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Add search engine comparison table (#2505)

Signed-off-by: Jonah Aragon <jonah@triplebit.net>
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redoomed1 2024-04-09 14:33:28 -07:00 committed by Jonah Aragon
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@ -4,24 +4,36 @@ title: "Search Engines"
icon: material/search-web
description: These privacy-respecting search engines don't build an advertising profile based on your searches.
cover: search-engines.webp
global:
- [randomize-element, "table tbody"]
---
Use a search engine that doesn't build an advertising profile based on your searches.
The recommendations here are based on the merits of each service's privacy policy. There is **no guarantee** that these privacy policies are honored.
## Recommended Providers
The recommendations here do not collect personally identifying information (PII) based on each service's privacy policy. There is **no guarantee** that these privacy policies are honored.
Consider using a [VPN](vpn.md) or [Tor](tor.md) if your threat model requires hiding your IP address from the search provider.
## Brave Search
| Provider | Search Index | Tor Hidden Service | Logging / Privacy Policy | Country of Operation |
|---|---|---|---|---|
| [Brave Search](#brave-search) | [Independent](https://brave.com/search-independence/) | :material-check:{ .pg-green } | Anonymized[^1] | United States |
| [DuckDuckGo](#duckduckgo) | [Bing](https://help.duckduckgo.com/results/sources) | :material-check:{ .pg-green } | Anonymized[^2] | United States |
| [Startpage](#startpage) | [Google and Bing](https://support.startpage.com/hc/articles/4522435533844-What-is-the-relationship-between-Startpage-and-your-search-partners-like-Google-and-Microsoft-Bing) | :material-check:{ .pg-green } | Anonymized[^3] | Netherlands |
[^1]: Brave Search collects aggregated usage metrics, which includes the OS and the user agent. However, they do not collect PII. To serve [anonymous local results](https://search.brave.com/help/anonymous-local-results), IP addresses are temporarily processed, but are not retained. [https://search.brave.com/help/privacy-policy](https://search.brave.com/help/privacy-policy)
[^2]: DuckDuckGo **does** log your searches for product improvement purposes, but not your IP address or any other PII. [https://duckduckgo.com/privacy](https://duckduckgo.com/privacy)
[^3]: Startpage logs details such as operating system, user agent, and language. They do not log your IP address, search queries, or other PII. [https://startpage.com/en/privacy-policy](https://startpage.com/en/privacy-policy)
### Brave Search
<div class="admonition recommendation" markdown>
![Brave Search logo](assets/img/search-engines/brave-search.svg){ align=right }
**Brave Search** is developed by Brave and serves results primarily from its own, independent index. The index is optimized against Google Search and therefore may provide more contextually accurate results compared to other alternatives.
**Brave Search** is a search engine developed by Brave. The index is optimized against Google Search and therefore may provide more contextually accurate results compared to other alternatives.
Brave Search includes unique features such as Discussions, which highlights conversation-focused results—such as forum posts.
We recommend you disable [Anonymous usage metrics](https://search.brave.com/help/usage-metrics) as it is enabled by default and can be disabled within settings.
Brave Search includes unique features such as [Discussions](https://search.brave.com/help/discussions), which highlights conversation-focused results—such as forum posts.
[:octicons-home-16: Homepage](https://search.brave.com){ .md-button .md-button--primary }
[:simple-torbrowser:](https://search.brave4u7jddbv7cyviptqjc7jusxh72uik7zt6adtckl5f4nwy2v72qd.onion){ .card-link title="Onion Service" }
@ -32,17 +44,17 @@ We recommend you disable [Anonymous usage metrics](https://search.brave.com/help
</div>
Brave Search is based in the United States. Their [privacy policy](https://search.brave.com/help/privacy-policy) states they collect aggregated usage metrics, which includes the operating system and browser in use, however no personally identifiable information is collected. IP addresses are temporarily processed, but are not retained.
We recommend you disable [Anonymous usage metrics](https://search.brave.com/help/usage-metrics) as it is enabled by default and can be disabled within settings.
## DuckDuckGo
### DuckDuckGo
<div class="admonition recommendation" markdown>
![DuckDuckGo logo](assets/img/search-engines/duckduckgo.svg){ align=right }
**DuckDuckGo** is one of the more mainstream private search engine options. Notable DuckDuckGo search features include [bangs](https://duckduckgo.com/bang) and many [instant answers](https://help.duckduckgo.com/duckduckgo-help-pages/features/instant-answers-and-other-features). The search engine relies on a commercial Bing API to serve most results, but it does use numerous [other sources](https://help.duckduckgo.com/results/sources) for instant answers and other non-primary results.
**DuckDuckGo** is one of the more mainstream private search engine options. Notable DuckDuckGo search features include [bangs](https://duckduckgo.com/bang) and a variety of [instant answers](https://help.duckduckgo.com/duckduckgo-help-pages/features/instant-answers-and-other-features). The search engine uses numerous [sources](https://help.duckduckgo.com/results/sources) other than Bing for instant answers and other non-primary results.
DuckDuckGo is the default search engine for the Tor Browser and is one of the few available options on Apples Safari browser.
DuckDuckGo is the default search engine for the [Tor Browser](tor.md#tor-browser) and is one of the few available options on Apples [Safari](mobile-browsers.md#safari) browser.
[:octicons-home-16: Homepage](https://duckduckgo.com){ .md-button .md-button--primary }
[:simple-torbrowser:](https://duckduckgogg42xjoc72x3sjasowoarfbgcmvfimaftt6twagswzczad.onion){ .card-link title="Onion Service" }
@ -53,17 +65,41 @@ DuckDuckGo is the default search engine for the Tor Browser and is one of the fe
</div>
DuckDuckGo is based in the United States. Their [privacy policy](https://duckduckgo.com/privacy) states they **do** log your searches for product improvement purposes, but not your IP address or any other personally identifying information.
DuckDuckGo offers two [other versions](https://help.duckduckgo.com/features/non-javascript) of their search engine, both of which do not require JavaScript. These versions do lack features, however. These versions can also be used in conjunction with their Tor hidden address by appending [/lite](https://duckduckgogg42xjoc72x3sjasowoarfbgcmvfimaftt6twagswzczad.onion/lite) or [/html](https://duckduckgogg42xjoc72x3sjasowoarfbgcmvfimaftt6twagswzczad.onion/html) for the respective version.
DuckDuckGo offers two [other versions](https://help.duckduckgo.com/features/non-javascript) of their search engine, both of which do not require JavaScript. These versions do lack features, however. These versions can also be used in conjunction with their [Tor onion address](https://duckduckgogg42xjoc72x3sjasowoarfbgcmvfimaftt6twagswzczad.onion) by appending [/lite](https://duckduckgogg42xjoc72x3sjasowoarfbgcmvfimaftt6twagswzczad.onion/lite) or [/html](https://duckduckgogg42xjoc72x3sjasowoarfbgcmvfimaftt6twagswzczad.onion/html) for the respective version.
### Startpage
## SearXNG
<div class="admonition recommendation" markdown>
![Startpage logo](assets/img/search-engines/startpage.svg#only-light){ align=right }
![Startpage logo](assets/img/search-engines/startpage-dark.svg#only-dark){ align=right }
**Startpage** is a private search engine. One of Startpage's unique features is the [Anonymous View](https://startpage.com/en/anonymous-view), which puts forth efforts to standardize user activity to make it more difficult to be uniquely identified. The feature can be useful for hiding [some](https://support.startpage.com/hc/articles/4455540212116-The-Anonymous-View-Proxy-technical-details) network and browser properties. Unlike the name suggests, the feature should not be relied upon for anonymity. If you are looking for anonymity, use the [Tor Browser](tor.md#tor-browser) instead.
[:octicons-home-16: Homepage](https://startpage.com){ .md-button .md-button--primary }
[:simple-torbrowser:](http://startpagel6srwcjlue4zgq3zevrujfaow726kjytqbbjyrswwmjzcqd.onion){ .card-link title="Onion Service" }
[:octicons-eye-16:](https://startpage.com/en/privacy-policy){ .card-link title="Privacy Policy" }
[:octicons-info-16:](https://support.startpage.com/hc/categories/4481917470356-Startpage-Search-Engine){ .card-link title=Documentation}
</details>
</div>
Startpage's majority shareholder is System1 who is an adtech company. We don't believe that to be an issue as they have a distinctly separate [privacy policy](https://system1.com/terms/privacy-policy). The Privacy Guides team reached out to Startpage [back in 2020](https://blog.privacyguides.org/2020/05/03/relisting-startpage/) to clear up any concerns with System1's sizeable investment into the service, and we were satisfied with the answers we received.
Startpage previously placed limitations on VPN and [Tor](tor.md) users, but they recently created an [official](https://support.startpage.com/hc/en-us/articles/24786602537364-Startpage-s-Tor-onion-service) Tor hidden service, and as of April 2024 we have no longer noticed extra roadblocks for Tor or [VPN](vpn.md) users.
## Metasearch Engines
A [metasearch engine](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metasearch_engine) allows you to aggregate the results of other search engines, such as the ones recommended above, while not storing any information itself.
### SearXNG
<div class="admonition recommendation" markdown>
![SearXNG logo](assets/img/search-engines/searxng.svg){ align=right }
**SearXNG** is an open-source, self-hostable, metasearch engine, aggregating the results of other search engines while not storing any information itself. It is an actively maintained fork of [SearX](https://github.com/searx/searx).
**SearXNG** is an open-source, self-hostable, metasearch engine. It is an actively maintained fork of [SearX](https://github.com/searx/searx).
[:octicons-home-16: Homepage](https://searxng.org){ .md-button .md-button--primary }
[:octicons-server-16:](https://searx.space){ .card-link title="Public Instances"}
@ -79,37 +115,13 @@ When self-hosting, it is important that you have other people using your instanc
When you are using a SearXNG instance, be sure to go read their privacy policy. Since SearXNG instances may be modified by their owners, they do not necessarily reflect their privacy policy. Some instances run as a Tor hidden service, which may grant some privacy as long as your search queries does not contain PII.
## Startpage
<div class="admonition recommendation" markdown>
![Startpage logo](assets/img/search-engines/startpage.svg#only-light){ align=right }
![Startpage logo](assets/img/search-engines/startpage-dark.svg#only-dark){ align=right }
**Startpage** is a private search engine known for serving [Google and Bing](https://support.startpage.com/hc/articles/4522435533844-What-is-the-relationship-between-Startpage-and-your-search-partners-like-Google-and-Microsoft-Bing) search results. One of Startpage's unique features is the [Anonymous View](https://startpage.com/en/anonymous-view), which puts forth efforts to standardize user activity to make it more difficult to be uniquely identified. The feature can be useful for hiding [some](https://support.startpage.com/hc/articles/4455540212116-The-Anonymous-View-Proxy-technical-details) network and browser properties. Unlike the name suggests, the feature should not be relied upon for anonymity. If you are looking for anonymity, use the [Tor Browser](tor.md#tor-browser) instead.
[:octicons-home-16: Homepage](https://startpage.com){ .md-button .md-button--primary }
[:simple-torbrowser:](http://startpagel6srwcjlue4zgq3zevrujfaow726kjytqbbjyrswwmjzcqd.onion){ .card-link title="Onion Service" }
[:octicons-eye-16:](https://startpage.com/en/privacy-policy){ .card-link title="Privacy Policy" }
[:octicons-info-16:](https://support.startpage.com/hc/categories/4481917470356-Startpage-Search-Engine){ .card-link title=Documentation}
</details>
</div>
Startpage is based in the Netherlands. According to their [privacy policy](https://startpage.com/en/privacy-policy), they log details such as: operating system, type of browser, and language. They do not log your IP address, search queries, or other personally identifying information.
Startpage's majority shareholder is System1 who is an adtech company. We don't believe that to be an issue as they have a distinctly separate [privacy policy](https://system1.com/terms/privacy-policy). The Privacy Guides team reached out to Startpage [back in 2020](https://blog.privacyguides.org/2020/05/03/relisting-startpage) to clear up any concerns with System1's sizeable investment into the service, and we were satisfied with the answers we received.
Startpage previously placed limitations on VPN and [Tor](tor.md) users, but they recently created an [official](https://support.startpage.com/hc/en-us/articles/24786602537364-Startpage-s-Tor-onion-service) Tor hidden service, and as of April 2024 we have no longer noticed extra roadblocks for Tor or [VPN](vpn.md) users.
## Criteria
**Please note we are not affiliated with any of the projects we recommend.** In addition to [our standard criteria](about/criteria.md), we have developed a clear set of requirements to allow us to provide objective recommendations. We suggest you familiarize yourself with this list before choosing to use a project, and conduct your own research to ensure it's the right choice for you.
### Minimum Requirements
- Must not collect personally identifiable information per their privacy policy.
- Must not collect PII per their privacy policy.
- Must not allow users to create an account with them.
### Best-Case