DuckDuckGo search engine: getting acquainted with the system features

DuckDuckGo search engine: getting to know the system features

DuckDuckGo — a search engine that works on the same principle as its more well-known analogues, in particular Google, Yahoo, Bing. It was designed with the main focus on the anonymity of the user audience. This is one of the few systems that does not track your online activities at all, does not check, does not store people’s personal information, including for the purpose of personalizing search results. That is, DuckDuckGo, unlike more well-known search engines, does not create personalized user profiles, which means that this loophole cannot be exploited by attackers who want to gain access to your personal data.

Now let's look in more detail at how this system appeared, how it is structured and works. Let’s highlight the main differences between DuckDuckGo and Google, and tell you how the project’s authors make money. Let's highlight the interesting features inherent in this search engine and its main advantages. We'll show you how to install this in your browser and ensure stable, functional and secure browsing of the Internet. Now about everything in more detail.

A little about the creation of the DuckDuckGo search engine

The DuckDuckGo search engine was founded in 2008 by entrepreneur Gabriel Weinberg. Previously, he had already attempted to work in the IT technology market. In particular, it was he who launched the Names Database into the social network. But it has not survived to this day. Weinberg initially financed his new project from his own wallet, but after 3 years Union Square Ventures decided to support it in conjunction with a number of small investors.

Initially, DuckDuckGo was not much different from other search engines. The first changes occurred in 2010 when management decided to stop tracking user history. At that time, such a solution was not implemented in any other search engine. It was on this aspect that the project’s advertising campaign, launched in 2011, was based. Its slogan was: “Google is tracking you. We — no." In many ways, it was precisely this courage of the developers that led to the popularization of the system among the user audience. Already in 2012, over a million search queries were processed through DuckDuckGo every day.

Work on the search engine does not stop today. Developers are constantly modifying, improving, expanding functionality, making their product even more functional and convenient for people. Thus, some of the latest innovations implemented in DuckDuckGo are:

  • innovative anti-tracking mechanism;
  • high level of email protection;
  • presence of intelligent encryption;
  • Block tracking of applications used on Android smartphones and tablets.

Starting in 2014, Apple included DuckDuckGo in the updated version of its operating system iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. After 4 years, the search engine acquired its own domain name It is still used by the system today as a shortened URL alias. Through it, users are automatically redirected to the official website of the search engine

So, why does this search engine have such an interesting name? There is no deep subtext here. Everything is quite simple: the author of the project simply remembered the popular English-language game Duck, duck, goose ("Duck, duck, goose") and he decided that such a name would be interesting and would attract the attention of the user audience. The only thing is that he shortened the last word somewhat and wrote everything together. That's the whole intrigue.

A little about the DuckDuckGo search engine itself

We repeat that DuckDuckGo — a search engine that prioritizes the privacy of user data. He does not collect them, does not store them on his servers, and does not transfer them to third parties. By choosing it, you can be sure that your personal data can be used to show you advertising, or even end up in the hands of criminals. And who knows how they will be used.

In its work, DuckDuckGo is not much different from other search engines. In particular:

  1. You, as a user, enter your query in the search bar.
  2. The system runs it through a sequential chain of search bots from the same Google, Yahoo and a number of others, including little-known search engines such as Wolfram, Alpha.
  3. Search results are sent to you, but without any censorship restrictions, individual preferences of the real location of your device.

That is, DuckDuckGo — this is a search engine that is not at all interested in who you really are: where you live, what gender, how old you are, what products from the online store interest you, etc. When you connect to the network, no cookies will be collected here , activity logs, IP addresses. The search engine will fulfill its direct purpose: providing information in response to your requests. And it doesn’t matter that the convenience of searching may suffer somewhat from this.

And many users with a clear conscience claim that they like DuckDuckGo more than Google.

Strengths of DuckDuckGo compared to Google

We would like to immediately draw your attention to the fact that we are talking about the advantages of the DuckDuckGo search engine not only over Google, but also over other more popular and popular systems, including Yandex. And if we talk about cardinal differences, then it is worth highlighting 2 main points:

  1. Privacy.
  2. Filter bubbles.

Let's look at both points in more detail.

What is privacy on DuckDuckGo?

This is the point that we have been talking about from the very beginning of our review. So, if you plan to find this or that information through Google, then the system will read your IP-address, geolocation, as well as a number of other user data and save it on its server. And it is impossible to say unequivocally what exactly will happen next with your data. Search engines position this data collection as an opportunity to provide personalized information. Surely you have noticed more than once that as soon as you ask any request, you are literally immediately bombarded with relevant advertising. We looked at what a robot vacuum cleaner is and please — you are automatically offered selections from different stores. For some, such a solution will be useful and convenient, while for others, on the contrary, it will be annoying.

But you should also understand that your personal information may be transferred to government agencies upon their request. By the way, a similar situation happened with WikiLeaks. And it can easily end up in the hands of attackers who hack servers or intercept the data flow. We will not talk about what consequences this may entail now. You've probably already heard about this.

That’s why DuckDuckGo’s privacy can be called one of its key advantages. Even if one of the attackers decides to covet your personal data, his idea is doomed to failure: there is no information on the company’s servers that they could need. There will be exclusively user requests without any connection directly to the user’s identity. This means that you should not be afraid of annoying advertising, government surveillance, or hacker attacks.

What are filter bubbles in DuckDuckGo?

In order to provide the user with the most correct and accurate answer to his request, most search engines, including Google, analyze a large amount of user data. They pay attention to the search history, check geolocation, control open tabs and even the mouse clicks that the user makes. As a result, based on the data received, the search engine decides what information will be interesting to you and what information should not be displayed. That is, if several people enter the same request, the system will give them a different selection of resources.

And what is the problem here? The problem is that you don't get access to all the information. You literally find yourself inside a bubble, the boundaries of which have been determined by the search engine. You will not see alternative sources, you will not be able to form an overall holistic picture. Such restrictions are especially serious on news sites. It turns out that due to such restrictions, users become vulnerable to propaganda: they see only one side that does not offer an alternative.

Therefore, the lack of personalization in DuckDuckGo — this is a big plus for those who would like to access all information without any restrictions. We have already said that the search here will be less comfortable, since you will have to filter some of the information yourself, but in the end you personally, and not the search algorithms, will decide which data is important to you and which is not.

So how do the project developers earn money?

For the most part, every developer, regardless of whether he is creating some small application or a larger project, such as a social network or, in our case, a search engine, would like to make money on his product. This is quite reasonable and justified. But in the case of DuckDuckGo, a logical question arises: if the system does not make money from selling traffic, then where does it get its income from? And the most interesting thing is that the amount is not small. According to recent data, DuckDuckGo's annual revenue is over $100 million. To answer this question, the authors of the project reported that they receive money from 2 main sources:

  1. Affiliate transitions. The essence of this technology is quite simple. Users go to the site that the system shows them in the search results, and the resource itself provides DuckDuckGo with a certain reward for this. You can believe in this way of earning money and evaluate its effectiveness if only by the fact that today our search engine works with such market giants as eBay and Amazon. In order not to be unfounded, we will immediately say that in this case, money is credited to the search engine only after the user he referred makes a purchase.
  2. Untargeted advertising. We already mentioned earlier that there is no data personalization in DuckDuckGo and, accordingly, there is no point in running ads here without targeting. Its coverage will be very low, which means the funds will be wasted. But DuckDuckGo contains commercial ads that are not tied to the search history of a particular user. Such advertisements will be displayed to users in response to the requests that he will make at a given time. That is, if you write the word “robot vacuum cleaner”, you will receive a selection of not only ordinary sites, but also a number of advertisements from companies that sell these household appliances. Such advertising is paid for by the customer.

There is one more point that we would like to draw your attention to in this block. In particular, DuckDuckGo works quite closely with Microsoft Corporation. Practice shows that the search engine is more loyal to advertising scripts from this company. This means that Microsoft can still collect some user data in order to offer them advertising for its products, including on third-party resources. Of course, the scale of data collection here in comparison with Google will be miniscule, but still we can no longer talk about 100% confidentiality.

Interesting solutions from DuckDuckGo

Along with the capabilities that we have already discussed above, this search engine is also equipped with a number of hidden functionality that is used when processing user queries. Here we highlight the main points:

  1. Providing instant answers. Everything here is similar to Google and other more popular search engines. The point is why quick answers will be present directly in search results.
  2. Quick commands. This search engine contains a set of standard commands that users can use to process text and links. Their set is quite impressive, but we will present only the most important and frequently used ones. So, if you decide to find out your IP-address, then you just need to write ip. If you need to shorten the link, then simply write the word shorten, and then write down the full address of the site. It is necessary to generate a QR code, so we write: QR, and then the corresponding text. If you want the system to create a strong password for you, write the word pass, then indicate the optimal number of characters for you. Also, using this search engine, you can easily change the case of text. To do this, you can use the uppercase and lowercase commands, specifying the text itself after them.
  3. Search for similar programs. A convenient solution if you are choosing an alternative for a particular application. That is, you will just need to write in the search line the phrase alternative to + the name of the software for which you are selecting an analogue and get in the search results all those solutions that may interest you.
  4. Bang requests. This is what a search engine allows you to find information within a specific site. You can use this option even if you are not registered on a particular resource. To implement this, you will need to enter the appropriate bang command before the main request. So, if you want the search engine to forward your request to Yandex, then simply write !ya in front of it. If you enter !yt, the system will redirect you directly to YouTube. In the same way, the indication !vk will indicate that you want to get on the VKontakte social network, and !w will indicate that you would like to find the answer right away on Wikipedia.

As you can see, there are not many solutions out there, but they can really simplify the user’s work, make it more convenient and faster, and in some cases even personalized.

Highlighting the key advantages of DuckDuckGo

We already talk about such an advantage as the lack of user tracking from the first words of our review. That is, when you choose DuckDuckGo, you get a search engine that simply provides results for your queries. Many who still remember what Google was like at the stage of its emergence, involuntarily compare it with DuckDuckGo. That is, he copes well with his primary task — find information. But we would like to draw your attention to the fact that there is a serious problem with the Russian version. Therefore, for now you can only work with the search engine in English.

Today the main users of DuckDuckGo — These are Silicon Valley programmers. If about a year ago this search engine was used by about 200-250 thousand people a day, today this figure is already confidently in the millions and continues to grow. And at the same time, complete anonymity reigns in the system. There is no tracking of IP addresses, geolocation, user logs and personal information.

Also, the most significant advantages, which we have already discussed above, include the provision of large volumes of results without any restrictions set by search algorithms. That is, you are given everything that is on the Internet today, without hiding or embellishing anything.

But the advantages of the DuckDuckGo search engine clearly do not end there. Its more than significant advantages also include:

  • Minimize spam. There are practically no such messages here, unlike any other commercial search engines. It is impossible to say for sure how long this trend will continue. Today this is indeed the case. But this is rather the merit not of DuckDuckGo itself, but of SEO specialists who have not yet paid particularly close attention to this search engine.
  • Providing Instant Replies. We already mentioned above that this search engine has Quick Commands. Instant replies — this is something similar, but with the difference that here the main emphasis is placed directly on the technical and mathematical aspects that will be indispensable in the work of programmers. So, if you write the request “perimeter triangle 2.3 5 1.8”, you will immediately receive an answer to the question “what is the perimeter of a triangle with sides 2.3, 5 and 1.8 cm. And there are very, very many such options here. This is largely due to the fact that the search engine works closely with the knowledge base and the Wolfram Alpha set of computational algorithms. Thanks to this, it is possible to specify a strict query in the search bar and immediately receive an answer to it, without even clicking on any links. But again, we repeat that in this case, queries must be entered in English: The search engine has a problem with Russian today.
  • The presence of a hot key system. With constant use, such a solution will be very convenient and effective for users. That is, you must use a touchpad or a mouse to communicate with the search engine. So, if you are interested in moving around the site, then use the following hot buttons: 
    DuckDuckGo navigate the site
  • If you work with open search results, then here are your commands:
    DuckDuckGo work with open results
  • Increased flexibility of settings. Here, each user will be able to make their own adjustments and receive an interface that will be most convenient for your work. So, as an option, you can additionally set your region in order to receive local results, and even remove the display of commercial advertising. If you wish, you can also enable HTTPS by default to work exclusively with sites that use encrypted data transfer. Moreover, here you can customize the appearance of DDG, the parameters under which links will open automatically, etc. All this allows you to optimize the operation of the search engine for yourself, which will help improve the efficiency of your work.
  • Interaction with users is carried out using secure protocols. The search engine initially uses its short domain name, which redirects the user to the version of the site that has SSL-certificate. It is also possible to use the search engine through the Tor browser.
  • A large number of additional options and tools. These are all things that are designed to make working with DuckDuckGo more convenient and efficient. In particular, these are various mobile applications adapted to work with the Android and iOS operating systems, add-ons for popular browsers, etc.

Another point that we would like to dwell on in more detail is that developers connect various free proxies to the search engine, which is designed to further increase the anonymity and security of online work. But such a solution does not really justify itself in practice. The fact is that free proxies will have low speed. They will often fail and be blocked by various systems and services. All this will negatively affect the convenience and stability of the user experience.

To minimize such risks, to ensure guaranteed confidentiality and protection from any unauthorized access, it is better to use private mobile proxies, as an option from the MobileProxy.Space service. In this case, you get a personal dedicated channel with unlimited traffic, access to a huge number of IP-addresses and geolocations. You will be able to change operating parameters as often as you need, without fear of running into any restrictions or blockages. More information about the functionality of mobile proxies, current tariffs, as well as many other aspects can be found at the link html?buyproxy.

The last point we will focus on in this review — these are the nuances of installing DuckDuckGo on your PC.

Sequence of steps to install DuckDuckGo in the browser

The process of installing the DuckDuckGo search engine in your browser will take only a few minutes of time and will not require any deep knowledge and skills. In particular, you will need to perform the following work sequentially:

  1. Go to your browser and open its settings menu. For the most part, this is an icon depicting three vertical dots or horizontal lines, located in the upper right (left) corner of the working window. From the drop-down list we select the “Settings” option. or “Parameters” depending on your browser.
  2. Go to the search section. Directly in the browser settings you need to find an option related to search. Exactly what it will be called also depends on the type of browser you have. But on an intuitive level, everything here will be clear.
  3. Set DuckDuckGo as the default browser. After you go to the search section, you will see a list of search engines available for use. Let's get acquainted with all the possible options and choose DuckDuckGo. If it turns out that this search engine is not provided by default, you will need to add it manually. To do this, just insert the official address of the search engine.
  4. Be sure to save any changes you make so that your settings are saved. In a number of browsers, this action is implemented automatically. But if you see the "Apply" button or “Save”, then click on it.
  5. Check that the search engine is installed correctly. At this point, you should make sure that your device will use DuckDuckGo by default. To do this, you open a new tab and enter any query into the search bar. When you see the answer to it, you should make sure that the DuckDuckGo search engine displays it.

If you want to use this search engine not only on a computer or laptop, but also on a mobile device, then you just need to download the appropriate software from the App Store or Google Play, depending on which device you have. operating system you use: iOS or Android. Once you find the option you want, simply click on the “Install” button. Wait a few minutes until the application is installed on your device.

This completes all the basic settings, and you can use the default browser.

To summarize

As part of this review, we talked about the DuckDuckGo search engine, highlighting its uniqueness, strengths and weaknesses. Now we can confidently say that we are talking about a truly extraordinary browser that relies on the safe and anonymous work of its users on the Internet. There is no collection or tracking of personal information here, unlike more common giants such as Google and Yandex. This means that search results won't go through an additional step of personalization based on your browsing history or your browsing behavior in general. All this will have a positive impact on the objectivity of the search results and will help avoid the imposition of one point of view or another.

For more convenient and efficient work, this search engine also offers a large number of individual solutions, hot keys, and flexible settings. So, with its help you can generate various logins and passwords and receive instant answers.

All this means that DuckDuckGo will be really convenient and functional for many users. But remember: to ensure the most functional, stable and convenient experience on the Internet, including through this search engine, you will only need to connect reliable private mobile proxies. With their help, you will provide yourself with guaranteed protection from any unauthorized access, hacker attacks, regional blocking, as well as many other restrictions that exist on the Internet today.

If you have any additional questions or technical difficulties in your workflow, please contact our technical support service, which operates 24 hours a day.

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