What search engine does DuckDuckGo use
The information portal for safe cell phone use
This is DuckDuckGo
DuckDuckGo is arguably the most popular privacy-friendly search engine. Some browsers, including Mozilla's Firefox and Apple's Safari, have now added them to their list of standard search engines. DuckDuckGo was founded in 2008 by the US company DuckDuckGo Inc.
According to the manufacturer, DuckDuckGo builds its own website index, but also accesses 400 external sources - including the conventional search engines Yandex and Bing (Microsoft). In addition, DuckDuckGo also offers a search for images and videos.
The search engine uses maps from Apple for the integrated location search. Since October 2020, the location search has the "Directions" route planner function. It appears in location-based search results and in the map menu and offers route options for drivers and pedestrians. The directions are already available in German, the main menu so far only in English. According to its own information, the operator does not collect any information about users.
Business model: advertising
DuckDuckGo switches advertisements based on search terms. The ads are displayed equally to all users who enter a certain search term - there is no personalization whatsoever.
The search engine aims to show the best results for every search. This differentiates the service from conventional search engines, which often take into account which results are clicked most frequently by users.
Browser app with additional functions
In addition to the pure web search engine, DuckDuckGo also offers a Firefox browser extension (add-on) and the "DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser" app for Android and iOS. The Android app is open source and therefore also available in the consumer-friendly F-Droid app store.
The browser app also offers a search bar for the start screen. This option is offered the first time you open the browser app.
At the beginning of 2018, DuckDuckGo expanded its privacy functions. The browser apps for Android and iOS are now equipped with their own tracking blocker and, if possible, access websites in encrypted form via https.
In addition, there has been a rating system since then: If you call up a website with the DuckDuckGo browser, you will see the ratings A to E on the left of the address line.
They provide information about how well the site is doing in terms of data protection and security. A click on the letter provides specific information, for example which tracking networks are involved.
Cons of DuckDuckGo
DuckDuckGo uses Amazon's cloud infrastructure. The US giant Amazon could theoretically use certain data - for example the IP address - and in the worst case have to hand it over to the US government. However, no specific cases are known.
If you want to increase the security of the search engine, you can also use the Tor Browser on Android and the Onion Browser on iOS. The Tor network disguises the IP address - a combination of numbers that makes you identifiable while surfing. Then even DuckDuckGo won't find out where you're accessing the search engine from.
If you find videos under the hits in DuckDuckGo, you can watch these videos directly in the app - for example from YouTube. If you click on a video, data will be sent to the YouTube owner Google. However, users receive a corresponding warning beforehand.
DuckDuckGo is also only safe from Android 5.0, as the app uses Android's own WebView browser as a substructure. This is affected by a critical security hole in older Android versions that Google does not close.
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