5 Google Search Alternatives That Are a Little More Privacy Conscious

5 Google Search Alternatives That Are a Little More Privacy Conscious

When Google started out it offered just the search engine, slowly adding features over time. Today, it dominates the search engine world, but it also has a habit of tracking you across the web.

Though it’s easy to use without any costs, there are others, ones a little less scrape-y on the data front. Of course, it’s very, very hard to go completely off-grid on the internet. You could have a VPN and could use an anonymous browser like Tor and your internet traffic would still be collected by your internet service provider. That’s the way of the internet these days. Anyway, here are some alternatives to Google Search.

Google Search alternatives


DuckDuckGo is probably the most well-known Google Search alternative and for good reason. This cutely named browser doesn’t collect or store any of your search or personal information to be used against you through advertising. Instead, DuckDuckGo saves your search history in a way that stays private and inaccessible to anyone except for yourself.

Though DuckDuckGo uses ads, you’ll find that they’re not as accurate as Google ads. It’s a good choice if you’re after a Google detox.

Image: Gizmodo Australia


Another privacy-focused search engine, StartPage doesn’t track you or target you online and allows you to search anonymously. A highlightable feature of StartPage is its ability to open any page in “Anonymous View”, which kills any ads on a web page and puts a blanket over your IP address. Web pages might be a little slower to load in this view, but it’s a nice feature.

Again, StartPage runs ads to keep its service alive, but they’re not targeted directly at your online profile.

Image: Gizmodo Australia

You might know about the Brave browser, which is intended to be a Google Chrome alternative, but did you know that Brave also has a search engine? Brave Search doesn’t profile you and doesn’t hammer you with personalised ads (instead providing contextual search ads).

To generate results, Brave relies on anonymous community members to filter through and refine search results. Although you’ll find the search experience similar to Google, you’ll notice that there is no results page selector at the bottom of a search.

This can make searching for things quite difficult, but at least Brave supplies quick links to the same search through other providers (like Google, Bing and Mojeek).

Image: Gizmodo Australia


Probably my favourite name for a search engine, SwissCows allows you to search anonymously without any tracking and with a focus on family-friendly results. The company is even repositioning itself as an all-around Google competitor, offering an email domain and a VPN service.

Additionally, when you search for something, Swisscows provides an anonymous preview feature, allowing you to scope out a web page before entering it for real. It’s a bit slow and you can’t interact with the page you’re previewing, but it’s a nice touch.

Image: Gizmodo Australia


The last browser on our list, MetaGer is another privacy-focused browser worth considering. Like all the others mentioned above, MetaGer cares about your privacy first and foremost. Run by a not-for-profit (that makes some money through affiliates), MetaGer doesn’t track you or collect data on you. It’s also run on 100 per cent renewable energy and even allows you to open tabs anonymously through a proxy page, without revealing your IP address.

MetaGer is also a metasearch engine, compiling the results of several search engines into one readable page. It throws out a big net and relays back to you results trawled from other engines.

Image: Gizmodo Australia

Running them all on dark mode Chrome really makes them all look the same, eh?

This article has been updated since it was first published.

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

It’s the most popular NBN speed in Australia for a reason. Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Gizmodo, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.