Here we review and compare the Best Private Search Engines to help you decide the most secure search engine for useful search results:
Search Engines today have become so popular and ubiquitous that it is hard to imagine our lives without them. Google and Bing are household names and a staple of everyday Internet use. These engines allow you to instantly gain access to any information you desire, anytime and anywhere you want.
If current numbers are to be believed, then Google is enjoying a user base of nearly 4 billion worldwide. However, search engines like Google or Bing have gained quite a notoriety for themselves in recent years due to their dodgy privacy-violating tactics. They have drawn the ire of many users who are concerned with these engines tracking their online search activities.
When you enter your search query in Google, that particular query becomes a part of your online profile and search history. Although this helps Google provides its users with a more personalized experience, it invades your privacy. The more you use such tools, the more information about you is leaked into the big bad world of the Internet.
What You Will Learn:
Best Private Search Engines
Fortunately, unbeknownst to many, there are several legitimate alternatives to Google and Bing that uphold their user’s privacy. Internet is populated with search engines that help you maintain your anonymity online while searching for answers to your queries.
In this article, we will look at some of the best private search engines one can use to browse online without worry. We came up with this list based on how convenient these engines were to use, and their competency in providing appropriate search results every time.
- In your quest for the right search engine, you will come across many options that make promises of privacy but seldom deliver. Make sure you only opt for search engines that have a verified history of not tracking user data.
- These engines should process your search queries and instantly provide you with relevant search results every single time.
- It should harbor a user-friendly and immaculate interface that is easy to use and understand.
- It must provide a comprehensive setting option for a customized user experience.
Fact Check: According to Statcounter, Google is still the undisputed champion when it comes to market share, which is currently standing at 88.62%. It is followed closely by Bing and Yahoo, which stand at 5.73% and 2.99% respectively. The most popular private search engine in the United States- DuckDuckGo occupies fourth place with a market share of 2.27%.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q #1) Do private search engines use their user’s data?
Answer: Yes, Private Search Engines use their user’s data, but only to deliver appropriate search results. Unlike Google or Bing, they do not trace or track your movements online.
Q #2) What are the types of private search engines?
Answer: Mainly, there are two types of private search engines.
First, there are those who act like actual search engines that crawl different websites and glean through information to get users the answers they seek, and the second type, which is also known as meta-search or proxy search engines. These engines act as a bridge between search engines like Google and its users.
Q #3) Are private search engines legal to use?
Answer: Yes! It is both safe and legal to use private search engines like Startpage or DuckDuckGo in the United States. However, they are banned from use in some countries.
Q #4) Why is Google tracking user data such a big deal?
Answer: Google tracking user data help make their services more convenient to users. However, some may argue this comes at the cost of intrusiveness that can be difficult to fathom at times.
For example, Google data tracking can result in your search history being exposed through targeted advertising. You may also be assaulted with pop-ups and embarrassing ads while using your system in public.
Q #5) Can you safely use Google with your browser’s incognito mode switched on?
Answer: Not necessarily as Google will use your data and track your movements online anyway. The only way to browse safely on Google is with the help of a VPN.
Are Private Search Engines really Private?
Private Search engines are used because of their non-tracking capabilities. They don’t store the search information and maintain user privacy. Some private search engines don’t collect the data like IP addresses, browser fingerprints, and location information.
They will let you search without leaving a trace but the privacy offered is not the same for all. It depends on the business model of the search engine. Using a private search engine with a VPN will help you increase your anonymity.
After searching with the private search engine when you click on the search result the new site will not be able to trace your actual location or IP address if the VPN is used. Private search engines and VPN complement each other. IPVanish and Nord VPN are the trusted and popular VPNs.
=> NordVPN is the fastest VPN and provides safe access to the content. It allows being used on 6 devices with one account. It has an easy-to-use app. It can be used on all gadgets including smart TVs and routers. NordVPN has more than 5200 ultra-fast servers worldwide. The price starts at $3.30 per month for a 2-year plan. Its yearly & monthly plans are also available.
=> IPVanish offers secure access and high speeds. It has solutions for a Wi-Fi hotspot shield and safe file access. It provides powerful internet privacy and simplified data protection. It is a solution with features of advanced encryption, secure access, online anonymity, and unmetered connections. It is available with two pricing solutions, a 1-year plan ($47.99) and a 2-year plan ($95.98).
List of Best Anonymous Search Engine
Here is the list of popular private search engine:
- Disconnect Search
- Wolfram Alpha
Comparison Of Some Top Secure Search Engine
|Startpage||Un-profiled search results||Free|
|DuckDuckGo||No tracking search||Free|
|SearX||Decentralized Internet Surfing||Free|
|Qwant||Privacy Prioritizing Search||Free|
|Swisscows||Safe family friendly Search experience||Free|
Let us review these proxy search engines in detail below.
Best for un-profiled search results.
Startpage had a rocky beginning. Many dismissed it for sharing many similarities with Google. However, it has evolved into one of the best private search engine alternatives today. It abides by the promise of full-user privacy. It does not partake in selling or sharing your data.
It does away with third-party trackers or cookies that are normally found on other sites. You can safely use Startpage to browse the Internet in complete anonymity. It features a simple interface that can be customized according to your preference. You can switch between different colors and designs in a heartbeat.
- Customizable search engine
- No tracking of data
- No Filter Bubble
- Complete anonymous view
Verdict: Startpage with its simplistic interface and customizable design is aesthetically pleasing. It offers a beyond useful anonymous browsing experience that doesn’t track or share your data. Rest assured, your search queries aren’t being used to profile you online.
Best for no tracking search.
DuckDuckGo is undoubtedly one of the most popular private search engines on this list. It is a great engine to turn to if you are at all concerned with your queries being tracked. It has a very clean and user-friendly interface. You will find no ads here.
The engine comes with a browser extension, which you can employ to keep your online activity private. Perhaps its most compelling feature is called ‘Bangs’. You can instantly search for a particular query on another website within DuckDuckGo by simply typing a prefix.
- Simple UI with no ads
- Browser extension
- No tracking or sharing of user data
- Search for queries directly within another website from DuckDuckGo
Verdict: DuckDuckGo is a relatively more widely used secure search engine on this list. It provides users with an exceptional private browsing experience. The engine is simple to use and comes with a browser extension that makes anonymous browsing more convenient.
Best for decentralized Internet surfing.
While not as smooth as the former two engines on this list, searX is still an effective meta-search engine. It works to present the user with a decentralized outlook on the Internet. The search engine has a bare-minimum appeal, offering its users nothing but a giant search bar to enter their queries.
The engine also offers several great preferences and setting options, thus making it more flexible to use. It is also incredibly fast, providing you with appropriate results for your queries in an instant. You also get the option to customize this engine in order to host it on your server as your own personal search engine.
- Complete user privacy
- Proxy search
- Fully customizable
Verdict: searX is an open-source proxy search engine that is effective in providing an anonymous browsing experience to users who like to remain private. The fact that it can be customized to be used as one’s personal private engine is why it is so high on this list.
Best for privacy prioritizing search.
Qwant is a full privacy prioritizing search engine that takes pride in not recording its user’s search queries or selling their personal details to advertisers. Originating in France, the search engine is graced with a clean, user-friendly interface.
The engine categorizes your results in three key categories, mainly news, social, and web. It also uses AI to provide its users with a dedicated music section that exists solely to help music lovers discover new songs and lyrics.
Scrolling below its search bar will present you with a section reserved for hot trends. Here you get instant access to current events happening in the world. There is also a Qwant Junior section dedicated to catering to children.
- No tracking search
- Dedicated music and children section
- Categorizing search results automatically
- Clean and simple UI
Verdict: Qwant is assisted in its offering of an intuitive search experience by an AI that simplifies the process by categorizing search results into different sections. It adheres to a strict no tracking policy, so you safely surf the Internet while remaining completely anonymous.
Best for a safe family-friendly search experience.
Swisscows provides users with an anonymous search engine that is designed to cater to families. Based in Switzerland, the engine works on servers based in its home region and does not employ cloud in its functioning.
It integrates seamlessly with your browser and can be easily set as your default browser page. The engine does not track your online searches or sell your data to advertisers. It also blocks all pornographic and sexual content, thus making it an ideal family search engine.
- No tracking and sharing of data
- Family-friendly content only
- Seamlessly integrates with the browser
- Set multiple regions and language preferences.
Verdict: Swisscows may not have the best interface, but it is still an effective search engine that protects your privacy while online. It allows you to search the web with customizable language and region preferences. We recommend this engine for families who don’t want their children accessing egregious content online.
Best for uncensored search engine.
MetaGer is the complete opposite of Swisscows while being similar in their service. They are both search engines that prioritize user privacy. However, while Swisscows blocks certain inappropriate content, MetaGer relishes being the provider of an unabashed uncensored search engine. MetaGer comes with a browser extension and can be used as your own default engine.
You can browse for anything with MetaGer and get instant access to it. They are a non-profit organization and stand to gain nothing by selling your private data. It provides unfiltered and unbiased search results as it ignores click-through rates. MetaGer also allows you to access maps and plan your routes without tracing your location.
- Unbiased and unfiltered search engine
- Browser extension available
- Access maps without location tracking
Verdict: MetaGer is strongly against censorship of any form and caters to users who share the same sentiment. It provides unfiltered, diverse results for your search queries in an instant. It seamlessly integrates with your browser, which allows you to easily set it up as your default search engine.
Best for category-based search.
Mojeek is a unique search engine on this list. It values a user’s privacy and does not track or share user data. However, it does distinguish itself in one crucial way. It categorizes its user’s search preferences. Search results are classified into three key sections – web, images, and news. There is a fourth category that really makes this engine unique.
It allows you to narrow down your search results on the basis of emotions. You can engage in searches by clicking on an icon that each represents a different emotion. Based on these icons, you can look for results that emphasize laughter, sadness, anger, love, and amazement.
- Private search
- Classify search by news, web, and images
- Classify search by 5 emotions
- Set customized preferences
Verdict: Mojeek demands a try solely because of its new emotion-based search classification, which is currently in demo mode. Apart from this, it is a standard private search engine that allows users to enjoy an anonymous Internet browsing experience.
#8) Disconnect Search
Best for meta-search engine.
Disconnect Search acts as a bridge between users and search engines like DuckDuckGo, Yahoo, and Bing. It provides a secure search experience by getting search results from third-party search engines but presenting them in a more secure manner.
So you can safely browse the Internet under the added cloud of anonymity. There is no tracking of your data or sharing of your data with advertisers. The engine is also very basic, with no unnecessary filters and setting options.
Disconnect Search also comes with a browser extension that allows you to block tracking sites and load pages faster.
- Anonymous search experience
- Proxy for search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo
- Browser extension
- Load pages faster
Verdict: Disconnect Search is a proxy search engine that reroutes search results from sites like DuckDuckGo, Bing, and Yahoo in the added cloak of anonymity. It blocks sites that track your data, loads pages faster, and allows you to view advertising requests pre-emptively in a bid to protect your privacy.
Website: Disconnect Search
Best for eco-friendly private search engine.
Ecosia positions itself as an eco-friendly alternative to search engines, apart from being a private alternative to them as well. Unbeknownst to many, heavy search engine use can cause increased CO2 emissions. Powered by Bing, Ecosia presents a private search engine that uses its generated revenue to plant trees.
Apart from this unique premise, it stands strong as a powerful anonymous search engine. It doesn’t track your information or share it. It also doesn’t monitor your search queries for user profiling.
The engine also comes as a browser extension and a mobile app, both work in a similar fashion to uphold user privacy.
- CO2 neutral search engine
- Integrates with Chrome
- Mobile app available
- No tracking and sharing of data
Verdict: Ecosia takes an altruistic approach to the concept of search engine. It will entice environmental activists and other individuals who share the same values being served by this search engine. Apart from this, the engine works as a decent private search engine that is easy to use.
Best for Academia search engine.
When it comes to search engines, it doesn’t get any more unique than WolframAlpha. This is a private search engine that emphasizes academic search queries above anything else. Students and eager learners can come here to get appropriate results for their mathematical, scientific, cultural, or societal queries.
The search criterion is classified into four key sections, with further classification within these categories. The search engine can compute queries pertaining to Mathematics, Science and Technology, Society and Culture, and Everyday Life.
You can also upload images to find results pertaining to that image. It comes with a browser extension as well as a mobile app with customizable preferences.
- Compute complex Academic search queries
- Customizable search preferences and settings
- Mobile app available
- Upload images
Verdict: WolframAlpha is a great private search engine for students, educators, and anyone eager to learn. It can expertly compute complex equations and answer cultural queries without a hassle. Additionally, it also allows you to initiate a search by uploading an image. It is easy to use as both a mobile app as well as a desktop web page.
Price: Free, $4.75 annual Pro Plan, $7.99 annual Pro Premium Plan
At a time when data breaches have destroyed lives and tanked businesses, the demand for privacy is at an all-time high. Internet is a blessing that can turn into a curse instantaneously if malicious characters online get access to your browsing data. As popular search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo fail at this, we must turn to other engines that do value their user’s privacy.
All the above-mentioned tools do just that while being easy to use and providing appropriate search results. You can browse anonymously knowing your search queries aren’t being logged or tracked by your search engine.
As for our recommendation, if you are looking for a search engine that has already garnered a decent amount of loyal user-base, then go for DuckDuckGo. For a more customized user experience with added benefits of private Internet surfing, we recommend Startpage.
Recommended Reading =>> Top 10 BEST Browsers For PC
- We spent 10 hours researching and writing this article so you can have summarized and insightful information on which private search engine will best suit you.
- Total Private Search Engines Researched – 22
- Total Private Search Engines Shortlisted – 10