The best private search engines

Nadin Bhatt
Nadin Bhatt | VPN specialist and writer
Last updated: July 17, 2020
best private search engines
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For most of us, Google is synonymous with internet search engines. When we need to look something up on the internet, our instinct is to immediately head over to Google to perform the search.

Google is so synonymous with search engines that we do not even ask if you have searched for something on the internet. Instead, we ask if you have “Googled” it.

The reality is, however, that there are many Google alternatives out there. And no, we’re not talking about Bing, Baidu, or Yahoo. Rather, we are talking about your next Google replacement – namely, private search engines like DuckDuckGo, DeSearch (Bitclave), Yippy, StartPage, and Gibiru. These and other alternatives to Google offer users private, secure, anonymous, non-tracking searches and unbiased search results. Without most of the drawbacks privacy enthusiasts associate with the current search engine behemoth.

This article is going to explain how private search engines work and track you less (or not at all) compared to search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. We will also describe how private search engines can help you secure your browsing history, personal data, and allow for searches that give neutral results.

Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo simply aren’t the most secure platforms to perform online searches anymore.

In this day and age of privacy breaches and online hacking, it’s important to keep all your information as safe and secure as possible. Unfortunately, despite ongoing attempts, search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo simply are not the most secure platforms to perform online searches anymore. In order to conduct a safe online search, your best bet is to use Google search alternatives – the private search engines that can! Keep reading to explore five popular private search engines together with us.

Why you should use private search engines

non-secure search engines track

Private search engines are a great way of remaining anonymous on the internet. While Google might not be in the business of selling our personal information for profit, nothing in their mandate precludes them from doing so. In fact, just by using Google you are giving them permission to collect your data and to profit off your information. And this is where the need to look for Google alternatives comes in.

With millions of users and billions of searches taking place every day, there are unfortunately numerous privacy breaches occurring all the time. And while many of us think that browsing on private or incognito mode will give us that extra element of security, the reality is that this does not give you the level of privacy you think it does.

We’ve all had instances when after searching for a product in incognito mode, we open the computer the next day and receive an ad for that exact item.

Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo record your IP address and use tracking cookies to create your digital profile.

These non-secure search engines track keywords you use, the precise time of your searches, and even the links that you choose to click. They then store all this information in their databases which they then use to target you when you are online.

In other words, every time you make an online query you are revealing a tremendous amount of information about yourself that is incredibly valuable not only to the search engine, but to marketers, governments, and even criminals alike.

But fortunately, there is a simple way to put a stop to this.

Google search alternatives – secure, anonymous, non-tracking search engines

We often hear that your online browsing information can – and often will – be shared with third parties for, at the very least, advertising purposes. That is why private search engines and other alternatives to Google search are useful to users who value their privacy and who do not want big corporations to profit off their personal information.

Fortunately, most private search engines do not track any information that can link you to your search terms, which means that your online searches remain private.

Fortunately, most private search engines do not track any information that can link you to your search terms, which means that your online searches remain private. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to protecting your information from the websites you visit and the search engines you use.

With search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo drastically improving their ability to track online users every single day, your data as a private citizen is becoming less and less secure, and more and more spread out across the internet. In short, when we don’t use search engine alternatives to Google, we’re losing control over our own data.

Best private search engines

Fortunately, there are some really good private search engines to choose from with a range of features and methods to keep your searches safe. Most of these Google alternatives are not packed with fancy features but are rather designed to give you a safe, private and unbiased way to search for things that matter to you.

Below is a list of five of the most popular private search engines which are good alternatives to Google.


DuckDuckGo - private search engine

If you’re looking for a Google replacement, DuckDuckGo is one of the most secure search engines – it never tracks you while providing you with an enhanced search experience. It is also one of the most popular private search engines with over 10 million searches a day. As one of the best Google alternatives, DuckDuckGo delivers results instantaneously without any annoying advertisements on the search pages. This makes it perfect for people who want to remain private. DuckDuckGo is unable to know whether multiple searches came from the same device because it does not utilize any technologies that would allow for it to identify any unique user or to log user data.

Read our full DuckDuckGo review

DeSearch (Bitclave)

DeSearch - private search engine

DeSearch (which is a project created by BitClave) uses Ethereum blockchain technology to protect your privacy. This decentralized, secure search engine gives users the power to choose what personal information they want to share with marketers and advertisers. This way, users get personalized ads for things that interest them. DeSearch, therefore, creates a contract of sorts directly between the user and the business creating the ads.

Furthermore, DeSearch incentivizes users of the search engine by giving them a currency of sorts called Consumer Activity Tokens. This is provided to users in return for informing advertisers and marketers of their interests. If you’re a cryptocurrency fan, DeSearch should certainly be right up your alley as one of your go-to Google alternatives.

Read our full DeSearch review


Yippy - private search engine

Yippy is another great alternative to Google and other mainstream search engines. Developed by Carnegie Mellon University, Yippy is a metasearch engine which produces its own results by collecting the data from other search engines. This search engine is a perfect place to go if you are looking for specific information for your research, as it can find websites which are otherwise hard-to-find. This makes it a great Google replacement for any academically-minded internet user.

According to their Privacy Policy page, they do not collect any personally identifiable information such as name, telephone number, address, or even your email address. Moreover, Yippy does not use cookies to uniquely identify or track user behavior.

Yippy also allows users to view cached pages (which is a feature similar to that found of major search engines like Google) and filter results in a variety of ways, including by websites, sources, and even clouds.

Read our full Yippy review


StartPage - private search engine

StartPage is a unique private search engine alternative to Google because it is purely anonymous. This search engine does not track users’ search activity or record their IP address. It is also unique in another way – it uses results from Google. This is a great feature for recent converts from Google who still want to get similar results without forfeiting their personal information.

StartPage was developed by Ixquick, a metasearch engine created in 1998. It features HTTPS support, proxy services, and a URL generator. The latter is a great feature that allows the search engines to remember your settings without the need to install cookies onto your browser. This allows for personalized, privacy-friendly searching.

Read our full StartPage review


Gibiru - private search engine

Founded in 2009, Gibiru is one of the fastest private search engines. Unlike some of the other Google alternatives, Gibiru does not install any personalization or tracking cookies onto your computer which allows it to make online searches at incredible speeds. It also offers a search bar to use in popular browsers like Firefox, Edge, and Chrome to help you make convenient anonymous searches.

Major public search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo have amassed unfathomably large databases of personal information. It translates not only into annoying targeted marketing, but to government monitoring, censorship, and heightened personal risk stemming from sketchy online hacking activity. Since privacy on the internet matters so much, why not consider switching to one of these five private search engines? And if you’re on the lookout for solid Google alternatives, look no further – these companies highly respect your privacy while not limiting your ability to retrieve the search results you want and need.

Read our full Gibiru review

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  1. Censored Information

    I read today on Truth Press that DuckDuckGo who I’ve been happily using for years has formed alliances with Apple, Amazon, Facebook and other WOKE organizations. But the main the main point of my comments, DDG is now censoring sites that you can preview based on their Ideology, and there in lies my issue.

    Their security seems to be good, but they are deciding (just like google and yahoo) who you can find and who you can’t.

    That is not acceptable, Americans are being treated like mushrooms, feed government propaganda, narratives and fraudulent info, during COVID it was obvious, now during the Ukrainian conflict, it’s like they are vomiting misinformation and fraud.

    Once again, it’s time to look for Freedom From Censorship

  2. jcs

    Heard today that duckduckgo, which I have been a proponent of for over two years now, DOES employ cookies and has a progressive donation history, politically and socially. SO, if this is important, be aware. I am evaluating all now because it is to me….that is I just want the search… politics or social causes, a lot like entertainers, SHUT UP AND SING……….should be for tech…..just tech please.

  3. Steve Shay

    Thanks for the tips. I’ll DucjkDuckGo it to check it out.🤗

  4. Larry Miller

    While a good private search engine is fine but you should also look into a a good alternative for your browser. I just ran across a new one that will give you the privacy you need, plus it has its own vpn look into UR browser as for speed it seems to be just fine and it has many features

  5. Jamaar Taj

    I like it when you refer to Google as the search engine behemoth. The platform is just so popular that many fail to realize that there are other private search engines that will keep their personal information more secured.

  6. BenjaminHall3658

    I am yet to explore the speed, anonymity or reliability of any of these google alternative. But I wouldn’t mind trying these search engines out. It would be nice to try these search engines and asses their performance

  7. Tom Aubry

    I really need to start using a private search engine. This is helping me to pick out what I want to use. I am thinking I will try a few out.

    1. Go ducks

      Hi Tom! I highly recommend DuckDuckGo. Not only is it completely anonymous, but it’s also one of the biggest search engines after Google. Safe, reliable and with a big community. Overall a great choice!

  8. Iamcathy

    Privacy is a real concern nowadays. Tracked products are invading your privacy to unheard of depths. I actually experimented with Google product alternatives recently. You can comfortably replace tracked search engines with DuckDuckGo. It gives good results while doing away with annoying targeted marketing.

    1. avatar
      Nadin Bhatt Author

      Hello, that’s totally true, public search engines are violating your privacy a lot… It also has large databases of personal information, which later is translated not only to targeted marketing, but also to government monitoring, censorship and etc. It seems that it is a really good idea to switch to a private search engine, which highly respect your privacy!

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