DuckDuckGo. You might not have heard of it, but it is a very good web browser that works great on Android and iOS. Is it a Chrome killer? I happen to think it is because I have been using it for months now and I haven’t been back to Chrome once.
DuckDuckGo is ALL about privacy – like Vivaldi. It doesn’t do personalized results nor does it store your IP address, user logs, cookies or anything else that could be used to track you online. It’s certainly different to how Google does things. But it 100% works and I definitely consider myself one of the converted.
Why did I go to DuckDuckGo? Simple: I don’t really like anything that Google does regarding my data; it’s kind of scary just how much information Google has on its users. And then you have things like Incognito Mode not actually living up to its name – it’s not private, basically!
DuckDuckGo vs. Google – What is DuckDuckGo?
So I started looking for alternatives. I used Firefox for a bit, which was OK, but then I happened across DuckDuckGo and, well… I was very impressed. And this was surprising for a few reasons:
- I didn’t think its results would be up to scratch when compared to Google.
- I didn’t think the browser would all that stable.
- I felt like it’d lack some of the core features you expect from a browser.
- I didn’t believe it was 100% private; figured there had to be a catch.
But I was WRONG on all counts. Not only is DuckDuckGo super quick to load web pages and very stable, but it also delivers true, private browsing as well as the ability to remove ALL your browsing data whenever you like (just hit the fire icon inside the browser).
DuckDuckGo Privacy Settings
I was impressed; that is easily one of the best privacy policies from a search engine company I have ever read. Like everything else to do with DuckDuckGo, it’s simple and to the point. And this has been a key driving factor behind DuckDuckGo’s impressive growth over the past several years.
“Our outsized growth in 2018 was inextricably connected to the groundswell of privacy interest that characterized the year,” said DuckDuckGo. “Through research we conducted in 2018, it became very apparent that more people are searching for privacy-focused alternatives, and that there is a need for more education on how to take control of your privacy online, as major tech companies like Facebook and Google revealed huge breaches of consumer data.”
And some of the highlights of that research are pretty eye-opening too, as you can see below:
- After Cambridge Analytica scandal, 64.7% of US adults grew more concerned about online privacy and secrecy.
- 44% of US adults DID NOT know that Google owned YouTube
- 50% of US adults had NO IDEA that Facebook owned WhatsApp
- 56% of US adults did not know Facebook owned Instagram
- 56% did not know Google owned Waze
DuckDuckGo How Does It Work?
DuckDuckGo pulls information from over 400 sources to generate its search results. These sources include: Yahoo! Search BOSS, Wikipedia, Wolfram Alpha, Bing, and its own Web crawler (the DuckDuckBot).
I’ve been using DuckDuckGo for a good while now, and the results it is giving me are great. Not only am I finding new sites and sources to read, as how sites are ranked is slightly different from Google, but it has delivered solid, reliable performance across the board ever since I installed it.
It’s fast, secure, and private – what more could you want from a web browser on your phone?
DuckDuckGo: How To Set It As The Default Search Engine In Chrome, Safari, and Firefox
Setting DuckDuckGo to be your default search engine is easy to do on all the major browsers. Here’s how:
- Click Safari > Preferences
- Click Search.
- From the “Search Engine” dropdown menu, select DuckDuckGo.
- Click Chrome > Preferences
- Click Search Engine.
- From the “Search engine used in the address bar” dropdown menu, select DuckDuckGo.
- Click Chrome > Preferences
- Click Search.
- From the “Default Search Engine” dropdown menu, select DuckDuckGo.
DuckDuckGo: Final Thoughts
Prior to using DuckDuckGo, I figured it’d feel like a poor man’s Google, that it wouldn’t work quite as well, and maybe create a few more problems than it solved. But I was wrong – it really is a very well put together search engine.
The results I get are always reliable, the load times are brilliant, and it renders everything perfectly. In fact, my Chrome browser crashes more than DuckDuckGo does, so if this is something you’re concerned about, you needn’t be. In my experience, it’s solid as a rock.
DuckDuckGo is still TINY compared to Google (and even Bing), but it is still definitely worth a look, especially if you value privacy and want to browse online without having your details saved and store on servers.
I went in extremely skeptical, but I came out converted. I now use DuckDuckGo exclusively on my Android phone. It more than delivers the goods, is simple to use, and has everything you could possibly want from a modern browser.
Do yourself a favour and download it now!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why should I use DuckDuckGo instead of Google?
The #1 reason you should use DuckDuckGo instead of Google is for privacy. Google is a company that makes its money by tracking you around the web and selling ad targeting based on your data. If you care about your privacy, search with DuckDuckGo.
Q: Is DuckDuckGo owned by Google?
Nope. It’s owned by Duck Duck Go, Inc. That’s a company based in Paoli, Pennsylvania. As of 2021, they have a little over 120 employees.
Q: Is DuckDuckGo a virus?
Ah…nope. It’s a search engine. And it’s a great one. DuckDuckGo is a must-use search engine for those who care about their privacy.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.