And what alternative should i use if DuckDuckGo is a bad option…

Vegafjord eo

Duckduckgo has had a star in my book until recently. Because they have been dishonest about their tracking. They do enable Microsoft trackers. But if I have understood it correctly, this is only the case for their apps.


DDG was good option when it came first. But these days I do not like the path they’re taking. And I wouldn’t recommend anyone caring about privacy and censorship to use it either.

Searx is the best option as of now. And I recommend this instance with some little bit of preference modification.

Joe Bidet

Sorry for the simplistic grid of analysis here:

DDG is a US company, and under the Patriot and FISA (and other) Acts, it makes it fair game for the US institutions to request access to any of its data regarding any of its user, without any sort of judicial process.

So in short if your concern is privacy (not even if you have any political activity that wouldnt be 100% aligned with the foreign policy of the US!) and are a NON-US person, then it’s better to avoid connecting to the servers of any US company. Is it easy to do? hell no! we’re probably talking about 90% of the web as of now… (think: AWS, Cloudflare, Google, etc.)

(+ i think DDG is hosted on AWS, and Amazon is a premium partner of US intelligence anyways…)

Arthur Besse

i think DDG is hosted on AWS

not that it makes much difference but the DDG domains i just checked are currently pointing at Microsoft-owned IP addresses

Go with Brave Search, best option right now

It is great to have an alternative that doesn’t count on google or bing for results, but it’s NOT the best option right now. IMO, searx is the best option, but you have to choose an instance you can trust or host your own (but beware that all the engines your instance using will get your instance’s IP address).

As you’ve said, the major issue with SearX and other open source and self-hostable options is that they don’t have their own crawlers and self-hosting means giving your IP to the big tech search engines you’re pulling results from. Tor or other proxies are always an option to prevent this but they make it more likely that your search requests from Google, etc. will be blocked. For centralized search engines with better-than-average privacy policies and their own crawlers, Brave Search probably is the best option at the moment in terms of returning relevant results.

That said, I’m eagerly awaiting for an open-source, self-hostable search engine with its own crawler. We shouldn’t be satisfied with the current lackluster options.

This is what I meant, SearX is only a patch to a problem that won’t be solved using SearX. Brave Search is more private than Google and at least is working on a new independent index

Well yeah, it doesn’t make sense to open your own instace and use it alone, but if you make it public it won’t matter as much because they can’t know which queries are yours. It would force you to get another ip address for the server though.

The only complain I have about searx is that the owner can log stuff, which forces you to choose a public instance carefully. If instances couldn’t log it would be the perfect option IMO.

There’s no such thing as “couldn’t log” when you’re talking about an open source project. The source code can always be modified. Even if something is open-source, you’re always trusting the one hosting it with your data.

You can see at if an instance changed the code he uses.

It’s cool that they have that info (hadn’t noticed it before), though it only looks at the front end code, there is no way to check for any malicious code on the back end. At the very least, logging the IP addresses that use the search engine is trivial without any changes to the front end. Actually correlating search queries to IPs would probably be harder since the query isn’t in the URLs, but maybe not that much harder, I’m not sure.

Oh right. Well yeah that’s a shame. I bet there’s a way to make the frontend select an instance randomaly from a list and send the query to it.

deleted by creator

The mature answer is “it depends”

Absolutes are rarely 100% true, and it entirely depends on your perspective, your use cases, and your expectations

Neither DuckDuckGo nor CloudFlare (the other favourite punching bag around here) have surveillance capitalism business models, but they do require you to trust someone else’s software running on someone else’s computers, and you still need to communicate with them over someone else’s networks

From my own perspective, which suits me fine but might not suitable for you, I prefer to avoid surveillance capitalism companies like Facebook/Meta, Amazon, Google

I’m also not a free-speech maximalist: I want to live in a world where information flows freely, but I acknowledge that not every single idea deserves exactly the same amplification

The same people screeching about DuckDuckGo and CloudFlare regarding censorship are often exactly the same people claiming that LGBTQIA and Black history education is not “age appropriate”, so even free-speech maximalists are rarely consistent


CloudFare is considered harmful for a whole host of separate reasons, too. Excellent write-up. is what I’ve switched to. I quite like it so far. Open Source and highly customizable and more private than the others out there.

Yeah, but don’t actually use this instance, they got very bad stats compared to other known instances like I advise you and OP to go to and choose the instance you want to use.

And one can also normally access DuckDuckGo’s search results through it.

DuckDuckGo censors things based on politics, so no. I think StartPage is better, but still mildly sketchy, as it functions as an encrypted proxy to Google. That is, it doesn’t track you, and searches aren’t recorded, but the results may still be a little skewed. The cool thing about StartPage, though, is that it provides a web proxy to view other webpages in, to prevent third-party tracking.

DDG censors things based on politics because Bing (where it gets its search results) does. And Google also censors results based on politics so I’m not sure how SP is a step up in that department. That being said, Google’s results tend to be more relevant to the search query than Bing’s, which is why SP’s results are often more relevant than DDG’s.

I think they removed or downranked results they deemed “pro-Russia”, which is not a very good sign

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Privacy has become a very important issue in modern society, with companies and governments constantly abusing their power, more and more people are waking up to the importance of digital privacy.

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