Search engines... which one is more private?
Search engines store information about us to later use it to sell us things, that's not a secret, that's why this last year I have become more aware than ever and I set myself the task of making my digital life more private. I started thinking about where to start, so I thought about where I spent most of my time online and suddenly Google popped into my mind. In this post I explain the best search engines that focus on protecting your privacy.
Neeva is a new search engine that has its own crawler called Neevabot. It is characterized by the absence of ads and its no-tracking policy.
Pros: The interface, as it is very useful and you can find all the information you need quickly; the possibility of connecting applications to customize the search, you can connect applications such as Dropbox, slack or github among others so that when you search for something you will see the information in your personal tab; the technical support and community, technical support is very fast and neeva has a wonderful community; its extension, is very good because it allows you to block cookies and trackers.
Cons: It is only available in the United States; only available in English, you can search in other languages but the results are of very low quality; the mobile application is quite basic and sometimes does not work; it is not available to add as a search engine in google chrome or firefox but you have to install an extension to use it, this extension is pretty crappy because it makes you search in google and then in neeva making the workflow slower; neeva's servers are in the united states which is detrimental as the united states has very weak data protection laws.
My verdict: Currently I don't use neeva because it is not available in Spanish and even though I can speak English my internet searches are usually in Spanish. Another thing that concerns me is that as I have commented above data like your login is stored in the US and the US laws on data protection are very weak compared to those of the EU. What I do have clear is that when it is available I will start using it as my main search engine.
DuckDuckGo is a metasearch engine that gets its results from Bing and Yandex. Besides not storing your personal data, it blocks the crawlers of the pages it indexes.
Pros: It's simple; it respects your privacy; its interface is nice; they have a blog that talks about privacy called Spread Privacy; it has shortcuts called !bangs that allow you to search through sites very quickly; it has a relay service that gives you an email address that blocks trackers and forwards all mail to your inbox; it offers a browser extension that blocks ads and trackers and rates sites with a grade that makes us aware of our privacy online.
Cons: Its data centers are located in the United States.
My verdict: This is the search engine I am currently using because it is fast and integrates very well with the vivaldi browser (browser I'm currently using).
Brave Search is a new search engine created by Brave, the company that created the Brave search engine. It has its own crawler but also uses anonymous google data to index its results.
Pros: Best results; seamless integration with other brave tools and the browser.
Cons: Searches are not perfect and sometimes show spammy or uninteresting content.
My verdict: Brave search is a very good search engine but I don't use it because it is very slow and as I said before sometimes unwanted content sneaks in.
Searx is an open source metasearch engine whose main objective is to protect user's privacy.
Pros: The data that is collected is stored by you. You can select the search engines from which you want to extract information.Being open source, you can customize the interface as much as possible.
Cons: You must have programming knowledge to be able to create your instance. You have to pay a hosting to store your instance.
My verdict: Without a doubt this is the most secure web browser but I would not recommend it for the general public because of its difficulty. To use it you have to deploy your own instance, you can always use a public one but it is not the best.
Startpage is a meta search engine that offers google results but protecting your privacy.
Pros: Simple and beautiful interface; servers in Europe
Cons: A little slow.
My verdict: This search engine offers the same as DuckDuckGo but in Europe and with google results so it would be a very good alternative.