According to Wired, if you want to better secure your personal information, you can use DuckDuckGo, Startpage, Mojeek, Neva instead of Google.
Google’s ecosystem of products is very diverse, this is where you can surf the web, send an email, backup photos, watch YouTube videos, search for directions … and store data. All of these Google services have more than 1 billion users, but the most deeply integrated and familiar to us is Google Search.
According to statistics, as of June 2021, Google’s search market share on computers and phones reached 87% and 94%, respectively. However, recently the company has been constantly in trouble with regulators around the world because of allegations related to monopoly issues.
Of course, Google is not the only search engine on the Internet today, but all the other companies accept that they cannot compete with Google’s size. Instead, they try to find users by promoting privacy, not collecting personal data. The business model of these search engines does not revolve around selling ads based on user habits.
Sometimes this may not provide the exact same search experience as Google, but this is something you have to make if you don’t want your personal information to be collected. Here are 4 alternative Google search engines that you can try:
The first candidate is DuckDuckGo (founded in 2008), this is a familiar name today for many Internet users. At the beginning of 2021, DuckDuckGo – The first privacy-focused search engine had more than 100 million daily queries.
The company said that when users search through DuckDuckGo, the results will be pulled from Bing (Microsoft) and 400 different sources. Query keywords, personal data, IP address… or any user identification number (ID) will not be collected and stored.
DuckDuckGo also earns revenue by displaying ads around search results. However, unlike Google, these ads are completely random, rather than based on user interests and data.
If you want to get Google search results but don’t use Google, Startpage will be the right choice.
Startpage was founded in the Netherlands in 2006. The company says it won’t store users’ personal data or search history, and blocks trackers and targeted ads.
On the official website, Startpage says the company will anonymously submit your query to Google, then return corresponding results.
The experience using Startpage isn’t quite the same as Google’s, but the results are. For example, if you search for Scarlett Johansson on Google, it will return results that include her latest tweets, videos, and corresponding images. Meanwhile, Startpage will only return URLs (links), other clutter will be removed.
Mojeek (launched in 2006 in the UK) does not use search results from other engines, instead, the company uses its own web index.
Currently, Mojeek has indexed more than 4 billion web pages, this is nothing compared to the 30 trillion web pages that Google has indexed (statistics in 2013), however, the company says it completely controls the search results displayed.
The company argues that there should be alternatives to those controlled by Big Tech (big tech companies). “We use our own algorithm to show results that are accurate and unbiased,” the company said in 2018.
Similar to other search engines, Mojeek says that they do not collect personal data, IP addresses, search history… all results are based on what the user has entered.
This tool was founded in 2019 by two former Googlers. Instead of using ads to make money, Neeva earns revenue by asking users to pay 5 USD / month and completely remove 100% of ads.
Neeva focuses mainly on blocking ads and trackers, but unlike the search engines above, Neeva does collect data on usage, search history, IP address, etc., and will delete everything after 90 days.
The company’s search results mostly come from Bing, although the map results come from Google. Neeva lets you link Gmail and other online accounts to display all of your search results in one place.
How to change your browser’s default search engine
If you’re using the Google Chrome browser on your computer, right-click the search bar and select Manage search engines.
Next, users just need to select the available search engines in the list of suggestions, click on the three-dot icon and select Set default (set as default). Of course, you can completely add other search engines that are not on the list.
Following the European Union’s anti-competitive ruling in July 2018, Google added an option to allow users to change the default search engine on Android. To do this, open the Chrome browser and click on the three-dot icon in the upper right corner, then select Settings – Search engine.
For iPhone or iPad, to change the default search engine, go to Settings – Safari – Search Engine and follow the instructions.