DuckDuckGo review: Your privacy matters while you browse

Abeerah Hashim Last updated: September 9, 2022 Read time: 17 minutes Disclosure
Facts checked by Ali Qamar

If you compare DuckDuckGo to Google and other mainstream search engines, it is relatively secure, and you are not at risk of compromising your privacy.

We all know the feeling of paranoia we get when we hand over our personal information to a website. We think, “what if they sell my data?” or “what if this website is hacked and my information is leaked?” 

These are valid concerns; hence, many people have turned to DuckDuckGo in recent years as their go-to search engine. With DuckDuckGo, you don’t have to worry about your privacy. In this detailed review, we’ll take a look at what makes DuckDuckGo so great and how it can benefit you.

What is DuckDuckGo?

In the world of search engines, DuckDuckGo is a member of a relatively new breed known as private search engines. Our term “private” refers to them as opposed to the market leader, Google. In addition to collecting data on users, Google has a poor reputation when it comes to privacy.

Google tracks everything you search for and click on while using their site. They then use this data for the following reasons.

  1. Targeted advertising
  2. Location tracking
  3. Improving usability
  4. Tweaking algorithms
  5. Trendspotting and analysis
  6. To show targeted ads

DuckDuckGo, on the other hand, does not collect any user data. That means they can’t sell your data to advertisers or use it to target you with ads. In addition, DuckDuckGo doesn’t store your search history. So, even if their site gets hacked, it would have no user data for hackers to exploit.

As a result, DuckDuckGo is becoming increasingly popular. Because of convenient giants such as Google, this private search engine gained popularity slowly. Nevertheless, it receives about 3 billion searches per month, which is a good number.

History of DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo was launched in 2008 by Gabriel Weinberg. He was motivated to create DuckDuckGo because he disliked how Google handled user data.

Here are a few concerns Weinberg has highlighted:

  • User tracking: Users can also be tracked through cookies as they navigate the web. As it relies on IP addresses, this is not necessarily anonymized. However, Google claims otherwise. Whatever the case is, Google can build up in-depth profiles that can be used for marketing purposes.
  • Cookies: Google also uses cookies to show you targeted ads. A cookie is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored on your computer by your web browser.
  • Development use of info: Paying customers sometimes seem to have a higher level of loyalty from Google than ordinary users. Google’s free email service, Gmail, has been exposed as allowing developers to access user contact lists.
  • Location tracking: Weinberg claimed that Google tracks your location even when you’re not using any of its services. That is done by your search history and device location data.

Weinberg is no stranger to the world of search engines. In 2006, he created NamesDatabase, a social networking website that acquired in 2007.

After leaving NamesDatabase, Weinberg started working on DuckDuckGo full-time. The name “DuckDuckGo” came from the children’s game Duck, Duck, Goose. Weinberg chose this name because it reflects the way his search engine works.

When you search for something on DuckDuckGo, you get results from various sources, including but not limited to Google, Wikipedia, and Yahoo Answers.

Several important campaigns helped DuckDuckGo become famous over the next few years. As part of these efforts, DuckDuckGo made all browsing anonymous, and it ran the famous billboard ad, “Google tracks you. We don’t.” This ad went viral and helped DuckDuckGo attract a lot of new users.

9 DuckDuckGo privacy features

As a privacy-focused search engine, DuckDuckGo has several features that set it apart from other search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

1. No user tracking