Privacy-centric search engines
Following is a table of some search engines which are more privacy-centric than those offered by the privacy-hating mega-corporations like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Note that several of the alternatives listed here are meta search engines which rely either partially or entirely upon services like Google for their search results. While these so-called “alternative search engines” are not true alternatives, they do act as a proxy between you and services like Google and thus insulate you from the privacy risks associated with them.
If you have any search engines you would like to suggest, please leave a comment (you need not be logged in).
- Decentralized – whether the service is controlled by a single entity, such as Google, or distributed among its users, as is the case with YaCy for example
- Type – meta: uses 3rd party search indexes, such as Google, to deliver search results
index: crawls the web and indexes content without relying on 3rd party search engines
hybrid: a combination of both meta and index
- Client Required – whether you have to download and install client software in order to use the service
|FAROO (search page, no SSL)||no||index||yes / no||optional||?||FAROO offers a distributed, censorship resistant, peer-to-peer search engine and index, however it is powered by proprietary client software. In answering the question “Why you don’t publish your product as Open Source?“, their response is “[…] it’s not a good idea to hand over your technological advantage to a monopoly, when competing with its free service with enormous brand power.“. A very poor answer in my personal opinion.|
|Searx (search page, SSL)||partially||meta||yes(?) if searching from the FF search bar, no if searching from the web page / no, but settings are not saved||no||n/a||Searx is a meta search engine which i have found to be the best of its type because of its capability to pull results from a wide array of third party services and it is highly configurable. The interface is clean, customizable and intuitive. Anyone can run a Searx instance on their own server (see their GitHub page).|
|YaCy (search page, SSL, self-signed certificate)||yes||index||yes / no||optional||n/a||YaCy is, in my opinion, the most interesting search engine listed here in that it is a decentralized, distributed, censorship resistant search engine and index powered by free, open-source software. At this time YaCy doesn’t produce a lot of pertinent search results, however the more people use it, the better it will become. For those wanting to run your own instance of YaCy, see their home page and their GitHub page. This article from Digital Ocean may also be of help if you want to run YaCy on a VPS.|
Upcoming search engines
- Presearch: a decentralized search engine powered by the community
- Seeks: a websearch proxy and collaborative distributed tool for websearch
Please leave a comment if you know of any others.
- 5 Best Search Engines That Respect Your Privacy – BestVPN.com
- 12 Private Search Engines that Do Not Track You – Hongkiat
- Alternative Search Engines | Oregon Computer Solutions
- Distributed Search Engines – P2P Foundation
- P2P Search as an Alternative to Google: Recapturing network value through decentralized search » The Journal of Peer Production