How does StartPage compare to DuckDuckGo

Search works without Google: 5 alternatives

Google is the number 1 search engine on the web. But the Internet giant records the user's data trail meticulously, which is why other search engines are increasingly in demand. We introduce five providers.

Statcounter's global web statistics figures speak for themselves: 92 percent of all search queries in the last twelve months were made via Google. In Switzerland the proportion is as high as 95 percent. Microsoft's Bing is number two in this country, with 2.6 percent, followed by DuckDuckGo and Ecosia, two interesting alternatives, in third and fifth place.

The American search engine DuckDuckGo is the world's leading search tool for surfers who do not want to use Google for privacy reasons. There are good arguments for this.

Tracking is problematic

As good as the results from Google are, tracking user behavior is problematic. If search engines know which products you are interested in, it may still be harmless, but the advertising for the corresponding products that is always shown below is at best annoying. However, when it comes to more personal questions, such as medical data or political interests, the user can expose himself.

"Guaranteeing fundamental rights and personal freedom with strong data protection - even in times of digitization" is the motto of the data protection officer of the Canton of Zurich. The authority points out that web tracking is used to record and evaluate visitor behavior on websites. The website provides tips and instructions on how to prevent web tracking. The data protection officer recommends the use of privacy search engines such as DuckDuckGo or Startpage.

Five alternatives to Google:

These two search engines are interesting and worth examining, as are three more that we introduce here. These live partly from donations and partly from advertising, which, however, is not personalized based on the search input.

1. DuckDuckGo

The American search engine DuckDuckGo is of the opinion that our data should not be sold: “At DuckDuckGo we believe that the Internet does not have to be a scary place and that you also have a right to privacy online. And this shouldn't be more difficult to maintain than draw the curtains. " Even if this alternative is a dwarf compared to Google, the search engine with the duck logo processes 1.4 billion search queries per month, and the trend is rising.

DuckDuckGo promises three functions: The user can surf anonymously, all known ad trackers are blocked, and the connection when a search query is made is encrypted wherever possible so that no strangers can read. According to the Search Engine Journal, DuckDuckGo uses its own web crawler to generate search results, which is supplemented with 400 other sources. This also includes the search engines Bing, Yahoo and Yandex.

At a glance

Mobile version

DuckDuckGo is also available as an app (Android / iOS).

2. Startpage

Startpage praises itself as the most discreet search engine in the world. The Dutch company uses Google's search results and pays for them. But Startpage was the first provider to not track and create profiles since 2008. It promises the best search results «without the annoying advertising that follows you and recommends things that you have already bought. And without data-sucking companies with dubious intentions. "

The search results are simply listed, with a maximum of three well-marked advertisements per page. A unique function is called «Anonymous View». In general, a visited website can recognize the IP address of the visitor, roughly localize him and set a cookie in his browser. With this function, Startpage disguises the IP address. In this mode, the website is marked with a blue frame in the browser.

At a glance

Mobile version

Startpage is also available as an app (Android / iOS).

3. Ecosia

The search engine Ecosia from Berlin uses its own approach. It combines data protection and environmental protection and has a mission: “Not only forests have to be protected, but also your data. We take care of both! " The company's servers are powered by renewable energies, and Ecosia says it uses the profits to plant trees.

Those who use Ecosia help the project to reforest areas in South America and Africa. According to the ticker, over 64 million trees have already been planted. The German search engine promises transparency with a monthly annual report; in the area of ​​data protection, it promises not to send any data to advertisers and not to use third-party trackers.

However, Ecosia saves the search data temporarily. However, they should be anonymized, but only after a week. Ecosia does not have its own search engine technology and uses Bing for the search results.

At a glance


Ecosia is also available as an app (Android / iOS).

4. Swisscows

Another alternative shows its origin in the name: Swisscows is a local product that has been promising 100 percent anonymous surfing without storage for several years. The search engine's servers are located in Switzerland in data centers in the Alps. Swisscows indexes the web itself and uses its own search algorithm. The search results are sorted by web, images, videos, shops and news.

The latter function is still of limited use, however, since Bluewin only evaluates the content. The search results at Swisscows are simple and clear and hardly interrupted by advertising. That is pleasant for the users, but the operator Swisscows AG shows in calls on the website that it is dependent on donations.

The semantic map from Swisscows is a unique selling point: This graphic shows key words that can be used to deepen the search. If you enter “cabbage”, for example, the keywords “recipes” or “Helmut” appear.



Swisscows is also available as an app (Android / iOS).

5. Qwant

The French answer to Google is Qwant. It also promises privacy protection and unbiased results as no search queries are recorded. The advertisements are not personalized, but they are even discreetly marked as such.

Qwant appeals through an approach called “panorama search”. The French not only group websites, images and videos separately in a list for targeted finding, but also posts from social networks and the media. As a new service (beta), Qwant also offers its own maps based on OpenStreetMap, which are supplemented with information from the Yellow Pages. The search engine has its own web crawler to index the Internet and uses Microsoft's Bing search engine as a supplement.

At a glance


Qwant is also available as an app (Android / iOS).