There’s usually a pretty big tradeoff when choosing between our search results accuracy and privacy. I’ve recently come across a new favourite solution.

What to Look for

When I’m looking for an answer to a specific programming question, I’m going to use Google. If I am concerned about privacy, I usually use DuckDuckGo. For anyone who doesn’t know, DuckDuckGo is an alternative search engine that doesn’t track your searches and is focused on maintaining user informational self-determination.

I’ve used it before and while it keeps getting better, it’s really hard to beat Google.


I recently came across a neat search engine called StartPage, which has been around for a while and gets millions of searches per day. The search engine is privacy focused, but at the same time uses Google to fetch search results. It anonymizes the searches and doesn’t give away the user’s IP or store any data.

It also offers some really cool features including a proxy button next to every search result that will take you to the indicated page using an anonymous proxy and disabling JavaScript. While sites don’t look nearly as nice, in terms of privacy capabilities, this feature goes above and beyond what I expected from my search engine.

You can of course not use the proxy and go to the site normally, but once you leave the StartPage results, the sites you visit can record your information.

The search engine is pretty customizable and looks reminiscent of Google with some additional themes and settings that can be stored as a cookie or put into a URL that you can bookmark.

I’ve been trying to use it as my go to search engine lately and I’ve been liking the results so far. The biggest thing I miss is Google’s auto complete but that isn’t a deal breaker.

For anyone who wants to use it, it is available here and you can follow its instructions for setting it as your default search engine.

Privacy is something that we often feel is out of our control if we want to get the the best results and I’m glad that there are services out there that are able to show us that this isn’t always the case.