google has transcended from being just another search engine.

It has become ubiquitous, often used as a transitive verb.

If you have any doubts, just Google it!

With its ever-evolving algorithms, a dominant online advertising platform, and personalized user experience, Google has amassed a global market share of 87%.

No one serves up better search results than Google.

At least that’s the common perception.

but is that always the case?

Google’s easy-to-use interface and personalized user experience comes at a cost.

It’s no secret the search engine giant catalogs the browsing habits of its users and shares that information with advertisers and other interested parties.

If you are unwilling to trade privacy for convenience or have specific search needs, there are a number of Google alternatives that offer a better search experience.

Here are 17 search alternatives to Google.

1. Bing

As of January 2020, Microsoft sites handled a quarter of all search queries in the United States.

One could argue that Bing actually outperforms Google in certain respects.

For starters, Bing has a rewards program that allows one to accumulate points while searching. These points are redeemable at the Microsoft and Windows stores, which is a nice perk.

In my view, the Bing image search GUI is superior to its rival’s and much more intuitive.

Bing carries that same clean user experience to video, making it the go-to source for video search without a YouTube bias.

2. Yandex

Looking for a search perspective outside of the United States?

Yandex is used by more than 45% of Russian Internet users.

It is also used in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Turkey, and Ukraine.

Yandex is an overall easy-to-use search engine. As an added bonus, it offers a suite of some pretty cool tools.

3. CC Search

CC Search should be your first stop on the hunt for nearly any type of copyright-free content.

This search engine is perfect if you need music for a video, an image for a blog post, or anything else without worrying about an angry artist coming after you for ripping off their work.

The way CC Search works is simple – it draws in results from platforms such as Soundcloud, Wikimedia, and Flickr and displays results labeled as Creative Commons material.

If privacy is important to you, consider:

4. Swisscows

Swisscows is a unique option on this list, billing itself as a family-friendly semantic search engine.

They also pride themselves in respecting users’ privacy, never collecting, storing or tracking data.

It uses artificial intelligence to determine the context of a user’s query.

Over time, Swisscows promises to answer your questions with surprising accuracy.

5. DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo doesn’t collect or store any of your personal information.

That means you can run your searches in peace without having to worry about the boogeyman watching you through your computer screen.

DuckDuckGo is the perfect choice for those who wish to keep their browsing habits and personal information private.

6. StartPage

StartPage serves up answers from Google, making it the perfect choice for those who prefer Google’s search results, but aren’t keen on having their search history tracked and stored.

It also includes a URL generator, a proxy service, and HTTPS support.

The URL generator is especially useful because it eliminates the need to collect cookies.

Instead, it remembers your settings in a way that promotes privacy.

7. Search Encrypt

Search Encrypt is a private search engine that uses local encryption to ensure your searches remain private.

It uses a combination of encryption methods that include Secure Sockets Layer encryption and AES-256 encryption.

When you input a query, Search Encrypt will pull the results from its network of search partners and deliver the requested information.

One of the best parts of Search Encrypt is that your search terms will eventually expire, so your information will remain private even if someone has local access to your computer.

8. Gibiru

According to their website, “Gibiru is the preferred Search Engine for Patriots.”

They claim their search results are sourced from a modified Google algorithm, so users are able to query the information they seek without worrying about Google’s tracking activities.

Because Gibiru doesn’t install tracking cookies on your computer they purport to be faster than “NSA Search Engines.”

9. OneSearch

Verizon Media launched its privacy-focused search engine, OneSearch, in January 2020.

It promises:

  • No cookie tracking, retargeting, or personal profiling.
  • No sharing of personal data with advertisers.
  • No storing of user search history.
  • Unbiased, unfiltered search results.
  • Encrypted search terms.

Looking for crowd sourced search results? Then try…

10. Wiki.com

Wiki.com pulls its results from thousands of wikis on the net.

It is the perfect search engine for those who appreciate community-led information as found on sites like Wikipedia.

11. Boardreader

If you’re interested in finding a forum or message board about a specific subject, Boardreader should be the first place you turn to.

This search engine queries its results from a wide variety of message boards and forums online. You should be able to find the forum you want with just a few keystrokes.

Prefer search engines with a mission of doing social good? Check out:

12. giveWater

GiveWater is a self-described “social impact search engine” which aims to have a positive impact on the world by empowering users to solve the issue of poor quality water and ineffective sanitation across the developing world.

It was founded after the company’s CEO met the founder of Charity: Water, Scott Harrison and was inspired to try to make a difference through his own work.

13. Ekoru

Ekoru is taking on the ever-present threat of climate change by donating 60% of its monthly revenue to one of several partner charities, ranging from those focusing on reforestation and climate action to those who are dedicated to animal welfare and conservation.

They also aim to select a different charitable cause every month.

Interestingly, Ekoru puts its money where its mouth is, using renewable energy sources for its data centers and taking a stand for civil rights by not storing any user or search-related data on their servers.

14. Ecosia

Looking to save the planet, one tree at a time? Then check out this environmentally friendly search engine!

This may come as a surprise, but your Google searches actually contribute to the creation of quite a bit of CO2.

To battle this issue, Ecosia uses the revenues generated from search engine queries to plant trees. Typically Ecosia needs around 45 searches to plant a new tree.

One can debate if the following are search engines, but there is no question there’s loads of information to be found at:

15. Twitter

Twitter is hard to beat as a real-time search engine. It’s the perfect place to go for minute by minute updates in the case of an emergency.

Google’s algorithm will catch up eventually, but nothing beats a Tweet in the heat of the moment.

16. SlideShare

SlideShare allows you to search for documented slideshow presentations.

You can also search for ebooks and PDFs, making it an excellent tool if you have a business presentation to prepare for.

SlideShare also allows you to save slides and even download the entire slideshow for use on your local computer.

17. Internet Archive

The Wayback Machine is great for researching old websites, but it’s so much more.

As the name implies, this search engine queries a massive collection of documented material, including millions of free videos, books, music, and software.

Essentially, the Internet Archive is a vast online library where you can access just about anything you could imagine.

The Takeaway

Google may be the most popular choice in search engines, but it may not always be the best choice, depending on your needs and priorities.

Many of these alternative search engines can provide a better user experience than Google.

Whether you are concerned about privacy or just want to explore your options, there are plenty of search engines to experiment with.

Do yourself a favor and give some of these a try.

More Resources:


Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, March 2020

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Duckduckgo Browser Privacy For PC Archives

Can DuckDuckGo replace Google search while offering better privacy?

So is DuckDuckGo no good? Surprised you did not mention it. Murray

Following last week’s article about privacy and surveillance capitalism, several readers wrote in about the absence of DuckDuckGo, and it was mentioned a dozen times in the comments. I have suggested this privacy-oriented search engine a few times since 2012, and I think it’s worth a go. However, I’m answering Murray’s earlier query along the same lines because I can use his email verbatim rather than cobbling together a joint question from multiple sources.

I will admit that Google is generally the best search engine. I was an early adopter and often recommended it. Google was also attractive because its home page wasn’t stuffed with advertising, and because of the company’s old motto: “Don’t be evil”. This was a bit of a jab at competitors, who were said to be “kind of exploiting the users to some extent”. How times change.

Google’s prowess at search and its success at selling advertising created a virtuous circle. More users and more money led to bigger indexes of web pages, more servers and faster responses, along with better algorithms created by growing numbers of super-smart computer scientists. Adding Gmail, Maps and the Chrome browser reinforced its power. Nobody else could keep up.

Google Search soon became one of the web’s category-defining behemoths along with, for example, Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Gmail, Instagram, YouTube and Wikipedia.

Dominant web properties can decline dramatically – it happened to AOL and Yahoo, as Data Is Beautiful’s animated video shows – but most survive for a long time.

Theoretically, upstarts can displace incumbents by using new technologies to offer an (initially) inferior but cheaper product to a larger market, as described in Clayton Christensen’s book, The Innovator’s Dilemma. This appears to be impossible with Google Search, because its price is zero and its reach is almost unlimited. (Baidu dominates in China and Yandex is popular in Russia.) Google therefore looks impregnable, unless it loses its grip on the advertising market – no money, no search – or the US government intervenes.

Pitching privacy

But Google has a weakness, privacy, which DuckDuckGo attacks. Indeed, it describes itself as “the internet privacy company” where Google is obviously “the internet advertising company”.

It follows through with a Firefox extension, DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials, its Privacy Weekly newsletter, a blog at spreadprivacy.com, and annual donations to privacy causes. The blog offers practical advice, which includes suggesting alternatives to other Google products.

Google Search is free at the point of use, but the company makes more than $100bn (£76bn) a year from advertising based on tracking and targeting users. DuckDuckGo is therefore undercutting Google “on price” by not collecting any information, not storing your searches, and not tracking you across the web. This means it can’t sell personalised advertising, and it can’t deliver personalised search results. Also, governments can’t get your data, because there isn’t any.

None the less, DuckDuckGo does have ways to make money, and it is profitable. Mainly, it uses the old idea of selling ads against search queries. If you search for cars, you are likely to see car ads. This is probably how most search engines make most of their money.

In a blog post, DuckDuckGo argues that Google’s and Facebook’s business models “don’t need to be this invasive. It is a choice to squeeze every last ounce of profit at the expense of privacy, democracy and society. A choice they don’t have to make. Without all this tracking, I’m confident they would still be among the most profitable companies in the world, and we’d all be better off.”

Google search quality

Google should deliver the best search results because it has the biggest, freshest index of websites and the smartest search algorithms. However, this does not guarantee the best results. DuckDuckGo can compete because, sometimes, less is more.

Personalised search is great in theory but can be flawed in reality. For example, if people are wrong about, say, vaccinations or climate change, personalised search could end up reinforcing their misconceptions instead of correcting them. This is known as the “filter bubble” problem.

Also, ultimately, it is more profitable for Google’s algorithms to keep users clicking, even if they end up in a swamp of conspiracy theories on crackpot websites. Of which there are many.

Further, even the biggest, freshest web index may have drawbacks. Google’s results can be swamped by blogspam – quick knockoffs of news stories that contain no original thought, and no original reporting. Good quality articles can get buried where hardly anybody will find them.

Google tries to deliver the results most people want, which works because most people are terrible at searching. Even half-baked questions can get impressive results. But if you’re an expert searcher, like me, Google’s algorithms can seem to ignore what you’ve typed in. In these circumstances, using the “verbatim” command forces Google to pay attention to the words in my query. It can make an astonishing difference to the results, but why should I have to do that?

Google’s search results have also been “gamed” for commercial or political reasons, or just for fun. This year, the “bad writers” of Game of Thrones Season 8 were “Google bombed”. How far can you trust search results when members of a Reddit forum can manipulate them?

Life after Google

A good guide to DuckDuckGo has been written by its founder, Gabriel Weinberg, on Quora. I’m assuming you will read this, so I don’t have to devote 1,000 words to describing it. Suffice it to say that DuckDuckGo works exactly how you would expect a search engine to work.

Of course, you’ll only find out how well DuckDuckGo works for you by trying it. I’ll be amazed if it doesn’t answer more than half your search queries, but if you want a second opinion, you can always send your current search to Google just by putting !g in front of it. No retyping required.

The stumbling blocks for me are: (1) DuckDuckGo’s lack of custom date ranges, which both Google and Bing offer; and (2) it doesn’t do reverse image searches, which I use for double-checking pictures posted on Facebook and Twitter.

DuckDuckGo is a little less convenient than Google in that, as far as I can tell, you can’t see the options for things like image search, maps, news and shopping without first doing a text search. However, you can send queries to other search engines from DuckDuckGo by using bang (!) commands, as mentioned above. For example, starting a search query with !a will search Amazon, !m will search Google Maps, !r will search Reddit and !w will search Wikipedia.

If DuckDuckGo’s ancillary searches don’t work well enough for your purposes, don’t go straight back to Google. Here, Bing Maps and OpenStreetMap are good alternatives to Google Maps. Yandex’s Image Search and reverse image searches are better than Google’s. Bing News is competitive for news. Wolfram Alpha is a great “computation engine” that can do many things better than Google, as well as many things Google cannot do.

Finally, if you really don’t like DuckDuckGo’s main search results, there are lots of alternatives. StartPage, Swisscows, Qwant and Yippy are all privacy oriented. Switzerland’s Swisscows can draw “semantic maps” based on filtering results by their contexts (eg Windows OS updates vs windows and doors). France’s Qwant uses the ampersand for the equivalent of bang commands (for example, &a searches Amazon and &w searches Wikipedia). MetaGer and SearX.me are both privacy-respecting metasearch engines, which means they base their results on other search engines. SearX.me is particularly impressive in the options it offers after you have run a search.

You will miss a few things if you stop using Google. You will miss far more if you never use anything else.

Have you got a question? Email it to Ask.Jack@theguardian.com

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